Affiliate Status Seminar – James Fairbanks – Abstraction and Composition in Modeling and Simulation


12:45 pm-2:00 pm
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Abstraction and Composition in Modeling and Simulation

Thursday, September 29, 2022, at 12:50 pm
Location: In-person MAE-A 303

James Fairbanks, PhD
Assistant Professor
Department of Computer & Information Science & Engineering
University of Florida

Scientific modeling software is especially complex because it is high-performance software that does sophisticated mathematics. This software complexity slows progress in science and engineering. In order to address these problems with automation, we need new ways of handling mathematics in software.

I will present some recent work on applying categories of diagrams for specifying multiphysics models for PDE-based simulations. This includes a graphical formalism inspired by the graphical approach to physics pioneered by the physicist Enzo Tonti. We will discuss this formalism based on category-theoretic diagrams and some applications to heat and fluid dynamics. This formalism supports automatic construction of physics simulations based on the Discrete Exterior Calculus (DEC) and I will show some results with the Decapodes.jl software system.

Relevant Paper:

James Fairbanks is an Assistant Professor in Computer and Information Science and Engineering at the University of Florida. He studies mathematical modeling and scientific computing through the lens of abstract algebra and combinatorics and leads the project. He has won both the DARPA Young Faculty and Director’s awards supporting his work on applied category theory and scientific computing. Prior to joining UF, Dr. Fairbanks was a Senior Research Engineer at the Georgia Tech Research Institute, where he ran a portfolio of DARPA and ONR sponsored research programs. He earned his Ph.D. at the Georgia Institute of Technology in Computational Science and Engineering, where he studied mathematical and computational techniques for the analysis of complex systems.

MAE Faculty Host:


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UF Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering