何毓琦的个人博客分享 http://blog.sciencenet.cn/u/何毓琦 哈佛(1961-2001) 清华(2001-date)

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IFAC Workshop–50 Yrs of Nonlinear Control and Optimization

已有 5337 次阅读 2010-10-4 20:24 |个人分类:生活点滴|系统分类:海外观察

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One of the giants of British control system circle and of the world is certainly Professor David Q. Mayne (FRS) of the Imperial College of Science, Technology, and Medicine, the MIT of England. ( Professor Mayne was the 2009 recipient of the IEEE field award for control systems, arguably the equivalent of the Nobel prize of the discipline. For Chinese ScienceNet readers, I believe Professor毛剑琴of北航 spent sometime with Mayne during the 80s at Imperial). For many years he was the head of the control system department of the college, and then spent nearly a decade at the University of California, Davis after his retirement in 1993 from Imperial. He is celebrating his 80th birthday in 2010. Thus, many of his friends, former students, and colleagues on both side of the Atlantic Ocean gathered during September 30-October 2 in London for a workshop and party in his honor.
I got to know David during the late 60s. I spent two academic leaves and one summer from Harvard as guest of David at Imperial College during the decade of the 70s. In return, David and several of his colleagues and former students at Imperial took their leave and postdoc training with me at Harvard also during this period. A “special relationship” was formed during that time between Harvard and Imperial.
The workshop (50 years of nonlinear control and optimization) was sponsored by the International Federation of Automatic Control (IFAC) and took place at the prestigious Royal Society venue (note). Similar to the retirement parties for Professors Olsder and Kokotovic which I wrote about earlier http://www.sciencenet.cn/m/user_content.aspx?id=235120 , http://www.sciencenet.cn/m/user_content.aspx?id=47166 , This occasion is another gathering of who’s who in the world of control. The programme and social information can be found at http://cap.ee.ic.ac.uk/~astolfi/IFAC_HW_10/ .
Highlights of the three day affair were
1.   A fantastic biographical talk by Petar Kokotovic about his friend David Mayne
2.   A lavish dinner party at the exclusive Lanesboro club, London
3.   A reception dinner at home of the workshop orgnazier, Prof. Alessendro Ascotfi
4.   A  garden party at Professor Mayne’s home (This is almost the identical setting and locality for those readers familiar with the movie “Notting Hill” starring Julia Roberts)
(Note. It is interesting to observe the three different scientific pantheons I have visited over the years. The Royal Society building of England, The US National Academies building in Washington DC, and the new Chinese National Academy of Engineering building in Beijing. These three buildings reflect in a nice way the historical, relative standings, and aspirations of the science/technology effort of the three countries.) Included below are also some photos I took for the occasion.
 


Club34er minus Mitter at the Royal Society (above). Below is the original manuscript of Isaac Newton’s Principia Mathematica (circa 1685) on display at The Royal Society which was formed in 1660 and is celebrating her 350 birthday this year..








Two workshop scenes above.

London is where our entire family (children included) spent not an insignificant part of lives from 1966-present through various stays and visits. Nostalgia accompanies us each time we visit the city. A couple of pictures below capture our sentiment.

First below is a living statue in Piccadilly Circus, the next is the Westend Theater district and Chinatown, the last is the residence we stayed at while visiting Imperial 37 years ago before going onto the then USSR at the height of the cold war











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