To paint the lily, mathematically

Dec 2021

International Centre for Theoretical Sciences

Kaapi with Kuriosity


May 2021

Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics

In his Perimeter Public Lecture webcast on May 5, 2021, Harvard professor L. Mahadevan will take viewers on a journey into the mathematical, physical, and biological workings of morphogenesis to demonstrate how researchers are beginning to unlock secrets that have vexed scientists since Darwin.

Related Publications

BMP signaling controls buckling forces to modulate looping morphogenesis of the gut N. L. Nerurkar, L. Mahadevan, and C.J. Tabin,  Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences  (USA), 114, 2277-82, 2017. [View PDF] [Download PDF]
Morphogenesis of termite mounds S. A. Ocko , A. Heyde, and L. Mahadevan, PNAS 116(9) 3379-3384; published ahead of print February 11, 2019. [View PDF] [Download PDF]
Morphogenesis one century after On Growth and Form  Thomas Lecuit and L. Mahadevan,  Development  144, 4197-4198, 2017. [View PDF] [Download PDF]
Tissue Tectonics: morphogenetic strain rates, cell shape change and intercalation G. Blanchard, A. Kabla, L. Butler, B. Sanson, N. Gorfinkiel, L. Mahadevan and R. Adams,  Nature Methods , 6(6), 458-64, 2009. [View PDF] [Download PDF]

Magic, Mystery and Mathematics in the Mundane

Jan 2021
Science for the Public: Contemporary Science Issues & Innovations.
Dr. Mahadevan shares his extraordinary gift for revealing the underlying mathematics of familiar objects, systems and processes in Nature. No need to be a mathematician to appreciate the properties of what seems ordinary when Dr. Mahadevan demonstrates how to look and think in a whole new way.

Wisdom of hives, nests, and mounds: collective physiology in social insects

Aug 2020

Marine Biological Laboratory

Physical Biology of the Cell Lecture Series

Origami – Mathematics, Science and Technology

Sep 2018

Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology Graduate University
Presidential Lecture Series

Prof. L  Mahadevan delves into the world of origami, from its origins in natural patterns to creations in art, from understanding it using mathematics to its deployment in technology.

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Related Publications

An additive algorithm for origami design. L.H. Dudte, G. P. T. Choi, and L. Mahadevan, Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. (118)  21, e2019241118, 2021. [DOI] [View PDF] [Download PDF]
Geometric mechanics of curved crease origami M.A. Dias, L.H. Dudte, L. Mahadevan, C.D. Santangelo,  Physical Review Letters , 109, 114301, 2012. [View PDF] [Download PDF]

Morphogenesis: Geometry, Physics and Biology

Aug 2018

HKUST Jockey Club Institute for Advanced Study

Origami: Art and Science

Jun 2017

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On Growth and Form: Mathematics, Physics and Biology

Apr 2016
MPE2013 Simons Public Lecture by L. Mahadevan
The diversity of living forms led Darwin to state that it is “enough to drive the sanest man mad”. How can we describe this variety? How can we understand the origin and evolution of these “endless forms most beautiful?” And how do these forms link to function and physiology at the organismic level and beyond? Mathematics, and geometry in particular, provides a natural language to express these questions and answer them. Motivated by biological observations on different scales from molecules to organisms to swarms, I will show how a combination of quantitative experiments, physical analogies, mathematical theories and computational models allow us to begin to unravel the mechanistic basis for aspects of morphogenesis and thence towards physiology, pathophysiology and biomimetics.

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Sep 2014

In 2014, the paleobiologist Simon Conway Morris organized a meeting titled “Are there limits to evolution?” As part of the meeting, a few videos were recorded, including the one below. Others can be found at the following site .

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The architecture of natural patterns

Aug 2010

Patterns in space and time surround us on all scales, from the atomic to the galactic. They are particularly rich at the scale of everyday life because it is in this “middle earth” that physics, chemistry and biology come together in very subtle ways. However, many of these patterns are things that we take for granted–so much so that we often mistake the familiar for the understood. I will try and unfold the familiar by describing, using theory, experiment and numerical simulation, a few examples of the complex structure of the world around us that arises from simple causes, that lead to an understanding of how matter is shaped and how it flows, both passively and actively.

Professor L. Mahadevan is the de Valpine Professor of Applied Mathematics and Professor of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology at Harvard University. His principal fields of interest are applied mathematics, macroscopic physics, and biological dynamics.

Mohsen Mostafavi, an architect and educator, is the Dean of the Harvard Graduate School of Design and the Alexander and Victoria Wiley Professor of Design.

NOW? is an occasional series of conversations about ideas, images, words, things, drawings, places, designs. NOW? is also a specific temporal moment–of thought and action–caught between the present and possible futures

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MacArthur Fellowship Interview

Sep 2009

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