Dr Michael Gomez
I completed a BA in Mathematics at Christ Church, Oxford in 2013, followed by an MSc in Mathematical Modelling and Scientific Computing in 2014. I then moved to Pembroke College, Oxford where I completed a DPhil in Mathematics in 2018. Prior to joining Peterhouse, I was an awardee of the EPSRC Doctoral Prize scheme for 6 months based in the Mathematical Institute, Oxford.
In my research I like to apply mathematics to gain insight into physical phenomena, combining analytical techniques, numerical simulations and simple laboratory experiments. My main interest is in elastic instabilities, such as the rapid ‘snap-through’ observed in the leaves of the Venus flytrap and when an umbrella flips upwards on a windy day. Despite the ubiquity of such instabilities in nature and engineering, how fast the instability occurs (i.e. its dynamics) is often only understood qualitatively, with many examples reported of anomalous behaviour that is not well understood at a fundamental level. Other projects I have worked on include the behaviour of spherical shells under point indentation or ‘poking’, the interaction between elastic instabilities and viscous flows, and electrostatic ‘pull-in’ instabilities in microelectromechanical systems (MEMS).
I have taught various courses in applied mathematics, including methods courses (e.g. PDE’s, calculus of variations) and modelling courses in continuum mechanics, both at a collegiate and intercollegiate level.