Numerical Analysis Summer School Held in Durham, UK

November 21, 2000


Week 1 participants in this year's EPSRC Summer School. One beneficial experience for participating students is the opportunity to present their work in a friendly atmosphere. The three students whose talks were judged to be the best received prizes provided by the SIAM UKIE Section.
Alan Craig

The Ninth EPSRC Summer School in Numerical Analysis took place at the University of Durham, United Kingdom, July 9-21. The meeting, which was organised by Alan Craig and James Blowey of the Department of Mathematical Sciences, was the latest in a biennial series started almost twenty years ago. As is traditional, two "local experts"---Gerald Moore (Imperial College) and John Mackenzie (Strathclyde)---were drafted to assist the organisers in running the academic programme.

Few places in the world can match the city of Durham, with its dramatic setting on a rocky horseshoe bend in the River Wear. The great Norman cathedral and the nearby castle-which is part of the university-form a World Heritage site, recognised by UNESCO as one of the most exceptional historic and architectural features of the world. This was the Summer School's first visit to Durham.

The purpose of the Summer Schools has always been the delivery of high-quality instructional courses at the postgraduate level. The intended audience is a wide one, encompassing research students, academics, and people from industry. Fifty-six people attended this year's meeting. The lecturers are encouraged to seek in their courses to enable a person with an elementary knowledge of a subject to attain reasonable competence in it, and someone with a good initial knowledge to identify and begin work on unsolved problems.

The invited lecturers, each of whom gave a five-lecture course, were: Christine Bernardi (Paris), Spectral and High Order Methods; Peter Kloeden (Frankfurt), Stochastic Differential Equations and their Numerical Solution; Anders Szepessy (Stockholm), Hyperbolic Differential Equations; Petter Björstad (Bergen), Domain Decomposition Techniques; Carsten Carstensen (Kiel), Microstructure; and Ralf Kornhuber (Berlin), Nonlinear Multigrid Techniques. In lucid but challenging accounts of their research areas, the speakers gave the students insight into problems and techniques that they might never have encountered otherwise.

One important training aspect for participating students is the opportunity to talk about their work in a friendly atmosphere, by giving short presentations to the group. We are indebted to the UK & Republic of Ireland SIAM Section for its support in the form of small prizes awarded to the students who, in the opinion of the local experts, gave the best talks. The quality was very high, boding well for the future. From the total of 15 students who spoke, the three chosen to receive the prizes were: Kathryn Harriman (Oxford), "Adaptive Finite Element Solution of Electrochemical Problems at Recessed Microelectrodes"; Chris Goodyer (Leeds), "Solving Transient Elastohydrodynamic Problems Using Multilevel Techniques"; and Michelle Vail (Leicester), "Radial Basis Function Interpola-tion---Some Generalised Sobolev Spaces."

Gerald Moore of Imperial College (center) presents SIAM UKIE Section prizes to Chris Goodyer (Leeds University) and Michelle Vail (Leicester University).

A full social programme for the students was run in tandem with the more serious pursuits and was appreciated by all. Planning is already under way for the tenth school, to take place in July 2002, again in Durham.

More details, including downloadable notes, are available at http://maths.dur.ac.uk/nass/. Extended versions of the notes will be published in due course by Springer.

Alan Craig is a member of the Department of Mathematical Sciences at the University of Durham.


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