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Nov 10 2020

Form and Function of Feet and Fins

MIE Department Seminar

November 10, 2020

11:00 AM - 12:00 PM




Chicago, IL 60612

‘Form and Function of Feet and Fins’

Presenter: Madhusudhan Venkadesan, PhD., Assistant Professor, Yale University

On Zoom.

The stiffness of propulsive appendages, such as feet or fins, is important for locomotor function. In this talk, I show that curvature-induced stiffness is the common principle underlying the stiffness of both primate feet and rayed fish fins. We use mathematical models, physical mimics, and biological experiments to arrive at this conclusion and also track the evolution of curvature among hominins. The principle is evident in a drooping dollar bill that significantly stiffens upon slightly curling it in the transverse direction.

Speaker Biography:
Dr. Madhu Venkadesan studies the mechanics and control of how animals move. Problems being pursued include locomotion in animals, the geometry of joints, the topology of shape-changing skins, and the dynamics of muscle. The motivation for and application of his work include biomedical sciences, evolutionary biology, robotics, and plain curiosity about everyday observations.

Host: Dr. Pranav Bhounsule


Pranav Bhounsule

Date posted

Nov 6, 2020

Date updated

Nov 6, 2020