IllinoisPaul Ricker



In this section


I am a computational scientist, which means two things: my primary method of scientific investigation is to make use of computer experiments in solving problems, and part of my work involves the development of the algorithms and codes used in these experiments. Computational scientists in different fields (astrophysics, chemistry, geology, climatology, etc.) occupy a role in between theory and experiment -- while we create models and solve equations like a theorist, we build "equipment" (software), vary parameters, and control errors like an experimentalist. Computational science has been called a "third branch" of science since it complements theory and experiment by providing a unique means for studying complex, nonlinear phenomena that cannot be addressed any other way.

To learn more about computational science, and to look for curriculum materials or online courses, visit the National Computational Science Institute, which is run by Shodor.

To learn more about the work of my research group, select one of the research areas listed at left, or visit our group web site.