Seminars at the Faculty of Informatics

The Faculty of Informatics is pleased to announce a seminar given by Ivo F. Sbalzarini

DATE: Monday, March 21st 2011
PLACE: USI Università della Svizzera italiana, room A22, Red building (Via G. Buffi 13)
TIME: 09.30

Particle methods provide a unifying computational and algorithmic framework. They allow seamlessly treating discrete and continuous systems both deterministically or stochastically. In discrete systems, particles often correspond to real-world entities, such as atoms in a molecular-dynamics simulation or cars in traffic simulations. In continuum systems, the particles represent Lagrangian tracer points that evolve according to their pair-wise interaction. Particle methods can be expressed using a common set of parallel data and operation abstractions that map onto high-performance computing (HPC) architectures. We present abstractions of intermediate granularity that make the communication overhead of a parallel simulation explicit. These abstractions are implemented in the PPM HPC software library, effectively reducing code development time and improving simulation efficiency. This enables novel applications of deterministic and stochastic particle methods for multi-resolution solutions of PDEs, e.g. in brain electromagnetism, and for high-dimensional non-convex optimization, e.g. in atomic cluster configurations, illustrating several analogies between these fields.


Ivo F. Sbalzarini is Assistant Professor of Computational Science at ETH Zurich since April 2006 and head of the MOSAIC Group.
Ivo Sbalzarini is a Swiss citizen and was born in 1977 in Arbon, Switzerland. During 1997-2002 he studied Mechanical Engineering at ETH Zurich, with majors in computational fluid dynamics and control. In 2002 he received his diploma in Mechanical Engineering, which was awarded the Willi Studer Prize. Between 2002 and 2006, Ivo Sbalzarini was a PhD student with the Institute of Computational Science at ETH Zurich, where he significantly contributed to establishing the close collaboration between Biology and Computational Science at ETH Zurich. In early 2006, he received his PhD in Computer Science under the supervision of Professor Petros Koumoutsakos. His thesis work was awarded the prestigious Chorafas Prize for 2006.
Ivo Sbalzarini intermediately stayed at the NASA Ames Research Center, USA (2000), at the Center for Turbulence Research at Stanford University, USA (2002), and at the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, USA (2005). In addition, he was an invited Professor at Ecole Normale Supérieure (ENS), Paris, France (2007) and group leader at the Mediterranean Institute for Life Sciences, Split, Croatia (2007-2008).
His research focuses on developing, applying, and teaching methods from computational science for complex real-world systems. This includes work on hybrid particle-mesh methods for mutli-scale simulations, parallel high-performance computing, bio-inspired optimization, and bio-medical image processing. Current applications include non-equilibrium biomatter, lipid membranes, biopolymers and proteins, and morphogenesis.
Ivo Sbalzarini is a member of the governing board of the Technical Society of Zurich (TGZ), a member of the Swiss Institute of Bioinformatics (SIB), and was a member of the Project Group "Swiss National Strategic Plan for High Performance Computing and Networking".

HOST: Prof. Mauro Pezzè

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