SIAM Conference on Computational Science and Engineering (CSE23)

Public Event

The Role of Mathematics in Solving the World's Main Challenges

Wednesday, March 1, 8pm
Amsterdam RAI – entrance G
Europaplein 24 – Amsterdam

Participation is free, registration is not necessary.

Join us for a fun and educational evening, exploring how mathematics and computing impact us each and every day.
Expert speakers will share --- in short talks that both poets and physicists will enjoy --- the many ways computational science increases our understanding of climate, energy, biology, astronomy, and even smoothies.
Come be inspired by their scientific achievements and enthusiasm! Watch for special appearances by well-known Dutch celebrities, too.

The event is an outreach activity of CSE23, open to conference attendees and the entire Amsterdam community,
with the intent of informing and inspiring listeners about the important roles that mathematics and computation play in our world. It will also be livestreamed on SIAM's Facebook to attend remotely.

View Flyer


Karen Willcox

Director, Oden Institute for Computational Engineering and Sciences and Professor, Aerospace Engineering and Engineering Mechanics; University of Texas at Austin

"Digital Twins: The personalized future of computing for complex systems"
Could you imagine one day having a dynamically evolving virtual replica of yourself that your doctor could use to drive personalized decisions to optimize your health and well-being? In engineering, these personalized dynamic computational models are known as digital twins, and are already being used to drive predictive maintenance decisions for aircraft and aircraft engines. This talk will discuss the computational science that goes into creating a digital twin, and will discuss exciting new directions for digital twins in engineering, geosciences and medicine

Magnus Fontes

General Manager of Institut Roche

"In Control of Life"
All organisms, including humans, are continuously under attack. The attacks can e.g. be intrusions by foreign pathogens, or they can result from some internal part of the living system that goes rogue and threatens the stability of the entire system. Still many of us enjoy stable and healthy existences over extended time-periods. The goal of biomedicine is to support and prolong those healthy states. I will describe how, over the last decades, detailed and massive measurements on living systems, in combination with systems biology models, have revolutionized our understanding of some fundamental life processes. Furthermore, we will look at several examples of how, in biomedicine, this new knowledge has led to precise and successful interventions to support and control human health. Finally, I will discuss what the future might hold in store for us in terms of controlling and prolonging Life.

Kate Evans

Director, Computational Sciences and Engineering Division,
Oak Ridge National Laboratory

"Math: the secret key to unlock solutions to climate change"
There are many angles to how our planet experiences climate change, and the grand challenge to understand, adapt to, and mitigate its effects will require every tool in our toolbox. Thankfully, applied mathematics is being put to use to prepare Earth and its neighborhoods for challenges of a warming world. This talk will focus on how math enables us to study the flow of water around the globe, tracking individual cloud droplets, continent-sized weather events, ocean gyres, and ice sheet flow with precision.

Changes in water patterns lead to deluges and droughts, so we use math to recreate and analyze ocean and atmosphere behavior using the world’s largest supercomputers.

Luke Bennetts

School of Mathematical Sciences, University of Adelaide

"Mathematical challenges at the heart of one of Earth’s lungs"
The Southern Ocean is known as one of Earth’s lungs as it is both a massive carbon sink and an oxygen factory. If that wasn’t enough, it also soaks up much of the excess heat produced by human activities. But the Southern Ocean is changing rapidly in response to warming temperatures and a key scientific question is how long it can continue to slow climate change. Numerical models are the sole means to predict future scenarios for the complex Southern Ocean environment, which is governed by rich multi-scale dynamics spanning microscale turbulent mixing to the evolution of floating ice shelves as large as countries. Breakthroughs in understanding Southern Ocean dynamics are needed to generate higher confidence in models, and hence better resilience for global communities against climate change. I will present a selection of the mathematical challenges at the heart of this grand scientific challenge for our generation.

Caoimhe Rooney

Research Scientist at NASA and Co-Founder at Mathematigals

"Mathematics: from smoothies to the stars"
Ever wonder how blenders manage to chop fruit and smash ice into tiny particles to make the perfect smoothie? Or perhaps you’ve looked up at the night sky and pondered how scientists claim to know what a planet is made of, even though it is hundreds of light-years away? Both of these problems, as well as countless others, can be studied and explained using applied mathematics. Novel mathematical models allow scientists to simulate complex, physical processes that describe how our world works. In this talk, we will discuss some of the many ways that maths can be applied to further our understanding of the universe, from everyday tasks such as making a smoothie, to unlocking the secrets of the cosmos by searching for signs of life.

Bert Zwart

Centrum Wiskunde & Informatica, Amsterdam and Eindhoven University of Technology

"Designing the smart grid of the future"
The power grid has been one of the most significant engineering achievements in the history of mankind. It has kept our lights on for over a century, but is currently facing immense transformations. To combat climate change, countries increasingly rely on renewable energy generated by solar and wind, but these sources of energy are not always available. How do we keep the lights on in an affordable way, and how do we manage the increasing risk of blackouts? To facilitate this transition, the electricity network needs a radical transformation to deal with increased levels of usage, variability, and decentralization. Indeed, the future smart grid will look dramatically different from the current electricity network, just like today’s internet looks nothing like the 20th-century telephone network. In addition to the many technical, economic, regulatory, and societal challenges, the design and analysis of the future smart grid requires the development of novel mathematical foundations. This talk will discuss some of the challenges that arise across the entire spectrum of mathematics, including geometry, optimization, dynamical systems, and probability.

Alexander Rinnooy Kan

University of Amsterdam

Closing of conference by Prof.dr Alexander Rinnooy Kan, on the essential and crucial role of mathematics for society and industry.