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Layne T. Watson

2000B Torgersen Hall
Blacksburg, VA 24061

Professor, Computer Science, Mathematics, and Aerospace and Ocean Engineering



  • Ph.D., 1974, Mathematics, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.
  • B.A., 1969, Psychology, University of Evansville.

Awards and Honors:

  • Member, Phi Kappa Phi, Blue Key, Psi Chi, Kappa Mu Epsilon, Phi Beta Chi, Sigma Chi, and Upsilon Pi Epsilon.
  • Special Year Lecturer, 1981, University of Maryland.
  • Fellow of the IEEE.
  • Best Paper Award, Sixth AIAA/NASA/ISSMO Symposium on Multidisciplinary Analysis and Optimization.
  • Alumni Award for Excellence in Research.
  • DARPA BioSPICE Special Recognition Award.
  • First Place George Marra Award for Excellence in Writing, Society for Wood Science and Technology.
  • Fellow of The National Institute of Aerospace.
  • Dean's Award for Excellence in Research.
  • Fellow of the International Society of Intelligent Biological Medicine.
  • Best Paper Award, 19th High Performance Computing Symposium, 2011 Spring Simulation Multiconference.

Other Professional Experience:

  • 2008 Visiting Melchor Chair Professor, Department of Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering, University of Notre Dame, Notre Dame, IN.
  • 1995-96 Departments of Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering, Computer Science and Engineering, and Mathematics, University of Notre Dame, Notre Dame, IN.
  • 1985-86 Departments of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, Industrial and Operations Engineering, and Mathematics, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.
  • 1984 Applied Mathematics Division, Sandia National Laboratories, Albuquerque, NM.
  • 1975-78 Department of Mathematics, Michigan State University, East Lansing.
  • 1969-75 Department of Mathematics, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.
  • 1969-78 Computer Systems Consultant, Wright, Griffin, Davis, & Co., CPA's, Ypsilanti, MI.

Current Research Interests:

Selected Research Grants and Contracts:

  • NASA. "Variable-complexity multidisciplinary optimization on parallel computers" (with B. Grossman, R. T. Haftka, and W. H. Mason). 1993–96, $599,521.
  • Air Force Office of Scientific Research. "Innovative local-global methods for wing structural design" (with Z. Gurdal and R. T. Haftka). 1999–2001, $509,219.
  • NSF. "A collaborative problem solving environment for modeling of broadband wireless communication systems" (with T. S. Rappaport, D. G. Kafura, N. Ramakrishnan, C. A. Shaffer, and W. Tranter). 1999–2003, $1,000,000.
  • NSF. "A microarray experiment management system" (with N. Ramakrishnan, R. Alscher, L. S. Heath, and J. W. Weller). 2001–04, $600,000.
  • DARPA. "The eukaryotic cell cycle as a test case for modeling cellular regulation in a collaborative problem solving environment" (with J. J. Tyson, J. C. Sible, K. C. Chen, C. A. Shaffer, and N. Ramakrishnan). 2001–06, $2,442,400.
  • Air Force Research Laboratory. "AFRL-VT collaborative center on multidisciplinary analysis and design of future aerospace vehicles (MADFAV)" (with R. K. Kapania, J. A. Schetz, R. A. Canfield, M. R. Hajj, W. H. Mason, M. J. Patil, C. A. Woolsey, R. C. Batra, D. K. Tafti). 2009–2016, $5,838,758.


Selected Publications:

  • B. B. Lowekamp, L. T. Watson, and M. S. Cramer, "The cellular automata paradigm for the parallel solution of heat transfer problems", Parallel Alogrithms Appl., 9 (1996) 119–130.
  • S. Burgee, A. A. Giunta, V. Balabanov, B. Grossman, W. H. Mason, R. Narducci, R. T. Haftka, and L. T. Watson, "A coarse grained parallel variable-complexity multidiscplinary optimization paradigm", Internat. J. Supercomputer Appl. High Performance Comput., 10 (1996) 296–299.
  • L. T. Watson, M. Sosonkina, R. C. Melville, A. P. Morgan, and H. F. Walker, "Algorithm 777: HOMPACK90: A suite of FORTRAN 90 codes for globally convergent homotopy algorithms", ACM Trans. Math. Software, 23 (1997) 514–549.
  • A. P. Morgan, L. T. Watson, and R. A. Young, "A Gaussian derivative based version of JPEG for image compression and decompression", IEEE Trans. Image Processing, 7 (1998) 1311–1320.
  • J. F. Rodriguez, J. E. Renaud, and L. T. Watson, "Convergence of trust region augmented Lagrangian methods using variable fidelity approximation data", Structural Optim., 15 (1998) 141–156.
  • D. T. Krasteva, L. T. Watson, C. Baker, B. Grossman, W. H. Mason, and R. T. Haftka, "Distributed control parallelism in multidisciplinary aircraft design", Concurrency: Pract. Exper., 11 (1999) 435–459.
  • S. M. Wise, A. J. Sommese, and L. T. Watson, "Algorithm 801: POLSYS_PLP: A partitioned linear product homotopy code for solving polynomial systems of equations", ACM Trans. Math. Software, 26 (2000) 176–200.
  • L. T. Watson, "Theory of globally convergent probability-one homotopies for nonlinear programming", SIAM J. Optim., 11 (2000) 761–780.
  • A. Goel, C. A. Baker, C. A. Shaffer, B. Grossman, W. H. Mason, L. T. Watson, and R. T. Haftka, "VizCraft: a problem solving environment for configuration design of a high speed civil transport", Comput. Sci. Engrg., 3 (2001) 56–66.
  • J. He, L. T. Watson, N. Ramakrishnan, C. A. Shaffer, A. Verstak, J. Jiang, K. Bae, and W. H. Tranter, "Dynamic data structures for a direct search algorithm", Comput. Optim. Appl., 23 (2002) 5–25.
  • N. Allen, L. Calzone, K. C. Chen, A. Ciliberto, N. Ramakrishnan, C. A. Shaffer, J. C. Sible, J. J. Tyson, M. Vass, L. T. Watson, and J. Zwolak, "Modeling regulatory networks at Virginia Tech", OMICS, 7 (2003) 285–299.
  • H.-J. Su, J. M. McCarthy, and L. T. Watson, "Generalized linear product homotopy algorithms and the computation of reachable surfaces", ASME J. Comput. Information Sci. Engrg., 4 (2004) 226–234.
  • R. T. Haftka and L. T. Watson, "Multidisciplinary design optimization with quasiseparable subsystems", Optim. Engrg., 6 (2005) 9–20.
  • H.-J. Su, J. M. McCarthy, M. Sosonkina, and L. T. Watson, "Algorithm 857: POLSYS_GLP—a parallel general linear product homotopy code for solving polynomial systems of equations", ACM Trans. Math. Software, 32 (2006) 561–579.
  • J. W. Zwolak, P. T. Boggs, and L. T. Watson, "Algorithm 869: ODRPACK95: a weighted orthogonal distance regression code with bound constraints", ACM Trans. Math. Software, 33, Article 27 (2007) 1–12.
  • M. A. Gonçalves, E. A. Fox, and L. T. Watson, "Towards a digital library theory: a formal digital library ontology", Internat. J. Digital Libraries, 8 (2008) 91–114.
  • J. He, L. T. Watson, and M. Sosonkina, "Algorithm 897: VTDIRECT95: serial and parallel codes for the global optimization algorithm DIRECT", ACM Trans. Math. Software, 36, Article 17 (2009) 1–24.
  • W. I. Thacker, J. Zhang, L. T. Watson, J. B. Birch, M. A. Iyer, and M. W. Berry, "Algorithm 905: SHEPPACK: modified Shepard algorithm for interpolation of scattered multivariate data", ACM Trans. Math. Software, 37, Article 34 (2010) 1–20.
  • N. Ramakrishnan, S. Tadepalli, L. T. Watson, R. F. Helm, M. Antoniotti, and B. Mishra, "Reverse engineering dynamic temporal models of biological processes and their relationships", Proc. National Academy of Sciences, 107 (2010) 12511–12516.
  • R. D. Phillips, L. T. Watson, R. H. Wynne, and N. Ramakrishnan, "Continuous iterative guided spectral class rejection classification algorithm", IEEE Trans. Geoscience Remote Sensing, 50 (2012) 2303–2317.

 Spring 2018

 Issues in Scientific Computing (CS/Math 4414) - Syllabus