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Southeastern High-Performance Computing students present at TORUS Conference

February 27, 2024

Seven students from Southeastern Oklahoma State University recently attended the 16th Annual Texas Oklahoma Regional Undergraduate Symposium (TORUS) at Southern Nazarene University. These mathematics and computer science students participated in a multi-faceted conference, with a pair of students presenting to the conference on the research which leveraged the resources of Southeastern’s supercomputer Cumulonimbus.

Southeastern mathematics professor Dr. Karl Frinkle and retired computer science faculty member Dr. Mike Morris have been teaching courses on supercomputing since receiving a grant for the construction of the Cumulonimbus computing systems.

Frinkle, Morris, and students have been doing a study on the Collatz conjecture for over two years. Senior computer science majors Madison Gordon and John Eskue presented on the group’s work and progress on the yet-to-be proven mathematical problem.  The work requires the use of a supercomputer, and the upgraded Cumulonimbus has been well used in this endeavor.

Over the last year, Madison and John have helped write, analyze, and run code.  Altogether, the team has used over 550 years of CPU time to further their research.  Of note, the team found a streak of integers over 137 billion long, all of which had the same Collatz height.  This feat required over a quadrillion steps in the Collatz sequence and took nearly a week to compute.

While the Collatz conjecture has long been unprovable, the mathematics and computer science programs at Southeastern will continue their work to better understand computing processes and techniques that may one day find the answer.