The Faculty of Sciences

Computational Sciences

Computational Sciences

Computers and associated algorithms, software and systems are ubiquitous in, and continue to make inroads into, all aspects of modern society. - Dr. FRANK EDUGHOM EKPAR

In the office, computers and associated software and systems are used to create, edit, store, print and exchange documents, create, process, store and exchange vast amounts of actionable business information using modern databases and related systems and to support virtually all business operations including general-purpose communications and electronic commerce.

The robots and other systems used in automated factories and processing facilities depend on computers for their operations.

Space exploration vehicles such as National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s (NASA’s) Sojourner, Spirit, Opportunity and Curiosity Mars Rovers leverage computers for communication and exchange of commands and science data.

On the social scene, computers, algorithms and software power social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and so on, used by billions of people around the world.

The Internet – based on computers, algorithms and software – facilitates efficient research through search engines like Google, information presentation through web browsers, information exchange through file transfers, electronic commerce, general-purpose communications, video conferencing permitting virtual meetings which constitute a critically important medium of communication in the face of pandemics such as the current corona virus crisis, and many other activities, including those yet to be invented.

Computers systems routinely assist doctors and other health professionals in the diagnosis of diseases and treatment planning and evaluation as well as the generation and maintenance of reliable medical records.

Drug discovery, testing, vaccine trials and critically important experiments in biological and health sciences are aided by the use of computers systems.

Governance – through electronic voting and information-based decision making – and population statistics are routinely enhanced through the use of computer systems.

With the advent of cloud computing allowing high performance computing resources to be requested on demand at reasonable cost and the increasing affordability of Internet connectivity, it is now practical for even small, resource-constrained teams and individuals working from remote parts of the world to carry out impactful research and make significant contributions to sustainable development. Schadt, E., Linderman, M., Sorenson, J. et al. [1] explain how modern information-driven biological research involving large amounts of data is enabled by computer systems, including cloud computing in Computational solutions to large-scale data management and analysis. (Schadt, E. et al., 2010) [1].

Artificial Intelligence (AI) systems (computational systems that perform tasks typically requiring human intelligence) are widely used in medical diagnosis, autonomous or self-driving vehicles, intelligent video surveillance, computer vision, brain-computer interfaces, speech recognition and natural language processing, personal assistants, a wide range of pattern recognition tasks including facial recognition and an ever increasing array of application domains. Aspects of the progress in AI has been enabled by advances in deep learning artificial neural networks – computational constructs modelled loosely on the human brain with multiple processing layers. LeCun, Y., Bengio, Y. & Hinton, G. [2] provide an overview of this topic in Deep learning. (LeCun, Y et al., 2015) [2].

Many exciting unsolved problems remain in the Computational Sciences. One of these is the creation of Artificial General Intelligence (AGI) allowing a computer system to exhibit the robust intelligence of a human being (or higher) thus permitting a wide range of mundane or hazardous tasks to be delegated to machines. Ben Goertzel et al. [3] lay out the issues concerning AGI in Ben Goertzel Cassio Pennachin (Eds.) Artificial General Intelligence (2007) [3]. Another unsolved problem is the creation of a practical brain-computer interface (BCI) permitting effective brain-to-brain communication.

This can provide unprecedented insights into human nature and psychology as well as allow those who are unable to communicate for a variety of medical reasons to do so. Frank E. Ekpar [4] introduced a nature-inspired signal processing system (Frank E. Ekpar, 2019) [4] that suggests practical ways to achieve brain-to-brain communication.

Quantum Computing holds out the promise of providing practical solutions to problems that would require an inordinate amount of computational resources and time to tackle using traditional computing. IBM and Google are some of the organizations investigating Quantum Computing. Google’s Sycamore quantum processor recently performed what is described as a record-breaking simulation of a chemical reaction (Google AI Quantum and Collaborators, 2020) [5].

These examples illustrate the ubiquity of computer systems and the primacy of Computational Sciences in the development of society.

Lecturers in the Department of Computational Sciences at Scholars University will carry out cutting edge research in these or other topics of interest, develop products and services and instruct and supervise students. Students can also receive instruction, carry out research in these or other topics of interest and develop products and services in collaboration with lecturers and/or through exchange programs between Scholars University and other universities.

Astronomical Sciences Longevity Studies

Reference

  1. Schadt, E., Linderman, M., Sorenson, J. et al. Computational solutions to large-scale data management and analysis. Nature Review Genetics, vol. 11, pp. 647-657. (2010).

  2. LeCun, Y., Bengio, Y. & Hinton, G. Deep learning. Nature 521, 436–444 (2015).

  3. Ben Goertzel Cassio Pennachin (Eds.) https://doi.org/10.1038/nature14539. Artificial General Intelligence (2007).

  4. Frank Edughom Ekpar, System for Nature-Inspired Signal Processing: Principles and Practice, European Journal of Electrical and Computer Engineering (EJECE), Vol. 3, No. 6, pp. 1-10, DOI: https://doi.org/10.24018/ejece.2019.3.6.154. (2019).

  5. Google AI Quantum and Collaborators: Rubin et al., Hartree-Fock on a superconducting qubit quantum computer, Science, Vol. 369, Issue 6507, pp. 1084-1089. (2020).