This special issue features a selection of papers presented at the 2006 Interna- tional Conference on Applied Mathematics and Interdisciplinary Research-Nankai, June 12-15, 2006, held at the newly inaugurated Chern Institute of Mathematics located on the campus of Nankai University in Tianjin, P. R. China. This con- ference focused on the interface between applied and computational mathematics and a variety of vibrant research areas such as soft matter physics, rheology of complex fluids, fluid dynamics, and new material phases, etc.. It attracted about 60 researchers around the world with expertise in various related disciplines. The meeting provided a unique opportunity for the participants, as well as the faculty and graduate students at Nankai University, to experience an innovatory form of academic interaction: interdisciplinary research.
Interdisciplinary research has emerged as an important and vibrant research for- mat as the boundaries between traditional disciplines are evolving and redefining. This is especially true in science and engineering communities, with which applied mathematics has traditionally maintained a strong tie. Now, it must face the new challenge and actively embrace the emerging interdisciplinary research platform. This conference was held under the backdrop of this pressing need and aimed at bridging applied and computational mathematics with other vibrant disciplines to facilitate cross-disciplinary research activities.
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