Alan Liddell


1.  What interested you in the doctoral program in Applied and Computational Mathematics and Statistics at Notre Dame?

I was most interested in continuing the relationship I'd already established with my advisor at our previous school, but I was also excited to be able to work in close proximity to one of the godfathers of numerical algebraic geometry.

2.  What was the best part of the program?

The best part of the program was the ability to interact with many great minds in my field and related fields through conferences, workshops, and seminars.

3.  Tell us about your doctoral thesis.

My thesis was about the uses and abuses of the Newton homotopy for solving problems in applications, with a focus on when one wants the solution paths to be certified continuous.

4.  What are you working on now?

Right now I'm working on web development to pay the bills while my wife and I are expecting our first child, but I'm also working on bringing numerical algebraic geometry to an interesting new programming language called Julia.

5.  How did the program prepare you for your career?

The program taught me how important it is to be able to get spun up on complex topics very quickly, and also gave me the training to actually be able to do that.

6.  What are your career plans for the near future?

I plan to take numerical algebraic geometry out to wherever I can spot a need for it. I also plan to keep collaborating with my advisor on new directions in the field.

7.  What advice would you give to students considering the program?
Define a clear area in which you would like to work and then proceed to own it. You are coming to master rare and valuable skills, so master them. At the same time, pick your head up and see what's happening around you from time to time.