Computational Astrobiology Summer Symposium 2011 (CASS 2011)
Application closed

If you are involved with innovative graduate level computer science or engineering that would be strengthened by application to real-world science problems, then this is a perfect opportunity to broaden your horizons…

The University of Hawaii NASA Astrobiology Institute (UHNAI) will host the invitation-only Computational Astrobiology Summer Symposium (CASS) from August 1-12, 2011. This is an excellent opportunity for graduate students in computer science and related areas to expand their knowledge of astrobiology by applying their computational skills in substantial projects that solve the real-world challenges faced by astrobiology research scientists.

The two-week on-site part of the program will be an intensive survey of the field of astrobiology. NASA Astrobiology Institute (NAI) scientists will present their work, and the group will discuss ways in which computational tools (e.g. models, simulations, data processing applications, sensor networks, etc.) could improve astrobiology research. Also during this time, participants will define their projects, with the help of the participating NAI researchers. Suitable projects are significant team or individual programming efforts that result in useful tools for astrobiology research.

On returning to their home institutions, participants will begin work on their projects, under the supervision of a mentor, with appropriate input from the astrobiologist(s). The amount of time required to complete a project will vary, but the effort should be roughly equivalent to a one semester, three credit-hour course. Indeed, we anticipate that most participants will arrange to earn credit for their project at their home institution. When the projects are completed, participants are expected to submit a poster to an astrobiology-related conference (some travel support available).

Participants will typically be graduate students in computer science or a related field, with a strong interest in astrobiology. Students who are currently in a field unrelated to computer science may also participate, but must be comfortable using at least one programming language, and must have completed at least one significant programming project in the past. Only the most qualified applicants will be invited to participate. Students who are enrolled at one of the NAI Team institutions (see for a list) are particularly encouraged to apply. Each participant must also have a commitment from a faculty member at their home institution to supervise their project for at least one semester following CASS.

Participant Support
CASS is free for invited participants, and accommodation (double occupancy; single occupancy at additional cost) will be provided. However, participants are responsible for their own travel, food and other expenses. Some travel funding may be available for the top applicants. Participants are strongly encouraged to seek funding from their home institutions and/or other sources.

How to Apply (Application closed)

If you have any questions, please contact Kim Binsted by email (