The Michigan Engineer News Center

Pascal Van Hentenryck at CORS Annual Conference

Pascal Van Hentenryck was the plenary speaker at the 58th CORS Annual Conference held from May 30 - June 1, 2016 in Banff, Alberta, Canada.| Short Read

CORS, which has been in existence since 1958, is a scientific and professional society that takes a leadership role in the advancement of both the theory and the practice of Operational Research (OR) in Canada and safeguards the existence of a vital Canadian OR community by promoting contact between people interested in the subject.

Pascal’s talk was titled, “Optimization of Energy Systems.” The design, control, and operation of energy systems typically require the solving of optimization problems over physical laws. The resulting optimization programs are often computationally challenging and increasingly so with the integration of renewable energy, the need for more resilience, and network integration.

Pascal’s talk reviewed recent progress in this area, including some surprising complexity results and a number of theoretical and computational advances that have radically changed the field in the last 5 years. The talk also presented some novel results in the design and control gas networks, which have become increasingly important in the energy mix. He concluded with a review of some fundamental challenges in the field, including the integration of electricity and gas networks.

Portrait of Elizabeth Fisher


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The electrons absorb laser light and set up “momentum combs” (the hills) spanning the energy valleys within the material (the red line). When the electrons have an energy allowed by the quantum mechanical structure of the material—and also touch the edge of the valley—they emit light. This is why some teeth of the combs are bright and some are dark. By measuring the emitted light and precisely locating its source, the research mapped out the energy valleys in a 2D crystal of tungsten diselenide. Credit: Markus Borsch, Quantum Science Theory Lab, University of Michigan.

Mapping quantum structures with light to unlock their capabilities

Rather than installing new “2D” semiconductors in devices to see what they can do, this new method puts them through their paces with lasers and light detectors. | Medium Read