**At the Interface of Computer Science and
Environmental Engineering**

**George F. Pinder**

**Abstract**

Research into the solutions of practical environmental
problems often involves several elements of Computer Science. In our research
we use elements of numerical mathematics, optimization, artificial intelligence
and computer graphics, all of which can be catalogued, in part, under the
general topic of Computer Science. Numerical mathematics are
employed in the modeling of groundwater flow and transport. In an effort to
simulate the natural degradation of contaminants in the subsurface, multiple
phases (for example air and water in the soil) and the activity of microbes are
modeled. Such models can be used in combination with optimization methods to
arrive at engineering designs that minimize the cost of environmental
restoration. When important information can be provided only subjectively, such
as in the case of expert opinion, one can employ the theory of fuzzy sets
within the context of approximate reasoning to augment an otherwise
quantitative data base. In this case natural language is converted to
mathematics that can then be used to enhance the quality and relevance of
environmental engineering designs.