Rare, high impact events, raise significant mathematical challenges in the areas of optimization, data analysis, stochastic processes, model reduction, and mathematical representations and frameworks. The MACSER team responds to these challenges by carrying out cutting-edge research in space-time statistics, rare event simulation, optimization under uncertainty, bilevel and nonconvex optimization, uncertainty quantification and model reduction.
Environmental drivers, such as major storms or vegetation growth, are the drivers of the most significant disruptions in the electricity supply experienced in the US. It is the mission of MACSER to create the mathematical tools to understand the effects of these drivers on the electricity infrastructure at an unprecedented resolution.
Rare events are difficult to compute and predict but have a very large societal impact. The August 14, 2003, Northeast US blackout affected 55 million people in the US and Canada and was visible from space. MACSER aims to accurately model and effectively simulate such events.
The electricity grid is at the core of $400B per year in direct economic activity, and central to US security and prosperity. How to improve its reliability and resilience, particularly when faced with abnormal or extreme environmental events, is the central application theme of MACSER.