To provide Ohio workers with crucial training in computer modeling and simulation, the Ralph Regula School of Computational Science (RRSCS) is developing a new training and certification program. This project represents an important workforce component for the Ralph Regula School, a statewide virtual school focused on the use of computer modeling and simulation to solve complex business, technical and academic research problems.
The National Science Foundation-funded grant* also will supply Ohio businesses with advanced Internet portals — easy-to-use web-based interfaces that allow users to run complex scientific codes — including a portal being developed for Ohio’s polymer industries.
“Computational science and the use of modeling and simulation have been cited by prominent state and federal committees and panels as keys to continued competitiveness in science and engineering,” said Steven Gordon, Ph.D., director of RRSCS. “We intend to create more advanced, industry-driven computational science certificate programs to serve major groups of industry collaborators.”
The certificate courses will link to a computational science concentration area within an emerging professional master’s degree program at The Ohio State University’s College of Engineering.
“The courses and certifications will be invaluable in preparing the workforce in our industry to move quickly and surely into the computer age,” said Wayne Earley, executive director of PolymerOhio, an association serving Ohio’s plastics, rubber and advanced materials industry.
The workforce program complements a robust educational pipeline at RRSCS that begins with the Young Women’s Summer Institute (YWSI), a summer program for middle-school girls. YWSI was created by the Ohio Supercomputer Center to facilitate their interest in math, science and engineering and women’s low participation trends in STEM career fields.
Summer Institute is an OSC summer program in its 20th year that offers gifted high school freshmen and sophomores project-based, hands-on learning. Participants use advanced technologies to solve complex problems and learn about careers in computing, networking, science and engineering.
The STEM Summer Academy in Computational Science and Engineering, funded through the Ohio Board of Regents, teaches computer modeling and simulation skills to high school juniors and seniors, as well as high school teachers. Participants receive college credit as they learn how physical phenomena are represented in mathematical models and translated into computer simulations.
RRSCS, the Ohio Board of Regents and Project Lead The Way are developing a computational science elective to add to the four-year curriculum that introduces high school students to the scope, rigor and discipline of engineering and engineering technology prior to entering college.
RRSCS and three Ohio community colleges are developing an associate degree program in science with a computational science emphasis under another NSF grant**. The goal is to develop programs that constitute the middle two years of an articulation from the high schools to the community colleges and fouryear colleges and universities.
Last year, RRSCS launched a baccalaureate minor program in computational science in partnership with nine Ohio charter colleges and universities. Two other colleges have since joined the program. The virtual nature of this NSF-funded program*** allows students at participating institutions to combine classes from their home campus with online classes from any other participating institution.
This complete pipeline of educational offerings comprises a unique middle school-to-graduate schoolto- workforce training continuum in computer modeling and simulation education in Ohio.
* NSF # 0753287 ** NSF # 0703087 *** NSF # 0537405