Grant from National Science Foundation advancing chemistry research

A grant of $400,400 has been awarded to a program of the Midwestern Undergraduate Computational Chemistry Consortium (MU3C), of which Ripon College is a part. The National Science Foundation Office of Advanced Cyberinfrastructure and Chemistry divisions awarded the grant through its Major Research Instrumentation Program.

Joe Scanlon, associate professor of chemistry at Ripon and a member of the MU3C, said the last similar grant was received nine years ago, but computing has changed so much in the past decade that an update will make a large difference in the speed of their calculations as well as in their ability to pursue larger and more ambitious projects.

“This grant will allow Ripon College students to run calculations faster as well as attempt more ambitious projects than what has been done before,” Scanlon says. “Students will have access to more graphical processor units which will speed up some calculations by an order of magnitude. It will especially help students when they use the computing cluster in classes.”

MU3C includes about 20 faculty members from 16 primarily undergraduate institutions.

Scanlon enjoys being able to work closely with students, one-on-one or in small groups, to solve problems or perform research that is difficult and will push the student to understand new things. These types of projects will be supported by the computing cluster additions. Scanlon says the increased supercomputing capabilities will enhance his research as well as that of his students.

(Photo: Associate Professor of Chemistry Joe Scanlon, center, assists students Sam Foss ’20 and Julia Lilly ’20 on a project in Farr Hall of Science during the summer of 2019.)


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