Laura Balzano is an Assistant Professor in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at the University of Michigan. She is an Intel Early Career Faculty Honor Fellow and received an NSF BRIGE award. She received all her degrees in Electrical Engineering: BS from Rice University, MS from the University of California in Los Angeles, and PhD from the University of Wisconsin. She received the Outstanding MS Degree of the year award from the UCLA EE Department, and the Best Dissertation award from the University of Wisconsin ECE Department. Her main research focus is on modeling with highly incomplete or corrupted data, and its applications in networks, environmental monitoring, and computer vision. Her expertise is in statistical signal processing, matrix factorization, and optimization.
Jon Zelner is an Assistant Professor in the Dept. of Epidemiology and Center for Social Epidemiology and Population Health in the UM School of Public Health. His work focuses on understanding the joint contributions of social, biological, and environmental factors to infectious disease transmission dynamics, with a particular focus on Tuberculosis (TB) transmission in high-burden contexts.
To do this, Jon uses mathematical and individual-based models to guide the design of studies and statistical tools for extracting information on infectious disease transmission from real-world spatiotemporal data. This ranges from small-scale simulation of household and community-based transmission to large-scale individual-based models of infectious disease transmission in megacities. A recurring methodological theme of this work is the challenge in navigating the tradeoff between fidelity to real-world processes and the need for parsimonious explanation of observable phenomena.
Yue Fan is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering. The primary research interest in his group is to provide a substantive knowledge on the mechanics and micro-structural evolution in complex materials systems under extreme environments via predictive modeling. In particular, they focus on describing highly disordered systems (such as glasses, grain boundaries, etc) from the perspective of potential energy landscape (PEL), and correlating materials properties with their underlying PEL structures. The ultimate goal is to facilitate the development of new science-based high performance materials with novel functions and unprecedented strength, durability, and resistance to traditional degradation and failure.
Evgueni Filipov is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering. His research interests lie in the field of deployable and reconfigurable structural systems. Folding and adaptable structures based on the principles of origami can have practical applications ranging in scale and discipline from biomedical robotics to deployable architecture.
His research is focused on developing computational tools that can simulate mechanical and multi-physical phenomena of deployable structures. The analytical models incorporate folding kinematics along with local and global phenomenological behaviors. Prof. Filipov uses finite element and constitutive modeling to better understand how geometry affects elastic deformations and other physical properties of the deployable and adaptable structures. He is interested in optimization of such systems and large scale parametric studies to explore the design space and potential applications of the systems.
Ricky Rood is a Professor of Climate and Space Sciences and Engineering. His current research and teaching focus is on climate change and its repercussions in society. His research history includes numerical modeling of trace constituents and atmospheric dynamics. He was director of NASA’s Center for Computational Science at Goddard Space Flight Center. He is currently consulting with NOAA on the Next Generation Global Prediction System.
Professor Rood is an active member of the climate science community, working on strategic approaches to the climate-change problem solving. He writes blogs for Wunderground.com and Climatepolicy.org and he is a main contributor of The Climate Workspace project, glisaclimate.org, a site that supports an online community of people working to address climate change questions and problems.
Ming Xu is an Associate Professor in the School of Natural Resources and Environment, and in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering. The focus of his research is to understand the interaction between industrial systems and the biophysical environment. His goal is to provide an understanding of driving forces of environmental pressures and to help find an alternative pathway to reduce these pressures. Prof. Xu inherently interdisciplinary research combines data science, complex systems modeling and industrial ecology.
Daniel Brown is a Professor in the School of Natural Resources and Environment. He is the Director of the Environmental Spatial Analysis Laboratory, and a Research Professor in the Survey Research Center, Institute for Social Research. His research focuses on linking landscape patterns with ecological and social processes. Professor Brown has studied vegetation types and patterns, land use and changes, climate changes and effect for over 25 years. His recent research focuses on the social and ecological aspects of land use in China, Mongolia and Africa, as well as land-use in South East Michigan and in the US Great Plains. His research requires the use of multiple methods, including Geographic information systems (GIS), computer modeling, remote sensing, social surveys and statistics.
Heather Mayes is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Chemical Engineering. Her research group uses multi-scale modeling to discover protein-sugar interactions and to harness them for renewable energy and improved health. The study of carbohydrate-protein interactions is an important step to create renewable fuels and chemicals from non-food biomass, and the results can be applied to several human diseases, including cancer and autoimmune disorders. Prof. Mayes uses computational tools in her research, including quantum mechanics, molecular dynamics, and rare-event sampling methods. She collaborates with experimental groups to understand past and guide future wet-lab studies to advance renewable chemicals and fuels, as well as disease understanding.
Phani Motamarri is an Assistant Research Scientist in the department of Mechanical Engineering. His research interests lie in the broad scope of computational materials science with emphasis on computational nano-science leading to applications in the areas of mechanics of materials and energy. His research is strongly multidisciplinary, drawing ideas from applied mathematics, data science, quantum-mechanics, solid-mechanics, materials science and scientific computing.
The current research focus lies in developing systematically improvable real-space computational methodologies and associated mathematical techniques for conducting large-scale electronic-structure (ab-initio) calculations -via- density functional theory (DFT). Massively parallel and scalable numerical algorithms using finite-elements (DFT-FE) are developed as a part of this research effort, which enabled large-scale DFT calculations on tens of thousands of atoms for the first time using finite-element basis. These computational methods will aid fundamental studies on defects in materials, molecular and nanoscale systems which otherwise would have been difficult to study with the existing state of the art computational methods. Current areas of application include — (a) first-principles modelling of energetics of point defects and dislocations in Al, Mg and its alloys which are popular in light-weighting applications to provide useful inputs to meso-scale and continuum models, (b) providing all-electron DFT input to advanced electronic structure approaches like the GW method for accurate prediction of electronic properties in semiconductor-materials.
Angela Violi is a Professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering, and adjunct faculty in Chemical Engineering, Biophysics, Macromolecular Science and Engineering, and Applied Physics. The research in the group of Violi is focused on the application of statistical mechanics and computational methods to chemically and physically oriented problems in nanomaterials and biology. The group investigates the formation mechanisms of nanomaterials for various applications, including energy and biomedical systems, and the dynamics of biological systems and their interactions with nanomaterials.