The study of nonlinear waves continues to be an active area of applied mathematics,
relevant to a large variety of application fields such as water waves, Bose-Einstein condensates, nonlinear optics, granular media, climate science, and many more. Mathematical techniques from all parts of applied, but also pure mathematics have contributed. Often advances made in the pursuit of a specific goal have impacted the entire field. The interplay between methods and applications has always been intriguing and the flow of ideas has gone in both directions. Significant contributions have come from and have been made in numerical analysis, asymptotics and perturbation theory, finite- and infinite-dimensional dynamical systems, partial differential equations and analysis.
The conference on Recent Advances in Nonlinear Waves will take place at the University of Washington in Seattle. The conference is held in honor of the 75th birthday of Harvey Segur, who has impacted the field of nonlinear waves in substantial and lasting ways.
Harvey Segur was born just outside Chicago in 1942. He majored in mechanical engineering at Michigan State University and earned MS and PhD degrees in aeronautical sciences from the University of California, Berkeley. He spent time working in industry, and in academia at Cal Tech, Clarkson College, and SUNY Buffalo. Since 1989, he is a Professor of Applied Mathematics at the University of Colorado, Boulder.
Harvey has made a number of major contributions to Applied Mathematics. He was at the forefront of the study of integrable PDEs, as the "S" in the AKNS method, elucidating the similarity between the inverse scattering transform and the Fourier transform. The team of Ablowitz, Ramani and Segur brought Painleve equations to the foreground of research in integrable PDEs. Along with other coworkers, Hammack & Segur provided some of the earliest experimental demonstrations of the accuracy of Korteweg - deVries equation and other integrable PDEs as models of the dynamics of water waves. Separately, Kruskal & Segur pioneered new ideas in asymptotics beyond all orders. Throughout he has been motivated by wanting to understand all aspects of water waves, and, more recently, he proved that the Benjamin-Feir instability is stabilized if a certain form of dissipation is included. He is currently working to understand how wind-generated waves are formed.
Not only is Harvey a world-renowned researcher, he is also a great teacher and mentor. He has inspired countless students, both undergraduates and graduate students. In 1998 he was selected to become a member of the University of Colorado President's Teaching Scholars. In 2011 he received the Hazel Barnes Prize, the highest faculty recognition for teaching and research awarded by the University of Colorado.