Alaska Research Summer Challenge Interns Conclude Three Months of Development

Arctic Region Supercomputing Center August 9, 2005

Alaska Research Summer Challenge Interns Conclude Three Months of Development


Theresa Turner ’s response to her first encounter with FORTRAN code was not what she expected.

“I screamed,” she says. “I didn’t think there was anyone in the world who could read this.” The determined Mathematics and Computer Science student from University of South Carolina-Aiken had been an Arctic Region Supercomputing Center Intern for only one day.

Rather than giving up, Turner pursued the challenge and found out that the code had been garbled by the application – no one in the world could read this code the way it was presented. “Once the code was restored to a readable format, I knew I at least had a chance,” she says.

After establishing a working knowledge of four programming languages in a matter of weeks, she enhanced the run speed of a visualization program used by her to study tundra frost boil conditions.

Theresa is just one of 12 interns at ARSC participating in the Alaska Research Summer Challenge,sponsored by the National Science Foundation. The Alaska Research Summer Challenge has been built around creating opportunities to promote research skills in the interns, while offering them access to a state-of-the-art supercomputing facility, encouraging professional growth and giving them experience with advanced computer science applications in a real world environment.

The program was designed to challenge the interns with high expectations for their contributions to scientific investigations. In addition to pushing themselves in a technical programming environment, the interns have had abundant opportunity for adventures in the midnight sun. From trips to the Brooks Range to camping on glaciers in Denali, the interns have experienced one of the most beautiful landscapes in America – interior Alaska in the summer time.

Theresa says the biggest challenge for her will be getting on the plane back to South Carolina. “I feel like I’m home right now,” she says. “I have four months to graduate, and I’m looking for work in Alaska. This place feels like home.”

Each of the twelve interns has a story to share about the accelerated challenges that they faced and conquered to develop skills necessary for academic and professional goals for the future. The interns will be available to talk about their experiences until August 18. For appointment or more information contact:

Jenn Wagaman, ARSC Public Affairs Coordinator, (907) 450-8662, The interns are:

Christian Servin from University of Texas at El Paso; Jesus Corral from University of Texas at El Paso;Cory Mohn for Northland College, Wisconsin;Michael Bauer from New Mexico Mining and Technology; Reese Stoltzfus from Grinnell College, Iowa; Henry Kozachkov from New York University;Zachary Marlow from North Carolina State University; Teresa Guan from Arizona State University; Joel McEwen from Texas Southern University; Huynh Nguyen from Mississippi State University; and Luis Perez from University of Texas at El Paso.

Arctic Region Supercomputing Center PO Box 756020, Fairbanks, AK 99775 | voice: 907-450-8600 | email:

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