For Lab Members

This page contains important information for current MEGL members, such as dates to remember, LaTeX templates and such.

Orientation– Date: January 28, 2022. Time: 10am ET Location: L106 Exploratory Hall and Zoom.

Mid-Semester Meeting – Date: March 11, 2022. Time: 10am ET. Location: L106 Exploratory Hall and Zoom.

Final Poster Session – Date: May 6, 2022. Time: 10-11am ET. Location: Exploratory 4208 and Zoom.

Final Symposium Date: May 6, 2022. Time: 2:30-5pm ET. Location: Exploratory 4106 and Zoom.

MEGL Seminar – Dates: February 11, 25 and April 1, 15, 29. Time: 10am – 10:30am ET. Location: L106 Exploratory Hall and Zoom.

The goal is to update the project description with a new paragraph and any cool visuals produced during the project, and also to archive any longer documents you’d like to have on the MEGL website. These could be useful for you should you look back at the project, or for future researchers continuing your work. You should, in particular, send us final versions of your poster and slides. 

  • Smart Scholarship. The Science, Mathematics, and Research for Transformation program supports students through graduate school, and provides them with employment after degree completion. The deadline is December 1st, 2021.
  • Ford Foundation Predoctoral Fellowship. This prestigious fellowship supports students through three years of graduate school, and is tailored for students that are underrepresented in the sciences. The deadline is December 16th.
  • NIH IRTA. The NIH Intramural Research Training Award supports recent college graduates that are seeking to work on one of the many projects that are being undertaken at the NIH.
  • NIH PREP. The NIH Postbaccalaureate Research Education Program supports students that are intending to complete biomedical research in the pursuit of a doctoral degree. The deadline is January 27th, 2022.
  • NSF GRFP. The NSF Graduate Research Fellowship is a prestigious program that fully funds students through their first three years of graduate school. The deadline is October 22nd 2021 for Mathematics.
  • Scientific Computing Workshops by Department of Mathematics. Every Friday 10 am – 11:30 pm.
  • Joint Mathematical Meetings 2022 at Seattle, Washington on Jan 5-8, 2022.
  • EDGE Program. The Edge program is for women entering or currently in their first year of graduate studies in mathematics. The deadline is February 1, 2022.
  • SUMS Conference. The SUMS conference is an undergraduate mathematics conference hosted by James Madison University. The deadline to submit a poster or talk is November 27th, 2021.

Lab Computers

The lab has five workstations. Lab members can log into Windows machines (on MESA) using their university credentials. To access the Unix machines in person or via VPN, contact the lab manager or director for login information.

  • Two Windows machines equipped for VR,
  • Two unix machines equipped for high-performance computing (one for GPU computing, and the other for high-RAM CPU computing),
  • One machine for presentations and 3D printing.

ARGO Cluster

The Argo Cluster is a High Performance compute cluster operated by the Office of Research Computing. MEGL is a contributor to the ARGO Cluster at Mason. MEGLers are encouraged to utilize this resource. 

  • Request an account by completing this form.
  • ORC will reach out to conduct a training. Once you complete the training, you will have access to ARGO. This training will include important information on how to submit jobs and all that you need to know to use the ARGO cluster.
  • You can learn how to login here. 
  • General ARGO information can be found here.

3D Printing in the Lab

The lab has two MakerBot 3D printers: the Method and the Z18. MEGLers are encouraged to design and print models related to their research and mathematical interests. We ask that if you print one for yourself, also print one for the lab so that we can showcase your work. Check out our Visualizations page for some examples of past MEGLer work.

  • Before you can print, you need an .stl file or other MakerBot compatible file. You can design an STL for printing using a wide range of software. You can learn about this process on the web or in the GMU Math synthesis course, MATH 401: Math through 3D Printing. You can also find an STL for free on Thingiverse.
  • Once you have a file for printing, you will need a MakerBot account to use our printers.  You can create an account here.
  • Armed with your MakerBot account and STL, log in to one of the windows machines in the lab. Open “MakerBot Print.” Log into your account.
  • Select your printer: MEGL Z18 or MEGL Method. We recommend the Z18 for larger prints, high volume of prints, or if you’re new to 3D printing.  The Z18 is much faster and still has great detail. The Method is great for small prints, delicate prints, and prints with many holes. The Method utilizes dissolvable filament so the clean up is easier, but it takes more time. 
  • Save your model as one of the supported file types. Click on the Folder symbol in the top left corner and then click Add Models in MakerBot Print and navigate to where the file is saved on your computer. It will then appear on the virtual build plate.
  • Once you have your model open in the virtual build plate you can change its orientation, scale it up or down, or even add another model to the virtual plate. See the section on Using MakerBot Print for more information.
  • You may also want to change some settings before printing. Click Print Settings and choose if you want to print with supports. You can also choose your print mode. See the section on advanced print settings for more information and other options.
  • When your model is set up the way you like it, click the Print button. MakerBot Print will slice your file and send it to your MakerBot Replicator. When prompted, press the control panel dial or select Start Print in MakerBot Print to confirm and start the print. Make sure the build plate is clear.
  • When your print finishes, wait for the Smart Extruder+/Smart Extruder to cool, then remove the build plate from the MakerBot Replicator. Remove the print from the build plate. If you printed your model with a raft, peel the raft off of the bottom of the print.

Reference: MakerBot

VR in the Lab

The lab has two VR head sets and the necessary software to run them. 

  • Coming soon!

This website

This website can be used to host project materials and apps developed by MEGL members. Contact the lab director if your team would like to upload something during the semester.

At the end of the semester, we upload a brief project report for each team. Instructions for the lab manager are as follows:

  • Every semester, we need to add a new project page to this website. First you will need a log in to the website. The lab director will provide you with log in credentials. To access the wordpress site, you need to be on a MESA computer or log in to the Mason VPN. Use the Mason IT guide to access the Mason VPN.
  • Next, go to to log in to the website. There will be a banner at the top with a plus sign and the option “New.” Hover over that and click “Page.”
  • Name the page appropriately, with the semester and year. The easiest thing to do is copy the format from the previous semester. Open an additional tab of the MEGL website. Click on any of the previous semesters. On the black banner at the top, click “Edit.” Copy the accordion and everything. Paste it in your new semester page.
  • Click the black gear in the top right corner to get to page settings. Under “Page Attributes,” change the Template to “Full Width Template.” Set the “Parent Page” to “Projects.”
  • Update each tab of the accordion with the appropriate project names. Fill in the tab with the project members and the relevant project descriptions.
  • You can alternatively rebuild the page by adding the appropriate blocks to the new webpage, but since WordPress works well with copy+paste, utilize it! The main blocks used are Accordion, Paragraph, Image, and File. Click “Publish” to make the page live.
  • Once you’re happy with the page, you need to add it to the menu. Go to the WordPress back end of the site by pressing the black W. Hover over “Appearance” and click “Menus.” Add the new page to the menu, and drag it to the appropriate place. Don’t forget to save changes! Periodically remove some of the tabs from the menu and add links to them on the “More” page. This is to prevent an enormously long menu option.
  • When you make any changes to the page, click the blue “Update” button to save your changes.