The National Institute for Computational Sciences

CSURE Completes Successful Run

By Scott Gibson

Albert Einstein once said, “The only source of knowledge is experience,” and as the Computational Science for Undergraduate Research Experiences (CSURE) summer program recently concluded its tenth and final week, the comments of the students participating in the program seemed to affirm an appreciation for that philosophy, as they expressed how exposure to the world of research projects and supercomputing with seasoned mentors and other high-performance-computing professionals took their education to a deeper level.

CSURE, presented by the Joint Institute for Computational Sciences (JICS) on June 3–Aug. 9, directed a group of 10 students from colleges and universities across the United States and four from the Chinese University of Hong Kong in the exploration of emergent computational science models and techniques proven to work in a number of data- and compute-intensive applications using the supercomputers at the National Institute for Computational Sciences (NICS) located at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL).

The program focused on five scientific domains: chemistry and material sciences, systems biology, engineering mechanics, atmospheric sciences and parallel solvers on emergent platforms.

In the first two weeks, the students learned about the supercomputer environment and the computational methods and tools applicable to the focus areas selected for the summer. Each student was assigned a project appropriate for his or her background and skill level to solve a computational modeling problem under the supervision of a team of mentors and advisors. Then, for the duration of the program, the students worked on their projects. Activities consisted of meetings and discussions with project personnel, including graduate students; team presentations and feedback sessions; attending research seminars; and a final report and public presentation.


  • Students: Tony Cheung, Kevin Zhao (Chinese University of Hong Kong); mentors: Markus Eisenback (National Center for Computational Sciences [NCCS], ORNL), Ying Wai Li (NCCS), Kwai Wong (JICS). Parallel Tempering and Adaptive Spacing in Monte Carlo Simulation.
  • Student: Jimmy Herndon (New Mexico State University); mentors: Rick Saylor (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration), Joshua Fu (University of Tennessee ([UT]/ORNL). The Effect of Nitrogen Oxide Emissions from Automobile Traffic on the Concentration of Tropospheric Ozone in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.
  • Student: Nyalia Lui (Morehouse College); mentors: Bhanu Rekepalli (NICS), Yuan Liu (UT-Knoxville). Bioinformatics Applications and Analysis Using the PoPLAR Gateway.
  • Student: Kenneth McKanders (Morehouse College); mentor: Haihang You (NICS). Parallel Solution for Near Repeat Analysis.
  • Student: Angela Pelle (UT-Knoxville); mentors: Melissa Allen (UT-Knoxville), Joshua Fu (UT-Knoxville/ORNL). Analysis of Changes in Location-specific Extreme Precipitation Using an Ensemble of Global Climate Model Output from the Coupled Model Inter-comparison Project, Phase 5 (CMIP5).
  • Students: Julian Pierre (Texas Southern University) and Jordan Taylor (Austin Peay State University); mentors: Bhanu Rekepalli (NICS), Amit Upadhyay (UT-Knoxville). Next-generation Sequencing Pipeline Development and Data Analysis.
  • Students: Nina Qian (Chinese University of Hong Kong), Ben Chan (Chinese University of Hong Kong); mentors: Ed D'Azevedo (Computer Science and Mathematics Division, ORNL), Shiquan Su (NICS), Kwai Wong (JICS). Out-of-Core Cholesky Factorization Algorithm on GPU and the Intel MIC Co-processors.
  • Student: Huston Rogers (University of Alabama); mentors: Glenn Brook (JICS), Greg Peterson (JICS). Computational Numerical Integration for Spherical Quadratures.
  • Student: Ciara Thompson; mentors: Kwai Wong (JICS), Xiaopeng Zhao (UT-Knoxville), Andrew Kail (UT-Knoxville). Multi-physics Simulation of the Biomedical Process — Heart Electrophysiology.
  • Students: Erin Yancy (Henderson State University), Nicholas Wang (Georgia Tech); mentor: Jacek Jakowski (NICS). Computational Simulations of Carbon Materials.

Article posting date: 12 August 2013

About JICS: The Joint Institute for Computational Sciences was established by the University of Tennessee and Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) to advance scientific discovery and state-of-the-art engineering, and to further knowledge of computational modeling and simulation. JICS realizes its vision by taking full advantage of petascale-and-beyond computers housed at ORNL and by educating a new generation of scientists and engineers well-versed in the application of computational modeling and simulation for solving the most challenging scientific and engineering problems.

About NICS: The National Institute for Computational Sciences (NICS) operates the University of Tennessee supercomputing center, funded in part by the National Science Foundation. NICS is a major partner in NSF’s Extreme Science and Engineering Discovery Environment, known as XSEDE. The Remote Data Analysis and Visualization Center (RDAV) is a part of NICS.