Jonathan Shaw profiles L. Mahadevan, a professor of applied mathematics at Harvard, where he has been working on a variety of interesting problems.
... Mahadevan enjoys explaining mathematically the phenomena of everyday life: practicing the old-fashioned method of scientific inquiry called natural philosophy, where one wonders about everything. ...
Although the problems he tackles vary in complexity, none is trivial in Mahadevan’s eyes. He does not believe in a hierarchy of problems, or even that their solutions belong to particular disciplines. “A problem is just that: a problem,” he says. “Nature does not tell us what kind of a problem it is—a physics problem, a biology problem, an engineering problem, an important problem, an unimportant problem…Nature couldn’t care less.”
Check out the accompanying short video as well. Link via Guru.