What is computational science?
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What is computational science?

[ Music ]>>What is computational science? Computational science is an area of study
centered on applying techniques for computing and managing data to research in many disciplines. Computational science at Stony Brook University
involves many scientists from different backgrounds undertaking research in diverse fields. Here at the Institute for Advanced Computational
Science, we bring together faculty and students from
different backgrounds and research areas to collaborate, intermingle and share resources
and ideas. Our scientists use the computer clusters
available through our institute to simulate phenomena that would otherwise be cost prohibitive
or just not possible to experimentally study. A good example is blowing up stars. In tremendous explosions, supernovae, to better
understand the lives of stars in the creation of elements that will go onto become new stars
and planets.>>When I work with the student, typically
what I’ll do is get the student working with an existing computer code to implement and
model some astrophysical problem like say a supernova, we try a particular problem to
confront the observations. And that means meeting with observers and reading papers and things
like that.>>Some scientists use the computer clusters
to analyze vast amounts of data. Like studying Tweets and Facebook entries
to make predictive models of human society. Or studying the recorded movements of Antarctic
penguins to gauge their response to climate change. >>We spend about six months a year in the
Antarctic trudging around counting penguins and seals and other wildlife. But back at home we have to figure out what
it all means. And this brings us into the realm of sophisticated
models and high-performance computing and satellite imagery. And so, we’re very much working both sides
of that problem. Both on the ground traditionally ecological
fieldwork. But also, data science and modeling and applied
math.>>The aim of our institute is to bring these
faculty and students together to benefit from shared best practices. To collaborate on multidisciplinary projects
and to have collegial interactions that inevitably result in new ideas for research.>>We organize a computational neuroscience
journal club that is a very multidisciplinary journal club. Many different departments – undergraduates
to postdocs, to different faculty, come to our journal club. And it really, it was hosted by IACS. We meet weekly and the diversity of ideas
and backgrounds really help us ground our thinking. And get new ideas. It really promotes new ideas.>>In the Institute of Advanced Computational
Science, I am the president of the student association. So, we have a grad student group and we try
to organize events for our fellow grad students and increase the communication because one
of the features of IACS is it’s multidisciplinary. The members are spread among different buildings,
different sides of campus and in some cases different countries.>>We offer many incentive opportunities for
our graduate students. Like our 500-dollar writing award for a student’s
first publication. Our 2,000-dollar travel award, for students
presenting at conferences. Or our junior researcher awards for stellar
students who are making notable advances in their research. In addition, we give graduate students opportunities
to teach during our IACS Computes High School Summer Camp. And we offer internships at local and national
sites. Ranging from Brookhaven National Laboratory
to IBM to NOAA. We also offer undergraduates from around the
country a chance to come to Stony Brook University during the summer to experience research with
an institute faculty member during our Data Plus Computing Equal Discovery REU Camp.>>And working with Long Tao. A senior graduate student which is helping
me on my project, that is from China, I have never expected in my life that I would be
working with someone from there.>>Very interesting to collaborate with people
who are outside of your field.>>I think in the past it was easy to stay
in one field and continue to get answers. But now especially in terms of computational
science you have to interact with mathematicians and computer scientists. And all these other fields just to get answers
because there’s so much information out there you can’t be an expert on everything.>>We encourage an entrepreneurial think tank
culture. Which results in people making connects that
elevate their careers and electrify their curiosity. Come join us and be part of the new face of
research at the Institute for Advanced Computational Science at Stony Brook University. [ Music ]

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