Archives—February 2009

Roshan D’Souza Wins National Science Foundation Career Award

Roshan D’Souza, Assistant Professor in Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics, has received the National Science Foundation’s most prestigious early CAREER Award.

The project, “Towards Interactive Simulation of Giga-Scale Agent-Based Models on Graphics Processing Units,” investigates techniques for efficient simulation of large scale agent-based models (ABMs). ABMs are increasingly being used to understand complex multi-scale behaviors in many natural, built, and social systems. This research investigates novel techniques designed to leverage the massive computing power available on commodity graphics processing units. It greatly expands the availability and applicability of agent-based modeling by effectively democratizing super computing for ABM simulation. Furthermore, it enables virtual testing of “what-if” scenarios in public policy, contingency planning for disaster relief, drug therapy design, etc., on inexpensive desktop computers at realistic levels of detail. The main challenge in this research is the re-formulation of ABM computation to fit the data-parallel model of GPUs. Educational topics include development of courses, outreach to K-12 students, and undergraduate research. The value of the award is $423,863 over five years.

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Laid-off Engineers Learning New Skills: Classes Focus on Hybrids and Electrics

A free class in hybrid and electric vehicle development offered to out-of-work engineers could become a model as Michigan tries to keep its skilled workforce from leaving the state.

About 60 engineers from their 20s to their 50s just began the class, which is a joint effort by Michigan Technological University, the Engineering Society of Detroit and General Motors.

“This is an opportunity to put some new skills in my toolbox,” said Kimberly Calloway, 38, of Southfield, a 15-year electrical engineer Ford laid off in August. “I’ll add the certificate from the class to my resume. It will give me an advantage when I’m interviewing.”

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