The Art of High Performance In Technology, Science, Life
In “Mastering the Challenge of High-Performance Computing,” senior writer Ronald Roach examines the nexus between information technology and scientific discovery. For the nation’s colleges and universities to have truly competitive information technology infrastructures, campus leaders will have to adopt innovative technologies in their campus networks that enable researchers to solve complex problems and interact with researchers at other campuses, according to the story.
As the use of computational science expands in science and engineering disciplines, faculty members will face expectations to teach their students how to use software-based modeling programs to solve technical problems. The article looks at how a handful of historically Black schools have waded into the waters of high-performance computing.
And speaking of high performing, high school students Juliet Girard and Roshan Prabhu were the recipients of the prestigious Siemens Westinghouse Competition for their science project. The first African American to receive the award, Girard says she was drawn to science early on. According to her teachers, she is a very dedicated and focused student. We know both she and Prabhu will continue to make impressive strides as they continue their education.
It’s been a long-standing tradition at Black Issues to interview U.S. secretaries of education as well as National Science Foundation directors. In this annual technology edition, Editor in Chief Frank Matthews continues the tradition with his interview with the NSF’s 11th director Dr. Rita R. Colwell, the agency’s first female director. In addition, Ronald Roach profiles the chairman of the National Science Board, Dr. Warren Washington, the first African American to hold this position and considered one of the nation’s top meteorologists.
It’s the NSF’s mission to promote and advance science and technology; however, the number of students majoring in computer science has taken a slight dip. The downturn in the economy along with the dot-com bust, has some college students reconsidering whether such a major guarantees them a job, as was almost certainly the case only a few years ago. Ohio State University’s Dr. Stuart Zweben, professor and chair of the Department of Computer and Information Science, says that although the number of computer science majors appears to be on the decline, his advice to students is not to just look at today’s job market, but to assess the importance of the field over the longer term.
On the lighter side, Lydia Lum chronicles her first experience in an online course, where she says the term “race blind” took on new meaning. Although she wondered about her classmates’ race and ethnicity, she says it was their talent and life experiences that truly shaped who they were.
Lastly, race may not have been the focus of Lydia’s online course but it was the focus of a recent New York conference. Kendra Hamilton attended the three-day conference, “The State of Black Studies: Methodology, Pedagogy and Research,” sponsored by the Schomburg Center and Princeton University. The conference, which drew hundreds of scholars, featured panels on queer studies, teaching Black studies, and Black literary and historical traditions, just to name a few. And though there was a meeting of the minds on several issues related to the discipline’s current state and future, a new generation of scholars made it known that they view some things a little differently.
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