KU mathematics researcher receives NSF CAREER award

LAWRENCE — Agnieszka Międlar, associate professor of mathematics at the University of Kansas, has received the National Science Foundation award for the Faculty Early Career Development Program (CAREER).

The award, totaling more than $430,000, is for her proposal “Acceleration Methods, Iterative Solvers and Heterogeneous Architectures: The New Landscape of Large-Scale Scientific Simulation” for the period of 2022-2027.

Agnieszka Miedlar, KU associate professor of mathematics“This project aims to enable new algorithmic and software advancements, particularly in the field of numerical linear algebra, to fully utilize new heterogeneous architectures such as the emerging technology of edge computing used in smart grids, unmanned autonomous vehicles and wearable health care devices,” Międlar said.

The primary goal of the project is to provide computational building blocks for scalable implementation of numerical linear algebra, which is an essential and often indispensable component of simulation software, according to the researcher.

“Technologies suitable to perform decentralized computations within peer-to-peer (P2P) networks, where the full dataset is not available to any single device but is distributed throughout the network — whether because of limited memory or bandwidth, or due to data regulations and privacy concerns — demand asynchronous, flexible and resilient linear algebra algorithms for decentralized processing, communication and predictions in heterogeneous environments,” Międlar said.

The research could be used in many applications, such as helping to improve power grid resilience to physical or cyberattacks, or integrating unmanned autonomous vehicles in performing complex tasks, all by supporting the key underlying technologies of edge intelligence.

“Wearable health care devices, content delivery systems and smart home devices are pushing applications, data, services and, consequently, large-scale computations away from centralized environments onto the network, closer to the requests,” Międlar said. “While the benefits of edge technologies over traditional cloud computing are multifold, they require developing and testing of new algorithms for decentralized processing and communication abilities to work in truly autonomous device networks.”

The research program is integrated with education and outreach activities that aim to build the future science and engineering workforce through several components:

  • Providing undergraduate and graduate students with advanced training in critical science and technology skills as well as opportunities for interdisciplinary research on applications
  • Stimulating public engagement with mathematics
  • Providing K-12 students with hands-on computational mathematics education
  • Including members of underrepresented groups and supporting their professional success.

“We need to increase participation of K-12 students and members of underrepresented groups in STEM fields,” Międlar said. “This is only possible by engaging local communities in STEM-promoting public events aiming at growing appreciation and enthusiasm for mathematics.”

Agnieszka received her doctorate in mathematics in 2011 from the Technische Universität Berlin. After positions at the Technische Universität Braunschweig, Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne and the University of Minnesota, she came to KU in 2016. Her research has been supported by the NSF, Simons Foundation and the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.

The NSF award for the Faculty Early Career Development Program is its most prestigious award in support of early-career faculty who have the potential to serve as academic role models in research and education and to lead advances in the mission of their department or organization.

Fri, 04/08/2022


Gloria Prothe

Media Contacts

Gloria Prothe

Department of Mathematics