Kim Knudsen will take over as a professor on 1 April 2021. With his basic enthusiasm for the subject area, he will help to strengthen the department's academic profile in mathematics, which forms the foundation for solving society's great challenges.
Green transition, digitization, Covid-19. Society has big things on the agenda, and although we often think of solutions obtained through AI, Machine Learning and innovation, mathematics is the central foundation under the technologies. The mathematical analysis is in its pure form the method that proves and ensures that things work and the calculations are correct.
With the appointment of Kim Knudsen as a professor from 1 April, DTU Compute strengthens research in applied mathematics, which has traditionally always been strong at DTU. Kim Knudsen works in the section Scientific Computing, and he has been an associate professor at DTU Compute since 2008.
"There is an enormous recognition in being appointed professor. This shows that DTU prioritises mathematical subjects, both as a research area and in teaching. We can be happy and proud of that,” says Kim Knudsen.
Pulls models back on the mathematician's lane half
In applied mathematical analysis, physical phenomena are described with mathematical models, typically based on differential equations. So you analyze whether the models are sensible, eg whether the model has solutions, whether they are unambiguous, and how solutions develop over time? Finally, the models are converted to numerical methods so that they can be implemented on a computer and used to predict the behaviour of the physical phenomenon in reality.
Kim Knudsen's research deals with the analysis itself, where he pulls models, usually designed by physicists and engineers, back on the mathematician's lane half and examines and refines the models theoretically and mathematically with a view to the application.
For example, Kim Knudsen and his colleagues are working to develop new mathematics and numerical methods in medical imaging for use in electrical impedance tomography, where electrode measurements of currents and voltages will reconstruct the internal electrical conductivity and thus determine internal tissue structures.
"I want to inspire the young students with my own basic enthusiasm for mathematics. Mathematics must be a play for them. "
Kim Knudsen, will take over as a professor at DTU Compute on 1 April 2021
The same math is used for scanning in industrial processes or to identify cracks in materials. It is precisely the general potential and diverse applications of mathematics that motivate and fascinate Kim Knudsen.
"Actually it is physics, but the mathematical equations are a description of physics. And therefore my colleagues and I can analyze whether the models work so that you can detect diseases or faulty constructions, ”says Kim Knudsen.
He himself is currently working on the analysis of models for so-called acoustic-electric tomography, where both acoustic and electromagnetic waves and their coupling are used to improve scanning methods.
Inspire the young students
Kim Knudsen teaches both first-year students in the compulsory basic course Mathematics 1 and in advanced mathematics courses at MSc level. And for six years he has been chairman of the PhD committee for Mathematics, Physics and Informatics and head of DTU Compute's PhD school, which organizes the department's approximately 120 PhD students.
“I want to inspire the young students with my own basic enthusiasm for mathematics. Mathematics must be a play for them. They also need to understand the nature of basic research and value science, which in the short term may not have immediate utility, but which in the long term will hopefully have significant consequences. It will take 20-30 years before my PhD students and I will be able to evaluate the results of our work,” says Kim Knudsen.
The work with young people is also a kind of catalyst for Kim Knudsen, who is happy to say that there is a great interest in young people when they leave DTU:
“Our students have essential competencies that are in demand in society, regardless of whether they do applied or theoretical mathematics. This is not least due to the fact that DTU has good and talented students. Young people are our most important raw materials, and it is a huge privilege to be allowed to teach and work with them.”