What are your research topics?
I study inverse problems, or mathematics related to imaging. From the perspective of mathematical models, medical ultrasonic imaging and the imaging of the soil using seismic waves that pass through the ground are similar – for mathematicians, both are concrete versions of an inverse problem of the wave equation. This inverse problem is at the heart of my research.
Where and how does the topic of your research have an impact?
Imaging techniques are continually evolving, and mathematical knowledge supports this development. For example, soil imaging may become particularly important for the utilisation of geothermal energy.
What is particularly inspiring in your field right now?
Bringing mathematical theory closer to practical problems is challenging in many ways, but also inspiring. Recently, I have been developing better computational methods for solving inverse problems. In terms of theory, I am fascinated by an inverse problem of the wave equation in curved spacetime. I find this problem mathematically beautiful.
Lauri Oksanen is the professor of applied mathematics at the Faculty of Science.