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Project Title:Creation and Development of Undergraduate and Graduate Computational Science Programs Institution Name:The Richard Stockton College of New Jersey Innovation Category:Instructional Design and Delivery Project Director:Russ Manson, Director of the Computational Science Graduate Degree Program, or Monir Sharobeam, Coordinator of the Computational Science BS/MS Dual-degree ProgramContact Information:Manson: (609) 317-0438 or Russell.Manson@stockton.edu; Sharobeam: (609) 652-4732 or Monir.Sharobeam@stockton.edu, Website:http://intraweb.stockton.edu/eyos/page.cfm?siteID=14&pageID=118
Project Description:Stockton College designed and implemented an interdisciplinary five-year program (B.S./M.S.) in the emerging field of Computational Science (CPLS) with a stand-alone masters program introduced a few years later. A student entering the program acquires substantial knowledge in a traditional science discipline. This is augmented by training in computational mathematics, sophisticated modeling software, and programming expertise; the mastery of these skills allows the student to explore complex scientific problems that are beyond the scope of existing experimental and analytical approaches. The college dedicated faculty lines to the program. A high performance computing laboratory was also designed and built.
Objectives:
  • Provide education for students in an emerging frontier discipline of science and technology.
    • Evaluated through student and employer surveys.
     
  • Take full advantage of the college existing strengths.
    • Internal assessment.
     
  • Attract bright students at both levels: undergraduate and graduate.
    • Evaluated through student achievement metrics.
     
  • Take a leading role in the computational science community.
    • Evaluated though peer review and recognition.
Outcomes:
  • The program received the Undergraduate Computational Engineering and Science (UCES) award for curriculum development at Supercomputing '10.
  • The program won grants from NSF and the Department of Education (FIPSE) for approximately $450K; this was used for facilities development.
  • Undergraduate enrollment in the program has increased steadily since fall, 2007, up to 22 now. Graduate program began (spring, 2010) with a total course enrollment of 22 students. Currently graduate course enrollment is 49, an increase of 122% over three semesters.
  • Faculty have taken leading roles in educating other faculty through the National Computational Science Institute workshops.
Challenges/Problems Encountered:
  • Computational Science is so new that it is not known to high school guidance counselors as a major or to the general job market as a profession. This required educating involved parties and was done by presentations in high schools and local professional meetings, mailing brochures, and establishing strong ties with local industries.
  • College has limited funding. Grants were successfully acquired to fund computing needs and faculty.
  • The dual-degree curriculum is extensive and multidisciplinary and could be challenging to typical students. The college established a rewarding scholarship system to help attract bright students to the program.
Evaluation Approach:
  • Class enrollment: core undergraduate classes (11 to 25 students per class), graduate courses (total of 22 in two classes in spring 2010 and 49 in three classes in spring 2011).
  • Graduation: Two B.S. graduates in Fall 2010, three years after start of program.
  • Faculty outreach: involvement in computational science community and strong ties with FAA.
  • National award for curriculum development.
  • Assessment paper published in inaugural edition, Journal of Computational Science.
Potential for Replication:We do not see any additional adjustments required for replication of the success of this project elsewhere. Stockton is a learning community that encourages close working relationships between the stakeholders and minimizes barriers to college-wide collaboration; the determination, hard work and collaboration of all stakeholders in the project led to its success. Exciting ideas coming from the faculty are supported by the administration; we look forward to implementing new ideas in coming years.
Additional Resources:The graduate program: http://intraweb.stockton.edu/eyos/page.cfm?siteID=73&pageID=225 
CEO-to-CEO Contact:Herman J. Saatkamp Jr. , Presidentpresident@stockton.edu
(609) 652-4521
Date Published: Saturday, April 30, 2011