Industrial Mathematics Seminar

Sponsored jointly by the Fields Institute
and the University of Toronto

Monday, April 7, 1997, 4-6 p.m.
The Fine Art of Dimensional Analysis and Modeling
Dr. Thomas Szirtes, P.Eng.
Thomas Szirtes and Associates, Inc.

Thomas Szirtes has a B.Eng. degree from the Technical University of Budapest, Hungary and M.Eng. and Ph.D. degrees from McGill University, Montreal - all in mechanical engineering. He was a Specialist Engineer at RCA Ltd. in Montreal, and a Senior Staff Engineer at SPAR Aerospace Ltd. in Toronto. He was one of the Project Engineers of the Shuttle Robotic Arm (CANADARM), for which he received NASA's "Achievement Award". As resident advisor, he was also involved in the design of the maintenance manipulator for the Princeton University Plasma Physics Laboratory's TOKAMAK Fusion Test Reactor in N.J., USA. Dr. Szirtes has published over 60 scientific and engineering papers as well as a college text in mathematical logic; his book on dimensional methods will be published by McGraw-Hill (New York) in 1997. He taught mechanics at the Technical University of Budapest, mechanics at McGill University, and mathematical logic at Loyola College in Montreal. He was the founding editor of SPAR Journal of Engineering and Technology. Dr. Szirtes is now the president of his own consulting firm and spends his time consulting, writing and teaching.


The 'dimensional method' provides an extremely potent tool in the designs and tests of physical systems. It is also efficient in deriving functional relations among physical variables by non-analytic means, in checking the correctness of analytically derived formulas, and in the logistic of graphical presentation of multivariable relations.

A new and elegant technique, based on matrix arithmetic, is presented yielding "dimensionless variables" from which the case-specific model laws can be simply read off. These laws then serve as bases for all model experimentation. The lecture also deals with the application of heuristic reasoning, augmented by a number of practical and theoretical examples from the fields of engineering and applied sciences. As well, a short list of supportive literature is given.


The Industrial Mathematics Seminar is offered to any interested participant -- no reservation is necessary. The Institute is located at 222 College Street, between University Ave. and Spadina Ave. near Huron. Parking is available in pay lots located behind the Fields Institute building (quarters and loonies only), across College St. from the Institute (cash only), and underground at the Clarke Institute of Psychiatry (entry on Spadina Ave., just north of College St.)

Information on the 1996-97 Industrial Mathematics Seminars is available through the Fields Institute's world wide web site. For quick reference, place an electronic bookmark on the web page
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