Theme leader: P.J.C. Spreij
Financial Mathematics is a relatively new branch in applied mathematics. Recent years have seen a truly quantitative revolution in the world of finance. The call for advanced mathematical techniques has boosted research in new directions of applied mathematics, both of a theoretical and a practical nature. Many researchers from more traditional branches of mathematics have made major contributions.
Within the Netherlands only a few mathematicians devote a major part of their research to this field. The newly installed Stieltjes theme group on Financial Mathematics is a new initiative to coordinate research in The Netherlands and to be a platform on which various activities in this field find a common base.
Activities of the theme group are by no means restricted to participants of the Stieltjes Institute itself. This is reflected by the composition of the steering committee and of the theme group as a whole, where also mathematicians from other research institutes have been included.
The theme group has strong connections with several research programmes of the Stieltjes Institute, in particular with Probability, Statistics, Operator theory and Evolutionary Systems, and equally well established links with other research institutes in the Netherlands like CentER, DISC, EURANDOM and MRI.
Status of the theme.
The members of the theme group have been active in various fields like probability theory, mathematical statistics, time series analysis and dynamical systems.
It is the ambition of the theme group to promote the research in Financial Mathematics in the Netherlands by organising a seminar series, workshops and special activities in the educational vein. All these activities will be conducted in close cooperation with members of the mathematical institutes associated with the Stieltjes Institute and with other research institutes both in mathematics and in economics. The theme group started its activities in mid 2000.
The main activity in 2002, apart form research, aimed at promoting Financial Mathematics has been the organisation of a "Winter school on Mathematical Finance".
The Winter school has been held at the Conference centre Oud-Poelgeest (Oegstgeest) from December 16 to 18, 2001. The winter school has been organised by Hans Schumacher (UvT) and Peter Spreij (UvA).
Minicourses have been given by Marek Rutkowski (Warsaw) and Rama Cont (Palaiseau).
Special invited lectures have been presented by Jan Kallsen (Freiburg), Damiano Brigo (Milan) and Dilip Madan (College Park).
There were four additional short lectures by researchers on Financial Mathematics from The Netherlands.
Some fifty particpants have attended the winter school. Because of the enthousiastic reactions of the participants a follow up in December 2003 has already been planned. The winter school has been sponsored by the Stieltjes Institute, MRI, CentER and NWO.
In 2003 the theme group will change its name into Theme group "Mathematics and Economics". The theme will enlarge its scope to include branches of Applied Mathematics (such as optimization theory) that are relevant for a variety of subfields of Economics.