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Alex Townsend

Associate Professor

Alex Townsend

589 Malott Hall

Educational Background

  • DPhil (2014) University of Oxford



  • Mathematics

Graduate Fields

  • Mathematics


Numerical analysis, scientific computing, and deep learning

I am interested in the study and development of numerical algorithms in applied mathematics. I mainly work in the following three areas: (1) Novel spectral methods for the solution of differential equations, (2) Low-rank techniques, and (3) Theoretical aspects of deep learning.



Spring 2022

Fall 2022


  • Dense networks that do not synchronize and sparse ones that do (with M. Stillman and S. H. Strogatz), Chaos, 30 (2020), 083142.

  • Fast algorithms using orthogonal polynomials (with S. Olver and R. M. Slevinsky), Acta Numerica, 29 (2020), pp. 573-699.

  • Stable extrapolation of analytic functions (with L. Demanet), Foundations of Computational Mathematics, 19 (2019), pp. 297-331.

  • Bounds on the singular values of matrices with displacement structure (with B. Beckermann), SIAM Review, 61 (2019), pp. 319-344.

  • Why are big data matrices approximately low rank? (with M. Udell), SIAM Journal on Mathematics of Data Science, 1 (2019), pp. 144-160.


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