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EuroSciPy 2013

Brussels, Belgium - August 21-24 2013

The UQ Foundation: Supporting the Right Scientific Tools for Reproducibility

Drew Marsden


Drew Marsden1, Michael McKerns2, Houman Owhadi2, Tim Sullivan3, Clint Scovel2
1 The UQ Foundation
2 The UQ Foundation/California Institute of Technology
3 The UQ Foundation/University of Warwick

The UQ Foundation is a non-profit public benefit organization dedicated to the advancement of Predictive Science; more specifically to the field of Uncertainty Quantification (UQ). In addition to aiding the scientific community through educational outreach, the foundation's core objective is to discover, support, and disseminate open-source UQ developments that more accurately and efficiently address some of the most complex uncertainty, risk, and probability problems.

Our foundation recognizes the clear need and importance of transparency and reproducibility in scientific method. We believe too often researchers and scientists use tools and techniques that rely on poor assumptions or inaccurate priors causing inconsistencies and unreliability when attempting to generate reproducible results. Open source developments supported by the UQ foundation such as Mystic, a global optimization software, do just the opposite.

Mystic leverages Optimal Uncertainty Quantification (OUQ), a rigorous mathematical framework that enables Mystic to directly apply information as constraints and find optimal scenarios for success, failure, risk, certification, uncertainty, etc. These developments make it possible to solve almost any high-dimensional non-convex optimization problem and are already being used to address models ranging from materials failure under hypervelocity impact, elasto-plastic failure in structures under seismic ground acceleration, structure prediction in nanomaterials, and risk assessments in financial portfolios. As our core mission, the UQ Foundation will attempt to extend these open source tools and technologies for use in industries world-wide.

We will summarize how the UQ Foundation is advancing scientific process and how we aim to promote a higher level of reproducibility in scientific findings. We will also provide examples of the developments we support, their application, and impact on not only science but the world.