Tuesday, 24 July 2018 00:59

NSF Grant: Regularity and Singularity Formation in Swarming and Related Fluid Models


I have been awarded an NSF grant (DMS #1815667) on a three-year project: Regularity and Singularity Formation in Swarming and Related Fluid Models. It is translated to DMS #1853001 when I move to University of South Carolina.


Swarming is a commonly observed complex biological and sociological phenomenon. The internal interaction mechanism attracts a lot of attention in physics, engineering, biology, and social sciences. This project is devoted to developing a unified mathematical theory towards the understanding of the swarming dynamics, as well as other nonlocal models that share similar structures. These models are widely considered in fluid mechanics, meteorology, astrophysics, biology, and ecology. The study of the regularity and singularity formations of these equations will provide a firm theoretical foundation for these applications, and also help consolidate the validity of these models in describing the natural phenomena.

The research will focus on understanding the nonlinear and nonlocal phenomena in swarming dynamics, and models having related structures in fluid mechanic. Three different but related models will be investigated. The first model is the Euler-Alignment system, which describes the flocking behavior in animal swarms. The goal is to develop a robust toolbox to analyze the nonlocal alignment operator and its balance with the drift nonlinearity. Similar behaviors are also observed in other fluid equations including porous medium flow, and surface quasi-geostrophic equations, which will be investigated using the same analytical techniques. The second model is the 2D inviscid Boussinesq equations. The global regularity is one of the outstanding problems in fluid dynamics. The idea is to construct solutions to capture the possible singularity formation, starting from some modified versions of the equations. The third model is the kinetic swarming system. The aim is to investigate the important relation between the kinetic equation and a variety of hydrodynamic limits. In particular, different alignment operators will be considered at the kinetic level. They are expected to lead to different macroscopic limits. All these three sub-projects will advance the mathematical understanding of nonlocal PDEs and related applications. They will also provide education and training to graduate and undergraduate students in this active field.

This award reflects NSF's statutory mission and has been deemed worthy of support through evaluation using the Foundation's intellectual merit and broader impacts review criteria.

   NSF award page on the grant DMS #1853001
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