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AHPCRC Bulletin: Summer 1996 - Volume 6 Number 3

1996 Summer Institute for Undergraduates

Elaine Barrett (AHPCRC-UM) and Barbara Bryan (AHPCRC-MSCI)

Eighteen undergraduate students in Computer Science, Mathematics, Engineering, and Physics successfully completed the AHPCRC's intensive eight-week Summer Institute in High Performance Computing (HPC). The eight-week program featured some of the top undergraduates in the country. They came from eight universities, including the AHPCRC partners, to study HPC.


Summer Institute students celebrated their graduation
with a riverboat ride on the Mississippi River.

The Summer Institute is designed to also encourage undergraduate students to pursue graduate studies and careers in HPC. The program consists of three integrated components: training in HPC concepts and tools; core problems and research projects in computational science and engineering; and interactions with computational scientists and engineers who are currently working on defense related technology.


Summer Institute students, Veda Chandler (Clark Atlanta University
(CAU)) and Hilda Gonzalez (UPR, Mayaguez) worked on CM-5
programming with CGM advisor Debasmita Misra.

The Summer Institute program trains students in the use of supercomputers and HPC technology through a combination of training, research projects, seminars, and field trips. Training was conducted in the form of classroom lectures on the subjects of UNIX, FORTRAN, and parallel programming on systems such as the Thinking Machines CM-5, the Cray T3D, and the Silicon Graphics Onyx. The students also attended a short course in scientific visualization which covered the translation of scientific information into movies, posters, and World Wide Web pages.


Gloria Wren (ARL) gave a seminar on the use of HPC in interior
ballistics modeling.

In addition to the HPC training described above, students attended lectures to prepare them for their research projects in computational fluid dynamics (CFD) and computational groundwater modeling (CGM). The CFD lectures covered the basics of the finite element method, surface modeling, mesh generation, flow simulation, and visualization and animation of CFD results. Lectures were conducted by Andrew Johnson, the CFD project leader. The CGM lectures covered the basics of flow through porous media, saturated and unsaturated zones, multiphase and preferential flow, transport of reactive solutes, and the solution of Poisson's equation. In addition, students learned how to use the Groundwater Modeling System (GMS), a tool developed at Brigham Young University for the Corps of Engineers, Waterways Experiment Station (CEWES) to model problems in environmental groundwater contamination and flow. The CGM lectures were presented by John Nieber and Debasmita Misra, the CGM project leaders.


Seminars were an opportunity for the students to discuss
HPC, computer modeling, and career options.

Each student spent about four weeks working on a research project. Projects included topics in CGM and CFD. Some projects involved software development using the CM-5 or Onyx. Other projects involved using modeling software developed at the Center or by the Army to solve engineering modeling problems. One project, by Kassatihun Gebre-Amlak from Florida A&M University (FAMU) and Terrance Course from Jackson State University (JSU), used GMS to determine where wells should be placed to pump and treat groundwater contamination caused by a diesel fuel tank leak in southern Minnesota. Real data from the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency was used to determine the contaminated area that was to be treated.


Army and AHPCRC personnel with the 1996 Summer Institute graduating class.
Left to right: row 1: Olugbemiga Olatidoye, Eddie Mason III, Veda Chandler,
Terrance Course, Hilda Gonzalez;
row 2: William Mermagen, Charles Nietubicz, Barbara Bryan, Kassatihun
Gebre-Amlak, Merida Ellis, William Leobandung,
Anita Anderson, Tayfun Tezduyar;
row 3: Tepper Gill, Andrew Johnson, Matt Litke, Danika Adams,
Andrew Howard, Daniel Russel, James McDonald, Paul Muzio.

Andrew Howard from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Merida Ellis from the University of Puerto Rico (UPR) at Mayaguez studied the free-surface flow problem of water flowing past a bridge support in a river. Their challenge was to determine the free surface together with the other flow conditions.


Summer Institute students presented the results of their research
projects to Army and AHPCRC partner representatives.
Pictured are Kenric Wright (JSU) and Eddie Mason (CAU).

Another component of the Summer Institute program included seminars given by university, Army, and industry researchers on various topics. These talks emphasized the uses of HPC in solving real-world problems, enabling the students to see applications of the material they were learning. Some of the seminar topics included The Future of HPC, by N. Radhakrishnan (CEWES), Interior Ballistics Modeling, by Gloria Wren (Army Research Laboratory (ARL)), and Computing in Industry, by Dave Misemer (3M). The students also enjoyed field trips to 3M and Cray Research, which gave an added dimension to the industry aspect of the seminars. Some of the talks at these two companies discussed weather modeling and rapid prototyping.


William Leobandung, a Chemical Engineering student from the UM,
studied flow through a nozzle in a pipe.

On other field trips, the students went on walking tours of the University of Minnesota (UM) campus, and the Minnesota Supercomputer Center, Inc., and had a bus tour of the Twin Cities. To celebrate their graduation, they took a riverboat ride through Lock #1 on the Mississippi River.