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Scientific Computing

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Research Opportunities in Scientific Computing

Undergraduates interested in Scientific Computing are encouraged to seek out opportunities to participate in ongoing research projects at Vanderbilt. These often take the form of a Directed Study (SC 293 Directed Study in Scientific Computing) or Independent Study (SC 295 Independent Study in Scientific Computing) project. In some cases, Directed Study, Independent Study, or Honors research hours taken in another department can also count toward the Scientific Computing Minor; contact one of the directors of the minor for more information.

We anticipate that most students will participate in Directed Study, which involves participation in an ongoing research project under the direction of a faculty sponsor. Occasionally, students may develop a research project on their own, which would constitute an Independent Study under the supervision of a faculty sponsor. Directed and Independent study can count towards the elective hours for the Minor in Scientific Computing if certain criteria are met.

Most departments in science and engineering have some form of directed or independent study. In order to qualify as an directed or independent study in the Scientific Computing minor, projects must combine scientific computing tools and techniques with a substantive scientific or engineering problem. Students (and their faculty sponsors) should talk with one of the Directors of the Scientific Computing minor if there is any uncertainty about what might or might not qualify for a directed or independent study in the minor. Directed and Independent study are intended for students in their junior and senior years. Exceptions may be made for well-qualified sophomores.

Students wishing to take directed/independent study courses in Scientific Computing must do the following:

  1. Obtain permission to enroll in a directed/independent study course from the faculty sponsor. Consult with the faculty sponsor well in advance of the Course Request Period of registration for the semester in which the directed/independent study is undertaken.
  2. Work with the faculty sponsor to ensure that the proposed project combines scientific computing tools and techniques with a substantive scientific or engineering problem. Students (and their faculty sponsors) should talk with one of the Directors of the Scientific Computing minor if there is any uncertainty about what might or might not qualify for a directed or independent study in the minor.
  3. Prior to the end of the Change Period, register for the directed/independent study course.
  4. Make a written study plan detailing the nature of the project and the amount of credit and have it approved by the faculty sponsor and by one of the Directors of the Scientific Computing minor (Professor Bodenheimer, Palmeri, or Weintraub). 

Students and their faculty sponsors must complete a Contract for Registration in Directed/Independent Study in Scientific Computing (click here for document).

SC 293 Directed Study in Scientific Computing. Participation in ongoing research projects under direction of a faculty sponsor. Project must combine scientific computing tools and techniques with a substantive scientific or engineering problem. Consent of both the faculty sponsor and one Director of the SC minor is required. Prerequisite: SC 250. [1-3 each semester]

SC 295 Independent Study in Scientific Computing. Development of a research project by the individual student under direction of a faculty sponsor. Project must combine scientific computing tools and techniques with a substantive scientific or engineering problem. Consent of both the faculty sponsor and one Director of the SC minor is required. Prerequisite: SC 250. [1-3 each semester]

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