Modern Computational Science - Summer School

Modern Computational Science 2012 (August 20-31, Oldenburg, Germany)

4th International Summer School on



August 20-31, 2012, Oldenburg, Germany

Funded by the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD)

and the Federal Foreign Office

Organizers: Prof. Dr. Alexander K. Hartmann, Prof. Dr. Martin Fränzle, Dr. Reinhard Leidl, University of Oldenburg


Download of Poster and Flyer:


Optimization algorithms lie at the heart of many problems in Pure and Applied Science. Well-known examples are the electronic structure of molecules and compounds, the optimization of energy grids and other networks, the design of machine parts and workpieces, or the three-dimensional geometric shape of complex biomolecules, to name just a few. Advanced and powerful optimization techniques open up new possibilities for numerically tackling these and many other problems. Conversely, a deeper understanding of natural systems often leads to the development of new optimization methods (like, e.g., genetic algorithms) which may subsequently prove to be extremely useful in totally different fields. One of the aims of this Summer School is to give the participants an idea of the theory and practice of state-of-the-art numerical optimization methods, as exemplified by applications to current research topics that will be presented by renowned international experts.

The second, equally important goal is to provide a thorough introduction into some of the basic concepts and techniques of Scientific Computing, like algorithms and data structures, software engineering, data analysis, numerical simulations, etc. While the importance of computational methods has grown steadily over the past decades and continues to grow, these methods are not always adequately reflected in the curricula of many university programs. We hope that the present Summer School may help to improve on this situation.

Finally, participants will have a chance to strengthen their knowledge in hands-on computer practicals that complement the lectures.

The Summer School addresses students (from advanced undergraduate level onwards) of Biology, Chemistry, Computer Science, Engineering, Mathematics, Physics, and related fields. All participants should have at least a little experience with one higher programming language, like C/C++ or Fortran. Participants who attended all lectures and tutorials can earn 4 ECTS credit points and will be handed out a certicificate at the end of the School.

We would also like to draw your attention to the book

which covers some of the topics that will be dealt with during the first week. Participants will be given a free copy of the book.

Moreover, each participant will receive a volume of Lecture Notes (edited by R. Leidl and A.K. Hartmann).


The first week will be mainly devoted to the fundamentals of Scientific Computing and to an introduction into modern optimization algorithms. More specialized topics will be dealt with in the second week. Subjects of the Summer School include (but are not limited to):

  • Fundamentals: software engineering, data analysis, basic numerical optimization methods, Monte Carlo simulations, complexity theory
  • Advanced optimization methods: combinatorial optimization in bioinformatics, nature-inspired optimization, interval methods
  • Applications: protein folding, quantum chemistry, automata, hybrid and stochastic systems, phase transitions in optimization problems


Guest Lecturers:

  • Ernst Althaus, Theoretical Computer Science,
    Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz
  • Friedrich Eisenbrand, Discrete Optimization Group (DISOPT),
    EPFL Lausanne
  • Simone Garatti, Dipartimento di Elettronica e Informazione
    Politecnico di Milano
  • Holger Hermanns, Dependable Systems and Software
    Universität des Saarlandes, Saarbrücken
  • Helmut G. Katzgraber, Computational Physics,
    Texas A&M University and ETH Zurich
  • Stephan Mertens, Computational Complexity and Physics
    Otto-von-Guericke-Universität Magdeburg and Santa Fe Institute, New Mexico
  • Maria Prandini, Dipartimento di Elettronica e Informazione
    Politecnico di Milano
  • Thomas Prellberg, School of Mathematical Sciences,
    Queen Mary University of London
Lecturers from the University of Oldenburg: