The Third Pillar of Science

  • Speaker
  • Douglas Arnold, Ph.D.Professor of Mathematics, School of Mathematics, University of Minnesota
Date & Time


About Simons Foundation Presidential Lectures

Simons Foundation Presidential Lectures are free public colloquia centered on four main themes: Biology, Physics, Mathematics and Computer Science, and Neuroscience and Autism Science. These curated, high-level scientific talks feature leading scientists and mathematicians and are intended to foster discourse and drive discovery among the broader NYC-area research community. We invite researchers in the area — as well as interested members of the metropolitan public — to join us for this weekly lecture series.
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In the late 20th century, science underwent a revolution as computational science emerged as the third mode of scientific inquiry alongside experiment and theory. Computer simulation of physical reality has played an equally transformative role in virtually all areas of technology, affecting many aspects of modern life. We now depend on simulation to design, predict and optimize natural and engineered systems of all sorts, ranging from mechanical to chemical to electronic and scales ranging from atomic to terrestrial to cosmological. Mathematical algorithms have been crucial to these advances, even more so than advances in computer technology. In this talk, Douglas Arnold will discuss some of the key ideas that have emerged and the ongoing challenges facing computational mathematics in simulating the physical world.

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About the Speaker

Arnold is the McKnight Presidential Professor of Mathematics at the University of Minnesota. His research interests include numerical analysis, partial differential equations, mechanics, and in particular, the interplay between these fields. He also served as director of the Institute for Mathematics and its Application and as president of the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics. He held a Guggenheim Fellowship and is a foreign member of the Norwegian Academy of Arts and Letters.

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