SIAM CSE 2007 19-23 Februrary 2007

Costa Mesa CA


Minisymposium: The Computational Science Education Pipeline


Kris Stewart. Computer Science, SDSU

Jose Castillo, Computational Science Research Center, SDSU


Abs. With the growing recognition of Computational Science in higher education and industry, we present a coordinated series of programs that ensure curriculum development will engage new audiences and new disciplines at a variety of level.  An interdisciplinary curriculum development project at the undergraduate level from a broad range of academic fields will be presented.  We also discuss a graduate level program at a state school, leading to the PhD in Computational Science.  To emphasize the relationship between undergraduate computer science and the high school science classroom, we discuss the use of Torque, a 3D game engine, to develop modules actually used in the high school chemistry and physics courses.  The discussion wraps up with the connection to industry and national resources by highlighting the TeraGrid at the San Diego Supercomputer Center.


1)  Undergraduate Computational Science Curricula: Programs and Educational Materials


Ignatios Vakalis

Professor of Computer Science
CalPoly State Univ. San Luis Obispo


There is a growing number of undergraduate CSE curricula. This   presentation will first highlight the different versions of computational science programs (e.g., B.Sc.  programs, minor programs, certificate programs, etc) that depend on the type of institution and local resources.  We will also present a model curriculum and provide specific examples of educational materials developed by the Keck Undergraduate Computational Science Education Consortium.


2) 3d Game Programming as a CS Service-learning curriculum for High School Science Courses


Kris Stewart

Dept of Computer Science

San Diego State University


3d computer games are undeniably popular today and many university Computer Science (CS) majors are eager to gain skills at programming their own game.  We have been able to capitalize on this interest to develop a course where students learn to code effective games using the Torque 3d Game Engine from  This course requires appropriate CS content to understand the 3d environment and the Object Oriented Scripting language.  The course goal is to collaborate with an educator who can pose the 3d topic to be explored.  With the accepted high school science standards, this module can be characterized and can be useful to a large wide body of  high school science teachers.   Since current high school students are of a generation that was “born digital”, they are comfortable and engaged when exploring topics delivered within the game environment.  This scientific visualization application can be further applied to topics in computational science.


3) Computational Science PhD at San Diego State University


Jose Castillo

C. S. R. C.



San Diego State University (SDSU) offers a doctoral degree in computational science, the first in California, in collaboration with Claremont Graduate University (CGU), Claremont, CA. the program involves graduate level courses and research projects under the supervision of SDSU faculty from the departments of engineering, physics, mathematics, computer science, chemistry, and biology with cooperating faculty from CGU. the ph.d. degree is awarded jointly by the two institutions. We will describe the program curriculum and highlite some of the research projects.


4) The Growing Role of the TeraGrid in the Computational Science Education Pipeline


Jeff Sale

Education Division
San Diego Supercomputer Center


The NSF-funded TeraGrid is the world’s first large-scale and production grid infrastructure for open scientific research. The San Diego Supercomputer Center (SDSC) serves as the data-intensive site lead for the TeraGrid. SDSC has a vested interest in the computational science education pipeline not only as a user of computational science resources but also as a potential future employer of students currently interested in computational science and engineering. In response to an NSF mandate that users from HPC Expert to K-12 student should benefit from the TeraGrid, TeraGrid partners are developing a series of ‘Gateways’. TeraGrid Gateways are web-based portals consisting of front-end grid services that provide teragrid-deployed applications used by a discipline-specific community. Gateways are intended to:


           streamline the process of doing research that depends on high-performance computing,

           reach a broader community of users, and

           help define the specifications for a computational science education pipeline,


An important long-term goal of TeraGrid Gateways is to engage communities that are not traditional users of the supercomputing centers by providing community-tailored access to TeraGrid services and capabilities so they may take advantage of existing community investment in software, services, education, and other components of Cyberinfrastructure. Ten Gateways are currently under development in a diverse range of disciplines including nanotechnology, atmospheric science, bioinformatics, and traffic flow. Gateways feature workflow management tools and expert technical support to maximize productivity. The Grid Computing Environments Research Group solicits and analyzes Gateway user feedback to help improve the interface and respond to user needs. Teragrid partners or ‘Resource Providers’ offer workshops, institutes, seminars and provide on-line learning resources to support and promote the effective use of TeraGrid resources.