For decades, high-end computer-aided simulations have helped researchers gain new insights into the nature of the physical world. But only relatively recently has computational science developed the ability to quantitatively predict the behavior of physical phenomena, and taken its place next to theory and physical experimentation as the third pillar of scientific inquiry. In this talk, I will explain the mathematical algorithms and computing hardware that fueled this transformation. I will also discuss what the future of scientific computing holds, given the demise of Moore’s law, using computational electromagnetics as an example. Finally, I will argue that U-M is ideally positioned to become a national leader in research computing, giving researchers in its 19 schools and colleges a competitive advantage in their pursuit of engineering, scientific, and medical discoveries.
Eric Michielssen is Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science and Associate Vice President for Advanced Research Computing. He was also the founding director of the Michigan Institute for Computational Discovery and Engineering (MICDE). Eric is an international leader in the field of computational electromagnetics (CEM), which involves the development and application of computer algorithms to simulate the generation, propagation, and interaction of electromagnetic radiation with matter. He has applied his techniques to the characterization of semiconductor and microelectronic devices, photonic crystals and optical phenomena, aircraft scattering, and terrain detection, to name a few.
Prof. Michielssen’s research on fundamental algorithms is found in the codes and simulations of countless other researchers as well as commercially available simulators. His more than 500 journal and conference publications have been cited more than 10,500 times, with an h-index of 43. Eric serves as Editor-in-Chief of the International Journal of Numerical Modeling, and served on the National Academy’s Committee on Mathematical Foundations of Uncertainty Quantification, Validation, and Verification. He is an IEEE Fellow.