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2011 AAPT Summer Meeting
July 30-August 3, 2011
Omaha, Nebraska

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GB02:

Research with Undergrads in Computational Molecular Biophysics: Successes and Challenges
  Location: HC 3028
  Date: Wednesday, Aug.3
  Time: 1:30 PM -2:00 PM
  Author: Patricia Soto, Creighton University
4029807310, PatriciaSoto@creighton.edu
  Co-Author(s): Trang Doan
  Abstract: The computational molecular biophysics group at Creighton University aims at deciphering the biophysics of pathological folding processes of proteins and peptides, a hallmark of neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's and prion diseases. To this end, high-performance computer (HPC) simulations are implemented in which the motion of individual protein and solvent atoms is mimicked by using techniques from classical statistical mechanics. The multidisciplinary nature of the research appeals to college students from diverse academic backgrounds, each student working on a project tailored to their interests and skills. Students are thus engaged for the very first time and have the opportunity to contribute to a project that utilizes scientific computing to tackle cutting-edge science questions. Remarkably, students build upon their computer literacy and develop enthusiasm in further exploring the HPC technology. A likely explanation of such attitudes is that students are challenged to interact actively with HPC resources and applications. The role as users the students develop empowers them and brings a whole new perspective on the potential use of computing in science, technology, and medicine.
  Footnotes: None
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