Simulation and modeling of natural processes


This course gives you an introduction to modeling methods and simulation tools for a wide range of natural phenomena. The different methodologies that will be presented here can be applied to very wide range of topics such as fluid motion, stellar dynamics, population evolution, … This course does not intend to go deeply into any numerical method or process and does not provide any recipe for the resolution of a particular problem. It is rather a basic guideline towards different methodologies that can be applied to solve any kind of problem and help you pick the one best suited for you.

The assignments of this course will be made as practical as possible in order to allow you to actually create from scratch short programs that will solve simple problems. Although programming will be used extensively in this course we do not require any advanced programming experience in order to complete it.

What you will learn

Introduction and general concepts

This module gives an overview of the course and presents the general ideas about modeling and simulation. An emphasis is given on ways to represent space and time from a conceptual point of view. An insight of modeling of complex systems is given with the simulation of the grothw and thrombosis of giant aneurysms. Finally, a first class of modeling approaches is presented: the Monte-Carlo methods.

Introduction to programming with Python 3

This module intends to provide the most basic concepts of high performance computing used for modeling purposes. It also aims at teaching the basics of Python 3 which will be the programming language used for the quizzes in this course.

Dynamical systems and numerical integration

Dynamical systems modeling is the principal method developed to study time-space dependent problems. It aims at translating a natural phenomenon into a mathematical set of equations. Once this basic step is performed the principal obstacle is the actual resolution of the obtained mathematical problem. Usually these equations do not possess an analytical solution and advanced numerical methods must be applied to solve them. In this module you will learn the basics of how to write mathematical equations representing natural phenomena and then how to numerically solve them.

Cellular Automata

This module defines the concept of cellular automata by outlining the basic building blocks of this method. Then an insight of how to apply this technique to natural phenomena is given. Finally the lattice gas automata, a subclass of models used for fluid flows, is presented.

What’s included