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MICDE Seminar: Chris Rycroft, Department of Applied Mathematics, Harvard University

November 10, 2017 @ 3:00 pm - 4:00 pm

Venue: 1084 East Hall

Chris Rycroft

Bio: Chris Rycroft is an Assistant Professor of Applied Mathematics in the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences at Harvard University. From 2010–2013, he was a Morrey Assistant Professor in the UC Berkeley Mathematics Department, and he was involved in the Bay Area Physical Sciences-Oncology where he collaborated with several experimental groups at Berkeley and UC San Francisco, on using computational modeling to understand the role of mechanical forces between cells and their environment. Prof. Rycroft’s research focuses on mathematical modeling and scientific computation, particularly for interdisciplinary applications in science and engineering. He works on a variety of problems, and has collaborated in a number of fields including physics, biology, materials science, and mechanical engineering. His current interests include questions that relate to the mechanics of materials, numerical algorithms, and geometry. Several of his recent projects relate to energy production and efficiency, such as modeling bulk metallic glasses, and developing high-throughput screening techniques to find advanced materials for carbon capture applications. He has also released several software libraries, including Voro++ for three-dimensional computations of the Voronoi tessellation.

The reference map technique for simulating complex materials and multi-body interactions

Conventional computational methods often create a dilemma for fluid-structure interaction problems. Typically, solids are simulated using a Lagrangian approach with grid that moves with the material, whereas fluids are simulated using an Eulerian approach with a fixed spatial grid, requiring some type of interfacial coupling between the two different perspectives. Here, a fully Eulerian method for simulating structures immersed in a fluid will be presented. By introducing a reference map variable to model finite-deformation constitutive relations in the structures on the same grid as the fluid, the interfacial coupling problem is highly simplified. The method is particularly well suited for simulating soft, highly-deformable materials and many-body contact problems, and several examples from engineering and biology will be presented. This is joint work with Ken Kamrin (MIT).

This is a joint seminar with the Interdisciplinary Applied Mathematics seminar series.

Prof. Rycroft is being hosted by Prof. Alben (Mathematics). If you would like to meet him please email Prof. Alben at or Dr. Mariana Carrasco-Teja at


November 10, 2017
3:00 pm - 4:00 pm
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1084 East Hall
530 Church St.
Ann Arbor, MI 48109 United States
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