Alumni News

October 8, 2019 at 2:07 pm

Physics Alumnus Returns to Lead Workshop on Software Design

By Rachael Beardsley
NQPI Editorial Intern
Nanoscale and Quantum Phenomena Institute 2019 Fall Newsletter

Ohio University Nanoscale and Quantum Phenomena Institute hosted physics alumnus Dr. Greg Petersen, who lead a workshop on Aug. 5-7 for graduate and undergraduate students titled “Modern Software Design for Physicists” aimed at teaching modern design principles.

Participants were offered a general framework to develop codes as well as tools such as source control and object-oriented design to help them achieve their research goals faster.

Petersen, a senior engineer and algorithm specialist at TSI Inc., a company that creates high-end sensors for aerosol particle detection, pharmaceutical monitoring and other uses, showed students how to use these tools to manage, stabilize and extend their codes. These new strategies will help participants work more efficiently.

The workshop focused on design and architecture rather than syntax and concepts, as researchers are increasingly required to develop software systems for a variety of tasks. Petersen taught students to create a Monte Carlo Simulation application and discussed how to implement software that allows users to get to the end result faster.

“My hope is that this course will help the students to get to a final answer in their research faster and lead to more breakthroughs,” Petersen said.

Invited to OHIO by his dissertation adviser Dr. Nancy Sandler, Professor in Physics & Astronomy and NQPI member, Petersen pitched the workshop to his company as an opportunity to recruit interns or future employees.

“Greg’s workshop established a concrete connection between Ohio University and an international engineering and manufacturing company,” Sandler said. “We were thrilled to have Greg lead a workshop where physics and engineering students learned a general framework to write computer codes to advance their research. NQPI aims to bring alumni back on a regular basis to share their experiences in jobs outside academia, and this was a prime example of a successful collaboration between an industry representative and our Institute.”

The workshop, ‘Modern Software Design for Physicists’ was co-sponsored by the Nanoscale and Quantum Phenomena Institute and TSI, Inc.

Petersen earned a Ph.D. in Physics from the College of Arts & Sciences in 2014. Connect with Petersen on LinkedIn.


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