Since 1995, I have been involved with the promotion of physics research and education in developing countries. That includes a great many efforts, some of which involve the many mentorship programs that I enjoy. One of those mentorship endeavors had me working with physics students and faculties in Egypt, Turkey, Iran, India and Bangladesh to promote, expand and grow international diversity for science engineering students and post docs.
Recently, I taught an atomic astrophysics workshop at Cairo University in Egypt, with a computational aspect that used Ohio Supercomputer Center (OSC) resources. This was done under the Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) between The Ohio State University and Cairo University. The MOA covers the Colleges of Arts and Sciences and Engineering; it’s an MOA I initiated and coordinated years ago as part of my mentorship efforts.
As a longtime user of OSC’s resources, I’ve benefited a great deal from what they have to offer my research. However, many of my colleagues may not know how beneficial workshop accounts can be once you have them.
Not only are they easy to sign up for, but they also are readily available for large-scale workshops such as this one that I helped facilitate this past fall.
And the value of these workshops and the OSC resources is incredible.
The Cairo workshop was organized by Professor Lotfia El Nadi, of the physics department, and included three lectures each at two hours per week. The course was widely circulated on campus, as well as in other institutions, and more than 40 faculty members, researchers and students registered for the course. Computational workshops such as these are of great interest to this area because they enable students to embark on research projects. Even a faculty member from Amman University in Jordan registered, mainly for the computational workshops; unfortunately, she could not leave her teaching commitments and join us.
OSC provided all participants of the course with access to the computational workshops. Workshop attendees made atomic computations using two powerful programs, the packages of R-matrix codes and atomic structure code SUPERSTRUCTURE, both installed and in use at OSC since 1989. The course topics covered atomic physics, plasma physics, astrophysics, current research interests and how to use the codes for various atomic processes.
At the end of the course, participants took an exam on the lectures and use of the computer programs.
The Dean of the Faculty of Science of Cairo University, Professor Elsayed Fahim, provided certificates to participants and recognized me with the Shield of Faculty of Science of Cairo University and a certificate. Obviously, this was a nice honor to bring back to Ohio State. As another benefit, a few participants have started working on some projects with me.