Natural sciences rely on confronting mathematical models with experiments. Numerical simulations, often referred to as The Third Way, play a key role by bridging theory and experiment in a powerful way. Simulations enable the exploration of new ideas, they help validate the accuracy of theoretical predictions, and they can minimise cost by reducing the number of expensive experiments, and in many cases simulations are the only means of testing models or predicting the behavior of complex non-linear systems.
Natural sciences also relies on the systematic exploration of experimental data in order to extract meaning and aid their interpretation, or to discover new medicines or novel classifications. This approach relies heavily on statistical tools. Data science is now playing an active role in many fields of the natural sciences to promote innovative research and to explore experimental or simulation data.
Using advanced computing tools, we are addressing fundamental questions in natural sciences such as: How did the universe form? What is the origin of stars and planets in the Milky Way galaxy? What are the conditions for life? What are the critical steps in evolution? How does the human brain work?
The Institute for Computational Science is promoting research in all of these areas and is coordinating teaching in simulation and data science. Learning computational science will allow our students to become professional simulation scientists and data scientists. These profiles are highly desired in academia and industry. By studying here, students can develop new skills as computational scientists in one of the many fundamental sciences studied in the Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences at UZH. Students can express their creativity in areas such as astrophysics, condensed matter physics, molecular dynamics, protein folding, statistics and applied mathematics. They can prepare for their future careers as simulation and data scientists and participate actively in the ongoing digital revolution of our society.
NEWS June 2021
3rd LISA Astrophysics Working Group Meeting
On June 14-18, ICS hosted the 3rd LISA Astrophysics Working Group virtual meeting, which gathered more than 150 scientists from the LISA Conssortium, from institution around the world. 29 talks were pre-recorded and discussed at the meeting, ranging across the whole landscape of astrophysical sources that LISA will be able to detect, from Galactic Binaries to Massive Black Hole Binarie, and to Extreme Mass Ratio Inspirals. The meeting head-started an important new activity of the Working Group, namely Collaborative Projects involving many groups and focused on key objectives that need to be met before the launch of LISA in the 2030s.
NEWS May 2021
Virtual workshop "Relativistic Aspects of Large-Scale Structure - Theory and Simulation"
This virtual workshop brings together a diverse group of more than 40 scientist from six continents to discuss and debate progress in this field at the frontier of modern cosmology.
"Featuring asynchronous communication modes to accommodate vastly different time zones, as well as an immersive virtual venue that facilitates freestyle live conversations, this format proves itself as a fruiful alternative to in-person meetings during the pandemic that could also be a model for a more inclusive, low-carbon future of science communication" says Julian Adamek, SNF-Eccellenza Professor at the University of Zurich and organiser of the workshop.
„The workshop on Relativistic Aspects of Large-Scale Structure was a great experience. It gave us the opportunity to enjoy excellent talks of researchers all over the world from the safety of our homes. I wish our online beach retreat was a real place though!“ - concludes Nastassia Grimm, PhD student and a participant of the workshop.