Fall 2023

Calculus of Variations

Listed in: Mathematics and Statistics, as MATH-325


Joe Kraisler (Section 01)


What is the shape of a hanging chain? What shape of fixed perimeter encloses the most area? The calculus of variations answers questions such as these through maximizing or minimizing values of functionals over different input functions. Topics covered will include functional differentiation, the Euler-Lagrange equations, necessary and sufficient conditions for extrema, and direct minimization methods. Additionally, there will be applications to physics and optimization, including Hamiltonian mechanics and image processing.

Fall semester. Professor Kraisler

How to handle overenrollment: Priority given to math majors

Students who enroll in this course will likely encounter and be expected to engage in the following intellectual skills, modes of learning, and assessment: Problem sets, exams, final project

MATH 325 - LEC

Section 01
M 1:00 PM - 1:50 PM SMUD 207
W 1:00 PM - 1:50 PM SMUD 207
F 1:00 PM - 1:50 PM SMUD 207

This is preliminary information about books for this course. Please contact your instructor or the Academic Coordinator for the department, before attempting to purchase these books.

ISBN Title Publisher Author(s) Comment Book Store Price
Variational Methods with Applications in Science and Engineering Cambridge University Press Kevin Cassel Amherst Books TBD

These books are available locally at Amherst Books.


Other years: Offered in Fall 2023