University of Texas at Austin

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Here’s the story on the computational engineering and science certificate program at ICES

Undergraduate students who want to be America’s next top modeler can step toward that goal through an undergraduate certificate program at the Institute for Computational Engineering and Science (ICES).

First, understand that we’re talking about someone who programs models and runs simulations on a computer and not someone who struts down a runway—not that they are mutually exclusive.

But for those who want to develop models of physical systems, the Certificate in Computational Science and Engineering might be the ticket.

In the program, the students take courses that fill the gaps that might exist in degree programs in engineering, computer science, and mathematics or in other sciences.

The key component of the certificate program is the opportunity to participate in a research project with a member of the core faculty of ICES.

For undergrads, “that means working with world-class scientists and their teams of graduate and post-doctoral researchers,” said Todd Arbogast, the faculty adviser for the program

Todd Arbogast, adviser to the ICES certificate program in Computational Science and Engineering

Todd Arbogast, adviser to the ICES certificate program in Computational Science and Engineering

The project allows students to get hands-on involvement in research and provides a taste of what graduate-level work might be like.

Computational engineering and science is where several disciplines come together to enable scientists and engineers to simulate real-world processes with a computer program.

These processes include black holes in outerspace, hurricanes and underwater oil plumes in the Gulf of Mexico, blood flow through the vascular system, movement of molecules,…

At ICES, this means the opportunity to work with some of the world’s most powerful computers such as the Texas Advanced Computing Center’s Ranger supercomputer and/or with its highly regarded Visualization Laboratory.

And ICES itself offers an array of interdisciplinary programs.

It is the home of 18 research centers and active research groups. It manages a Ph.D. program in Computational Science, Engineering, and Mathematics and a highly competitive postdoctoral fellowship program. Faculty from more than 17 academic departments and four schools and colleges participate in programs within ICES.

The certificate that’s received upon completion of the program should help in applying to graduate school or in seeking a job in a government lab or a business, Arbogast said.

For Arbogast, there’s one stand-out reason for a student to participate in the certificate program.

“Here’s their chance to really work, side-by-side, outside of a classroom environment, with some of the top-notch people in the world,” he said. “This is a great opportunity for students who are really motivated to see what world-class research is really like.”

Find out more about the ICES Certificate in Computational Science and Engineering at Certificate Day, 1-2 p.m., Monday, Nov. 15, in Painter 4.28.

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