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Elon receives high performance computing grant

Elon will partner with seven other universities in North Carolina to promote undergraduate education in high performance computing, thanks to a $650,000 grant funded by the University of North Carolina. Details...

Dave Powell, chair of computing sciences, and Joel Hollingsworth, instructor of computing sciences, will serve as principal investigators at Elon. During the two-year project, faculty members at each participating school will develop seven new elective courses dealing with high performance computing and its applications. Powell and Hollingsworth will use Elon’s portion of the grant, totaling $91,794, to develop a course called “Intelligent Decision Making,” which will be offered at Elon beginning in spring 2005. The course will also be offered online to students at the other grant universities.

Hollingsworth says the course will focus on optimization, or making the best overall design decision for a particular product.

“What we will try to do is teach students to make wise decisions on difficult problems, such as the various combinations that could go into designing an aircraft engine,” Hollingworth says. “There might be 15 or 20 different ways to go about designing it, and going through those various combinations could literally take years. We will teach students how to examine these kinds of problems and then make smart, timely decisions.”

Grant funds will also be used to promote faculty research involving undergraduates and to promote grid computing methodologies throughout North Carolina.

Other colleges and universities participating in the program are Appalachian State University; North Carolina A&T State University; University of North Carolina at Greensboro; University of North Carolina at Pembroke; Western Carolina University; Lenoir-Rhyne College; and High Point University.

David Hibbard,
6/23/2004 11:05 AM