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Dr. Robert Voigt on Educating Computational Scientists

Robert Voigt is a Senior Member of the Krell Insititute

In this video from KAUST Live, Dr. Robert Voigt discusses his recent keynote at the HPC Saudi Conference on the topic of Educating Computational Scientists.

This talk will provide a historical perspective on the challenges of educating computational scientists based on my personal involvement over a number of years. Three decidedly different activities will be drawn on to indicate how one can successfully approach the challenge. The first is based on experiences at the Institute for Computer Applications in Science and Engineering at the NASA Langley Research Center where visiting students were exposed to multidisciplinary research driven by computer simulations. The second is the Predictive Science Academic Alliance Program funded by the National Nuclear Security Administration, a component of the US Department of Energy (DOE). The third is the Computational Science Graduate Fellowship program funded by the DOE. The latter two programs provide students with exposure to multidisciplinary research and perhaps more unique, require them to spend a three month period at one of the DOE national laboratories. My experience with these three efforts suggest that development of computational scientists require three key components: class room exposure to applied mathematics, computer science and a scientific or engineering discipline; exposure to teams conducting multidisciplinary research; and a significant internship at a major research facility.

Robert Voigt is a Senior Member of the Krell Institute. Shortly after receiving his doctorate in mathematics, Dr. Voigt became Assistant Director of the Institute for Computer Applications in Science and Engineering at the NASA Langley Research Center and eventually served as Director for six years. He also has held various positions at National Science Foundation, including head of the High Performance Computing and Communication program. He facilitated the formation of and now manages a multi-year, multidisciplinary university research program for the Advanced Simulation and Computing program within the National Nuclear Security Administration, a component of the US Department of Energy (DOE). In 1998 along with a small group of others, he helped to create the Computational Graduate Fellowship program for the Office of Science of DOE. He continues to support the program as a member of the Steering Committee. He has served on various advisory committees for ARPA, DOE, NASA, NIST and NSF. For example, he chaired a sub-panel on parallel computers for the Lax Panel on Large Scale Computing in Science and Engineering, which eventually led to formation of the NSF Supercomputer Centers. His technical interests include numerical algorithms for parallel systems and advanced high-performance computer architectures. Education: Ph.D. Mathematics – University of Maryland.

The Krell Institute, a 501(c)(3) corporation, provides technical resources, knowledge and management experience to technology-based education and information programs. For two decades, we have built a standing in the science community as an honest broker and unique collaborator in developing, implementing and managing student fellowships, workforce training programs, technical meetings and science communication products.

Krell has collaborated with several federal agencies, particularly the Department of Energy and National Nuclear Security Administration, creating longstanding relationships and a reputation for excellence. Their partners have included the Department of Education, the National Science Foundation, the Educational Development Center and SRI International, as well as several universities. We have worked with multiple national laboratories, including Los Alamos, Lawrence Berkeley, Lawrence Livermore, Oak Ridge, Pacific Northwest and Sandia.

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