RADLAB Seminar

Maxwells Equations and Computational Electromagnetics after 150 Years

Weng Cho ChewProfessor of Electrical and Computer EngineeringUniversity of Illinois-Urbana-Champaign

Maxwell's equations have been around for over 150 years since its inception. But due to their enduring legacy, their importance has not diminished over the years. In fact, electromagnetic theory finds applications in increasing number of areas and relationship to deeper mathematics. For instance, electromagnetics is important for quantum information, quantum optics, and
increasingly being used in photonic and biotechnologies. An amazing feature of Maxwell's equations is their validity from subatomic length scale to galactic length scale. Consequently, they are valid over a vast frequency range with diverse wavelengths. Furthermore, they are also valid in classical as well as in quantum electromagnetics. Because of the highly predictive value of Maxwell's equations, there has been always a quest for their efficient and accurate solutions. Various methods to solve Maxwell's equations have been developed since the dawn of their discovery. With the advent of computers, the need for more accurate and robust solutions does not diminish. In this presentation will discuss the history of different solution methods in electromagnetic theory, ranging from analytic methods, to approximate methods, to numerical methods, namely, the computational electromagnetics methods. We will also discuss future directions in this area.

W.C. Chew is a Professor in the department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign (UIUC). He received all his degrees from MIT. His research interests are in wave and field physics, specializing in fast algorithms in computational electromagnetics for the last 20 years. After graduating from MIT in 1980, he worked at Schlumberger-Doll Research. In 1985, he joined UIUC, and was the director of its Electromagnetics Lab from 1995-2007. He was the Founder Professor at UIUC from 2000 to 2005; from 2005 until 2009, the Y.T. Lo Chair Professor; and since 2013, the Fisher Distinguished Professor. During 2007-2011, he served as the Dean of Engineering at The University of Hong Kong. He has authored and coauthored three books, over 400 journal papers, and over 500 conference papers. He is a fellow of various societies, and an ISI highly cited author. In 2008, he received the CT Tai Distinguished Educator Award from IEEE AP-S; in 2013 he was elected to the National Academy of Engineering; and in 2015 he won the ACES Computational Electromagnetics Award.

Sponsored by


Faculty Host

Eric Michielssen