This is old news for people who attended this years workshop on Computational Materials Science (CMS-09) and many other experts in this field, but something very new and very interesting to me and I hope to a number of materials engineering students who missed out on that amazingly informative workshop! In something that can be called as the zenith of interdisciplinary research, scientists are now using Genetic Algorithms (GAs), a computational tool, in designing and predicting optimum behavior in some of the most complicated materials problems. This subject also brings us a lot more closer to mimicking nature in finding the best possible compromise in the available conditions. eg., ant colony optimization. In fact in places like galvanizing of steel where people would think everything has been learnt and known since ages, Prof N Chakraborti from IIT Kharagpur showed how much was left to be optimised and how steel plants are interested in things of this nature. There is potential to do a lot more and i hope more interest gets generated in this field.
PS: I congratulate Abi and his team for having initiated and organised such an illuminating workshop where students like me got to learn how vast and how useful computational methods are in not only complementing experimental research but also in a standing of their own.