Other projects

LLMteaching: A web site resource for learning, teaching and doing research with large language models (such as chatGPT)

At the KURT center — dedicated to teaching and learning in science and technology at the University of Oslo—I’m exploring effective ways to integrate large language models (LLMs) into education. Our goal is to leverage LLMs to enhance learning experiences rather than allowing them to become shortcuts that avoid genuine intellectual engagement. The findings and methodologies I’ve developed are summarized on llmteaching.com, a comprehensive resource for educators, researchers, and students. This site provides insights on how to use LLMs responsibly in teaching and research, including tutorials on prompt engineering, understanding the underlying science of LLMs through useful analogies, and navigating the ethics involved. It also offers guidance on identifying and cultivating the skills needed to use LLMs effectively, alongside a collection of activities designed to foster meaningful learning and research interactions. Notably, I highlight tools like the “world’s most dangerous writing app,” which pairs well with LLMs due to their proficiency in organizing and summarizing authoritative information. The llmteaching platform is open to anyone interested in using LLMs for learning, teaching, or research. I welcome suggestions and collaborations to expand our understanding and application of these powerful tools.

Phase-field crystal plasticity: Exploring Dislocations in Crystals During My PhD

During my PhD, I delved into the study of dislocations in crystals, which are minuscule defects known as topological defects. T hese defects play a crucial role in how materials deform and fracture under stress. Similar to how vortices in Bose-Einstein condensates are characterized by an integer charge, dislocations in crystals are identified by a vector charge known as the Burgers vector. My research involved establishing a deeper connection between these concepts by deriving explicit formulas for stress in crystals and the topological properties using a dislocation density tensor calculated directly from the phase-field. Furthermore, I developed methods to evolve the phase-field crystal model to achieve mechanical equilibrium. This included directly setting equilibrium stress and creating a hydrodynamic framework that simulates sound modes to neutralize elastic excitations. The culmination of this work is a model capable of simulating the phase-field crystal in any orientation without the direct analysis of elastic problems. This methodology aims to simulate polycrystals and study crack propagation in the Earth’s crust among other applications. The phase-field crystal code, complete with several built-in symmetries, is now integrated into the ComFiT library. Looking ahead, we aim to explore the evolution of vortex rings and loops, including dislocation rings, to see if machine learning can predict their motion.


  • Skogvoll, V. (2023). Symmetry, topology, and crystal deformations: A phase-field crystal approach [Doctoral thesis]. https://www.duo.uio.no/handle/10852/102731
  • Skogvoll, V., Angheluta, L., Skaugen, A., Salvalaglio, M., & Viñals, J. (2022). A phase field crystal theory of the kinematics of dislocation lines. Journal of the Mechanics and Physics of Solids, 166, 104932. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jmps.2022.104932
  • Skogvoll, V., Salvalaglio, M., & Angheluta, L. (2022). Hydrodynamic phase field crystal approach to interfaces, dislocations and multi-grain networks. Modelling and Simulation in Materials Science and Engineering. https://doi.org/10.1088/1361-651X/ac9493
  • Skogvoll, V., Skaugen, A., & Angheluta, L. (2021). Stress in ordered systems: Ginzburg-Landau-type density field theory. Physical Review B, 103(22), 224107. https://doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevB.103.224107
  • Skogvoll, V., Skaugen, A., Angheluta, L., & Viñals, J. (2021). Dislocation nucleation in the phase-field crystal model. Physical Review B, 103(1), 014107. https://doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevB.103.014107

Topology and mathematical physics: From quantum physics to topological defects

During my master’s degree, I explored the complex realm of many-body quantum mechanics, focusing specifically on the statistics of Bosons in the lowest Landau level. Bosons, alongside Fermions, are fundamental particles that make up our universe. My research led to the derivation of analytical forms of a particular ground state for many-body boson systems in a rotating reference frame. Analytical solutions are crucial in quantum mechanics as they not only serve as benchmarks for verifying computational codes but also provide deeper insights into the underlying physics of phenomena. A historical example is Laughlin’s explanation of the fractional quantum Hall effect, where his theoretical analytical solution for the wavefunction of the ground state earned him a Nobel Prize in Physics.

Additionally, I delved into the Composite Fermion formalism, a method used to develop test wavefunctions for multicomponent boson systems. A typical challenge with this approach is achieving linearly independent states. During my studies, I established simple rules that ensure this independence, significantly contributing to our understanding and description of quantum states. These newly tested states proved to offer accurate descriptions of the systems’ ground states.

This foundational work during my master’s fueled my PhD research interest in topological defects and their interactions across various systems, from Bose-Einstein condensates to nematic liquid crystals and solid crystalline materials. This led to the development of a unified framework for describing these materials, which was detailed in a published article.