Professor Schatz's field of research is numerical analysis. He has been principally involved in the analysis and construction of finite element methods for the approximate solution of partial differential equations. In particular he has been investigating both the local behavior of such matters and another phenomena associated with them called superconvergence. Many physical problems have solutions that are smooth in some places and are nonsmooth (having singularities) in others. In the numerical solution of these problems, the singular part of the solution is not only difficult to approximate but often lowers the quality of (pollutes) the approximation even where the solution is nice. He has been involved in understanding this phenomena and finding a way to improve the approximations.
Another facet of the research is to find properties of the computed approximate solutions which, when taken into account, can be used to produce better approximations than one has before. These are so called superconvergent approximations and their importance resides in the fact that the original approximations are usually difficult to obtain but usually the new approximates may be orders of magnitude better and easily computed from them.