Computation:
How Does Nature Compute and How Should We?
By

Prof. Jonathan Manton
Executive
Director , Australian Research Council, Australian
Government



Date:
June 2, 2008 (Monday) 
Time:
4:00pm  5:00pm 
Venue:
Rm. 1009 William MW Mong Engineering Building,
CUHK 
Abstract
:
This
talk will introduce the background and aims of a crossdisciplinary
research centre being established at the University
of Melbourne. The Centre will participate in the convergence
of the life sciences with mathematics and engineering;
its vision is:
 to understand the computational architectures of
biological systems and to understand how biological
systems achieve their remarkable efficiency;

to develop ultraefficient algorithms for numerical
control, optimisation, simulation and signal processing
based on novel computing paradigms;

to solve longoutstanding problems in science by enlisting
the aid of unprecedentedly accurate and efficient
computational techniques;

in parallel, to create intelligent computers which
learn and reason.
Two
interconnected programs will be established: Theory
of Artificial and Biological Computation, and Scientific
and Engineering Computation. The latter, especially,
links heavily with industry, aiming to develop custommade
algorithms for them. A key objective is to solve the
"computation over scale" problem  simulating a complex
biological or physical process at the atomic level
is currently intractable while simulating at coarser
levels often lacks the required accuracy.
The
research will involve the Faculties of Science, Medicine
and Engineering and bring together mathematicians,
engineers, computer scientists, statisticians, physicists,
neuroscientists, biologists, bioinformatics researchers
and so forth. The intention is for the centre to grow
to include nodes at other universities in Australia
and to have strong international linkages with similar
groups overseas.
Biography
:
Professor
Manton received his Bachelor of Science (mathematics)
and Bachelor of Engineering (electrical) degrees in
1995 and his Ph.D. degree in 1998, all from the University
of Melbourne, Australia. From 1998 to 2004, he was
with the Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering
at the University of Melbourne. During that time,
he held a Postdoctoral Research Fellowship then subsequently
a Queen Elizabeth II Fellowship, both from the Australian
Research Council. In 2005 he became a full Professor
in the Department of Information Engineering, Research
School of Information Sciences and Engineering (RSISE)
at the Australian National University. From July 2006
till May 2008, he was on secondment to the Australian
Research Council as Executive Director, Mathematics,
Information and Communication Sciences. Currently,
he holds a distinguished Chair at the University of
Melbourne with the title Future Generation Professor.
He is also an Adjunct Professor in the Mathematical
Sciences Institute at the Australian National University.
Professor Manton's traditional research interests
range from pure mathematics (e.g. commutative algebra,
algebraic geometry, differential geometry) to engineering
(e.g. signal processing, wireless communications).
Recently though, led by a desire to participate in
the convergence of the life sciences and the mathematical
sciences, he has commenced learning neuroscience.
Professor
Manton has served recently as an Associate Editor
for IEEE Transactions on Signal Processing, a Committee
Member for IEEE Signal Processing for Communications
(SPCOM) Technical Committee, and a Committee Member
on the Mathematics Panel for the ACT Board of Senior
Secondary Studies in Australia. 