Consider a twice differentiable strongly convex function $f:\mathbb{R}^n \rightarrow \mathbb{R^+}$ that attains its minimum value at the point $x^*$. I am wondering if one can compute a direction of *slowest* ascent $u$ from the point $x^*$.

Intuitively, the direction of slowest ascent would be a unit vector $u$ such that $f(x^*+u)$ is as close as possible to $f(x^*)$ (or at least, we would expect $f(x^*+u)$ and $f(x^*)$ to be close based on the information provided by the Hessian at $x^*$).

I am having some difficulty formally defining $u$ since it depends on the size of the step that we take away from $x^*$. That said, a poor man's definition would be:

$$ u = \text{argmin}_{\|w\| \neq 0} ~~f(x^* + w) - f(x^*)$$