Public lecture by Trevor McDougall is available on YouTube.

The 20th Biennial Computational Techniques and Applications Conference (CTAC2020) was held online from 30 August to 2 September, 2020.

Our aim is to conduct a high-quality conference on computational mathematics; scientific, technical and industrial applications; and high-performance computing.

Invited Speakers:

  • Konstantin Brenner (University of Nice Sophia-Antipolis, France), Numerical modeling of two-phase flow in fractured porous media [Video]
  • Michael Feischl (TU Vienna, Austria), Numerical analysis and machine learning [Video]
  • David Harvey (UNSW, Sydney, Australia), Fast Fourier transforms of prime length [Video]
  • Trevor McDougall (UNSW, Sydney, Australia),Some mathematical aspects of physical oceanography [Video]
  • Kate Smith-Miles (University of Melbourne, Australia), In search of algorithmic trust ... show us the stress-testing! [Video]
  • Catherine Powell (University of Manchester, UK), Adaptive & Multilevel Stochastic Galerkin Methods for PDEs with Uncertain Inputs. [Video]
  • Aretha Teckentrup (University of Edinburgh, UK), Convergence of Gaussian process emulators with estimated hyper-parameters. [Video]
  • Alex Townsend (Cornell University, USA),The ultraspherical spectral method. [Video]

The special themes for the meeting will include:

  • Approximation theory
  • Biomathematics
  • Climate modelling
  • Computational fluid dynamics
  • Computational number theory
  • Data assimilation
  • Optimisation
  • Inverse problems
  • Data science
  • Uncertainty quantification

CTAC is organised by the special interest group in computational techniques and applications of ANZIAM, the Australian and New Zealand Industrial and Applied Mathematics Division of the Australian Mathematical Society. The meetings provide an interactive forum for researchers interested in the development and use of computational methods applied to engineering, scientific and other problems.

The CTAC meetings have been taking place biennially since 1981, the most recent being held in 2018 at the University of Newcastle.


Organising committee

  • Josef Dick (UNSW)
  • Bishnu Lamichhane (Newcastle)
  • Ngan Le (Monash University)
  • Quoc Thong Le Gia (UNSW, Chair)
  • Shev MacNamara (UTS)
  • William McLean (UNSW)
  • Thanh Tran (UNSW)
  • Vera Roschina (UNSW)

Scientific committee

  • Steven Armfield (Sydney University)
  • Jerome Droniou (Monash)
  • Frances Kuo (UNSW)  
  • Markus Hegland (ANU)
  • Stephen Roberts (ANU)
  • Ian Sloan (UNSW, Chair)
  • Ian Turner (QUT)


The book of abstracts is available here.

Public Lecture

Title: Some Mathematical Aspects of Physical Oceanography

Date And Time: Mon, 31 August 2020, 7:00 PM – 8:00 PM AEST

Speaker: Prof. Trevor McDougall

Abstract: The ocean's role in climate and climate change will be outlined, since these are the principle reasons for the need to better understand the physics of the ocean. The talk will then move onto some mathematical aspects of physical oceanography, and some puzzles that we are yet to figure out. One of the surprising things about the ocean is that mixing processes occur quasi-horizontally at a rate ten million times faster than vertically, and yet the vertical mixing processes are still vitally important for climate predictions. Also, the “density" surfaces along which the strong lateral mixing occurs are notoriously hard to define, both conceptually and numerically. These on-going puzzles will be described, along with a couple of recent advances we have published in (i) data interpolation, and (ii) an improvement to Newton's Method.

About the Speaker: Trevor McDougall is a Professor in the School of Mathematics and Statistics at UNSW Sydney and is the President of the International Association for the Physical Sciences of the Oceans.

Learn more about Prof. Trevor McDougall on Wikipedia and UNSW Research Portal.  

This is an online event, via Zoom. The Zoom link will be emailed to all registered participants before the event.

Register to Attend


A refereed proceeding will be published after the conference in the Electronic Supplement of the ANZIAM Journal. This will be subject to the usual rigorous ANZIAM Journal refereeing process.

More information about proceedings can be found here.

The Modelling and Simulation Society of Australia and New Zealand is sponsoring an award for the best student presentation relating to modelling at CTAC2020. This prize will include free registration to the MODSIM2021 conference to be held in Sydney in December 2021.

A prize worth A$500 sponsored by the Mathematics of Computation and Optimisation (MoCaO) special interest group of AustMS will be offered for the best student presentation.


  • School of Mathematics and Statistics, UNSW Sydney.
    UNSW Sydney Logo
    UNSW Sydney
  • New South Wales Government.
    NSW Government Logo
    NSW Government
  • Modelling and Simulation Society of Australia and New Zealand (MSSANZ)
    MSSANZ logo
  • Mathematics of Computation and Optimisation (MoCaO) special interest group of AustMSMoCaO logo