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Applied Computation Courses
Kevin A. Rader
Data Science 1 is the first half of a one-year introduction to data science. The course will focus on the analysis of messy, real life data to perform predictions using statistical and machine learning methods. Material covered will integrate the five key facets of an investigation using data: (1) data collection - data wrangling, cleaning, and sampling to get a suitable data set; (2) data management - accessing data quickly and reliably; (3) exploratory data analysis – generating hypotheses and building intuition; (4) prediction or statistical learning; and (5) communication – summarizing results through visualization, stories, and interpretable summaries. Part one of a two part series. The curriculum for this course builds throughout the academic year. Students are strongly encouraged to enroll in both the fall and spring course within the same academic year. Part one of a two part series.
Data Science 2 is the second half of a one-year introduction to data science. Building upon the material in Data Science 1, the course introduces advanced methods for data wrangling, data visualization, and statistical modeling and prediction. Topics include big data and database management, interactive visualizations, nonlinear statistical models, and deep learning. Part two of a two part series. The curriculum for this course builds throughout the academic year. Students are strongly encouraged to enroll in both the fall and spring course within the same academic year. Part two of a two part series.
This course examines the wide-ranging impact data science has on the world and how to think critically about issues of fairness, privacy, ethics, and bias while building algorithms and predictive models that get deployed in the form of products, policy and scientific research. Topics will include algorithmic accountability and discriminatory algorithms, black box algorithms, data privacy and security, ethical frameworks; and experimental and product design. We will work through case studies in a variety of contexts including media, tech and sharing economy platforms; medicine and public health; data science for social good, and politics. We will look at the underlying machine learning algorithms, statistical models, code and data. Threads of history, philosophy, business models and strategy; and regulatory and policy issues will be woven throughout the course.
In this Course, we shall familiarize with the main computational methods which permit to simulate and analyze the behavior of a wide range of problems involving fluids, solids, soft matter, electromagnetic and quantum systems, as well as the dynamics of (some) biological and social systems.
The course consists of three main parts,
Part I : Fields on Grids
Part II : Mesoscale Particle Methods
Part III: Statistical Data Analysis and Learning
In Part I, we shall discuss the fundamentals of grid discretization and present concrete applications to a broad variety of problems from classical and quantum physics, such as Advection-Diffusion Reaction transport, Navier-Stokes fluid-dynamics, nonlinear classical and quantum wave propagation. Both regular and complex geometrical grids will be discussed through Finite Differences, Volumes and Elements, respectively.
In Part II we shall discuss mesoscale technique based on the two basic mesoscale descriptions: probability distribution functions, as governed by Boltzmann and Fokker-Planck kinetic equations, and stochastic particle dynamics (Langevin equations). The lattice Boltzmann method will be discussed in great detail, with applications to fluids and soft matter problems. Mesoscale particle methods, such as Dissipative Particle Dynamics will also be illustrated in detail.
Finally, in Part III, we shall present data analysis & learning tools of particular relevance to complex systems with non-gaussian statistics, such as turbulence, fractional transport and extreme events in general. An introduction to Physics-Aware Machine Learning will also be presented.
This course will teach theoretical background and practical applications of modern computational methods used to understand and design properties of advanced functional materials. Topics will include classical potentials and quantum first-principles energy models, density functional theory methods, Monte Carlo sampling and molecular dynamics simulations of phase transitions and free energies, fluctuations and transport properties, and machine learning approaches. Examples will be based on rational design of industrially relevant materials for energy conversion and storage, electronic and magnetic devices, and nanotechnology.
Computer simulations are recognized as an essential part of scientific and engineering pursuits. Their predictive power will play an ever more important role in scientific discoveries, national competitiveness, and in solving societal problems. For predictions of real-world problems, the ability to scale solution techniques, algorithms, and software to large-scale is of utmost importance. This course will explore the techniques, infrastructure, and algorithms used for extreme computing. The course will be organized into two modules, each focusing on a different aspect of fluid mechanics. The first module will focus on simulating turbulence in incompressible fluids using the finite element method, while the second module will focus on hemodynamic simulations using the Lattice Boltzmann Method. Both topics have important scientific and societal relevance and benefit enormously from large scale computing. The faculty from Harvard, in collaboration with visiting researchers from Sandia National Laboratories, Sapienza University, and the Institute for Calculus Applications in Italy, will conduct the lectures and lab sessions. Computing resources will be provided for the class projects.
The CSE capstone project is intended to integrate and apply the skills and ideas CSE students acquire in their core courses and electives. By requiring students to complete a substantial and challenging collaborative project, the capstone course will prepare students for the professional world and ensure that they are trained to conduct research. There will be no homework or lectures. Students will be dealing with real-world problems, messy data sets, and the chance to work on an end-to-end solution to a problem using computational methods.
This course, centered on the Institute for Applied Computation Science (IACS) seminar series, will provide broad exposure to cutting-edge topics, applications, and unifying concepts in Computational Science & Engineering. Students will read, present and discuss journal articles related to IACS talks, attend the seminars and meet with visiting speakers. Possible topics to be covered include scientific visualization, computational approaches to disease, mathematical neuroscience, computational archeology, and computational finance.