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International Conference

Free Boundary Problems: Theory and Applications


We are collecting here some photos taken during the conference.
Click here to get the list of the registered participants.
Click here to get the list of the abstracts.
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Trento (Italy)
June 5-8, 2002

General scientific information



Organizing committee: Scientific committee:
    P. Colli   (University of Pavia, Italy)     M. Frémond (Paris)
    G. Dziuk    (University of Freiburg, Germany)     A. Friedman (Minneapolis)
    A. Fasano (University of Firenze, Italy)     S. Luckhaus (Leipzig)
    K.-H. Hoffmann     (C.A.E.S.A.R. - Bonn, Germany)     M. Niezgodka (Warsaw)
    J. Sprekels    (W.I.A.S. - Berlin, Germany)     J. Ockendon (Oxford)
    C. Verdi      (University of Milano, Italy)     M. Primicerio (Firenze)
    A. Visintin     (University of Trento, Italy)     J.F. Rodrigues (Lisboa)


Plenary speakers, and titles:


  1. Gregoire Allaire: Structural optimization by the level set method.
  2. Luigi Ambrosio: Non linear function spaces associated to singular perturbations.
  3. Giorgio Bertotti: Magnetization modes and spin-wave instabilities in nonlinear magnetization dynamics.
  4. Zhiming Chen: Upscaling of well singularities of flow transport through heterogeneous porous media.
  5. Pierre Degond: A model for the plasma-vacuum interface.
  6. Emmanuel DiBenedetto: On the selection problem for the Hele-Show flow.
  7. Wolfgang Dreyer: On Nucleation and Growth of Liquid Droplets in Single Crystals.
  8. Cornelis J. van Duijn: (Cancelled).
  9. Martin E. Glicksman: Dendritic Growth & Melting in Pure Systems.
  10. Nobuyuki Kenmochi: Transmission-Stefan Problems Arising in Czochralski Process of Crystal Growth.
  11. Robert Kohn: Upper Bounds on Coarsening Rates.
  12. Stefan Müller: Multiscale folding patterns and energy scaling in compressed thin films.
  13. Ricardo H. Nochetto: A Posteriori Error Control of FBPs.
  14. Felix Otto: Scaling laws for the cross--tie wall.
  15. Oliver Penrose: Diffusion-Induced Grain Boundary motion : a system with three free boundaries.
  16. Errico Presutti: Phase coexistence and interfaces in statistical mechanics.
  17. Alfio Quarteroni: Fluid dynamics in blood circulation.
  18. Fernando Reitich: Shape deformations and analytic continuation in free boundary problems.
  19. Afred Schmidt: Adaptive finite element methods for phase transition computations.
  20. Victor N. Zur Starovoitov: Penalty method and problems of liquid - solid interaction.
  21. Juan José López Velazquez: Some mathematical questions on fracture dynamics.
Focus session organizers, and titles:
  1. Vincenzo Capasso: Free boundary problems in polymer science.
  2. Vicent Caselles: Image processing.
  3. Charles M. Elliott: Grain boundary motion.
  4. Ralph Kornhuber: Numerical aspects of free boundary problems.
  5. Masayasu Mimura: Free boundary problems in biomathematics.
  6. Georg Mueller: Modelling in crystal growth.
  7. Peter Bates: Transitions in anisotropic materials.

There will also be a poster session, open to all participants. Each contributor can use a panel 2 metres high by 1.2 metres wide. Posters will presumably be affixed during the afternoon of June 5 and will be kept for the whole duration of the conference. The program will however include a special session specifically dedicated to poster discussion.


About this conference

Free boundary problems are boundary value problems for differential equations which are defined in a domain whose boundary is a priori unknown, and is accordingly named a “free boundary”; a further quantitative condition must be then provided to exclude undeterminacy.

Problems of this sort arise in a large number of phenomena of applicative interest. Examples include the classic Stefan problem, and more general models of phase transitions: here the free boundary is represented by the moving interface between phases. Other important examples occur in filtration through porous media; here free boundaries occur as fronts between saturated and unsaturated regions. Relevant examples come from reaction-diffusion, fluid dynamics, and so on.

Free boundaries are often related to discontinuities in constitutive relations; this raises a number of interesting analytic and numerical questions. Existence of the solution in function spaces, uniqueness, regularity properties, numerical approximation procedures, and other questions have been extensively investigated. The interested reader is referred to the proceedings of the previous editions of this series of conferences. Several of these problems are of industrial interest, and offer opportunities of collaboration among mathematicians, physicists, engineers, material scientists, and other applicative scientists.

A large community of mathematicians, engineers and applicative scientists spread over the world has been formulating and studying free boundary problems for many years, and has been meeting regularly in a major conference any third year or so. Following the tradition of the series, topics to be covered at the Trento conference will concern problems which are more or less directly related to free boundaries, or might be so in perspective. Special emphasis will be put on questions of applicative relevance. Expected participants will include mathematicians, engineers, physicists, and other applicative scientists.

Proceedings are planned by a major international publisher. Previous editions of this series of meetings :




Two concerts are planned on Wednesday 5 and Thursday 6. Click here for details.


Practical information


Arrival day June 4 (Tuesday)
Departure day June 9 (Sunday)

Venue: Centro Servizi Culturali S.Chiara, via S.Croce 67, 38100 Trento (located in Trento downtown, at 1km. from the railway station)

Registration fee: The conference registration is now open to pre-registered participants, and also to other intended participants; see the enclosed form. A registration fee of 100 Euros has to be paid within April 30, 2002. Payment modalities are indicated in the enclosed form (in particular, due to signature requirements, credit card payments need letter or fax confirmation).

This fee will cover:

The organization will cover at least 70% of hotel expenses of each participant. More precise indications will be provided on site.

Financial support will be provided, upon request, to

Hotel reservation: our deadline is April 30, 2002. Earlier hotel booking is however strongly recommended, for June is high season. Those who intend to reserve directly are suggested to specify participation at FBP 2002, in order to get the fare indicated in the list posted apart, and are then asked to inform the conference secretariat. Please note that hotel reservations will be processed by us only after payment of the registration fee.

Further information, including schedule and abstracts, will be posted on this web page when available.

If needed, please contact:

for scientific or financial aspects Prof. Pierluigi Colli at

  Dipartimento di Matematica ``F. Casorati''
  Università di Pavia
  Via Ferrata 1, 27100 Pavia, ITALY
  Phone: + 39 0382 50 5617
  Fax: + 39 0382 50 5602
  E-mail: pier@dimat.unipv.it


for organizing aspects (such as hotel reservations, and so on) conference secretariat:

Conference Secretariat
 Università di Trento
 Via Belenzani, Galleria Tirrena 10 - 38100 Trento
 Phone: +39-0461-88-3216/-15/-25
 fax +39-0461-883222
 e-mail: ufficio.convegni@amm.unitn.it