Third-Cycle Courses

Faculty of Engineering | Lund University

Details for the Course Syllabus for Course FMA201F valid from Autumn 2013

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  • English
  • Every spring semester
  • The aim of the course is to present the basic theory for, and applications of, the calculus of variations, i.e., optimization problems for "functions of functions". A classical example is the isoperimetric problem, to find which closed curve of a given length encloses maximal area. Many physical laws can be formulated as variational principles, i.e. the law of refraction. The calculus of variations is also a corner stone in classical mechanics, and has many other technological applications e.g. in systems theory and optimal control.
  • Variational problems without and with constraints. Euler's equations without and with constraints. Legendre's, Jacobi's and Weierstrass' necessary conditions for a local minimum.

    Hilbert's invariant integral and Weierstrass' sufficient conditions for a strong local minimum.

    Hamilton's principle and Hamilton's equations. Lagrange's och Mayer's problems.
Knowledge and Understanding
  • For a passing grade the doctoral student must
  • be able to explain the basic parts of the theory in the context of an oral examination.
Competences and Skills
  • For a passing grade the doctoral student must
  • be able to demonstrate an ability to identify problems which can be modelled with the concepts introduced.

    be able to integrate methods and views from the different parts of the course in order to solve problems and answer questions within the framework of the course.

    in writing and orally, with clear logic and proper terminology be able to explain the solution to a mathematical problem within the course.
Judgement and Approach
  • For a passing grade the doctoral student must
Types of Instruction
  • Lectures
Examination Formats
  • Oral exam
  • Written assignments
  • Failed, pass
Admission Requirements
Assumed Prior Knowledge
  • Calculus in one and several variables corresponding to the courses FMAA05 and FMA430, and linear algebra corresponding to the course FMA420.
Selection Criteria
  • Mesterton-Gibbons, M.: A Primer on the Calculus of Variations and Optimal Control Theory. American Mathematical Soc., 2009. ISBN 9780821847725.
Further Information
Course code
  • FMA201F
Administrative Information
  •  -01-27
  • FN1/Anders Gustafsson

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