on the 6-th International Seminar
Mathematical Methods in Electromagnetic Theory
September 10-13, 1996
of Electromagnetism and Acoustics (LEMA), Ecole
Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne (EPFL), ELB-Ecublens,
CH-1015 Lausanne, Switzerland
IEEE Antennas and Propagation Magazine, V.38,
N 6, December 1996, pp.79-80)
year, our Ukrainian colleagues organize a symposium
specifically devoted to theoretical and mathematical
problems in electromagnetics, providing a unique
forum to hear about what is going this field-and
in many other areas, as well-in the CIS (former
USSR) republics. Even though participants come
mostly from Ukraine and Russia, all contributions
are presented in English: this is a feature of
MMET Symposium, the purpose of which is to foster
ties with Western researchers in electromagnetics.
In 1996, the
MMET Symposium was held in the Western Ukraine
city of Lviv (in Russian, Lvov; in Polish Lwow),
September 1013. It was organized by Professor
Zinoviy T. Nazarchuk and Oleg Ovsyannikov, both
of the Physico-Mechanical Institute Karpenko of
the Ukrainian Academy of Sciences. It was organized
with the support of a number of Eastern and Western
Associations, foremost among them the two Ukrainian
started with a plenary session, with two invited
papers. Contributed presentations then took place
within three parallel sessions, during the reminder
of the morning and in the afternoon. Contributed
papers were grouped in the following eight broad
Theory - Computational Techniques - Electromagnetic
Theory - Gratings and Frequency-Selective Surfaces
- Inverse Problems - Scattering and Diffraction
- Time-Domain Methods - Waveguides and Complex
The MMET Conference
Proceedings was remarkably well presented, as
texts were transferred by electronic mail and
then edited in Lviv. It contains 126 papers (invited
and contributed), making up 535 pages altogether.
Further information can be obtained from Professor
Oleg Ovsyannikov at oleg@ah,ipm.lviv.ua.
many authors "could not make it" to
Lviv, so that the program of the symposium had
to be somewhat reshuffled, and eventually consisted
of 78 papers. For many Ukrainian and Russian colleagues-who
get paid between $100 and $200 per month, but
with delays of up to six months-travel expenses
are prohibitive, even in their own country. In
addition, the participation from outside of the
CIS was quite low this year.
Program Committee of this year's MMET included
most of the "Who's Who" in electromagnetics
in the whole wide world, but, unfortunately, very
few of them managed to travel to Lviv. Organizers
told me that many scientists from the West had
actually registered, but just on the previous
week, cancellations kept landing on their desks.
Some speakers suddenly found out, a week before
the event, that they could not come... Unfortunately,
the MMET Symposium was held in the same week as
the European Microwave Conference in Prague, and
the General Assembly of URSI had ended the week
before, in Lille, France. As a result, there was
only one participant from the United States, one
from Western Europe (guess who), two from Turkey,
and a six-member delegation from Japan. Ukrainians
and Russians made up the remainder of the audience,
altogether some 100 participants: a good size
to establish scientific contacts.
the quality of most presentations was remarkable,
with a marked improvement as compared with Russian
contributions heard in previous years' events.
Many authors did master the English language very
well, in particular, those from the younger generation.
They had a strong incentive to do so: 22 young
scientists applied to the contest for the best
presentation. The jury set three selection criteria:
technical value, quality of the presentation,
and knowledge of English.
usually develop original mathematical approaches,
based on the work of their own mathematicians,
whereas in the West we increasingly attack problems
with bruteforce number crunching on the computer.
The two approaches are very different, but could
well become complementary, each side taking advantage
of developments made on the other. A careful study
of 500+ pages of MMET Proceedings would therefore
be a valuable investment.
of the symposium were held at the Hotel Karpathy,
in the outskirts of Lviv, where participants from
outside of the area also got food and lodging.
Accommodations were adequate: this was not a deluxe
hotel for western, and the rates were quite reasonable.
As a matter of fact, everything would have been
just right, except for the weather, which turned
out to be particularly cold and rainy in this
particular week. In agreement with Murphy's law,
the previous week had been nice and warm, with
beautifully sunny weather.
while rain was pouring on outside, it was matched
by the internal pouring of various liquids, allowing
attendants to compare the relative merits of Carpathian
cognac and Russian vodka. A visit of the town
was organized on Tuesday, followed by a welcoming
party. On Wednesday, all participants joined in
the official banquet, and on Thursday, they could
visit the famous "sloping" Lviv Theater.
On Friday, the closing act of the symposium was
a visit to the "ethnic" open-air museum,
ending with a memorable shashlik barbecue. The
general atmosphere of the symposium was quite
friendly and relaxed, which was somewhat unexpected,
in view of the very severe economic situation
of the country.
For the participants
who could (or had to) stay for an extra day, the
symposium organizers prepared an excursion to
the castle of Olesky and the "Lavra"
of Pochaiv (orthodox churches and monastery),
located about 90 miles from Lviv. The religious
buildings are indeed magnificent but, unfortunately,
the visit were made under humid conditions.
The city of
Lviv is a border town, which belonged at various
times to the Polish kingdom, then to the Austro-Hungarian
Empire, becoming later on part of Ukraine. It
was severely damaged at various times during its
momentous history, but still possesses a number
of magnificent buildings, among them some of the
Viennese style, called: Secession" (more
information can be found on the WWW at the address
I kept very
good memories of this event-in spite of the awful
weather. The organizers did their utmost to have
the symposium run smoothly and efficiently, and
to make their guests feel welcome. I met quite
a number of very interesting people, and hope
that the scientific ties set up during that week
will lead to collaborations in the future. My
only regret is that there were so few western
participants who could enjoy this particularly
The next MMET
Symposium will be held in Kharkov in 1998, in
the week following the URSI Commission B Symposium
on Electromagnetic Theory in Thessaloniki, Greece.
The organizers of the MMET'98 will be Professors
Eldar Veliev and Alexander Nosich, from the institute
of Radio Engineering of the National Academy of
Sciences of Ukraine. It is planned to hold the
Symposium in the Kharkov State University. There
is a direct flight between Thessaloniki and the
Ukrainian capital, Kyiv (Kiev in Russian).
I hope to see you there!
Young Scientists Awards
Miss. S.Sapmaz (Turkey and
Japan), "Wiener-Hopf analysis of the diffraction
by a strip located at the plane interface between
(Moscow), "Radiation characteristics of a
phased antenna array situated under a semi-infinite
(Lviv), "Evaluation of periodic Green's function
and its derivation by interpolation polynomials
in diffraction problems".
(Kharkov), "CAD-oriented analysis of two
types of surface-wave bandstop filters".
(Japan), "Plane wave diffraction by a resistive
(Kharkov), "Method of boundary singular integral
equations in diffraction by an array of strips".