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XXI Householder Symposium

Selva di Fasano, Italy

Univ Old Members’ Trust Graduate Travel Report – Nicolas Boulle (2018, DPhil Industrially Focused Mathematical Modelling)

Thanks to the support from the Old Members’ Trust Graduate Conference and Academic Travel Fund I attended the XXI Householder Symposium on Numerical Linear Algebra, which was held in Selva di Fasano, Italy, between 12 and 17 June.

The Householder Symposium is named in honor of its founder, Alston S. Householder, who was a leading researcher in numerical analysis. It is a major and prestigious conference in the field of numerical linear algebra organized every three years. Numerical linear algebra is a subfield of numerical analysis, which is used to study and create efficient computer algorithms to solve real world problems.

An old church with an unusual conical steeple

This region has traditional roofs called trulli

One particularity of this conference is that attendance is granted by invitation from the scientific committee who selects abstracts written by researchers. Then, each attendee gives a talk or a poster at the conference. The committee aims to encourage discussions and development of new collaborations by inviting young and leading researchers to present their latest research. The conference gathered around 160 participants from worldwide institutions with four members from the Oxford numerical analysis group (including myself).

The scientific program featured numerical linear algebra and related areas such as optimization, differential equations, data science, and probabilistic algorithms. I was very fortunate to give a talk about my recent work on the latter topic during the conference and interact with many researchers afterward. The program of the conference was very busy with plenary and contributed talks between 9am-7:30pm every day except Wednesday afternoon when a trip to the city of Alberobello was organized. One highlight of the meeting is the conference banquet where the Householder Prize for the best PhD thesis in numerical linear algebra of the past three years is awarded. This year, the winner was Heather Wilber, who is a former PhD student at Cornell University, in the group where I spent one year before starting my DPhil in Oxford. On the subsequent day, all the conference participants attended the Prize lecture, which was a presentation by Heather of her PhD dissertation. I learned a lot about the latest research developments in my field during the conference and was able to meet several researchers, with whom I am planning to start collaborating in the future.

Participants of this year’s Householder conference

I am extremely grateful to the Old Members’ Trust and the College for giving me the opportunity to attend and give a talk at the Householder Conference.

Find out more about the range of travel grants and scholarships available to assist Univ students on our Travel Grants page or read further travel reports.

Published: 26 September 2022

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