Skip to main content
Unit of study_

Variational Methods - MATH4315

Year - 2020

Variational and spectral methods are foundational in mathematical models that govern the configurations of many physical systems. They have wide-ranging applications in areas such as physics, engineering, economics, differential geometry, optimal control and numerical analysis. In addition they provide the framework for many important questions in modern geometric analysis. This unit will introduce you to a suite of methods and techniques that have been developed to handle these problems. You will learn the important theoretical advances, along with their applications to areas of contemporary research. Special emphasis will be placed on Sobolev spaces and their embedding theorems, which lie at the heart of the modern theory of partial differential equations. Besides engaging with functional analytic methods such as energy methods on Hilbert spaces, you will also develop a broad knowledge of other variational and spectral approaches. These will be selected from areas such as phase space methods, minimax theorems, the Mountain Pass theorem or other tools in the critical point theory. This unit will equip you with a powerful arsenal of methods applicable to many linear and nonlinear problems, setting a strong foundation for understanding the equilibrium or steady state solutions for fundamental models of applied mathematics.

lectures 3 hrs/week, tutorial 1 hr/week

2 x homework assignments (20% each), final exam (60%)

Assumed knowledge
Assumed knowledge of MATH2X23 or equivalent; MATH4061 or MATH3961 or equivalent; MATH3969 or MATH4069 or MATH4313 or equivalent. That is, real analysis, basic functional analysis and some acquaintance with metric spaces or measure theory.


Faculty: Science

Semester 2

24 Aug 2020

Department/School: Mathematics and Statistics Academic Operations
Study Mode: Normal (lecture/lab/tutorial) day
Census Date: 28 Sep 2020
Unit of study level: Honours
Credit points: 6.0
EFTSL: 0.125
Available for study abroad and exchange: Yes
Faculty/department permission required? No
Courses that offer this unit

Non-award/non-degree study If you wish to undertake one or more units of study (subjects) for your own interest but not towards a degree, you may enrol in single units as a non-award student. Cross-institutional study If you are from another Australian tertiary institution you may be permitted to undertake cross-institutional study in one or more units of study at the University of Sydney.

To help you understand common terms that we use at the University, we offer an online glossary.