Computational Science - it's how applied mathematics is done in the 21st century.
It's a complicated world. Most of the easy problems were solved a long time ago. So how do you solve the tough ones that remain? You use Computational Science, of course! What, you expected some other answer on a page like this?
So what is Computational Science, anyway?
It's the use of high performance computing (think supercomputers) to implement sophisticated mathematical and statistical models of real world situations that arise in modern science, engineering, medicine, business, product development, and almost everywhere else you can imagine. Frequently, it is used to computationally conduct experiments that are either too expensive, too dangerous, or simply impossible to carry out in the real world.
Can SDSU prepare me for a career in computational science?
Absolutely. We have a strong computational science program from the freshman level all the way up through the PhD. Our computational science faculty are excellent teachers, and have active research programs that feature extensive undergraduate and graduate student involvement.
Here are some examples of what you might do as a computational scientist.
- Predict disease spread after bioterrorism attack
- Design drugs for pharmaceutical companies
- Create more realistic movie animations
- Optimize production in an automobile factory
- Create more effective cancer therapies
- Mathematically model an exploding star
- Optimize traffic flow patterns in a city
- Maximize reward/risk ratios in investments
- Optimize best forest management strategy
- Improve weather prediction techniques
Who hires computational scientists?
- Government agencies (NSA, CIA, NASA)
- State and municipal governments
- Computer companies (Microsoft, IBM)
- Animation firms (Industrial Light and Magic)
- Energy firms (Lockheed-Martin Energy Research)
- Electronics firms (Phillips, Motorola, IBM)
- Aerospace firms (Boeing)
- Auto manufacturers (Ford, GM)
- Financial firms (Prudential)
- Communications firms (Verizon, AT&T)
- Pharmaceutical firms (Pfizer, Merck)
- Petroleum producers (Exxon, Amoco)
More information about careers in computational science:
- Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics (SIAM)
- Profiles of Professional Mathematicians and Computational Scientists
- Internships in Applied Mathematics and Computational Science
- Sixteen Computational Science Examples
- Thinking of a Career in Applied Mathematics?
- Computational Science applications article, Bian Venkataraman, New York Times