<p>UMass pond.</p> A photo of me.

Konstantinos Gourgoulias

Applied Mathematician. Computational Scientist. PhD student.


This is a short bio, so you may want to skip it. If you want to see something with better structure, I recommend my LinkedIn page.

I am a PhD student in the Department of Mathematics and Statistics at UMass Amherst. I began studying here in January of 2012. My Bachelor’s degree in Applied Mathematics comes from the Department of Applied Mathematics of the University of Crete. Let’s call it AMDC from now on.

City of Heraklion

The beautiful city of Heraklion, where AMDC "lives".

At AMDC, every student must have a specialization and mine was in the domain of mathematical techniques and software development. This means that I had to pass not only advanced courses in math but also advanced CS courses from one of the best computer science departments in Greece. My main focus during my undergraduate studies was to have both a very good mathematical background and at the same time to be able to write reliable and fast programs in order to solve problems that analytical methods couldn’t penetrate alone. I consider myself a fast learner, being able to quickly add new tools to my workflow, when that is needed.

While a student, I worked as an undegraduate teaching assistant, TA-ing for real analysis and functional analysis. During my third year, two positions for a lab assistant, with the responsibility of explaining the use of Matlab to undergraduates, opened up. I knew little about Matlab at the time but I saw that as an opportunity to learn more and so I practiced for one week before trying for the positions. At the end, I got both of them, so in a sense I TAd for two courses in the same semester. Again, for more info on this, check my my LinkedIn page.

During my last year at AMDC, I took graduate courses from the joint program of the departments of mathematics and applied mathematics, passing every one of them with a grade at the top 1 to 2% among my classmates. I also took part in workshops organized by the Archimedes Center for modeling, analysis and computation, which is a part of the AMDC, funded by the European union.

Outside research & teaching

Since 2008, I am a moderator for an online, Greek, mathematical forum. You can often find me writing articles or explaining concepts there (in Greek).

While not considering myself an artist of any sort, I support processing and enjoy writing visualizations in it.

When I arrived at the US, I started a new blog, on which I comment to anything I find interesting. My co-author there is Alexis Anagnostakis, graduate of the Universite Pierre et Marie Curie and former student at AMDC.

Last but not least, I am a member of the society of industrial and applied mathematics.


Research Assistantships :

Extension of ExaFMM

Soon more info.

Class Projects :

Projects that I had to work on for various graduate level courses. The first three were work I did as an undergraduate. In most of them, I worked as part of a team and had to both develop code and do theoretical work by hand. Usually, I was the one presenting the results at the end of the class. At this moment, you can read the descriptions of the projects. Reports, slides and code soon.

Parallel Computation of the Mandelbrot Set.

For the class "Parallel Computing" (University of Crete), I had to develop code for the computation & visualization of the Mandelbrot set. Computation was done with C, extended with the OpenMP directives and the OpenMPI library. Visualization was done with processing. This was my first exposure to parallel computing.

Rock, Paper, Scissors & population dynamics

For the class "Game theory" (University of Crete), I had to direct a four people group into the study of the population dynamics of three different strains of the bacterium E.Coli. We assumed that we only had replicator dynamics. First, we solved the ODE model that you can see in the previous reference, in order to get some sense of the sensitivities of the system to a number of parameters. Then, we implemented a 2D lattice KMC method in order to introduce the meaning of neighbourhood and stochasticity to the system. This was my first exposure to a Monte Carlo method. Computation and visualization was done with Matlab.

Stochastic model of vehicular traffic

For the class "Monte Carlo Methods" (University of Crete), I had to study and develop a code based on this paper. The idea was to simulate vehicular traffic under different conditions by using lattice KMC and Arrhenius dynamics. Computation was done with the use of Matlab and visualization with processing.

Development of the FS method in CUDA

For the class "Fast Algorithms" (UMass), I had to develop a first version of a Fractional Step algorithm for lattice KMC in CUDA C. Development was done both for the 1D and 2D case. Used the Ising model for benchmarks of the algorithm. Also, did some work on load balancing of the algorithm, with Dechang Cheng of the mathematics department at UMass. For an analysis of the method and a couple of computational results, check this reference.

Ant Colony Optimization

For the class "Computational Methods for Stochastic Systems" (UMass), I had to study the Ant Colony optimization algorithm. I also extended an applet written in processing, which I then used in the final presentation of this class. You can check out the applet here.

Operator Splitting & Stochastic Methods

For the class "Functional Analysis & Applications" (UMass), I presented how & why the Operator Splitting method is used in the cases of ODEs, PDEs and KMC. This was a solo project.

Fractional Step Methods for KMC

In this project, we study how and when fractional step methods can be used with Kinetic Monte Carlo to make it more computationally efficient. Soon more on the theory and practice behing the fractional step idea. Take a look at this reference and let me know if you are interested.

One of our goals is to use the analysis of those methods to further extend some of the tools used today. We are working towards this goal by testing our ideas on Sandia lab's SPPARKS code.

Math331 - Ordinary Differential Equations

"Office" hours

Structure of recitation sessions

For the first hour, I will be covering example problems. If you have a specific question that's unrelated to those, you can approach me during the last half hour.

Random notes

Check some solutions from a previous session of Math331 here. Try to understand the solutions and let me know if there are any problems. Homework 5 has some nice word problems.


You can easily find me via e-mail at : kgourgou(AT) cns (DOT) umass (DOT) edu

Get my public key from here, if you would like to encrypt your e-mail. In that case, don't forget to e-mail me your public key as well.

A very handy tool for encryption/decryption and key generation is mailvelope.

You can also use the form below to send me a message directly from this website. Please include your e-mail address and name.


Address :
Konstantinos Gourgoulias
Department of Mathematics and Statistics
Lederle Graduate Research Tower
University of Massachusetts
Amherst, MA, USA, 01003-9305

My office is at the 14th floor of the Lederle Tower. Office No : 1423C.