There are number of different ways computational methods are used in scientific research, among them are the following:

- Numerical Calculations – Numerical calculations are one of the oldest uses of computation in science, to solve equations that either can only be solved numerically or are much easier to solve numerically. This includes numerical integration and numerically solving differential equations. It also includes computer algebra systems. Faculty who use numerical calculations in their work are Giovanni Ossola and Andrea Ferroglia.
- Numerical Simulations – Simulations are an attempt to model some phenomena by representing a system by a finite number of elements (this could be electrons, people, cells, fluid elements, etc.). Interactions between the elements are calculated on the computer and the system is evolved based on those interactions. Faculty performing numerical simulations in their research are Ari Maller and German Kolmakov.
- Optimization/Inference – A common issue in science and other fields is to find the best or optimal solution to some problem. Or to infer the most likely set of conditions that would result in set of data. When these problems can not be solved analytically one uses computer programs to search for the optimal solution. These types of techniques can be used to find the best parameters of a model given some data and are thus widely used in science. Faculty working in optimization/inference include Viviana Acquaviva.
- Data Science – Data science refers to special techniques used on large data sets to learn things about the data sets. Generally, this is different than other techniques because one doesn’t actually have a model of what is going on in the data and instead can discover new things from the data. This includes machine learning, techniques where the computer is supposed to create the model. Faculty working on data science include Viviana Acquaviva.