Published: Sept. 29, 2022

Junyu Chen (CompSci, AstroPhys, Math'23) was recently highlighted by the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics (SIAM) through SIAM News, a journal for publishing cutting edge research on the state of the art in these areas. Chen's work, completed for CS professor Liz Bradley's chaotic dynamics class, showed that some mathematical models used in computer simulations for outer planetary motion can cause error and instability like ejecting jupiter from the solar system.

Read "Jupiter Ejected: Numerical Dynamics in Simulations of the Outer Solar System"

Q+A with Junyu Chen: 

How would you describe this work to an intelligent audience who might not have a background in computer science?

My work explores computer simulations of the solar system. Due to the limitations of the computers and algorithms, we are seeing interesting results in the simulations, such as Jupiter’s ejection.

What interested you about Professor Bradley’s Chaotic Dynamics class?

I learned a lot of fascinating things that I had limited knowledge of, such as fractals and the Lorenz attractor, and was able to produce amazing visualizations. It is a great class about the science and applications behind how a butterfly flapping its wings can cause a tornado, poetically speaking.

How did it feel to be featured by SIAM?

I am very honored to have my project be featured by SIAM. I am very grateful for Professor Bradley for encouraging me to submit and guiding me throughout the process. The people in SIAM are also very helpful in editing and providing feedback, and I appreciate all their help to me and the project.   

What do you hope to do with your interests in astrophysics, computer science and mathematics?

I am applying to grad school in astrophysics, and hopefully do research in cosmology or galaxies largely using my computer skills.

What advice would you give to other students who might want to explore these concepts?

Take Professor Bradley’s class! The class is well-balanced between theory and practice, and Professor Bradley is wonderful and deeply cares about her students’ interest and success.