Projects + Passports = Progress

“Mathematics knows no races or geographic boundaries; for mathematics, the cultural world is one country.” – David Hilbert, mathematician and mathematical physicist 

International collaborations can strengthen your research, spark new ideas, and open doors to new opportunities. But many researchers know it can be hard and expensive to make those collaborations happen.  

One year after launching, though, the ACEMS International Mobility Programme (IMP) is giving ACEMS early-career researchers (ECRs) and graduate students the chance to build their international networks and experience.  

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Oliver Krzysik in St Johns, Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada

So far, the ACEMS IMP team has awarded nine grants totalling more than $70-thousand for trips to six different countries. Three of the trips have been completed, three are in progress, and three more have just been scheduled.  

Oliver Krzysik from ACEMS at Monash University was one of the first to travel with an IMP grant. He spent a month in Canada, visiting researchers at Memorial University in Newfoundland and the University of Waterloo in Ontario, where his PhD advisor, Professor Hans De Sterck, moved to last year. 

“I made substantial progress on my main research project. This included extending previous results, and starting work with a new collaborator on the project. It’s been great to have so much one-on-one time with my collaborators,” said Oliver. 

Oliver works on parallel time integration algorithms, which use supercomputers to speed-up the time it takes to simulate phenomena that evolve with time. For example, one application in this field is weather prediction. 

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Dorota Toczydlowska, UTS

Thanks to the IMP, ACEMS Research Fellow Dorota Toczydlowska (UTS) just left for Japan earlier this month. Dorota is visiting the Institute of Statistical Mathematics (ISM) in Tokyo to work with ISM Professor Tomoko Matsui, and with her former PhD Supervisor at University College London (UCL), Professor Gareth Peters. 

“The whole atmosphere of working there is really special, so I can imagine it will be a very productive period of research for me,” said Dorota. 

Dorota’s project is about optimal multi-stopping theory, with an application to smart cities and urban planning. Optimal stopping problems are concerned with the problem of choosing a time or times to take a particular action, either to maximise benefits or minimise cost. 

“Those decisions need to be dynamic in terms of what problems are arising,” said Dorota. 

In this case, Dorota is looking at how to mitigate environmental risk toward densely-populated cities. 

ACEMS Research Fellow Steven Psaltis (QUT) is currently at Oxford University in the UK, where he is working with Professor Colin Please and the battery modelling group at the school’s Mathematical Institute. 

“I visited Colin briefly during my PhD when he was in Southampton, and he has visited QUT over the last few years. I got in touch about arranging my visit, and he was happy to host me,” said Steve. 

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Steve Psaltis at Oxford

Steve is working on modelling spiral-bound lithium batteries using multi-scale asymptotic models. 

“So far, it has been great. There is a really good group of people here working in similar areas.”  

Being in Europe will also allow Steve to attend the Conference for the International Congress on Industrial and Applied Mathematics (ICIAM) next month in Valencia, Spain. 

The ACEMS IMP team is made up of Programme Directors Dr Thomas Taimre (UQ) and Dr Christopher Drovandi (QUT), and project officer Claudia Deasy.  

“Given these great outcomes for our participants so far, I would encourage CIs and AIs of ACEMS to think about whether this program might be useful for ECRs under their supervision and have conversations with them.  It is also worth remembering that it is possible to host an ECR from overseas,” said Chris. 

“I strongly encourage all ACEMS ECRs and grad students to seize this opportunity to expose themselves to new ideas, cultures, and experiences,” said Thomas. 

It’s a financial boost for Centre members who might not otherwise get this chance. 

“The opportunity to gain further research experience in a new environment is invaluable, and this grant is what made it possible,” said Steve. 

“Without this IMP funding, it would not have been possible for me to undertake these research visits,” said Oliver. 

If you’d like more information about the Programme, head to the IMP page on the ACEMS website: https://acems.org.au/international-mobility-programme 

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