A minimum of 5 postgraduate and graduate students from each of the institutions listed below (10 from Caltech) will take part in the workshop. A brief statement from each of the participants' regional organizers is presented below. Biosketches of the committee members are enclosed. Others, such as the PI and two Co-PI's appears in the usual sections under Fastlane.
(Dr. Andres Jaramillo-Botero - Pontificia Universidad Javeriana - Cali) Colombia's effort around nanoscale science and engineering has been limited to a few individual efforts. In spite of this, interest and scientific contributions stemmed from these efforts have caught new advocates at the academic and industrial levels and are growing rapidly. Until now, work on the subject has concentrated mainly on theoretical aspects derived from quantum physics, quantum chemistry, molecular biology (bioinformatics, DNA engineering, protein structure and function), materials science (epitaxial growth, thin-films), dynamics (molecular design simple nanodevices) and computer science (large-scale, long-term molecular modeling and simulation, algorithmic complexity, and recently on quantum computation/information theory). Experimental groups, from classical fields, are slowly turning their heads to related subjects or emerging, unfortunately with scarce resources and limited fundamental knowledge (first principles) to confront theory with experiment. Research at the nanoscale is naturally multi-disciplinary, furthermore, it requires the participation of worldwide effort in order to advance its development.
Attending participants will have an opportunity to contribute in the solution to still open problems and to learn about nanoscale systems from the perspectives of many different fields -- mathematics, science and engineering -- and to meet a diverse group of people providing a unique opportunity to form new collaborations or reaffirm existing ones. This cross-pollination between disciplines will prove a major asset when developing new ideas towards nanotechnology, in particular for developing countries given that the number of researchers in academia is low, as compared to technologically developed countries, and hence peers within a single field are limited. Furthermore, participants will have a chance to disseminate their acquired knowledge and augment interactions, in pertinent subjects, with other scientists around Colombia and Latin America. This will indeed promote teaching, training and learning of the fundamental subjects entailing the field on a wider scale within our country. Dr. Jaramillo will be lecturing on advanced topics in nanotechnolgy, new massively parallel molecular dynamics algorithms, as well as conduct a mini- workshop on how to build a custom Beowulf computer cluster.
(Dr. Carlos Lira) Dr. Carlos Lira, Associate Professor at Universidad Autonoma de Mexico (UNAM) is the regional PASI co-organizer for Mexico. Dr. Lira is also the Director of Molecular Engineering Division of the Instituto Mexicano del Petroleo (IMP). A second continget, under Dr. Lira's coordination also, is a group of scientist from Universidad Autonoma Metropolitana (UAM),Iztapalapa, Mexico City.
This workshop would be useful to PhD candidates from UNAM (Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México) who are currently serving an internship at the IMP. These students work in close collaboration with the Molecular Engineering Division at IMP. In this Division most projects deal with the study of several phenomena associated with hydrocarbon phase behavior, physical properties of crude oils, phase separations and different physicochemical phenomena in crude oil fluids. In that sense, a number of molecular simulation techniques such as Monte Carlo (MC), Molecular Dynamics (MD), Brownian Dynamics (BD), and Molecular Mechanics (MM) are frequently used for representing such behavior in model systems. While many computer codes have been developed in-house, a significant number of programs utilized at IMP are of the commercial kind and thus prevent a full-knowledge of the theoretical/numerical approximations being used. In this regard, the training aspects of the PASI workshop would improve the background of our proposed students to better judge simulation results and even propose improvements over existing simulations. That, in turn, strengthens the profile and empowers the ability of our research group at the IMP and the PhD candidates from UNAM. Finally, having a molecular- simulation-trained individual in our group will broaden the possibilities of the UNAM group to solve problems related to heavy oil production and processing in the oil industry, a problem of critical importance to México.
The Division of Basic Sciences of the Universidad Autonoma Metropolitana-Iztapalapa has several research groups that are involved in Computational Chemistry. Prof. Nikola Batina adjunct Prof. Marcelo Galvan-Espinoza from UAM will attend the workshop. Dr. Batina is an experimentalist with emphasis on surface characterization by STM, SEM, and AFM. Dr. Galvan-Espinoza is a computational chemist and the UAM faculty coordinator and one of the PASI lecturers (biological simulations). In addition to Dr. Batina and Dr. Galvan-Espinoza 3 PhD students from UAM will be attending. Their research topics include Classical Molecular Dynamics, Quantum Chemistry, and Quantum Dynamics. All of them are linked to a Supercomputer Laboratory. In addition, there are experimental groups in materials sciences, in catalysis and in electrochemistry. Dr. Galvan-Espinoza remarks that "to build a bridge between these two types of academic bodies, it is important to improve the computational chemists skills in treating nano-scale systems. The acquisition of such capabilities will increase the possibility of interdisciplinary research, a major priority at UAM. Furthermore, interdisciplinary research requires not only intra-institutional but also inter-institutional cooperation. The workshop will enhance the skills of PhD students and faculty in Computational Nanotechnology and Molecular Engineering, allowing UAM to push for the opening of a special program in these fields. Also it could help to increase the cooperation of UAM groups with others in a Pan-American context."
(Dr. Adrian Francisco Gil) The chemistry curriculum at Universidad del Valle de Guatemala actually does not includes nanotechnology and related areas. However, the progress of nanotechnology in recent years and the wide range of possible applications in the future make it an important subject to cover in order to prepare our students for the world they may face soon. It becomes especially important because many of our chemistry students perform graduate studies abroad, a number of them in the USA and some in Europe, where they may be enrolled in nanothechnology-related research. Thus, the chemistry curriculum at UVG is designed to give the student a good fundamental academic background, but also to give the students a general vision of what the modern trends in science are. For this reason the curriculum includes several specialized courses, which the student may take in accordance to their interests. "Our main interest in attending the workshop is to acquire the basic knowledge of the fundamentals of nano-technology in order to find new lines of research and collaboration with fellow researchers and institutions in the USA. It is very important to emphasize that we would be able to do some computational work in nanotechnology due the widespread availability of computers and online communications. In addition, the Chemistry curriculum in our University would benefit from the concepts, techniques and seminal ideas obtained in this workshop", remarks Dr. Adrian Gil.
Members of the senior staff of the Materials and Process Simulations (MSC) at Caltech as well as up to 10 Caltech postdoctoral scholars and graduate students will participate in the workshop. These require no additional accommodations. In addition 2 lecturers and 5 students from San Francisco State University (SFSU) will attend the full duration of the workshop in Pasadena, CA.