MSI PI Jonathan Foley, Director of the Institute on the Environment, has been profiled by Time magazine in an article that appears on their website. The article discusses Foley’s research into the problem of how to maintain food production while at the same time avoiding damage to the environment. Professor Foley and his research group have been using MSI in order to run computer models of the impact of land-use change in the southern Amazon region of South America.

MSI PI Martin Saar (Earth Sciences), MSI Fellow Thomas Kuehn (Mechanical Engineering), and postdoctoral fellow Jimmy Randolph have invented a process by which carbon dioxide can be used as a renewable, green power source. The process, called the CO2-plume geothermal (CPG) system, shows great promise in computer models. The U has applied for international patents; testing should begin next year. You can read more in “Clean energy from CO2?” on the UMNews website.

MSI PI Anindya Bagchi (Genetics, Cell Biology, and Genetics and Masonic Cancer Center) is highlighted in a story by the Minnesota Medical Foundation about research that may one day lead to a cure for type 1 diabetes. In diabetes, insulin-making cells in the pancreas die. Along with University researcher Mari Firpo (Stem Cell Institute and Schulze Diabetes Institute), Professor Bagchi is investigating how cell death happens and how it can be stopped. 

The Virtual School of Computational Science and Engineering (VSCSE), a national virtual education organization partially funded by the Great Lakes Consortium for Petascale Computation, is offering three courses during Summer 2012. These courses, which include instruction in programming for many-core processors and heterogeneous systems and leveraging cloud systems, are designed for graduate and doctoral students from all disciplines. The courses are held at locations throughout the country. The registration cost is $100.


The courses are:

- Programming Heterogeneous Parallel Computing Systems, July 10-13
- Science Cloud Summer School, July 30 – August 3
- Proven Algorithmic Techniques for Many-Core Processors, August 13-17


Complete descriptions of the courses and a list of the locations at which they will be offered are shown at the course links provided above. Interested students can register at the VSCSE’s Membership Hub.


An article about Professor David Blank (MSI Associate Fellow; Chemistry) on the College of Science and Engineering’s website highlights his outstanding teaching and his methods of inspiring his students to their best efforts. His teaching methods include his promise to do pushups if a student catches him in an error on the blackboard. Professor Blank studies thermodynamics and quantum mechanics. His research group uses MSI resources to simulate the nonlinear optical observables associated with their experimental work.