Event date:
Oct 29 2021 3:00 pm

Hard-Ball Simulations and the Colliding Dots Animation

Dr. Sarmad Abbasi
At the peak of the pandemic, Harry Stevens published an excellent article in the Washington Post. The article used hard-ball simulations and animations to explain how the pandemic spreads and how specific preventive measures, such as social distancing, can reduce its impact.

Inspired by this article, I created similar animations. I made a video that was released through Math-Cat: a channel dedicated to promoting mathematics. These animations are much more elaborate than the Washington Post article.

The engine behind these animations is an algorithm for doing hard-ball simulations. The problem is simple to pose: Given n particles enclosed in a box (or a more complicated polygon) and their initial velocities, where all collisions are elastic, simulate and animate the system.

Recently, I have been able to develop a faster algorithm for doing these simulations. I will talk about hard-ball simulations and how they can be efficiently implemented. My purpose is to present a small but complete piece. The goal will be to understand the mathematics and computer science behind creating these animations.

The talk is elementary and self-contained. Basics of elastic collisions and some experience in computer programming will be handy.

Dr. Sarmad Abbasi will be talking about “Hard-Ball Simulations and the Colliding Dots Animation” on 29 October 2021 at 3pm.

Please click on the Zoom link to join the session: https://lums-edu-pk.zoom.us/j/97438320644 

About the speaker:

Dr. Sarmad Abbasi was born in Khairpur Mir's, Sindh, and finished his 12th grade from Public School Hyderabad. He continued studying mathematics and theoretical computer science first at the University of Georgia and then at Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey, eventually obtaining a Ph. D in computer science. For the past twenty years, he has taught at various universities in Pakistan. He has been keenly interested in science, the philosophy of science, and its teaching. He is currently launching Math-Cat, a YouTube channel to promote mathematics and theoretical computer science. Dr. Sarmad is also affiliated with Educative, an EdTech company. During his spare time, he conducts original research in both mathematics and theoretical computer science. He reads philosophy and literature, and at times lectures about them.