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Feature Story | Mathematics and Computer Science

Constantinescu receives Early Career Research Program award

Emil Constantinescu, an assistant computational mathematician in Argonne’s Mathematics and Computer Science Division, has received a 2014 Early Career Research Program award. Constantinescu is among 35 researchers announced by the U.S. Department of Energy Office of Science. The selectees were chosen based on peer review from about 750 proposals.

Constantinescu’s research will focus on predictive modeling of complex systems such as climate and the power grid. This research requires capturing the physics and component interactions across vastly different temporal and spatial scales. Typically, however, only a subset of these interactions is captured in the models, leading to errors in predictions that can result in inefficient operation or system overdesign. To address this problem, Constantinescu will develop mathematically rigorous numerical strategies for quantifying and modeling global structural errors. The work is considered essential for representing uncertainty in dynamical simulations important to DOE.

Constantinescu received his Ph.D. in computer science from Virginia Tech in 2008 and held the Wilkinson Fellowship in Scientific Computing at Argonne from 2008 to 2010. In the past few years, he has made outstanding contributions in areas ranging from statistical uncertainty modeling using underlying physics laws and first principles, to time-stepping methods for large-scale simulations, to solutions for real-world problems involving air quality and crop modeling. His work has been published in approximately 60 peer-reviewed articles in conferences and top-tier journals such as the Quarterly Journal of the Royal Meteorological Society and the SIAM Journal on Scientific Computing.

The five-year Early Career Research awards are designed to bolster the nation’s scientific workforce by providing support to outstanding researchers in universities and DOE national laboratories during the crucial early years of their careers, when many scientists do their most formative work. The awards also aim to provide incentives for scientists to focus on mission research areas that are a high priority for the DOE and the nation. Constantinescu’s research was selected for funding by the Office of Science’s Advanced Scientific Computing Research program.