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a National Science Foundation Center of Research Excellence in Science and Technology

CREST Science and Computing Research Summer Program

CREST Science and Computing Research Summer Program

Students who have completed grades 8-12

- no cost to register -

In this session, participants will engage in computer-driven science research-oriented activities in a group setting, led by faculty and scientists in the National Science Foundation-funded CREST center at UC Merced, which focuses on engineering, biological science, physics, chemistry and computational science. Hands-on research-based activities, projects, lectures, interactions with scientists and engineers and lab tours will enable students to get a better understanding of what it is like to do science research and what it is like to be a scientist. Through these activities, students will get a glimpse into the importance of research computing that connects all aspects of scientific research.


July 1-5, 2019 (not July 4)
9:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Students who have completed grades 8-12
Free registration; up to 24 students


Monday, July 1

9:00 am - 9:45 am, SE 1, 160, Introduction to NSF-CREST Center for Cellular and Biomolecular Machines / Computing Careers

9:45 am - 12:00 pm, SE 1, 160, Introduction to Scientific Computing; SE 1, 138 Ajay Gopinathan: "Introduction to Scientific Computing" - Physics-Based Simulations of Biological Systems: this session will have an overview of how computing is used in modern day science and cover some specific examples of simulations of complex biological systems ranging from molecules to tissue. The second part of this session will have hands-on activities where participants will be guided in working with interactive computer simulations to research phenomena ranging from disease spreading to the evolution of mimicry to the formation of flocks and swarms.

12:00 pm - 1:00 pm, SE 1, 160 / outside area, Lunch

1:00 pm - 2:00 pm, SE 1, 160 Shawn Newsam: “Computer Science: Computer Vision (But, I thought computer science was about programming)”
In this talk, I will describe the research area of computer vision which is a sub-field of computer science. The goal of computer vision is to get machines (computers) to understand the visual world similar to how humans do. I will show how much of computer science research is not about programming but developing mathematically based algorithms.

2:15 pm - 2:45 pm, SE 1, 160, Vaughan House Overview

2:45 pm - 3:00 pm, SE 1, 160, Discussion: Day’s Topics

3:00 pm - 4:00 pm, Start at SE 1, 160, Campus Tour


Tuesday, July 2

9:00 am - 10:00 am, Stem Cell Instrumentation Foundry Tour / Gopinathan and Newsam topics

10:00 am - 10:30 am, Jennifer Lu Lab Tour

10:45 am - 11:30 am, SE 1, 160, (Some) History of Scientific Computing

11:30 am-12:30 pm, outside area, Lunch

12:30 pm - 4:00 pm, Shahar Sukenik: “Stick Together, Fall Apart: The Inner Life of Proteins”
We’ll talk about proteins – the molecular machines that are responsible for life. We’ll discuss the chemical properties of proteins and how these let them function, interact, and cause diseases. The class will involve some hands-on experiments.

Wednesday, July 3

9:00 am - 11:30 am, Michael Colvin and David Quint: "Introduction to Microcontrollers and the Internet of Things," SE 1, 160
This workshop will teach the basics of using Arduino microcontrollers, the most popular platform for linking computers to inputs like sensors and switches and output like lights and motors. Students will wire up and program several typical Arduino circuits.

11:30 am - 12:00 pm, Lunch, outside area

12:00 pm - 1:00 pm, WAVE Tours with Fisher Dietz

1:00 pm - 4:00 pm, SE 1, 160 / SE 1, 138 Kinjal Dasbiswas: “Artificial Cell Division on the Computer,” 
We will look at some of the machinery responsible for cell division, a process that is key to the continuity of life. Using computers, we will track the motion of cell motors in microscope images and play with a computer simulation of chemical droplets that divide.

Friday, July 5

9:00 am - 12:00 pm, SE 1, 160 / SE 1, 138 Daniel Beller, “Scientific Computing for the Physics of Materials”
This session will investigate how physics simulations are used to understand materials and complex systems, with wide-reaching implications from forest fires to salad dressing.

12:00 pm - 1:00 pm, SE 2, 1st floor atrium, Lunch with a Scientist

1:00 pm - 1:30 pm, McCloskey Lab Tour with José Zamora

1:30 pm - 2:15 pm, SE 1, 160, Future of Scientific Computing

2:30 pm - 3:30 pm, SE 1, 138 Suhani Nagpal, “Protein Structure and Dynamics: Hands-on Activity” Seminar on proteins, discussing the basics of protein folding and biophysical techniques. A computational hands-on workshop using UCSF Chimera tool on understanding protein structure and dynamics.

3:30 pm - 4:00 pm, SE 1, 160, Discussion, Reflections, and Evaluation