Computations have not only joined but in many cases have superseded, theory and experiments, the two venerable pillars of scientific discovery and technological design. Thus, whether one is studying sub-atomic particles or galaxies, whether one is designing minute nano-composites or huge skyscrapers, whether one is sequencing the human genome or protecting fragile ecosystems, whether one is studying the flow of blood in capillaries or predicting the winds in a hurricane, computations play a central role.
The computations that enable these and a myriad of other studies depend on the invention, implementation, testing, and application of algorithms and software that computers use to solve scientific and engineering problems. This is the work of computational scientists and forms the basis for the missions of the Department of Scientific Computing, which, in short, are to perform cutting-edge interdisciplinary research in computational science, to address the pressing need to train the next generation of computational scientists, and to provide environments for high-performance computing on the FSU campus.
To help carry out our missions, we have assembled in the Department a diverse group of faculty who not only have excellent, well-developed research programs of their own, but also interact with each other in a synergistic manner so that advances in the nascent discipline of computational science can directly influence advances in several traditional disciplines. The Department also offers innovative undergraduate and graduate degree programs that provide genuine interdisciplinary training in the computational sciences. Students are taught to merge mathematics, computation, and science at all levels, starting with their courses, labs, and through undergraduate and graduate research opportunities. The Department also manages several high-performance computer systems.
I am personally very excited about the future of Computational Science in general, and of the Department of Scientific Computing in particular. Novel algorithms that cut across science and non-science disciplines alike will continue to play an increasing role and will be evermore essential for the United States to maintain our competitive economic, military, and scientific edge. Beyond the research component of Computational Science, it is imperative to train the next generation of Computational Scientists and avail them with the best knowledge possible in order to make them more effective as researchers and teachers. These are exactly the activities and goals our Department is involved in.
I encourage you to explore our website, learn about our program, and feel free to contact us to establish a dialogue, whether with researchers seeking new collaborative opportunities, or from prospective students seeking to participate in our Departmental programs and activities and become a part of a discipline gaining in importance poised to greatly impact the future.
Sincerely, Gordon Erlebacher