Few things in nature are as dramatic, and potentially dangerous, as ocean waves. The impact they have on our daily lives extends from shipping to the role they play in driving the global climate. From a theoretical viewpoint water waves pose rich challenges: solutions to the equations that describe fluid motion are elusive, and whether they even exist in the most general case is one of the hardest unanswered questions in mathematics.
The academic impact of the programme can be measured by the number of subsequent publications by its participants. These include two recent books on water waves ( and ), as well as a host of papers in prestigious journals including Nature, the Journal of Fluid Mechanics, and the Proceedings of the Royal Society of London A. Participants who were brought together by the programme continue to meet at international research events. One of them, Vladimir Zakharov, was awarded the 2003 Dirac medal for his work on weak turbulence theory in water waves.