FCT

R&D Institutions

Resultado da avaliação 2007 na área de Matemática

Unidade de I&D

Centro de Estudos em Optimização e Controlo (CEOC) [MATH-Centro-Aveiro-602] visitada em 21/07/2008

Classificação: Very Good

Comentários do painel de avaliação
Sobre a unidade
The panel rates this center VERY GOOD (which should be interpreted as VG-minus).
The main thrust of their research is in the areas of optimization and control theory, with some work also in computation.
The center is fairly small, in 2006 it had 16 PhD members and this number had risen to 20 by 2008. There is a comparatively large number of PhD students, in 2006 there were 12.
The center is divided into three groups:
I: Optimization, graph theory and combinatorics
II: Computability and algorithms
III. Control theory
In group I the main areas of investigation are spectral graph theory, applications of continuous optimization to problems in combinatorics, the minimum diversity management problem. Mixed-integer programming, non-linear and semi-infinite programming.
Group II works mainly in the areas of computational geometry, quantum computing and machine learning.
Group III works in the areas of calculus of variations, optimal control, minimal resistance and mass transfer. Application areas include space trajectography and magnetohydrodynamics.
The center was active in PhD training during the report period (7 PhDs from group I advised by 5 different group members, 1 PhD from group II, 3 Phds from group III advised by 3 different group members). Group members have also trained a number of MSc students and have supervised industrial internships. Group I has had one successful industrial contract.
Some members of the center have been involved in outreach activities. In particular several members have participated in the EECM project on mathematics education. Members have also been active in the organization of national and international conferences.
The panel recommends that this unit and the other unit at the University of Aveiro (Matemática e Aplicações, unit 255) should merge. The two units should make an effort to reflect on their respective strengths and identify strategic areas. This merging should streamline both units, and should benefit groups in both units by increasing the visibility and impact of mathematics research carried out at the University of Aveiro.
Sobre os grupos de investigação
Computability and Algorithms [RG-MATH-Centro-Aveiro-602-1812]
Journal publication is on the weak side. In computational geometry they work on areas which have been intensively studied, where all the remaining problems are hard and only small progress is to be expected. In computation the focus appears to be mostly on modeling or simulation of computations, it is not clear that new insights or new algorithms will arise from this work.
Control Theory Group [RG-MATH-Centro-Aveiro-602-1815]
They work on a number of important topics related to the areas of partial differential equations, optimization and control. Some of the group members are highly productive and publish in good international journals. Internationalization is strong: the group has collaborations with scientists from many countries, is involved in a European network, and members have been active in organizing conferences. The group has received a reasonable amount of FCT funding for postdoctoral fellowships and research projects, and also some international support. Concern was expressed on the panel that the research of the group was having less impact than it should, and it was felt that the group would profit from some focusing and prioritization of its research program. Some of the group's research in applied areas, while excellent as classical mathematics, was felt to be too far from the real applications and not sufficiently tied to computation.
Optimization, Graph Theory and Combinatorics [RG-MATH-Centro-Aveiro-602-1810]
They have a solid research program in optimization, and some interesting applications to graph theory. They have been active in training PhD students, with a high proportion of the group members acting as PhD advisers.
Some of the work of the group has appeared in good journals. In order to gain international recognition they should aim for more publications in highly ranked journals, and should also search for international funding.
They have some contact with industry. Among their future objectives, the panel found approximating the graph stability number and finding new inequalities for mixed integer programming to be the most promising directions.
The panel notes that the problems about the existence of strongly regular graphs with given parameters are notoriously hard.