Scientific computing

"Lighthouse" at IME 2012 - 2016 - strategic research arena

Computational Science and Engineering (CSE) has become an inevitable research area focusing on the development and usage of computational methods to solve problems in science and engineering.

The Dept. of Mathematical Sciences and the Dept. of Computer and Information Science proposed a Lighthouse denoted CSE-Scientific Computing that has been awarded funding from the Faculty of Information Technology, Mathematics and Electrical Engineering at NTNU. This Lighthouse is related to the CSE-Centre initiative at NTNU and SINTEF, and both are expected to start up primo 2013.


Scientific Computing is interplay between: Mathematics and Computer Science. Scientific Computing represent the mathematical and computer science basis of CSE.

  The MC–model

  • Mathematics: Models, analysis and numerical methods
  • Computer science: Algorithms, software development and hardware

Balancing the focus for R&D in Mathematics and Computer science of generic relevance for many areas of application, i.e. develop enabling technology for realising the CSE-Centre inititative.

Main contents


Innovation based on advanced CSE

Key idea

We propose to develop new mathematical, computational and visualization method and scientific software adapted to take full advantage of emerging hardware technologies to enable unprecedented computational tools for addressing challenging problems arising in engineering and natural sciences.

Hardware Adapted Numerics (HAN)

Development of numerical algorithms and development of computer hardware doubles the speedup!




The future is parallel!






Need to develop Hardware Adapted Numerics to be at the frontier in CSE!




Relation to the CSE-Centre

The present Lighthouse will focus on relevant enabling technologies (i.e. computational methods) that is relevant for the CSE-Centre - see the figure below. Thus, the chosen application areas in the CSE-Centre will influence which methods we choose to address in the start up phase of the Lighthouse. However, in the long run we anticipate that the Lighthouse will provide technology push towards the application partners in the CSE-Centre.

Research and development

Many scientific and technological problems cannot be satisfyingly answered without considering mechanisms acting at several time and length scales (see figure below). To meet the computational challenge of multiscale modelling and simulation, there is a need for development of:

  • new multiscale mathematical models that make huge problems amenable.
  • new computational algorithms that exploit the multiscale structure of the problem.
  • understanding of which algorithms that maps best to which computer hardware
  • (semi-)generic software libraries that can be utilized in different application areas
  • new methods for visualization of multiscale phenomenon

Lighthouse Management Team

The coordinator of the CSE Scientific Computing Lighthouse will be Trond Kvamsdal (Dept. of Mathematical Sciences). The Lighthouse Management Team will be established during fall 2012.