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Accuracy About Uncertainty: Computational Modelers to Return to USC to Refine Their Art

Event builds on success of August, 2008 gathering

March 06, 2009 —

The Viterbi School's Roger Ghanem and Demetrios Spanos are bringing together "leading scientists from physics-based modeling, network science and social networks" for a two-day meeting on the problems of quantifying the unknown.

The event, a workshop on "Opportunities and Challenges in Uncertainty Quantification for Complex Interacting Systems " takes place April 12-14 in Davidson Conference Center.  Twenty-one USC investigators, mostly from the Viterbi School, will exchange ideas with 43 visitors from academia and government laboratories.

Ghanem at previous August 2008 conference.

Scientists will come from as far as Paris and Melbourne, and the laboratories represented range from Argonne National Laboratory to the Los Angeles Metropolitan Water District.

According to the conference overview, a major obstacle to using computational power more effectively to model the real physical worlds is a paradoxical one: making accurate estimates of uncertainty.

As Ghanem, who has appointments in both the Astani and AME departments notes:  "The only thing you know about prediction is it will never happen exactly as predicted."

More precisely, in the language of the new conference announcement, "The quantification of... uncertainty has, in recent years, grown from a collection of scientific ideas into a sub-discipline of computational science that attempts to provide a quantitative description of incomplete knowledge for use in conjunction with model-based computational resources, algorithms, and software."

Ghanem is a leader in Uncertainty Quantification and Predictive Science and has organized a number of related workshops on the subject.

Click here for details about the new gathering