Tandy School of Computer Science develops minor in supercomputing

The University of Tulsa Tandy School of Computer Science is introducing a supercomputing minor to prepare students for careers in the supercomputing field. Students can begin enrolling for the fall 2017 semester.

supercomputing minorHigh-performance computing is applied in many disciplines including physics, geophysics, geology, petroleum engineering, mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, computer engineering, mathematics, chemistry, chemical engineering and biology. Supercomputers often are used to solve multidisciplinary topics, and teams of engineers at the professional level prefer members skilled in computer programming, hardware and web domains.

“There is a national shortage of university graduates knowledgeable in the high-performance supercomputing field,” said Associate Professor of Computer Science Peter Hawrylak. “Supercomputers are used to solve a breadth of problems that work across many disciplines.”

The objective of the minor track is to help students develop a core set of competencies and solve problems that require large processing capabilities beyond those found in mainstream computers. Students must take 15 credit hours in foundational mathematics, foundational programming, high-performance computing core and electives. Examples of supercomputing include modeling quantum mechanics or searching large medical data sets to determine which protein structures are effective in fighting disease.

“One newer use of supercomputing is IBM’s Watson device, which stores, searches and analyzes millions of data points to help medical professionals make decisions and identify new lines of research,” Hawrylak said. “This technology blends artificial intelligence, machine learning and big data with supercomputing.”

The Tandy School of Computer Science hosts an annual supercomputing competition where Oklahoma high school and college students are invited to campus to compete in high-performance computing scenarios. The event was established to increase interest in the field and encourage students to pursue supercomputing careers.