Professor Gunnar Martinsson awarded 2017 Germund Dahlquist Prize

Professor Gunnar Martinsson, tutor in Mathematics at Christ Church, has been awarded the 2017 Germund Dahlquist Prize by the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics (SIAM). The prize was awarded on September 11 2017 at the 2017 International Conference on Scientific Computation and Differential Equations (SciCADE 2017), held at the University of Bath.

The prize, established in 1995, is awarded for original contributions to fields associated with Germund Dahlquist, especially the numerical solution of differential equations and numerical methods for scientific computing. It is awarded every two years, and includes a certificate containing the citation, as well as a cash prize.

The award was given to Professor Martinsson in recognition of his fundamental contributions to numerical analysis and scientific computing, which are making a significant impact in data science applications. Specifically, he has developed linear time algorithms for dense matrix operations related to multidimensional elliptic PDEs and integral equations, and he has made innovative contributions to the development of probabilistic algorithms for the rapid solution of certain classes of large-scale linear algebra problems. Finding faster algorithms for solving common linear algebraic tasks means that computational simulations can be much more accurate, as more details can be included and researchers can work with more realistic models. Through focussing on computational tasks that are key to machine learning and data mining, this research has far-reaching effects, including better search algorithms and smarter smartphones.

On winning the award, Professor Martinsson told SIAM news, “The pioneering work of Germund Dahlquist has been an inspiration to me for a long time. He played a key role in establishing numerical analysis as an area of particular research excellence in Sweden, and I was very fortunate to have the opportunity to start my studies in applied mathematics in that environment.

“I am very enthusiastic about the new methods that my collaborators and I have developed over the last several years. Besides providing new tools for computational scientists, I hope that these results have opened up possibilities for new exciting research at the interface between mathematics, numerics, and applications. If this award helps to draw attention to randomised methods and fast direct solvers, then that would be very exciting”.

Professor Martinsson studied Mathematics and Engineering Physics at Chalmers University of Technology in Gothenburg, before gaining a PhD in Computational and Applied Mathematics at the Institute for Computational Engineering and Sciences (ICES) at the University of Texas in Austin. His research interests include scientific computing, computational methods for large data sets, and numerical analysis, and at Christ Church he is engaged in undergraduate teaching in Mathematics.

You can read the full article on the SIAM news website to find out more about the prize and Professor Martinsson’s research.

Congratulations to Professor Martinsson on this brilliant achievement!