Undergrads get passionate about programming
The “Passionate on Parallel” Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU)—run jointly by MechSE associate professor Matt West and Computer Science associate professor Craig Zilles—encourages students to consider how parallelism could solve big problems, ranging from how galaxies form to whether a person could control a machine using only their thoughts. The 2015 POP REU was held May 26 through July 31.
Students are paired up to work with an engineering faculty mentor and a grad student mentor on a parallel programming research problem for an engineering application. This year, one of the faculty mentors was joint MechSE/CS professor Paul Fischer. He worked with two students—Oliver Chang from the University of Miami and Michael Zoller from Ohio State University—on a computational fluid dynamics simulation associated with his work at the Argonne National Laboratory, called "Analyzing the Scalability of Nek5000."
The POP REU incorporates weekly informal meetings with other Illinois faculty on special topics relevant to the research experience, as well as joint seminars with REU participants from programs throughout the College of Engineering. This year’s REU concluded with a poster session in the Siebel Center for Computer Science.
To be eligible for the program, students must be undergraduates who have completed their sophomore or junior year.