Fall Meeting 2009

The Fall meeting will be held at 8:30 p.m. on Wednesday, December 9th, in the Sherwood Room in Levering Hall on the Homewood Campus of Johns Hopkins University.  The speaker will be Omar Knio, Professor of Mechanical Engineering at the Johns Hopkins University.  Professor Knio will present a lecture entitled "Spectral Methods for Uncertainty Quantification."  An abstract is below.

You are cordially invited to attend the pre-lecture dinner with the speaker. See below for directions and parking information for the dinner and lecture.


The pre-lecture dinner will be held at Gertrude's Restaurant in the Baltimore Museum of Art, which is next to the Johns Hopkins campus. Dinner will begin at 6:30 p.m.

Four entrees are available for your advance selection: Gertie's Crab Cake  ($35.00), Marinated Flank Steak ($33.00), Five-Spice Chicken ($33.00), and Thai Vegetable Curry ($31.00). The pricing is inclusive of salad, entree choice, all soft beverages (sodas, coffee, tea, etc.), tax and gratuity.

To attend the dinner, please send your entree choice along with a check for the appropriate amount (made out to SIAM Washington- Baltimore Section) early enough to be received by Tuesday, December 1, 2009, to our Treasurer, Jeff Sieracki, PO Box 1011, College Park, MD, 20741.

PLEASE include your full name, email address and phone number with your check so that we can send you a confirmation of your reservation and may contact you in the event of any unexpected changes. If you cannot get your check to him by that date and you still want to come to dinner, then please email him by Tuesday, December 1, 2009 at [email protected]. We can accommodate at most twenty-five diners on this occasion, so be sure to reserve in advance.


Title: "Spectral Methods for Uncertainty Quantification"

Omar Knio
Professor of Mechanical Engineering
Johns Hopkins University

Abstract: This talk outlines recent developments in spectral methods for uncertainty quantification in model-based simulations, and their applications to problems in fluid dynamics.  The fundamental principle of these methods is to parameterize model uncertainty in terms of a finite set of random variables with known probability law, and to express the solution in terms of orthogonal basis functions that are typically polynomials in these random variables.  The unknown coefficients in the expansion are determined using a weighted residual formalism, which provides quantitative estimate of the dependence of the solution on random model inputs.

Elementary examples will first be discussed in order to highlight fundamental concepts. Attention will then be focused on more challenging situations where the solution exhibits steep or discontinuous dependence on the random inputs.  Under these scenarios, severe difficulties arise in the application of linearized methods, where local derivatives may not be well defined, and of spectral methods based on global polynomials bases, where Gibbs phenomena may result in decreased convergence rates or even numerical instabilities.  In contrast, it is shown that alternative spectral representations using wavelet or multi-wavelet bases can provide robust and efficient means of addressing some of the associated difficulties.  We conclude with a brief discussion of possible generalizations and anticipated challenges.

Location & Parking

The Homewood Campus of Johns Hopkins University is in Baltimore near 33rd and Charles Streets. The lecture will be held in the Sherwood Room in Levering Hall. Gertrude's Restaurant is in the Baltimore Museum of Art (BMA), which is next to the campus. You may refer to the Homewood Campus and Parking Map, available at http://www.parking.jhu.edu/general_maps.html, for the exact location of both venues.

Driving to BMA from I-695 (points East, North, and West): Take exit #23 to I-83 South (Jones Falls Expressway). Follow I-83 several miles to 28th Street eastbound exit. On 28th Street, go to the fourth traffic light, and turn left onto North Howard Street. Go one block on Howard Street, crossing 29th Street, and bear right at the fork onto Art Museum Drive. The BMA will be on your left.

Driving to BMA from I-95 or MD-295 (points South)
: If coming on the Baltimore-Washington Parkway (MD-295), follow it to the end and you'll be on Russell Street. If coming on I-95, take the Russell Street exit. On Russell Street go over the bridge, exit into the right lane, and follow the signs onto Martin Luther King Boulevard. On Martin Luther King Boulevard go past U.S. 40; get into the center lane. After passing Druid Hill Avenue stay in your lane and bear left onto North Howard Street. Go past North Avenue and continue until you pass 29th Street. Bear around to the right at the fork onto Art Museum Drive. The BMA will be on your left.

There are three parking options:

  1. On-Street metered parking along Art Museum DriveE-Z Park Meters accept coins, debit cards, and credit cards. After pre-paying, simply display the printed parking receipt on the dashboard of your vehicle. The rate is $0.50 per hour.

  2. BMA-Gated Parking Lots There is a flat parking rate of $5 from 5 p.m. until midnight.

  3. JHU Homewood Campus (South Parking Garage and Metered Faculty Lots) You may refer to http://www.parking.jhu.edu/general_maps.html, for visitor parking locations. There is a flat parking rate of $5 from 3:45 p.m. until midnight at the garage, and $2 per hour at the meters with a maximum charge of $5, valid until the end of the day.

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