Joseph E. Flaherty Computer Science, Mathematical Sciences Jacob Fish Civil Engineering Franklin T. Luk Computer Science Antoinette Maniatty Mech. Engrg., Aero. Engrg., and Mechanics Donald W. Schwendeman Mathematical Sciences Mark S. Shephard Civil Engrg., Mech. Engrg., Aero. Engrg., and Mech.
Our goal is to develop interdisciplinary undergraduate and graduate programs in Computational Science and Engineering (CS&E) that will provide students with skills in:
Spanning Rensselaer's Schools of Engineering and Science, this interdisciplinary program can be implemented with minimal resources while providing significant financial and reputational benefits to Rensselaer. All faculty and all courses but one are in place. The new course, a Scientific Computation Studio will be developed as part of this proposal and will serve as a capstone of the CS&E curriculum.
In order to simplify the initial implementation, CS&E students will be associated with a ``home department'' within the Schools of Science or Engineering where they will take 75% of their courses. The remaining 25% of their curriculum will be composed of ``base courses'' in computer science and engineering, numerical analysis, and scientific computation. Students with home departments in Computer Science, Computer Engineering, and Mathematical Sciences proceed oppositely by selecting 75% base courses and 25% of their courses in an area of natural science or engineering. Degrees will initially be awarded in the home department with a notation indicating a student's participation in the CS&E program; however, our intention is to seek approval for specialized degrees.
Successful M.S. and Ph.D. CS&E programs of this type have been operating informally at Rensselaer for some time. By formalizing them we hope to
Potentially large markets exist at the Professional Masters and Undergraduate levels. Implementing Professional M.S. programs is, naturally, the simpler of the two. Indeed, an M.S. program in Computational Civil Engineering already exists at Rensselaer. Interest among industrial clients is significant, particularly if courses were offered in a distance-learning environment. Both on- and off-campus M.S. degree and certificate programs will be developed in collaboration with departmental representatives and the Dean of Continuing Education. Since minimal delays are expected in establishing these programs, publicity must be created to attract students.
Developing undergraduate programs will require a greater effort. Certification requirements must be maintained and disciplinary material cannot be sacrificed. However, with curriculum reform on everyones agenda, this is an excellent time to initiate new programs. While development must proceed through our interaction with departmental representatives, we were able to formulate potential computational mechanical engineering curricula that were consistent with both ABET certification and anticipated four-by-four requirements.
Introducing computational material into the curricula does not necessarily require a change in degree requirements. Several existing science and engineering courses contain an appropriate combination of disciplinary and computational matter. When this is not the case, the computational faculty will work with disciplinary faculty to introduce base material into a disciplinary course. This option, in the spirit of the Math Links Program, would stimulate cooperation between faculty with diverse interests.