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June 1997

NCAR, CSU host high school computer scientists

Secondary school students from across Colorado displayed their expertise at the Colorado Computational Science Fair on Saturday, 10 May, at the Mesa Lab. Budding scientists from Wheat Ridge High School, Cheraw High, William J. Palmer High in Colorado Springs, George Washington High in Denver, and Horizon High in Brighton took first-place prizes. The fair, cohosted by Colorado State University (CSU) and NCAR, was funded by the National Science Foundation and the U.S. Department of Energy.

Each of the 40 projects submitted for judging fell into one of two areas: computational science, where students use computers to solve science problems, or information technology, such as applications for the World Wide Web. The computational science category was further divided into three levels: students enrolled in Algebra I were in Level One, students who had completed Algebra I but had not taken calculus were in Level Two, and students enrolled in calculus or beyond were in Level Three. The 70 participating students represented ten state high schools. Colorado laboratories, computer industries, and universities provided the 13 judges.

Greg McArthur (right) meets with CCSF participants. (Photo by Carlye Calvin.)

At the awards ceremony, keynote speaker Gary Johnson, a professor of computer science at George Mason University, discussed "Disaster Modeling and Mitigation: A New Direction for Computational Science." In addition, CSU graduate students Kumi Suzuki and Angela Earnhart spoke about "Two-Phase Groundwater Flow" and "Visualization of the Multigrid Method" and showed videos of their work.

Two of the first-place projects will participate in the Adventures in Supercomputing (AiS) 1997 National Exposition in Washington, D.C., 22-24 June. They are: "Orbital Stability in Relation to Fractal Dimension," by Twila Paterson from William J. Palmer High; and "Is the Relationship between Cheetahs and Gazelles a Symbiotic One?" by Tessa Pope and Aba Arthur-Asmah, both from George Washington High.

For more information on the 1997 Colorado Computational Science Fair, check the World Wide Web. •

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Edited by Bob Henson, bhenson@ucar.edu