In recent years, mathematical algorithms have helped art historians and art conservators putting together the thousands of fragments into which an unfortunate WWII bombing destroyed world famous frescos by Mantegna, decide that certain paintings by masters were “roll mates” (their canvases were cut from the same bolt), virtually remove artifacts in preparation for a restoration campaign, get more insight into paintings hidden underneath a visible one.

The presentation reviews these applications, and gives a glimpse into the mathematical aspects that make this possible.

Image for "An ICERM Public Lecture: Mathematicians Helping Art Historians and Art Conservators"
Steven Zucker, Flicker
Mantegna, St. James Led to His Execution
Ovetari Chapel Cycle Frescos, 1448-1457
Church of the Eremitani; Padua, Italy.

About the Speaker

Ingrid Daubechies earned her Ph.D. in Theoretical Physics from Vrije Universiteit Brussel. She currently holds the title of James B. Duke Professor of Mathematics and Electrical and Computer Engineering at Duke University.

Although her degree is in (theoretical) physics, she thought she would become an engineer while growing up. Her mother was heartbroken when she opted for pure science instead, and predicted Ingrid would end up in the gutter, jobless. Fortunately, matters turned out better. Her academic work focuses on mathematical methods for the analysis of signals, images, and data; with applications in many directions.

She enjoys working in collaboration with others, in her scientific work as well as otherwise. The latter include, most recently, a collaborative mixed media art installation that celebrates the beauty, creativity, and fun of mathematics.

Ingrid Daubechies, Duke University

Attend this Lecture

ICERM Lecture Hall
121 South Main Street, 11th Floor
Providence, RI 02903
May 2, 2024
6:00 PM: Light Reception
6:30 PM: Lecture Begins
This event is free and open to the public. Please register to reserve a seat at