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Interview with Jennifer Ryan

Publicerad 2022-06-23

We interviewed Jennifer Ryan, recently appointed as associate professor in mathematics with specialisation in numerical analysis. Jennifer talked about her background, the research questions she pursues as well as her work plans at the new position at KTH. 

Jennifer Ryan

Tell us a bit about yourself and your background.

My name is Jennifer Ryan and I am an Associate Professor in Mathematics. I come from the US, where I obtained my PhD from Brown University. My background is in Applied Mathematics, specifically Numerical Analysis. I have spent most of my career on this side of the Atlantic Ocean working in the Netherlands, UK, and Germany. Before starting at KTH in June, I was at the Colorado School Of Mines.

What is your area of research?

My research concentrates on designing and developing numerical schemes for various applications, the majority of which is focused on extracting extra accuracy out of data. I investigate the underlying theory, not only to improve the method itself, but also to improve its computational efficiency. I do this by using the inherent properties of the method. The techniques that I develop can be exploited for use in imaging, data extraction, detection of discontinuous phenomenon, visualisation of fluids, and more.

What research achievement are you the most proud of?

The achievements that are yet to come. When I began my career, I was often told that my research did not have any applications. This opinion has changed significantly as simulation techniques mature and computational precision allows for better accuracy. Hence, there is increasing demand for the methods that I develop. This has given me the opportunity to work with practitioners. Our discussions often spark new and exciting questions to explore.

Are you planning to collaborate with the industry in Sweden?

I definitely plan on building ties to industry in Sweden. It is an important part of understanding the key challenges in applications and leads to many interesting theoretical and computational questions.

Do you try to communicate your research to the general public?

Most of my communication has been at conferences, workshops, and communicating how basic ideas taught in lectures are used in industry. I have also participated in scientific demonstrations at community science expositions. Recently, I have been involved with organizations that try to motivate younger students from underserved populations on the importance of math and computing.

What advice would you give to young students that are interested in your field?

Curiosity is a good thing. Having a deep understanding of a subject is more important in research than good grades. The willingness to ask questions and try new things is essential.

Text: Danai Deligeorgaki