University of Jyväskylä

ERC Starting Grant of €1.25M for Associate Professor Enrico Le Donne

Enrico Le DonneWhat are the best trajectories to park a truck with several trailers? How fast can a lattice grow? What are the sets with minimal perimeter in geometric models beyond the Euclidean space? These are some of the questions studied in the new European project of Enrico Le Donne, Associate Professor from the Department of Mathematics and Statistics at the University of Jyväskylä.

Le Donne received a highly valued European Research Council (ERC) Starting Grant of 1.25 million euro. The project is about new structures that arise from interaction between algebraic operations and non-Euclidean geometries. These abstract objects appear in the mathematical formalisation of both the infinitesimal structure of controlling a truck and the asymptotic geometry of lattices.

My team and I study geometric structures from an abstract viewpoint,” Le Donne says. “However, they have possible applications in control theory and neuromathematics,” he adds.

One of the most important results by Le Donne was achieved in collaboration with one of his students, Eero Hakavuori. The result implies that when driving a truck optimally, one never needs to maneuver the steering wheel hastily. Now Le Donne and his colleagues want to prove this formally to make it a stronger fact. Namely, they are aiming to prove that the best way to drive a truck is to drive ‘smoothly’.

Mathematics is divided in several areas, such as algebra, geometry and analysis. Le Donne’s project stands within all these areas and his expected results will provide links between them.

Le Donne has developed a network of high-level international collaborations. He is cooperating with researchers from America, Australia, Asia and several places in Europe.

Le Donne received his first degree at SNS Pisa (Italy) and his PhD is from Yale University (Connecticut, USA). At the University of Jyväskylä, he obtained his permanent position only three years after graduation. Before that, he was at ETH (Switzerland), Orsay (Paris) and MSRI (California). In 2015, he received the prestigious position of a research fellow of the Academy of Finland.

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