Participant Testimonials

Oct 05 - Oct 10, 2014

One main goal of our workshop was to bring the research communities of compressed sensing, frame theory, numerical linear algebra, and optimization together to join forces in order to solve key problems in the area of sparse data processing. Having such a diverse group of participants is always an experiment. But in our case it worked extremely well, and the inspiring atmosphere of BIRS and the Banff Center had a significant impact on this. Many participants told us afterwards how much they benefited from this workshop, even starting new collaborations across community boundaries. Also there was a general agreement among all to have similar meetings in the new future to continue bridging and strengthening the interactions between those four research areas.

Gitta Kutyniok Department of Mathematics, Technische Universität Berlin

BIRS offers a wonderful environment for meetings and research. I very much appreciate also the support of the people around - all works smoothly and creates a pleasant atmosphere. The workshop put together people from several disciplines. This is always a challenge with a potentially high gain. My general feeling is that science today is becoming too fragmented, which is, in my opinion, very true also for mathematics. Reaching a common understanding needs a persistent effort and patience, which is not entirely in line with the instant push for immediate results that we all experience. There were some people in the workshop whom I met for the first time. The idea of looking at sparsity from the very different perspectives is very useful, and I do hope for continuation of that mutual interchanges of views and approaches. I have benefited in particular from the talks and discussions on compressive sensing, but also some topics from optimization were enlightening. I had also a very nice personal experience - one of the participants turned out to be my student from the Emory University (he graduated in 1999 and went to Yale for his PhD, I returned back from Atlanta to Prague in 2000). He has clearly became an excellent professional (in another field than mine), and I has been most happy to observe that. I am sure that we will stay in contact. Thank you again for the support, I look forward to come to BIRS again.

Zdenĕk Strakoš Facuty of Mathematics and Physics, Department od Numerical Mathematics, Charles University in Prague

The workshop was fantastic, one of the best I have attended. The organisers’ vision was to have three related, but not the same, topics represented. Most participants were aware of two of the three topics, but not all three. The organisers also had three one hour reviews of each topic. This resulted in a meeting where one was updated on the most recent advances in their field, and had the opportunity to learn more about a new related field. A very good model! The organisers should be commended.

Jared Tanner Mathematics, University of Oxford