David Silvester

Head of Applied Mathematics, Professor Numerical Analysis

David Silvester

I use Twitter to reinforce the point that the rigorous theory developed in lectures is relevant to many aspects of everyday life. I love doing mathematics and I want my students to see where that love comes from.

 

How would you summarise your research?

I study the mathematics underlying the computational solution of problems in engineering. My research has impact on the design of racing cars and fuel-efficient aeroplanes. My algorithms have helped scientists develop safer nuclear reactors and have helped to improve the accuracy of weather forecasts.

Uncertainty quantification is the challenge for computational science and engineering. My research is at the cutting edge in the development of reliable and efficient computational methods for partial differential equations with correlated random data.

What do you think makes the School distinctive?

The unique design of the Alan Turing Building encourages interaction with other academic staff enabling the possibility of cross-fertilization of research ideas.

What do you enjoy most about teaching?

I get a real kick out of teaching technically demanding material. University level mathematics is conceptually hard; enabling understanding brings a real sense of achievement.

How do you make your teaching up-to-date, innovative and inspirational?

I use Twitter to reinforce the point that the rigorous theory developed in lectures is relevant to many aspects of everyday life. I love doing mathematics and I want my students to see where that love comes from.

What do you enjoy most about research?

Sparring with rival researchers and finding new collaborators at workshops and conferences.

What have been the highlights of your career?

I wrote a highly cited research monograph that was published in 2005. I get a real thrill when researchers say that they learned a lot from reading my book.

How long have you been at the School? What keeps you there?

I was appointed to a lectureship at UMIST nearly thirty years ago and I have actively supported Manchester United for over forty years. These two facts are related. I also like living in Manchester.

How do you think students remember you?

'He gave memorable lectures, shame about the football team.'



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