ITL Co-sponsors Workshop on Industrial Mathematics
ITL's Mathematical and Computational Science Division (MCSD) co-sponsored a workshop on Mathematical Problems in Industry (MPI), which was hosted by the University of Delaware on June 7-11, 1999. The event brought together applied mathematicians and scientists from universities, government laboratories, and industry to work on previously unsolved mathematical problems posed by industrial representatives during an intensive one-week workshop.
The Delaware MPI was organized by Dr. Richard Braun, former MCSD staff member who is now in the Department of Mathematical Sciences at the University of Delaware. More than 50 mathematicians and scientists from the United States, the United Kingdom, and Finland attended, including several NIST staff and guest researchers. The workshop was the 15th in a series previously held at the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. The MPI workshop is similar in format to the Oxford Study Group, a well-known series of workshops held in the United Kingdom.
Problems considered at the workshop were initially presented by scientists from the IBM Thomas Watson Research Laboratory (shape optimization of read heads for hard drives), Astropower (epitaxial growth of semiconductors for solar cells), Lockheed Martin (interference filters for thermophotovoltaic applications), and Albany International (dynamics of a roll press nip in machining paper). During the workshop each participant worked on one or more of the problems in groups advised by the industrial representatives, with daily progress reports from each group. Progress summaries were presented on the final day of the workshop by a representative from each group, followed by critiques from the industrial representatives. The work will be summarized in a written final report which is made available to the participants.
The MPI workshops provide a unique opportunity for government and academic mathematicians to be exposed to real problems of current concern to industry. Industrial participants not only benefit from progress on the solution to the problems they pose, but they also establish new contacts with applied mathematicians. Planning for the next MPI workshop, which will also be hosted by the University of Delaware, is currently underway.