By the Numb3rs Fall 2016


The 2016 Edmund R. Michalik Distinguished Lecture in the Mathematical Sciences

Featuring Prof. J. Tinsley Oden of the Institute for Computational Engineering and Sciences at the University of Texas Austin J. Tinsley Oden

"Foundations of Predictive Computational Science: Selection and Validation of Models of Complex Systems in the Presence of Uncertainty"

Interest in a subject some call predictive computational science has emerged in recent years, mainly because of dramatic advances in computers and computational science. These advances have pushed computer modeling from a qualitative endeavor to a quantitative science in which specific predictions are sought as a basis for important, sometimes life and death, decisions: climate change,  predictive medicine, design of new materials, drug design, manufacturing processes, and many other subjects. What has fueled concerns about computer predictions, and led to the study of predictive computational science, is their reliability. What factors determine the reliability of computer predictions, particularly in the presence of inevitable uncertainties? How can one quantify the uncertainty in computer predictions when every phase of the prediction process faces often confounding uncertainties: in observational data, in model selection, in model parameters, and in targeted quantities of interest?

This lecture presents an introduction to mathematical, statistical, and philosophical issues underlying computer predictions in the presence of uncertainties. It is argued that a Bayesian approach provides the most logical setting for addressing these issues, complimented with tools from information theory. We describe OPAL-the Occam Plausibility Algorithm, as an adaptive approach to model selection and validation. The process of selection, calibration, validation, and implementation of models of tumor growth and effects of cancer treatments is described as a canonical example of an application of principles of predictive science. More>

Upcoming events

Computational Modeling and Central Pattern Generation
December 8-9, 2016
427 Thackeray Hall

ODE Uncertainty Quantification
March 5-6, 2017

Analysis on Metric Spaces
March 10-11, 2017 
704 Thackeray Hall

Workshop on PDEs and Applications
March 17-19, 2017
704 Thackeray Hall

Conference on Nonconvexity, Nonlocality and Incompatibility: From Materials to Biology
May 5 - 7, 2017