Challenge to Science and Engineering Education using e-Science
Challenge to Science and Engineering Education using e-Science
  • Kim Yoonhee
  • 승인 2009.04.03 21:30
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Information technology has been impacting major aspects of our society in only a few years, creating a global post office, a global shopping mall, a global library, and a global university.  Scientific communities also began to build a new information infrastructure on top of the networks.  We called it as Cyberinfrastructure (CI).  The vision of CI is the development of a cultural community.  In science and engineering areas, CI has enriched diverse research activities and motivated research collaboration among scientists and engineers.  Recently, e-Science is defined as the large scale science that is increasingly carried out through distributed global collaborations and enabled by the internet.  Typically, a feature of such collaborative scientific enterprises is that they require access to very large data collections, very large scale computing resources and high performance visualization back to the individual user scientists.  By enabling scientists to access distributed databases, computing resources and instrumentation, new computing technologies are creating opportunities for faster, better of different collaborative research activities among diverse field.

e-Science is even beneficial to young scientists and students who want to experience new research issues and computing resources, which are remotely located and typically requires high cost to access them.  Let me explain with a case of aerospace engineering.  Aerospace engineering researches are system-intensive activities.  The design of those aerospace products requires the integration of aerodynamics, structure, propulsion, control, etc., on the basis of the sufficient research on each discipline with high performance computing resources such as supercomputers.  Thus, an aerospace engineering system should support both the full service on each discipline and a convenient collaboration system.  As you can guess from the explanation, the expense of building real systems for a set of simulations is quite high. Most relatively small universities would have some limitation to provide good simulation environments for students and encourage research collaboration among participants because of the expense of facility, even though the procedure is important for their study.  To extend education opportunities of real experiments, a CI for science and engineering has been discussed.

In advent of potential collaboration of CI in aerospace engineering, a number of virtual aerospace engineering research systems working on e-Science environments have been developed in many countries including UK, Germany and USA.  These works can be evaluated as pioneering researches in the application of e-Science to space technology and they depicted the blueprint of scientific and engineering infrastructure standards.  In Korea, e-AIRS (e-Science Aerospace Integrated Research System) has been developed as a product of Korean national e-Science projects. As the features, e-AIRS gives a balanced service between computational and experimental aerodynamics, along with integrated research process of these two research activities.  Also, all of these activities are conducted through the web portal which is open to the public.  The convenience of user interface and the full service on aerodynamic activities makes e-AIRS a good educational system as well as the research reference for representative aerospace engineering problems.  Currently, the system has been applied to classes and labs for undergraduates and graduates in several universities.  From many students’ comments after 2-3 week labs, the opportunities to education with e-Science has evaluated positively.  Many issues to be improved such as interfaces and diversity of examples are also found as well.

As you know, Sookmyung doesn’t provide any engineering programs, however, most fields including physics, chemistry, and biology need rich research environment with expensive facilities.  The vision of education with e-Science would provide better opportunities to encourage more students to study science and helps them to practice many applications skillfully with remote computing resources and have remote research collaboration with many scientists.  I hope that e-Science environment is deployed in Sookmyung near future.  

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