Friday, December 21, 2007

Highlights of 2007

Journalist Chloe Stothard asked for my five most memorable things this year, a story that ran in the Times Higer Education Supliment, as
So what were the high notes of 2007?(free subscription required). Mine (with links) were

We moved, with the rest of the School of Mathematics, to our new purpose-designed Alan Turing Building and now the school is finally all under one (solar power-generating) roof after the merger between the Victoria University of Manchester and UMIST.

We were part of an event with 120 sixth-form students from all over the country solving mathematical problems for two days - "Making Maths at Manchester".

I attended a meeting in Graz in Austria on electrical impedance tomography, a subject I have worked on since 1985. It had seemed like a very difficult (and hence interesting to a mathematician) technique without an important medical application. But lung and intensive care specialists have now found it is just the tool they need to monitor lung function in real time. (see programme sessions: EIT applications 1, special session 3, EIT clinical applications 2)

All my family enjoyed scuba diving together in Cyprus in summer, and it was wonderful to watch the confidence and curiosity of my children Katie and Sam underwater.

I met Sir Bobby Charlton, who came to the university to talk about technology for land-mine clearance. He made a touching appeal from the heart that something better should be done to help, having witnessed young lads who had lost limbs to anti-personnel mines when they were playing football in Cambodia. It was really inspiring to meet someone making such good use of his celebrity status.