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Investigating controlling errors in the simulation of chaotic systems on digital computers

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  • Full or part time
    Prof P Coveney
  • Application Deadline
    No more applications being accepted
  • Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)
    Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

Project Description

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 for the period of three years (£17,285 p.a. for the academic year 2020/2021).

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 Interested applicants should submit an online application for Research Degree: Chemistry programme.

Inquiries are welcome and should be addressed to Professor Peter Coveney (email: [Email Address Removed]). The research will involve co-supervision by Professor Bruce Boghosian at Tufts University.

Funding Notes

Due to funding restrictions, the proposed student must be a UK or EU national and have lived in the UK for the previous 3 years (for either work or education).

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