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 City of Dnepropetrovsk

Kharkov (Ukraine), September 12-15, 2000

by Nader Engheta

University of Pennsylvania, Department of Electrical Engineering,
200 South 33rd Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104-6390 USA
Tel: +1 (215) 898 - 9777


(from IEEE Antennas and Propagation Magazine, V.43, N3, June 2001, pp.102-106)

The Eighth International Conference on Mathematical Methods in Electromagnetic Theory (MMET*2000) was held at the Kharkov National University (KNU) in Kharkov, Ukraine, September 12-15, 2000. It was an outstanding and informative meeting for electromagnetic scientists and researchers from the East and West to attend, and at which discuss their research results.

Figure 1. Professor Anatoly Kirilenko from IRE NASU, Kharkov, gave the first invited talk of the conference, presenting his work on decomposition techniques for EM modeling of multilayer circuits.
  Figure 2. George Hanson from the University of Wisconsin-MMilwaukee, gave an invited talk on the theory of critical points in the analysis of guided waves. His paper was co-authored by Dr. Alexander Yakovlev, who obtained his first PhD from IRE NASU.

The MMET symposium series started in 1988, originally as a meeting for young scientists, and it then evolved into an international meeting, attracting scientists in the field of electromagnetic and related areas from many countries. Since its start, it has seen a steady growth in the number of papers submitted and in attendance. The official and working language in these meetings has been English (since 1990).


  The MMET*2000 conference was efficiently organized into plenary sessions of invited papers, and three parallel sessions of contributed papers. Each day began with a plenary session of tree invited presentations (Figures 1), followed by a coffee break, after which there were tree parallel sessions. After lunch, the parallel sessions continued until 4:30 pm. The sessions covered a wide variety of technical areas, such as
Figure 3. Professor Nader Engheta from the University of Pennsylvania, presented an invited talk on applications of fractional operators in electromagnetic radiation and scattering.
  • Time-Domain Method
  • Computation Techniques
  • Analytical Regularization
  • Signal Processing
  • Propagation and Remote Sensing
  • Antenna Theory
  • Complex Media, Beams, and Plasmas
  • Optical Networks
  • Scattering and Radar Cross Section
  • Guided Waves
  • Eigenvalue Problems
  • Gratings and Frequency-Selective Surfaces
  • Inverse and Synthesis Problems
  • Ionospheric Electromagnetics
  • Function-Theoretic Methods
Figure 4. MMET Chairman, Professor Eldar Veliev, of IRE NASY.  

Figure 5. MMET TPC Co-Chairman, Professor Alexander Nosich of IRE NASU, is shown listening to a paper presentation.

The organization of this conference – under the direction of Professor Eldar I. Veliev (Figure 4) and Professor Alexander Nosich (Figure 5), both from the Institute of Radiophysics and Electronics (IRE), National Academy of Science of Ukraine (NASU) – was truly most remarkable. They, together with their wonderful, hardworking, dedicated staff of young scientists and volunteers from the Kharkov National University and IRE NASU, ran every aspect of the conference: from the organization of technical sessions, to compilation of two-volume symposium proceedings, to arrangement for local transportation for attendees coming from outside of Kharkov, to providing excellent opportunities for young scientists coming to the meeting, and to including a memorable and enjoyable set of social events for participants. They had thought about every detail in advance. For example, the participants arriving from abroad were met at the airports or train stations by representatives from the organizing committee, and were provided with local transportation to Kharkov. Every member of the Organizing Committee that I met was very helpful, hospitable, friendly, and totally dedicated to providing all the services needed for participants. Several organizations sponsored MMET*2000, including the IEEE AP/MTT/AES/ED/GRS/LEO Societies East Ukraine Joint Chapter, the Scientific Council of NAS on Radiophysics and Microwave Electronics, Commission H of URSI, the IEEE ED, MTT, and NPS Societies, the IEEE Region 8 Office, the European Office of Aerospace R&D, the European Research Office of USARDSG-UK, and the TICRA Company.

 In addition to the scientific program of the conference, the Organizing Committee arranged for a host of great social activities. On the first evening (Tuesday, September 12, 2000), the welcoming party provided the opportunity for participants to meet in a relaxed, informal atmosphere. Excellent appetizers, food, and drink were abundant before the party, the attendees were invited to go up to the roof of the 14-floor Kharkov National University building, from which we had a beautiful view of the city of Kharkov. On the second evening, the Pipe Music Concert was exclusively arranged for the conference participants, in a beautiful bell-tower of the Assumption Church in Kharkov. One of the highlights of the social program was the conference banquet, on the third evening, which was held in the Polyot Hotel. It was a memorable evening, with a lot of great authentic food, drink, music, and dancing. After the closing ceremony, on the fourth day, the participants went to the City Opera and Ballet Theater, to see a ballet performance of “The Swan Lake”, the masterpiece by the great Russian composer, Petr Ilyich Tchaikovsky (1840-1893). It was the most elegant performance of the Swan Lake that I have ever seen. As has become a tradition in the MMET meetings, on Saturday following the last day of the conference, a barbeque picnic (Figure 6) was arranged in one of the parks in Kharkov. (Unfortunately, I had to leave early on that Saturday morning, and I therefore missed the BBQ picnic. But I later heard from one of those who attended the picnic that in was great fun.) In addition, two city bus tours were also arranged during the conference. (I took this city bus tour the first time I attended the MMET, in 1998, and it was a great tour. This time, unfortunately, I did not get a chance to take this tour.)


Figure 6. Although it rained during the Saturday barbeque party, it looks participants from Ukraine, Russia, Georgia, Turkey, Japan, Bulgaria, The Netherlands, UK, and Italy enjoyed the forest environment, campfire cooking, and tasting local soft and hard drinks.

  Figure 7. Some of the young scientists and volunteers of the conference secretariat are shown in front of the Kharkov National University: (l to r) Maksim Gurenko, Irina Tishchenko, Artem Boriskin, and Nataliya Bliznyuk.

 At the closing ceremony, the awards for the young scientists were presented. The winner were:

First prize: Vladimir N. Kisel, Moscow, “Electromagnetic Scattering from Cavities with Complex Objects Inside.”

Two second prizes: Stanislav A. Dserevyanko, Kharkov, “Peculiarities in the Non-Linear Electromagnetic Response of a Thin Metal Film carrying a Strong DC Current;” and Alexander Bijamov, Tbilisi, “Tree-Dimensional Analysis of the Compact Cellular Phone Antennas.”

The third prizes: Vladimir V. Yachin, Kharkov, " Electromagnetic Wave Scattering by a Doubly-Periodic Magneto-Dielectric Layer, Ildar R. Urazgildiyev, Kiev, "Maximum Likelihood Technique for the Direction of Arrival Estimation in Adaptive Arrays", and Bahattin Turetken, Gebze, "Comparison of Symbolic Computation Techniques for the Problems of Electromegnetics".
Figure 8. Dr. Grigory Koshevoy, from Kharkov Aerospace University, received an unexpected award in appreciation of the earliest registration at the conference from its secretary, Nataliya Bliznyuk.  
Figure 9. Professor Kazuya Kobayashi (middle), from Chuo University, Tokyo, bought matrioshka dolls from a street vendor, assisted by Dr. Svetlana Boriskina, now a Royal Society postdoctoral fellow at the University of Nottingham.

Besides these, two special awards were presented: The V.G. Sologub Award " For the contribution to the development of analytical regularization techniques in electromagnetics" went to Yevgenii Trifonov, Kazan, for Computing Complex Propagation Constant of Dielectric Waveguides", and the V.P. Shestopalov Memorial Award went to Sergei B. Panin, Kharkov, for "The Diffraction of a Normally Incident Plane Wave by a Grating Over a Chiral Medium".

As I mentioned earlier, Professors Veliev and Nosich directed the efforts f several members of their Organizing Committee, who worked tirelessly and selflessly to make this conference a great success. In particular, I would like to acknowledge the efforts of Nataliya Bliznyuk (Figure 7), Boris Bliznyuk (who was the official photographer of the conference, and who did an outstanding job in getting many memorable pictures, some of which are shown here), Vladimir Podlozny, Irina Vorgul, Anya Shishkova, Katya Kramarenko, Konstantin Yemelyanov, Maksim Gurenko, and Andrey Nosich (who kindly met some of us at the Borispol Airport in Kiev, upon our arrival, and accompanied us to Kharkov.)

Before I conclude this report, I would like to include some of the pictures that were taken by Boris Bliznyuk and Alexander Nosich. These pictures were sent to me by them, and re used here with their permission. The information for the picture captions was given by A. Nosich.

Finally, I would like to thank and congratulate Professor Veliev and Nosich and their staff for organizing such an excellent meeting with a high-quality technical content, an exciting scientific interaction, and wonderful social program. I look forward to attending the next MMET conference in 2002 in Ukraine.

Nader Engheta