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Computational Science And Engineering Education, Research And Training At A Hbcu Experiences And Outcomes

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2010 Annual Conference & Exposition


Louisville, Kentucky

Publication Date

June 20, 2010

Start Date

June 20, 2010

End Date

June 23, 2010



Conference Session

Build Diversity in Engineering Graduate Programs

Tagged Division

Minorities in Engineering

Page Count


Page Numbers

15.301.1 - 15.301.13



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Paper Authors

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Ram Mohan North Carolina A & T State University

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Ajit Kelkar North Carolina A&T State University

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Narayanaswamy Radhakrishnan North Carolina A&T State University

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Computational Science and Engineering Education, Research and Training at a HBCU – Experiences and Outcomes


Computational science and engineering (CSE) and high performance computing (HPC) have now become an integral part of several engineering and science disciplines. Still the number of students from under-represented universities and minority institutions who are involved and educated in these fields is very minimal. The interdisciplinary computational science and engineering graduate program at our University (a major historically black college and university) was initiated in 2005 and has now graduated more than 25 students (including minorities and women, and in particular, African Americans) from various disciplines of science and engineering. This graduate program is the first such program at a historically black college and university (HBCU) in the nation, and is highly interdisciplinary, offering a curriculum that combines the stronger domain knowledge of several areas of science and engineering with the CSE core areas of applied numerical analysis, software data structures, parallel and high performance computing and data visualization. The interdisciplinary nature of the program and the presence of students from various diversified backgrounds pose significant challenges in the core computational courses. The details of the CSE educational program, experiences and outcomes from this graduate program are discussed in this paper. Representative case studies of the experiences and outcomes of the students from the program over the years are highlighted.

A complementary outreach aspect of the CSE educational program at our university is the annual workshop on CSE and HPC for faculty members from other minority serving institutions across US and Puerto Rico. This educating the educator workshop has benefited the participating faculty, allowing them to not only get trained and exposed in these areas but also act as catalysts to propagate their knowledge to their students, serving a larger minority population. Our experiences and outcomes from the past few years and their impact on the CSE education and training of under-represented minorities are highlighted.

The positive outcomes of the initial Master’s level graduate program are now enabling the establishment of a PhD program in CSE (first among HBCU in the nation) that is currently pending approval for establishment. Details of the PhD program development and structure are briefly presented.


The new paradigm in graduate studies is interdisciplinary programs that meet the technical needs of the current practices in the field and global industry. Modeling and simulation built upon computational science and engineering has now become the third key solution methodology in not only engineering and physical sciences but also in other areas such as biology, economics, and health sciences that are generally considered to be non-computational fields. The interdisciplinary master's degree program in Computational Science and Engineering (CSE) at our University is now more than 4 years old, and provides graduate education in several computational areas and the associated primary field disciplines. The CSE program since its

Mohan, R., & Kelkar, A., & Radhakrishnan, N. (2010, June), Computational Science And Engineering Education, Research And Training At A Hbcu Experiences And Outcomes Paper presented at 2010 Annual Conference & Exposition, Louisville, Kentucky. 10.18260/1-2--17008

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