Careers in Computational Science
What can you do with a degree in Computational Science?
This is the most common question that members of the computational science department are asked. The modern discipline of computational science has its roots in physics. The need to precisely compute large quantities of data with very limited computational resources was essential in projects such as regeneration of ballistic tables for military use, the Apollo moon landings and space shuttle missions and the design of early integrated circuit chips.
This is still the case today. Computational science is heavily used in the engineering disciplines for design of aircraft, integrated circuits, construction equipment and aerospace structures. However, the need for computing has emerged into more diverse scientific areas such as biology (genetics and gene sequencing, design of new medications, biostatistics), chemistry (nanotechnology), environmental science (long term modeling of the effects of environmental hazards), geology (plate tectonics, sedimentation and erosion), meteorology (weather prediction). In addition, many of these areas need to be examined simultaneously in order to obtain more accurate models. The formation of geologic structures over the millennia requires the use of geology in addition to meteorology, environmental science and biology.
Finally, a more recent need for computational science has arisen in areas that might not traditionally be viewed as computing intensive. Some examples include the financial markets (modeling of the options and derivative markets, hedge fund analysis, portfolio optimization), physical education (kinesiology, biological physics), acoustics (modeling of automotive mufflers, movie theaters and auditoriums) and computer graphics (gaming, ray tracing and CGI rendering).
A degree in computational science provides a great deal of career options. The multidisciplinary training provided allows for a multi-level set of marketable skills that employers find appealing.
Career Placement of Graduates
Recent graduates have received job offers from companies such as
- The Boeing Company
- Lockheed Martin
- BAE Systems
- Paychex, Inc.
- Blue Cross and Blue Shield
- Johnson & Johnson
- LunchByte Systems, Inc.
- Braver Wealth Management
In addition, students opting to futher their studies have been accepted into
Ph.D. programs at the following institutions:
- Carnegie Mellon University
- Purdue University
- The University of Massachusetts Amhearst
- George Mason University
- The University of Rochester
- Binghamton University
- The New Jersey Institute of Technology
- Michigan Technological University
Here are some representative comments we have received from graduates regarding the preparation they received in our program.
- I wanted to study engineering, but I also was interested in math and computers. I was lucky to find exactly what I wanted in SUNY Brockport's computational science program.
Chad Tidd - BS 2001, ENS Officer, United States Navy
- The graduate computational science program gave me a chance to combine math, computer science and engineering in one program following my graduation from Penn State. Lockheed Martin advertised for a computer scientist, a mathematician and an engineer. After my interview, they said that they had found all three with me.
Ed Ovando - MS 2000, Optical Character Recognition Specialist, Lockheed Martin
- Boeing sent me an offer for a position as a Systems Support Engineer, based in Oklahoma City. They need people to design new systems on the Boeing E-3 AWACS, which is an airborne radar and control station used by the Air Force.
I also wanted to say that I canít begin to thank you for all your help over the years. I also thought you might like to know that the computational science major on my resume is what got me this job, and also what attracted the interest of my future boss. As he put it, he had about 100 applicants, and had to choose 4 for a phone interview. When he saw my major of computational science, he didnít recognize it and did a Google search on it. The things he read about our program and also our school instantly convinced him I would be worthy of at least a phone interview. From there I had a one week wait until I received their offer. Needless to say I was stunned, and also extremely grateful to have gone through the computational science program and to have had such excellent professors and role models.
Peter Burke - BS 2008, Systems Support Engineer, The Boeing Company
- I cannot begin to express the value of the computational science program at SUNY College at Brockport. In a group of five Senior Software Engineers in my department, there are four vacant positions. Computational science programs such as those at SUNY Brockport will be able to fill the ever expanding hiring gaps and provide the talent we need in scientific fields. I have met with George Mason University Computational Science program administrators and based on the experience I gained at SUNY Brockport, I should have no problems obtaining my Ph.D. in Computational Science.
Mike Bellor - BS, 2005, MS 2008, Senior Software Engineer, Lockheed Martin
- I'm in a computer science program. I've found my computational science background to be a great asset. In particular, the fact that I was exposed to numerical methods and some of the advanced algorithms that we did in computational science courses was really helpful. We hadn't done any parallel programming in CS courses, so having worked with MPI as part of the computational science curriculum was definitely a plus. I'm fairly sure that had I chosen to pursue a computational science graduate program, I would have been very well prepared. If I had to pinpoint what material was the most useful, I'd say it was CPS 303 and 404.
I also have great memories of the computational science program. It was a very collegiate department and I felt that the level of the course material to be very high quality. There was also a sense of community, which I thought encouraged people to do better and made discussion and collaboration easier. In short, I think computational science is awesome.
Borislava Simidchieva Ė BS 2007, Ph.D. Program, University of Massachusetts Amhearst
If you would like more information, please feel free to contact Dr. Leigh Little, Associate Professor and Chair, Department of Computational Science, by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at (585) 395-5283. You may also visit our Web site at
www.brockport.edu/cps or stop by our office at 129 Smith Hall.