05. December 2011

Christmas Prize Competition Dedicated to Prof. Dr. techn. Richard Greiner

The year 1744 saw the publication of a book entitled "Methodus inveniendi lineas curvas maximi minimive proprietate gaudentes" which in English translates to "method for finding curved lines enjoying properties of maximum or minimum".

The author was the most productive mathematician of all times, Leonhard Euler (1707-1783), born in Basel and son of a pastor. This book is the first monograph about variational calculus and can also be considered a methodological contribution to elastic theory and statics. In Appendix I, Euler analyses buckling problems in a manner that is still commonly used today. Professor Dr. Helmut Rubin's Christmas Prize Competition 2011 (view German version) also covers bar buckling, though with slightly more complex boundary conditions that lie somewhere between Euler cases I and III. By the way, this year's Christmas Prize Competition is dedicated to Prof. Dr. techn. Richard Greiner of TU Graz who turned 70 on 29 October 2011 and is part of the leading group of steel construction scientists in Europe.  

Your creative repose is sought here so that your imagination can inspire your formulation of an approach and help you along the way to solving this problem. Please send in your solution proposals by 31 January 2012 at the latest to Karl-Eugen.Kurrer@wiley.com. If your solution is correct, then you may choose a book from Ernst & Sohn's current portfolio as your prize.