Maths for pattern formation

PhD student Peter van Heijster (CWI) was granted a Rubicon subsidy in March.

Publication date: 09-04-2009

PhD student Peter van Heijster (CWI) was granted a Rubicon subsidy in March. Mathematician Van Heijster will study pattern formation in more dimensions.

Patterns are everywhere: think of the waves behind a sailing ship or the lines on the skin of a zebra. The description of the formation of these patterns in a mathematical way is not always easy. Van Heijster studied reaction diffusion equations. Solutions of these equations can interact in very complex ways: They can collide, repel or extinguish each other. These interactions are still hardly understood. Van Heijster proposes to research this step-by-step with a specific model.

The Rubicon subsidy is granted by the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO). The Rubicon programme is directed at talented young researchers who are still at the start of their careers and whose academic strengths give them the potential to become established scientists. The subsidy gives them the opportunity to enhance their career prospects by spending up to two years at a leading research institute outside the Netherlands. Van Heijster will spend two years at the Division of Applied Mathematics of Brown University, Providence, United States.