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Glimpses of Today’s Total Solar Eclipse

HPC Wire - Mon, 08/21/2017 - 14:19

Here are a few arresting images posted by NASA of today’s total solar eclipse. Such astronomical events have always captured our imagination and it’s not hard to understand why such occurrences were often greeted with fear and seen as harbingers of evil before their true nature was understood.

1. This full-disk geocolor image from GOES-16 shows the shadow of the moon covering a large portion of the northwestern U.S. earlier today, August 21, 2017.

 

2. This composite image, made from seven frames, shows the International Space Station, with a crew of six onboard, as it transits the Sun at roughly five miles per second during a partial solar eclipse, Monday, Aug. 21, 2017 near Banner, Wyoming.

Photo Credit: (NASA/Joel Kowsky)

 

3. On August 21, 2017, the Earth will cross the shadow of the moon, creating a total solar eclipse. Eclipses happen about every six months, but this one is special. For the first time in almost 40 years, the path of the moon’s shadow passes through the continental United States. This is a visualization of the event.

 

4. The Moon is seen passing in front of the Sun during a solar eclipse from Ross Lake, Northern Cascades National Park, Washington on Monday, Aug. 21, 2017.

Photo Credit: (NASA/Bill Ingalls)

 

6. The Moon is seen passing in front of the Sun at the point of the maximum of the partial solar eclipse near Banner, Wyoming on Monday, Aug. 21, 2017. A total solar eclipse swept across a narrow portion of the contiguous United States from Lincoln Beach, Oregon to Charleston, South Carolina. A partial solar eclipse was visible across the entire North American continent along with parts of South America, Africa, and Europe.

Photo Credit: (NASA/Joel Kowsky)

5. Once again. the total solar eclipse is seen on Monday, August 21, 2017 above Madras, Oregon.

Photo Credit: (NASA/Aubrey Gemignani)

Image Source: NASA web site: https://www.nasa.gov/eclipsephotos

The post Glimpses of Today’s Total Solar Eclipse appeared first on HPCwire.

Team DiggerLoop heads to SpaceX for Hyperloop competition

Colorado School of Mines - Mon, 08/21/2017 - 12:54

It took some long days and late nights to get over the finish line, but the Colorado School of Mines Hyperloop pod has departed for California and the SpaceX Hyperloop competition Aug. 25-27.

Team DiggerLoop will face off against 23 student teams from around the world to see whose futuristic transport pod can travel the fastest—and safely come to a complete stop—within the confines of a roughly mile-long test track.

But first, the DiggerLoop pod has to pass a battery of tests by SpaceX engineers, team leader Austin Genger said. 

“Once we’re there, we have to prove our vehicle is track-worthy and is not going to come apart or damage anything,” Genger said. “We’ve got to prove that it’s good to go.”

Still in the conceptual phases, Hyperloop is a high-speed transportation system that would move both passengers and freight in pod-like vehicles inside a reduced-pressure tube—faster than an airplane. 

SpaceX founder and billionaire inventor Elon Musk popularized the idea in a white paper in 2013. Since then, multiple startup companies have sprung up to push the technology forward.

DiggerLoop found out in April that it was one of 24 college teams chosen for the SpaceX Hyperloop Pod Competition II in August. The first SpaceX competition, focused on overall pod design, was won by a team from MIT in January.

In the months since the announcement, DiggerLoop has been working hard to raise money and take its pod design from rendering to reality. The full-scale pod includes many off-the-shelf parts, both to reduce costs and increase confidence in performance.  

It hasn’t been an entirely smooth road. Final assembly of the pod was delayed for weeks this summer as the team waited for the fabrication of the chassis to be completed.

“It’s been day by day,” team member Christian Grundfor said. “Sometimes things have been going really well and then we’ll just have something that’s like, well, that sets us back hours. But we’re getting past them all. We haven’t run into anything that we haven’t been able to get past.”

The team planned to have their pod crated up and ready to go by late Friday night or early Saturday morning. Most team members were flying out to California on Saturday.

The pod itself will be hauled to SpaceX headquarters, located outside Los Angeles, by the father of one of the team members. 

“It’s been hard because everyone has other commitments, jobs and other things to do, especially with school starting,” Grundfor said. “But everyone is doing as much as they can. We’ve got a great team to get this far.”

The team has gone through some personnel changes, as well. The pod was also a senior capstone design project -- it won first place in the College of Engineering and Computational Sciences Spring Senior Design Trade Fair -- and many of the original team members have since graduated. 

Of the 16 people working on the pod last week, only five were with DiggerLoop in the spring, Genger said. 

“We still have quite a bit of assembling to do, but if we put in one or two late nights we’ll definitely get it done in time. We can finish up small details once we get to SpaceX,” Genger said Thursday before leaving for California. “I feel very good about this team. They’ve put in just as much work as we have, this newer team. This project is just as much theirs as it is ours.”

Their goal is to hit 280 miles per hour.

“I’m just excited to test this thing and see what it’s actually going to do,” Genger said. 

CONTACT
Emilie Rusch, Public Information Specialist, Communications and Marketing | 303-273-3361 | erusch@mines.edu
Mark Ramirez, Managing Editor, Communications and Marketing | 303-273-3088 | ramirez@mines.edu

Categories: Partner News

Jetstream Atmosphere Maintenance on August 29, 2017 - noon to 8pm

XSEDE News - Mon, 08/21/2017 - 12:17

Jetstream’s Atmosphere interface will be offline on August 29, 2017 from 12pm Eastern through 8pm Eastern for upgrades/enhancements.

Existing/running instances will still be available via ssh. API users will not be affected by this upgrade.
Please contact help@xsede.org with any questions or concerns.

Tech Giants Outline Battle Plans for Future HPC Market

HPC Wire - Mon, 08/21/2017 - 11:31

Four companies engaged in a cage fight for leadership in the emerging HPC market of the 2020s are, despite deep differences in some areas, in violent agreement on at least one thing: the power consumption and latency penalties of data movement is Public Enemy No. 1. If we are to realize the promise of exascale computing for AI, data analytics and HPC, advanced scale systems must be rearchitected in ways that, above all, get data closer to compute – though precisely how to do that is a matter of major contention.

Technology strategists from Intel, Nvidia, HPE and Mellanox gathered last week at the Rocky Mountain Advanced Computing Consortium Symposium for a debate on “The Future of HPC Architecture.” Moderated by Tiffany Trader, managing editor of HPCwire, and Thomas Hauser, director of Research Computing at the University of Colorado Boulder, the panelists described their companies’ strategies for enabling exascale to become a practical, accessible reality (incidentally, IBM was invited to participate but declined).

Each of the four agrees that achieving exascale will require radical enhancements in compute capabilities. Each of the four is captivated by an architectural vision that places data, and reduction in data movement latency, at the center of the compute universe.

This means more than just putting more data into memory of increasingly gigantic capacity (we’ve heard talk of memory technology that will hold decades of data). That’s an important part of data centric computing but not all of it. It’s also about architectural schemes that shorten the connections between storage, memory and compute – whether by integrating memory and interconnect functions within a multi-capability processor (Intel’s Scalable System Framework), or by distributing compute to wherever data is located in the compute ecosystem – whether it’s in memory, in storage, in the network, at the edge.

This is a critical part of the strategy for deliveringe exascale systems that will power the increasingly powerful forms of AI to come. AI is candy for technology strategists at the upper echelons of business, scientific research, national defense and government, and the four technology companies represented at the RMACC panel (along with hundreds of other vendors) are the confectioners determined to deliver it.

From left, Bill Magro of Intel, Marc Hamilton of Nvidia, Jerry Lotto of Mellanox, Mike Vildibill of HPE

Of course, how that architecture is cobbled together will be the key technology battleground of the coming decade. It’s all in the details. There are many ideas of dispersing and parallelizing computing power via architectural schemes, though not necessarily lots of agreement. Looked at one way, Intel seems to be moving toward a camp of its own under the umbrella of its tightly integrated Scalable Systems Framework. In another camp is Nvidia, HPE and Mellanox, where compute has vacated the center and is distributed throughout the system, wherever data resides.

“Distributed computing anywhere data lives is going to be the key to the future,” said Jerry Lotto, director HPC and technical computing at Mellanox. In response to this definitive statement, HPE’s Mike Vildibill, VP, Advanced Technologies Group, joked “Well, I’m trying desperately to have a different opinion from my colleagues….”

A central theme of the discussion, one universally agreed upon, was not just how to achieve exascale computing but how to make it relevant, accessible and practical for a broad array of workloads throughout public and private sector elements of the HPC community. The difficulties of scaling the exascale summit are immense.

Let’s consider power consumption. Vildibill put it into perspective by saying that if each system on the list of the world’s Top500 supercomputers is considered a node, the cumulative compute power of that system is roughly an exaflop of peak performance – from a system that consumes more than 650 megawatts of power (the output of a large nuclear power plant).

Clearly, greater efficiencies will have to be made if an exascale system is delivered in the 2022-23 timeframe with a footprint that fits into a reasonably sized data center that consumes 20-30MW. “That requirement alone is fundamentally driving a lot of development we’re doing at HPE,” Vildibill said, “…driving some very significant changes in system architecture done in a way that we can maintain legacy and we can still run our favorite MPI codes, but also address how data movement occurs within large-scale systems.”

“The power analysis we’ve done – and everyone’s done it and come to pretty much the same conclusion – is that something different needs to be done in the way we compute, the way we couple computation together,” said Bill Magro, an Intel Fellow and chief technologist, high performance computing software.

Specifically addressing data movement in HPC systems, he said, “Every time you move data you incur a latency, and the further the parts are apart in the system or even in a node, you suffer that latency.”

“You need programming models and compute engines that avoid moving data,” Magro said, “you need fabrics that have very efficient protocols driven by the needs of HPC to minimize back and forth traffic, whether it be for payloads, protocols or even just guarding the integrity of the data. These are the things we’re looking at.

All of this has brought about profound change in Intel’s HPC strategy, he said. It’s part of the reason Intel now describes itself as a data-centric company.

“Intel’s history has been to drive compute up and up and up,” Magro said. “But we realized a few years ago that compute actually isn’t the hardest problem, it’s everything that’s wrapped around the compute, giving (the system) balance: memory technology, fabric, storage.

“We’re trying to approach this with a systems point of view, even though we’re not a systems company,” he said, alluding to Intel’s Scalable System Framework, “because we don’t think you can get to exascale by working on components individually.”

Marc Hamilton, VP, solutions architecture and engineering at Nvidia, said the company addresses latency problems in part via a heterogeneous architecture, called “fat nodes,” in which “you have a latency-optimized core, such as a CPU, combined with a throughput-optimized core, such as a GPU” within a single system that minimizes data movement.

“You’re always going to be able to move data faster on a piece of silicon or on a motherboard than over a network,” he said.

Mellanox’s Lotto discussed taking latency out of networks by adding intelligence and compute within them.

“Traditionally, we had CPU-centric networks,” Lotto said. “The idea was that the network was basically a passive component of a cluster, that data was going to be delivered to end points in order for computation to take place. We’re trying to move toward a more data centric model for computing by enabling network devices to actually contribute to the computational load. We can offload a lot of the computational capacity from the CPU to the network.”

He cited a raft of technologies under development by Mellanox, including SHARPSHIELD and other products, designed with the goal reducing the latency of communications frameworks like MPI down by an order of magnitude, to 3 or 4 microseconds.

Lotto expanded on these remarks to say that while processing will go wherever data exists, there also will be “coexistence” of applications and workloads within a learning environment.

“We think exascale isn’t going to look like today’s systems in terms of usages,” he said. “It’s not just going to be simulation and modeling any more. It’s going to be simulation and modeling sitting alongside machine learning and AI, sitting alongside high performance data analytics. And not just the workloads coexisting but also interacting through workflows.”

He offered a hypothetical scenario in which a scientist is conducting real time analytics on a perishable sample, and then adjusting the scientific instrument based on data as it, in real time, comes to the scientist.

“Those are types of workloads we’re focusing on, and those have broad implications for systems architecture,” Lotto said. “Not just in terms of how they coexist and connect through resource managers, but also how we make those frameworks take advantage of the core compute and fabric that sits underneath.”

But Intel’s Magro emphasized the physical limits involved in architectural design and the choices that those limits impose on vendors.

“We all have the same fundamental limits on how large a chip we can build, and that means we’re all forced to decide how to use that real estate,” he said. “So there’s a key tension, which is if I come up with something like a dedicated Tensor engine that’s wonderful and perfect for machine learning and I dedicate an area to that, by construction I’m harming the rest of HPC. So what we need to do is find the right balance of what will benefit the most from deep integration, what will be on a motherboard and what can be at the other end of the fabric. That’s where a lot of the tension is.”

The post Tech Giants Outline Battle Plans for Future HPC Market appeared first on HPCwire.

JDRF and IBM Collaborate to Research Diabetes in Children

HPC Wire - Mon, 08/21/2017 - 11:29

NEW YORK, Aug. 21, 2017 — IBM (NYSE: IBM) and JDRF, the leading global organization funding type 1 diabetes (T1D) research, today announced a new collaboration to develop and apply machine learning methods to analyze years of global T1D research data and identify factors leading to the onset of T1D in children.

T1D affects approximately 1.25 million Americans, and it currently does not have a cure. This research collaboration is expected to create an entry point for T1D in the field of precision medicine, by combining JDRF’s connections to research teams around the globe and its subject matter expertise in T1D research with the technical capability and computing power of IBM.

“At JDRF, we are absolutely committed to seeing a world without type 1 diabetes, and with this partnership, we’re adding some of the most advanced computing power in the world to our mission,” said Derek Rapp, JDRF President and CEO. “JDRF supports researchers all over the world, but never before have we been able to analyze their data comprehensively, in a way that can tell us why some children who are at risk get T1D and others do not. IBM’s analysis of the existing data could open the door to understanding the risk factors of T1D in a whole new way, and to one day finding a way to prevent T1D altogether.”

IBM scientists will look across at least three different data sets and apply machine learning algorithms to help find patterns and factors at play, with the goal of identifying ways that could delay or prevent T1D in children. In order to match variables and data formats and compare the differing data sets, the scientists plan to leverage previously collected data from global research projects. Data analysis will explore the inclusion of genetic, familial, autoantibody and other variables to create a foundational set of features that is common to all data sets. The models that will be produced will quantify the risk for T1D from the combined dataset using this foundational set of features. As a result, JDRF will be in a better position to identify top predictive risk factors for T1D, cluster patients based on top risk factors, and explore a number of data-driven models for predicting onset.

“Nearly 40,000 new cases of type 1 diabetes will be diagnosed in the U.S. this year. And each new patient creates new records and new data points that, if leveraged, could provide additional understanding of the disease,” says Jianying Hu, Senior Manager and Program Director, Center for Computational Health at IBM Research. “The deep expertise our team has in artificial intelligence applied to healthcare data makes us uniquely positioned to help JDRF unlock the insights hidden in this massive data set and advance the field of precision medicine towards the prevention and management of diabetes.”

Future phases of the collaboration may consist of furthering the analysis of big data toward the goal of better understanding causes of T1D. They may also consist of analyzing more complex datasets, such as microbiome and genomics or transcriptomics data. Finally, but no less importantly, the knowledge gained through these efforts could also help JDRF in its pursuit of a cure for people with T1D.

About JDRF 

JDRF is the leading global organization funding type 1 diabetes (T1D) research. Our mission is to accelerate life-changing breakthroughs to cure, prevent and treat T1D and its complications. To accomplish this, JDRF has invested more than $2 billion in research funding since our inception. We are an organization built on a grassroots model of people connecting in their local communities, collaborating regionally for efficiency and broader fundraising impact, and uniting on a national stage to pool resources, passion, and energy. We collaborate with academic institutions, policymakers, and corporate and industry partners to develop and deliver a pipeline of innovative therapies to people living with T1D. Our staff and volunteers throughout the United States and our six international affiliates are dedicated to advocacy, community engagement and our vision of a world without T1D. For more information, please visit jdrf.org or follow us on Twitter: @JDRF.

About IBM Research 

For more than seven decades, IBM Research has defined the future of information technology with more than 3,000 researchers in 12 labs located across six continents. Scientists from IBM Research have produced six Nobel Laureates, 10 U.S. National Medals of Technology, five U.S. National Medals of Science, six Turing Awards, 19 inductees in the National Academy of Sciences and 20 inductees into the U.S. National Inventors Hall of Fame. For more information about IBM Research, visit www.ibm.com/research.

About Type 1 Diabetes

Type 1 diabetes (T1D) is an autoimmune disease in which a person’s pancreas stops producing insulin, a hormone that enables people to get energy from food. It occurs when the body’s immune system attacks and destroys the insulin-producing cells in the pancreas, called beta cells. While its causes are not yet entirely understood, scientists believe that both genetic factors and environmental triggers are involved. Its onset has nothing to do with diet or lifestyle. There is nothing you can do to prevent T1D, and — at present — nothing you can do to get rid of it.

Source: IBM

The post JDRF and IBM Collaborate to Research Diabetes in Children appeared first on HPCwire.

President's Convocation inspires new Mines students

Colorado School of Mines - Mon, 08/21/2017 - 09:01

Incoming freshmen and transfer students heard from faculty, alumni, President Paul C. Johnson and their peers about what makes Colorado School of Mines special, the challenges they’ll face and how to rise up to them, at the President’s Convocation held Thursday evening, Aug. 18., in Lockridge Arena.

The convocation was followed by an ice cream social, which provided students and their families one last time to get together before the start of the school year.

“Your average SAT composite score is 1341, your average ACT composite is 31 and your average high school GPA is 3.8 on an unweighted 4.0 scale,” said President Paul C. Johnson. “In a nutshell, we have the smartest kids in the room all in one room today, right here in Lockridge.”

Patty Starzer ’83, a member of the Mines Board of Trustees, credited the university with the many successes she and her husband, Michael, also a 1983 graduate of Mines, have enjoyed. The couple contributed toward the construction of the Starzer Welcome Center, completed in 2015, and have been generous supporters for more than 25 years. With two daughters and a son-in-law, as well as other relatives who are either alumni or studying at the school, Starzer said her family’s connections to Mines run deep.

Board member Jesus Salazar, who earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Mines, said the university had developed his ability to evolve his thinking—from learning how individual parts work together inside a machine, to seeing how people come together in an organization to work efficiently and, finally, how groups can come together to make a difference in the world

Tracy Gardner, teaching associate professor of chemical and biological engineering and also a Mines alumna, said addressing the university’s newest students was a dream come true—the culmination of a series of challenges. “As a student, I failed some exams. I cried in front of professors,” she said. “At one point in grad school, I even considered fleeing to Portland—Oregon, Maine, I didn’t really care which.”

But ultimately, she earned three degrees at Mines, made lifelong friends and is living the dream of helping to educate future generations of engineers. “I tell you these experiences to let you know the faculty understand where you are and where you can go, and that we want to help in any way we can to get you there,” Gardner said.

Gardner compared studying at Mines to joining a circus. “You will be a clown—you’ll be amazed to find how hilarious you can be when you’re up studying until 2:30 in the morning,” she said. She likened dealing with crabby roommates to taming lions, and learning to let go to being a trapeze artist. “But the main parallel between a circus and Mines is the need to find balance in all that you do,” Gardner said.

Finally, Gardner offered a poem to the incoming class inspired by her father, her mentors and Dr. Seuss.

Like the trapeze artist, reach beyond…take a chance; join the Ultimate team, ask someone to dance!
Realize sometimes it won’t feel like success; you’ll bomb some exam, you’ll think you’re a mess…
But failing can even be better for you, as you’ll find you learn so much more when you do.

Student speakers echoed that theme of trying new things. Mechanical engineering student Sevy Swift said serving as student representative on the Board of Trustees and treasurer of the Mines Robotics Club, leading the Mines Maker Society and being a peer mentor has enhanced his experience. “I’ve been able to get to know my peers and professors on a deeper level and participated in conversations that help shape the future of Mines,” he said.

“Be undeniably you, and do what makes you happy,” said Quinn Tenorio, a computer science major and Undergraduate Student Government president. “As long as you stick to what you want and only do what makes you happy, your college experience will be nothing short of perfect—I guarantee it.”

Blue Key Honor Society President Kristina Kimball, chemical engineering, urged the new students to step out of their comfort zones and embrace what Mines has to offer. “The people here will impact you in ways you can’t even imagine,” she said.

Mines football captain Dean Wenger, metallurgical and materials engineering, and volleyball captain Ellie Monarch, mechanical engineering, touted the school’s athletics accomplishments, urged students to support their teams and led the arena, with Johnson, in singing the university’s fight song, “The Mining Engineer.”

CONTACT
Mark Ramirez, Managing Editor, Communications and Marketing | 303-273-3088 | ramirez@mines.edu
Tim Flynn, Director of Communications, Communications and Marketing | 303-273-3067 | flynn@mines.edu

Categories: Partner News

Denverite documents annual M Climb

Colorado School of Mines - Mon, 08/21/2017 - 08:36

The Colorado School of Mines Class of 2021 kicked off their journey as Orediggers on Aug. 18 with the annual M Climb. Denverite was among the local media that joined Mines' record freshman class on the hike.

Watch the video below: 

Categories: Partner News

M Climb featured by The Denver Post

Colorado School of Mines - Mon, 08/21/2017 - 08:28

The Colorado School of Mines Class of 2021 hiked up Mt. Zion for the annual M Climb on Aug. 18, and The Denver Post was among the local media that joined Mines' record freshman class on their hike.

Watch the videos below:

 

Categories: Partner News

Infinite Memory Engine: The Exascale-era Storage Architecture

HPC Wire - Mon, 08/21/2017 - 01:02

As Neils Bohr said, “Prediction is very difficult, especially if it’s about the future.” Regarding, storage technology futures, the smart money has been riding on NVMe to deliver the step change required for the coming decades. The past five years or so have been notable for the introduction of NAND flash.

Along with increasing NAND capacities and the emergence of ultra-low latency, byte-addressable NVM, the timely uptake of the NVM Express (NVMe) standard is coming into play. NVMe allows the low-latency potential of Non-Volatile memory devices to be realized across fabrics, removing the prior limitations imposed by SCSI layers. Together, these device and protocol advances place the remaining bottleneck to applications squarely at the I/O software layer and parallel file systems. These file systems were developed when the underlying device latency was in the millisecond range when a thick layer of software incurring millisecond-order latencies was perfectly acceptable. Take that same layer and introduce a flash backend and the fast file system becomes an IOPS barrier between application and storage media.

DDN’s initiative to bridge this chasm between application and ultra-low latency storage began from scratch in 2012. The project that was to become Infinite Memory Engine® (IME®) was designed fundamentally to address the sub-microsecond latencies expected by 2020+ and, unlike classic all flash arrays, to do so at supercomputer scale. Today, IME is scale-out, flash-native, software-defined, storage cache that integrates with parallel file systems to support the most demanding of I/O workloads. IME interfaces directly with applications and secures I/O into an array of NVM servers via a data path that eliminates file system bottlenecks.

IME’s ground-up implementation also allowed DDN® to address many other shortcomings of the parallel file systems. IME is “write-anywhere,” allowing clients to change their data transmission rates to servers depending on load. This prevents the classic “Amdahl’s law” drawback of parallel file systems whereby individual slow-performing storage devices and servers can impact the whole application workload. IME is also flash-optimized. This brings benefits in SSD management, delivering consistent performance and longer lifetime for NAND flash. Rebuilds are highly declustered, resulting in complete, large-capacity data rebuilds in a few minutes.

IME is a scale-out cache that sits in front of parallel file-systems. As such, it introduces flash-cache economics: system architects can reduce both capital and recurring (power/cooling/footprint) spend through the decoupling of performance and capacity, using IME to deliver on IOPS and throughput targets, and a backing parallel file system with large capacity drives to meet storage volume requirements.

The neatest bit is IME’s ability to solve the broadest spectrum of I/O problems. Managing the saddle distribution of I/O sizes in HPC is a difficult problem for file systems, and new application methods such as multi-scale physics, adaptive mesh refinement, and ever more complex workloads are adding to the tougher components of I/O workloads. The rapidly developing field of supercomputer-scale analytics and machine-learning exacerbates the problem, both by introducing tough read workloads and by much greater concurrency (number of threads), since they typically take advantage of many core, often heterogeneous, compute environments. Now the I/O is characterized not by an ideal, large I/O, sequential access, but rather a complex mixture of large, small, random, unaligned, high-concurrency I/O in read and write workloads which require both streaming performance and high IOPs. HPC file systems have exceled at gaining the maximum large I/O throughput from each HDD, but small I/O management has been very limited. IME can support reads and writes with I/O sizes ranging from large to tiny I/Os of 4K with the same blistering performance.

To learn more about IME, please visit the DDN website.

The post Infinite Memory Engine: The Exascale-era Storage Architecture appeared first on HPCwire.

DeCaluwe awarded DOE Early Career Research funding

Colorado School of Mines - Fri, 08/18/2017 - 15:36

Steven DeCaluwe, assistant professor of mechanical engineering at Colorado School of Mines, has been selected for the U.S. Department of Energy’s Early Career Research Program.

DeCaluwe will receive $750,000 over five years to support the development of novel neutron scattering experiments to understand and improve functional polymers used in hydrogen fuel cells and lithium-air batteries, paving the way for more efficient, durable and lightweight energy devices for electric vehicles. 

“At this critical moment, it’s about giving people cheaper and cleaner ways to get around,” DeCaluwe said. “What we’re trying to do here is take a peek under the hood. When you modify the design for a device, you can usually see how the performance changes—but to improve it, you want to know why. Neutrons really let you see beneath the surface and understand why you’re getting the performance you get.”

DeCaluwe was one of 59 scientists at universities and national laboratories across the U.S. chosen for the award this fiscal year, selected from about 700 proposals, DOE’s Office of Science announced Aug. 9.

Two Mines faculty members—DeCaluwe and Physics Assistant Professor Jeramy Zimmerman—received the honor this year, the school one of only seven universities nationwide to have multiple winners.

DeCaluwe’s research could have significant impact on the U.S. energy economy, said Kevin Moore, dean of the College of Engineering and Computational Sciences.

“Although polymers are essential in the design of efficient storage devices used in many renewable energy applications, there aren’t good ways to know how they work when they are being used,” Moore said. “This research proposes the first-ever look inside of these energy storage devices and will let designers see what’s happening to the polymers during actual operation, which will help them design better systems.”

Neutrons are well suited for studying energy devices, DeCaluwe said. They are low energy and can measure materials without the risk of changing them. They are also more sensitive to the differences between “lighter” elements and those close to each other on the periodic table—with x-rays, nearby elements can often look the same. 

Neutron reflectometry is a technique that can analyze “buried” layers and interfaces but is currently restricted to materials in static states. DeCaluwe’s research will enable neutron reflectometry to also look at active materials during device operation.

“If you want to see bottlenecks you have to watch while it’s operating. With hydrogen fuel cells, for example, you’ll be able to watch where water and hydrogen build up, or how the polymer structure changes while reactions occur,” DeCaluwe said. “If you look at it while it’s at rest, you can’t see that. It’s settled back to an equilibrium state.”

“With energy technology, we’re trying to make devices cheaper and more durable. Hydrogen fuel cells are starting to get a small foothold as something people can use but they still need to be cheaper, and lithium-air batteries are at this stage just a promising idea,” he said. “These measurements will provide direct insight into material limitations, helping us figure out how to get these devices to live up to their great promise.” 

Now in its eighth year, the Early Career Research Program provides support to scientific researchers during the important early years when many do their most formative work. 

DeCaluwe joined the Mechanical Engineering Department at Mines in 2012 after completing a National Research Council postdoctoral fellowship at the National Institute of Standards and Technology. He has a bachelor’s degree in elementary education and mathematics from Vanderbilt University and taught first and second grade for three years before earning his PhD in mechanical engineering at the University of Maryland. 

"We are really excited about Steven’s DOE Early Career Award, which will allow him to observe how the surfaces of functional polymer behave in energy conversion and storage devices,” said Greg Jackson, director of research initiatives for CECS and professor of mechanical engineering. “This award for using in operando neutron studies combined with his recent NSF instrumentation award for in situ x-ray studies will enable him to become a real leader in understanding the role of functional interfaces in fuel cells and batteries.”

CONTACT
Emilie Rusch, Public Information Specialist, Communications and Marketing | 303-273-3361 | erusch@mines.edu
Mark Ramirez, Managing Editor, Communications and Marketing | 303-273-3088 | ramirez@mines.edu

Categories: Partner News

DeCaluwe awarded DOE Early Career Research funding

Colorado School of Mines - Fri, 08/18/2017 - 15:36

Steven DeCaluwe, assistant professor of mechanical engineering at Colorado School of Mines, has been selected for the U.S. Department of Energy’s Early Career Research Program.

DeCaluwe will receive $750,000 over five years to support the development of novel neutron scattering experiments to understand and improve functional polymers used in hydrogen fuel cells and lithium-air batteries, paving the way for more efficient, durable and lightweight energy devices for electric vehicles. 

“At this critical moment, it’s about giving people cheaper and cleaner ways to get around,” DeCaluwe said. “What we’re trying to do here is take a peek under the hood. When you modify the design for a device, you can usually see how the performance changes—but to improve it, you want to know why. Neutrons really let you see beneath the surface and understand why you’re getting the performance you get.”

DeCaluwe was one of 59 scientists at universities and national laboratories across the U.S. chosen for the award this fiscal year, selected from about 700 proposals, DOE’s Office of Science announced Aug. 9.

Two Mines faculty members—DeCaluwe and Physics Assistant Professor Jeramy Zimmerman—received the honor this year, the school one of only seven universities nationwide to have multiple winners.

DeCaluwe’s research could have significant impact on the U.S. energy economy, said Kevin Moore, dean of the College of Engineering and Computational Sciences.

“Although polymers are essential in the design of efficient storage devices used in many renewable energy applications, there aren’t good ways to know how they work when they are being used,” Moore said. “This research proposes the first-ever look inside of these energy storage devices and will let designers see what’s happening to the polymers during actual operation, which will help them design better systems.”

Neutrons are well suited for studying energy devices, DeCaluwe said. They are low energy and can measure materials without the risk of changing them. They are also more sensitive to the differences between “lighter” elements and those close to each other on the periodic table—with x-rays, nearby elements can often look the same. 

Neutron reflectometry is a technique that can analyze “buried” layers and interfaces but is currently restricted to materials in static states. DeCaluwe’s research will enable neutron reflectometry to also look at active materials during device operation.

“If you want to see bottlenecks you have to watch while it’s operating. With hydrogen fuel cells, for example, you’ll be able to watch where water and hydrogen build up, or how the polymer structure changes while reactions occur,” DeCaluwe said. “If you look at it while it’s at rest, you can’t see that. It’s settled back to an equilibrium state.”

“With energy technology, we’re trying to make devices cheaper and more durable. Hydrogen fuel cells are starting to get a small foothold as something people can use but they still need to be cheaper, and lithium-air batteries are at this stage just a promising idea,” he said. “These measurements will provide direct insight into material limitations, helping us figure out how to get these devices to live up to their great promise.” 

Now in its eighth year, the Early Career Research Program provides support to scientific researchers during the important early years when many do their most formative work. 

DeCaluwe joined the Mechanical Engineering Department at Mines in 2012 after completing a National Research Council postdoctoral fellowship at the National Institute of Standards and Technology. He has a bachelor’s degree in elementary education and mathematics from Vanderbilt University and taught first and second grade for three years before earning his PhD in mechanical engineering at the University of Maryland. 

"We are really excited about Steven’s DOE Early Career Award, which will allow him to observe how the surfaces of functional polymer behave in energy conversion and storage devices,” said Greg Jackson, director of research initiatives for CECS and professor of mechanical engineering. “This award for using in operando neutron studies combined with his recent NSF instrumentation award for in situ x-ray studies will enable him to become a real leader in understanding the role of functional interfaces in fuel cells and batteries.”

CONTACT
Emilie Rusch, Public Information Specialist, Communications and Marketing | 303-273-3361 | erusch@mines.edu
Mark Ramirez, Managing Editor, Communications and Marketing | 303-273-3088 | ramirez@mines.edu

Categories: Partner News

Geospatial Data Research Leverages GPUs

HPC Wire - Thu, 08/17/2017 - 16:23

MapD Technologies, the GPU-accelerated database specialist, said it is working with university researchers on leveraging graphics processors to advance geospatial analytics.

The San Francisco-based company is collaborating with the Center for Geographic Analysis at Harvard University. The research center is a member of university-industry consortium backed by the National Science Foundation called the Spatiotemperal Innovation Center.

The partners said center researchers would use MapD’s GPU-based tools to analyze and visualize billions of rows of geospatial data to search for insights into “natural and social phenomena,” including hydrological models used for water management and public safety, the partners said Wednesday (Aug. 16).

The geospatial analytics effort also will focus on detailed weather forecasts and field observations on streams and reservoirs. These data will be used to predict water flow, saturation and flooding, which are becoming increasingly common as the number of extreme weather events increases. The partners said they expect to generate billion of hydrological predictions.

Part of the impetus for the project is the enormous computing demands associated with the current U.S. National Water Model, which incorporates data from about 7,000 river gauges along with weather models and other geospatial data. The model makes hourly predictions on water flows from 2.7 million stream outlets and 1,260 reservoirs.

National Water Model is a forecasting tool that will help forecasters predict when and where flooding can be expected

The predictions are delivered as “preprocessed visuals,” MapD noted, but are not currently available as an interactive application due to computing limits. “It is hoped that GPU-based analytics will support faster visualization of data sets like the U.S. National Water Model and enrich them with data such as flood or drought vulnerabilities, local population densities, emergency response availability and even social media sentiment about water policies,” MapD noted in a statement announcing the collaboration.

Center officials explained that they previously relied on data preparation and CPU-based computing resources to churn through large spatio-temporal data sets that were then integrated with external sources. “We hope to explore whether a GPU-based platform will enable testing hypotheses as we think of them, using a fraction of the computing resources at a much lower cost,” added Ben Lewis, geospatial technology manager at the Center for Geographic Analysis.

The Harvard Center will leverage MapD’s open source database and visualization libraries along with its Immerse visual analytics client. In exchange, the university researchers will look to add new geospatial features to the company’s platform while extending support for open geospatial standards.

MapD’s analytics approach leverages graphics processors to accelerate SQL queries and visualizations of large data sets. Aggressive startups such as Kinetica and MapD are pushing the boundaries of GPU processing and in-memory techniques to developed real-time analytics platforms for faster SQL queries. Along with geospatial data, these companies are also focusing on deep learning and other applications.

MapD’s roots are in university research. Founded in 2013, it was spun off from MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory. Other seed investors include GPU specialist Nvidia and In-Q-Tel, the CIA’s venture capital arm.

The post Geospatial Data Research Leverages GPUs appeared first on HPCwire.

Intel, NERSC and University Partners Launch New Big Data Center

HPC Wire - Thu, 08/17/2017 - 16:05

A collaboration between the Department of Energy’s National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center (NERSC), Intel and five Intel Parallel Computing Centers (IPCCs) has resulted in a new Big Data Center (BDC) that will work both on code modernization and tackle real science challenges.

According to Prabhat, BDC Director and Group Lead for NERSC Data and Analytics and Services team, “The goal of the BDC is to solve DOE’s leading data-intensive science problems at scale on the NERSC Cori supercomputer. The BDC, in collaboration with Intel and the IPCCs, will test to see if the current HPC systems can support data-intensive workloads that require analysis of over 100 terabytes datasets on 100,000 cores or greater. The BDC will optimize and scale the production data analytics and management stack on Cori.

All BDC projects will run on the NERSC Cori supercomputer. Courtesy of NERSC.

“Our first task will be to identify capability applications in the DOE data science community, articulate analytics requirements and then develop scalable algorithms.” Prabhat continued. “The key is in developing algorithms in the context of the production stack. Our multi-disciplinary team consisting of performance optimization and scaling experts is well positioned to enable capability applications on Cori. All the optimizations done at the BDC will be open source and made available to peer HPC centers as well as the broader HPC and data analytics communities.”

Quincey Koziol, BDC co-director and principal data architect at NERSC, noted, “While data analytics is undoubtedly the rage at this point in time, scalable analytics fundamentally relies on a robust data management infrastructure. We will be working on examining the performance of parallel I/O as exercised through modern data analytics languages (Python, R, Julia) and machine learning/deep learning libraries.”

Joseph Curley, director for Intel’s code modernization efforts, states, “We’ve combined the BDC goal of providing software stacks and access to HPC machines where the data driven methods can be developed with our IPCC program. We married the two ideas together by combining research members of the community with a program that we have for outreach.

“The objective of the Big Data Center (BDC) comes from a common desire in the industry to have software stacks that can help the NERSC user base, using data driven methods, to solve their largest problems at scale on the Cori supercomputer. So one of our main goals is to be able to use the supercomputer hardware to its fullest capability. Some underlying objectives at BDC are to build and harden the data analytics frameworks in the software stack so that developers and data scientists can use the Cori supercomputer in a productive way to get insights from their data. Our work with NERSC and the IPCCs will involve code modernization at scale as well as creating the software environment and software stack needed to meet these needs.”

The five IPCCs who are part of the BDC program include the University of California-Berkeley, University of California-Davis, New York University (NYU), Oxford University and the University of Liverpool. Their initial BDC work includes this research:

  • The University of California-Berkeley team is working on the Celeste project. Celeste aims on developing highly scalable inference methods for extracting a unified catalog of objects in the visible universe from all available astronomy data.
  • The University of California-Davis group is working on development of computational mechanics techniques to extract patterns from climate simulation data. The techniques build upon techniques in information theory to achieve unsupervised pattern discovery.
  • The New York University (NYU) team is working on extending deep learning to operate on irregular, graph-structured data. The techniques are being applied to problems in high-energy physics.
  • The Oxford University group is developing a new class of methods called probabilistic programming and applying the methods to challenging pattern and anomaly detections in high-energy physics. The work combines probabilistic programming with deep learning to train large networks on Cori.
  • The University of Liverpool team is working on developing topological methods to analyze climate datasets. The techniques are being used to extract stable, low-dimensional manifolds, and robust pattern descriptors for weather patterns.

The BDC work will also benefit the larger data analysis and HPC communities. Curley states, “In our IPCC program, we encourage system users to discover methods of solving problems on HPC systems, document what they did, and teach others how to follow their methods. This creates a beneficial cycle of new research, hardening the machine, developing new software stacks leading to research that is more productive—what we call a virtuous cycle.

“We are excited about the IPCCs working in conjunction with the BDC because there will be people working on problems we never could have anticipated and advancing human knowledge in ways we never could have guessed. If you can combine this with the BDC at NERSC that has a large machine like Cori and a diverse user group, you end up creating networks of knowledge and creating scientific results that are unpredictably wonderful.”

About the Author

Linda Barney is the founder and owner of Barney and Associates, a technical/marketing writing, training and web design firm in Beaverton, OR.

Feature image: Berkeley Lab Shyh Wang Hall, home of NERSC

The post Intel, NERSC and University Partners Launch New Big Data Center appeared first on HPCwire.

Computational Scientist (Consultant/Advisor Sr) Position at Cornell University

XSEDE News - Thu, 08/17/2017 - 15:26

Title: Computational Scientist (Consultant/Advisor Sr)
Deadline to Apply: 2017-09-16
Deadline to Remove: 2017-09-17
Job Summary: Cornell University is seeking candidates to join the Cornell Center for Advanced Computing (CAC) as a Computational Scientist. As part of a team, provide computational consulting for research groups including support for computational research, cloud computing, and/or high performance computing, using resources at CAC and elsewhere. Assist in the development and co-authorship of online training materials on computational topics. Computational support and training material topics can include containerization, parallelization, optimization, software libraries, visualization, and data management. Assist with development of new technologies and transitioning them into production. Test and evaluate hardware and software technologies. Develop and deliver presentations. Write technical documentation.
Job URL: https://cornell.wd1.myworkdayjobs.com/en-US/CornellCareerPage/job/Ithaca-Main-Campus/Computational-Scientist--Consultant-Advisor-Sr-_WDR-00011485-2
Job Location: Ithaca, NY
Institution: Cornell University
Requisition Number:
Posting Date: 2017-08-16
Job Posting Type: Job
Please visit http://hpcuniversity.org/careers/ to view this job on HPCU.
Please contact jobs@hpcuniversity.org with questions.

Computational Scientist (Consultant/Advisor Spec) Position at Cornell University

XSEDE News - Thu, 08/17/2017 - 15:25

Title: Computational Scientist (Consultant/Advisor Spec)
Deadline to Apply: 2017-09-16
Deadline to Remove: 2017-09-17
Job Summary: Cornell University is seeking candidates to join the Cornell Center for Advanced Computing (CAC) as a Computational Scientist. Take a lead role in providing in-depth and complex computational consulting for research groups including support for computational research, cloud computing, and high performance computing, using resources at CAC and elsewhere. Develop and author online training materials on computational topics. Computational support and training material topics can include containerization, parallelization, optimization, software libraries, visualization, and data management. Provide leadership in the development of new technologies and transitioning them into production. Test and evaluate hardware and software technologies. Develop and deliver presentations and papers. Write technical documentation.
Job URL: https://cornell.wd1.myworkdayjobs.com/en-US/CornellCareerPage/job/Ithaca-Main-Campus/Computational-Scientist--Consultant-Advisor-Spec-_WDR-00011483-2
Job Location: Ithaca, NY
Institution: Cornell University
Requisition Number:
Posting Date: 2017-08-16
Job Posting Type: Job
Please visit http://hpcuniversity.org/careers/ to view this job on HPCU.
Please contact jobs@hpcuniversity.org with questions.

Six High Level Support Team Positions available in Barcelona, Spain

XSEDE News - Thu, 08/17/2017 - 15:20

Title: High Level Support Team (6 vacancies)
Deadline to Apply: 2017-12-31
Deadline to Remove: 2018-01-01
Job Summary: Supercomputers are indispensable tools for solving the most challenging and complex scientific and technological problems through simulations. The Partnership for Advanced Computing in Europe, PRACE, is a unique persistent pan-European Research Infrastructure for High Performance Computing (HPC) and forms the top level of the European HPC ecosystem. In order for the European scientific communities to fully benefit from the performance of leadership-class Tier-0 systems provided by the PRACE 2 Hosting Members, it is mandatory to provide them support through high-level teams in terms of code enabling and optimization of scientific applications. The following vacancy will be part of the BSC High Level Support Team providing 2nd and 3rd level support to the full PRACE tier-0 community. The team will be composed of 6 people and will comprise different HPC expertise providing specific skills in different domain science. The HLST will work on transverse actions includi!
ng extreme scalability of select European scientific applications and tools towards Exascale, Data Analytics and Machine learning as well as code refactoring.
Job URL: https://www.bsc.es/join-us/vacancies/vacancies-list/112ophlst
Job Location: Barcelona, Spain
Institution: Barcelona Supercomputing Center
Requisition Number:
Posting Date: 2017-08-16
Job Posting Type: Job
Please visit http://hpcuniversity.org/careers/ to view this job on HPCU.
Please contact jobs@hpcuniversity.org with questions.

Mines welcomes newest faculty members

Colorado School of Mines - Thu, 08/17/2017 - 14:06

With start of the 2017-18 academic year, Colorado School of Mines proudly welcomes its newest faculty members, dedicated to advancing the science and technology of their respective fields and educating the next generation of engineers and scientists.

 

Jeffrey Ackerman
Teaching Assistant Professor, Mechanical Engineering
PhD, Purdue University

Jeffrey Ackerman received a PhD in mechanical engineering from Purdue University, studying the dynamics of legged locomotion while carrying heavy loads with highly-compliant suspension systems. His work with Dr. Justin Seipel was funded by an NSF grant and the National Defense Science and Engineering Graduate Fellowship. Ackerman was a visiting assistant professor in mechanical engineering at Purdue and worked as a design engineer at BraunAbility, the leading vehicle wheelchair lift and ramp manufacturer. Prior to joining Mines, he became president of startup company Prehensile Technologies, which is developing robotic assistive technology for people with disabilities. Ackerman is passionate about design, robotics, biomechanics, 3-D printing, prototyping and entrepreneurship. He is the adviser for the Mines Maker Society.

 

 

Mark L. Baldwin
Professor of Practice, Computer Science
MS, Purdue University

Mark Baldwin earned a bachelor's and master's degree in engineering sciences from Purdue University. Before entering academia, he served in the United States Air Force as a missileman and worked at NASA in charge of ascent flight design for the Space Shuttle. Baldwin is also one of the founders of the computer game industry, having written, programmed, designed, directed and/or produced over 30 commercial award-winning computer games. Baldwin has taught in academia since 2004. His expertise is in the field of simulations and modeling, and the computer entertainment industry.

 

 

Soutir Bandyopadhyay
Associate Professor, Applied Math and Statistics
PhD, Texas A&M University

Soutir Bandyopadhyay earned a doctorate in statistics at Texas A&M University, a master’s degree in statistics at the Indian Statistical Institute in New Delhi and a bachelor’s degree in statistics at St. Xavier’s College in Calcutta. He has also been a visiting scientist at the Computational and Information Systems Laboratory at the National Center for Atmospheric Research studying climate models. Bandyopadhyay’s area of expertise is spatial statistics and bioinformatics. He has published his work in the Journal of Time Series Analysis, the Journal of the Royal Statistical Society, Series B and the Annals of Statistics.

 

 

Ebru Bozdag
Assistant Professor, Geophysics
PhD, Utrecht University

Ebru Bozdag has been an assistant professor at Colorado School of Mines since April 2017. Previously, she was an assistant professor and held a chaire d’excellence position at University of Nice Sophia Antipolis in France. Prior to joining Nice as a faculty member, she was a postdoctoral research associate, then an associate research scholar, at Princeton University. She received her PhD in seismology from Utrecht University in the Netherlands, and MSc and BSc degrees in geophysics from Istanbul Technical University in Turkey. Her research interests are centered around computational and global seismology. Specifically, she uses 3-D wave simulations to improve our understanding of Earth’s interior by linking observed data to advances in theory and numerical methods in wave propagation and optimization techniques. Her main research has been dedicated to performing global-scale full-waveform inversion based on 3-D wave simulations and adjoint methods.

 

John Bradford
Professor and Department Head, Geophysics
PhD, Rice University

John Bradford received bachelor's degrees in both physics and engineering physics from the University of Kansas in 1994 and a PhD in geophysics from Rice University in 1999. From 1995 to 1999 he was a research scientist at the Houston Advanced Research Center and worked on topics ranging from spectral decomposition for seismic exploration to utility detection with GPR. From 1999 to 2001, Bradford was an academic professional research scientist at the University of Wyoming. In 2001, he joined the Center for Geophysical Investigation of the Shallow Subsurface at Boise State University, where he served as director from 2006 to 2009. He has worked extensively on methodology development for near-surface seismic and GPR applications with emphasis on imaging, attenuation and offset dependent reflectivity. He has published on a diverse array of topics that include hydrocarbon detection, hydrogeophysics, glaciology and polar ecology. He served as associate editor for Geophysics from 2005 to 2008 and associate editor for Near Surface Geophysics from 2009 to 2012 and coedited the Society of Exploration Geophysics book "Advances in Near-Surface Seismology and Ground-Penetrating Radar." Bradford served as SEG second vice president on the 2009-2010 SEG Executive Committee and president of the SEG Near Surface Section from 2012 to 2013. From 2014 to 2017, he served as president-elect, president and past president of the SEG. He was recognized as one of Houston’s Best and Brightest in 1999, received the Harold Mooney Award from the SEG Near Surface Section in 2010 and was awarded SEG life membership in 2012.


Neil T. Dantam
Assistant Professor, Computer Science
PhD, Georgia Tech

Neil Dantam’s research focuses on robot planning and control. He has developed methods to combine discrete and geometric planning, improve Cartesian control and analyze discrete robot policies. In addition, he has worked on practical aspects of robot manipulation and software design to ensure that new theoretical techniques can be validated in the physical world. Previously, Dantam was a postdoctoral research associate in computer science at Rice University working with Lydia Kavraki and Swarat Chaudhuri. Dantam received a PhD in robotics from Georgia Tech, advised by Mike Stilman, and bachelor's degrees in computer science and mechanical engineering from Purdue University. He has worked at iRobot Research, MIT Lincoln Laboratory and Raytheon. Dantam received the Georgia Tech President's Fellowship, the Georgia Tech/SAIC paper award and an American Control Conference 2012 presentation award and was a Best Paper and Mike Stilman Award finalist at HUMANOIDS 2014.

 

Dylan Domaille
Assistant Professor, Chemistry
PhD, University of California, Berkeley

Dylan Domaille earned his PhD in chemistry at the University of California, Berkeley. Working with Chris Chang, he developed sensitive and selective fluorescent probes for imaging copper in live cells, as well as the first example of a ratiometric probe for monitoring cellular copper pools. He went on to work with Jennifer Cha at University of Colorado Boulder, where he expanded his research to include phage-based biosensors, DNA-templated organocatalyzed systems, dynamic covalently cross-linked hydrogels and biocompatible chemical catalysis. As an assistant research professor at CU-Boulder, he collaborated with research groups in fields from electrical engineering to chemistry, developing polymers that combine the ease and scalability of synthetic polymer chemistry with the base pair recognition properties of DNA. He is an author on 28 publications on subjects ranging from synthetic chemistry to bioinorganic chemistry to biomaterials. His current research focuses on developing biomaterials with predictable and programmable behavior, designing and synthesizing small molecule fluorescent sensors for studying cellular events and merging engineered organisms with biocompatible chemistry to improve the efficiency of biomass conversion technologies.

Sebnem Düzgün
Professor and Banfield Chair, Mining
PhD, Middle East Technical University

H. Sebnem Düzgün received her PhD from the Department of Mining Engineering at Middle East Technical University (METU) in 2000 and had been a full professor in the same department since 2010. She was a visiting scholar in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at MIT from 1998 to 1999 with an award given by the Turkish Scientific and Technical Council (TUBITAK). She performed research as a postdoctoral fellow from 2004 to 2005 at Norwegian Geotechnical Institute and International Center for Geohazards with a grant from the Norwegian Research Council. Düzgün was awarded the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation’s experienced researcher fellowship in 2014 and used it to conduct research at the Geophysical Institute at Karlsruhe Institute of Technology in Germany from 2015 to 2016. She has been named to the Fred Banfield Distinguished Endowed Chair in Mining Engineering at Mines. Düzgün’s main research areas involve quantitative risk and resilience assessment in geohazards, structural reliability in rock engineering, spatial and spatio temporal data analysis and mining, Earth observation in geosciences, simulation and serious gaming for technical training. Düzgün is the author of four books, 10 book chapters and more than 200 papers.

Wendy Fisher
Teaching Associate Professor, Computer Science
PhD, Colorado School of Mines

Wendy Fisher received her bachelor's degree in computer science from Wright State University, Ohio, in 1996 and spent several years working in industry as a computer scientist, software engineer and business owner. She received her master's degree in computer science from Colorado School of Mines in 2014 and stayed to complete her PhD in computer science in 2017. Fisher’s research involves the use of machine learning for the automatic detection of anomalous events. Her research interests also include artificial intelligence, pattern recognition, signal processing, computer science education and real-world computing applications. She has won awards for her presentations and research, such as the Colorado School of Mines 2016 Graduate Student Award for outstanding research-related contributions in computer science and top poster and presentation awards two years in a row from the Conference on Earth & Energy Research and Computing-Mines Affiliates Partnership Program (C-MAPP). In her free time, she enjoys hiking, skiing and spending the days with her two amazing teenagers.

Thomas Gennett
Professor and Department Head, Chemistry
PhD, University of Vermont

Thomas Gennett’s applied/basic research program is energy system-centric with a strong materials and engineering emphasis. His work is focused on developing and understanding materials for hydrogen and energy storage with specific applications for transportation and grid storage. He has several ongoing projects: investigation into the mechanism of room temperature hydrogen sorption for carbon and framework sorbents, while in parallel his team develops next-generation characterization methodologies to understand the fundamental nature of gas-solid interactions; investigation of hybrid hard-soft materials matrices for novel nonaqueous flow battery systems; and the development of non-PGM catalysts by physical vapor deposition methodologies.

 

 

Benjamin Gilbert
Assistant Professor, Economics and Business
PhD, University of California, San Diego

Ben Gilbert was most recently an assistant professor of economics at the University of Wyoming. His research interests include topics in environmental and natural resource economics using methods from econometrics, applied microeconomics and behavioral economics. His two most recent research projects investigate the role of drilling activity as a link between the market prices of crude oil and natural gas and the importance of “green” social image in the adoption of residential solar panels. At the University of Wyoming, Gilbert twice received the Tom & Judy Crocker best research paper award from the Department of Economics, in addition to awards for excellence in teaching and service from the College of Business. Before earning his PhD in economics from the University of California, San Diego in 2011, Gilbert was a news reporter covering the market penetration of new energy technologies for an industry magazine. He holds bachelor's degrees in economics and English from Whitman College. In his spare time, Gilbert enjoys trying to convince his wife and two daughters to go camping with him.

 

Zhezuan Gong
Assistant Professor, Physics
PhD, University of Michiga
n

Zhexuan Gong obtained his bachelor's degrees in both physics and computer science from Huazhong University of Science and Technology in China's Hubei province, where he was born. He then went to University of Michigan, where he obtained his PhD there in 2013. After graduation, he spent three years working as a postdoctoral researcher at the Joint Quantum Institute between the University of Maryland and the National Institute of Standards and Technology before being promoted to a research scientist in 2016. He is an active researcher in the broad field of quantum information and is particularly interested in understanding new quantum materials using concepts and tools from quantum information. In his free time, he enjoys playing piano, listening to classical music, reading novels, swimming and traveling.

 

Richard Hunt
Assistant Professor, Economics and Business
PhD, University of Colorado Boulder

Richard (“Rick”) A. Hunt previously held an appointment in strategic management and entrepreneurship at Virginia Polytechnic Institute, where he taught undergraduate and graduate courses in strategic management and entrepreneurship. He also served as VT’s faculty research director at the Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship. Hunt’s research examines the intersection of entrepreneurship, innovation and strategy, including entrepreneurial environments, advantageous knowledge, new sector formation, modes of market entry and early-stage operational behavior. His approach employs transactions as the unit of analysis in order to capture meso-level effects, and he often juxtaposes contemporary data and distant, historical data in order to overcome proximity biases and inject a longitudinal dimension into the inquiry. Hunt has published his research in the Journal of Management Studies, Organizational Science, Strategic Entrepreneurship Journal, the Journal of Small Business Management, European Innovation Journal, Frontiers of Entrepreneurship Research, the Journal of Entrepreneurial Finance and the Academy of Management’s Best Paper Proceedings. His work has received more than a dozen best paper awards, including recognition as the outstanding doctoral dissertation of 2014 by the Academy of Management. Prior to his doctoral studies at CU-Boulder, Hunt worked in Indonesia, Hong Kong and the United States as a finance and planning executive in the pharmaceutical and high-tech sectors. He was also the cofounder and president of a successful startup that provides customized environmental services throughout the Western United States. In addition to his PhD, Rick holds degrees from Rice (BA), Harvard (MA) and Stanford (MBA).

John Jechura
Professor of Practice, Chemical and Biological Engineering
MS, University of Michigan

John Jechura joins Colorado School of Mines this fall after spending 35-plus years in industry and government technology development. Jechura has worked his entire career with a primary focus on fuel production and energy technology. He started his career with Marathon Oil Company, supporting upstream and downstream technologies, then the National Renewable Energy Laboratory supporting biofuels production technologies, and combining both areas to support clients both in areas of traditional petroleum exploitation as well as biofuels production. Even though Jechura is starting a new phase of his career as a full-time teaching faculty member at Mines, he has held an adjunct appointment in the Chemical and Biological Engineering Department since 1999. Jechura’s formal education has been in chemical engineering, with a bachelor's degree from the University of Toledo, a master's from the University of Michigan and non-degreed graduate work at Colorado School of Mines. He will continue to develop and teach process- and industrial-related courses.

Werner G. Kuhr
Director of Entrepreneurship and Innovation, Academic Affairs
PhD, Indiana University

Werner Kuhr’s goal is to enable engineering students to better define the value of their work and, ultimately, use that knowledge to create new ventures. That will be accomplished by exposing them to the processes of entrepreneurial thinking. Previously, Kuhr was director of the Stevens Venture Center at Stevens Institute of Technology, where he was responsible for crafting an entrepreneurial culture on campus to facilitate the creation of new faculty- and student-led startup companies, as well as supervising the technology transfer and licensing of all Stevens’ technologies. Working with the administration and local business leaders, SIT established a new technology business incubator, Stevens Venture Center, whose programs were focused on biomedical engineering, financial technologies and digital education. Kuhr helped design and teach the first freshman-level course in innovation and entrepreneurship for all entering freshman engineering students (required for more than 500 students, with more than 2,000 taught), revamped a senior-level course to provide an entrepreneurial workshop to capstone engineering design projects and established a pre-college summer program in entrepreneurship for high school students. Kuhr earned bachelor's and master's degrees from Stevens and received a PhD in chemistry and neuroscience from Indiana University. After two years of postdoctoral work, Kuhr became a professor of chemistry at the University of California, Riverside. There, he ran a research program that graduated 25 PhD and master's students in fifteen years, published roughly 100 papers (H-index = 53) and received extramural funding in excess of $8 million. Since that time, Kuhr has had more than ten years of experience in the private sector leading multimillion-dollar research enterprises. He participated in the formation of five startup technology companies: Seurat Analytical, protein microarray detection systems; Clinical MicroSensors, DNA detection and medical devices; ZettaCore Inc., molecular electronic structures; eSionic Corp., electrolytes for charge storage devices; and ChemiSensor LLP, chemical sampling and sensor systems, which he still owns.

Amy Landis
Professor, Civil and Environmental Engineering
PhD, University of Illinois at Chicago

Amy Landis joins Mines as the first Presidential Faculty Fellow for Access, Attainment and Diversity. Previously, she was a full professor at Clemson University from 2015 to 2017 as the Thomas F. Hash ’69 Endowed Chair in Sustainable Development. She served as director of Clemson’s Institute for Sustainability, which brings together interdisciplinary research, education and business. Landis was an associate professor at Arizona State University’s School of Sustainable Engineering in the Built Environment from 2012 to 2015. During her tenure at ASU she served as director of research for the Center for Earth Systems Engineering and Management, senior sustainability scientist for the Global Institute of Sustainability, Lincoln Fellow of Sustainable Development and Ethics for the Lincoln Center for Applied Ethics and Tooker Professor of STEM Education for the Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering. Landis began her career as an assistant professor at the University of Pittsburgh after earning her PhD in 2007 from the University of Illinois at Chicago under the supervision of Thomas L. Theis. Landis has developed a research program in sustainable engineering of bioproducts. Her research ranges from design of systems based on industrial ecology and byproduct synergies, life cycle and sustainability assessments of biopolymers and biofuels and design and analysis of sustainable solutions for health care. Since 2007, she has led nine federal research projects and collaborated on many more, totaling more than $30 million in collaborative research. Landis continues to grow her research activities and collaborations to include multidisciplinary approaches to sustainable systems. She is dedicated to sustainability engineering education, outreach and diversity in STEM. She has established networking and mentorship programs at three different universities to advance diversity and STEM. She also works with local high schools, after-school programs, local nonprofit organizations, extensions and museums to integrate sustainability and engineering into K-12 and undergraduate curricula.

Forest Mannan
Visiting Assistant Professor, Applied Math and Statistics
PhD, Tulane University

Forest Mannan grew up in Carbondale, Colorado, and obtained his PhD from Tulane University in April 2017. Mannan conducts research in computational fluid dynamics, especially flows in the Stokes regime relevant to biology.

 

 

 

Bradley Martin
Visiting Assistant Professor, Applied Math and Statistics
PhD, University of Colorado Boulder

Bradley Martin recently completed his PhD in applied mathematics with Bengt Fornberg and the RBF research group at CU-Boulder while investigating new, radial basis function-based methods for numerically solving partial differential equations. His work on heat and wave interface and transport problems has been published in Geophysics, the Journal of Computational Physics and Engineering Analysis with Boundary Elements.

 

 

 

Richard Palin
Assistant Professor, Geology and Geological Engineering
PhD, University of Oxford

Richard Palin completed his undergraduate MESci in the Department of Earth Sciences at the University of Oxford in 2008, and subsequently began a position as an exploration field geologist working in Central Queensland, Australia, with Anglo Coal. Despite enjoying his time in industry, he returned to academia to complete his PhD at the University of Oxford, which he was awarded in late 2013. For his thesis, Palin performed fieldwork in the Himalayan Range and Tibetan Plateau and characterized the temporal, thermal and structural evolution of various key regions. After completing his PhD, Palin moved to Germany to work as a lecturer and postdoctoral research fellow at the Institute of Geosciences, JGU Mainz. He published a number of significant papers and achieved widespread recognition for his work by members of the geological community worldwide. In March 2017, Palin moved to Colorado to begin his position as assistant professor of metamorphic geology at Mines. Palin has ongoing collaborations with many researchers worldwide, including those at the University of Oxford; the University of Cambridge; Geological Survey of Canada; Johannes-Gutenberg University of Mainz, Germany; University of Cape Town, South Africa; ETHZ, Switzerland; and University of Melbourne, Australia, among others. Palin also serves the community by regularly performing reviews of papers for scientific journals and of grant proposals for funding agencies.

Sridhar Seetharaman
Professor, Metallurgical and Materials Engineering
PhD, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Sridhar Seetharaman joins Mines from the U.S. Department of Energy, where he served as a senior technical advisor, and was until recently the RAEng/Tata Steel Joint Chair for Research into Low Carbon Materials Technology at the University of Warwick. He was, until 2013, the POSCO Professor at Carnegie Mellon University, co-director of the Industry-University Consortium, Center for Iron and Steelmaking Research and a faculty fellow at the National Energy Technology Laboratory of the Department of Energy. He is an associate editor of Met. and Mat. Trans A, B and E and serves on the advisory board of Steel Research International and ISIJ International.

 

 

Jeffrey Shragge
Associate Professor, Geophysics
PhD, Stanford University

Jeffrey Shragge is a co-leader of the Center for Wave Phenomena research consortium at Mines. He was formerly the Woodside Professor in Computational Geoscience and an associate professor jointly appointed in the School of Earth and Environment and School of Physics at the University of Western Australia. Shragge received a BScH in physics from Queen’s University, an MSc in geophysics focusing in earthquake seismology from the University of British Columbia, and a PhD in geophysics focusing in 3D seismic imaging from the Stanford Exploration Project at Stanford University. He currently serves as an assistant editor of the journal Geophysics, and is the chair of both the Committee of University and Student Programs and the Field Camps Committee for the Society of Exploration Geophysicists. In 2010, he was awarded the J. Clarence Karcher Award by the SEG, and was recognized with a Best Paper Award at the 2012 ASEG Annual General Meeting. Shragge’s research interests include 3-D/4-D seismic imaging and velocity inversion, wave propagation, near-surface geophysics, scientific high-performance computing and humanitarian geophysics.

Meenakshi Singh
Assistant Professor, Physics
PhD, Pennsylvania State University

Meenakshi Singh’s research targets the development of semiconducting quantum computers with a focus on donor-based spin qubits. She graduated with a PhD in physics from Pennsylvania State University in 2012. Her PhD thesis was focused on quantum transport in nanowires. Singh has coauthored more than a dozen publications, including an invited chapter to the book “Superconductors – Properties, Technology and Applications,” and has received several awards for excellence in coursework and research. In addition to research, Singh is interested in science education and outreach. She has mentored five undergraduate students participating in NSF’s Research Experiences for Undergraduates program. Her service record includes serving as treasurer for the Physics and Astronomy for Women Society at Penn State, which provides a forum to discuss issues facing women seeking scientific degrees and careers. She has continuing research interest in superconductivity and macroscopic quantum phenomena, with a view toward hybridizing superconductors with other systems to access novel phenomena and applications.

Nicole M. Smith
Assistant Professor, Mining
PhD, University of Colorado Boulder

Nicole M. Smith joined the Mining Engineering Department at Colorado School of Mines as an assistant professor in January 2017. She is a cultural anthropologist with the following research interests: artisanal and small-scale mining; mining, sustainability and social responsibility; rural livelihoods and mining developments; indigenous peoples; community development; and engineering education. Prior to her position in the Mining Engineering Department, she was a postdoctoral scholar in the Humanitarian Engineering Program at Mines. She was also a research fellow at the Centre for Social Responsibility in Mining at the Sustainable Minerals Institute at the University of Queensland. Her work there focused on health and safety in artisanal and small-scale mining. Smith holds a PhD in anthropology and a certificate in development studies from the University of Colorado Boulder, where her research focused on Maasai gemstone traders in northern Tanzania. She holds a master’s degree in anthropology from Colorado State University and a bachelor’s degree in anthropology with a biology minor from the University of Minnesota.

Steven Smith
Assistant Professor, Economics and Business
PhD, University of Colorado Boulder

Steven Smith obtained a bachelor’s degree in mathematics from DePauw University before earning his PhD in economics from the University of Colorado Boulder in 2014. His research focuses on how policies, laws and organizations impact our use of natural resources. Most often dealing with water, he has studied various settings, from groundwater to surface water and contemporary Peru to the historic U.S. He has also written on the challenges of introducing economic incentives to provide environmental services such as carbon sequestration. Most recently, as a postdoctoral fellow at Haverford College, he helped to establish a new Environmental Studies Program, teaching numerous natural resource economic courses as well as coteaching the Environmental Studies Introduction course.

 

George Sowers
Professor of Practice, Mechanical Engineering
PhD, University of Colorado Boulder

George Sowers has 30 years of experience in the space transportation field. During a continuous span working for Martin Marietta, Lockheed Martin and the United Launch Alliance, including a stint as the chief systems engineer for Atlas V development, Sowers helped develop more than a dozen launch systems. He recently retired from his position as vice president and chief scientist of ULA, where his team developed an architecture for fully reusable in-space stages fueled by propellant mined, refined and distributed in space. He holds a bachelor's degree in physics from Georgia Tech and a PhD in physics from the University of Colorado. Sowers is a fellow of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics.

 

 

Garritt J. Tucker
Assistant Professor, Mechanical Engineering
PhD, Georgia Institute of Technology

Garritt Tucker spent the previous four years as an assistant professor in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering at Drexel University in Philadelphia. He founded and directed the Computational Materials Science and Design Group at Drexel, where he employed computing/numerical/theoretical techniques to research both the fundamental physics and mechanics of emerging materials and new avenues for tailoring advantageous functional properties in hierarchical engineered microstructures. Furthermore, he assisted in the development of the University Research Computing Facility at Drexel, where high-performance computing integrates with engineering and scientific endeavors. He earned his PhD in 2011 from the School of Materials Science and Engineering at the Georgia Institute of Technology in the Mechanics of Materials group with David L. McDowell and was a Sigma Xi award nominee. Prior to starting at Drexel in 2013, he spent two years as a postdoctoral research appointee at Sandia National Laboratories in Albuquerque in the Computational Materials and Data Science group with Stephen Foiles, and as an EPSRI intern at Sandia National Laboratories in Livermore, California. During the summer of 2015, Tucker was an honorary invitee for the Institute of Materials Science at Los Alamos National Laboratories. While at Drexel, his work was continuously featured at both domestic and international conferences and in materials modeling workshops/lectures, and he was awarded the Most Outstanding Teacher Award in 2015 and the TMS Young Leader Award in 2016.

Ali Tura
Professor, Geophysics
PhD, University of California, Berkeley

Ali Tura is professor of geophysics and director of the Reservoir Characterization Project at Colorado School of Mines. His expertise is in the areas of seismic data processing, seismic analysis, time-lapse seismic, rock physics, fiber optic technology and data analytics. He is also chief scientist at Tulip Geosciences, a consulting and training company. Prior to this he was geophysical senior fellow at ConocoPhillips. Tura was a founding member and COO of 4th Wave Imaging, a seismic R&D company. His other responsibilities have included leading time-lapse seismic reservoir monitoring at Chevron and Shell and amplitude-preserving migration-based AVO analysis at Elf (now Total). Tura received a B.Sc. degree from Istanbul University and master's and PhD degrees from the University of California, Berkeley, all in engineering geosciences. His work during this period ranged from deconvolution of seismic data to full-waveform seismic modeling of vertical seismic profiling data to fracture detection from cross-well reflection/diffraction tomography in anisotropic media at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. He has taught graduate-level courses in the Mathematical Sciences Department at the University of Texas, Dallas, and the Istanbul Technical University Geophysics Department. He was a visiting scientist at Karlsruhe University, Germany, where he worked on comparing theoretical aspects of Kirchhoff versus Born modeling and migration. Tura has mentored many PhD interns at ConocoPhillips and Chevron and led an industrial consortium on time-lapse seismic while at 4th Wave Imaging.


Jeffrey Wheeler
Teaching Assistant Professor, Mechanical Engineering
PhD Colorado School of Mines

Jeffrey Wheeler received his master’s degree and PhD in engineering systems from Colorado School of Mines. Before coming to Mines, Wheeler earned a bachlor of science degree in engineering physics and a bachelor of arts degree in mathematics from Whitworth University in Spokane, Washington. Before joining the Mechanical Engineering faculty, Wheeler worked with Vartega, a startup focused on recycling carbon fiber manufacturing scrap. He also taught as an adjunct professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering. Wheeler is passionate about developing instrumentation systems and working with the local startup community. He uses his experience to bring hands-on learning into the classroom. Wheeler lives in Denver with his wife, Katie, and enjoys cooking, backpacking and traveling.

 

 

Tom Williams
Assistant Professor, Computer Science
PhD Tufts University

Tom Williams’ research focuses on enabling and understanding natural language-based human-robot interaction, especially as applied to assistive and search-and-rescue robotics. He previously served as a visiting researcher at the Institute for Artificial Intelligence in Bremen, Germany, and has co-organized several international workshops on human-robot interaction. Williams earned a joint PhD in computer science and cognitive science from Tufts University in 2017.

 

Categories: Partner News

Mines welcomes newest faculty members

Colorado School of Mines - Thu, 08/17/2017 - 14:06

With start of the 2017-18 academic year, Colorado School of Mines proudly welcomes its newest faculty members, dedicated to advancing the science and technology of their respective fields and educating the next generation of engineers and scientists.

 

Jeffrey Ackerman
Teaching Assistant Professor, Mechanical Engineering
PhD, Purdue University

Jeffrey Ackerman received a PhD in mechanical engineering from Purdue University, studying the dynamics of legged locomotion while carrying heavy loads with highly-compliant suspension systems. His work with Dr. Justin Seipel was funded by an NSF grant and the National Defense Science and Engineering Graduate Fellowship. Ackerman was a visiting assistant professor in mechanical engineering at Purdue and worked as a design engineer at BraunAbility, the leading vehicle wheelchair lift and ramp manufacturer. Prior to joining Mines, he became president of startup company Prehensile Technologies, which is developing robotic assistive technology for people with disabilities. Ackerman is passionate about design, robotics, biomechanics, 3-D printing, prototyping and entrepreneurship. He is the adviser for the Mines Maker Society.

 

 

Mark L. Baldwin
Professor of Practice, Computer Science
MS, Purdue University

Mark Baldwin earned a bachelor's and master's degree in engineering sciences from Purdue University. Before entering academia, he served in the United States Air Force as a missileman and worked at NASA in charge of ascent flight design for the Space Shuttle. Baldwin is also one of the founders of the computer game industry, having written, programmed, designed, directed and/or produced over 30 commercial award-winning computer games. Baldwin has taught in academia since 2004. His expertise is in the field of simulations and modeling, and the computer entertainment industry.

 

 

Soutir Bandyopadhyay
Associate Professor, Applied Math and Statistics
PhD, Texas A&M University

Soutir Bandyopadhyay earned a doctorate in statistics at Texas A&M University, a master’s degree in statistics at the Indian Statistical Institute in New Delhi and a bachelor’s degree in statistics at St. Xavier’s College in Calcutta. He has also been a visiting scientist at the Computational and Information Systems Laboratory at the National Center for Atmospheric Research studying climate models. Bandyopadhyay’s area of expertise is spatial statistics and bioinformatics. He has published his work in the Journal of Time Series Analysis, the Journal of the Royal Statistical Society, Series B and the Annals of Statistics.

 

 

Ebru Bozdag
Assistant Professor, Geophysics
PhD, Utrecht University

Ebru Bozdag has been an assistant professor at Colorado School of Mines since April 2017. Previously, she was an assistant professor and held a chaire d’excellence position at University of Nice Sophia Antipolis in France. Prior to joining Nice as a faculty member, she was a postdoctoral research associate, then an associate research scholar, at Princeton University. She received her PhD in seismology from Utrecht University in the Netherlands, and MSc and BSc degrees in geophysics from Istanbul Technical University in Turkey. Her research interests are centered around computational and global seismology. Specifically, she uses 3-D wave simulations to improve our understanding of Earth’s interior by linking observed data to advances in theory and numerical methods in wave propagation and optimization techniques. Her main research has been dedicated to performing global-scale full-waveform inversion based on 3-D wave simulations and adjoint methods.

 

John Bradford
Professor and Department Head, Geophysics
PhD, Rice University

John Bradford received bachelor's degrees in both physics and engineering physics from the University of Kansas in 1994 and a PhD in geophysics from Rice University in 1999. From 1995 to 1999 he was a research scientist at the Houston Advanced Research Center and worked on topics ranging from spectral decomposition for seismic exploration to utility detection with GPR. From 1999 to 2001, Bradford was an academic professional research scientist at the University of Wyoming. In 2001, he joined the Center for Geophysical Investigation of the Shallow Subsurface at Boise State University, where he served as director from 2006 to 2009. He has worked extensively on methodology development for near-surface seismic and GPR applications with emphasis on imaging, attenuation and offset dependent reflectivity. He has published on a diverse array of topics that include hydrocarbon detection, hydrogeophysics, glaciology and polar ecology. He served as associate editor for Geophysics from 2005 to 2008 and associate editor for Near Surface Geophysics from 2009 to 2012 and coedited the Society of Exploration Geophysics book "Advances in Near-Surface Seismology and Ground-Penetrating Radar." Bradford served as SEG second vice president on the 2009-2010 SEG Executive Committee and president of the SEG Near Surface Section from 2012 to 2013. From 2014 to 2017, he served as president-elect, president and past president of the SEG. He was recognized as one of Houston’s Best and Brightest in 1999, received the Harold Mooney Award from the SEG Near Surface Section in 2010 and was awarded SEG life membership in 2012.


Neil T. Dantam
Assistant Professor, Computer Science
PhD, Georgia Tech

Neil Dantam’s research focuses on robot planning and control. He has developed methods to combine discrete and geometric planning, improve Cartesian control and analyze discrete robot policies. In addition, he has worked on practical aspects of robot manipulation and software design to ensure that new theoretical techniques can be validated in the physical world. Previously, Dantam was a postdoctoral research associate in computer science at Rice University working with Lydia Kavraki and Swarat Chaudhuri. Dantam received a PhD in robotics from Georgia Tech, advised by Mike Stilman, and bachelor's degrees in computer science and mechanical engineering from Purdue University. He has worked at iRobot Research, MIT Lincoln Laboratory and Raytheon. Dantam received the Georgia Tech President's Fellowship, the Georgia Tech/SAIC paper award and an American Control Conference 2012 presentation award and was a Best Paper and Mike Stilman Award finalist at HUMANOIDS 2014.

 

Dylan Domaille
Assistant Professor, Chemistry
PhD, University of California, Berkeley

Dylan Domaille earned his PhD in chemistry at the University of California, Berkeley. Working with Chris Chang, he developed sensitive and selective fluorescent probes for imaging copper in live cells, as well as the first example of a ratiometric probe for monitoring cellular copper pools. He went on to work with Jennifer Cha at University of Colorado Boulder, where he expanded his research to include phage-based biosensors, DNA-templated organocatalyzed systems, dynamic covalently cross-linked hydrogels and biocompatible chemical catalysis. As an assistant research professor at CU-Boulder, he collaborated with research groups in fields from electrical engineering to chemistry, developing polymers that combine the ease and scalability of synthetic polymer chemistry with the base pair recognition properties of DNA. He is an author on 28 publications on subjects ranging from synthetic chemistry to bioinorganic chemistry to biomaterials. His current research focuses on developing biomaterials with predictable and programmable behavior, designing and synthesizing small molecule fluorescent sensors for studying cellular events and merging engineered organisms with biocompatible chemistry to improve the efficiency of biomass conversion technologies.

Sebnem Düzgün
Professor and Banfield Chair, Mining
PhD, Middle East Technical University

H. Sebnem Düzgün received her PhD from the Department of Mining Engineering at Middle East Technical University (METU) in 2000 and had been a full professor in the same department since 2010. She was a visiting scholar in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at MIT from 1998 to 1999 with an award given by the Turkish Scientific and Technical Council (TUBITAK). She performed research as a postdoctoral fellow from 2004 to 2005 at Norwegian Geotechnical Institute and International Center for Geohazards with a grant from the Norwegian Research Council. Düzgün was awarded the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation’s experienced researcher fellowship in 2014 and used it to conduct research at the Geophysical Institute at Karlsruhe Institute of Technology in Germany from 2015 to 2016. She has been named to the Fred Banfield Distinguished Endowed Chair in Mining Engineering at Mines. Düzgün’s main research areas involve quantitative risk and resilience assessment in geohazards, structural reliability in rock engineering, spatial and spatio temporal data analysis and mining, Earth observation in geosciences, simulation and serious gaming for technical training. Düzgün is the author of four books, 10 book chapters and more than 200 papers.

Wendy Fisher
Teaching Associate Professor, Computer Science
PhD, Colorado School of Mines

Wendy Fisher received her bachelor's degree in computer science from Wright State University, Ohio, in 1996 and spent several years working in industry as a computer scientist, software engineer and business owner. She received her master's degree in computer science from Colorado School of Mines in 2014 and stayed to complete her PhD in computer science in 2017. Fisher’s research involves the use of machine learning for the automatic detection of anomalous events. Her research interests also include artificial intelligence, pattern recognition, signal processing, computer science education and real-world computing applications. She has won awards for her presentations and research, such as the Colorado School of Mines 2016 Graduate Student Award for outstanding research-related contributions in computer science and top poster and presentation awards two years in a row from the Conference on Earth & Energy Research and Computing-Mines Affiliates Partnership Program (C-MAPP). In her free time, she enjoys hiking, skiing and spending the days with her two amazing teenagers.

Thomas Gennett
Professor and Department Head, Chemistry
PhD, University of Vermont

Thomas Gennett’s applied/basic research program is energy system-centric with a strong materials and engineering emphasis. His work is focused on developing and understanding materials for hydrogen and energy storage with specific applications for transportation and grid storage. He has several ongoing projects: investigation into the mechanism of room temperature hydrogen sorption for carbon and framework sorbents, while in parallel his team develops next-generation characterization methodologies to understand the fundamental nature of gas-solid interactions; investigation of hybrid hard-soft materials matrices for novel nonaqueous flow battery systems; and the development of non-PGM catalysts by physical vapor deposition methodologies.

 

 

Benjamin Gilbert
Assistant Professor, Economics and Business
PhD, University of California, San Diego

Ben Gilbert was most recently an assistant professor of economics at the University of Wyoming. His research interests include topics in environmental and natural resource economics using methods from econometrics, applied microeconomics and behavioral economics. His two most recent research projects investigate the role of drilling activity as a link between the market prices of crude oil and natural gas and the importance of “green” social image in the adoption of residential solar panels. At the University of Wyoming, Gilbert twice received the Tom & Judy Crocker best research paper award from the Department of Economics, in addition to awards for excellence in teaching and service from the College of Business. Before earning his PhD in economics from the University of California, San Diego in 2011, Gilbert was a news reporter covering the market penetration of new energy technologies for an industry magazine. He holds bachelor's degrees in economics and English from Whitman College. In his spare time, Gilbert enjoys trying to convince his wife and two daughters to go camping with him.

 

Zhezuan Gong
Assistant Professor, Physics
PhD, University of Michiga
n

Zhexuan Gong obtained his bachelor's degrees in both physics and computer science from Huazhong University of Science and Technology in China's Hubei province, where he was born. He then went to University of Michigan, where he obtained his PhD there in 2013. After graduation, he spent three years working as a postdoctoral researcher at the Joint Quantum Institute between the University of Maryland and the National Institute of Standards and Technology before being promoted to a research scientist in 2016. He is an active researcher in the broad field of quantum information and is particularly interested in understanding new quantum materials using concepts and tools from quantum information. In his free time, he enjoys playing piano, listening to classical music, reading novels, swimming and traveling.

 

Richard Hunt
Assistant Professor, Economics and Business
PhD, University of Colorado Boulder

Richard (“Rick”) A. Hunt previously held an appointment in strategic management and entrepreneurship at Virginia Polytechnic Institute, where he taught undergraduate and graduate courses in strategic management and entrepreneurship. He also served as VT’s faculty research director at the Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship. Hunt’s research examines the intersection of entrepreneurship, innovation and strategy, including entrepreneurial environments, advantageous knowledge, new sector formation, modes of market entry and early-stage operational behavior. His approach employs transactions as the unit of analysis in order to capture meso-level effects, and he often juxtaposes contemporary data and distant, historical data in order to overcome proximity biases and inject a longitudinal dimension into the inquiry. Hunt has published his research in the Journal of Management Studies, Organizational Science, Strategic Entrepreneurship Journal, the Journal of Small Business Management, European Innovation Journal, Frontiers of Entrepreneurship Research, the Journal of Entrepreneurial Finance and the Academy of Management’s Best Paper Proceedings. His work has received more than a dozen best paper awards, including recognition as the outstanding doctoral dissertation of 2014 by the Academy of Management. Prior to his doctoral studies at CU-Boulder, Hunt worked in Indonesia, Hong Kong and the United States as a finance and planning executive in the pharmaceutical and high-tech sectors. He was also the cofounder and president of a successful startup that provides customized environmental services throughout the Western United States. In addition to his PhD, Rick holds degrees from Rice (BA), Harvard (MA) and Stanford (MBA).

John Jechura
Professor of Practice, Chemical and Biological Engineering
MS, University of Michigan

John Jechura joins Colorado School of Mines this fall after spending 35-plus years in industry and government technology development. Jechura has worked his entire career with a primary focus on fuel production and energy technology. He started his career with Marathon Oil Company, supporting upstream and downstream technologies, then the National Renewable Energy Laboratory supporting biofuels production technologies, and combining both areas to support clients both in areas of traditional petroleum exploitation as well as biofuels production. Even though Jechura is starting a new phase of his career as a full-time teaching faculty member at Mines, he has held an adjunct appointment in the Chemical and Biological Engineering Department since 1999. Jechura’s formal education has been in chemical engineering, with a bachelor's degree from the University of Toledo, a master's from the University of Michigan and non-degreed graduate work at Colorado School of Mines. He will continue to develop and teach process- and industrial-related courses.

Werner G. Kuhr
Director of Entrepreneurship and Innovation, Academic Affairs
PhD, Indiana University

Werner Kuhr’s goal is to enable engineering students to better define the value of their work and, ultimately, use that knowledge to create new ventures. That will be accomplished by exposing them to the processes of entrepreneurial thinking. Previously, Kuhr was director of the Stevens Venture Center at Stevens Institute of Technology, where he was responsible for crafting an entrepreneurial culture on campus to facilitate the creation of new faculty- and student-led startup companies, as well as supervising the technology transfer and licensing of all Stevens’ technologies. Working with the administration and local business leaders, SIT established a new technology business incubator, Stevens Venture Center, whose programs were focused on biomedical engineering, financial technologies and digital education. Kuhr helped design and teach the first freshman-level course in innovation and entrepreneurship for all entering freshman engineering students (required for more than 500 students, with more than 2,000 taught), revamped a senior-level course to provide an entrepreneurial workshop to capstone engineering design projects and established a pre-college summer program in entrepreneurship for high school students. Kuhr earned bachelor's and master's degrees from Stevens and received a PhD in chemistry and neuroscience from Indiana University. After two years of postdoctoral work, Kuhr became a professor of chemistry at the University of California, Riverside. There, he ran a research program that graduated 25 PhD and master's students in fifteen years, published roughly 100 papers (H-index = 53) and received extramural funding in excess of $8 million. Since that time, Kuhr has had more than ten years of experience in the private sector leading multimillion-dollar research enterprises. He participated in the formation of five startup technology companies: Seurat Analytical, protein microarray detection systems; Clinical MicroSensors, DNA detection and medical devices; ZettaCore Inc., molecular electronic structures; eSionic Corp., electrolytes for charge storage devices; and ChemiSensor LLP, chemical sampling and sensor systems, which he still owns.

Amy Landis
Professor, Civil and Environmental Engineering
PhD, University of Illinois at Chicago

Amy Landis joins Mines as the first Presidential Faculty Fellow for Access, Attainment and Diversity. Previously, she was a full professor at Clemson University from 2015 to 2017 as the Thomas F. Hash ’69 Endowed Chair in Sustainable Development. She served as director of Clemson’s Institute for Sustainability, which brings together interdisciplinary research, education and business. Landis was an associate professor at Arizona State University’s School of Sustainable Engineering in the Built Environment from 2012 to 2015. During her tenure at ASU she served as director of research for the Center for Earth Systems Engineering and Management, senior sustainability scientist for the Global Institute of Sustainability, Lincoln Fellow of Sustainable Development and Ethics for the Lincoln Center for Applied Ethics and Tooker Professor of STEM Education for the Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering. Landis began her career as an assistant professor at the University of Pittsburgh after earning her PhD in 2007 from the University of Illinois at Chicago under the supervision of Thomas L. Theis. Landis has developed a research program in sustainable engineering of bioproducts. Her research ranges from design of systems based on industrial ecology and byproduct synergies, life cycle and sustainability assessments of biopolymers and biofuels and design and analysis of sustainable solutions for health care. Since 2007, she has led nine federal research projects and collaborated on many more, totaling more than $30 million in collaborative research. Landis continues to grow her research activities and collaborations to include multidisciplinary approaches to sustainable systems. She is dedicated to sustainability engineering education, outreach and diversity in STEM. She has established networking and mentorship programs at three different universities to advance diversity and STEM. She also works with local high schools, after-school programs, local nonprofit organizations, extensions and museums to integrate sustainability and engineering into K-12 and undergraduate curricula.

Forest Mannan
Visiting Assistant Professor, Applied Math and Statistics
PhD, Tulane University

Forest Mannan grew up in Carbondale, Colorado, and obtained his PhD from Tulane University in April 2017. Mannan conducts research in computational fluid dynamics, especially flows in the Stokes regime relevant to biology.

 

 

 

Bradley Martin
Visiting Assistant Professor, Applied Math and Statistics
PhD, University of Colorado Boulder

Bradley Martin recently completed his PhD in applied mathematics with Bengt Fornberg and the RBF research group at CU-Boulder while investigating new, radial basis function-based methods for numerically solving partial differential equations. His work on heat and wave interface and transport problems has been published in Geophysics, the Journal of Computational Physics and Engineering Analysis with Boundary Elements.

 

 

 

Richard Palin
Assistant Professor, Geology and Geological Engineering
PhD, University of Oxford

Richard Palin completed his undergraduate MESci in the Department of Earth Sciences at the University of Oxford in 2008, and subsequently began a position as an exploration field geologist working in Central Queensland, Australia, with Anglo Coal. Despite enjoying his time in industry, he returned to academia to complete his PhD at the University of Oxford, which he was awarded in late 2013. For his thesis, Palin performed fieldwork in the Himalayan Range and Tibetan Plateau and characterized the temporal, thermal and structural evolution of various key regions. After completing his PhD, Palin moved to Germany to work as a lecturer and postdoctoral research fellow at the Institute of Geosciences, JGU Mainz. He published a number of significant papers and achieved widespread recognition for his work by members of the geological community worldwide. In March 2017, Palin moved to Colorado to begin his position as assistant professor of metamorphic geology at Mines. Palin has ongoing collaborations with many researchers worldwide, including those at the University of Oxford; the University of Cambridge; Geological Survey of Canada; Johannes-Gutenberg University of Mainz, Germany; University of Cape Town, South Africa; ETHZ, Switzerland; and University of Melbourne, Australia, among others. Palin also serves the community by regularly performing reviews of papers for scientific journals and of grant proposals for funding agencies.

Sridhar Seetharaman
Professor, Metallurgical and Materials Engineering
PhD, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Sridhar Seetharaman joins Mines from the U.S. Department of Energy, where he served as a senior technical advisor, and was until recently the RAEng/Tata Steel Joint Chair for Research into Low Carbon Materials Technology at the University of Warwick. He was, until 2013, the POSCO Professor at Carnegie Mellon University, co-director of the Industry-University Consortium, Center for Iron and Steelmaking Research and a faculty fellow at the National Energy Technology Laboratory of the Department of Energy. He is an associate editor of Met. and Mat. Trans A, B and E and serves on the advisory board of Steel Research International and ISIJ International.

 

 

Jeffrey Shragge
Associate Professor, Geophysics
PhD, Stanford University

Jeffrey Shragge is a co-leader of the Center for Wave Phenomena research consortium at Mines. He was formerly the Woodside Professor in Computational Geoscience and an associate professor jointly appointed in the School of Earth and Environment and School of Physics at the University of Western Australia. Shragge received a BScH in physics from Queen’s University, an MSc in geophysics focusing in earthquake seismology from the University of British Columbia, and a PhD in geophysics focusing in 3D seismic imaging from the Stanford Exploration Project at Stanford University. He currently serves as an assistant editor of the journal Geophysics, and is the chair of both the Committee of University and Student Programs and the Field Camps Committee for the Society of Exploration Geophysicists. In 2010, he was awarded the J. Clarence Karcher Award by the SEG, and was recognized with a Best Paper Award at the 2012 ASEG Annual General Meeting. Shragge’s research interests include 3-D/4-D seismic imaging and velocity inversion, wave propagation, near-surface geophysics, scientific high-performance computing and humanitarian geophysics.

Meenakshi Singh
Assistant Professor, Physics
PhD, Pennsylvania State University

Meenakshi Singh’s research targets the development of semiconducting quantum computers with a focus on donor-based spin qubits. She graduated with a PhD in physics from Pennsylvania State University in 2012. Her PhD thesis was focused on quantum transport in nanowires. Singh has coauthored more than a dozen publications, including an invited chapter to the book “Superconductors – Properties, Technology and Applications,” and has received several awards for excellence in coursework and research. In addition to research, Singh is interested in science education and outreach. She has mentored five undergraduate students participating in NSF’s Research Experiences for Undergraduates program. Her service record includes serving as treasurer for the Physics and Astronomy for Women Society at Penn State, which provides a forum to discuss issues facing women seeking scientific degrees and careers. She has continuing research interest in superconductivity and macroscopic quantum phenomena, with a view toward hybridizing superconductors with other systems to access novel phenomena and applications.

Nicole M. Smith
Assistant Professor, Mining
PhD, University of Colorado Boulder

Nicole M. Smith joined the Mining Engineering Department at Colorado School of Mines as an assistant professor in January 2017. She is a cultural anthropologist with the following research interests: artisanal and small-scale mining; mining, sustainability and social responsibility; rural livelihoods and mining developments; indigenous peoples; community development; and engineering education. Prior to her position in the Mining Engineering Department, she was a postdoctoral scholar in the Humanitarian Engineering Program at Mines. She was also a research fellow at the Centre for Social Responsibility in Mining at the Sustainable Minerals Institute at the University of Queensland. Her work there focused on health and safety in artisanal and small-scale mining. Smith holds a PhD in anthropology and a certificate in development studies from the University of Colorado Boulder, where her research focused on Maasai gemstone traders in northern Tanzania. She holds a master’s degree in anthropology from Colorado State University and a bachelor’s degree in anthropology with a biology minor from the University of Minnesota.

Steven Smith
Assistant Professor, Economics and Business
PhD, University of Colorado Boulder

Steven Smith obtained a bachelor’s degree in mathematics from DePauw University before earning his PhD in economics from the University of Colorado Boulder in 2014. His research focuses on how policies, laws and organizations impact our use of natural resources. Most often dealing with water, he has studied various settings, from groundwater to surface water and contemporary Peru to the historic U.S. He has also written on the challenges of introducing economic incentives to provide environmental services such as carbon sequestration. Most recently, as a postdoctoral fellow at Haverford College, he helped to establish a new Environmental Studies Program, teaching numerous natural resource economic courses as well as coteaching the Environmental Studies Introduction course.

 

George Sowers
Professor of Practice, Mechanical Engineering
PhD, University of Colorado Boulder

George Sowers has 30 years of experience in the space transportation field. During a continuous span working for Martin Marietta, Lockheed Martin and the United Launch Alliance, including a stint as the chief systems engineer for Atlas V development, Sowers helped develop more than a dozen launch systems. He recently retired from his position as vice president and chief scientist of ULA, where his team developed an architecture for fully reusable in-space stages fueled by propellant mined, refined and distributed in space. He holds a bachelor's degree in physics from Georgia Tech and a PhD in physics from the University of Colorado. Sowers is a fellow of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics.

 

 

Garritt J. Tucker
Assistant Professor, Mechanical Engineering
PhD, Georgia Institute of Technology

Garritt Tucker spent the previous four years as an assistant professor in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering at Drexel University in Philadelphia. He founded and directed the Computational Materials Science and Design Group at Drexel, where he employed computing/numerical/theoretical techniques to research both the fundamental physics and mechanics of emerging materials and new avenues for tailoring advantageous functional properties in hierarchical engineered microstructures. Furthermore, he assisted in the development of the University Research Computing Facility at Drexel, where high-performance computing integrates with engineering and scientific endeavors. He earned his PhD in 2011 from the School of Materials Science and Engineering at the Georgia Institute of Technology in the Mechanics of Materials group with David L. McDowell and was a Sigma Xi award nominee. Prior to starting at Drexel in 2013, he spent two years as a postdoctoral research appointee at Sandia National Laboratories in Albuquerque in the Computational Materials and Data Science group with Stephen Foiles, and as an EPSRI intern at Sandia National Laboratories in Livermore, California. During the summer of 2015, Tucker was an honorary invitee for the Institute of Materials Science at Los Alamos National Laboratories. While at Drexel, his work was continuously featured at both domestic and international conferences and in materials modeling workshops/lectures, and he was awarded the Most Outstanding Teacher Award in 2015 and the TMS Young Leader Award in 2016.

Ali Tura
Professor, Geophysics
PhD, University of California, Berkeley

Ali Tura is professor of geophysics and director of the Reservoir Characterization Project at Colorado School of Mines. His expertise is in the areas of seismic data processing, seismic analysis, time-lapse seismic, rock physics, fiber optic technology and data analytics. He is also chief scientist at Tulip Geosciences, a consulting and training company. Prior to this he was geophysical senior fellow at ConocoPhillips. Tura was a founding member and COO of 4th Wave Imaging, a seismic R&D company. His other responsibilities have included leading time-lapse seismic reservoir monitoring at Chevron and Shell and amplitude-preserving migration-based AVO analysis at Elf (now Total). Tura received a B.Sc. degree from Istanbul University and master's and PhD degrees from the University of California, Berkeley, all in engineering geosciences. His work during this period ranged from deconvolution of seismic data to full-waveform seismic modeling of vertical seismic profiling data to fracture detection from cross-well reflection/diffraction tomography in anisotropic media at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. He has taught graduate-level courses in the Mathematical Sciences Department at the University of Texas, Dallas, and the Istanbul Technical University Geophysics Department. He was a visiting scientist at Karlsruhe University, Germany, where he worked on comparing theoretical aspects of Kirchhoff versus Born modeling and migration. Tura has mentored many PhD interns at ConocoPhillips and Chevron and led an industrial consortium on time-lapse seismic while at 4th Wave Imaging.


Jeffrey Wheeler
Teaching Assistant Professor, Mechanical Engineering
PhD Colorado School of Mines

Jeffrey Wheeler received his master’s degree and PhD in engineering systems from Colorado School of Mines. Before coming to Mines, Wheeler earned a bachlor of science degree in engineering physics and a bachelor of arts degree in mathematics from Whitworth University in Spokane, Washington. Before joining the Mechanical Engineering faculty, Wheeler worked with Vartega, a startup focused on recycling carbon fiber manufacturing scrap. He also taught as an adjunct professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering. Wheeler is passionate about developing instrumentation systems and working with the local startup community. He uses his experience to bring hands-on learning into the classroom. Wheeler lives in Denver with his wife, Katie, and enjoys cooking, backpacking and traveling.

 

 

Tom Williams
Assistant Professor, Computer Science
PhD Tufts University

Tom Williams’ research focuses on enabling and understanding natural language-based human-robot interaction, especially as applied to assistive and search-and-rescue robotics. He previously served as a visiting researcher at the Institute for Artificial Intelligence in Bremen, Germany, and has co-organized several international workshops on human-robot interaction. Williams earned a joint PhD in computer science and cognitive science from Tufts University in 2017.

 

Categories: Partner News

Mines launches new first-year tradition with Oredigger Camp

Colorado School of Mines - Thu, 08/17/2017 - 14:03

The start of your first year of college can be daunting—it’s a new environment full of new experiences, new expectations, new people and, for most freshmen, even a new bed.

But this year at Colorado School of Mines, a group of incoming students will have a leg up over freshmen of years past, thanks to the inaugural Oredigger Camp.

A few weeks before the start of classes, more than 200 first-year students spent 2 ½ days up in the Rocky Mountains, having fun, making friends and getting an introduction to what it means to be an Oredigger.

Two sessions of camp were held July 31-Aug. 2 and Aug. 2-4 at Camp Como near Fairplay. The impact was clear well before the last group of students loaded onto the bus back to Golden.

“It made me less nervous about going to school in general,” said Liz Luce, an incoming freshman from Colorado Springs planning to study chemical and biological engineering. 

“Getting to know people beforehand is great,” added Maddie McKowen, an incoming freshman from Houston looking to study environmental engineering—and play club lacrosse along with her new friend Luce. “At least you can have some bonds before you get there.”

For campus leadership, the hope is that Oredigger Camp becomes a tradition just as integral to the Mines experience as the M Climb or E-Days. 

"The most meaningful things are when you have a shared experience,” said President Paul C. Johnson, a driving force in the creation of Oredigger Camp. “This is much more of a shared experience than, ‘Hey, we were all in the same class together.’ ”

“If you can get freshmen to come up here before school starts, spend a lot of time with peer mentors they can look up to as role models, hear the story about what Mines is all about, what’s important, how you make it through, what to focus on, then there’s a higher likelihood that they’ll be successful, that they’ll spend their time at Mines on the right things,” he said. “It’s all wrapped together.” 
 
Encouraging vertical connections between current and incoming Mines students is at the heart of Oredigger Camp’s design.

Peer mentors led nearly every activity at camp, with Johnson giving some opening remarks and then stepping back, joining students for meals, impromptu conversations and the occasional pickup game.

“If you think about a typical college experience or a typical high school experience, you come in with a certain group—you are freshmen this year, sophomores next year—and you’re connected laterally,” Johnson said. “But if you could be more connected vertically, you would be able to learn more from the students who have already experienced what you’re going to experience."

“I don’t want the formal part of the institution being the sole way that students connect with each other, connect with the institution, get knowledge,” he said. “I want the students to be able to tell the Mines story.”

Arriving at Oredigger Camp shortly before lunchtime, students spent most of Day 1 tackling team-building activities—low ropes, tug-of-war and more. 

Day 2 started bright and early with self-reflection and goal setting. Later, during free time, students soared through the mountain air on zip lines while others jumped in on pickup games of volleyball, 9 Square and Gaga Ball. 

Engineering challenges got students thinking and working together. In one task, small groups had to build a basket out of plastic drinking straws and tape that could protect an egg when dropped from the top of a ladder. In another, larger groups were handed three rolls of duct tape and the challenge of taping someone to the wall. The group whose student stayed stuck the longest won.  

Having a chance to interact with current Mines students and get their honest advice about surviving and thriving at Mines was super useful, said Daniel Moore, an incoming freshman from Massachusetts who is considering majoring in chemical engineering. 

“It was nice to talk to someone who actually went there, not just get something generic,” Moore said. “You could ask them anything you had on your mind. If I were at college, I’d probably be too shy to just go up to a junior and ask them something.”

In creating the camp schedule, the idea was to try to capture the unique nature of the Mines experience, camp director Eric Kressin said.

Kressin, a senior studying chemical engineering, is a lead peer mentor, president of the Kappa Sigma fraternity, a student worker in the Student Activities, Involvement and Leadership (SAIL) office and a member of two campus honor societies, Blue Key and Order of Omega. 

“The goal for me was to make sure people walked away ready to join the Mines community and excited about what’s in store,” Kressin said. “There’s a lot of things that you can say about our community, but the most important one is Mines has helluva lot of pride. This camp was made with the intention of bringing that pride out of our incoming students.”

“We are the next generation of Orediggers. If we come into school with this positive attitude that we’re generating here at camp, the school itself could change,” he said. “If we boost morale early, it’s going to do wonders for the rest of campus. These moments at camp come and go in the blink of an eye, but the memories and the pride we instill in our Orediggers last forever.”

Walking back from the zip line on Day 2 of the second session, sophomore peer mentor Willie Konishi said he was already getting text messages from students who came to the first session of camp. 

“Meeting all these students is so great. They’re all amazing people,” Konishi said. “This is what Mines is all about.”

The undergraduate student body vice president spent the whole week at Oredigger Camp.

“It’s building a community,” Konishi said. “The M Climb, the kickoff event are great but they’re still at school. This is away from the stress of school and a way for people to connect socially.”

Moving forward, Oredigger Camp really has the potential to be something just as important to the Mines experience as the M Climb, said Dan Fox, vice president of student life.

“No one could fathom not having an M Climb,” Fox said. “That's where I want Oredigger Camp to go, not just as a tradition but as something that makes a big difference and something they’ll never forget.”

In the future, both Fox and Johnson hope to increase the number of students participating in Oredigger Camp, as well as further involve campus, with more faculty and staff coming up to camp for a day or two to interact with Mines’ newest students. 

“Oredigger Camp is an opportunity to be introduced to what it means to be a Colorado School of Mines student and what it means to be part of a community that’s greater than just yourself and your grades,” Fox said. “It’s a point of departure.

CONTACT
Emilie Rusch, Public Information Specialist, Communications and Marketing | 303-273-3361 | erusch@mines.edu
Mark Ramirez, Managing Editor, Communications and Marketing | 303-273-3088 | ramirez@mines.edu

Categories: Partner News

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