Students win at UHV/VC math, computer science event

April 17, 2010 at 5:01 p.m.
Updated April 16, 2010 at 11:17 p.m.

Calhoun High School students took the top prizes Thursday at the University of Houston-Victoria/The Victoria College Math and Computer Science Awareness Day contests and won scholarships to both schools.

Senior Jennifer Hsu won first place in the individual math contest, which earned her $500 scholarships from both UHV and VC.

Sophomore Daniel Liaou won the individual overall first-place prize in computer science, with its award of $500 UHV and VC scholarships, and won a special prize of a $50 Sam's Club gift card for best overall individual performance in all contests.

Second-prize winners won $500 scholarships to VC, and all winners received trophies and certificates.

Students in the events took written math and computer science tests that were scored in teams and individually.

About 60 contestants, along with other students who participated in the event, attended seminars about mathematics illusions and programming teleporters in computer games. They also had a pizza party and listened to guest speaker Don Brubaker, sports director for local TV station KAVU.

VC President Tom Butler and Holly Verhasselt, executive assistant to the UHV provost, also addressed the students. This year's theme was "Math and Computer Science in Sports."

"I want to thank our UHV faculty members for their fantastic sessions," said Meledeth Damodaran, event organizer and a UHV assistant professor of mathematics. "They were some of the best we've had in the history of this event, and the students absolutely loved them."

Alireza Tavakkoli, an UHV assistant professor of computer science, compressed what normally would be a semester-long topic of game design into a 35-minute session that proved so popular a third session had to be scheduled for contestants, Damodaran said.

And Dennis Riedesel, a UHV associate professor of education, kept students mystified with his session demonstrating the role math plays in magic and illusions, Damodaran said.



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