Grant awarded to the study of uncertainties in simulations

Mechanical engineering professor, George Biros, at The University of Texas at Austin has been awarded a $2.85 million grant by the US Department of Energy for the quantification of uncertainties in large-scale computer simulations. According to Biros, the mathematical structure that defines simulations of physical systems is for the most part well known – it’s the imprecise or unaccounted input values that cause uncertainty to arise. When dealing with large-scale simulations, even a relatively small number of unknowns can have significant effects on model accuracy as they propagate through the system.

Leading a team of researchers, Biros will focus on the melting of continental ice sheets in Antarctica, complex fluid flows (such as what is observed in potential algae biofuels), and complex multiscale models.These three systems are already the focus of three other ICES faculty members who will contribute to the project. The members are: Omar Ghattas, who directs the ICES centre for Computational Geosciences and Optimization; Robert Moser, who directs the ICES centre for Predictive Engineering and Computational Sciences; and J. Tinsley Oden, who leads the ICES Multiscale Modeling Group and serves as the institute’s director.

In addition to the ICES researchers, Massachusetts Institute of Technology aeronautics and astronautics professor, Youssef Marzouk, will be contributing mathematical and algorithmic innovations in all areas, and Jeffrey Vetter, leader of the Future Technologies Group at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, will aid in scaling the new methodologies to supercomputers, such as those at UT’s Texas Advanced Computing Center.

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