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During the establishment phase, the Stochastic Centre has received support from the Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation. This support is now coming to an end and the new funding from the Swedish Research Council is therefore highly welcome.
‘ It means that we can carry on with our research, admit new doctoral researchers and work internationally,´ says Professor Peter Jagers, who describes himself and his colleagues as model-builders and problem-solvers.
‘ Our speciality is solving problems in other scientific fields. To assist us we have rigorous mathematical methods that we apply in interdisciplinary ways, in physics, technology, medicine, biology and community planning, for example.´
‘ Phase transitions are a basic problem of physics that we´re studying with probability theory ,´ Peter Jagers relates .
Another group is studying problems of population dynamics that characterise biology in particular. What happens in a structure when its individual elements reproduce themselves? The research may concern elementary particles that are split or cells that divide, as well as plants and animals.
Another research field is extreme-value theory. Here, researchers study stable but random processes, such as the size range of waves in a billowing sea. Researchers at the Centre also work on problems relating to the strength of materials. How long, for example, can components of machinery or vehicles be subjected to impacts or vibrations before they break?
‘ By using maths to solve problems outside the mathematical field, we also create new maths,´ says Peter Jagers.