Modeling the transmission of infectious aerosols

By | Feature, Research

Inhalation of micron-sized droplets represents the dominant transmission mechanism for influenza and rhinovirus, and recent research shows that it is likely also the case for the novel coronavirus.  Increasing evidence suggests that the transmission of infectious aerosols is more complex than previously thought. Coughing, sneezing and even talking yield a gaseous flow field near the infected person that is dynamic and turbulent in nature. Existing models commonly employed in simulations of aerosol transmission attempt to represent the effect of turbulence using random walk models that are often phenomenological in nature, employing adjustable parameters and inherently assuming the turbulent fluctuations ‘felt’ by a droplet do not depend upon direction. To design physics-informed guidelines to minimize the spread of this virus, improved predictive modeling capabilities for effectively tracking the aerosol paths are needed. Dr. Aaron M. Lattanzi and Prof. Jesse Capecelatro, from Mechanical Engineering and MICDE are tackling this problem by focusing on mathematical modeling of aerosol dispersion. They derived analytical solutions for the mean-squared-displacement resulting from systems of stochastic differential equations. A key element of their methodology is that the solution connects stochastic theory inputs to statistics present in high-fidelity simulations or experiments, providing a framework for developing improved models.

Simple simulation of aerosol dispersion from a single-point source. The grey, cone-like surface is the approximation using Force Langevin (FL) theory and the colored particles are from integration of Newton’s equations with stochastic drag forces.

Prof. Capecelatro’s research group develops physics-based models and numerical algorithms to leverage supercomputers for prediction and optimization of the complex flows relevant to energy and the environment. The main focus of their research involves developing robust and scalable numerical tools to investigate the multiphysics and multiscale phenomena under various flow conditions, like those that they study here. They recently submitted their findings to the Journal of Fluid Mechanics, and are continuing to work on this problem hoping it will help understand the transmission of COVID-19 and therefore help optimize current guidelines.

Applications for MICDE Graduate Fellowships are being accepted

By | Feature

Since 2014, MICDE has offered top-off fellowships to current and prospective students whose research project involves the use and advancement of scientific computing techniques and practices. These fellowships, which carry a $4,000 stipend, are meant to augment other sources of funding. Applications from students enrolled in one of MICDE’s educational programs are being accepted.

The deadline to submit an application is Fri., June 19, 2020. See the Call for Applications.

group photo of 2019-20 fellows

2019-2020 MICDE Fellows (from left to right) Guodong Chen (Aero), Suyash Tandon (ME), Jiale Tan (Epidemiology), Chongxing Fan (ClaSp), Kelly Broen (Epidemiology), Bradley Dice (Physics), Liz Livingston (ME), Will Weaver (EEB), Yuan Yao (ME), Samuel Baltz (Pol Sci), Joe Hollowed (Physics), Minki Kim (ME), Allison Roessler (Chem), Fuming Chang (ClaSp), Maral Budak (Biophysics), Saibal De (Math), Xian Yu (IOE), Jiaming Zhang (Physics). [Not pictured: Thomas Waltmann (Physics), Anil Yildirim (Aero), and Jessica Conrad (IAM)]

U-M draws global attention for MOOC: Problem Solving using Computational Thinking

By | Educational, Feature, Research

Problem Solving using Computational Thinking, a Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) launched by the University of Michigan in November of 2019, has already drawn more than 1,200 learners from around the globe. The Michigan Institute for Computational Discovery & Engineering (MICDE) and the University of Michigan Center for Academic Innovation partnered to create this course. The idea for this MOOC arose from the team’s recognition of the ubiquity of computation. However, the developers were equally keen to distinguish this offering from MOOCs on programming and to instead highlight how broader computational thinking also makes its presence felt in somewhat unexpected domains.

Using computational thinking, the MOOC challenges learners with a series of real-world examples, including how it is possible to help plan and prepare for a flu season–a subject that has gained particular relevance in the months following the launch of this MOOC, track human rights violations or monitor the safety of crowds.

While enrollment numbers are encouraging, the work being done by learners within the MOOC is most inspiring. For their final project, learners have applied the computational thinking strategies discussed throughout the MOOC to a wide array of noble social problems in hopes of finding cogent solutions.

Not surprisingly, there have been several projects that seek to address challenges related to COVID 19.

The MOOC’s Epidemiology Case Study walks the student through the process of building a communicable disease transmission model.

One learner wrote: “For the final project, I am assuming the role of a member of the team responsible to combat COVID-19 from India and I have to decide on what should be our strategy to fight coronavirus in India, be it the extension of a lockdown or any other important decision related to this pandemic.”

In another project, a learner assuming the role of a Wuhan pathologist wrote that they must “decide what the Chinese government’s strategy against coronaviruses” should be.

Learners addressing today’s most pressing societal concerns, such as COVID-19, exemplifies the transformative potential of open-access, digital, and distance education made possible by a MOOC.

Across the board, the MOOC has received tremendously positive reviews, with an overall course rating of 5 out of 5 stars. One learner, in particular, wrote in their course review: “I really enjoyed this course! It got me prepared to study for an entry into a career working with computers!!” Another learner simply stated: “Fantastic, loved it!”

The developers of this MOOC are drawn from the School of Public Health, the College of Engineering, the School of Education and MICDE. Problem Solving using Computational Thinking is available in Coursera through Michigan Online. To learn more please visit online.umich.edu/courses/problem-solving-using-computational-thinking/.

U-M modeling epidemiologists helping navigate the COVID-19 pandemic

By | Feature, News, Research

[top] Screenshoot of the Michigan COVID-19 Modeling Dashboard (epimath.github.io/covid-19-modeling/); [bottom left] Marisa Eisenberg (Epidemiology, Complex Systems and Mathematics); [bottom right] Jonathan Zelner (Epidemiology).

The COVID-19 pandemic is producing massive amounts of information that more often than not lead to different interpretations. The accurate analysis of this daily input of data is crucial to predict possible outcomes and design solutions rapidly. These can only be achieved with expertise in modeling infectious diseases, and with the power of computational science theory and infrastructure. U-M’s Epidemiology Department, in the School of Public Health, has a very strong cohort of researchers who work on mathematically modeling the dynamics of infectious diseases, the analysis of these models, and large scale computer simulations — all to understand the spread and mitigation of pandemics. They are applying their long experience and expertise to the current COVID-19 outbreak, aiding the government make informed decisions, and helping media outlets produce accurate reports for the general public. Marisa Eisenberg, Associate Professor of Epidemiology, of Complex Systems, and of Mathematics, and her colleagues are using a differential equation transmission modeling approach to analyze scenarios and generate short-term forecasts for the COVID-19 epidemic in State of Michigan. They are communicating directly with the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services and providing critical tools, like the Michigan COVID-19 Modeling Dashboard, to inform decision-making. Prof. Eisenberg’s team is helping to forecast the numbers of laboratory-confirmed cases, fatalities, hospitalized patients, and hospital capacity issues (such as ICU beds needed), and examining how social distancing can impact the spread of the epidemic. Prof. Jonathan Zelner, whose research is focused on using spatial and social network analysis and dynamic modeling to prevent infectious diseases, is part of a group helping map the outbreak in Michigan. He also has provided valuable insights to journalists contributing to a better understanding of the situation, including what made New York City so vulnerable to the coronavirus (NYT), the role of wealth inequality during epidemics (CNBC) and what professions and communities are particularly vulnerable to infection (NG). 

Professors Eisenberg and Zelner are not alone in this fight. Many more researchers from U-M’s School of Public Health and throughout campus have risen to the challenges posed by this pandemic. 

Combat COVID-19 using newly available HPC resources: COVID-19 High Performance Computing Consortium

By | Feature, HPC, News, Research

COVID-19 High Performance Computing Consortium

On March 23, 3030 the White House announced the launch of a new partnership that aims to unleash U.S. supercomputing resources to fight COVID-19: the COVID-19 High Performance Computing Consortium. The goal of the Consortium is to bring together the Federal government, industry, and academic leaders to provide access to the world’s most powerful high-performance computing resources in support of COVID-19 research. The access to these resources has the potential to significantly advance the pace of scientific discovery in the fight to stop the virus.

To request access to resources of the COVID-19 HPC Consortium, you must prepare a description, no longer than two pages, of your proposed work. To ensure your request is directed to the appropriate resource(s), your description should include the following sections. Do not include any proprietary information in proposals, since your request will be reviewed by staff from a number of consortium sites. It is expected that teams who receive Consortium access will publish their results in the open scientific literature.

Learn more at https://covid19-hpc.mybluemix.net .

 

 

 

 

Learn more about the COVID-19 outbreak through a panel of experts from the Society of Risk Analysis

By | Feature, Happenings, News

Seth Guikema, Professor of Industrial & Operations Engineering, MICDE affiliated faculty, and President of the Society of Risk Analysis moderated the webinar on Coronavirus: Risk Analysis Perspectives on COVID-19 Outbreak on Thursday, March 12, 2020. The webinar featured a panel of risk experts from the Society of Risk Analysis. If you missed the webinar yesterday you can still watch a recording of the panel discussion online.

 

2020 Argonne Training Program on Extreme-Scale Computing (ATPESC)

By | Feature, SC2 jobs

2020 Argonne Training Program on Extreme-Scale Computing (ATPESC)

Application deadline: March 2, 2020.

There are no fees to participate in ATPESC. Domestic airfare, meals, and lodging are also provided.

Apply for an opportunity to learn the tools and techniques needed to carry out scientific computing research on the world’s most powerful supercomputers. ATPESC participants will be granted access to DOE’s leadership-class systems at the ALCF, OLCF, and NERSC. This year’s program will take place July 26–August 7, 2020.

PROGRAM CURRICULUM

Renowned scientists and leading HPC experts will serve as lecturers and guide the hands-on sessions. The core curriculum will cover:

  • Hardware architectures
  • Programming models and languages
  • Data-intensive computing and I/O
  • Visualization and data analysis
  • Numerical algorithms and software for extreme-scale science
  • Performance tools and debuggers
  • Software productivity
  • Machine learning and deep learning for science

ELIGIBILITY AND APPLICATION

Doctoral students, postdocs, and computational scientists interested in attending ATPESC can review eligibility and application details on the website.

New MOOC in Computational Thinking has launched!

By | Educational, Feature, Happenings

The Michigan Institute for Computational Discovery & Engineering and the University of Michigan Center for Academic Innovation have partnered to launch a Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) titled Problem Solving using Computational Thinking. The idea for this MOOC arose from the team’s recognition of the ubiquity of computation. However, the developers were equally keen to distinguish this offering from MOOCs on programming, and to instead highlight how broader computational thinking also makes its presence felt in somewhat unexpected domains. The MOOC is organized in a series of real-world examples that includes how, using computational thinking, it is possible to help plan and prepare for a flu season, track human rights violations or monitor the safety of crowds. The process of computational thinking that this MOOC focuses on ranges from problem identification, through abstraction to evaluating solutions. Problem Solving using Computational Thinking seeks to introduce students and teachers to the systematic thinking needed to conceptualize a problem with the intent of eventually using some computational tools to solve it.

The developers of this MOOC are drawn from the School of Public Health, the College of Engineering, the School of Education and MICDE. Problem Solving using Computational Thinking is available in Coursera through Michigan Online. To learn more please visit online.umich.edu/courses/problem-solving-using-computational-thinking/.

Introducing the new Clare Boothe Luce Graduate Fellows at the University of Michigan

By | Feature, News

The Michigan Institute for Computational Discovery and Engineering is pleased to announce the recipients of the Clare Boothe Luce graduate fellowships at the University of Michigan. Jessica Conrad, MS, currently an internee at LLNL, and Elizabeth Livingston, MS, a graduate of the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, will be joining the University of Michigan in the Fall of 2019 to work towards their PhD. They were chosen because of their exceptional academic records and excellent preparation for graduate studies in computational sciences. Elizabeth will join the Mechanical Engineering department in the College of Engineering, and Jessica will join the Applied and Interdisciplinary Mathematics program in the College of Literature, Sciences and the Arts. As required by the fellowship, both students will enroll in the joint PhD in Scientific Computing program.

Elizabeth Livingston, Clare Boothe Luce Fellow at the University of Michigan

Elizabeth Livingston completed a BSc in Engineering Mechanics (with a minor in Computational Science and Engineering) and a MS in Mechanical Engineering at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. Elizabeth will join Prof. Garikipati’s research group in Mechanical Engineering. Elizabeth will carry out research in computational modeling of biomedical engineering problems. Of particular interest to her is the growth and remodeling of the cardio-vascular system. She will apply cutting-edge techniques of data-driven computational modeling to this topic using principles of scientific computing, including machine learning, uncertainty quantification, and finite element methods.

Elizabeth has a strong academic background, thriving while performing research in fields where women are underrepresented. Her ambition is to become a university faculty member, doing research in computational science. She looks forward to collaborating with colleagues and working with students to help them to succeed as others have helped her.

Jessica Conrad has a BS in mathematics and public health, a master’s in biostatistics, and an excellent track record of computational research both in her training and current work at Los Alamos National Laboratories. This background forms an ideal foundation for blending computing and mathematics in her PhD work, which will enable her to build a successful career in STEM. Jessica’s proposed area of study is in inverse problems in mathematical epidemiology, particularly focused on using computational and mathematical methods to gain useful insights into public health problems. A critical part of this work will include developing computational approaches to parameter identifiability. Conrad plans to work with Prof. Marisa Eisenberg, an expert in identifiability and infectious disease modeling, as one of her two primary co-mentors in the AIM program.

Jessica Conrad, Clare Boothe Luce Fellow at the University of Michigan

The Clare Boothe Luce program is funded by the Henry Luce Foundation. The program was created by Clare Boothe Luce, with the goal of increasing the participation of women in the sciences, mathematics and engineering at every level of higher education. It also serves as a catalyst for colleges and universities to be proactive in their own efforts toward this goal. At the University of Michigan, the program aims to increase women’s participation in the scientific computing community by recruiting top-of-the class women into the PhD in Scientific Computing program. The program is designed to allow the fellows to focus on their academic success by funding their first 3 years in the PhD, freeing them to try high-risk, innovative research projects in a unique interdisciplinary program, with ample networking opportunities and career support.

U-M partners with Cavium on Big Data computing platform

By | Feature, General Interest, Happenings, HPC, News

A new partnership between the University of Michigan and Cavium Inc., a San Jose-based provider of semiconductor products, will create a powerful new Big Data computing cluster available to all U-M researchers.

The $3.5 million ThunderX computing cluster will enable U-M researchers to, for example, process massive amounts of data generated by remote sensors in distributed manufacturing environments, or by test fleets of automated and connected vehicles.

The cluster will run the Hortonworks Data Platform providing Spark, Hadoop MapReduce and other tools for large-scale data processing.

“U-M scientists are conducting groundbreaking research in Big Data already, in areas like connected and automated transportation, learning analytics, precision medicine and social science. This partnership with Cavium will accelerate the pace of data-driven research and opening up new avenues of inquiry,” said Eric Michielssen, U-M associate vice president for advanced research computing and the Louise Ganiard Johnson Professor of Engineering in the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science.

“I know from experience that U-M researchers are capable of amazing discoveries. Cavium is honored to help break new ground in Big Data research at one of the top universities in the world,” said Cavium founder and CEO Syed Ali, who received a master of science in electrical engineering from U-M in 1981.

Cavium Inc. is a leading provider of semiconductor products that enable secure and intelligent processing for enterprise, data center, wired and wireless networking. The new U-M system will use dual socket servers powered by Cavium’s ThunderX ARMv8-A workload optimized processors.

The ThunderX product family is Cavium’s 64-bit ARMv8-A server processor for next generation Data Center and Cloud applications, and features high performance custom cores, single and dual socket configurations, high memory bandwidth and large memory capacity.

Alec Gallimore, the Robert J. Vlasic Dean of Engineering at U-M, said the Cavium partnership represents a milestone in the development of the College of Engineering and the university.

“It is clear that the ability to rapidly gain insights into vast amounts of data is key to the next wave of engineering and science breakthroughs. Without a doubt, the Cavium platform will allow our faculty and researchers to harness the power of Big Data, both in the classroom and in their research,” said Gallimore, who is also the Richard F. and Eleanor A. Towner Professor, an Arthur F. Thurnau Professor, and a professor both of aerospace engineering and of applied physics.

Along with applications in fields like manufacturing and transportation, the platform will enable researchers in the social, health and information sciences to more easily mine large, structured and unstructured datasets. This will eventually allow, for example, researchers to discover correlations between health outcomes and disease outbreaks with information derived from socioeconomic, geospatial and environmental data streams.

U-M and Cavium chose to run the cluster on Hortonworks Data Platform, which is based on open source Apache Hadoop. The ThunderX cluster will deliver high performance computer services for the Hadoop analytics and, ultimately, a total of three petabytes of storage space.

“Hortonworks is excited to be a part of forward-leading research at the University of Michigan exploring low-powered, high-performance computing,” said Nadeem Asghar, vice president and global head of technical alliances at Hortonworks. “We see this as a great opportunity to further expand the platform and segment enablement for Hortonworks and the ARM community.”