Timothy Warburton, professor of mathematics in the College of Science at Virginia Tech, was recently named the John K. Costain Faculty Chair by the Virginia Tech Board of Visitors.

The John K. Costain Faculty Chair was established through a gift made in 2007 by alumnus David Worthington and his wife, Beverly, and is named for Worthington’s mentor, a professor of geophysics in the Department of Geosciences. Costain was a faculty member with Virginia Tech for 29 years until his retirement in 1996. He passed away in March at the age of 85.

Warburton joined the Virginia Tech faculty earlier this year from Rice University. He will play a significant role in Virginia Tech’s Division of Computational Modeling and Data Analytics program, part of the new undergraduate degree program in the Academy of Integrated Science within the College of Science.

At 1:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 6, at the Holtzman Alumni Center, Warburton will give the inaugural John K. Costain Chair Lecture. The event is part of the College of Science’s Fall Roundtable 2015 weekend. The lecture is free and open to the public.

Warburton is developing his own research program in mathematical geophysics that will relate to the petroleum industry. His research focuses on creating robust, accurate, and scalable algorithms for computationally solving partial differential equations. He has made fundamental contributions to the development of high-order finite element methods for wave dominated physical phenomena. His work in this area culminated in the nodal discontinuous Galerkin method and related algorithms for high-performance computing that are being used in industrial applications. His past and future work will continue to influence these important research areas.

“As an achieved scholar and researcher working at the interface between applied mathematics and physical sciences, Tim Warburton will have a huge impact on the Computational Modeling and Data Analytics program in the Academy of Integrated Science,” said Michel Pleimling , director of the academy and a professor in the Department of Physics. “Through his outstanding expertise in applied computation, Tim will be instrumental in growing the CMDA community and attracting the brightest students and faculty to this innovative new program”

Warburton has received more than $3 million in research funding. He has published 42 journal articles, 28 conference proceedings papers, two book chapters, and a highly regarded graduate textbook that has been translated into Chinese, and he has delivered more than 100 invited talks. He has served on several editorial boards and is currently serving as an associate editor of the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics Journal on Scientific Computing.

From 2001 to 2004, Warburton was a faculty member at the University of New Mexico. He has served as a consultant for Hypercomp Inc. and Brown University’s Division of Applied Mathematics, and he has served as a visiting researcher at Shell Technology Center in Houston, Texas.  

He received bachelor’s and master’s degrees in mathematics from Oxford University, and master’s and doctoral degrees in applied mathematics from Brown University.

Dedicated to its motto, Ut Prosim (That I May Serve), Virginia Tech takes a hands-on, engaging approach to education, preparing scholars to be leaders in their fields and communities. As the commonwealth’s most comprehensive university and its leading research institution, Virginia Tech offers 240 undergraduate and graduate degree programs to more than 31,000 students and manages a research portfolio of $513 million. The university fulfills its land-grant mission of transforming knowledge to practice through technological leadership and by fueling economic growth and job creation locally, regionally, and across Virginia.