Research Department Gets New Degree Programs, Supercomputers

Chancellor Renick, North Carolina A&T’s Board of Trustees and the Division of Research and Economic Development (DORED) introduced a new graduate degree program in Computational Science and Engineering (CSE) on Wednesday, Sept. 22 in the Fort IRC Building on campus.

N. Radhakrishnan, Vice Chancellor for Research and Economic Development introduced the new program which is enhanced by three new supercomputers, the SGI 3900 and two IBM Cluster computers.

Within the program there are three areas of study that cater towards specific majors. Computational Science and Engineering is geared toward Math, Physics, and engineering majors which targets biology, chemistry, animal science and business majors.

This interdisciplinary program, which took the CSE committee only about four months to complete, utilizes areas in combined mathematics, scientific modeling and simulation and domains such as physical science, engineering, life sciences, agricultural and environmental sciences, technology and business.

Students of this graduate program will gain computer modeling, simulation and visualization skills to apply in fields of science, engineering, technology, and business.

Students will use the program to simulate and study car accidents, protein formation in genetics and other venues.

“The proposed graduate program in CSE builds upon the current curricular strength and research capability at the University,” said Dr. Radhakrishnan, who is also the chairman of the faculty committee that designed the program.

The SGI 3900 and IBM super computers were acquired to assist in the research and consulting. Supercomputers’ speed are measured in floating point operations per seconds, or FLOPS.

According to IBM, a floating point is “a method of encoding real numbers within the limits of finite precision available on computers.”

By using floating-point encoding, extremely long numbers can be handled relatively easily by computers.

An SGI alone has the ability to combine more than 500 CPU’s at a time.

“Graduates of this program will be highly versatile computational scientists, engineers, technologists or business executives with a good understanding of the connections among various disciplines and capable of interacting and collaborating effectively,” said Radhakrishnan.

The program, which will debut in Spring 2005, is the only program of its kind in the UNC system and the first among Historically Black Colleges and Universities in the country.

  • Kiir Knight