This book contains selected papers presented at the AMS-SIAM 1996 Joint
Summer Research Conference held at Mount Holyoke College in South Hadley,
Massachusetts, between the 16th and 20th of June 1996. These papers, written
by specialists in their respective fields, are devoted to the study of optimization
problems in the context of partial differential equations (PDE's). The problems
considered range from basic theoretical issues in the calculus of variations (e.g.,
infinite dimensional Hamilton Jacobi equations, saddle point principles, and issues
of unique continuation) to problems which focus on application and computation,
where the theoretical tools are tuned to more specifically defined problems. The
latter embraced inverse/recovery problems in physical systems, shape optimization
and shape design of elastic structures, control and optimization of fluids, boundary
controllability of PDE's, including applications to flexible structures, etc.
The papers were selected according to tripartite criteria: they are at the fore-
front of their respective domains, they indicate modern trends, and they expose
The conference was funded by a grant from the National Science Foundation,
whose support is gratefully acknowledged.
The organizers are grateful to all participants for their contributions to the
conference, either by lecturing and publishing in the proceedings, or by actively
taking part and debating a wide range of ideas during the conference.
Very warm thanks are extended to the AMS staff and, in particular, to Mr
Wayne Drady and Ms Romy Cascella, whose help and smooth coordination of
various activities contributed to the success of the conference.
Finally, we wish to thank Ms Chris Thivierge from the AMS Publications Office,
for helping us prepare these manuscripts for publication.
Steven Cox and Irena Lasiecka