I was fortunate enough to have been able to spend this past week at Brookhaven National Laboratories with several of my Adelphi colleagues. Brookhaven (BNL) is one of 17 U.S. National Laboratories that is tasked by the Department of Energy to conduct research in a wide range of topics.
BNL describes its mission as "to advance fundamental research in nuclear and particle physics to gain a deeper understanding of matter, energy, space, and time; apply photon sciences and nanomaterials research to energy challenges of critical importance to the nation; and perform cross-disciplinary research on climate change, sustainable energy, and Earth’s ecosystems."
We spent the week learning how BNL could benefit from introducing more scientific computing into academic curriculae.
Scientific Computing is an interesting field, since it brings together the Sciences (biology, physics, chemistry, etc.) with Computer Science and Mathematics. Most cutting-edge research requires researchers to be proficient in mathematical and computational techniques. Unfortunately, that is not always how colleges and universities teach their undergraduate students.
By engaging in a week-long workshop with colleagues from different disciplines, we developed a deeper (and better) mutual appreciation of the nature of the work that we all do, and we identified a variety of skills that may be useful across the disciplines.
We have some ideas how we can improve ways in which we collaborate, and how we can incorporate teaching scientific computing in our daily practices. It was a week well spent.
Updated July 22, 2017: Typo fixes