Chris Hill specializes in Earth and planetary computational science. He is interested in the application of large-scale computation to all aspects of understanding Earth and planetary systems. He was a founding developer of the M.I.T. General Circulation Model (MITgcm), a numerical simulation tool used for a wide range of basic science and applied studies in planetary fluid dynamics. He also helped launch the Earth System Modeling Framework (ESMF), a major open standard for creating multicomponent models of Earth system processes. In both activities he has been active in developing prognostic model and model-data synthesis tools. Recent work has included multi-physics, multi-scale models of fluid problems that have relevance to improved modeling of flows in inhomogeneous porous media. The approaches combine algorithmic ideas, with evolving designs in massively parallel computer systems to allow more accurate fluid simulation at a lower computational cost. The work exploits the ESMF multi-component coupling system to provide a general framework for modeling, in which a hierarchy of models is mapped to a hierarchy of hardware.
Hill co-leads the research, education and outreach committee of the Massachusetts Green High Performance Computing Center (MGHPCC). The MGHPCC is a multi-university enterprise in Massachusetts, dedicated to enhancing large-scale computing infrastructure in the area. Hill has worked at MIT since 1993.