July 7, 2022
The international mathematical conference MOTOR 2022, which took place in Karelia on July 26, gathered specialists from nine countries. Mathematicians from cities of Russia and China participated in person and their colleagues from other countries joined online. Experts discussed the questions and problems of mathematical optimization, which has practical applications in various spheres of our life.
MOTOR (Mathematical Optimization Theory and Operations Research) is an international conference integrating well-known Russian mathematical forums organized previously in the Urals, in Siberia, and in the Far East. This year the conference for the first time took place in Northwest Russia. The organizer and host was the Institute of Applied Mathematical Research (IAMR) KarRC RAS. Operational research and the optimization theory are among the institutes priority research areas.

Its a great honor for us to host such a large conference with a long history in Petrozavodsk. Although IAMR employs not so many people, many of the conference thematic areas, including game theory and operations research, are being developed here. So it was naturally interesting and important for us to participate listen to colleagues and make our own presentations. This experience sharing proved to be useful also for the youth: in addition to our young scientists, the conference was attended also by quite a delegation of graduate and post-graduate students from Novosibirsk, says Anna Rettieva, Deputy Director of the Institute of Applied Mathematical Research KarRC RAS.

Anna Rettieva giving an interview to Sampo TV 360 channel

Mikhail Khachay, RAS Corresponding Academician, Head of Mathematical Programing Department at Krasovskii Institute of Mathematics and Mechanics (RAS Ural Branch) shared his impressions. Yekaterinburg will host MOTOR next year. The scientists highly appraised both the presentations made and how well the conference was organized in Karelia.

I find that the main thing about our conference is the possibility to communicate at liberty and engage in scientific debates. There are, however, other missions as well. Science cannot advance in an allocated isolated space. There has to be cooperation, the wider the better. A few years ago our conference acquired the international status and scientists from different countries now take part in it, Mikhail Khachay remarked.

Some 250 persons participated in the conference as contributors. Around a hundred actually gathered in Karelia, including a delegation from China. The participant geography covered severed continents. Russian scientists came from Moscow, St. Petersburg, Vladivostok, Irkutsk, Novosibirsk, Yekaterinburg, Omsk, and other cities. They were joined online by renowned mathematicians from Italy, Canada, Germany, France, Serbia, Chile, Mongolia, and Azerbaijan.

Mikhail Khachay, RAS Corr. Academician, Department Head at Krasovskii Institute of Mathematics and Mechanics, RAS Ural Branch

The optimization theory is a modern division of mathematical science in which researchers search for the best solutions for a problem where there are certain criteria and multiple alternatives. Operations research is a discipline dealing with the development and application of analytical methods to enhance the decision-making process. Optimization challenges arise in many spheres: informatics, engineering, transport logistics, business, etc.

Our conference discussed a great many of diverse cases, real-life applications and problems requiring optimization. Many of them have to do with transport. One of the presentations, e.g., dealt with the logistics of delivering staff to oil rigs. This is done by helicopters, which is very expensive, so logistics flaws cost a lot to the companies, told Yuri Kochetov, Conference Co-chair, Doctor of Physics and Mathematics, Chief Researcher at the Sobolev Institute of Mathematics of the RAS Siberian Branch.

Another example is university admissions. School graduates now have the right to submit applications to five educational institutions. How do we make the outcome of the enrollment campaign as successful as possible for both the applicants and the universities? The search for the optimal solution is also a task for mathematicians.

Yuri Kochetov, Chief Researcher, Sobolev Institute of Mathematics, RAS Siberian Branch

As the scientist explains, there are indefinitely many applications for the optimization theory, as each organization has its own specific features and mathematical methods have to be customized to its needs.

We see that the number of companies interested in mathematical optimization is growing. The closer to practice, the greater the effect, and there is no doubt that this discipline will develop further and deliver benefits, Yuri Kochetov summed up.

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