Rod Melnik: "Mathematics research - your nationality is immaterial"
“More and more, mathematicians are working with teams of researchers,” he says, because different researchers bring different expertise to the table. “This allows us to advance the areas of science and technology that we could not have even dreamt of advancing relatively recently. Mathematical sciences are major contributors to these exciting new developments.”
Melnik works in several areas of research, including multi-scaled coupled systems.
What does that mean?
To give an example of coupled systems, just remember that the world is interconnected. For example, a warmer ocean current on one side of the planet might mean a drought on the other side. That’s a coupled system.
Such systems are often characterized by new properties, not found in their components, which interact at many different spatial and temporal scales. They are multi-scale. What humanity is doing to contribute to global warming might not impact us in our life-time (one scale), but may impact future generations (a longer scale).
Melnik works on mathematical models that describe these multi-scaled coupled systems, which could include scales ranging from nanometre-sized (a human hair is about 100,000 nanometres in diameter) to climate-sized.
when you’re dealing with science and technology on such a tiny scale as nanometres,
“it’s not sufficient any more to rely only on the models we’ve used since the
not be able to do this research without my colleague Bruce Shapiro from the
Nanobiology Program of the National Cancer Institute in
And while the internet and email have made international collaboration vastly easier than it was just 15 years ago, strong reasons remain for collaborators to occasionally get together in the same room.
“Different inputs need to be expressed face-to-face,” Melnik says. Interactions are important: an equation written on a whiteboard can be modified instantly by a collaborator standing in front of it. Back and forth work like that still takes time on a computer.
Ukrainian-born Australian mathematician, Roderick Melnik moved from