Research carried out at the Department of Nonlinear Oscillations of the Faculty of Applied Mathematics, Computer Sciences, and Mechanics of Voronezh State University is at the cutting edge of the mathematical sciences. Vladimir Zadorozhny, the Head of the department, a laureate of the Soros Foundation award, and a member of the American Mathematical Society, told us about the goals set by academic staff and young researchers.
‘Since its very first days our department, which was founded in 1970, conducted a large number of various commercial research projects. For example, in the 1980s, we created a programme enabling workflow optimization of a chemical plant which produced half of all polyethylene output in the USSR. VSU staff developed a mathematical model, a computer programme, and operational recommendations which allowed manufacturing products of higher value. Another good example for the practical use of our research is a project by students of the Faculty of Applied Mathematics, Informatics, and Mechanics conducted on the premises of Voronezh Mechanical Plant. During their pre-graduation practical training, our students were set a goal to create a programme dealing with nonlinear oscillations and allowing them to make calculations for aircraft devices. And they succeeded in achieving their goal. The plant used to have a whole department that made the calculations. Now, thanks to the programme developed by our students, it takes about 40 minutes to make the calculations that used to take at least half a year. The project was conducted within the area of specialisation of our department,’ said Vladimir Zadorozhny.
Today the Department of Nonlinear Oscillations carries out research and development into mathematical models that can be used to solve many other practical tasks. For example, mathematical models can be used to predict in what form it would be more profitable to keep money in different situations: securities, foreign currencies or shares. This process involves many random factors which are predicted by financial analysts by means of applying special methods. The researchers from the Department of Nonlinear Oscillations develop mathematical models that consider random factors and calculate mathematical expectations (for example, possible revenue) and evaluate risks. These models can be used both by governments and businesses. In 1990, American economist Harry Markowitz received a Nobel prize for solving a similar problem and for researching the opportunity to use mathematical methods in the security market. The staff from the Department of Nonlinear Oscillations of the Faculty of Applied Mathematics, Computer Sciences, and Mechanics have been successfully working on the enhancement of these methods and have been developing their own mathematical models that will be more efficient than traditional analytical methods.