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Interview by Serena Staropoli to Eleuterio Toro


Last July, from 4th to 8th, took place in the Faculty of Mathematics of the University of Santiago de Compostela (Spain), the International Conference “Numerical Methods for Hyperbolic Equations” held in honor of professor Eleuterio Toro on his 65th birthday.
Eleuterio Toro is professor of Numerical Analysis at the Faculty of Engineering and member of the  Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering of the University of Trento. He was called from the University of Trento in 2002 as internationally renowned professor.

Professor Toro, last July you have celebrated you birthday in a particular way. Could you explain about the conference in Santiago de Compostela?

For many years I have collaborated with several (about ten)  Universities in Spain, including Santiago de Compostela (USC).  Good old collaborators can also become good friends and the organization of this wonderful gathering was  a natural consequence. My friend Elena Vazquez-Cendon, a former Vice-Rector of USC,  lead the initiative through to a very successful event, both scientifically and socially. The Rector of USC presided the opening ceremony to mark the beginning of the conference. In all the event was a dream birthday party.

Who took part in the conference? Has anyone from the University of Trento participated in the event?

The participants were senior and junior academics, including PhD students and post-doctoral fellows. Some delegates from industry and research laboratories were also present. There were in total 130 delegates from 20 different countries (e.g. EU, USA, Canada, Russia, China, etc). From Trento we had about 10 delegates, including Professor Aronne Armanini  (Head of DICA) and the Dean of the Faculty of Engineering, Professor Marco Tubino, who attended in representation of the Rector of the University of Trento.

Do you collaborate with the University of Santiago de Compostela?

I have collaborated with academics from USC in various ways for almost 15 years, and continue to do so now.

In which area is the study of hyperbolic equations applied?

These equations arise as mathematical models for many situations of practical interest in several disciplines, including astrophysics, geophysics and various branches of engineering.

Recently, you have begun to work on problems of medical interest related to the theoretical modelling of physiological fluids and vascular problems. Why are you conducting research in this line?

There are two reasons for this diversification of my research, one  personal and one academic. The academic motivation is simply this: there are many medical problems that can be studied theoretically from the physical and mathematical points of view. My past experience in fluid dynamics, partial differential equations and numerical analysis, all supplemented by hard study of bio-medical subjects, can indeed be very effective in making useful contributions to this exciting field of research, so relevant to us all, thus also explaining the personal motivation!