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Research Immersion in Scientific Computing

Computation is an integral part of modern science and engineering. In science, simulation allows the study of natural phenomena impossible or intractable through experimental means. In engineering, simulation allows the analysis and synthesis of systems too expensive, dangerous, or complex to model and build directly. Astronomers studying the formation of supermassive black holes, neuroscientists studying neural networks for human memory, anthropologists analyzing geospatial images to locate ancient cities, mechanical engineers studying the designs of turbines and compressors, and electrical engineers studying the reliability of electronics aboard spacecraft are united both in the computational challenges they face and the tools and techniques they use to solve these challenges. Students engaged in research immersion in scientific computing conduct research under the mentorship of a faculty member in the arts or humanities, social sciences, biological sciences, physical sciences, or engineering on a topic with a significant computational component.

To prepare for a research immersion in scientific computing, students are strongly encouraged to take two semesters of computer programming (CS1101 and CS2201, or CS1104 and CS2204). Students will likely need to take other coursework relevant to the research immersion topic in consultation with the faculty mentor.

To satisfy a research immersion in scientific computing, you must complete (1) Research Experience and (2) Communication of Research:

(1) Research Experience (Summer or Academic Year)

Summer Research Experience Option
Complete a full-time (40 hours per week) summer research experience in a laboratory of at least 10 weeks in duration. For example, DSI-SRP, VUSRP, NSF REU, other formal summer research program, or full-time paid or full-time volunteer summer research assistantship.
– OR –
Academic Year Research Experience Option
Complete a course related to scientific computing that provides suitable training for the chosen research direction (at least 3 credit hours). For a list of possible course options, see:
– AND –
Complete at least 6 credit hours of undergraduate research (e.g., SC 3850 Independent Study in Scientific Computing or comparable research hours in a department)

(2) Communication of Research

Research Paper and Working Code
Write a 10-page (minimum) research paper and supply working code related to the research project.

Research immersion can be combined with a formal minor in scientific computing ( but that is certainly not required for this immersion opportunity.

For a list of potential mentors for research immersion in scientific computing, see here: