William Symes

Noah Harding Professor (Computational and Applied Mathematics), Professor (Earth Science)

Room Number: Duncan Hall 2009
(713) 348-5997


AB (mathematics), University of California-Berkeley, 1971
PhD (mathematics), Harvard University, 1975

Awards & Honors

Desiderius Erasmus Award, European Association of Geoscientists and Engineers, 2015
Geosciences Career Award, Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics, 2011.
Fellow, Institute of Physics, 2011.
Fellow, Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics (inaugural class) 2009.
Ralph E. Kleinman Prize, Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics, 2001.
Ordway Distinguished Visiting Professor, School of Mathematics, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis MN, 1998.


Inverse problems, computational geophysics, software engineering

Selected Publications

C. C. Stolk and W. W. Symes, Kinematic artifacts in prestack depth migration, Geophysics, 69 (2004), pp. 562-575.

B. Biondi and W. W. Symes, Angle domain common image gathers for migration velocity analysis by wavefield continuation imaging, Geophysics, 69 (2004), pp. 1283- 1298.

W. W. Symes, Reverse time migration with optimal checkpointing, Geophysics, 72 (2007), pp. SM213-222.

J. Li and W. W. Symes, Interval velocity estimation via NMO-based differential semblance, Geophysics 72 (2007), pp. U75-U88.

W. W. Symes, Approximate linearized inversion by optimal scaling of prestack depth migration, Geophysics, 73 (2008), pp. R23-R36.

W. W. Symes, Migration Velocity Analysis and Waveform Inversion, Geophysical Prospecting 56 (2008), 765-790.

P. Shen and W. W. Symes,, Automatic velocity analysis via shot profile migration, Geophysics 73 (2008), pp. VE49-VE60.

W. W. Symes, A. D. Padula, and S. D. Scott, A software framework for the abstract expression of coordinate free linear algebra and optimization algorithms, ACM Transactions on Mathematical Software 36 (2009), pp. 8:1-8:36.

W. W. Symes and T. Vdovina, Interface error analysis for numerical wave propagation, Computational Geosciences 13 (2009), pp. 363-370.

C. C. Stolk, M. de Hoop, and W. W. Symes, Kinematics of shot-geophone migration, Geophysics 74 (2009), pp. WCA18-WCA34.

W. W. Symes, The Seismic Reflection Inverse Problem, Inverse Problems 25 (2009), pp. 123008:1-24.

M. E. Enriquez, D. Sun, and W. W. Symes, From Modeling to Inversion: Designing a Well-Adapted Simulator, Geophysical Prospecting 59 (2011), pp. 814-833.

R. Nammour and W. W. Symes, Multi-parameter inversion: Cramer’s rule and phase space scaling, International Journal of Geophysics 2011 (2011), Article ID 780291.

K. Blazek, C. C. Stolk, and W. W. Symes, A mathematical framework for inverse wave problems in heterogeneous media, Inverse Problems 29 (2013), pp. 065001:1–34.

P. Shen and W. W. Symes, Horizontal Contraction in Image Domain for Velocity Inversion, Geophysics, in press.

J. Hou and W. W. Symes, An Approximate Inverse to the Extended Born Modeling Operator, Geophysics, in press.