Catherine Powell

Senior Lecturer and member of the Numerical Analysis Group

Teaching something to others is the best way to learn it yourself.

 

How would you summarise your research to undergraduates?

I work in the field of numerical analysis, which combines both numerical computing and theoretical analysis. I develop methods to approximate solutions to differential equations quickly and accurately.  That is, methods that can not only be implemented efficiently and cheaply on computers but for which we can also guarantee error control. 

How would you summarise your research to postgraduates?

I work on the numerical solution of differential equations with uncertain (or random) data. In particular I deal with PDEs with unknown coefficients that may be represented by so-called random fields. I am interested in developing fast and efficient solution schemes for the massive linear systems of equations that result from discretising such problems by so-called stochastic finite element methods. 

What do you think makes the School distinctive?

The breadth of research groups and the diversity of the students. 

What do you enjoy most about teaching?

Teaching something to others is the best way to learn it yourself.

What do you enjoy most about research?

That I contribute to a knowledge base for solving physical problems in the real world.

What have been the highlights of your career?

Getting my PhD. Getting a permanent academic position. Having my first big grant proposal ranked number one over competing proposals.

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