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IFIP Working Conference on Uncertainty Quantification in Scientific Computing


Aerial view of Boulder ColoradoComputing has become an indispensable component of modern science and engineering research. As has been repeatedly observed and documented, processing speed measured in floating point operations per second has experienced exponential growth for several decades. These hardware efficiencies have been accompanied by innovations in mathematical algorithms, numerical software, and programming tools. The result is that, by any measure, the modern computer is many orders of magnitude more powerful than its early predecessors, capable of simulating physical problems of unprecedented complexity.

Given the success of scientific computation as a research tool, it is natural that scientists, engineers, and policy makers strive to harness this immense potential by using computational models for critical decision-making. Increasingly, computers are being used to supplement experiments, to prototype engineering systems, or to predict the safety and reliability of high-consequence systems. Such use inevitably leads one to question "How good are these simulations? Would you bet your life on them?" Unfortunately, most computational scientists today are ill equipped to address such important questions with the same scientific rigor that is routine in experimental science.

The Conference:

Conference Schedule

This working conference will bring together experts in mathematical modeling, numerical analysis, numerical software engineering, and statistics, along with scientists from a variety of key applications to assess our current ability to quantify uncertainty in modeling and simulation, to raise awareness of this issue within the numerical software community, and to help envision a research agenda to address this critical need. Conference topics will include: (a) Numerical software verification, (b) Validation metrics and comparison with physical experiment, and (c) Uncertainty estimation for predictive modeling and simulation. In addition, case studies from representative application areas, such as electromagnetics, mechanical engineering, and nuclear power plant control, will be presented.


To ensure a focused working conference with maximum opportunity for group interaction, participation will be by invitation only. Please send e-mail to the conference Technical Contacts if you wish to be invited.


Proceedings of the conference will be published by Springer as part of IFIP's Advances in Information and Communication Technology series.

Organizing Committee:

Ronald F. Boisvert, NIST, USA, Chair
Andrew Dienstfrey, NIST, USA
James C. T. Pool, CalTech, USA (retired)

Program Committee:

Andrew Dienstfrey, NIST, USA, Chair
Ronald F. Boisvert, NIST, USA
Maurice Cox, National Physical Laboratory, UK
Bo Einarsson, Linköping University, Sweden (retired)
Brian Ford, Numerical Algorithms Group Ltd., UK (retired)
James (Mac) Hyman, Tulane University, USA, SIAM Representative
William L. Oberkampf, Sandia National Laboratories, USA (retired)
Tony O'Hagan, University of Sheffield, UK
Michael Oberguggenberger, University of Innsbruck, Austria


To ensure the maximum possible interactions among all participants, all talks will be presented in plenary sessions. Talks will be 35 minutes in length, with 10 minutes reserved for discussion. One session will be devoted to "Hot Topics" whose presentations will be arranged after the start of the conference.


Abstracts and slides

Keynote Speakers
Maurice Cox, National Physical Laboratory, UK
Scott Ferson, Applied Biomathematics, US
Michael Goldstein, Durham University, UK
William Kahan, University of California at Berkeley, US
Pasky Pascual, National Center for Environmental Research, US

Invited Speakers
Peter Challenor, University of Southampton, UK
Mark Cunningham, Nuclear Regulatory Commission, US
Alireza Doorstan, University of Colorado, US
Michael Eldred, Sandia National Labs, US
Wayne Enright, University of Toronto, Canada
Pat Gaffney, Bergen Software Services International, Norway
James Glimm, SUNY Stony Brook, US
Les Hatton, Kingston University, UK
Jon Helton, Sandia National Laboratories, US
Michael Heroux, Sandia National Laboratories, US
Chris Johnson, University of Utah, US
Hermann Matthies, TU Braunschweig, Germany
Rafi Muhanna, Georgia Tech, US
Douglas Nychka, National Center for Atmospheric Research, US
William L. Oberkampf, Sandia National Laboratories (retired), US
Alberto Pasanisi, Electricité de France (EDF), France
Antonio Possolo, NIST, US
Adrian Sandu, Virginia Tech, US
Brian Smith, University of New Mexico, US
William Welch, University of British Columbia, Canada


Start Date: Monday, August 1, 2011
End Date: Thursday, August 4, 2011
Location: Boulder, Colorado, USA
Audience: Industry, Government, Academia
Format: Conference


In cooperation with:

Related Events:

This conference is a registered satellite to ICIAM 2011.

The yearly IFIP Working Group 2.5 business meeting will take place on Friday August 5, 2011 at the conference venue. A separate registration is not necessary for this event.


All attendees must pre-register. Fee for attendees is $560. A reduced fee of $295 is available for students and retirees.

Registration entitles participants to attendance at all technical sessions, coffee breaks, lunch each day, a reception the evening of Monday August 1, and a conference banquet on the evening of Wednesday August 3. Tours of the NIST and NOAA Boulder Laboratories will also be available to registrants on the afternoon of Wednesday August 3. Attendees will also receive a copy of the conference proceedings, which will be assembled and published after the meeting.

A separate fee of $101 enabling accompanying persons to attend the reception and banquet is also available.

Please contact Ronald.Boisvert@nist.gov or Andrew.Dienstfrey@nist.gov if you wish to attend.

Note: All participants must register by 5 pm EST on July 24, 2011.


The meeting will be held at the Millennium Harvest House in Boulder, Colorado.

A block of rooms at the Millennium Harvest House is available to attendees at a special conference rate of $104/night + 12.25% tax. (Double, triple, and quad occupancy rooms have base nightly rates of $114, $124, and $135 respectively.) Rooms include complementary breakfast and Internet access. Attendees are urged to book a room at the conference hotel. Instructions for obtaining the conference rate will be available upon registration. The conference room rate will be available to those who register by July 1, 2011.

Technical Contact: