This laboratory performs pioneering research into polymer structure and dynamics using the full array of modern computational methods (Monte Carlo, molecular dynamics, Brownian dynamics, various numerical procedures for solving nonlinear differential equations, etc.). The current simulations deal with pattern recognition by macromolecules, complex fluids, frustrated liquid crystals by confinement, kinetics of phase separation in polymer systems, and dynamics of polyelectrolytes in topologically controlled media with external fields. The shift in computational focus, as localized access to powerful workstations superseded remote access to supercomputers, has resulted in this laboratory's acquisition of its own set of computers. This includes five Digital DEC Alpha stations, two Silicon Graphics workstations and one Digital DEC Alpha server, which is a high performance processing unit. This array allows detailed atomistic computations of specific polymers.
MRSEC funds a computer facility under the supervision of Dr. Andre Melcuk. Resources available to the PSE community include a computer lab for first year students, and a document room for printing needs. The first year students' lab can house up to 25 students and contains 11 computers, a network printer and a photocopier. The document room contains a large-format HP Deisgnjet 2500CP printer, an HP Laserjet 4550 color printer, 1 Mac and 1 PC, an assrotment of graphics and presentation software, scanners, a CD-RW drive, and basic video editing hardware and software. The large-format HP 2500CP printer can print on media up to 36" wide and is available for poster printing.
In addition to the maintaining the above equipment, the MRSEC-funded computer support staff (Andre Mel'cuk and Sefa Nkrumah) maintains the department's network, ensures the proper operation of the research equipment within the department and is available for technical support and computer-related special projects.
The facility has no instruments.