Dinshaw Balsara

Associate Professor, Astrophysics
Concurrent Associate Professor, Department of Applied and Computational Mathematics and Statistics

M.S., (Physics) Indian Inst. of Tech., Kanpur, 1982
M.S., (Astronomy) University of Chicago, 1989
Ph.D., Univ. of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 1990

Address: NSH 333h
Phone: (574) 631-9639
Fax: (574) 631-5952

Prof. Dinshaw Balsara Google Scholar Profile Link

Associate Editor, Journal of Computational Physics

Associate Editor, Computational Astrophysics and Cosmology

Author of a text on: Numerical PDE Techniques for Scientists and Engineers

Research Interests

I have a dual training in physics and astrophysics. My Ph.D. was in computational physics and astrophysics where I designed and compared several popular schemes for astrophysical fluid dynamics and also applied them to the study of extragalactic jets. I subsequently worked on several problems in active galactic nuclei, studying the accretion on to central engines, starburst galaxies and galaxies in clusters. More recently, I have developed computational applications in the areas of interstellar medium, turbulence, star formation, planet formation, the physics of accretion disks, compact objects and relativistic astrophysics and I continue to work in all of those areas of research.

I have also played a seminal role in formulating our modern conception of computational astrophysics. My work on divergence-free AMR-MHD has led me to break new ground in our understanding of numerical MHD. Seminal contributions have also been made in higher order methods for hyperbolic PDEs. I have written several leading papers on how to achieve high spatial accuracy via WENO, DG and PNPM schemes. I have also played an important role in the development of ADER time update strategies with very high order of temporal accuracy. Recently, I have played a leading role in formulating multidimensional Riemann solvers and showing their utility for MHD simulations as well as ALE simulations. I have also produced some of the best, most accurate and most robust methods for numerical MHD and have recently begun extending this expertise to radiative transfer as well as non-ideal processes that are often very useful in regulating astrophysical phenomena. I also have a scholarly interest in high performance computing, especially at the PetaScale and ExaScale levels. Several of my papers have been cited over a hundred times and quite a few have been cited many hundreds of times. I serve the computational physics community via my editorial duties for the Journal of Computational Physics. I also serve the computational astrophysics community via my editorial duties for Computational Astrophysics and Cosmology.

The above-mentioned numerical expertise is routinely applied to problems in all areas of computational astrophysics. In fact, the robust numerics was central to the process of carrying out path-breaking simulations of the supernova explosion-driven ISM turbulence. That work has resulted in many new insights into the nature of the multi-phase ISM and the evolution of magnetic fields in it. Novel insights have also been recently gained on the physics of accretion disk boundary layers and the physics of supernova remnants in the presence of anisotropic thermal conduction. The work has also been applied to star formation and planet formation studies, astrophysical jets and to the study of turbulence in general.

Selected Publications

D.S. Balsara & D. Spicer, A Staggered Mesh Algorithm Using Higher Order Godunov Fluxes to Ensure Solenoidal Magnetic Fields in MHD Simulations, J. Comput. Phys., Vol. 149, Pgs. 270-292 (1999).

D.S. Balsara & C.-W.Shu Monotonicity Preserving Weighted Essentially Non-Oscillatory Schemes with Increasingly High Order of  Accuracy, J. Comput. Phys., Vol. 160, Pgs. 405-452 (2000).

D.S. Balsara, Divergence-Free Adaptive Mesh Refinement for Magnetohydrodynamics, J. Comput. Phys., Vol. 174(2), pp. 614-648 (2001).

D.S. Balsara, J.S. Kim, M.M. Mac Low and G. J. Mathews, Amplification of Magnetic Fields in the Multi-phase ISM with Supernova-Driven Turbulence, Ap.J., vol. 617, 339-349 (2004).

D.A. Tilley, D.S. Balsara, J.C. Howk, Simulations of Mixed Morphology Supernova Remnants With Anisotropic Thermal Conduction, Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 371, 1106, (2006).

M. Dumbser, D.S. Balsara, E.F. Toro & C.-D. Munz, A Unified Framework for the Construction of Quadrature-Free One-Step Finite-Volume and Discontinuous Galerkin Schemes, J. Comp. Phys., 227, 8209-8253 (2009).

D.S. Balsara, D.A. Tilley, T. Rettig & S.A. Brittain, Dust Settling in Magnetorotationally-Driven Turbulence I : Numerical Methods and Evidence for a Vigorous Streaming Instability, Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 297, 24-43 (2009).

D.A. Tilley and D.S. Balsara, Direct Evidence for Two-Fluid Effects in Molecular Clouds, Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 406, 1201 (2010).

D.S. Balsara, Multidimensional Extension of  the HLLE Riemann Solver; Application to Euler and Magnetohydrodynamical Flows, J. Comp. Phys. Vol. 229, Pgs. 1970-1993 (2010).

C. Meyer, D.S. Balsara, B. Burkhart, A. Lazarian, Observational Diagnostics for Two-Fluid Turbulence in Molecular Clouds As Suggested by Simulations,  MNRAS, Vol. 439, Pgs. 2197-2210 (2014).

D.S. Balsara , M. Dumbser and R. Abgrall, Multidimensional HLL and HLLC Riemann Solvers for Unstructured Meshes – With Application to Euler and MHD Flows, Journal of  Computational Physics, 261 (2014) 172-208.

D.S. Balsara,  Multidimensional Riemann Problem with Self-Similar Internal Structure – Part I –  Application to Hyperbolic Conservation Laws on Structured Meshes, Journal of Computational Physics 277 (2014) 163-200.

Prof. Balsara CV (link to PDF file)