University of Texas at Austin

Cross-
Cutting
Research Area

Scientific Machine Learning

Harnessing the data through the lens of physics-based modeling

Embracing the opportunities and challenges of machine learning in complex applications across science, engineering and medicine

Existing machine learning approaches do not have the robustness, reliability, scalability, or efficiency to make them viable for grand challenge problems in science and engineering.

An Overview: Scientific Machine Learning

What is Scientific Machine Learning?

Scientific Machine Learning brings together the complementary perspectives of computational science and computer science to craft a new generation of machine learning methods for complex applications across science and engineering. In these applications, dynamics are complex and multiscale, data are sparse and expensive to acquire, decisions have high consequence, and uncertainty quantification is essential. The greatest challenges facing society — clean energy, climate change, sustainable urban infrastructure, access to clean water, personalized medicine and more — by their very nature require predictions that go well beyond the available data. Scientific machine learning achieves this by incorporating the predictive power, interpretability and domain knowledge of physics-based models.

Current research areas

Research is multifaceted, ranging from foundational advances in theory, methods and algorithms, to real-world impact in societal grand challenge problems.

medical imaging

Surrogate modeling & model reduction

molecular biophysics

Bayesian inverse problems

deep-learning

Physics-informed deep learning

data-assimilation

Data assimilation

interpretable machine learning

Interpretable machine learning

reinforcement-learning

Reinforcement learning

digital-twins

Digital twins

design

Optimal experimental design

Working with partners

The Oden Institute and The Alan Turing Institute have a memorandum of understanding to collaborate in the areas of artificial intelligence for science and engineering, computational science and engineering, scientific machine learning, and data-centric engineering. Established in 2015, The Alan Turing Institute is a high-profile, vibrant and multidisciplinary national institute, bringing together 13 leading universities from England and Scotland, making it the UK’s national institute for data science and artificial intelligence.

The Oden Institute's Center for Scientific Machine Learning has strong collaborations with Department of Energy programs, including the AEOLUS Multifaceted Mathematics Integrated Capability Center, the ARPA-E DIFFERENTIATE program for design intelligence, and the Artificial Intelligence and Decision Support for Complex Systems program. Our faculty also played a key role in the ASCR visioning report on Basic Research Needs for Scientific Machine Learning

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News in brief

Embracing Change - Profile Gabrielle Costello

Profile

July 8, 2024

Embracing Change - Profile Gabrielle Costello

Get to know Gabrielle Costello, and learn about her journey from high school English teacher to research administrator at the Oden Institute. 

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Alfio Quarteroni Welcomed as Year of AI Distinguished Lecturer

News

May 16, 2024

Alfio Quarteroni Welcomed as Year of AI Distinguished Lecturer

In his talk, Quarteroni emphasized the symbiotic relationship between AI algorithms and physics-inspired numerical models.

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Stella Offner Wins Distinguished Researcher Award

News

May 14, 2024

Stella Offner Wins Distinguished Researcher Award

The award recognizes Oden Institute core faculty who have demonstrated a sustained record of distinguished research in computational engineering and sciences

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Learning Together: Del Valle Students Experience the Center for Autonomy

News

April 20, 2024

Learning Together: Del Valle Students Experience the Center for Autonomy

Del Valle High School students visited the Oden Institute's Center for Autonomy and experienced hands-on tours led by graduate students. 

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From Average to Individual: Transforming Cancer Care With Single-Subject Clinical Trials

Feature

April 8, 2024

From Average to Individual: Transforming Cancer Care With Single-Subject Clinical Trials

Read about the Center for Computational Oncology's work with the MD Anderson Cancer Center to design clinical trials for patients who are not average. 

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Imagining the Future of Digital Twins: Karen Willcox Featured on NPR's TED Radio Hour

News

Feb. 23, 2024

Imagining the Future of Digital Twins: Karen Willcox Featured on NPR's TED Radio Hour

Oden Institute Director Karen Willcox discusses the potential for digital twin technology during an interview for NPR's TED Talk Radio Hour.

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Using Digital Twins of Civil Engineering Structures, Researchers Predict and Respond to Operational Failures

News

Feb. 22, 2024

Using Digital Twins of Civil Engineering Structures, Researchers Predict and Respond to Operational Failures

Published in Computer Methods in Applied Mechanics and Engineering, new research from the Oden Institute shows how digital twins can be applied to enhance the maintenance and safety of civil structures. 

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Joe Kileel Earns Charles Chui Young Researcher Best Paper Award

News

Dec. 31, 2023

Joe Kileel Earns Charles Chui Young Researcher Best Paper Award

The Charles Chui Award, accompanied by a cash prize and a certificate, holds significant prestige in the harmonic analysis community.

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New Report Urges Multiagency Action to Support Potentially Transformative Digital Twins Research

News

Dec. 15, 2023

New Report Urges Multiagency Action to Support Potentially Transformative Digital Twins Research

Across multiple domains of science, engineering, and medicine, excitement is growing about the potential of digital twins to transform scientific research, industrial practices, and many aspects of daily life.

This report identifies the foundational research and resources needed to support the development of digital twin technologies.

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With Digital Twins of Brain Tumors, Computational Scientists are Personalizing Cancer Care

News

Dec. 1, 2023

With Digital Twins of Brain Tumors, Computational Scientists are Personalizing Cancer Care

Published in the journal Frontiers in Artificial Intelligence, Oden Institute researchers show how methods developed for digital twins in aerospace engineering can be used for high-grade glioma patients undergoing radiotherapy.  

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Mathematician Rachel Ward Sees the Big Picture

Media Coverage

Nov. 15, 2023

Mathematician Rachel Ward Sees the Big Picture

By extracting ideas from different fields and applying them to broad problems, Rachel Ward has built unexpected connections across a huge swath of applied mathematics.

Read more at simonsfoundation

Astronomer Stella Offner Joins Oden Institute Core Faculty

News

Oct. 23, 2023

Astronomer Stella Offner Joins Oden Institute Core Faculty

Stella Offner, an Associate Professor of Astronomy at UT Austin, has transitioned from an affiliated to core faculty member within the Center for Scientific Machine Learning at the Oden Institute. 

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Karen Willcox's Talk on Digital Twins Elevated to TED.com

News

Sept. 7, 2023

Karen Willcox's Talk on Digital Twins Elevated to TED.com

The talk, originally delivered at the TEDxUTAustin Conference in March 2022, sheds light on how digital twins have revolutionized decision-making processes.

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Karen Willcox Receives Multiple Honors at USACM Conference

News

Aug. 2, 2023

Karen Willcox Receives Multiple Honors at USACM Conference

The U.S. National Congress on Computational Mechanics awarded Karen Willcox with a distinguished medal and is named a USACM Fellow.

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New Research Aims to Fix Machine Learning’s Struggle with Uncertainty

News

June 23, 2023

New Research Aims to Fix Machine Learning’s Struggle with Uncertainty

Tan Bui-Thanh recieved multiple grants for new research which aims to fix machine learning’s struggle with uncertainty.

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Visiting Researcher: Golden State to the Lone Star State

Feature

June 5, 2023

Visiting Researcher: Golden State to the Lone Star State

A glimpse into visiting researcher Tammy Kolda's experience at the Oden Institute. 

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CSEM Student Shane McQuarrie Wins BGCE Student Paper Prize

News

May 8, 2023

CSEM Student Shane McQuarrie Wins BGCE Student Paper Prize

CSEM Ph.D student Shane McQuarrie was awarded the ninth BGCE Student Paper Prize at the 2023 SIAM CSE Conference.

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Inaugural Scientific Machine Learning Workshop Looks Toward the Future

News

April 19, 2023

Inaugural Scientific Machine Learning Workshop Looks Toward the Future

Scientific Machine Learning (SciML) two-day workshop was a success, with nearly 100 in attendence.

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How Flooding is Informing Infectious Disease Spread

News

Feb. 27, 2023

How Flooding is Informing Infectious Disease Spread

Researchers from UT Austin have been awarded a prestigious grant from the UK’s Wellcome Trust to understand how flood and storm surge modeling could help inform infectious disease spread in Texas and beyond.

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Scientists Make It One Billion Times Faster to Simulate Fusion Reactors

News

Feb. 9, 2023

Scientists Make It One Billion Times Faster to Simulate Fusion Reactors

The new simulation took only 9.4 milliseconds to run on a laptop computer, one billion times faster than a traditional model.

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New Center will Develop the Mathematical and Computational Foundations of Digital Twins for Complex Energy Systems

News

Sept. 26, 2022

New Center will Develop the Mathematical and Computational Foundations of Digital Twins for Complex Energy Systems

  • Collaborative research team led by the Oden Institute establishes major new applied mathematics center for research on digital twin technology
  • M2dt Center will focus on climate and nanomanufacturing applications for digital twins 

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The Peter O’Donnell Jr. Postdoctoral Research Fellows 2022-2023

Feature

Sept. 12, 2022

The Peter O’Donnell Jr. Postdoctoral Research Fellows 2022-2023

  • O’Donnell Postdoctoral Fellowship provides funding for outstanding graduates to perform high-level, computational research with exceptional faculty in an interdisciplinary environment
  • Five new postdoctoral researchers join the Oden Institute community for the 2022-2023 academic year

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Karen Willcox Gives Talk on Digital Twins at TEDx 2022

Media Coverage

Sept. 1, 2022

Karen Willcox Gives Talk on Digital Twins at TEDx 2022

Read more at youtube

Advancing Interdisciplinary Data Science Research

News

Aug. 18, 2022

Advancing Interdisciplinary Data Science Research

  • Award brings together scientists and engineers from different research communities to further the theoretical foundations of data science
  • Researchers aim to combat data sets that include historical biases and elements influenced by self-interested and possibly malicious parties

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Stars Shed Light on Why Stellar Populations Are So Similar in Milky Way

News

Aug. 8, 2022

Stars Shed Light on Why Stellar Populations Are So Similar in Milky Way

  • Highly detailed computational simulations help solve mystery  that has captivated astrophysicists for decades
  • Researchers discover star formation is a self-regulatory process

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Oden Institute Recognizes 2021-2022 Graduates

News

June 16, 2022

Oden Institute Recognizes 2021-2022 Graduates

  • Event honored 16 students that graduated in May 2022, as well as eight other students who graduated throughout the 2021-2022 academic year
  • "Congratulations to all our PhD and Master's graduate students. Collectively, you represent an incredible set of accomplishments spanning computing, applied mathematics, statistics, machine learning, engineering, science, geoscience, and medicine."

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Oden Institute Awards Ceremony 2022

Feature

May 18, 2022

Oden Institute Awards Ceremony 2022

  • Awards Ceremony finally held in-person after two years of hiatus from COVID  
  • Staff, students and faculty celebrated and recognized for their significant contributions throughout the year

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Tackling Science’s Grand Challenges

News

May 18, 2022

Tackling Science’s Grand Challenges

  • Five successful applicants gain the opportunity to tackle some of society's most pressing challenges 
  • Researchers will take on a broad range of challenges - from water efficiencies, materials science at the exascale,  the development of more energy-efficient algorithms, as well as advancing individualized care for breast cancer patients     

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Oden Institute is the "Silicon Valley for Computational Math, Science and Engineering" – Profile Peng Chen

Profile

May 17, 2022

Oden Institute is the "Silicon Valley for Computational Math, Science and Engineering" – Profile Peng Chen

  • The "beauty, power and practical use of computational math" inspired Research Scientist Peng Chen to pursue a career in this field.
  • The Oden Institute is the "Silicon Valley for computational math, science and engineering"

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Oden Institute Director Lays Out Blueprint for Future of Digital Twins at TEDxUTAustin

Feature

March 21, 2022

Oden Institute Director Lays Out Blueprint for Future of Digital Twins at TEDxUTAustin

  • “Technological marvels” we take for granted are tangible examples of the “computational revolution” that has reshaped society over the last two decades.
  • Digital twin technology has moved beyond just aerospace engineering, to impact many other engineering disciplines as well as many other applications across science and society.

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Karen Willcox Elected to National Academy of Engineering 2022

News

Feb. 11, 2022

Karen Willcox Elected to National Academy of Engineering 2022

  • Oden Institute Director joins exclusive group of just 50 engineers from UT Austin to be elected to the NAE since 1968
  • Election to academy among the highest professional distinctions bestowed upon an engineer

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Oden Institute Joins the Forty for 40 Party

News

Sept. 22, 2021

Oden Institute Joins the Forty for 40 Party

  • First time Oden Institute participates in 40 hours for the Forty Acres  
  • Annual UT Austin fundraising event now in its ninth year

Read more at utexas

Researchers to Develop Digital Twin Platform for Enhanced Storm Mitigation

News

Sept. 8, 2021

Researchers to Develop Digital Twin Platform for Enhanced Storm Mitigation

  • Department of Energy funds development of computational “digital twin” framework for storm surge prediction 
  • Integration of artificial intelligence and machine learning technologies to improve accuracy 

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Introducing The 2021 Fellowship…

Feature

Aug. 31, 2021

Introducing The 2021 Fellowship…

  • 2021 Peter O'Donnell, Jr. Postdoctoral Fellows bring variety of new skillsets and diverse research interests
  • Scope of projects range from computational modeling at atomic scale to development of tsunami simulation techniques

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Big Compute Podcast: Karen Willcox On Digital Twins

Media Coverage

June 8, 2021

Big Compute Podcast: Karen Willcox On Digital Twins

Read more at bigcompute

Oden Institute Outstanding Dissertation Award Winner 2021 Announced

News

March 24, 2021

Oden Institute Outstanding Dissertation Award Winner 2021 Announced

  • Dr Qi Lei is the winner of this year’s Oden Institute Outstanding Dissertation Award.
  • Dr Lei is currently a postdoc research associate at Princeton University and plans to continue pursuing her interest in machine learning.

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Media Coverage

Feb. 4, 2021

UT Austin researchers nab $3.8M from NASA to research unmanned aerial vehicles

Read more at bizjournals

UT Austin researchers receive $3.65 million from NASA to study drones’ impact on society

Media Coverage

Feb. 1, 2021

UT Austin researchers receive $3.65 million from NASA to study drones’ impact on society

  • NBC's local news outlet highlights NASA-funded research 

Read more at kxan

Unmanned Aerial Vehicles Scale New Heights

News

Jan. 21, 2021

Unmanned Aerial Vehicles Scale New Heights

  • Oden Institute plays leading role in NASA-funded research to scale unmanned aerial cargo transport
  • Computational modeling for scaling — from single delivery drone to large unmanned cargo aircraft

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Machines Rise To The Grand Challenges of the 21st Century

News

Dec. 16, 2020

Machines Rise To The Grand Challenges of the 21st Century

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