Computer science students attend supercomputer symposium
TNE Editor
/ Categories: Campus News

Computer science students attend supercomputer symposium

Published 9/21/17

Trenton Morgan

TNE Writer

The practice of computer science includes taking futuristic ideas with computers and bringing them to life. This means supercomputing. Supercomputing involves computers with processing capabilities that far exceed the capabilities of regular computers. A few faculty members and students within the computer science major plan to visit the University of Oklahoma and attend the Oklahoma Supercomputing Symposium 2017.

“Supercomputers are computers with far more advanced computing power compared to consumer computers,” said Zachary Dunham, Jay sophomore. “They are used mostly in research, where extensive amounts of data are fed into them to get a response in a short amount of time. One example is International Business Machines Corporation’s supercomputer, Blue Gene, has been used to simulate part of the human brain's neuron structure to help neurologists gain a better understanding of the brain. At the symposium, I hope to learn more about how supercomputing works and how people use them. I would also like to learn more about how people are using supercomputers for research.”

The symposium is 16 years old and, within the Established Program to Stimulate Competitive Research jurisdiction, is the oldest event of its type.

Neal Xiong, professor of computer science, said students and faculty can attend the Oklahoma Supercomputing Symposium with the support of NSU. Those going will present a few posters and a keynote speech while there. It is a beneficial opportunity for those attending. Xiong was a speaker at the symposium in 2015 and 2016.

“The importance of attending the symposium is to allow us to get a little more details with supercomputers,” said Simond Luc, Wichita, Kan., junior. “I've definitely learned a lot about how to code and that you have to really know how to do things to be in this major. I love that I get the creativity to be able to code a program a certain way. I want to learn more of supercomputers, what all possibilities we can do with them and maybe even meet some people who might want to hire computer science majors. It's a fun field to get into.”

Dunham said the computer science profession is very rewarding. Not only do computer scientists get paid well, but the computer science profession allows many opportunities during college, such as research internships over the summers and different conferences and meetings throughout the year. Students also learn how to develop programs and have the Association of Computer Machinery, where computer science and other related majors network with each other in a variety of ways.

“The importance is to make connections with potential employers, students from other colleges and professors,” said Trey Cook, Hulbert senior. “I would like to learn more about what a supercomputer is and what they do. I don't really have much experience in the computer science field, but the education here seems pretty good! It’s not going to be easy and it requires a lot of problem solving and knowledge behind computer logic. I'm currently working on my third computer science language all taught from NSU.”

The Oklahoma Supercomputing Symposium 2017 is Sept. 26 - 27. Those planning to attend will carpool to the OU campus.

For more information, email Xiong at or visit him in his office, Webb Room 323.


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