Petros Koumoutsakos | Harvard University | Angels and insects: On artificial and natural optimization


Friday, March 25, 2022, 1:00pm to 2:00pm


SEC LL2.221

Petros Koumoutsakos
Herbert S. Winokur, Jr. Professor of Engineering and Applied Sciences
Faculty Director, Institute for Applied Computational Science
Area Chair for Applied Mathematics

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Abstract: What are the working methods of nature and how do they differ from those of engineers? Technical solutions that are reminiscent of nature can be found in airplane wings, in velcro bindings and in microbots such as artificial bacterial flagella. However nature’s designs are soft and fuzzy, and are ephemeral, whereas engineers often opt for structures that outlast them. Koumoutsakos will argue for the path that bridges nature’s ways with those of engineers. This path calls for adapting natural algorithms of evolutions and learning in design principles for engineering constructs. Koumoutsakos will show how advances in computing have provided a boost in these efforts in the last decade and outline learning and optimization algorithms that aim to harness these capabilities for
scientific applications.

Bio: Petros Koumoutsakos joins Harvard from ETH Zurich, where he served as the Chair for Computational Science.His research focuses on the fundamentals and applications of computing and AI to understand, predict and optimize fluid flows in engineering, nanotechnology, and medicine. In recent years, his work has investigated a range of topics including blood flows, virus traffic, nanoscale fluid flows and schooling fish behavior.