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Army Grant: Math

Principal Investigator: Dr. David Torres
Co-PI: Dr Claudia Aprea

Student Participants:

  • Summer 2010 - Fall 2012 Johnny Medrano
  • Summer 2011 - Fall 2012 Ruben Rivera
  • Summer 2011 - Fall 2012 Gregg Padilla
  • Summer 2010 - Fall 2010 Mario Trujillo (now at New Mexico Tech, Socorro)



Phase I (Summer 2010 - Spring 2011): In the Fall 2010 and Spring 2011, our efforts in the Army High Performance Computing Research Center (AHPCRC) grant were dedicated toward parallelizing our two-dimensional incompressible Navier-Stokes code. The code used the Marker and Cell (MAC) scheme of Harlow and Welch as described in their 1965 paper, “Numerical Calculation of Time-Dependent Viscous Incompressible Flow of Fluid with Free Surface.”  There were some obstacles that needed to be overcome for a successful parallelization of the code.  The sequence of steps used to parallelize the program is described below.

Phase II (Summer 2011 – Fall 2012): Ruben Rivera and Johnny Medrano have successfully parallelized a 3D version of a Marker-and-Cell discretization scheme using MPI. They have already successfully run a single processor simulation of 3D convection and won 3rd place at the Alliance for Minority Participation Student Conference in Las Cruces, NM in October 2011 for their oral presentation. Gregg Padilla, ran computer simulations in order to reproduce vortex shedding in fluid flowing around a bluff body. The computer program solves the Navier-Stokes equations to simulate the von Karman vortex street. He presented his first Oral Presentation at the same conference in Las Cruces.

Publications/Oral Presentations: Coming soon


Northern Engineering Students win poster award at the New Mexico AMP Student Research Conference at NMSU

Engineering students Johnny Medrano and Ruben Rivera recently tied for third place for their oral presentation at the New Mexico Alliance for Minority Participation (AMP) award conference at NMSU in Las Cruces. Funded by the National Science Foundation, MAP's purpose is the expand the enrollment and graduation rates of historically underrepresented groups in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, or STEM subjects.

At the conference, Medrano and Rivera presented their research on compressible fluid flow using gases. With the initial goal of writing code correctly for simulation of fluid behavior, the students first created a computer program to simulate airflow, running the program with one processor. However, their ultimate goal is to run the program with multiple processors and speed up the computation many times depending on the number of processors that are used with a parallel cluster, which Northern owns. They have been successful in running the 3D problem with two processors.

The two solved equations that predict the behavior of fluids, such as air or a gas, which are effected by various factors. The movement of air through a particular domain (e.g., heat flow through a room) is affected by temperature, density, pressure, and velocity. This research can be useful for measuring turbulence behind an object as it moves. Other practical applications include measuring aerodynamic properties, as in the movement of air around an object such as an airplane wing. During the previous summer, the two solved equations governing incompressible fluids like water and its movement around bridges.

Rivera and Medrano grew up in and near Española. Ruben Rivera, originally from Chimayo, attended Española Valley High School and is pursuing a Bachelors of Engineering in Information Technology. He plans to graduate from Northern in May of 2013. Johnny Medrano, who attended McCurdy, expects to earn his Bachelor of Engineering in Mechanical Engineering next May. Both gentlemen hope to stay in the area and work at LANL, but when asked if they would like to pursue advanced degrees, they answered in the affirmative. Their faculty mentor on the project, Dr. David Torres, explained that the grant funding for the students' research come from the Army High Performance Computing Research Center.

Sophomore Greg Padilla, who seeks a degree in Mechanical Engineering, also presented at the AMP conference.

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