Active Education Activities
Dr. Yaohang Li
Department of Computer Science
Old Dominion University
NSF Research Experience for Undergraduates
Two ODU undergraduate students (Adam Boudion and Erich O'Saben) pursued the NSF REU projects. They examined the Protein Data Bank (PDB) structures that contain phosphorylation sites and developed a new phosphorylation site prediction server, which is independent of specific kinases, is developed by using artificial neural networks and incorporating evolutionary information and predicted structural features.
Collaboration with Shodor Foundation
The goal of Shodor Foundation is "to extend valuable educational resources and opportunities as far as possible with a special emphasis on enabling authentic science and mathematics explorations at all educational levels, developing numerical models and simulations integrated with the curriculum, professional development, and network access to support their use in learner-centered environments." Dr. Li is partnering with Shodor Foundation to broaden participation in computational science.
Enhancing Teaching of Grid Computing to Undergraduate Students by using a Workflow Editor
Grid computing combines geographically distributed computation resources to carry out high performance computing; it is particularly suitable for collaborative, interdisciplinary, and experimental projects. To take advantage of the power of grid computing, users have typically been required to manage low-level infrastructure details and to run programs using non-intuitive command-line execution. This project is responding to the need to make the programming interfaces easier to use in the grid computing community generally, but especially for undergraduate students who become the next generation of professional users. In particular, this project is exploring the use of a recently introduced grid-computing workflow editor for teaching distributed computing and for using grid computing resources. Workflow editors provide graphical interfaces for users and enable distributed computations to be constructed and executed without the need for low level programming or command-line interaction. Workflow editors are seen to contribute to the success of grid computing by allowing scientists of varying disciplines to create solutions to their problems using the resources of grid computing with little or no programming experience. The materials are being distributed in part through a statewide televideo network (NCREN) that will reach sixteen state universities. We are collaborating with Drs. Clayton Ferner at UNC Wilmington (leading institute) and Barry Wilkinson at UNC Charlotte in this project.
Computational Science and Engineering (CSE) Graduate Program at NCAT
Computational Science and Engineering (CSE) graduate program at North
Carolina A&T State University offers Master's degree in Computational
Science and Engineering and is planning for a Ph.D. degree. The CSE
program strives to develop and nurture a collaborative environment and
culture that promotes interdisciplinary interaction and catalyzes
research growth in computational science and engineering. Several
emerging areas such as nano-materials and bio-informatics require
cross-disciplinary collaboration and demand heavy computational hardware
resources. The program intends to develop, integrate, and enhance
unique, yet diverse, strengths and resources that have potential to
increase the number of underrepresented minorities and women in theses
areas. Affiliating with the CSE, Dr. Li has taught two course sessions
and advised graduate graduate students in the CSE program.
North Carolina High Performance Computing Consortium
The goal of North Carolina High Performance Computing (NC-HPC) Consortium is to provide the opportunities for undergraduate students at comprehensive universities to study computational science and high performance computing at a level comparable to students at Research I institutions and to promote faculty research by involving undergraduate students in cutting-edge research projects. NCAT is one of the 13 participant institutes. As the principle investigator at NCAT, Dr. Li has taught a course of "Monte Carlo Methods and High Performance Computing" twice in the NC-HPC Consortium via North Carolina Research and Education Network (NCREN) and has organized a "Grid Computing Symposium at NCAT" and "High Performance Computing Workshop at NCAT" in 2007.
A Biomathematical Learning Enhancement Network for Diversity (BLEND)
The Biomathematics Learning Enhancement
Network for Diversity (BLEND) project at North Carolina A&T State
University was conceptualized by an interdepartmental alliance of
faculty who are early adopters of transformational change required to
prepare students for graduate study at the interface of biology and
mathematics. The BLEND project supplies both a physical and virtual
intellectual setting where students may find a sense of identification,
belonging, responsibility, and most importantly, achievement that
prepares them for roles of leadership and service in biomathematical
research careers. The overall goal of the BLEND project is to produce
undergraduate students outstandingly prepared for the interdisciplinary
nature of biomathematical research. Dr. Li serves as a interface mentor
of Computational Science in BLEND.