NO. 7                                                          UNIVERSITY OF MINNESOTA - NEWSLETTER OF THE SCHOOL OF MATHEMATICS                              FEBRUARY 2000


-From the Department Head
-Award & Recognitions
-Academic Visitors
-Retirements & Resignations
-Symposium for Prof. Serrin's
  75th Birthday
-Speaking Invitations &
  Other Notable Activities
-Conference for Prof. Krylov's
  60th Birthday
-Conference for Prof.
  Aronson's 70th Birthday
-Riviere-Fabes Symposium
-Actuarial Program
-Research Experiences for
-School of Math Fall Picnic
-School of Math Holiday Party
-NCS-MAA Mathematics Contest
-Graduate Program
-MN Center for Industrial
-IMA Math Modeling Wkshop
-IMA Update
-Contacting Us


If you visited the fifth floor at the end of July, you might have noticed increased activity in rooms 502 and 570. These rooms were occupied by two of the six graduate student teams participating in the IMA Mathematical Modeling in Industry Workshop, held July 19-28 (Rachel Kuske and Fernando Reitich, organizers). During this bi-annual 10 day workshop, six industry mentors supervised projects teams of six students each. The purpose of the workshop was to expose students to the types of mathematical problems which arise in industry, thus providing an educational experience complementary to the usual academic program. The topics were Network Analysis (NSA), Speech Recognition (Lingustic Technologies), Computed Tomography (GE), RF Communication Circuits (Lucent), Surface Intersection Problem of Optimal Design (Boeing), Dynamics of Microactuators (Kodak). The student teams developed models and algorithms for analyzing the problems which had been presented by the industry mentors on the first day of the workshop. The groups used mathematical techniques from a wide range of areas, including numerical linear algebra, optimization, combinatorics, probability, statistics, differential equations, Fourier analysis, and geometry. The students worked intensely for the whole workshop, causing one mentor to comment, "I can't figure out when they're eating and sleeping." They did take some time out for a picnic on the River Flats, an impropmtu soccer game, and a look around downtown Minneapolis. Two of the mentors, being puzzle enthusiasts, entertained the participants with some mind-twisters. By the end of the workshop, everyone appeared to be exhausted (even one of the mentors pulled an "all-nighter" on the last day) but pleased with their results. Each team gave a presentation of their results, with several of the groups providing valuable new insight into the industry problems. The final reports and presentations are available from the IMA web page.

Rachel Kuske
Associate Professor of Mathematics

The IMA annual program for the academic year 2000-2001, "Mathematics in Multimedia", is divided into three components: "Vision, Speech and Language" (September-December, 2000), "Digital Libraries" (January-March, 2001), and "Geometric Design and Computer Graphics" (April-June, 2001). Professor Peter Olver of the School of Mathematics is one of the members of the organizing committee. A large variety of mathematical tools and theories are relevant to multimedia, and thus the program is exposing mathematicians to a new range of challenging and timely problems and applications, and, hopefully, helping to lay foundations for a genuinely mathematical discipline that will become known as "multimedia".

The 2001 Summer Program (July 16-27, 2001) is "Geometric Methods in Inverse Problems and PDE Control". Next year's program will be "Mathematics in Geosciences". A preparatory seminar is being run during the current academic year; Professor George Sell of the School of Mathematics is the organizer. Details about all of the IMA programs can be found on the IMA website:

David C. Dobson (a 1990-92 IMA Industrial Postdoc) received the Felix Klein Prize at the 3rd (2000) European Congress of Mathematics in Barcelona. The Felix Klein prize "is awarded to a young scientist or a small group of scientists for using sophisticated methods to give an outstanding solution, which meets with the complete satisfaction of industry, to a concrete and difficult industrial problem." The program award states "David C. Dobson started his work on the diffraction of electromagnetic waves from periodic structures, when he was a postdoc at the famous Institute of Mathematics and Its Applications of Professor Avner Friedman. The Honeywell Technology Center had posed the problem to model and analyze the diffraction and to develop appropriate numerical algorithms. In a next step an optimal shape design problem for phase lenses was solved. The fact, that he used a "Fraunhofer approximation" was not (!) the reason to give him a prize endowed by the Fraunhofer Institute for Mathematics, what convinced the committee, that he should be the first prize winner, was, that he used rigorous and sound mathematical methods in a quite tricky way for the problem, which Honeywell states to be of very high industrial importance."
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