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Type Theory for Sustainability Modelling

Work page for PostDoc application submitted 2009-09-30 to the Wenner-Gren foundations. Part of the PIK collaboration.

  • Applicant: Patrik Jansson
  • PostDoc: Cezar Ionescu
  • Period: Aug. 2010 - Jul. 2011 (1 year)


PostDoc education and competence

University studies in control engineering and computer science with strong mathematical slant, specialization in computational models of biological inspiration (neural networks, genetic algorithms). Thesis (at the Mathematics and Informatics department of the Freie Universitšt Berlin), on modeling the concept of "vulnerability" in global change studies, proving ability for interdisciplinary research.

Research project

We propose to use constructive type theory to specify computational models used in sustainability science. We focus on exploratory models, used to improve our understanding of socio-ecological systems and for policy advice, which are similar in structure but smaller and simpler than predictive models, used for forecasting and control. Past experience suggests that much can be achieved by the consequent application of a simple idea: to make explicit the type of every function used in a model. We aim to build on this foundation, and take it one step further through the use of constructive types. We hope that this effort will lead not only to more correct implementations of these models, but also to closer ties between the computer science and the sustainability communities, and to the uncovering and clarification of important concepts of sustainability science.

PostDoc importance for Chalmers

The proposed project is perfectly aligned with the vision "Chalmers - for a sustainable future" and Ionescu's background in both Computer Science and Sustainability makes him the perfect candidate for bridging the two disciplines. This application is a natural continuation of the bilateral collaboration established over the last few years between PIK and Chalmers. The CSE department at Chalmers already has world-class groups in Type Theory and Functional Programming and Ionescu's work can help spreading these results within Chalmers and Sweden.

Application material

Full application: TypeSustModel.pdf

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Page last modified on December 01, 2009, at 08:38 PM