Computational Science and Engineering

Co-chairs: Davis Darmofal, Aeronautics and Astronautics (, and Troy Van Voorhis, Chemistry (

For the purpose of the Common Ground, the Fundamentals of Computational Science and Engineering Subcommittee considers computational science and engineering subjects in the context of the following definition and examples.

The field of computational science and engineering (CSE) is devoted to the development and use of computational methods for understanding the world around us; for discovery and innovation in all branches of science, engineering and technology; and for the support of decision-making across a spectrum of societally-important issues. Learning objectives for Common Ground CSE subjects are given in the list below. These subjects may be at an undergraduate or graduate level.

  1. A Common Ground CSE subject will have a significant focus on the development and understanding of computational methods as well as the  application of those methods in multiple disciplinary contexts
  2. A non-exhaustive list of topics relevant to computational methods used in CSE includes:
    • Interpolation and function representation
    • Numerical integration
    • Discretization and solution of initial value problems
    • Discretization and solution of differential and partial differential equations
    • Solution of linear systems of equations
    • Solution of nonlinear systems of equations
    • Optimization methods
    • Probabilistic, statistical, and stochastic methods
    • Data analysis and visualization
    • Software engineering for CSE
    • High performance computing for CSE
  3. Common Ground CSE subjects will include significant computation typically from either programming CSE methods, applying CSE methods or both.  However, applying existing CSE software in a subject would likely not constitute a CSE subject without learning objectives that support the development and understanding of the underlying CSE methods.