Keynote speakers

We are very pleased to have the following distinguished keynote speakers at IMS'06.

Mathematica(l) explorations of the singularities of light

Michael Berry Professor Sir Michael Berry, Physics Department - Bristol University - website
Singularities of fields of light rays and waves of light are increasingly recognized as fundamental in optics. In exploring these singularities, Mathematica has played a central role, in computation and in visualizations that have led to the discovery of new phenomena. At the geometrical level, the singularities are caustics - surfaces on which focusing occurs. Waves decorate these with rich interference patterns, whose finest structures are new singularities, namely singularities of phase (a.k.a. nodal lines, or optical vortices, or wave dislocations). The vector nature of light introduces further singularities, associated with polarization. Many phenomena are best understood and illustrated in terms of singularities: rainbows, tsunamis, polarization fingerprints in the blue sky, the complexities of crystal optics...

The Large Hadron Collider at CERN

John M. Jowett Dr John M. Jowett, Accelerator and Beams Department, CERN - website
John Jowett received a B.Sc. in Mathematical Physics from Edinburgh University and a Ph.D. in Mathematics from Cambridge University. He then (1980) joined the staff of CERN to work on beam physics and the design of particle accelerators, with interludes spent in other accelerator labs such as SLAC. A special interest in the physics and performance of electron-positron colliders grew through his long involvement with the LEP project. A side interest in computing grew from encounters with a LISP machine and early symbolic systems in the 1980s. He has served on a number of advisory and review committees for accelerator projects around the world, chaired the Beam Dynamics Panel of ICFA (2000-03) and is now responsible for the heavy ion beams in the LHC.
The LHC, due to be turned on next year, is one of the largest scientific enterprises ever undertaken. Results from its four huge experimental collaborations are expected to dominate elementary particle physics for many years to come. This talk will describe the superconducting particle accelerator itself and how it is being constructed as a world-wide collaboration led by CERN, explain something of how it works, and illustrate some of the ways in which Mathematica fits into a multi-disciplinary and heterogeneous computing environment.

Visualisation of Optimal Geometry

Professor John Sullivan, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign - Department of Mathematics - website