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VILLUM Synergy Grants 2021

Twelve projects are receiving DKK 45 million in grants in Denmark’s largest programme for data-driven interdisciplinary research: Villum Synergy. Two of the new Villum Synergy projects are granted to Aarhus University. Congratulations to Panagiotis Karras and Kasper Green Larsen, who will be collaborating with researchers from Department Chemistry and Department of Physics and Astronomy.

“There are many research opportunities hidden in the spaces between computer science and other disciplines. We have created the Villum Synergy programme to enable researchers to utilise interdisciplinary research collaborations to make important scientific breakthroughs. This year’s 12 selected projects point to the great potential that lies in supporting excellent interdisciplinary research with data as the driver,” Thomas Bjørnholm, Executive Chief Scientific Officer at VILLUM FONDEN underlines.

On-the-fly Data Exploration for Condensed Matter Physics

Congratulations to associate professor Panagiotis Karras who has received a VILLUM Synergy grant of DKK 2.999.609,00 for the project On-the-fly Data Exploration for Condensed Matter Physics. The project is a collaboration with assistant professor Davide Mottin and Professor Philip Hofmann from the Department of Physics and Astronomy.

Scientific experiments collect data at an ever-increasing rate, far outpacing human capacity to make sense of it. Currently, it is impossible to sufficiently understand the generated data to re-adjust experimental parameters during an ongoing experiment. Thus, the scientist might miss the most interesting parts of parameter space, foreclosing new discoveries.

In this project, Karras, Hofmann, and Mottin will implement on-the-fly data exploration methods that actively adjust and explore the experimental parameter space during data collection, integrating data generation and exploration. This new way of doing data-intensive experimental science will be validated on a physics experiment studying the ultrafast evolution of an excited electron system using a free electron laser.

Decomposing high-dimensional data objects for chemistry

Congratulations to associate professor Kasper Green Larsen who has received a VILLUM Synergy grant of DKK 2.997.238 for the project Decomposing high-dimensional data objects for chemistry. The project is a collaboration with Professor Ove Christiansen from the Department of Chemistry.

Huge data sets are common in science, and especially in chemical experiments. In many cases, the data are measured or observed quantities, but they may also be the result of computer simulations. Developing new methods for storing and analyzing huge data sets is important to obtain insights from the data, and/or for the ability to carry out practical analysis and accurate computations of the data sets.

The goal is to develop efficient and accurate algorithms for performing tensor decomposition as well as performing key numerical operations with decomposed tensors that are important for both analysis of experimental chemical data sets and theoretical quantum computations on molecular systems. Larsen & Christiansen will develop a toolbox of generally available algorithms for key linear algebraic problems with tensor decomposition or based on decomposed tensors. These algorithms will be tested directly in applications in different chemical contexts.


With the Villum Synergy grant, VILLUM FONDEN wishes to strengthen interdisciplinary research in Denmark with an initiative focusing on the interdisciplinary field of data driven science. See the, official announcement from VILLUM Fonden about the 2021 Villum Synergy Grants:

The next call for Villum Synergy grants will be announced on November 4, 2021. The deadline for applying will be March 2, 2022.Read more about the programme: https://veluxfoundations.dk/en/villum-synergy