David W. Grumbine, Jr., Ph. D.
Office: DUPR W109 Phone: x2462
Schedule and Courses:
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Dr. Grumbine joined the St. Vincent College faculty in 2001 and is an Associate Professor of Physics. His research interests include non-linear phenomena, granular media, computational condensed matter physics, robotics, and rocketry.
Dr. Grumbine is currently involved in a theoretical study of the adsorption of monomers and dimers onto lattices of various geometries under low temperature, equilibrium conditions. Papers have recently been published in Langmuir, a journal of the American Chemical Society, and Physics Letters A.
This work entails numerical computation of the eigenvalues of large matrices with extremely large numbers. Most of Dr. Grumbine's work on this project has been the modification of the linear algebra packages LAPACK and ScaLAPACK for long double precision arithmetic (128-bit floating point numbers), associated code optimizations, and application of these packages to this particular problem in a large-scale multi-parallel processing environment. Current work involves modification of ScaLAPACK on three interconnected (Gbps ethernet) 4-processor Compaq Proliant servers to allow processing of matrices with more than 16 million 128-bit elements. After the initial software development and optimization, the code will be ported to the Bigben Computing System at the Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center (PSC), a Cray XT3 which is made up of 2068 nodes, each with two 2.6 GHz AMD Opteron processors and 2 Gb of memory. To facilitate code development and testing, Dr. Grumbine has set up computing clusters in the physics departments at both St. Vincent College and Villanova University.
He is also involved in research to determine how the friction interaction between grains in a granular media produce the varied structures observed within granular piles by way of avalanches. This effort is directed to determine a theoretical foundation for the angle of repose of granular piles and has an impact avalanche prediction capability as well as a general theory for the origin of 1/f noise. This research includes both experimental and computational aspects.
Dr. Grumbine is also interested in model rocketry. His primary interest in this field is aerial photography with model rockets: both still (film and digital) images as well as video broadcast live from inside the rocket. He developed the popular "It's Not Rocket Science" course for non-science majors which investigates the science behind rocketry with hands-on experience in model rocketry. He has also incorporated model rocketry into experiments performed in the Introduction to Physics and General Physics I laboratories at St. Vincent College as well as the Introduction to Physics and Junior/Senior advanced level laboratory courses and the 2000 Summer Science Program at Tougaloo College. In addition, he has supervised several groups of students doing research with the department's experimental hybrid rocket motor.