I was born in Zhejiang, China, to parents, Zhenxiong Lin and Yuqian Huang. I was the youngest of five children, after four older sisters. As a teenager I had broad interests in mathematics, science, literature, and basketball. In college, I narrowed my interests to mathematics and chose the major of Information and Computing Science. There I was exposed to interdisciplinary studies of applied mathematics, computer science and statistics. There I also met Chao “Jessica” Wu, who became my wife later in 2012, after two years and seven months of cross-Pacific relationship while I pursued graduate study at UTC. I completed a Master of Science degree in Computational Engineering in 2013, and Ph.D. in the same field in the fall of 2016, and have a beloved son Joseph Lin who is turning 17 months old in December.
What brought you to UTC?
The Computational Engineering graduate program offered at the UTC SimCenter has been famous for research on Computational Fluid Dynamics and other physics-based simulations, and we were on the same page regarding the philosophy of utilizing computers to solve real-world problems. When I applied, Dr. Timothy Swafford and I had long email conversations, which convinced me to join the SimCenter family.
What is your educational background?
I have a Bachelor of Science in Information and Computing Science. It is an interdisciplinary field which includes applied mathematics, computer science and statistics and offers core courses in Mathematical Modeling, Numerical Linear Algebra, Statistics, Object Oriented Analysis, Software Engineering, and more.
What research are you working on?
I enjoy learning and developing algorithms, as well as practical software for solving complex problems. I am convinced that better software leads to better research.
During the graduate level classes I took at the SimCenter, I developed Euler and Reynolds Averaged Navier-Stokes flow solvers and grid generation codes, and parallel linear solvers for shared and distributed memory machines.
My doctoral research topic is the simulation and design of acoustic metamaterials and phononic crystals. In the high-order methods group, I developed a finite element time domain simulation software for multi-material acoustic wave propagation problems, with the capability of parallel computing using MPI and OpenMP. The adjoint-based sensitivity analysis is implemented for topology and shape optimizations. The design optimization techniques can be used to produce arbitrary shapes based on user-defined demands with minimal requirements of knowledge about the actual mechanism as a prerequisite.
What are your plans for the future?
I am going to work in an R&D group in industry to gain some real-world experience, with the hope of better understanding simulation needs. It is difficult to tell the future, but I think I would enjoy both academia and industry. In fact, some former SimCenter faculty went back to universities after serving in industry for years, but some returned to industry again.
What are your interests and hobbies?
I like thinking things through and getting things to work. I also like playing ball games, board games and video games with friends, but I cannot justify much time for those since family is my priority at this time.
Does your experience at UTC meet or exceed your expectations?
The graduate program was a surprise for me in the beginning. I had to take an advanced class to develop a three-dimensional flow solver on meshes with hybrid elements, only because there was no other class to take in that semester. I survived the class, and it became a valuable experience for me since I became more comfortable with developing codes for complex problems. As faculty at the SimCenter often say, you learn things through implementation. This is a good philosophy: a successful implementation does not only bring you confidence in understanding, but also stimulates further interest in the research you are working on.