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Wenxiao Pan Vilas award
March 11, 2024

New Vilas Associates Award to Wenxiao Pan

Written By: Caitlin Scott



Congratulations to Mechanical Engineering Associate Professor Wenxiao Pan on her 2024 Vilas Associates Award!

Professor Pan plans to use the Vilas Associates award to investigate the use of quantum computing to simulate mathematical models of complex physical systems. She will address the fundamental challenge of solving large-scale systems of linear equations which arise in a myriad of scenarios including multiphysics partial differential equations (PDEs), inverse problems, computational design, data analysis, and machine learning. In complex systems, the inherent size and disparity in scales often make the linear systems ill-conditioned and thereby degrade convergence and stability of traditional numerical solvers. Her project will explore a quantum computing-powered fast solver approach that partitions the problem, and then uses quantum annealing to enable an exponential speedup relative to classical iterative equation solvers.

Pan is an outstanding scholar in the field of scientific computing. She has an exceptional background in both Applied Math and Engineering, which has enabled her to deploy modern data-driven and machine learning approaches to advance the field of computational mechanics. She has contributed to the fundamental development of computational methods. She has pursued applications of these methods to the most intriguing and challenging problems in soft matter, polymer physics, energy storage, and biofluids. Prof. Pan’s research is supported by competitive awards from NSF, ARO, ARL, and AFOSR. The outcome of this proposed research will position Professor Pan to establish a new paradigm for scientific computing in engineering that will enable solution to increasingly complex problems.

The Vilas Associates Competition recognizes new and on-going research of the highest quality and significance. Recipients are chosen competitively by the divisional Research Committees on the basis of a detailed proposal.

Learn more about Prof. Pan’s work.