Fund for Advancing Computational Technology

Advancing Physics & Astronomy teaching and research for students and faculty

physics lab

In January 2016, the TEAL (Technology Enabled Active Learning) Classroom was dedicated. By mid-semester, this versatile, team-based learning classroom was up and running. Made possible through the generosity of Physics & Astronomy student and university benefactor Samuel L. Lord, the TEAL Classroom allows professors to apply new teaching methodologies with cutting-edge technology in a beautiful, aesthetically pleasing space. To have a look, visit the Physics & Astronomy Department home page.

While the TEAL classroom will provide the infrastructure for new physics and astronomy pedagogies, Mr. Lord is also very interested in the department's computational capacity—and he is committed to helping the Department acquire a dedicated computing cluster. With increased computational capacity, UofL's physics and astronomy researchers (both professors and students) will more easily be able to participate in computer-aided research areas of physics, astronomy, and atmospheric sciences, to submit more competitive grants that will deepen research productivity, and to attract highly qualified faculty, graduate students, and undergraduates.

In offering to match your giving 1:1, Mr. Lord is committed to providing a robust computational technology to enable faculty and students to do much more extensive original research—research with the potential to unlock cleaner energy, bring greater accuracy to predicting major weather events, and advance the frontiers of nanotechnology.

To maximize the use of the acoustically and aesthetically well-designed TEAL classroom outside of instructional time, it will also serve as a computational lab for faculty and student researchers. The UNIX core of each Mac Mini will easily connect to a LINUX server. Affirming the importance of positioning UofL's College of Arts and Sciences competitively in this arena, the University is providing the generous gift-in-kind of temperature-controlled space and an uninterrupted power supply (UPS) for the computing cluster.

Your gift, matched 1:1 and combined with a portion of Sam's original gift, will facilitate the purchase of a research computing cluster with sufficiently large data-storage capacity, computational power (GPU processors), and a fast network connection required for realistic simulations of nanoscale materials and materials genomics research, modeling of different regions of the atmosphere, and big data research in astronomy and high energy physics.

Configured for the specific application and software needs of the Department's physicists, astronomers, and atmospheric scientists, this computing cluster will enable researchers in all areas of the Department to contribute more effectively in big-data research, the primary focus of the National Science Foundation. Acquiring this dedicated research computing cluster will level the playing ground for UofL researchers and they can start competing with peer institutions (e.g., Ohio State University, U. of Pittsburgh, University of Illinois, etc.) that have access to powerful supercomputers on cutting-edge research and procuring extramural grants.