Guest lectures systems engineering by prof. Eswaran and dr. Pollard of NIST & CMU

News - 18 April 2018 - Webredactie

On 7 May, the Energy and Industry group will host two visitors at the faculty of TPM. Prof. Eswaran Subrahmanian and dr. Blake Pollard, both from NIST & CMU, will each give a talk on systems engineering. Students and staff are most welcome to join.

From 11h00-12h00 prof. Subrahmanian will talk about ‘Category Theory and Foundations for System engineering’ in lecture room G and from 13h00-14h00 dr. Pollard will talk about ‘Categories for Systems Engineering: Smart Grid Composition and Control’ in lecture room I.

About the lecture: ‘Category Theory and Foundations for System engineering’
In his talk prof. Subrahmanian will address the prospect of formal foundations for system engineering (SE), which until now have been largely piecemeal and ad hoc. There are two central problems in the formalization of SE. The first is breadth: one must encompass a tremendous range of existing models and methods, representing localized system features across many scales and viewpoints, based in a welter of different formalisms and abstractions. More pressing still, these local models overlap in their concerns, and we must understand their interaction and integration in order to obtain a more global perspective on the modelled system. We propose that a branch of mathematics called category theory (CT) can provide many of the tools needed for such a formalization. In the talk, the nature of SE through examples will be characterised, and used to illustrate how and why we believe CT provides such theoretical foundations. Further, we will examine both the costs and the benefits of adopting CT in SE will entail.

About the lecture: ‘Categories for Systems Engineering: Smart Grid Composition and Control’
Enabling the widespread penetration of renewables and other distributed energy resources while maintaining a robust and resilient grid is a key challenge for 21st century power systems practitioners. Addressing this challenge requires capturing the interactions of millions of communicating, heterogeneous energy resources across multiple spatial and temporal scales. In this talk, dr. Pollard will describe how the use of category theory helps to curate this landscape by formalizing the relationships among various models, including aggregation, extension, and abstraction. This streamlines the modelling and analysis process, providing a new approach to propagating changes in one layer or model throughout the entire system.