Tag Archive | "Center for Computational Science"

Visualization Goes High Tech at Viz Lab


Visualization Goes High Tech at Viz Lab

By Robert C. Jones Jr.
UM News

CORAL GABLES, Fla. (January 20, 2016) – The aerial image of a Colombian shantytown appeared on the large display screen with such clarity that the 12 people gathered for the demonstration could identify the types and number of garments hanging from a clothesline on the rooftop of a shack.

“Just imagine what can be done with hurricane tracks and climatological data,” said Nick Tsinoremas, director of the University of Miami’s Center for Computational Science (CCS).

Tsinoremas was commending the visual and display capabilities of the 22-foot-long 2-D display monitor inside CCS’s new Visualization Lab. From a bird’s-eye view of a shantytown to an illustration of the branchlike projections of neurons called dendrites, the lab allows faculty members, researchers, scientists, and students to display high-resolution images, data, charts, and other information in visually stunning formats.

“This is a facility that will appeal to just about anyone on campus—architecture, business, the medical, and marine schools,” said Joel Zysman, director of high-performance computing for CCS. “Researchers can display their data like never before, but not only that, do something with that data such as perform live analysis.”

A tie-in with CCS’s Pegasus supercomputer makes that possible, allowing researchers to run simulations through the powerful device and then display their results on screen for analysis and discussion.

A plug-and-play system, the 2-D monitor is capable of displaying one large image or breaking up different components of data into as many as ten individual screens. A smaller 3-D monitor is also available, but content for that system must be specially created, and to experience the 3-D effect, special glasses must be worn.

Carie Penabad, associate professor in the School of Architecture, said she plans to use the Viz Lab at some point to present her ongoing research on shantytowns. With assistance from CCS, Penabad is using drones to map squatter settlements in Latin American countries such as Colombia and the Dominican Republic, using her charts to document and better understand areas not included on official local government maps yet are home to hundreds of thousands of people who live in horrid conditions.

“I can see all kinds of incredible projects that will be related to what our graduate students do,” said Gina Maranto, director of the undergraduate program in ecosystem science and policy, who gathered some of her students to attend a demo session of the lab, located on the third floor of the Ungar Building.

“They do a lot, especially the students who are working on things like vector-borne diseases,” explains Maranto. “We have three or four students who have been doing visualization and looking at land cover and trying to correlate mosquito and land cover and dengue or malaria outbreaks. Compared to working on a little screen or even a fairly large Apple screen—this stuff [the Visualization Lab] is just incredible.”

The CCS Viz Lab is a free resource for the UM community, but first-time use of the space requires an orientation session with a CCS support team. For more information on training sessions, email vizlab@miami.edu.



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Center for Computational Science Seeks Student Mentors

The Center for Computational Science (CCS) Student Mentors Program is a network of computationally advanced students offering peer mentorship in computational science. Mentors are available during specified office hours during which they help with specific questions about data and its analysis.

CCS is now accepting applications for the Student Mentor Program, starting with its computational biology group. Student mentors in computational biology should have experience with one or more relevant programing languages, such as Python or R, be able to troubleshoot common computational questions, and be able to assist with computational analysis of genomics data.

Doing this gives students several benefits beyond helping peers:

  • They gain valuable teaching experience that can be added to a CV.
  • They practice conveying analytical information clearly, which is important for disseminating results in publications and presentations.
  • Their assistance to peers may foster collaborations between labs and lead to additional publication opportunities.

The time commitment for student mentors is approximately three to four hours per month.

For an application form and further information, please visit the CCS Student Mentors webpage.


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Women in Tech Careers Highlight the Challenges—and Rewards

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Women in Tech Careers Highlight the Challenges—and Rewards

A panel hosted by UM’s Center for Computational Science brought awareness to the lack of diversity in the industry.

By Megan Ondrizek
UM News

Women in Tech Careers

Sawsan Khuri, right, director of engagement for UM’s Center for Computational Science, moderates the Women in Tech Careers panel discussion, as Lien Tran of the School of Communication looks on.

CORAL GABLES, Fla. (September 17, 2015) – With the percentage of computing jobs held by women falling from 35 percent in 1990 to just 26 percent in 2013, the University of Miami’s Center for Computational Science hosted a panel discussion Tuesday that not only addressed some of the challenges faced by women in tech careers but also strategies to overcome them.

Moderated by Sawsan Khuri, director of engagement for UM’s Center for Computational Science, the Women in Tech Careers discussion served as a forum where leaders from academia and the local tech community offered insights on how women can learn, achieve, and evolve in the industry. Read the full story

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Join in, Make a Difference, Stand Out: Apply for the Center for Computational Science’s Fellows Program by October 5

The University of Miami’s Center for Computational Science (CCS) is now accepting applications for the 2015-16 CCS Fellows Program, which is designed to inspire a new generation of leaders in computational science by offering students the opportunity to work in a broad, cross-disciplinary research setting.

Fellows will have the opportunity to use CCS’s world-class advanced computing facilities for their research and to work closely with CCS faculty, members, and staff. Fellows are expected to conduct a research project for the duration of the program under the guidance of two cross-disciplinary mentors. They also may enroll in appropriate courses for research credits and approach CCS faculty and staff for access to software or other facilities, as needed. Fellows will present their work at the CCS Fellows Program Symposium in spring 2016.

The program is open to graduate students in their second year of study or above, and to undergraduate students at a sophomore level or above from any school, college, or department at the University. Applicants must be of good academic standing and have an interest in computational science. Previous research experience is an advantage. The deadline for submitting an application is end of day on Monday, October 5.

The CCS Fellows opportunity is awarded to two undergraduate students and two graduate students per year. CCS Fellows gain valuable computational skills, and the program consistently results in continued cross-disciplinary collaborations among the participants and their mentors.

To apply, visit the CCS Fellow Program. For questions, contact ccseducation@miami.edu.

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UM Launches New Digital Tool for Improving Affordable Housing Needs

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UM Launches New Digital Tool for Improving Affordable Housing Needs


Robin Bachin, assistant provost for civic and community engagement, discusses the MAP mission at The Beacon Council.

By Andres Tamayo
UM News

MIAMI, Fla. (May 29, 2015) – University of Miami officials last week officially launched the Miami Affordability Project, or MAP, an interactive online tool that provides rich data about affordable housing and development.

In a meeting at The Beacon Council, more than 100 community officials, executives, and local media turned out for the event, which has been more than a year-and-a-half in the making and was spearheaded by UM’s Office of Civic and Community Engagement and the Center for Computational Science.

The MAP program is free to use and visualizes neighborhood-level housing market dynamics, and assists in developing data-driven strategies for housing and community development.

“The overall goal of our housing and community development work is to increase the availability of affordable housing and to promote balanced, people- and place-based revitalization strategies that are sensitive to the history and culture of neighborhoods,” said Robin Bachin, assistant provost for civic and community engagement.

The project, which focuses on improving housing opportunities for residents of low- to moderate-income Miami neighborhoods, was funded through grants from JPMorgan Chase and the Jessie Ball DuPont Fund.

Miami ranks first in the nation in severe cost burden, meaning that more people in Miami than in any other metropolitan area spend 50 percent or more of their income on housing.

“With the development of MAP, courtesy of Dr. Bachin and her team at the CCE, we will now be able to better measure, better manage, better provide for affordable housing because our basic assumptions will be right, not wrong,” said Michael Liu, director, Miami-Dade Public Housing and Community Development. “It will be based on empirical data and analysis not on myth and anecdote.”

Liu joined fellow community officials Arden Shank, president and CEO of Neighborhood Housing Services of South Florida, and Barbara “Bobbie” Ibarra, executive director of the Miami Coalition for the Homeless, as speakers. The launch also featured speakers from JPMorgan Chase and The Beacon Council.

The innovative project is only the second of its kind – the first was done in New York. For more information on the MAP and its capabilities, visit http://comte.ccs.miami.edu/housing/.

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