Paul J. Atzberger | Research Group
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We work on problems at the interface of stochastic analysis, statistical mechanics, scientific computation, and machine learning. Our work is strongly motivated by specific problems in soft condensed matter physics and biophysics. We work on related problems concerning the analysis and approximation of Stochastic Partial Differential Equations (SPDEs). We also work on problems in machine learning and the data sciences.

Specific research areas include:

  • fluctuating hydrodynamics
  • fluid-structure interaction
  • soft materials and complex fluids (gels and lipid bilayer membranes)
  • biophysics (motor proteins, lipid bilayers, microtubules)
  • electrokinetics in micro/nanofluidic devices

Our work can be classified broadly as:

  • Stochastic Analysis
  • Statistical Physics
  • Numerical Analysis
  • Scientific Computation.
  • Machine Learning / Data Science.

For a more detailed discussion of our work see:


We gratefully acknowledge the following sources of support:

*This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. NSF DMS-0635535 and NSF CAREER DMS-0956210. Any opinions, findings and conclusions or recomendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation (NSF).


October 2018: Postdoctoral Position Available in Scientific Computation and Machine Learning.

Funding has become available for a new postdoctoral position concerning research on machine learning methods and related approaches in scientific computation. To apply, please see link here. Some additional information can be found in position paper and recent UC Current Article.

September 2018: Awarded by the US Department of Energy a collaborative grant to found a MMICCs center on Machine Learning and Scientific Computation.

The grant will provide support for research at UCSB and collaborative activities with researchers at Sandia National Laboratories (SNL), Pacific Northwestern National Laboratories (PNNL), and Stanford, Brown, and MIT. Additional information: [PDF] [UC Current Article].

August 2018: David Rower and Ben Gross attending and giving research talks at SIAM Conference in Minneapolis, MN.

SIAM Conference on Life Sciences 2018.

June 2018: Congratulations Ben Gross!

Our recent papers have been accepted to the Journal of Computational Physics and the Journal of Scientific Computing.

[graphical abstract]

Hydrodynamic Flows on Curved Surfaces: Spectral Numerical Methods for Radial Manifold Shapes , B.J. Gross and P.J. Atzberger, (accepted), J. Comp. Phys., (2018) [preprint] [full paper].

Spectral Numerical Exterior Calculus Methods for Differential Equations on Radial Manifolds , B.J. Gross and P.J. Atzberger, 76, pp 145165, Journal of Scientific Computing, (2018) [preprint] [full paper].

May 2018: Teaching Data Science and Machine Learning Courses in Fall 2018

I will be teaching graduate course Special Topics in Machine Learning, Fall 2018, [link].

Also, I will be teaching an undergraduate course Introduction to Data Sciences and Machine Learning, Fall 2018, [link].

In the recent past, I also taught Graduate Course on Machine Learning, Fall 2017 [link], and honors course in Winter 2018 [link].

January 2017: SIAM Life Sciences

As the newly elected Vice-Chair for the SIAM Life Sciences Activity Group, I would like to encourage you to join the LS SIAG. For more information and upcoming conferences / events please see:

January 2017: Machine Learning Tutorial

An Introduction to Machine Learning: Foundations and Applications, Paul J. Atzberger.

Date/Time/Location: January 18th, 3:30pm - 4:30pm, South Hall, Room 4607b.

[More Information].

I will be teaching a Graduate Course on Machine Learning, Fall 2017 [link], and honors seminar in Winter 2018 [link].

July 2016: UCSB Public Lecture

The Hidden Role of Mathematics and Computation in Scientific Discovery and Engineering.

Public lecture aimed at a general audience as part of the UCSB Seminar Series on Groundbreaking Research / Innovative Technology (GRIT).

[link to video]

May 2016: Inderbir Sidhu and Misha Padidar present posters on research projects.

UCSB Undergraduate Research Colloquium

June 2016: Summer School on Multiscale Modeling of Materials CM4 (Stanford University, June 20-23, 2016)

The workshop focuses on mathematical modeling of soft materials and computational methods. We present a tutorial on fluctuating hydrodynamics approaches and our computational package SELM for simulations using the LAMMPS molecular dynamics software.

Summer School Program [website]

Software package SELM for fluctuating hydrodynamics simulations in LAMMPS [software website]

June 2016: Soft Matter Journal highlights on the cover our work on curved fluid interfaces.

This research is reported in the paper

Hydrodynamic Coupling of Particle Inclusions Embedded in Curved Lipid Bilayer Membranes, J.K. Sigurdsson and P.J. Atzberger, 12, 6685-6707, Soft Matter, The Royal Society of Chemistry, (2016) [paper] .

January 2015: UCLA IPAM Talk at Workshop on Partial Order: Mathematics, Simulations and Applications

Fluctuating Hydrodynamics Approaches for Lipid Bilayer Membranes

[link to video]

[IPAM link]

October 2014: News Article

The UCSB Current highlighted some of our recent work: [PDF] [article link].

July 2014: Postdoctoral Position

Funding has become available for a new postdoctoral position. To apply, please send a CV and a short summary of your research interests. [see link]

May 2014: Our paper "Shape matters in protein mobility within membranes," was published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS). [full paper]

Congratulations Jon Sigurdsson!

May 2014: Congratulations to Kai Sikorksi on his new position at Goldman Sachs!

May 2014: Recent expository demonstration we put together for the Poincare Sections of the Duffing Oscillator.

December 2013: Congratulations to Jon Karl Sigurdsson who successfully defended his thesis!

September 2013: Congratulations to Pat Plunkett who successfully defended his thesis!

Thanks Pat for the very cool 3D printout of an adaptive mesh! [JPG]

July 2013: Soft Matter Journal has highlighted on the September cover our work on supported lipid bilayers.

This research is reported in the paper

Simulation of edge facilitated adsorption and critical concentration induced rupture of vesicles at a surface, P. Plunkett, B. Camley, K. Weirich, J. Israelachvili, P. Atzberger. [paper]

June 2013: Congratulations to Gil Tabak on winning the Undergraduate Wilder Award!

This research work is reported in the paper

Stochastic Reductions for Inertial Fluid-Structure Interactions Subject to Thermal Fluctuations, G. Tabak and P.J. Atzberger, SIAM J. Appl. Math., 75(4), 18841914, (2015). [PDF] [full paper]

June 2013: Gil Tabak gives CCS Commencement Speech.

December 2012: Software Package Mango-Selm for fluctuating hydrodynamics thermostats has been released!

This is available as part of the Lammps Molecular Dynamics Software (Sandia, DOE). The package allows for dynamic simulations of implicit-solvent coarse-grained models using SELM thermostats. [more information].

December 2012: Awarded from US Department of Energy a collaborative grant to found a MMICCs center on Computational Methods for Soft Materials (CM4).

The grant will provide support for research at UCSB and collaborative activities with researchers at Sandia National Laboratories (SNL), Pacific Northwestern National Laboratories (PNNL), and Stanford, Brown, Penn State, and MIT. Additional information: [CM4 MMICCs Center].

July 2012: David Valdman successfully defends his thesis!

Congratulations to Dr. Valdman!

April-June 2012: KITP Workshop :

Physical Principles of Multiscale Modeling, Analysis and Simulation in Soft Condensed Matter, Coordinators: Paul J. Atzberger, Kurt Kremer, Mark Robbins [link]

June 2011: Daniel Kerr gives CCS Commencement Speech.

CCS Commencement Speech [Video].


Paul J. Atzberger
6712 South Hall
University of California Santa Barbara
Santa Barbara, CA 93106

Phone: 805.893.3239
Fax: 805.893.2385

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