• research

  • Research

    Computing and Data Science for Scientific Discovery

    As the world becomes increasingly digital, computation and data are transforming every research area at SU. Some disciplines, such as mechanics or physics, have been relying on scientific computing for decades, other however, such as archaeology or medicine, have barely started to integrate and investigate data.

    The institute is dedicated to supporting and promoting a network of researchers who can design and apply mathematical and computational methods in solving scientific challenges across sciences, humanities and medicine. These scientists work together within the institute on interdisciplinary projects, but remain also part of their home faculties. In this spirit, a right balance is achieved between disciplinary excellence and interdisciplinary cooperation.

    We are achieving this objective via:

    Learn below about our active projects.

    Incubated team projects

    Our Scientific Advisory Committee selectively seed fund new ambitious collaborations that span several disciplines and that are organized as team projects led by renowned scientists. The list of current and past projects represent an impressive network of computing and data-driven projects across humanities, medicine and sciences.

    Active team projects

    Sponsored junior teams

    The Junior teams programme is designed to examine the technical feasibility of innovative ideas and concepts, to assess the viability of potential future team projects, and to expand the expertise of the institute by bringing in new partners.

    Junior projects are intended to be short, high‐risk, new collaborations (2 years maximum), between two or more partners from the university and will complement the core research programme of the institute. Outputs of these projects provide a basis for incubated team projects.

    Call for proposals

    In continuity with actions sustained since its creation, the institute is launching a call for proposals for two to four junior team projects in 2019. Each of such teams, if funded, will receive a limited budget. It is the expectation that junior teams will be considered on an equal basis with other, external applicants for a senior ISCD support in the competitions possibly organized for senior research teams the following years.

    Follow the link to call page and join our effort.

    Former junior projects

    Incentive actions

    The institute incentive funding is intended to help an early career researcher to undertake as PI a short research project or to encourage scholars who are willing to engage in innovative multidisciplinary research activities outside the scope of the current team projects.

    Exemples of incentive actions awarded: (click on title to read more about the actions)

    • Astrophysical N-body simulations on multi-core and many-core architectures, P. Fortin, 2012
    • In astrophysics, the study of galactic dynamics requires large-scale numerical simulations of N “bodies” (namely the N- body problem), each body corresponding to a galaxy element. The falcON algorithm (force algorithm of complexity O(N)) enables very efficient N-body simulations in this astrophysical context. A doubly recursive pass, inspired by both the Barnes-Hut algorithm and the Fast Multipole Method, is indeed performed over an octree data structure. The corresponding gyrfalcON code, highly optimized in C++ programming and publicly available in the NEMO toolbox, thus outperforms most other astrophysical N-body codes on one single CPU core. This code is however only sequential. Its parallelization is therefore crucial, as well as challenging, on modern architectures in order to gain one (or two) order(s) of magnitude in computation time or in the number of bodies.

    • Variational approach to fracture in heterogeneous and anisotropic materials, B. Babadjian, C. Maurini, 2015
    • The fundamental aim is to investigate the role of heterogeneities and anisotropy in crack propagation and nucleation. The results can then be used to conceive meta-materials with enhanced fracture properties. The main problem in numerical simulations is the identification of the crack pattern and its evolution in time. The use of regularized phase-field approach virtually solves the first problem for the case of heterogenous isotropic media. We propose to address here two main issues: i) the derivation and analysis of regularized approached accounting for strongly anisotropic fracture and elastic energies and ii) the precise modeling of time discontinuities in quasi-static evolutions by considering visco-elastic/parabolic approximation and/or time parametrization for solutions with bounded-variations in time to rate independent processes.

    • Demonstrating quantum enhanced simulation, D. Markham, 2016
    • The overarching aim of this project is to develop and implement quantum simulators and demonstrate quantum advantage. For this we focus on two particular cases of quantum simulation, the class of Instantaneous Quantum Polynomial computation (IQP) and Boson sampling. In IQP circuits are restricted to gates being diagonal in one basis, implying that they commute and in principle can be carried out instantly. It has been shown that the statistics produced by such circuits cannot be simulated efficiently classically (or more accurately that if they could it implies the collapse of the polynomial hierarchy to the third level), and can be used to model interesting many-body Hamiltonians. Thus they demonstrate the superiority of quantum subuniversal devices. In Boson sampling photons are sent into a large interferometer, and measured upon exit, and it has similarly been shown that the ability to classically simulate the output would imply collapse of the polynomial hierarchy, again demonstrating quantum superiority.

    • Faster algorithms for structured polynomial systems and applications, J.C. Faugère, M. Safey El Din, E. Schost, 2017
    • The primary goal of this PhD thesis is to design efficient algorithms and implementations for solving structured polynomial systems that have the ability to tackle systems which are out of reach of the state of the art. This thesis will focus on systems defining rank defects in matrices with polynomial entries, especially when some group action leaves invariant the system. We will investigate two solving techniques : one is based on continuation homotopy and the other one is based on Grobner bases.