The 27th Biennial Conference on Numerical Analysis

The 27th Biennial Conference in Numerical Analysis took place at the University of Strathclyde, 27-30 June.

The series began at St. Andrews University in 1965, then spent many happy years at the University of Dundee, and finally moved to Glasgow in 2009. A full history, up to 2005, can be found on Alistair Watson’s website, and comments on the 50th Anniversary Meeting can be found on Nick Higham’s blog.

Numerical Analysis pens
Pens from the 20th, 21st, and 22nd biennial conferences on Numerical Analysis.

The conference has a traditional feel in that, whereas many meetings of its scale are held at hotels and conference centres, this one is entirely organised by academics, and hosted on a university campus. This traditional feel contrasts with a modern focus: through its twelve plenary talks, fifteen mini-symposia, and numerous contributed talks, the Biennial Conference reflects the many recent innovations in numerical analysis.

The plenary talks are at the core of this meeting, which opened with Christian Lubich (Tubingen) presenting recent developments in dynamic low-rank approximation, and Valeria Simoncini’s talk on methods for large-scale Sylvester equations (and related problems). David Keyes kept the focus on (extremely) large-scale problems, exhorting the numerical analysis community to develop algorithms that keep pace with modern hardware. The (now) classical roots of numerical analysis, and their influence on current trends were the focus of, for example, the Fletcher-Powell lecture, given by Philip Gill (San Diego). And that was all on Day 1, which concluded with a civic reception hosted by The City of Glasgow in the spectacular City Chambers.


Donald Estep (Colorado) making the case for computational measure theory

Wednesday’s plenaries were delivered by Donald Estep (Colorado), Ilaria Perugia (Vienna), and Gerlind Plonka-Hoch on, respectively, “computational measure theory” (with applications to modelling extreme weather events), completely discontinuous finite elements, and sublinear sparse FFT methods.

Anna-Karin Tornberg (KTH) on Quadrature by expansion (source: Heather Yorston)

Anna-Karin Tornberg (KTH; above) opened Thursday’s sessions. She was followed by Endre Suli (Oxford) who married the classical and modern, where he outlined the analysis of finite element approximations for viscous incompressible fluids, accompanied by a live demonstration with tooth-paste.

Through out the meeting, it is clear that the distinctions between numerical analysis and computer science are becoming increasingly blurred, particularly in the field of networks, where algorithms for graphs and matrices are of core importance. This featured in the A.R. Mitchell lecture, delivered by Andrew Stuart (Caltech). He discussed machine learning and for classification algorithms applied on large graphs.

That evening the conference dinner was hosted in the remarkable Trades Hall, which was designed and built between 1791 and 1794. The after dinner speech, which was both humorous and thoughtful,  was given by Ivan Graham (Bath).

View from the top table (source: David Gleich)

Arguably, the best was saved until last. In Friday morning’s first plenary lecture, Francoise Tisseur (Manchester) made a compelling case for the use of tropical algebra in
numerical analysis, with the applications to incomplete factorisations being particularly compelling. She was followed by David Gleich (Purdue), who explained the motivation and methods for locating motifs (such as triangles) in networks.

Of course, there was much more to the conference than the plenary talks and receptions. There were 15 minisymposia on topics ranging from “M1” on non-local problems (such as the en vogue fractional differential equations) to “M15” on Chebfun, as well as contributed talks. In particular, there were numerous presentations by student participants. Three of these were awarded prizes by the UK and Ireland section of SIAM:

  • Denis Devaud, ETH Zurich, Switzerland, “Exponential convergence in
    H^1/2 of hp-approximation for parabolic equations”
  • James Rynn, University of Manchester, UK, “Using Surrogate Models to
    Accelerate Bayesian Inverse Uncertainty Quantification”
  • Florian Wechsung, University of Oxford, UK, “Shape Optimization with
    Geometric Constraints Using Moreau-Yosida Regularization”

The judging panel was Ivan Graham (Bath), Natalia Kopteva  (Limerick) and John Mackenzie (Strathclyde).

To conclude, the 27th conference was at least as successful as the previous 26. For that, the numerical analysis community owes its gratitude to the University of Strathclyde’s Numerical Analysis and Scientific Computing Group and, in particular, Philip Knight, John Mackenzie and Alison Ramage.

The conference dinner took place in one of Glasgow’s historic buildings: the Glasgow Trades Hall.

European Study Group with Industry (ESGI128) June 12-16th in Limerick


MACSI looks forward to welcoming SIAM members to Limerick for the 128th European Study Group with Industry. The 2017 Irish Study Group takes place on the earlier dates of 12-16th of June.

Registration, details of already registered participants and problems can be found on our website  

Postgraduate and early career researchers with a scientific or engineering background are encouraged to attend the NUI Galway hosted four-day modelling workshop the week before ESGI128 (Tues June 6th to Fri 9th) supported by the MINET Cost Action.  Participants will take part in team-based modelling of real-world, industry-driven problems.  More information and registration available here.

Invite to attend MACSI10 Event – Ireland

We are delighted to invite you and your colleagues to MACSI10, an event to mark the 10th anniversary of the establishment of the Mathematics Applications Consortium for Science and Industry (MACSI).

This FREE workshop will be held at the University of Limerick, Ireland on Thursday 8th and Friday 9th of December 2016.

 MACSI10 aims to empower the future of Irish industrial mathematical and statistical modelling. This event will bring together mathematicians, scientists and industrialists to reflect on the gains made in industrial mathematics over the past ten years and identify fresh challenges that could be solved by applying mathematical and statistical modelling techniques.

This two day event will be held in the Analog Devices Building in the University of Limerick and registration is available here


Current plenary speakers include Professors Brian Wetton (Professor of Mathematics, University of British Columbia), Dietmar Hoemberg (ECMI President and Professor at the Weierstrass Institute for Applied Analysis and Stochastics) and Wil Schilders (EU-Maths-In President and Professor of Scientific Computing for Industry at Eindhoven University of Technology).

MACSI10 will include talks from renowned experts in industrial mathematics with the themes of  “Case Studies of the Successful Implementation of Mathematical Sciences for Irish Industry”, “How the MACSI Experience has Influenced Careers Abroad” and “Industrial Mathematics in Europe and Further Afield”.

There will also be interactive sessions in which early-career researchers will present their work in poster form and at an Analog Devices sponsored “Thesis in 3” event. MACSI10 is very grateful to all of our sponsors Science Foundation Ireland, Dell, Teva, Rusal Aughinish Alumina, Regeneron and Analog Devices.

The event incorporates a visioning exercise which will be used to shape the future direction of industrial mathematics research in Ireland and will feature thought-leaders from industry, funding agencies and research centres.

Please see the event webpage  or email Peg Hanrahan for more information.

Please feel free to share this invite with anyone you think might be interested. We are looking forward to seeing you in December!

If you can’t make it in December we would love it if you would write a Blog Post about your experiences with or in MACSI over the last 10 years,  email for more information.

Many thanks,

The MACSI10 Organising Committee.

Women in Mathematics Day – Ireland

Encouraging young women into STEM subjects is vitally important, as indicated in Science Foundation Ireland’s recent barometer survey carried out to establish the Irish public’s attitudes and awareness of STEM in our society.  85% of respondents agreed it is important to encourage more girls to study STEM.

We at the Mathematics Applications Consortium for Science and Industry (MACSI) in the  University of Limerick want to increase the visibility of female role models in Mathematics and Statistics.

As part of this initiative we are going to host a FREE networking event for anyone interested in advancing gender balance across the mathematical sciences.

Email  before Tuesday 10th of May to register 



SIAM @ Strathclyde Event

The University of Strathclyde SIAM student chapter are organising an event as part of the Engage at Strathclyde week, which will take place on May 3rd 2016, from 2-6pm within the Scottish Universities Insight Institute. The event will showcase just a few applications of mathematics and statistics in industry. There will be three featured speakers: Dr Douglas McLean of Moody’s Analytics; Professor David Anderson of the University of Wisconsin; and last but by no means least, Professor Nicholas J. Higham of The University of Manchester and President Elect of SIAM.

Livi Tower

Dr McLean will be discussing an application to finance, specifically modelling operational risk within a copular framework. Professor Anderson will be presenting on distributions for stochastically modelled biochemical reaction systems. Finally, Professor Higham will be talking about challenges in multivalued matrix functions.

Following the presentations, there will be a drinks reception to allow attendees the opportunity to discuss their research with like-minded people.

Further details, including a programme with abstracts for each of the three talks and a link for registration, can be found at or feel free to e-mail any of our board:

Michal Bosy –

Andrew Croudace –

Kate Pyper –

 The deadline for registration is 26th April 2016.

SYNASC 2016, September 24-27, Timisoara, Romania

(Announcement submitted by James Davenport, Bath)

The 18th International Symposium on Symbolic and Numeric Algorithms for Scientific Computing, SYNASC 2016, will be held in Timisoara, Romania from September 24-27.  SYNASC is an international conference that aims to stimulate the interaction between the two scientific communities of symbolic and numeric computing and to exhibit interesting applications of the areas both in theory and in practice. The choice of the topic is motivated by the belief of the organizers that the dialogue between the two communities is very necessary for accelerating the progress in making the computer a truly intelligent aid for mathematicians and engineers.

Please see for further information.

20th SIAM UKIE Anniversary Meeting

The 20th Anniversary Meeting of the UK and Republic of Ireland Section of SIAM was held on January 7, 2016 at the Department of Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics (DAMTP), University of Cambridge. The event featured high profile keynote and early career speakers, and poster presentations from Student Chapter representatives. The meeting concluded with a 20th Anniversary Dinner held in the Dinning Hall of Magdalene College, Cambridge.

SIAM UKIE 20th Anniversary Meeting, Cambridge, January 7, 2016

The programme for this event along with the abstracts of the talks can be downloaded here. The business meeting presentation can be viewed here.

Prof. Pam Cook (University of Delaware, USA) – SIAM President
Models of Transiently Networked Fluids: Wormlike Micelles

Prof. Martin Hairer FRS (University of Warwick, UK)
Stochastic PDEs and Their Approximations

Dr Jasmina Lazic (MathWorks Application Engineering, UK)
MATLAB and the Mathematics of Our Lives: from Stacking Shelves in Supermarkets to Personalising Car Insurance Premiums

Dr Sarah Mitchell (University of Limerick, Ireland)
Numerical Challenges Facing an Application of Stefan Problems: Continuous Casting of Metals

Dr Jennifer Pestana (University of Strathclyde, UK)
Symmetrizing Toeplitz Matrices and Consequences for Solving Linear Systems

Prof. Simon Tavaré FRS FMedSci (Cancer Research UK Cambridge Institute & DAMTP) – LMS President
How Useful is Mathematical Modelling in Cancer Research?

Prof. Barbara Wohlmuth (Technische Universität München, Germany) – IMA Sponsored Speaker
Cost Reduction in PDE Simulation

As in the previous year, the Section invited every SIAM Student Chapter in the UK and the Republic of Ireland to delegate a student representative to this meeting, and we offered funding support of up to £100 towards the travel expenses of each of these delegates. In addition, there was no registration fee for participating students.

Prof. Des Higham, Dr Jennifer Scott, Dr Angela Mihai, and Prof. Arieh Iserles

Note: This post has been transferred from the previous SIAM UKIE website hosted by Dr Angela Mihai at Cardiff University.