In recent years, mathematical algorithms have helped the art historians and art conservators putting together fragments of world-famous frescos by Andrea Mantegna classify certain paintings as “roll mates,” remove artifacts in preparation for a restoration campaign, and gain insight into the hidden paintings underneath visible ones.

This lecture will review these applications and give a glimpse into the mathematical aspects that make them 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