"Welcome to the Department of Applied Mathematics at the University of Colorado, Boulder. The departmental roots go back to the turn of the last century when it originally was the Department of Engineering Mathematics. The Department teaches thousands of students and has a major research presence in computational and physical/biological mathematics and the statistical sciences. It has 18 tenure, tenure track faculty, expanding to 20 in the next two years. In addition there are 6 full time instructors, more than 70 graduate students including approximately 40 teaching assistants, about 150 applied math majors, 100 minors and a thriving BS-MS program."
What were the highlights of teaching APPM 8600 in Spring 2015? What was challenging?
Appm 8600 is the Seminar in Computational Mathematics. This course is a mixture of outside speakers and talks given by the students in the course. The purpose is two-fold: to introduce the participants to current research in Computational Mathematics and to teach the participants how to present an effective talk. The biggest challenge is getting shy students to stand up and present their research.
You have published extensively -- over 150 articles and papers to date. What motivates you to publish?
Publishing is the way in which research is disseminated to the scientific community. It is also, in part, the way in which a successful research program is measured. Without publications, one cannot obtain funding for research. Without funding, it is difficult to establish a research program.
As both a contributor and editor of SIAM Journal, you have experienced the publishing process from both sides. What have you learned from these two perspectives?
The most important thing I have learned is how to write a paper that will be accessible to a broad segment of the computational mathematics community. There is a delicate balance between providing background motivation and providing sufficient detail. Every paper should tell a story. The story should be established in the introduction and the following results should support the story. The author should explain to the reader how each part of the paper supports the story.
What advice would you give to a student interested in Computational Mathematics?
Computational Mathematics is using mathematics to effectively use a computer. This may involve many aspects of using a computer, but primarily using a computer to simulate physical phenomena. The successful Computational Mathematician must learn, theoretical mathematics, computational science, and application science. It is in bridging these disciplines that the Computational Mathematician will find greatest success.