cSplash 2016 will be on Saturday, April 23rd

Courant Splash is an annual one-day lecture series at the Courant Institute of New York University, aimed at mathematically-inclined high school students in the New York metropolitan area. If you're new here, please have a look at the talks and the photos from the previous years. Have we already met? Let's keep in touch, then! Come visit our Facebook page; say hello. You could also email us at csplash [at] cims [dot] nyu [dot] edu.

The 11th annual cSplash will take place on April 23rd, 2016—see the cSplash day page and the current talks page for details. This year, Professor Leif Ristroph, of Courant's Applied Math Lab, will be giving the morning colloquium talk:

The Math and Physics of Animal Swimming and Flying

Animals have developed some fascinating ways to move through water and air, using strategies that are quite different from our own swimming and flying machines. In this talk, I’ll explain how our Applied Math Lab here at NYU tries to figure out how animals manipulate flowing water and air in order to hover in place, maneuver, cruise, and even move together as a school or flock. We’ll first take a zoomed-in and slowed-down look into how insects fly, and then I’ll show that getting a deeper understanding usually requires laboratory experiments that don’t look much like the critters themselves. I’ll introduce you to some of the unusual devices you would find in our lab, such as levitating pyramids and UFOs, a flying jellyfish robot, and a “flock” of wings that at first glance looks more like the whirling blades of a fan or helicopter. For all of these experiments, we’ll use dyes, lasers, high-speed cameras and other gadgets to make the invisible flows visible. And once we see the flows, we’re then able to make mathematical models, which help us make predictions and inspire us to dream up entirely new ways to swim and fly.