Class Materials
Class material from the Kickoff Conference.
Introduction to Computational Science and Modeling
Back to the top
Meet the Scientist/Proposal Review
The facilitators/instructors/scientists will meet the students
in their teams. The students will have copies of their proposals with them
and their Computational Science Process form. The
Meet the Scientist Proposal Review form
will be filled out. Volunteer scientists should look over the
Meet the Scientist (MTS) Overview Document.
The purpose of the session is to make sure teams have chosen a problem that
is suitable for computational science, has measurable components so that a
mathematical model can be developed, and from that a computing solution can be
written. The session is secondarily about mentoring teams who have good proposals
and are ready to get started on their projects. Meet the Scientist is a key
session for helping students get off to a good start on their projects. For info
about Proposals, see:
http://www.supercomputingchallenge.org/proposals.
Please lead students to consider the steps they should take to have their
project fit into the outline of the computational science processes to
complete their projects. The graphic below shows that process. Irene Lee developed
it and the commentary below.
We start with a real world problem, and a question. We make sure that our
problem's solution will rely on data. We simplify the real world problem  and
not the assumptions we have made. We do research to find out as much as we can
about the idea.
We come up with an idea model  (not an attempt at exact duplication of the
real world)  assumptions are acknowledged. However, it is important to be able
to describe the idea in English or pseudo code language before building the
computational model.
We use the computational model as an experimental test bed complete with
variables and parameters.
Goal is to understand primarily this model, and see how it can help us
understand the real world.
 Allows us to run multiple "what if" scenarios
 Compare results to realworld, what is similar and different.
We would like each session to start with one or a team of Scientists outlining
for their group what a computational science process looks like. The diagram
above can be printed and available for sharing with the students or it could
be projected on a laptop. We anticipate that this overview will take place at
the table with the students you are working with. Ways that the process relates
to the work that you do will increase their understanding.
Students will come to a table that they believe reflects the core science of
their project. Topics in the past have included: Engineering, AI/Logistics,
music, biology, physics, earth and space sciences, epidemiology, applied mathematics,
computer science, behavioral science, chemistry, medicine and health, geology,
entomology. David Janecky, an experienced mentor and judge who has participated
in many Meet the Scientist sessions reminded us that:
"..the list of topics you have is pretty good. In part, I don't think
substantial granularity of topic areas is critical because the mentoring,
midproject evaluations, and then EXPO/Finalist judging will also be
inherently multidisciplinary. And I am biased that broad communication
is an essential skill that should be learned early and often. We should
make sure that we define the high level topics in opening remarks as
including aspects of the more generic disciplines (threads)."
Students should have in hand a hard copy of the proposal they (should) have
submitted before arriving at the Kickoff. Some students will come to this session
and not have submitted a proposal and will need help from scratch. These students
should be encouraged to write a proposal after they visit with the Scientist.
If there is time, they can share it with the same or another Scientist.
Some students may need to make modifications or even rewrite their proposals
so that they meet the criteria for computational science.
At one table technical writers will be available to guide
students towards the completion of written reports. Students whose proposals
have been reviewed or are waiting for a spot at one of the tables can sit down
with them for mentoring about keeping track of their research and citing it.
Students whose proposals are complete can move to computers to begin research
or work at tables to plan their timeline, assign tasks to different members of
the team, etc. If there are facilitators who are not working with teams to get
their proposals completed it would be helpful if they could do some mentoring
of teams who are ready.
Computers are available in the Open Lab on the first floor of Fidel and
students can go there to work on proposals or their projects.
It may be helpful to look at the proposal guidelines and the proposals that
are already up on the Challenge web page 
http://www.supercomputingchallenge.org/proposals.
There is also a link on the web page for questions to ask to direct the students:
http://www.supercomputingchallenge.org/kickoff/classes/tpd.html.
Additionally,
http://www.supercomputingchallenge.org/about/areas.shtml
links to areas of science and may be helpful for teams still looking for an
idea. This guidelines link can be useful, too.
http://www.supercomputingchallenge.org/about/guidelines.shtml.
You can see which teams have submitted proposal on the proposals page of the
Challenge web site, http://www.supercomputingchallenge.org/proposals.
Here is the
Agent Based Planning Document
for Middle School teams choosing to do an Agent Based model.
Back to the top
Report Writing Materials and Teamwork
Back to the top
Beginning NetLogo
Back to the top
Python
Back to the top
Experienced Programming Skills for College
Back to the top
Experienced Data AnalysisLinear Regression
Back to the top
HighLevel Data Parallelism Class
Back to the top
Next Generation Computing Class
Back to the top
Keynote Presentations
Back to the top
Optimization Class
Back to the top
Visualization Class
Back to the top
Saturday Night Electives
Back to the top
Questions? Contact Consult
