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Undergraduates Gain Intensive Experience in High Performance Computing At Syracuse

The Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) program of the Northeast Parallel Architectures Center (NPAC) at Syracuse University provides undergraduates with education and hands-on experience in high- performance computing and communications technologies and applications. Sponsored by the NSF, the GE Foundation, and NPAC, the program is held during a 10-week period each summer. Every year, 12 or more undergraduate "research apprentices" are selected from applications received from students throughout the country.

REU has two main components: intensive training in high-performance computing and communications and an individual research project supervised by an NPAC research scientist. Typical student projects are in areas like parallel algorithms and languages, computational physics, digital multimedia, World Wide Web applications, education, financial modeling, natural language processing, computer graphics, scientific visualization, and virtual reality.

The program enhances the computing skills and expertise of undergraduate students by introducing them to state-of-the-art hardware and software in high-performance computing. It also encourages students to pursue advanced degrees and research careers, and to further advance the development and application of high-performance computing technologies.

Neel Patel, an information science major from the State University of New York (SUNY)-Oswego, is one of 12 participants in this summer's program. "As an undergraduate, I'm finding it highly beneficial to work with Ph.D. scientists," he says. "I'm working in the field of networking technologies and like the fact that it has real-world applications. The information I'm taking away from this experience is vast, and I'll be able to use it in the workplace."

Sarah Cacciatore, a computer engineering major from the University of California at Santa Cruz, was attracted to the program because of the opportunity to conduct research on the cutting edge of technology. "When I think of all the things we can possibly accomplish with computer engineering, I am not only astounded, but excited to be part of it," she says. "This summer, I'm writing a Java tutorial for high school students and beginning programmers. I'm excited to see how it turns out, and hope to keep in touch with NPAC after I go back to California."

Each member of the 1997 REU program is required to write three documents and make two presentations on their project. Their proposals, posters, and final papers will be posted on the REU Web site at http://old-npac.ucs.indiana.edu/REU/.

For more information, contact program coordinator Nancy McCracken at njm@npac.syr.edu .

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