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Hans Johansen

Hans Johansen
Computer Systems Engineer
Phone: +1 510 495 2472

I am a researcher in the Applied Numerical Algorithms Group in CRD. I focus on scalable numerical and mathematical algorithms applied to problems where the accuracy of dynamics and multi-scale interactions are important.

I have also spent 12 years in IT consulting and architecture in startups and the financial services industry, which included roles in strategic planning, vendor management, software project leadership, business process and data analytics. I have a Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from the University of California, Berkeley.

 See my LinkedIn profile for more information.

Current research projects and collaborations:

  • Global atmospheric dynamics simulations. Developing a Chombo-based time-accurate, adaptive mesh refinement (AMR) dynamical core on the cubed sphere, with appropriate treatment of acoustic waves. See our recent conference poster.
  • Multi-scale modeling combined with optimizaiton of urban energy usage. Developing a proof of concept for combined weather and energy simulation and optimization across different scales.
  • Higher-order Finite Volume methods. Under DoE ASCR Applied Math program, developing scalable higher-order methods for complex PDE's. Examples include 4th-order adaptive methods for advection-diffusion, higher-order Embedded Boundary methods, and adaptive mapped multi-block discretizations.
  • Embedded Boundary methods. Ongoing research into "cut-cell" approaches to PDE's ising EB Chombo, and the mathematical theory avoiding issues with "small cells," with applications to complex geometries and multi-material problems.

Ongoing research interests:

  • Scientific software and evolving HPC architectures. The future of HPC platforms may be GPU/manycore systems, globally distributed cloud-type computing, or both. Coming up with approaches, algorithms and libraries that can solve bigger problems faster is an ongoing challenge. Work supported by DoE ASCR and an NSF SI2 project.
  • Software Architecture in Scientiific Computing. My background as a systems and software architect in commercial settings contrasts dramatically with how things are done in most scientific computing teams, so I'm developing approaches to bridge those two worlds.

Journal Articles

Nishant Nangia, Hans Johansen, Neelesh A. Patankar, Amneet Pal Singh Bhalla, "A moving control volume approach to computing hydrodynamic forces and torques on immersed bodies", Journal of Computational Physics, June 29, 2017, doi: 10.1016/

Dharshi Devendran, Daniel T. Graves, Hans Johansen,Terry Ligocki, "A Fourth Order Cartesian Grid Embedded Boundary Method for Poisson's Equation", Communications in Applied Mathematics and Computational Science, edited by Silvio Levy, May 12, 2017, 12:51-79, doi: DOI 10.2140/camcos.2017.12.51

Jared O. Ferguson, Christiane Jablonowski, Hans Johansen, Peter McCorquodale, Phillip Colella, Paul A. Ullrich, "Analyzing the adaptive mesh refinement (AMR) characteristics of a high-order 2D cubed-sphere shallow-water model", Mon. Wea. Rev., November 9, 2016, 144:4641–4666, doi: 10.1175/MWR-D-16-0197.1

P. McCorquodale, P.A. Ullrich, H. Johansen, P. Colella, "An adaptive multiblock high-order finite-volume method for solving the shallow-water equations on the sphere", Comm. App. Math. and Comp. Sci., 2015, 10:121-162, doi: 10.2140/camcos.2015.10.121

D. Devendran, D. T. Graves, H. Johansen, "A higher-order finite-volume discretization method for Poisson's equation in cut cell geometries", submitted to SIAM Journal on Scientific Computing (preprint on arxiv), 2015,

Peter Schwartz, Julie Percelay, Terry J. Ligocki, Hans Johansen, Daniel T. Graves, Dharshi Devendran, Phillip Colella, Eli Ateljevich, "High-accuracy embedded boundary grid generation using the divergence theorem", Communications in Applied Mathematics and Computational Science 10-1 (2015), 83--96. DOI 10.2140/camcos.2015.10.83, March 31, 2015,

Q. Zhang, H. Johansen and P. Colella, "A Fourth-Order Accurate Finite-Volume Method with Structured Adaptive Mesh Refinement for Solving the Advection-Diffusion Equation", SIAM Journal on Scientific Computing, Vol. 34, No. 2. (2012), B179, doi:10.1137/110820105, 2010,

McCorquodale, P., Colella, P., Johansen, H., "A Cartesian Grid Embedded Boundary Method for the Heat Equation on Irregular Domains", J. Comput. Phys. Vol.173 (2001), pp. 620-635, 2001,

Johansen, H., Colella, P., "A Cartesian Grid Embedded Boundary Method for Poisson's Equation on Irregular Domains", J. Comput. Physics, Vol.147, No.1, pp. 60-85, November 1998,

Conference Papers

Bryce Adelstein Lelbach, Hans Johansen, Samuel Williams, "Solving Large Quantities of Small Matrix Problems on Cache-Coherent Many-Core SIMD Architectures", Parallel and Distributed Scientific and Engineering Computing (PDSEC), June 2017,

Bin Dong, Suren Byna, Kesheng Wu, Prabhat, Hans Johansen, Jeffrey N. Johnson, and Noel Keen, "Data Elevator: Low-contention Data Movement in Hierarchical Storage System", The 23rd annual IEEE International Conference on High Performance Computing, Data, and Analytics (HiPC) (Acceptance rate: 25%), December 19, 2016,

Dharshi Devendran, Suren Byna, Bin Dong, Brian van Straalen, Hans Johansen, Noel Keen, and Nagiza Samatova,, "Collective I/O Optimizations for Adaptive Mesh Refinement Data Writes on Lustre File System", Cray User Group (CUG) 2016, May 10, 2016,

Xiaocheng Zou, David Boyuka, Dhara Desai, Martin, Suren Byna, Kesheng Wu, Kushal, Bin Dong, Wenzhao Zhang, Houjun Tang Dharshi Devendran, David Trebotich, Scott, Hans Johansen, Nagiza Samatova, "AMR-aware In Situ Indexing and Scalable Querying", The 24th High Performance Computing Symposium (HPC, January 1, 2016,

Xiaocheng Zou, Kesheng Wu, David A. Boyuka, Daniel F. Martin, Suren Byna, Houjun, Kushal Bansal, Terry J. Ligocki, Hans Johansen, and Nagiza F. Samatova, "Parallel In Situ Detection of Connected Components Adaptive Mesh Refinement Data", Proceedings of the Cluster, Cloud and Grid Computing (CCGrid) 2015, 2015,

J. Ferguson, C. Jablonowski, H. Johansen, R. English, P. McCorquodale, P. Colella, J. Benedict, W. Collins, J. Johnson, P. Ullrich, "Assessing Grid Refinement Strategies in the Chombo Adaptive Mesh Refinement Model", AGU Fall Meeting, San Francisco, CA, December 15, 2014,

Gunther H. Weber, Hans Johansen, Daniel T. Graves, Terry J. Ligocki, "Simulating Urban Environments for Energy Analysis", Proceedings Visualization in Environmental Sciences (EnvirVis), 2014, LBNL 6652E,


Dharshi Devendran, Daniel T. Graves, Hans Johansen, "A Hybrid Multigrid Algorithm for Poisson's equation using an Adaptive, Fourth Order Treatment of Cut Cells", LBNL Report Number: LBNL-1004329, November 11, 2014,


Cartesian Grid Embedded Boundary Finite Difference Methods for Elliptic and Parabolic Partial Differential Equations on Irregular Domains, Johansen, H., 1997,