Author Archives: Stephanie Lai

Weijian Zhang Awarded PhD for Work on Evolving Graphs

Congratulations to our PhD student Weijian Zhang for being awarded his PhD, which was supervised by Nick Higham. We asked him a few questions about his thesis.

Please can you introduce yourself and tell us a bit about your experience before attending University of Manchester?
I was born in Liaoning, China and studied fine arts at the Fine Arts High School Affiliated to China Central Academy of Fine Arts. I graduated with a First Class MMath degree at the University of Manchester in 2014.

What is your thesis on?
My thesis title is “Evolving Graphs and similarity-based Graphs with Applications“. We look at ways to traverse an evolving graph. In particular, we examine the influence of temporal information on node centrality. In the process, we developed EvolvingGraphs.jl, a Julia software package for analysing time-dependent networks. We also developed Etymo Scholar, a search system for discovering interesting research papers.

Why did you choose to study your PhD in Manchester?
I was interested in doing something that relates to both maths and computer science. Numerical Linear Algebra looked like a perfect fit for me. I was very fortunate to be able to join Professor Nick Higham’s research group, which is a world-renowned research group in Numerical Linear Algebra.

How did you find Manchester?
Manchester is a vibrant city and the University of Manchester offers fantastic support for research students. All in all, it is a great place for doing research.

What’s your next step?
I have just joined Conversocial, a leading social customer service solution provider, as a Machine Learning Engineer / Data Scientist in London.

Weijian Zhang

Partnership with NAG on Numerical Linear Algebra for Emerging Computer Architectures

Professors Jack Dongarra, Nick Higham, and Françoise Tisseur are delighted to be working on a new three-year project with The Numerical Algorithms Group (NAG) to incorporate new numerical linear algebra routines into NAG software in order to exploit emerging computer architectures.

This Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP), funded by NAG and the Technology Strategy Board of Innovate UK, will

  • develop new linear algebra kernels for multicore architectures,
  • develop multiprecision codes that can exploit the half precision arithmetic increasingly available in hardware, and
  • incorporate new sparse matrix functionality into the NAG Library.

The project builds on a long history of collaboration between NAG and the Manchester Numerical Linear Algebra Group.

In particular, they have successfully collaborated on two previous KTPs (2010–2013 and 2012–2013) as well as on joint MSc and PhD projects.


Stefan Güttel and Nick Higham selected as Turing Fellows

Stefan Güttel and Nick Higham have been selected as Turing Fellows at The Alan Turing Institute. Their fellowships began this autumn.

Turing Fellows are scholars with proven research excellence in data science, artificial intelligence, or a related field, whose research would be significantly enhanced through active involvement with the Turing network of universities and partners.

More information is available here.

Dame Kathleen Ollerenshaw Fellowships (8 Positions)

The Faculty of Science and Engineering from The University of Manchester has eight Dame Kathleen Ollerenshaw Fellowships available. Each Fellowship is for an initial 5 year period, leading to full academic tenure on completion, subject to performance and probation. The salary is £40,792 to £50,132 per annum (according to relevant experience).

The flagship Dame Kathleen Ollerenshaw Research Fellowships are aimed at outstanding scientists and engineers at an early stage in their academic careers. Fellows should show a high level of creativity and ambition in their ideas and want to develop potentially transformative research.

The Fellowship is for Early Career Researchers (ECR). Applicants are expected to hold a PhD by the start date of the Fellowship or have equivalent research experience. There are no eligibility rules based on years of post-doctoral experience or whether the applicant holds a permanent academic position. The ethos of the Early Career Researcher scheme is to support candidates who have a track record of outstanding research and in delivering impact.

The closing date is November 23, 2018. More information about the Dame Kathleen Ollerenshaw Research Fellowships is available in the advert and further particulars here.



ICIAM 2019 Invited Speaker – Nick Higham


šProfessor Nick Higham has been selected as an invited speaker at the International Congress on Industrial and Applied Mathematics (ICIAM) in Valencia, Spain, July 2019.

šICIAM is an international congress in applied mathematics held every four years. ICIAM 2019 will serve as a showcase for the most recent advances in industrial and applied mathematics.

More information about ICIAM 2019 is available here.

Heilbronn Fellowships in Mathematics (3 positions)

The School of Mathematics at the University of Manchester has three Helibronn Fellowships in Mathematics available, in association with the Heilbronn Institute for Mathematical Research. Experience in Algebra or Numerical Linear Algebra, interpreted broadly, is preferred. The Fellowships last for three years, starting in October 2019 or at a mutually agreed alternative date. The salary is £37,345 to £42,036 per annum (according to relevant experience) plus a supplement of £3500 per annum, and at least £2,500 per annum is available for research expenses.

The Heilbronn Institute for Mathematical Research (HIMR) is a major national centre which works in collaboration with universities and Government Communication Headquarters (GCHQ) to support mathematics research. It employs more than 30 Heilbronn Fellows, who divide their time between academic research and work for GCHQ. The Institute also runs a highly successful programme of events to promote and further the cause and understanding of advanced mathematical research. These include conferences, focused research groups and workshops. It is named after Professor Hans Heilbronn FRS, who was a major contributor to UK mathematics.

The Heilbronn Fellowship holders will divide their time equally between their own academic research (in the School of Mathematics at the University) and the research programme of the Heilbronn Institute. The Institute’s work offers opportunities to engage in collaborative work as well as individual projects.

The closing date is November 11, 2018. More information about the Heilbronn Fellowship in Mathematics is available in the advert and further particulars here, which also describe security requirements attached to these posts.

Steven Elsworth wins second SIAM Student Travel Award

Steven Elsworth has been awarded a SIAM Student Travel Award to attend the 2019 SIAM Conference on Computational Science and Engineering (CSE19) in Spokane, Washington. These travel awards support strong PhD students to present their work at SIAM conferences with $650 for domestic travel and $800 for intercontinental travel, as well as free registration. The application process is competitive, with a strong record of scholarship being one of the criteria.

Steven is a third-year PhD student on a CASE Studentship with Sabisu, a long-standing industry partner of our School. In Spokane, Steven will give a minisymposium talk about the RKToolbox, which he develops with his supervisor Dr Stefan Güttel. The RKToolbox is written in MATLAB and collects scientific computing tools based on rational Krylov methods. This is already Steven’s second SIAM Student Travel Award: in May 2018 he presented work at the SIAM Conference on Applied Linear Algebra in Hong Kong.

Steven Elsworth