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ORU STEM Students Receive National Science Foundation Award

06-14-2021 09:56 AM CET | Science & Education

Press release from: Oral Roberts University - Computing & Mathematics

ORU's Titan Supercomputer

ORU's Titan Supercomputer

Tulsa, OK – Three Oral Roberts University College of Science and Engineering students have been awarded NSF-funded grants to participate in two different undergraduate supercomputing-enabled research projects through the Extreme Science and Engineering Discovery Environment (XSEDE) Expert Mentoring Producing Opportunities for Work, Education, and Research (EMPOWER) program.

John Biederman and Charity Farell, both Computer Science majors, were selected to work on a project entitled “RNA Comparative Analysis of COVID-19 Strains.” John and Charity will work with ORU Biology and Computer Science faculty on a study with the aim of understanding the patterns of COVID-19 mutations and the genesis of novel strains. It will include preparing the code, data capture and preparation, job configuration, job execution, and output assessments.

“I am thrilled to have been selected for the XSEDE EMPOWER Program. The opportunity to work on projects that immerse me in my field will help me narrow my passions and prepare me for a future profession. I am also excited to learn from my mentor and learn from this experience,” said Charity Farell. ”It is a timely project with critical, real-world applications, and a great opportunity to apply what I am learning in my classes to something that will make a difference.”

Briana Hendrix, Biology major, was selected to work on a project entitled “Large Scale Parallel Ab Initio Theoretical Techniques for Spectroscopic Study of Important Pharmaceutical Compounds.” Briana will assist ORU faculty in completing a large-scale parametric study that is estimated to require more than 25M core hours of compute capacity. The work includes developing scripts to develop the parameter space, build job descriptions, parallel job submission and management, extracting outputs from completed jobs with additional scripts to feed back into and modify the search space. Briana will be working closely with ORU’s High Performance Computing and Chemistry faculty researchers.

Both projects also include peer mentoring of other undergraduate researchers and STEM awareness activities at one or more local high-schools through the Girls Who Code program.

“It is fantastic that Charity, Briana, and John have been selected to be part of the EMPOWER program’s effort to build-up world-class STEM research talent. Both projects are highly relevant to current events, with great possibility to enhance quality of life around the world,” said Dr. Stephen Wheat, Professor of Computer Science and Director of ORU’s High Performance Computing Center. “The experience obtained through this program will prepare them for the next level in research, potentially in follow-on EMPOWER awards, on their journeys to becoming world-class researchers.”

As part of the grant, each student will receive $1,000. Research will be performed on ORU’s supercomputer – Titan. The positions are made possible by a grant from the National Science Foundation.

Computing & Mathematics Department
Oral Roberts University
7777 S. Lewis Ave.
Tulsa, OK
74171

Oral Roberts University's Computing & Mathematics Department Offers Degrees in Computer Science, Computer Information Technology, Data Science, Applied Science, and Mathematics

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