Initial Publication Date: September 21, 2006

Carleton Interdisciplinary Computational Modeling Workshop

Friday evening April 21 and Saturday April 22

Sponsored by HHMI, CISMI, QuIRK, ITS, Sigma Xi, LTC, SERC, & Mellon Faculty Lifecycles

Facilitated by Bob Panoff of the National Computational Science Institute

Frustrated by cognitive psychologists findings that we can only hold 7 ± 2 thoughts in our heads at once? Interested in cross-disciplinary curricula? This workshop is for you, whether you're a social scientist, humanist, or scientist. Our goal is to provide an in-depth introduction to how computational modeling can be used across the curriculum to enrich student learning. All faculty members at Carleton are invited—regardless of your computer skills.

Complexity is a challenge across the disciplines, and modeling is an excellent way to help students discern patterns from large data sets and make predictions. You do not need to be computationally adept to take advantage of the many models and software packages (yes, even Excel) used to integrate modeling into your classes. Come find out what's available for you and your students, and engage in discussions with colleagues about how to creatively integrate some of these approaches into your own teaching.

Bob Panoff is nationally recognized for supporting faculty and students in finding simple solutions to dealing with complexity in order to enhance and expand their educational experience. Panoff is founder and Executive Director of The Shodor Education Foundation, Inc., and the National Computational Science Institute. He is a frequent presenter at NSF- sponsored workshops on visualization and computational modeling. He is a recipient of the Undergraduate Computational Science Education Award from the U.S. Department of Energy.

Participation reward: $200 stipend and, courtesy of Father FIPSE, each participant will be able to request a book or software package to further their modeling explorations.

Workshop at a glance:

Friday evening (April 21, 6-9 PM) - dinner and talk by Bob Panhoff on the role of interdisciplinary computational science in undergraduate education, including an explication of what modeling and computational (not computer) science are.

Saturday (April 22, 8:30 AM—4 PM) - continental breakfast and lunch are included. We will move among various venues—interactive work with modeling, brief presentations, and small group discussions leading to the development of an interdisciplinary problem that could be addressed with computational science tools, including existing models.

Local organizers*: Arjendu Pattanayak (, Susan Singer (, and Bill Titus ( Please e-mail us as soon as possible (no later than February 15) if you'd like to attend the April workshop or would like more information.

*We're planning to implement an interdisciplinary modeling course next fall and will be involved in an early and a late summer workshop. We invite anyone who is interested or becomes interested after our April workshop to join us in our summer activities.