by Sean Macken

University of Southern Mississippi (USM) Gulf Park played host this past week (June 3-7) to a workshop on computational modeling of disordered materials with support from the National Science Foundation and partnering universities.

The workshop, organized and hosted by USM Hattiesburg’s Dr. Parthapratim Biswas (Professor of Physics and Astronomy), brought in students from Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) and Minority Servicing Institutions (MSI) for a week of computational modeling emphasizing fundamentals of physics, chemistry and materials science. Students will receive a computer to take back to their colleges that often do not have the resources to offer programs covered in the workshop.

Students also had their airfare and lodging covered and exposed them to the relaxing Gulf Coast after a day of intensive training. The students conducted hands-on training of state-of-the-art computer simulation techniques and a variety of computer languages needed for this discipline. Professor Biswas and his colleagues will also provide six months of post-workshop support to continue skill development of the students and their institutions.

Dr. Biswas envisions the workshop to expand collaboration on computer modeling to HBCUs and MSIs in an effort to develop a broader infrastructure at these institutions in the Southern U.S.

The event included co-organizers Dr. Rajamohan Kalluru, USM Gulf Park and Dr. Raymond Atta-Fynn from the University of Texas at Arlington.