Research seminar

There are many tasks that at active researcher must do, such as reading relevant papers, in addition to actually performing the calculations required in the research. Another important way to keep current in a research area is to attend research seminars. Normally an external speaker will visit a research group and present a 1 hour talk followed by questions. (Often the research group will take the speaker to dinner afterwards, where there will be further discussion about the research and some general gossip.)

Recently Fernando Jimenez Alburquerque from Oxford University presented a seminar in the pure mathematics seminar at the CMS with the title: An introduction to variational integrators.

Abstract: In this talk we shall introduce the basic notions on geometric integration of mechanical systems, naturally described by Lagrangian/Hamiltonian dynamics. The numerical approximation of such dynamics, respecting its underlying geometrical aspects, represents a crucial challenge in modern geometric integration. Variational integrators [MaWe2001], class of geometric integrators that have received a lot of attention from the mathematical community in the last two decades, are a well-established example of numerical schemes that succeed in such a task, and moreover display a superior performance in some aspects than benchmark numerical integrators. We shall go over their definition and fundamental properties. Finally, we shall also introduce future challenges of variational integrators when approximating the dynamics of dissipative mechanical systems.

[MaWe2001] J.E.Marsden and M. West: “Discrete mechanics and variational integrators”, Acta Numerica 10, pp. 357-514, (2001).

The audience had members from the pure mathematics, theoretical physics and applied mathematics groups. The physics group was interested, because the techniques are similar to those in this paper.