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Cardiff University PhD Studentship in Mathematics, UK

Publish Date: Apr 22, 2016

Deadline: May 06, 2016

Cardiff University PhD Studentship in Mathematic

The project is in the area of stochastic homogenization for nonlinear PDEs (Partial Differential Equations) associated to a low regularity condition called the Hormander condition. In particular I am interested in those cases where, even starting from a stochastic microscopic model, the effective problem (= PDE modelling the macroscopic behaviour) is deterministic. Where the microscopic stochastic model is related to Hormander-type PDEs, the rescaling becomes usually anisotropic. The regularity theory of such PDEs mimics, at least in the linear case, the standard one (H ¨ormander’s Theorem ‘69), but deriving finer properties like asymptotics in the presence of randomness requires an intricate combination of ideas from analysis, probability and geometry. The influence of the geometry on the associated analysis problems, is particularly evident in the case of homogenisation where the rescaling of the microscopic model is strictly connected to the underlying geometry. In fact, in the standard uniformly elliptic/parabolic case (respectively coercive for the first order case), one takes the limit as e tends to zero of an equation depending on e.g. x/e (where x is a point in Rn) i.e. isotropic rescaling. When considering a degen- erate PDE related to H ¨ormander vector fields, the rescaling becomes anisotropic: for example in the first Heisenberg group a point (x, y, z) scales as (x/e, y/e, z/e2). Moreover points (elements on the manifold) and velocities of curves (elements in the tangent space) scale now in a very different way and any identification between objects with different natures (which is often a well-hidden key point in the stan- dard elliptic/parabolic case) is no longer allowed.

The challenge in the study of these limit theorems is to find approaches which do not rely on the commutativity of the Euclidean structure or on the identification between manifold (points) and tangent space (velocities), and dealing with the dif- ficulty of using very degenerate underlying geometries which are not even locally isomorphic to the Euclidean Rn.The mathematical questions arising in the project are not only interesting from the pure mathematical point of view but they also have important applications in many different fields, for example in the study of the visual cortex (see Citti-Sarti model of the visual cortex) and financial models e.g. Asian options. One of the goals of the project is to provide error estimates for homogenisation problems, i.e. in cases where it is already known that solutions of the e-problem converge to solutions of the homogenised problem we want to estimate the rate of convergence.


This studentship consists of full UK/EU tuition fees, as well as a Doctoral Stipend matching UK Research Council National Minimum (£14,057 p.a. for 2015/16, updated each year).

One studentship is available.


Academic criteria: Applicants for a studentship must have obtained, or be about to obtain, a Master Degree or MMath in Mathematics. A strong background in analysis is also required.

Residency: This studentship is open to students of any nationality.Students classified as international for fee purposes have to self-fund the difference between home and international fees.

How to Apply

Consideration is automatic on applying for PhD in Mathematics, with a start date of October 2016 via Cardiff University's Online Application Service. In the research proposal section of your application, please specify the project title and supervisors of this project and copy the project description in the text box provided. In the funding section, please select "I will be applying for a scholarship / grant" and specify that you are applying for advertised funding from School Funding.

The deadline for applications is 13 May 2016.

Cardiff University reserves the right to close applications early should sufficient applications be received.

Further Information

For further information please contact Vicky Reynish on

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United Kingdom