SkyWatch The Mathematical and Computational Physics Group (MCP)

Michael Holst directs the MCP Research Group, which is a collection of research scientists, postdocs, doctoral students, masters students, and undergraduate students from the Mathematics and Physics Departments at UCSD. Other CCoM faculty are often involved in the research. The group is supported by NSF, DOE, NIH, DOD, and other funding awards for research projects in several areas of computational mathematics and mathematical physics. The research areas covered by the group include:

General Research Areas: Numerical Analysis, Applied Analysis, Partial Differential Equations, Mathematical Physics.

Specific Areas of Interest: Adaptive Finite Element Methods, Geometric PDE, Biophysics, General Relativity.

Information about the MCP Group: The group has active on-going research projects and publishes in the following areas: The MCP group meets in subgroups for research discussions at various times during the week, and also takes part in the weekly CCoM and CSME seminars. The research program of the group centers around mathematical and/or numerical analysis problems in partial differential equations (PDE), usually involving PDE systems arising in either biophysics (PDE models of biological systems) or astrophysics (PDE problems in general relativity). Our analysis-oriented research involves the intersection of ideas and techniques from nonlinear PDE, linear and nonlinear functional analysis, differential geometry, and global nonlinear analysis. Our numerical analysis-oriented research typically involves a further combination of these techniques with modern approximation theory, iterative algorithms for linear and nonlinear equations, finite element-type numerical methods, and modern parallel computers. Our simulation-based work often involves the use and/or development of The Finite Element ToolKit (FETK). Graduate students in the group usually pursue their M.S. and/or Ph.D. degrees in the Mathematics or Physics Departments with Michael Holst, with a formal Specialization in Computational Science through the graduate Program in Computational Science, Mathematics, and Engineering (CSME).

E-Mail Lists (IMPORTANT): If you are working with Michael Holst as an MS or Ph.D. student, or as postdoctoral fellow, then you are a member of the ``MCP Group''. Emails will be periodically sent out about group meetings and other events to the MCP-L email list (see below). You should try to attend the CCoM and CSME seminars that are usually held on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 11am in 2402 AP&M. The seminar titles and abstracts for all CCoM and CSME seminars are posted on the CCoM/CSME Seminar website. The seminars are are also announced on one or more of the following email lists; if you are in the MCP group, you should self-subscribe to all three of the following email lists by clicking on the links below:
Current and former MCP senior research scientists working with Holst:
  • Gabriel Nagy (Ph.D. 1995, Theoretical Physics, University of Cordoba, Argentina; now at Michigan State University)
  • Mai H. Nguyen (Ph.D. 1995, Computer Science, UC San Diego)
  • Daniel Reynolds (Ph.D. 2003, Computational and Applied Mathematics, Rice University; now at SMU)
  • Olivier Sarbach (Ph.D. 2000, Mathematical Physics, ETH; now at University Michoacana)
  • Ivar Stakgold (Ph.D. 1949, Harvard; Emeritus Professor of Mathematical Sciences, University Delaware)
  • Herb Keller (Ph.D. 1954, NYU; Emeritus Professor of Applied Mathematics, Caltech)
  • Lee Lindblom (Ph.D. 1974, Physics, University of Maryland)
  • Manuel Tiglio (Ph.D. 2000, Physics, University of Cordoba, Argentina)
Coffee Current and former MCP postdoctoral researchers working with Holst:
  • Martin Licht (Ph.D., 2017, Mathematics, University of Oslo; now at UCSD)
  • Ali Behzadan (Ph.D., 2015, Mathematics, UCSD; now at UCSD)
  • James Dilts (Ph.D., 2015, Mathematics, University of Oregon; now at Stellar Science)
  • John Moody (Ph.D., 2016, Mathematics, UCSD; now at VIASAT)
  • Chris Tiee (Ph.D., 2015, Mathematics, UCSD; now at
  • Caleb Meier (Ph.D., 2012, Mathematics, UCSD; now at Parsons Corporation)
  • Sara Pollock (Ph.D., 2012, Mathematics, UCSD; now at University of Florida)
  • Andrew Gillette (Ph.D. 2011, Mathematics, UT Austin; now at University of Arizona)
  • Ari Stern (Ph.D. 2008, Applied and Computational Math., Caltech; now at Washington University)
  • Yunrong Zhu (Ph.D. 2008, Mathematics, Penn State University; now at Idaho State University)
  • Ryan Szypowski (Ph.D. 2008, Mathematics, UCSD; now at Cal Poly Pomona)
  • Evelyn Lunasin (Ph.D. 2007, Mathematics, UC Irvine; now at US Naval Academy)
  • Gantumur Tsogtgerel (Ph.D. 2006, Mathematics, Utrecht; now at McGill University)
  • Yongcheng Zhou (Ph.D. 2006, Mathematics, MSU; now at Colorado State University)
  • Zeyun Yu (Ph.D. 2006, Computer Science, UT Austin; now at University Wisconsin-Milwaukee)
  • Yuhui Cheng (Ph.D. 2007, Physical Chemistry, UCSD; now at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory)
  • BenZhuo Lu (Ph.D. 2002, Biophysics, University of Science and Technology of China; now at Chinese Academy of Sciences)
  • Axel Malqvist (Ph.D. 2005, Applied Mathematics, Chalmers University; now at Chalmers University)
  • Long Chen (Ph.D. 2005, Mathematics, Penn State; now at UC Irvine)
  • Jennifer Erway (Ph.D. 2006, Mathematics, UCSD; now at Wake Forest)
  • Jason Suen (Ph.D. 2002, Chemical Engineering, MIT; now at UCLA)
  • Hugh MacMillan (Ph.D. 2001, Mathematics, University of Colorado; now at the non-profit Food & Water Watch)
  • Steve Bond (Ph.D. 2000, Mathematics, University of Kansas; now at Sandia National Laboratory)
  • Feng Wang (Ph.D. 1997, PSU Mathematics; founder of Math Zoom Academy)
Current and former MCP doctoral students working with Holst (some co-advised with others): MadHack Current and former MCP undergraduate students working with Holst:
  • Mason Holst (2018--, Canyon Crest Academy; High School Research Student)
  • Ishan Timalsina (2016--, Mathematics, UCSD; Undergraduate RTG Research Student)
  • Raina Borum (2017-2018, Mathematics, UCSD; Undergraduate RTG Research Student)
  • Brian Tran (2016-2018, Mathematics, UCSD; Math Honors Thesis)
  • Michael Olsen (2014-2015, Mathematics, UCSD; Math Honors Thesis)
  • Hayley Miles-Leighton (2009-2010, Mathematics, UCSD; Math Honors Thesis)
  • Nicholas Miller (2008-2010, Mathematics, UCSD; Math Honors Thesis)
  • Jessica Lee (2009, Mathematics, UC Santa Cruz, Undergraduate Research Student)
  • Kathryn Farrell (2008-2009, Mathematics, UCSD; Math Honors Thesis; Silagi Award)
  • Cynthia Wood (2008, Mathematics, UCSD; CAMPS Summer Internship)
  • Jennifer Webster (2007-2008, Mathematics, UCSD; Math Honors Thesis)
  • Erik Eldridge (2007-2008, Computer Science, CSU San Marcos; CTBP Academic Year and Summer Internships)
  • Jonathan Kommemi (2006-2008, Mathematics, UCSD; Enrichment/CalIT2 Program, Math Honors Thesis)
  • Brian Nguyen (2006, Mathematics, UCSD; CalIT2 Summer Research Program)
  • Patrick Sanan (2006, Mathematics, UCSD; Undergraduate Research Student)
  • Ronald Page II (2006, Mathematics, UC Berkeley; UC STARS/UC LEADS Summer Research Program)
  • James Noble (2003, Mathematics, UCSD; Math Honors Thesis)
  • John Kleint (2002, Mathematics, UCSD; CalIT2 Summer Research Program)