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What is the “truth” of the physical world? As part of the Distinguished Lecture Series, Professor C.F. Jeff Wu will talk engineering analytics and the two key challenges to presenting new methodology.

Spatial-temporal kriging and Navier-Stokes equations: A prominent example of engineering analytics
Friday, March 23, 2018
11 a.m.–noon
Brickyard (BYENG) 209, Tempe campus [map]


Most “learning” in big data is driven by the data alone. Some people may believe this is sufficient because of the sheer data size. If the physical world is involved, this approach is often insufficient. In this talk, Wu gives a recent study to illustrate how physics and data are used jointly to learn about the “truth” of the physical world. It also serves as an example of engineering analytics, which in itself has many forms and meanings. In an attempt to understand the turbulence behavior of an injector, a new design methodology is needed which combines engineering physics, computer simulations and statistical modeling. There are two key challenges: the simulation of high-fidelity spatial-temporal flows (using the Navier-Stokes equations) is computationally expensive, and the analysis and modeling of this data requires physical insights and statistical tools. A surrogate model is presented for efficient flow prediction in injectors with varying geometries, devices commonly used in many engineering applications. The novelty lies in incorporating properties of the fluid flow as simplifying model assumptions, which allows for quick emulation in practical turnaround times, and also reveals interesting flow physics which can guide further investigations.

About the speaker

C.F. Jeff Wu is a professor and Coca-Cola Chair in Engineering Statistics at the School of Industrial and Systems Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology. In 2004, he became the first academic statistician elected to the National Academy of Engineering. He received the COPSS (Committee of Presidents of Statistical Societies) Presidents’ Award in 1987, the COPSS Fisher Lecture Award in 2011, the Deming Lecture Award in 2012, the inaugural Akaike Memorial Lecture Award in 2016, the George Box Medal from ENBIS in 2017 and numerous other awards and honors.

His work is widely cited, and he has served as editor or associate editor for several prestigious statistical journals like Annals of Statistics, Journal of American Statistical Association, Technometrics, and Statistica Sinica. Wu has published more than 170 research articles in peer review journals. 


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