Are You With Me, Doctor Wu?

You never know what’s going to appear your email inbox from day to day. I was surprised by this email last week while I was at the APS DFD meeting in Pittsburgh.

email-from-dr-wuAt first I was reminded of the lyrics of the Steely Dan song Dr. Wu from their 1975 album Katy Lied. (I’m a big Steely Dan fan and Katy Lied is a very good album. Of course, their album Aja is even better. You can listen to Dr. Wu on YouTube. But I digress.)

Are you crazy, are you high
Or just an ordinary guy?
Have you done all you can do?
Are you with me Doctor Wu?

Comic relief aside, what am I supposed to do with this email? One comment going around our office inspired this meme.


I’m under no illusions that our stuff is perfect – and our external advisory team does a really good job of keeping us honest. But we’re coming up on 30 years of work on structured grids – we’re not much much much worse than anyone.

The world of mesh generation for CFD is a relatively small one. Maybe a better approach would’ve been to meet in person at the recent International Meshing Roundtable. Or better yet, we’ll be at the AIAA SciTech conference in D.C. in January. Come on by and say hello.

Me and two of my friends from the meshing world: Armin Wulf, president of ICEM CFD Engineering, and Peter Eiseman, president of Program Development Co, the GridPro folks.

Me and two of my friends from the meshing world: Armin Wulf (left), president of ICEM CFD Engineering, and Peter Eiseman (center), president of Program Development Co, the GridPro folks.

Certainly I’m not trying to squelch feedback on how we can do better. I encourage all prospects and customers to share their feature requests with our support and sales engineers or email suggestions directly to me at

Are you with me, Dr. Wu?

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10 Responses to Are You With Me, Doctor Wu?

  1. Daniel WEI says:

    Why not set a filter in your Gmail to filter out any email with the word “sooooooooo…”

  2. John Chawner says:

    And miss out on the fun?

  3. I always knew the world of grid meshing was far more interesting.

  4. John Chawner says:

    Then your interest threshold is pretty low.

  5. Martin Hegedus says:

    Just came here to get my Friday fix.

    I did see Mr. Wu’s highjacking of the “Meet our New Guy” discussion at the Computational Fluid Dynamics linkedin forum.

    My response was not as “nice” as Chris’s or Rick’s… Shouldn’t come as a surprise to some. 🙂 LOL, what an… Oh, there I go again. Never mind.

    However, the fact that he may be doing CFD on contraptions that get placed in my body in the future worries me a lot!!

    The whole thing seems weird. Is this a case of identity theft or something? Or is he just wacked?

  6. Greg Burgreen says:

    Rich, but not surprising. I’ve had the “pleasure” of dealing with this fellow in the artificial organ field. From that experience, Dr. Wu definitely has a seriously high opinion of himself and uncharitable opinions of the work of others. To offend across multiple areas of expertise is quite, let’s just say… noteworthy.

  7. John Chawner says:

    Martin, my hope is that he emails me directly to begin a dialogue (that’s why I put my email address in bold text). He’s not the first person to contact us to share information about their technique which may have certain advantages. But he’s the only one so far to do it this way.

  8. John Chawner says:

    Hi Greg. Sometimes a person with a high self opinion can also walk the walk. That’s why I’ll be interested in whether he makes direct contact. Learning is good.

    • Martin Hegedus says:

      John, I still think he’s wacked. I do agree it is fun to learn and I love to do it. So I agree with you on those points. And it is those qualities that make Pointwise great. And it’s good to open a dialogue and, due to cultural difference (or all types), one needs to be cautious of how one initially interprets these things.

      That begin said, when I saw his post on the CFD forum (which I saw before your blog, not that I think that makes a difference) it was my opinion that his statement was b*llsh*t and that is still my opinion. I am not saying his code is not better (however one measures that) than Pointwise’s. I have no way of knowing. However, if there are differences in the numerical grid generation engine then they probably affect the solution a tiny bit. This does not address issues of the user interface or how easy it is to generate a grid. So maybe that is his claim. (But I don’t think so since he touts their CFD services based on their higher quality proprietary grid generation method.) Also, if one generates two completely different grids, regardless of whether one grid is mathematically qualitatively better then the other (i.e. they could still have the same overall quality) one is going to get, to some degree, two different solutions. And the solutions, under some circumstances, may be completely different. But, that is standard knowledge. So there is wiggle room for the interpretation of Mr. Wu’s statement. However, the sarcastic engineering side in me will not grant him that wiggle room. 🙂 I want proof. And, if Mr. Wu is going to make public statements like that, I want public proof.

      Anyway, looking at some of his grids, I doubt he is capturing the wake. So they may be great from a mathematical quality point of view, but they look poor from a fluid dynamics point of view. In my opinion. So if he upped the number of points/cells, or did AMR, he would get a different answer, to some degree. However, I am not a blood pump expert. BTW, from what I understand, modeling blood is challenging. So, I’m not even sure to what extent solution correctness for biological devices is driven by grid quality.

  9. Martin Hegedus says:

    Ooops, “(or all types)” should be “(of all types)” :p

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