Education Center on Computational Science & Engineering, Building a Bridge between High Performance Computing and the Undergraduate Curriculum

With funding starting October 1, 1997, the Education Center on Computational Science & Engineering (EC/CSE) has the mission to:

Foster the incorporation of high performance research tools for scientific investigation into the undergraduate curriculum to better prepare students for post-Baccalaureate activities where

are used in research and problem solving.

These research and education activities for technology transfer into the curriculum are conducted under the aegis of the NSF-funded National Partnership for Advanced Computing Infrastructure (NPACI), with additional support from the CSU Chancellorís Office and San Diego State University Academic Affairs.

The NPACI is an association of 39 universities and research centers across the country, with UCSD as the lead institution. Besides the Univeristy of California and the California State University systems, the partners from our state include the California Institute of Technology, Salk Institute, Stanford University, The Scripps Research Instute, and several National Laboratories. The main goal of NPACI, and the San Diego Supercomputer Center (SDSC) as its leading edge site, is the creation and maintenance of a national metacomputing environment. Education, outreach, and technology transfer play an important role in achieving this national goal which will ensure our leadership in advanced computing in the world. Please access www.npaci.edu for more information on the partnership.

Led by Dr. Kris Stewart, Associate Professor of Mathematics and Computer Sciences, SDSU, the Education Center will develop the infrastructure to support effective use of advanced computing tools from NPACI partners in todayís classroom. Building on the success of several preliminary projects conducted by Dr. Stewart (such as STEP, Supercomputer Teacher Enhancement Program, which introduced high school science and math teachers from San Diego to computational science at SDSC), the new Center will become a conduit and catalyst of technological transition within SDSU and the entire California State University System.

The staff of the Center will offer focussed workshops for university faculty on the evolving tools from computational science that are applicable to undergraduate education. These tools include high performance and data-intensive computing, collaborative web-based research environments, digital libraries and geographic information systems, visualization and animation. In partnership with faculty, the centerís staff will identify NPACI resources applicable to the studentsí learning environments and facilitate their incorporation into the curriculum.

In addition to traditional computing-intensive fields (including the four thrust application areas of NPACI: Microbiology, Neuroscience, Engineering, and Earth Systems Science), the Center staff will work in disciplines where high performance computing applications have not seen common use yet, such as history, sociology, political science, etc.

The upcoming SC97: High Performance Networking and Computing conference, held at the San Jose Convention Center, November 17-21, will host a series of curriculum-oriented panels and paper presentations. Attendees will see examples of high performance tools in action and discuss their incorporation in undergraduate teaching (www.supercomp.org/sc97).

The Center is housed in the Library Annex, Rm. 73, and has its Open House on October 10th, 3pm. We would like to invite all interested faculty and staff to visit us. Send email to edcenter@sdsu.edu for information on parking arrangements that have been made.