Centre for Informatics and Applied Optimization (CIAO)

School of Science, Engineering and Information Technology

19-21 Feb 2018. Ballarat. Variational Analysis Down Under (VADU) 2018

Variational Analysis Down Under (VADU) 2018 conference took place 19-21 February 2018 at FedUni Mount Helen Campus. It was dedicated to Professor Asen Dontchev’s 70th Birthday.

Variational Analysis is a new rapidly developing branch of mathematics providing theoretical foundations for optimisation, equilibrium, control, and stability of linear and nonlinear systems. The term was coined by Rockafellar and Wets in their famous book Variational Analysis (1998). VADU 2018 continues the line of conferences started by Mathematical Optimisation Down Under (MODU) 2016 in Melbourne co-organised by CIAO, RMITOpt and CARMA (University of Newcastle).

We had 30 participants: 5 international, 14 national and 11 local (FedUni). Among them 5 PhD students (2 from FedUni). 30% of participants are females (50% among keynote speakers). The conference was opened by FedUni Vice-Chancellor Prof Helen Bartlett.

Keynote speakers: A/Prof Regina Burachik (UniSA), Prof Asen Dontchev (University of Michigan, USA), Prof Lyudmila Polyakova (St Petersburg State University, Russia), and Prof Terry Rockafellar (University of Washington, USA).

Prof Asen Dontchev is one of just a few leading experts in Variational Analysis in the world, highly respected by fellow researchers. He is getting 70 in June 2018. Several conferences and workshops dedicated to his jubilee are scheduled worldwide, ours was the first one. Asen has about 130 publications including several books. He is one of the closest collaborators of Terry Rockafellar with whom he has published a classical book and a large number of papers.
He is a Partner Investigator on the current ARC Discovery project.

Prof Terry Rockafellar is a living legend. Besides Variational Analysis, he gave name to another branch of mathematics: Convex Analysis when he published a book under this name in 1970. Both these books (and many others) have had a fundamental impact on the development of optimisation for more than four decades. Terry Rockafellar is a recipient of Dantzig Prize, Von Neumann Prize, Lanchester Prize and many other prestigious awards. He is Doctor Honoris Causa of a number of universities worldwide.

Prof Lyudmila Polyakova is Head of Department of Mathematical Modelling of Control Systems at St Petersburg State University, the No. 2 University in Russia, taking up this role from famous Russian optimiser and her former PhD supervisor Prof Vladimir Demyanov who passed away in 2016. Prof Demyanov was a long-term collaborator and close friend of Prof Rubinov with whom they published a large number of books and papers.

A/Prof Regina Burachik is the most well known internationally expert in Variational Analysis in Australia. She has visited CIAO many times, collaborated with Prof Alexander Rubinov and published several papers with him. Regina is a strong supporter of CIAO nationally and internationally.Sponsorship. Besides FedUni, the conference is sponsored by

  • Australian Mathematical Sciences Institute,
  • Australian Mathematical Society,
  • Mathematics of Computation and Optimisation special interest group of AustMS.