BEAUFORT, SC (WTOC) - Students at the University of South Carolina Beaufort were hard at work in the classroom Wednesday afternoon, learning cutting edge skills with many working towards a degree in Computational Science. It is a new degree program that could open the door to advancements in a number of fields.
"If you think of fine arts, one application computation science is the science of animation," said Dr. Charles Keith, Chairman of the Science and Math Department at USCB. "In business, massive amounts of data that can't be done by hand, computers give you the working powered to be able to analyze that. In Biology, Gionomics."
"Essentially what you're doing is taking a computer and allowing it to assist you in solving complex problems that would take an individual, hundreds, if not thousand of years to solve," said Brian McClure, student.
USCB is now one of few in the nation that are offering this undergraduate program, giving many students a leg up.
"I would have to go further away to get some type of degree of this nature and that's not practical since I live and work here, so yes it's a great opportunity," said Greg Wright, student.
This program is going to open a lot of doors for Brian McClure as well. "I'd have to wait until I completed my undergraduate degree before I could enter into the job field," said McClure. "This will allow me to enter in the job field while I'm doing my graduate degree program."
He's hoping what he's learning in the classroom will pay off in the future.
"Ultimately I'd like to end up in the space program somewhere and the computational science will allow me to help companies like NASA or other space exploration companies, allow them to use computational science to solve problems," said McClure.
University officials say there are many companies regionally where these skills are needed.
"Carecore is an obvious place our students could do well. Gulf Stream in Savannah is another obvious and Boeing who's coming into Charleston. We're producing the students that have the skill set they need in their businesses," said Dr. Keith.
Funding for the new Computational Science degree program came from the National Science Foundation as part of a statewide award to enhance research and research infrastructure.