The Rycroft Group works on a wide range of topics. A hallmark of the group's
approach is to develop new computational methods while working directly with
domain scientists. Three particular focus areas are listed below.
Many scientific fields are increasingly awash in data. We
develop new computational approaches for processing data and extracting
scientific insight, particularly those that combine
traditional analysis and modeling with new machine learning methods. For example, we have a sequence of papers on the
physics of crumpling, covering experimental observations,
new machine learning approaches, and analysis and modeling.
Geometry problems appear across many scales, from the arrangements
of atoms to the structure of galaxies, and techniques for geometric analysis
enter into many group projects. Chris Rycroft developed
Voro++, a software
library for calculating the Voronoi tessellation. The library is widely used,
and the Rycroft Group has used it for problems as diverse
as modeling insect wing patterning
and finding materials for carbon dioxide capture.
The Rycroft Group currently consists of eleven graduate students, along with
postdocs, undergraduates, and sabbatical visitors. Members have a diverse
range of backgrounds and have education in applied mathematics, physics,
engineering, and computer science. We also like obsessive color coordination!
We also support teaching a wide range of courses in the Harvard Applied
Mathematics program and in the Harvard
IACS master's program. In particular, since 2014 Chris Rycroft has taught
and developed Applied
Math 205 and Applied
Math 225, a year-long graduate course sequence in scientific computing.
Many group members have been involved as Teaching Fellows for these two
Feb 2021 – Chris Rycroft and Gary Pui-Tung Choi have published
a paper on using the reference map technique for creating density-equalized
maps in the Journal of
Jan 2021 – Graduate student Nick Boffi was awarded the NSF
Postdoctoral Fellowship in Mathematical Sciences. Nick plans to start
as position as a Courant Instructor at New York University in Summer 2021.
Sep 2020 – Graduate student Dan Fortunato defended his Ph.D. thesis
and will start a postdoctoral fellowship at the Flatiron Institute.
Sep 2020 – Graduate students Madelyn Leembruggen and
Xiaoxiao (Catherine) Ding passed their Ph.D. qualification exams.
May 2020 – Graduate student Gary Pui-Tung Choi defended his Ph.D. thesis
and was awarded the NSF Postdoctoral Fellowship in Mathematical Sciences.
He will start as an instructor in the MIT Mathematics Department in Summer 2020.