SBU Students Bring Diversity to Computer Science Through BNL Program

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Stony Brook undergraduates were among a diverse group of high school, undergraduate, and graduate students who attended the Computational Science Initiative (CSI) at the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Brookhaven National Laboratory this past summer. CIS is part of an initiative aimed at enhancing diversity in the field of computer science.

SBU students at BNL

Stony Brook University students Shilpi Bhattacharyya (left), who is pursuing her doctorate in computer science, and Yaqi Zhang, who is pursuing her master’s degree in applied mathematics, performed research at Brookhaven Lab’s Computational Science Initiative this summer. (Photo: BNL)

“To address challenges in science, we need to bring together the best minds available,” said CSI Director Kerstin Kleese van Dam. “Great talents are rare but can be found among all groups, so we reach out to the broadest talent pools in search of our top researchers at every education level and career stage. In return, we offer them the opportunity to work on some of the most exciting problems with experts who are pushing the state of the art in computer science and applied mathematics.”

Stony Brook University undergraduatestudent Raffaele Miceli—a Science Undergraduate Laboratory Internships (SULI) program intern sponsored by the DOE Office of Science’s Office of Workforce Development for Teachers and Scientists (WDTS)—applied computer graphics to high-energy physics, including visualizing the potential energy of the Higgs field in beyond the Standard Model of particle physics and dark matter models. He was subsequently hired as a student assistant.

Four students joined a CSI team that is investigating methods and devices to perform computations on streaming data while they are in transit. Shilpi Bhattacharyya, a doctoral student in computer science at Stony Brook University, was hired as a student assistant to continue building a virtual environment for this “analysis on the wire” project.

“I think CSI is an awesome place for computer scientists,” said Bhattacharyya, who will continue contributing to the project as a research assistant. “I am more confident, disciplined, focused, and motivated because I got the real feel of a research environment here. Talent and hard work is valued at Brookhaven Lab. I never felt any different as a woman pursuing computer science. Gender does not come into the picture at all.”

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