
 2008
 2007
 Professor Tony Pritchard died on 12th August 2007 (12th August 2007)
 Ian Stewart wins a Syngenta ABSW Science Writer's Award (16 July 2007)
 Matt Keeling awarded the Zoological Society of London's Scientific Medal (28 June 2007)
 David Epstein has been awarded a Leverhulme Emeritus Fellowship (28 May 2007)
 Ian Stewart wins the Peano Prize 2006 (12 May 2007)
 Unveiling of portrait of Christopher Zeeman (12 May 2007)
 Sebastian van Strien wins Royal Society Leverhulme Trust Senior Research Fellowship (3 May 2007)
 Mark Pollicott wins Royal Society Leverhulme Trust Senior Research Fellowship (3 May 2007)
 Peter Topping wins Leverhulme Research Leadership Award for Geometric Flows (29 April 2007)
 Jim Eells died on the 14^{th} February, 2007 (15 February 2007)
 Andrew Stuart awarded the 2007 JD Crawford Prize (8 January 2007)
 2006

12 August 2007  Top 


Professor Anthony Pritchard died on 12th August 2007
Professor Anthony Pritchard collapsed and died from heart failure on 12th August 2007 whilst on holiday in Lanzarotte.
Tony got his BSc from Kings College, London in 1958, a Diploma of
Imperial College (DIC) in 1959, lectured first at Lanchester Polytechnic
and then came to Warwick in September 1968, writing a PhD thesis on
“Stability and control of distributed parameter systems” in
1970 in the Department of Engineering under the direction of Patrick
Parks before transferring to the Mathematics Institute. He became
halftime in 1999 and retired in 2002, but continued to teach his Modern
Control Theory course for us as an Emeritus Professor.
Tony's main research has been concerned with developing an abstract
theory for the control of systems governed by semigroups. This theory
includes as special cases ordinary differential equations, delay
equations and partial differential equations and allows for system
theory concepts of controllability, observability, stability, optimal
control and filtering, and realisation theory. He founded a Control
Theory Centre of which he was Director with funding from the Leverhulme
Trust and the Science Research Council to develop this field. In the
80's he developed a theory for unbounded inputs and outputs to examine
system theoretic questions for PDEs with controls on the boundary. More
recently he worked on a robustness theory for state space systems.
The following obituary has been written by Ruth Curtain and Diederich Hinrichsen.
A full version will be published in the International Journal of Control.
 Obituary (485KB PDF)
On Monday 19 November 2007 there is a Meeting on Control Theory in memory of Tony Pritchard
organised by Stuart Townley (Exeter) and Robert MacKay.


16 July 2007  Top 


Ian Stewart wins a Syngenta ABSW Science Writer's Award
On July 10th Ian Stewart received a Syngenta ABSW Science Writer's Award
given for the best feature on a science subject in a specialist periodical for his article ‘Ride the celestial subway’ published in
New Scientist on 25th March 2006.
The Association of British Science Writers (ABSW) exists to help those who write about science and technology, and to improve the standard of science journalism in the UK.


28 June 2007  Top 


Matt Keeling awarded the Zoological Society of London's Scientific Medal
Matt Keeling was awarded the Zoological Society of London's Scientific Medal at a ceremony in London earlier this month. He is seen here with Prof Pat Bateson of the ZSL. The medal is awarded to zoologists with no more than 15 years postdoctoral experience, in recognition of scientific merit.


28 May 2007  Top 


David Epstein has been awarded a Leverhulme Emeritus Fellowship of
£19,690 for Deconvolution via Markov Chain Monte Carlo methods. This
concerns work he is doing with
Conrad Mullineaux of QMUL, an expert
on photosynthesis.
The image shows a twodimensional membrane roughly 3000
nanometres in diameter, where the light is provided by autofluorescent
molecules involved in photosynthesis, emitting light at
wavelength 700 nanometres, so that blurring is considerable. The
displayed image from a confocal microscope is the result of
convolving the true shape of the membrane with the point spread
function and combining with noise. For various reasons we need to
retrieve the true shape, as well as we can. This is an illposed
problem: that is, the map from true shapes to images is neither
injective nor surjective, even if there is no noise, and the answer
can only be found probabilistically. A probability distribution of
possible membrane shapes is set up using biological information,
following the Gibbsian procedure first developed in statistical
mechanics. The MCMC process enables one to sample randomly from the
distribution, which would otherwise be difficult to deal with. The
result of the MCMC should be (almost) as good as knowing the actual
true shape. The award will be used to employ Christophe Ladroue for 6
months as a postdoc—Chris is currently a postdoc working with
Anastasia Papavasiliou in the
Warwick Statistics Department.


12 May 2007  Top 


Ian Stewart wins the Peano Prize 2006
The 7th ‘Premio Peano’ has been awarded to Ian Stewart, for the
Italian translation Com'è bella la Matematica – Lettere a una
giovane amica (Bollati Boringhieri, 2006) of his book Letters to a
Young Mathematician (Basic Groups, Joat Enterprises, 2006). The prize will be presented in Turin in December 2007.
The Peano
Prize was founded in 1999/2000 by the Associazione Subalpina Mathesis with
the sponsorship of the Department of Mathematics of the University of Turin and
is awarded annually for the best book published in Italy during the relevant academic year and has the aim of promoting the
public understanding of mathematics. The
prize is named after the great Piemontese mathematician
Giuseppe Peano who, amongst many other contributions, founded the area
of symbolic logic.


12 May 2007  Top 


Unveiling of portrait of Christopher Zeeman
On Saturday, 12 May 2007 a portrait of Sir Christopher Zeeman FRS, by the
artist Peter Edwards, was unveiled in the Mathematics Institute Common Room
by Lady Zeeman in the presence of the ProChancellor John Leighfield,
ViceChancellor Professor Nigel Thrift, staff, and alumni who had
gathered for the 25th anniversary of the 1981 entry.
The portrait was commissioned by the Mead Gallery of
the University of Warwick in honour of Sir Christopher who was the
Foundation Professor of Mathematics at Warwick. The ViceChancellor,
Professor Nigel Thrift, spoke of Sir Christopher's contributions to Warwick
and to mathematics both nationally and internationally.
Peter Edwards, the artist, explained that he had already painted a
portrait of Sir Christopher for Hertford College, Oxford and that it
was rare for an artist to have the possibility of painting a second
portrait of someone. His portrait for Warwick was painted from life
in Sir Christopher's home and is much less formal than the Hertford
portrait.
On behalf of the Department, Professor Colin Sparrow, its present Head,
spoke of Sir Christopher's lasting influence on the mathematics at
Warwick. He also thanked the alumni for their generous support of
Mathematics and the University.
Approximately 150 people attended the unveiling and lunch afterwards.
Around 100 were alumni, and the rest made up of University senior officers
mentioned above plus the Deputy ViceChancellor Professor Stuart Palmer,
and ProVice Chancellors Professor Susan Bassnet and Professor John Jones,
staff from the Alumni Office and the Mathematics Institute and their families.
In the evening was the 25th anniversary Alumni Dinner for the 1981 student
intake.
Photo Gallery


3 May 2007  Top 


Sebastian van Strien wins Royal Society Leverhulme Trust Senior Research Fellowship
Sebastian van Strien has been awarded a Royal Society Leverhulme Trust Senior Research Fellowship
for the academic year 2007–2008 to study the Palis Conjecture in dimension one.
Often evolution over time can be described
in the following manner: the state x_{n+1} at time n+1
depends on (i.e. is a function) of the state x_{n} at time n.
Here the state variables x_{n} are om some space M and the above dependence can be written in the form x_{n+1} = f(x_{n})
where f : M > M is some function.
The aim of the theory of dynamical systems
is to provide information on orbits {x_{n}}
and in particular on the longterm future, i.e. x_{n} for n large.
Obviously this is rather ambitious, as the example
of weather forecasting shows.
One good property of a dynamical system would be that it is
structurally stable. This means that if one changes the
dependence of x_{n+1} on x_{n} slightly (i.e.
replace f by a nearby f'), the new orbits {
x'_{n}} would have ‘qualitatively’ the same behaviour. Until
the 1970's some distinguished mathematicians thought that most systems
are structurally stable. This, however, is not true, except if M has
dimension one (as was recently shown by Shen, Kozlvoski and van Strien).
In dimension one, structurally systems maps are particularly nice: for
(Lebesgue) almost all starting points x_{0} the orbit {x_{n}}
tends to a periodic, oscillatory, motion.
What happens now if one chooses ‘randomly’ a polynomial f? In the late
1970's it was shown by Jakobson that with positive probability one
expects to find a polynomial which is not structurally stable: if one
picks a real number a randomly, there is a positive probability that
x_{n+1} = ax_{n}(1x_{n}) has nonperiodic behaviour which can be
described very well in statistical terms. For such a parameter a, one
can not say what will happen in 100 days, but a prediction on the
probability that x_{n} is in some region can be given. This of
course is still very nice.
Systems need not always be nice at all.
Indeed, it is possible that the time average
a_{n} := (x_{0} + x_{1} +...+ x_{n1})/n
does not converge:
the average a_{n} gets and stays close to one number, but then
after a long time seems to converge to some other number and so on.
This situation is certainly strange: it would correspond to a dynamical
system – like a pendulum without friction – which from time to time
suddenly slows down, and then much later speeds up again.
Roughly speaking, the wellknown Palis conjecture states that the probability of finding such a bad system is zero.
The aim of this project is to prove this conjecture in the onedimensional setting.


3 May 2007  Top 


Mark Pollicott wins Royal Society Leverhulme Trust Senior Research Fellowship
Mark Pollicott has been awarded a Royal Society Leverhulme Trust Senior Research Fellowship
for the academic year 2007–2008 to work on Applications of
Thermodynamic Formalism to Lyapunov Exponents, and related topics.
The main theme of this reseach is to apply ideas from ergodic theory,
particularly that branch called Thermodynamic Formalism, to the study
of problems in related areas of Mathematics. One example of this
is the study of Lyapunov exponents, whereby we consider the size of
a matrix given by multiplying together randomly chosen square
matrices (from a finite family). The Lyapunov exponent is
the rate of growth of the norm of a typical product,
and its existance is guarenteed by a classical result of Furstenberg
and Kesten.
In general, it is notoriously difficult to find useful expressions for the
Lyapunov exponent which, in particular, allow accurate estimates
on its numerical value. However, in the case of positive matrices
techniques from Thermodynamic formalism can be used to compute
the value to considerable accuracy.
For example, in the cases of the matrices and
, chosen according to the usual (1/2, 1/2)Bernoulli
measure, the Lyapunov exponent is
1.1433110351029492458432518536555882994025 ...
There are other anticipated connections with Teichmüller flows
(in geometry) and hidden Markov chains (in coding theory).


29 April 2007  Top 


Peter Topping wins Leverhulme Research Leadership Award for Geometric Flows
Peter Topping of the Warwick Mathematics Institute has been
awarded £762,418 by the Leverhulme Trust to fund postdoctoral
fellowships and PhD studentships over the next 5–6 years.
The research will be in geometric analysis, centred on geometric flows.
For more information, see:
http://www.maths.warwick.ac.uk/~topping/jobs.html


15 February 2007  Top 


Professor James Eells, 1926—2007
Jim Eells died on the 14^{th} February, 2007 after a long illness.
Jim received his PhD under the direction of Hassler Whitney
at Harvard University in 1954 and joined the Warwick Mathematics
Institute in 1970 from Cornell as the first professor of
Analysis. He chaired the department from 1979 to 1981 and
retired in 1992. In 1986 Jim was invited by Professor A. Salam
to set up a Mathematics
Group at the ICTP which he led until 1992 and was succeeded
by M.S. Narasimhan. The Mathematics Genealogy Project lists 38 PhD students,
26 from Warwick.


8 January 2007  Top 


Andrew Stuart awarded the 2007 JD Crawford Prize
Andrew Stuart is to receive the 2007 JD Crawford Prize from the
Society for Industrial and
Applied Mathematics (SIAM) for his outstanding contributions
to the fields of stochastic ordinary and partial differential
equations. These contributions span the gamut from fundamental
mathematical theory to algorithm development and applications,
including the fitting of SDEs to physical models, the derivation
of effective macroscopic models, and the dynamics of inertial
particles in random fields. Of special note is Prof. Stuart's
penetrating analysis in the area of infinitedimensional path
sampling, where he addresses problems of how to sample paths of
SDEs conditioned on certain types of observations, including
those made in important applications such as KalmanBucy
filters.
The prize was presented at the SIAM conference on
Applications of Dynamical Systems to be held May 28–June 1,
2007 in Snowbird, Utah.
Press release.

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