Etienne Vouga: Understanding the Geometry of Growing Shells

The relationship between geometry and physical behavior is strongly evident in thin objects, where behaviors like the snapping shut of a Venus flytrap, or the curling of the leaf margin in kale, can be easily explained by recasting biological process in the language of differential geometry. I will describe some inverse problems of recent interest in experimental physics and fabrication related to thin, surface-like objects undergoing intrinsic changes like growth or swelling; how the underlying physics of the problems can be understood in terms of geometry; and some strategies for discretization and computation.