Computational Science and Engineering (CSE)

UC Berkeley | UC Davis | UC Merced | UC Santa Cruz | LBNL

Science-Driven Analytics
Under the Computational Microscope
Birth and Death of Stars
A Warmer, Stormier World

What is CSE? – The Educational Branch of CITRIS

Computational Science and Engineering (CSE) is a rapidly growing multidisciplinary field that encompasses real-world complex applications (scientific, engineering, social, economic, policy), computational mathematics, and computer science and engineering. High performance computing (HPC), large-scale simulations and modeling (physical, biological, economic, social, and policy processes), and scientific applications all play a central role in CSE.

A great many fields of science, engineering, finance, and social science are embracing modeling, simulation, and data analysis as necessary tools to advance their fields. Sometimes this is driven by the march of Moore’s Law providing computational power that makes simulations possible that were not possible before; it is also driven by the availability of large data sets not available before that require extensive computation to understand. CSE is a multi-UC-campus program (UC Berkeley, UC Davis, UC Merced, and UC Santa Cruz).

The excitement of these opportunities at Berkeley has led 120 faculty from 22 departments and graduate programs to join together to create a new CSE program for PhD students and researchers in these 20 programs to become fluent in modeling, simulation, and data analysis tools.  The participating departments are extraordinarily diverse and include Computer Science, Mathematics, Chemistry, Mechanical Engineering, Astronomy, Neuroscience, and Political Science, among many others. The CSE program is supported and administered by the Center for Information Technology Research in the Interest of Society (CITRIS).


To support the work of scientists and engineers as they pursue complex–simulation/modeling, as well as computational, data and visualization-intensive research to enhance scientific, technological, and economic leadership while improving our quality of life. CITRIS and LBNL have recently partnered in four areas of research and education at the forefront of large-scale computation.


 CITRIS and LBNL have recently partnered in four areas of research and education at the forefront of large-scale computation:

  • Conduct  world-leading research in applied mathematics and computer science to provide leadership in such areas as energy, environment, health-information technology, climate, bioscience and neuroscience, and intelligent cyber-physical infrastructure to name a few. Science-Driven Analytics 2
  • Be at the forefront of the development and use of ultra-efficient largest-scale computer systems, focusing on discoveries and solutions that link to the evolution of the commercial market for high-performance and cloud computing and services.
  • Allow industry collaborators to gain experience with computational modeling/simulation and the effective use of HPC and Cloud facilities and carrying back new expertise to their institutions. This would enable the Industry partners to be “first to market” with important scientific and technological capabilities, breakthrough ideas, and new hardware-software.
  • Educate the next generation of the Academic and Industry Leaders.

In addition, CITRIS and LBNL have made major commitments to develop our computational science infrastructure, which includes computing clusters and advance visualization laboratory. 

“Sustainable California” – A Return to the Golden State 

California can improve the standard of living by applying predictive simulation to critical problems facing the state. 

  • How can California respond to rapidly changing environment, climate  change, economic forces and demographics?
    • Water resources, public health, natural disasters, energy conservation, environment and security 
  • Predictive simulation can be used to 
    • Understand the impacts of policy choices
    • Create new technologies and industries
    • Find more efficient solutions to California’s pressing infrastructure problemMajor domains of CSE programs
  • A statewide initiative to create integrated systems using advanced computational science and engineering
    • Building upon massive scale datasets – streaming and static
    • Employing sophisticated analytics, with an emphasis on modeling and simulation
    • Focus on major domains critical for human welfare and environmental quality (Environment and Security); urban metabolism and smart cities, food security, fresh water resources, public health, natural disasters, energy conservation, and ecosystem