SMC-IT Student Workshop

Learn by doing computer modeling and numeric programming.

Ideas in science can rise and fall on the numbers - for example to confirm or deny a theory, we make numeric predictions and test them through experiments. Computers add a new dimension to this - beyond simple prediction we can create computer models of a system, and then test its behavior.

For example: a simple calculation of atmospheric friction with Earth's atmosphere tells you that it can be used to slow down a spacecraft from orbit, at least to speeds where parachutes or wings can be used for a soft landing. A computer model of the same situation tells you that if something like the space shuttle comes into the atmosphere nose first, small attitude deviations increase friction and temperature enough to destroy it, but if it comes down belly first (as it did), then the same small attitude changes can be safely used to control its course.

This workshop will showcase results of student work on Mars exploration ideas: how to land a payload on Mars, how could we use cubesats to study Mars.

Ideally work should include numeric computation or modeling sufficient to show that the idea may be feasible and may be worth continuing study. Due to limited time between now and the July 26 start date of SMC-IT, we will accept promising ideas that can be clearly expressed and justified by order of magnitude canculation.

Work should be turned in by email to - please include:
in the title

To help us schedule, please let us know your intentions as soon as possible. Submission of slides, abstract or other material should be done by email on or before July 19 2021r>

Questions, all workshop material to: