Selby Public Lectures 2002

In 2002 Dr Leonard Smith was awarded the Selby Fellowship and invited to tour Australia to present a series of public lectures and seminars. What follows was taken from the Australian Academy of Science website.

The Selby Fellowship is financed through the generosity of the Selby Scientific Foundation. Fellowships are awarded to distinguished overseas scientists to visit Australia for public lecture/seminar tours and to visit scientific centres in Australia. 

Dr Leonard Smith hails from Florida, USA. He has degrees from the University of Florida and Columbia University, and read for his PhD in Physics at the latter under the supervision of Professor E.A. Spiegel. His thesis was entitled Lacunarity and Chaos in Nature.

Dr Smith has held research positions at the University of Cambridge, UK; the University of Warwick, UK; the University of Potsdam, Germany; and the Paris Meteorological Dynamics Laboratory, France.

Dr Smith is currently the Northville Senior Research Fellow in Mathematics at Pembroke College, Oxford, and he is also a Research Associate in the Mathematics Institute at the University of Oxford. He also has a part-time secondment as a Reader (Associate Professor) at the London School of Economics, where he is Director of the Centre for the Analysis of Time Series.

Dr Smith is well qualified to deliver public lectures as the Selby Fellow 2002. He has given many invited talks, such as

  • 1998 Winter School on Mathematical and Physical Tools for Climate Dynamics, Paris, France;
  • 1996 Summer School on Non-linearity: Chaotic, Non-chaotic and Random Dynamics, Varenna, Italy;
  • 1996 British Ecological Workshop on Non-linear dynamics in short ecological time series, Leicester, England;
  • 1996 XXI European Geophysical Society General Assembly on Fleeting Shadows: Optimal Ensembles and Model Realism, The Hague, The Netherlands;
  • 1996 European Meeting on Medium Range Weather Forecasting on Accountability and Error in Ensemble Prediction of Baroclinic Flows, Reading, England;
  • and many others.

Dr Smith's research interests include

  • the dynamics of physical systems, and approximations of them;
  • numerical approximation methods and their dynamics;
  • non-linear time series and prediction techniques;
  • ultimate limits to predictability; and
  • applications in industrial, economic and natural systems, particularly climate records and electricity demand forecasting.

Dr Smith has published extensively in the physics, mathematics and climatological literature, and is currently writing a book entitled A Very Short Introduction to Chaos. He is the Secretary of the European Geophysical Society's Section on Non-linear Processes, and has served on a variety of editorial boards of journals and conference program committees.