Dr. John Burkardt, research associate at Scientific Computing, was the invited keynote speaker at CCURNS (Conference on Careers and Undergraduate Research in the Natural Sciences) at the University of Pittsburgh Greensburg Campus on Saturday, 16 April 2016. In his presentation, "My Computer Dreams in Triangles," Burkardt discussed how computers model reality by using a technique employed by artists – making a complex shape easier to work with by breaking it in to many smaller geometric shapes. Artists discovered that a complex object could be copied by viewing it through a wire mesh, and then filling in the boxes. Burkardt’s keynote highlighted myriad research possibilities inherent in meshes and computational science, including the arrowhead classification done by Marcelina Nagles, the classification of bones for age-at-death by Detelina Stoyanova, and the moving mesh for fluid flow work of Lukas Bystricky.
The purpose of the CCURNS conference is to promote insight into STEM careers, celebrate undergraduate research, help undergraduates plan for graduate and professional school, and network with professionals in STEM fields. Over 70 undergraduate students attended this year’s event.