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Research at Caius: From scientific computing to French literature

  • 31 October 2018

Supercomputers and reading conspiracies were the topics of discussion at our most recent SCR-MCR talk on Tuesday 30.

The evening commenced with a talk from PhD candidate Knut Sverdrup on his research into Wellbore Cementing on Supercomputers. Knut, who is based at the Laboratory for Scientific Computing, briefly introduced the concept of computational fluid dynamics (CFD) and explained how it has applications in disciplines ranging from biology to engineering. He then went on to describe how he utilises contemporary CFD methods on supercomputers in order to address the challenges faced when simulating cement displacement operations for wellbore drilling.

Following Knut’s talk, new Research Fellow Rebecca Sugden transported us from scientific computing to nineteenth-century France. Rebecca, whose research focuses on French literature and culture in the Faculty of Modern and Medieval Languages, gave us an overview of the historical development of conspiracy theory. Rebecca’s paper drew out the parallels between nineteenth-century French literary and political discourses of conspiracy and our current age of ‘post-truth’ and ‘alternative facts’, asking what it might mean for a society to resort to a ‘paranoid style’ of interpreting the present.

The Caius MCR/SCR research talks are a series of cross-disciplinary after-dinner research talks given by members of the Gonville & Caius MCR and SCR. In addition to highlighting the exciting research conducted by Caians, the series also provides the perfect opportunity for Fellows and students to meet in a casual environment. 

Upcoming talks are advertised on The Venn (Caius Intranet) and talks.cam. All Caians are warmly welcome.

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