Scientific Computing

Collaborative Specialization

Meet Venkat Bala, PhD candidate in Scientific Computing

“The research opportunities and facilities offered within this program are second to none.”

Supervisor: Alex Buchel

Describe your research.
I am studying the dynamics of long polymer chains in fluids close to surfaces using computer simulations. Such a study will aid in better understanding of proteins in our circulatory systems interacting with blood vessel walls. My work involves using HPC tools (software+hardware) for running massively parallel molecular dynamic simulations and post processing the results to extract scientific information.

Where’s your favourite place on campus?
My office, as well as the graduate study rooms in Weldon Library, for their quiet atmosphere that allow me to completely focus on my work.

What is it about your grad program that enables you to thrive and be successful?
The program offers freedom and flexibility to think and address research problems in novel ways, as well as state of the art computing tools for performing quality and high impact research.

What are you most passionate about?
Programming, being involved in open source projects and always learning new things via online courses, literature, as well as experiential learning.

A Collaborative Specialization is an intra-university graduate field of study that provides an additional multidisciplinary experience for students enrolled in and completing the degree requirements for one of a number of approved Master’s and/or PhD programs. Students meet the admission requirements of, and register in, the participating (or “home”) program but complete, in addition to the degree requirements of that program, the additional requirements specified by the Collaborative Specialization. The degree conferred is that of the home program, and the completion of the Collaborative Specialization is indicated by a transcript notation indicating the additional specialization that has been attained (e.g., PhD in Applied Mathematics with specialization in Scientific Computing).

Program Length

  • Variable

Program Design

  • Full-time or part-time study
  • Thesis-based, course-based or project-based

Funding Information

  • The Collaborative Specialization does not provide additional funding beyond what the student receives through their home department.

Tuition and Fees

Tuition and fee schedules (per term) are posted on the Office of the Registrar's website at

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Admission Requirements

  • Current enrolment in a participating graduate program at Western University.
  • Permission of home department supervisor to participate in the Collaborative Specialization.
  • Supervisor must be an associated faculty member or be willing to become associated with the specialization.