LEMA: Laboratory for Mathematical Engineering in Porto
The Laboratory for Mathematical Engineering (LEMA) is headquartered at the School of Engineering of the Polytechnic Institute of Porto (ISEP-IPP). ISEP is nowadays one of the top schools of technology in Portugal and pioneer in both education and research in the engineering field since 1852.
Aiming to contribute to the achievement of sustainable development, by creating and transmitting applied knowledge, ISEP offers a wide range of programs in different fields of Engineering. With more than 6000 students, 400 lecturers and researchers, the institution is now well known for its potential with spirit of entrepreneurship, team work, out-of-box thinking, and technical expertise, key competences for both academic and research successful international recognition.
Along with renowned institutions, such as MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology), ISEP is a member of the international consortium CDIO (Conceive – Design – Implement – Operate) and has more than a hundred partnerships within the European Space of Higher Education.
ISEP is also a trademark of Porto, which is a modern European city, known for its beauty, booming cultural agenda and strong traditional roots, and considered the Portuguese academic capital. Porto is also known for the friendly and cosmopolitan environment, which helps explain the large attraction of international students and researchers.
LEMA has been promoting research in the fields of Industrial Mathematics and Mathematical Engineering since 2009. By taking advantage of the interdisciplinary expertise of its scientific group members, LEMA aims at tackling problems in modelling, numerical analysis, dynamical systems, operational research and data analysis domains, amongst others.
One of LEMA’s main goals has been to establish projects in a close collaboration with both small and medium sized enterprises (SME’s), as well as with larger business groups. Despite being a recently formed laboratory, such an aim is now well consolidated by the existing vis-à-vis projects with companies’ partners.
Since 2013, LEMA has the capability to build its own software directly from the models developed by the group, in such a way that it may be integrated on the companies’ systems without almost any trouble. This is pointed out by LEMA SME’s partners as a very important feature, as it turns possible for them to fully delegate on LEMA the tasks of research and development, while they may concentrate their project allocated resources on the adherence of the model and evaluation of the results.
Moreover, given the aforementioned wide range of LEMA’s scientific expertise, it is now possible to lead projects as different as build software for stock management control in automotive industry, routing problems in gardening, packing and managing orders on paper industry or advising the Portuguese Authorities in the assessment process of the Public Private Partnerships contracts. Although being a group with only 6 years of existence, LEMA is also engaged with the organisation of the Portuguese editions of European Study Groups with Industry.
The most recent work in the Industrial Mathematics field led LEMA to be one of the PT-MATHS-IN (Portuguese Network of Mathematics for Industry and Innovation) promoters, a network of Portuguese mathematical research centres that act as the Portuguese node on EU-MATHS-IN (European Service Network of Mathematics for Industry and Innovation).
LEMA is also committed in attracting new students to mathematical areas. With that purpose, organizes yearly a week project on Mathematics for high school graduates. This event aims to raise the consciousness of high school students for the importance of different fields of Mathematics and its real world applications. With projects in areas like Bayesian statistics related to forensic investigation, or presenting the Mathematics used in cryptography, or even teaching how to use neural networks in order to solve simple classification problems, this programme has been a success since 2009.
The topics covered by LEMA’s research, together with the group member’s scientific expertise, prompted an obvious collaboration in several under- and graduated (PhD and Master’s levels) educational programs in ISEP and in other university institutions alike.
Vítor Costa (LEMA/ISEP/IPP)
José Matos (LEMA/ISEP/IPP)