Chemistry professor Dr. Darin Ulness teamed with Information Technology Services and the Carl B. Ylvisaker Library to use resources for summer research requiring a large amount of computer power.
At the start of the academic year, the Library Fishbowl fills up with students working on various group projects, but this past summer all 29 machines were harnessed for a single task.
Ulness and student researcher Luke Lillehaugen '19 worked to invest time dynamics in a basic quantum system. Though the project itself was a relatively simple model in quantum mechanics, Ulness knew from the start that it would require lots of computer power to see the calculations, visualize the results and see lots of examples.
Because of Concordia’s support for collaborative projects, he also knew the college could do it.
“We’re lucky in that regard because at a big university that would never happen,” Ulness says.
The chemistry team came together with Concordia ITS and the library for the summer research collaboration, pushing machines to the max and filling the library collaborative space, the Fishbowl.
“It turned out to be a great work environment and the perfect place because we had 29 machines all in one spot.”
Tony Pietrzak and Luke Papenfuss from ITS worked to keep the computers from automatically logging out and they set up a large temporary holding place for the research data.
The researchers also collaborated with a former student of Ulness at New York University. Lillehaugen went to NYU for a week, broadening his worldview of research.
This research project is just one example of Concordia collaborations and how the campus finds creative ways to support its members.
Laurie Probst, library director, says that projects like this are one way the Carl B. remains an active learning place, even in the summer. It’s a chance for the campus community to grow closer together.
“It’s nice being on a smaller campus,” she says.