Practical complexity and theoretical insight

Cardiovascular Solid Mechanics

I was really looking forward to the winter vacation. I hoped that the time off from actual work would allow me to focus in earnest on this web site. And so, I excitedly packed some of my books and notes alongside my swimming trunks for my recent Asian vacation. Sadly, it soon dawned on me that it’s near impossible to spend time with family and gallivant across Asia—all while simultaneously getting work done.

But this time away has been good for me. It is through meeting people and evangelising my efforts here that has crystallised in my mind the direction I want to take this project. Diverting from my initial plans, I am not going to concentrate on relatively basic subject matter that has broad appeal to university-level mechanics students. (A casual search will show that there are several resources of high quality for such topics around the web.) Instead, I now believe that I can make a more valuable contribution by educating interested students on advanced topics close to my area of expertise: computational biomechanics. And so, I have outlined such a course, identified something approximating a text book, and I’m in the process of preparing detailed notes for the individual lectures.

A basic theme of the course is best captured by the following TED talk on mathematics education by Conrad Wolfram. By offloading much of the tedium of classical mechanics formulation and calculation to the computer, we free our minds both to gain deeper theoretical insight and build the capacity to address the complexities of biomechanics problems of practical importance.

September 23, 2012 — Read other entries


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