Term of Award

Spring 2013

Degree Name

Master of Science in Mathematics (M.S.)

Document Type and Release Option

Thesis (open access)

Copyright Statement / License for Reuse

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.


Department of Mathematical Sciences

Committee Chair

Scott Kersey

Committee Member 1

Yi Lin

Committee Member 2

Chunshan Zhao

Committee Member 3

Chunshan Zhao


In this thesis we investigate elastic curves. These are curves with minimal bending energy as measured by the total squared curvature functional. We show that these can be computed by evolving curves in the direction of the negative gradient in certain Hilbert space settings. By discretizing the curves and using numerical integration, we compute approximate minimizers and display using computer graphics. We propose a conjecture based on the rotation number of a curve that predicts the critical point curves that minimize bending energy.

Research Data and Supplementary Material


Included in

Mathematics Commons