Computational Sciences Institute

Thomas Beck

Computational Science (CSci) is an emerging interdisciplinary field that uses computer simulation to solve problems in scientific and engineering disciplines. It is recognized by nearly all national scientific societies as a third way of advancing knowledge coequal with the traditional methods of theory and experimentation. In-silico simulations and modeling afford the opportunity to "see" the unattainable phenomena that are too small (atoms and molecules), too large (galaxies and the universe), too fast (photosynthesis), too slow (geological processes), too dynamic (urban systems and climate), too complex (automobile engines), or too dangerous (toxic materials).

As such, CSci allows researchers in the physical, biological, geographical, geological and engineering sciences to visualize complex phenomena, to explore solutions to challenging problems, and to understand the vast amount of data produced through scientific experiments, medical records, and instrumentation. The UC CSci Institute is an initiative in interdisciplinary research and education. The main goals of the Institute are (1) to be an interdisciplinary research center for computational sciences and (2) to be an education center for future generations of researchers equipped with critical skills needed to conduct research in tomorrow's environment.

Current Chemistry Department members of the UC CSci Institute are Professors Thomas Beck, Ruxandra Dima and George Stan. Ongoing research in our groups involves studies of biological ion channels, the modeling of mechanical proteins, and protein folding and transport in constrained environments. We have ongoing collaborations with researchers in the UC medical school, the Departments of Mathematics and Physics, and individuals at other institutions.