News Release

For Immediate Release

Media Contacts:          
Kathryn Kelley
SC07 Communications Chair

Computational Science Awards Announced Today

Reno, NV – November 10, 2007 ––  Three categories of Computational Science Awards were presented during the Education Program at SC07, the international conference for high performance computing, networking, storage, and analysis held November 10-16 in Reno, NV .  The UCES, Dr. Mary Ellen Verona, and Dr. Robert M. Panoff awards recognize outstanding accomplishments in the applications of computational science among undergraduate faculty, K-12 Educators, and among high school, undergraduate and graduate students.

UCES Award
Dr. Wolfgang Christian, Davidson College, was selected as the 2007 UCES award winner for pioneering efforts in computational physics education.

Created to promote and enhance undergraduate education in computational engineering and science (CES), the Undergraduate Computational Engineering and Sciences (UCES) award program is in support of recruitment for the Department of Energy Computational Science Graduate Fellowship Program and encourages further development of innovative educational resources and programs; recognizes the achievements of CES educators; and disseminates educational material and ideas to the broad scientific and engineering undergraduate community. The UCES Awards Program is administered by the Krell Institute, an organization known for administering outstanding fellowship programs, educational outreach programs, and information management and exchange programs.

Christian and collaborators Mario Bellini, Anne Cox, Harvey Gould, Jan Tobochnik, and Douglas Brown developed the Open Source Physics (OSP) project that creates computer-based simulations for teaching introductory physics and published the computational physics textbook "Introduction to Computer Simulation Methods" (Gould, Tobochnik, and Christian).  The OSP project has also created a code library for teaching computational physics and is developing curricular material for upper level physics courses.

In addition, a UCES Certificate of Commendation was awarded to Dr. Bradley Efron, Stanford University, representing the Stanford Mathematical and Computational Science (M&CS) Program.   Established in 1972, the M&CS program utilizes courses from the departments of Mathematics, Computer Science, Management Science & Engineering, and Statistics to create a program in applied mathematics with a strong computational science emphasis.  Tracks in engineering and biology were recently added to extend the  breadth of the program which serves as one model for implementing computational engineering and science education in a research university.

Dr. Mary Ellen Verona Award
Ms. Charlotte Trout, Williamsport High School in Washington County, Maryland, was selected as the inaugural 2007 Verona Computational Science Teacher Leader Award winner for her exemplary use of computer-based models, simulations, and visualizations to enhance student learning in the K-12 classroom and her active participation in sharing computational science strategies and methods with others.

This annual award funded by community donations recognizes the efforts of Dr. Mary Ellen Verona, a visionary in the use of computational science for secondary science education.  Dr. Verona believed that teachers were the key to providing students with access to the computational science tools and methods that scientists use on a regular basis. She understood that by providing classroom teachers with the background and support needed to create and use computer-based models, simulations, and visualizations, thousands of students would be able to experience the same technology-rich approaches used to solve complex problems in research labs around the world.

Over the past twelve years, Trout has created dozens of computer models with programming tools such as MATLAB, STELLA, Vensim, NetLogo, and Excel. More importantly, by researching her own students’ thought processes when using these models, she has helped the computational science community understand the many ways in which computer models may be used to help students learn science concepts. She has trained science teachers locally, regionally, and nationally through teacher workshops sponsored by her district, Maryland Virtual High School, and the National Computational Science Institute (NCSI).

Dr. Robert M. Panoff Award
Mr. Eddie Maldonado, a junior physics major at the University of Northern Iowa (UNI) involved in computational physics research with Dr. Mike Roth, is the inaugural recipient of the Dr. Robert M. Pannoff Award. Maldonado presents an admirable example of continued academic growth, starting from a limited background in science and computing. When he arrived at UNI with an Associate of Arts degree from Muscatine Community College (Iowa), he graduated with an Economics degree from UNI.  However, in the middle of earning his economics degree he took a beginning course in physics which inspired him to also pursue a Physics degree.

The Dr. Robert M. Panoff Student Award For Explorations in Science Through Computation award program funded by community donations promotes excellence in student-driven explorations in science made possible through the use of computation. This program is named in honor of Dr. Panoff, founder and executive director of The Shodor Education Foundation, Inc., and is intended to encourage science exploration at all academic levels and to recognize students that have woven insight and discovery together through the use of computation modeling, simulation, and/or data analysis.

Maldonado has been involved in a number of computational science projects, which have earned him recognition through this year’s Panoff Award.

Maldonado’s first project involved simulating the time evolution of noble gas discs in orbit about C60 fullerenes. He participated in code development and obtained interesting results when studying both thermal and mechanical disintegration of the noble gas disc. His findings were presented at a 2007 Sigma Xi poster session and there is currently a related manuscript under review. 
His interests have included doing work that helps people. He is working on developing a C++ program incorporating a Material Point Method algorithm that simulates blood flow around artificial barriers, which has applications to medical treatment of blood. The code models red blood cells in viscous plasma and has provided interesting preliminary results. Maldonado has taken on a keen interest in vertical climbing robots and has developed an MPM code for synthetic gecko hair adhesion when anchored to a compliant surface.
Maldonado’s most developed simulations involve bullet impact on body armor.  Eddie has systematically examined various bullet compositions and vest structures. A Computer Science faculty member at UNI is using the simulations with many more particles to test for size effects, resolution effects, etc.

Maldonado’s most developed simulations involve bullet impact on body armor.  Eddie has systematically examined various bullet compositions and vest structures. A Computer Science faculty member at UNI is using the simulations with many more particles to test for size effects, resolution effects, etc. 

For further information, contact SC07 Education Program at  or the following websites:

SC08 Education Program Awards
There will be a call for applications and nominations for all of these awards in 2008, which will be announced and awarded at the SC08 Education Program in Austin, Texas in November of 2008.

About SC07
SC07, sponsored by ACM and IEEE Computer Society, will showcase how high-performance computing, networking, storage and analysis lead to advances in research, education and commerce. This premiere international conference includes technical and education programs, workshops, tutorials, an exhibit area, demonstrations and hands-on learning.  For more information, please visit