During the first week of the Summer school, presentations on Introduction to the Finite Element Method was delivered by Dr. Sreedhara Rao Gunakala. The mathematical theory of the method was introduced and developed in the morning period. Detailed handouts were prepared and distributed to the students. A power point presentation explaining how to utilize the method for a concrete problem was given by one of the participants, Mr. Keegan Jordan.

The Finite Element Method with Matlab was delivered Dr. Donna Comissiong, Lecturer in Mathematics at UWI, St Augustine, and a Fulbright Scholar holding a PhD in Mathematics from Northwestern University, USA. Five practical sessions were held during the afternoon period (2-4:30pm) each day of the first week. The classes were interactive, and included meshing techniques in different domains and the solution of simple elliptic equations with Matlab.

The second week of the Summer School was devoted to the study of Computational Mechanics with Applications to Biomechanics and Vehicle Dynamics. Presentations on this topic were delivered by Professor Albrecht Eiber from the Institute of Engineering and Computational Mechanics, University of Stuttgart, Germany. For the first three days, both morning and afternoon sessions were conducted on the use of finite element methods for applications in mechatronics. For the last two days, the focus was switched to biomechanics. Current models for circulation and blood vessels in the human body were discussed. Special attention was given to actual projects being carried out at the University of Stuttgart, and a power point presentation was given by Professor Eiber about the research projects being carried out at his institute. A presentation of the models that he is currently developing for the inner ear was included on the last day.

The Summer School classes came to an end on Friday 17th June 2007 and were backed by a simple but meaningful Closing Ceremony which saw the mix of participants, reflecting neither generation gap nor gender imbalance, proudly receiving their certificates from both Dr Shanaz Wahid and Professor Albrecht Eiber.

Presentations during the school were in English but the Mathematics-Physics combination was the dominant language which ensured the common understanding which was much in evidence amongst all participants for the entire programme despite differences in their native tongues. It is what brought the participants together, engaged them in worthwhile activities for the two weeks of the Summer School and what will now, hopefully, be a major source of enduring motivation for their pursuit of excellence in their work as professionals across the Caribbean.

The members of the organizing committee for this event were,

  1. Dr. Donna Comissiong, Department of Mathematics and Statistics, UWI, St. Augustine Campus.
  2. Dr. Karim Rahaman, Department of Mathematics and Statistics, UWI, St. Augustine Campus.
  3. Dr. S. Rao Gunakala, Department of Mathematics and Statistics, UWI, St. Augustine Campus.
  4. Prof. Harold Ramkissoon, President, Alexander von Humboldt Association for Latin America and the Caribbean
  5. Miss Janice Joseph, CARISCIENCE Secretariat.

On behalf of the Organizing Committee of the CARISCIENCE Summer School in Mathematics and Physics, I would like to thank the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation for providing us with an Invited Lecturer.

Professor Emeritus Harold Ramkissoon


Alexander von Humboldt Association

for Latin America and the Caribbean

Report on CARISCIENCE Summer School in Mathematics and Physics