Dealing with large amounts of data is part of everyday life in the natural sciences, engineering and social sciences: scientists at TU Dortmund University have to record and analyse the results of large series of experiments or simulate several thousand scenarios. In order to pool their strengths in the field of data science and simulation and to further develop them together, researchers from various departments and areas at TU Dortmund University are now joining forces to generate and analyse (simulation) data: The new interdisciplinary research centre "TU Dortmund - Center for Data Science and Simulation", DoDaS for short, was officially opened on 18 April.
"At TU Dortmund University, cutting-edge research not only takes place in the departments, but often transcends their boundaries," emphasised Rector Prof. Manfred Bayer. "Innovations are created when individual excellence is brought together and disciplinary boundaries are crossed. We are now making the successful cooperations and the individual strengths in the fields of data sciences and simulation visible in DoDaS - within the university, but also with a view to the national and international research landscape." The new inter-faculty research centre includes in particular mathematics, statistics, computer science as well as natural sciences and engineering; other disciplines can be included upon application. In addition to the rectorate, around 100 scientists and representatives of the city of Dortmund and the Ruhr University Alliance gathered for the opening ceremony.
"In the new research centre, we will bundle our special expertise in the field of data science. We will advance the joint research of different scientific disciplines and also jointly acquire third-party funding. In addition, we will further develop the data- and simulation-centred teaching offer," explains Prof. Katja Ickstadt from the Department of Statistics. Together with Prof. Stefan Turek from the Department of Mathematics, she is the acting spokesperson for the new centre. Data sciences play a major role at TU Dortmund University: "Data, Models and Simulations for Shaping Our Future" is one of five profile areas of the university in which research achievements are made at an internationally outstanding level.
In addition, the future members of the new centre will support scientists from all disciplines with data and simulation-centred research questions - also with regard to infrastructure and central computing resources. Prof. Stefan Turek explains: "The simulation experts at TU Dortmund University will contribute their methodological basic research and expert support in the conception, analysis and realisation of simulation methods and tools of scientific computing to the new centre". DoDaS brings together two previous centres: the Dortmund Centre for Scientific Computing (DoWiR) and the Dortmund Data Science Center (DoDSc).
Better simulations for flow problems and particle physics
A first project of the new centre is dedicated to flow simulation on high-performance computers. The Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) is funding an interdisciplinary joint project in which mathematicians from TU Dortmund University are playing a leading role. In the project "StroemungsRaum - Novel Exascale Architectures with Heterogeneous Hardware Components for Flow Simulations", researchers from Dortmund, Erlangen, Freiberg, Jülich and Cologne are developing novel CFD simulation methods based on the FEATFLOW software. This should enable future EXASCALE computers to be used more efficiently in the simulation, control and optimisation of industry-relevant processes. Another BMBF project is concerned with AI-based simulation methods with which the huge amounts of data in particle and astroparticle physics are to be evaluated more quickly and efficiently in the future. Physicists from TU Dortmund University are involved in the interdisciplinary joint project "Artificial Intelligence for the Fast Simulation of Scientific Data" (KISS).
Apply for research centres
Research centres are established at TU Dortmund University on the initiative of their future members and are set up after a thorough review by the Rectorate. The term is five years each and can be extended after evaluation. During this time, centres are supported by central funds and a proportionate coordination office. Research centres are already internationally recognised at the time of application and have an established cooperation documented by funding or publications. The collaborations include at least five researchers from different departments whose work covers at least three DFG review boards. Dr. Gunter Friedrich provides advice on setting up and submitting proposals.
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