WELCOME TO UB COMPUTATIONAL SCIENCES CLUB

UPCOMING EVENTS

Annual Symposium on Job and Career Perspectives for Students in the Computational Sciences

Presenters:
Dr. Robert Ashcraft (Samsung Research)
Dr. Jarod Younker (ExxonMobil)
Dr. Sarah Mostame (Intel)
Dr. Jon Dorando (Bloomberg)
Dr. László Ryan Seress (DE Shaw Group)

Date: April 13th (Friday), 2017
Time: 10:30 AM - 4:00 PM
Venue: 330 Student Union
Food: Networking lunch will be provided.

Symposium1
Symposium1

Description:
The goal of this mini-symposium is to address the questions of students who work (or plan to work) in the computational research groups at UB regarding their career prospects once they conclude their university education. Our speakers have typically conducted computational research during graduate school and then transitioned into employment outside the university domain. They share their experience of finding jobs coming from a computational background, their transition from academia to their new environment, and their thoughts on the computational R&D landscape in the industry. They report on the job situation in their chosen profession, give insights into the nature of their work, and talk about opportunities with their specific employers (we actually encourage speakers to use this event to promotion their company, their work, and, if applicable, as a recruiting opportunity). Each presentation is followed by an extensive Q&A session and we hold a joint panel discussion with all speakers at the end of the symposium. Students have the chance for personal conversations with the speakers during a light lunch.

The audience for this event is typically 2/3 graduate and 1/3 undergraduate students. A particular target audience are students at the stage where they try to decide if they should go into computational work. Another target audience are students who have already made that decision and want to figure out where to go from there, i.e. once they are released into the real world.

PAST EVENTS

Please contact us to get more details and materials related to previous events.
Relevant workshop files can be downloaded from our GitHub repository.

YouTube Link
Speaker: Professor Kenneth Regan
Date: April 2nd (Monday), 2018
Time: 2:00 PM - 4:00 PM
Venue: Davis Hall 338A
Food: YES!

chess_ML
chess_ML


Description: We describe a predictive analytic model of human move-choice at chess. The sole inputs are numerical values given by strong computer chess programs to all legal moves in millions of chess positions from competitive games by players of all levels. Whereas the game of Go did not have reliable numerical estimation of position value prior to DeepMind AlphaGo, chess programs pump out values at successive rounds of increasing depth of search that quickly surpass the estimation of all human players. The model has only two parameters describing the nature of a (human) player; the struggle to add a third will occupy some of the talk. The model's sole equation asserts that the ratio of the logarithms of the probabilities of of a given move m and the best move m* is given by a fixed function of the parameters and a certain scaling of the difference in value between m* and m. The equation is fitted by two levels of nonlinear regression. The outputs are projected probabilities for all moves m and both projections and confidence intervals for aggregate stats such as the percentage of agreements between a human player and the computer program and the numerical error judged by the latter when the former deviates. These yield z-scores for hypothesis tests which have been used in cases of alleged or confessed cheating by human players with computers in competitions sanctioned by the World Chess Federation (FIDE) and national federations.

The model and large data have yielded empirical regularities of human play. This talk will emphasize (1) how some of these regularities run so much counter to reasonable modeling expectations that they constitute examples of data-modeling pitfalls, and (2) the model's wide scope for cross-validation of statistical methods. Two of the pitfalls owe to quirks of the algorithms used by chess programs: stable sorting and search pruning. A third, discovered only this year, yields a hypothesis about deep complexity of games like Chess and Checkers that have frequent draw results versus those like Go and Shogi that do not. The model allows comparing many fitting methods, among which maximum-likelihood estimation has been consistently and demonstrably inferior. Its error bars are theoretical but some are based on assumptions that beg verification by empirical bootstrap methods. The issues will be framed in student-friendly discussion of statistical modeling and what your data means, including interpreting a regularity that allows skill to be inferred solely from moves on which the player made large mistakes.

Speaker: Vivek Singh
Date: October 12th (Thursday), 2017
Time: 1:30 PM - 2:30 PM
Venue: 206 Furnas Hall
Food: YES!
Description: We will be talking about the what, why and how of Bitcoin, give tips on how to get started with it and the underlying technology of Bitcoin. So join us to learn about the fanciest buzz word of 2017

MySQL

Speaker: Aditya Sonpal
Date: July 24th (Monday), 2017
Time: 1:00 PM - 2:00 PM
Venue: 206 Furnas Hall
Food: YES!
Description: Simple ways to incorporate basics of MySQL into developing web based apps using web frameworks will be touched upon with a working example.
NOTE: After the workshop, we will hold elections for club officers. The positions to be filled are President, Vice-president, Treasurer, and Secretary. Please check our club's constitution for more details. Feel free to contact us if you have any questions.

MySQL

Annual Symposium on Job and Career Perspectives for Students in the Computational Sciences

Presenters:
Dr. Romelia Salomón Ferrer (Pfizer)
Dr. Derek Stewart (Western Digital)
Dr. Eric Grzelak (OneSubsea)
Dr. Timothy Lee (NASA)
Dr. Jonathan Moore (Dow Chemical Co.)

Date: April 14th (Friday), 2017
Time: 10:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Venue: 330 Student Union
Food: Networking lunch will be provided.

Open to all UB students. No registration required.

Symposium
Symposium

Description:
The goal of this mini-symposium is to address the questions of students who work (or plan to work) in the computational research groups at UB regarding their career prospects once they conclude their university education. Our speakers have typically conducted computational research during graduate school and then transitioned into employment outside the university domain. They share their experience of finding jobs coming from a computational background, their transition from academia to their new environment, and their thoughts on the computational R&D landscape in the industry. They report on the job situation in their chosen profession, give insights into the nature of their work, and talk about opportunities with their specific employers (we actually encourage speakers to use this event to promotion their company, their work, and, if applicable, as a recruiting opportunity). Each presentation is followed by an extensive Q&A session and we hold a joint panel discussion with all speakers at the end of the symposium. Students have the chance for personal conversations with the speakers during a light lunch.

The audience for this event is typically 2/3 graduate and 1/3 undergraduate students. A particular target audience are students at the stage where they try to decide if they should go into computational work. Another target audience are students who have already made that decision and want to figure out where to go from there, i.e. once they are released into the real world.

Speaker: Atif Faiz
Date: March 2nd (Thursday), 2017
Time: 4:00 PM - 5:00 PM
Venue: 206 Furnas Hall
Food: YES!
Description: Pretty visualization of structural data generated from any molecular simulation engine. Making beautiful pictures to explain the molecular phenomena, creating videos from MD trajectories, and any other help with VMD will be discussed.

VMD

Brainstorming Session
Date: January 12th (Thursday), 2017
Time: 5:00 PM - 6:00 PM
Venue: 206 Furnas Hall
Food: Lots of it!
Description: An open discussion on the current challenges in the field of computational sciences and what to look forward in 2017. Please join this discussion and feel free to add your perspective, ideas and suggestions.

Brainstorm

Speaker: Krishnendu Ghosh
Date: November 4th (Friday), 2016
Time: 4:00 PM - 5:00 PM
Venue: 206 Furnas Hall
Food: Pizza and Drinks
Description: Parallel programming has perhaps become the most efficient tool in high performance computing. A very popular choice for that is the Message Passing Interface (MPI). In this workshop, starting from basic commands, I will go over some key aspects of MPI. The focus will be on speedup and memory issues. I will discuss ways to improve speedup and avoid aliasing in stochastic problems. Also, through worked out examples, I will illustrate the merits of MPI shared memory approach for codes that demand large memory.

MPI

Speaker: Ramachandran Subramanian
Date: September 21st (Wednesday), 2016
Time: 4:00 PM - 5:00 PM
Venue: 206 Furnas Hall
Food: Pizza
Description: AWK is a simple yet powerful programming language used for data processing, extraction and reporting. Some highlights/advantages include simple and compact nature of code to perform otherwise complicated operations, the relative ease of reading/writing code in AWK, not having to worry about the type of data we are working with, ease of handling multiple input files and many others. The aim of this workshop is to introduce the AWK programming language and showcase some examples/scenarios that highlight the true power and versatility of AWK. By the end of this workshop, you will be able to read and write scripts in AWK, perform basic data processing and extraction operations on your data files and more importantly identify problems that might be solved easier using AWK than Python (say). Hopefully, you will be intrigued to learn more about AWK on your own and appreciate the awesomeness that is AWK.

Awk

Speaker: Thomas Duignan and Alex Marchenko
Date: July 14th (Thursday), 2016
Time: 4:00 PM - 5:00 PM
Venue: 206 Furnas Hall
Food: Pizza
Description: Reproducibility is a hot-button issue in the computational sciences. A significant contributor to this issue is that workflows often focus only on what is reported, neglecting other details of a computation. Another contributor is the loss of relational information and the chain of command of data as it moves through a workflow. We propose a new python package called exa which leverages the python science data stack in a unified container that encompasses high-performance computation (pandas/numpy), database-quality data control (sqlalchemy), and direct visualization (traitlets/ipywidgets) inside the jupyter notebook. We apply this general purpose container to the field of computational chemistry in the package exatomic.
Join us as we demonstrate some of the basic functionality of exatomic in a workshop. Apart from showing you some nice visualizations, we aim to convince you of the following:

  • exa and exatomic are useful
  • it is easy to get started
  • development, contributions and ideas are welcome/li>
This is your opportunity to get in on the ground floor of what could be a useful package for the python/computational science community at large. Check us out at: Github Repo to learn more! Contact tjduigna@buffalo.edu or alexmarc@buffalo.edu if you want to get started or have any questions/issues with setup. Only limited time will be available for setup at the workshop.
Event Flyer

Exatomic

Speaker: Alex Foss
Date: June 1st (Wednesday), 2016
Time: 4:00 PM - 5:00 PM
Venue: 206 Furnas Hall
Food: Pizza
Description: Cluster analysis involves separating a data set into cohesive subgroups. This talk will address cluster analysis of combinations of continuous and categorical data. We will begin with an overview of the most common approaches (discretization, dummy coding, and Gower's distance) and their limitations, followed by an overview of superior methods that have emerged from computer science, machine learning, and statistics fields.
No background is necessary for this talk as I will introduce all concepts, but it will be most interesting to those with some familiarity with cluster analysis and some of the basic clustering algorithms such as k-means. For those interested, here are links to some brief background material introducing key concepts for the talk:

Clustering

Speaker: William Evangelista
Date: May 5th (Thursday), 2016
Time: 4:30 PM - 5:30 PM
Venue: 206 Furnas Hall
Food: Pizza
Description: An introduction and overview of C++ programming. Starting with the basic types and statements, and moving through derived types, namespaces, classes, operator overloading, templates, and class inheritance. We may or may not get through all of these topics depending on how fast we can move through them. This workshop is open to people of all skill levels though some programming experience will be helpful for understanding terms and concepts.

Cpp

2nd UB Symposium on Computation Science: An Industrial and Career Perspective

Presenters:
Marcus Hanwell, Kitware Inc.; previously Cryos Net Consultancy
Changwon Suh, Nexight Group; previously National Renewable Energy Laboratory
Alex Sodt, National Institute of Health; previously Q-Chern Inc.
Scott Wierzchowski, Shell Oil
Frederick Phelan, Jr., National Institute of Standards and Technology

Date: April 1st (Friday), 2016
Time: 10:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Venue: 330 Student Union
Food: Networking lunch will be provided.

Open to all UB students. No registration required.

Symposium
Symposium

Description:
The goal of this mini-symposium is to address the questions of students who work (or plan to work) in the computational research groups at UB regarding their career prospects once they conclude their university education. Our speakers have typically conducted computational research during graduate school and then transitioned into employment outside the university domain. They share their experience of finding jobs coming from a computational background, their transition from academia to their new environment, and their thoughts on the computational R&D landscape in the industry. They report on the job situation in their chosen profession, give insights into the nature of their work, and talk about opportunities with their specific employers (we actually encourage speakers to use this event to promotion their company, their work, and, if applicable, as a recruiting opportunity). Each presentation is followed by an extensive Q&A session and we hold a joint panel discussion with all speakers at the end of the symposium. Students have the chance for personal conversations with the speakers during a light lunch.

The audience for this event is typically 2/3 graduate and 1/3 undergraduate students. A particular target audience are students at the stage where they try to decide if they should go into computational work. Another target audience are students who have already made that decision and want to figure out where to go from there, i.e. once they are released into the real world.

The combined experience of previous speakers covers jobs at BASF, Bosch, Eastman Kodak, IBM, BigDataBio, Wiley, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.

Speaker: Adam Rall
Date: 02/04/2016
Time: 5:00-6:00 PM
Venue: 206 Furnas Hall
Food: Pizza
Description: Adam would present some fundamentals of programming in python and improvise on that depending on the audience requests. So, please do come up with any specific topics/examples you need help with. Adam would send an email before the workshop on how to setup the required python environment to work on.

Python

Speaker: Alex Marchenko
Date: 01/07/2016
Time: 4:00-5:00 PM
Venue: 206 Furnas Hall
Food: Pizza
Description: Alex will be giving an interactive workshop (lasting 1 hour) on using the Pydata stack (Python data analytics) to parse, process, and plot the radial distribution function (or pair correlation function) using data coming from a molecular dynamics simulation. Please take a look at https://github.com/alexvmarch/pandas_intro and clone it onto your laptop (to bring to the workshop). Please follow the instructions listed there to set up the necessary environment.

Pandas

Speaker: William Evangelista
Date: 12/03/2015
Time: 5:00-6:00 PM
Venue: 206 Furnas Hall
Food: Pizza
Description: An introduction and overview of the basics of Git functionality, including setting up a repo, making commits, branches, and how to fix things when something inevitably goes wrong. Following the brief presentation there will be a hands on walk through going through the process of setting up a repo, and showing how some of the commands work. Remember to bring your laptop to participate in the walk through.

Git

Speaker: Ramachandran Subramanian
Date: 11/13/2015
Time: 4:30-5:20 PM
Venue: 206 Furnas Hall
Note: Ram's poster (made in Latex) won the best poster award at CBE symposium.

LaTeX