The FoCM Special Semester
Mathematical Sciences Research Institute
Berkeley, California
August-December 1998

The special semester on Foundations of Computational Mathematics at MSRI brings together four mathematical cum computational subjects:

  • Complexity in numerical computation
  • Homotopy methods
  • Optimization: interior-point methods and nonlinear optimization
  • Differential equations and discretized dynamical systems
However, the main goal of the special semester is not to pursue research into any of these four subject areas but to explore their interconnectedness, thereby laying the foundations to computational mathematics.

Needless to say, the above four subject areas do not exhaust the full range of disciplines with a relevance to FoCM, far from it! The MSRI program is just a start and we are already planning the next special semester, elsewhere.

A special semester on Symbolic computation in geometry and analysis, organised by Marie-Francoise Roy, Michael Singer and Bernd Sturmfels, will be held at MSRI simultaneously with the FoCM semester. Each project will address itself to a different agenda, yet we expect fruitful coexistence and collaboration. The common agenda of the two projects will be addressed at an introductory workshop and at a joint workshop on "Solving systems of equations".