A 3-year PhD studentship investigating controlling errors in the simulation of chaotic systems on digital computers


Supervisor: Professor P. V. Coveney, UCL

Application deadline: 13 May 2020

Start date: September 2020

A fully funded studentship is available to a highly motivated candidate to start in September 2020. The studentship will cover tuition fees at UK/EU rate plus a maintenance stipend of £17,285 (tax free) per annum for three years.

The student will investigate and mitigate a newly discovered pathology in the simulation of chaotic dynamical systems on digital computers. This pathology was discovered and quantified for the case of the very simple generalised Bernoulli map, by direct comparison of the exact results from continuum mathematics with those obtained from a floating point representation. These numerical errors make many numerical results wrong, while most users remain completely unaware of them.

The purpose of this PhD studentship is to assess the extent of these errors in other, more complicated, cases in order to restore credibility to predictions arising in diverse areas of computational science, from turbulence to molecular dynamics and reaction-diffusion systems. As such the student will be expected to work closely with two EU-funded projects currently running in the group; CompBioMed is a Centre of Excellence in Computational Biomedicine and VECMA is a Future and Emerging Technology project for the Verification of Exascale Computing in Multiscale Applications.

The project will involve a collaboration with CBK Sci Con and is co-funded by them. CBK is a sci-tech consultancy devoted to the provision of high end scientific, technical and management advice to businesses in computational science domains. This will enable the student to gain a thoroughly rounded view of the research landscape in computational science, including the vital importance of disseminating their research findings within academia, industry, governmental organisations, and the general public.

Applicants must have a strong background in one or more of applied mathematics, dynamical systems theory, numerical analysis, computer science and theoretical physics. Familiarity with one or more programming languages would be a distinct advantage (e.g. C/C++, Python, etc.).

Information on how to apply including online application forms can be found at www.ucl.ac.uk/prospective-students/graduate/apply. Inquiries are welcome and should be addressed to Professor Peter Coveney (email: p.v.coveney "at" ucl.ac.uk). The research will involve co-supervision by Professor Bruce Boghosian at Tufts University. Applications will be accepted in the first instance until 13 May 2020 but the position will be filled as soon as a suitable candidate has been identified.

Funding Notes

Due to funding restrictions, this studentship is only open to applicants from the UK and EU who have been resident in the UK for at least 3 years preceding their start on the programme or have indefinite leave to remain in the UK.