UCSD 1987 

I was attached for three months (April-June) to IGPP on a Green Scholarship, and for a further two months at INLS, which had just recently been established under the Directorship of Henry Abarbanel.  IGPP is wonderfully placed by the La Jolla beach, and we took full advantage.   My host at IGPP was Hassan Aref, with whom I had a close working relationship.  As Secretary of the Congress Committee of IUTAM, I was busy in 1987 preparing the programme for the 17th ICTAM to be held in Grenoble in August 1988.  (Hassan was later to take on the same role of Secretary of the Congress Committee  from 2004 until his untimely death in September 2011.)  

At INLS,  I met Michael Freedman who had the previous year been awarded the Fields Medal for his work on the Poincaré conjecture.  He took an interest in my presentation of the magnetic relaxation problem, and later proved that the magnetic energy of any topologically nontrivial field has a positive lower bound (JFM, 1988, 194, 549-451).