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Iterative Methods
Series: De Gruyter STEM
Proceedings of the John H. Barrett Memorial Lectures held at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, May 29–June 1, 2018
With Applications in Optimization and Partial Differential Equations


The harmonic map energy of a map from a closed, constant-curvature surface to a closed target manifold can be seen as a functional on the space of maps and domain metrics. We consider the gradient flow for this energy. In the absence of singularities, previous theory established that the flow converges to a branched minimal immersion, but only at a sequence of times converging to infinity, and only after pulling back by a sequence of diffeomorphisms. In this paper, we investigate whether it is necessary to pull back by these diffeomorphisms, and whether the convergence is uniform as t.