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SPIN-tern Daniel Gross invited to present at National Conference of Undergraduate Research

Daniel Gross is a CS + Chemistry major, and in just a few short months he will graduate into a new position developing software for trading algorithms at IMC Financial.

But before Daniel was moving on from college into the corporate world, he was in high school, and like many at that age, was unsure what he wanted to do with his life. However, he knew there was something that always stood out to him, something that he loved about computer science and chemistry.

“I started to realize that chemistry and computer science are both about problem solving,” said Daniel. It was in a computer science class that Daniel learned about NCSA’s SPIN internship, where he would be poised to take on a project that would address a real world problem in the field.

“I started working at NCSA with SPIN at the beginning of the summer, I got this abstract about for a project, then working through the problems, the design and the implementation. It was up to me,” said Daniel.

Gross’s work is on peer refinement method of finite meshes. He’s working with Dr. JaeHyuk Kwack, a research programmer in the Blue Waters Scientific and Applications Support Group, taking elements in the project and refining them to make higher accuracy for simulations.

But the project Daniel began working on almost a year ago was more complex than it originally seemed. “So I began writing this code to fix the problem, and a few weeks into it, I had to backup and start planning it out,” said Daniel.

Nevertheless, Daniel’s work is helping develop a faster and more accurate method for developing meshes. Daniel’s mentor, Dr. Kwack, anticipates using Daniel’s method as an internal tool that can be used to refine giant meshes, as opposed to slower, traditional tools.

When asked why Daniel chose this particular project, well, his response was simple: “When I read the abstract, I had no idea what it was, but it reminded me of past chemistry courses.”

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