The use of methodological approaches from mathematics and computer science for the development of applications in the natural and life sciences was the topic of an international summer school which took place at Heidelberg University within the framework of the 4EU+ European University Alliance. The summer school “Mathematical and Computational Methods for Challenging Applications” brought together around 30 postgraduate students and young researchers from three 4EU+ member universities with a background in mathematics and computer science as well as computational science applications. The event was organised by Dr Michael Winckler from Heidelberg University’s Interdisciplinary Center for Scientific Computing.
Applications in the natural and life sciences depend to a large extent on data processing technologies and modelling of systems and dynamics. The aim of the summer school was to familiarise the participants with a broad spectrum of mathematical and computational methods that provide specific tools to tackle application problems. To this end, Prof. Dr Filip Sadlo, computational scientist at Heidelberg University, gave insights into his research on visualisation and visual data analysis. Dr Julien Tierny from Sorbonne University presented methods and application examples from the field of topological data analysis. With a computer-based application tool for the research of protein structures, Prof. Ivano Eberini from the University of Milan introduced the participants to the field of computational biochemistry. How mathematical tools can help to analyse protein structures, as well as DNA and RNA, was explained by Dr Wanda Niemyska from the University of Warsaw. Statistician Prof. Helle Sørensen from the University of Copenhagen showed how methods of functional data analysis can be applied in the life sciences. Dr Winckler held a lecture on the connections between artistic drawings and mathematics.
The summer school was organised as part of Flagship 3 of the 4EU+ Alliance, which focuses on the transformation of science and society by advancing new information and communication technologies. The event took place at the Mathematikon of Heidelberg University from 21 until 25 September 2020.