CCT Weekly, June 14, 2011

LSU CCT Launches "Alice in Computation Land" to Address STEM Demand

The LSU Center for Computation & Technology, or CCT, has launched a new summer camp titled "Alice in Computation Land," to motivate and engage girls in grades 6-8 in the Baton Rouge and surrounding area in STEM programs (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics). The camp received such an overwhelming response that two sessions have been created, June 13-17 and July 18-22.

The two groups of camp participants will learn how to use a computer and applications in their everyday lives, and the curriculum will also touch on computational science and technology such as modeling and simulations. Camp participants will simulate a forest fire, model a population of frogs and nutria, and take a glimpse into creating animation, games, and video. In addition, additional training and career opportunities will be highlighted to encourage these young women to explore a career in one of the STEM disciplines.  

"I am excited to be working with so many young women," said Kathy Traxler, camp instructor and CCT's education and outreach specialist.  "We intend to have a fun week learning about computers and how they affect our everyday lives. One goal of this workshop is to interest these young ladies in the sciences and technology so they will consider these disciplines for their careers. But the main objectives of the workshop are to have fun while learning in a college atmosphere and to promote higher education."

The Alice in Computation Land Camp is sponsored by the LSU CCT and is listed as a program of the National Girls Collaborative Project, a consortium for advancing the agenda in gender equity for science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. In addition, it is included in the Computer Science Collaboration Project, which specifically focuses on outreach to women and minorities.

"Computational skills that are acquired at a young age will serve students well as they prepare for the challenges of high school, college, and real-world careers," said Joel E. Tohline, CCT's director.  "While developing solid computational skills, students will necessarily also hone their skills in mathematics and logic. Providing an opportunity for young women to master such skills in a creative and fun environment will make it more likely that they will pursue careers in technical fields such as science and engineering. This is particularly important because, in the U.S., women are traditionally underrepresented in these areas of the workforce."

For more information on the LSU CCT, or the Alice in Computation Land Summer Camp, visit:  http://www.cct.lsu.edu.


CCT Spotlight: Jorge Pullin

Jorge Pullin, Horace Hearne Chair in Theoretical Physics, joined the CCT in 2005. He is part of the Coast to Cosmos Focus Area at the CCT.

Jorge is from Buenos Aries, Argentina and is married to Gabriela Gonzalez, a Professor in the Department of Physics & Astronomy.

Jorge's current research focuses on numerical simulation of cosmologies and black hole formation in loop quantum gravity. He does what he does, "to understand the nature of space-time and the fundamental laws of physics."

The iPad 2 and the iPhone are two of Jorge's favorite gadgets. "My bread oven and Tivo are also great models that are out of production, and superior to anything on the market today. I actually bought extra ones on ebay in case they die!" said Jorge. He also has a Radioyouway LX, which he describes as a Tivo for radio. He said, "I use it to record American Routes and This American Life."

To unwind, Jorge blogs about and repairs Royal Enfield motorcycles, which are the oldest manufactured motorcycles in the world. (http://myroyalenfields.blogspot.com/). Jorge has set a goal to run 50 marathons in 50 states. He is up to 21 so far. He also brews beer and plays the great highland bagpipes.

Jorge is the founding editor of Physical Review X, the new open access journal of the American Physical Society. He just finished a book for undergraduates on loop quantum gravity, that is to be published by Oxford and he is working on a book on the foundation of quantum mechanics.

When asked what his prescription for life is, Jorge said, "same as Einstein's: If A is success in life then A=X�Y�Z where X is work, Y is play and Z is keeping your mouth shut."

Pats on the back:

•    Dr. Xiaoliang Wan received an award from NSF titled "Wick-type Stochastic Modeling: Algorithms and Applications." The award is for $100,211 for three years.

•    Thanks to the Beowulf Boot Camp team for putting on a great 4th camp!


CCT in the news:
LSU Trains Louisiana Students and Teachers at SuperComputing Camp
LSU Office of Communications & University Relations

CCT Hosts Second Research Experience for Undergraduates this Summer
  LSU Office of Communications & University Relations

Please Note:

•    Anyone who would like to work with the Alice in Computation Land Camp this week, please stop by 338 Johnston between 9-4 any day this week and see Kathy Traxler.

•    On May 9th, Governor Jindal issued Executive Order BJ 2011-7 that directed executive branch agencies including higher education to cease spending in support (non-personnel) categories. Since the University has not received guidance on how to implement this executive order, LSU has developed operating guidelines to meet the spirit of the order through June 30, 2011. These Guidelines apply only to expenditures using State appropriated funds that are included in the University’s FY 2010-11 Operating Budget and so identified with a zero in the sixth digit of the account number. Please contact CCT Business Manager Theresa Markey (tmarkey@cct.lsu.edu) with any questions.

•    Early bird registration for SIGGRAPH 2011 ends June 17th. To register visit http://www.siggraph.org/s2011/for_attendees/registration.

•    The LSU Center for Computation & Technology will host for the first time the LSU iOS Application Boot Camp August 1-12 (10 day camp; not including weekends) on the LSU Campus. This new educational experience offers LSU undergraduates the opportunity to gain knowledge while enhancing their entrepreneurial spirit. Participants will work in groups to create their own operating App and have it loaded on their personal device by end of camp. Registration fee is $300. For more info and to register, visit http://www.cct.lsu.edu/iosbootcamp.

•    Registration is open for “Stop Motion Summer Camp,” July 11-15, 2011. This exciting summer education opportunity offers high school students a unique opportunity to build upon their interests in animation. Registration fee is $125. For more information and to register, visit http://www.cct.lsu.edu/StopMotion.

•    Applications for the SC11 Student Volunteer Program are open and close on August 12, 2011. Undergraduate and graduate students are encouraged to apply as volunteers to help with the administration of the conference. In exchange for volunteering, they will receive complimentary conference registration, housing, and most meals. In addition, limited support will be provided for transportation expenses (such as airfare) for international students and students from groups that traditionally have been underrepresented in HPC. For more information visit http://sc11.supercomputing.org/?pg=studvol.html or email student-vols@info.supercomputing.org.

•    LONI Technical Forum scheduled for July 18-19 at Pennington Biomedical Research Center is now accepting registrations.  Participation is FREE.  If you wish to suggest a topic for discussion, email Lonnie Leger at Lonnie@lsu.edu.  For more information, visit: http://www.cct.lsu.edu/LONIForum2011

•    Prior approval is required for Special Meal Requests. Employees who make meal purchases without prior approvals may find that they must cover the cost of any monies spent for an unapproved event out of pocket, especially now that state funds are under a spending freeze.  Please contact Susie Poskonka (susie@cct.lsu.edu) prior to any special meal with visitor(s) to file the appropriate request for approval. Prior approval could take up to two weeks, so please plan accordingly.

•    Please remember to send your news concerning grants, awards, conferences, or other pertinent information to CCT Event Coordinator Jennifer Fontenot at jennifer@cct.lsu.edu

•    Follow CCT with social media to access photos and see news, events or updated information. These pages are public; you do not need an account to view the information.  
o    Facebook group : LSU Center for Computation & Technology
o    Twitter :  LSUCCT
o    YouTube channel : LSUCCT

Upcoming events:

May 30- July 29:  NSF Research Experience for Undergraduates
June 13-17:  Alice in Computation Land Summer Camp
July 11-15:  Stop Motion Animation Summer Camp
July 18-22: Alice in Computation Land Summer Camp
July 18-19:  LONI Tech Forum
July 31- Aug 6:  Computational Thinking from a Parallel Perspective
August 1- 12:  iOS Boot Camp for LSU Freshmen
August 9-11:  SIGGRAPH (Booth #841), Vancouver, Canada


Upcoming Grant Deadlines:
Note: Please check the CCT deadline Web site, since it is updated daily.
Software Infrastructure for Sustained Innovation (SI2)
July 18, 2011 10:00 am
At Most $ 1,000,000.00 available

Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Program
July 23, 2011 10:00 am
At Least $ 400,000.00 avai

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