By David Murphy
KAUST faculty member Dominik L. Michels has recently been promoted to associate professor of computer science and applied mathematics. In his role as the head of the Computational Sciences Group (CSG) within the KAUST Visual Computing Center (VCC), Michels’ research activities focus on fundamental and applied aspects of computational mathematics and physics to solve practical problems in scientific and visual computing.
Before founding the CSG at KAUST, Professor Michels joined the Computer Science Department at Stanford University, U.S., after completing his postdoctoral studies at Caltech, U.S., and his B.Sc. ('11), M.Sc. ('13), and Ph.D. ('14) at the University of Bonn, Germany.
Since joining KAUST in 2016, he has built the CSG and established his group at the top level of his scientific community. Since its formation, the CSG has developed numerous novel computational methods based on solid theoretical foundations. At present, the group covers a broad range of topics related to algorithmics, artificial intelligence and machine learning, computer graphics, physics-based modeling, differential equations, mathematical modeling and numerical analysis.
To date, several achievements have substantiated the success of Professor Michels and the CSG. His outstanding research has been recognized by the scientific community within and beyond KAUST. In 2019, he was awarded a €1.25 million Artificial Intelligence Grant of the German State of North Rhine-Westphalia. And recently, he, along with fellow KAUST Professors Mark Tester and Peter Wonka, received a $1.05 million KAUST Competitive Research Grant 2021. Moreover, in 2017, he was acknowledged by Procter & Gamble with their inaugural Faculty Award for his research contributions to the consumer goods industry.
Professor Michels is actively engaged in the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) SIGGRAPH community, serving on the technical paper committees of SIGGRAPH 2022, SIGGRAPH Asia 2020, and 2021. He is a member of the ACM and the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, the London Mathematical Society, the Arab-German Young Academy of Sciences and Humanities project at the Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences and Humanities, and a founding member of the top-class jury of the German AI Award. As an alumnus of the German Academic Scholarship Foundation, he leads its KAUST partnership program.
On the occasion of his promotion, Michels noted: “The success of the CSG would not be possible without its students, postdocs, academic and administrative staff, and our great partners within and beyond KAUST. I feel privileged to work with my amazing colleagues in the KAUST VCC and other KAUST research centers.”