Brain challenges ahead at annual UHV/VC Math and Computer Science Awareness Day

Dennis Riedesel, center, a UHV associate professor of education, shows off some math-based magic to students Arturo Foneca, left, of Calhoun High School in Port Lavaca and Kendle Patek of St. Paul High School in Shiner during the 2010 Math and Computer Science Day at the University of Houston-Victoria. This year’s event will be held April 7.

Area high school students will get to flex their grey matter muscles and have a chance to win trophies April 7 at the 16th Annual Math and Computer Science Awareness Day, presented by the University of Houston-Victoria and Victoria College.

The event will take place from 1:30 to 4:30 p.m. at the UHV campus, 3007 N. Ben Wilson St.

The theme for this year’s event is “Unraveling Complex Systems.” Alireza Tavakkoli, UHV assistant professor of computer science, said the events for high school students will challenge creativity and intellect.

“We invite high schools to bring their students to participate, and for the first time, we are inviting parents to attend,” he said. “We will have some very interesting activities involving math, computer science and gaming.”

At least 100 area high school students are expected to take part in two competitions in math and computer science. The top three winners of the competitions at the individual and team levels will receive award certificates and trophies.

Keynote speaker Dmitri Sobolev, a UHV assistant professor of biology, will give insight about the role of mathematics in biology and environmental sciences by discussing population dynamics.

The schedule for the event is:  

  • 1:30 to 2 p.m. – Check-in at UHV University Center foyer
  • 2:15 to 2:45 – Math contest
  • 2:15 to 2:45 – Concurrent breakout session
  • 3 to 3:30 – Computer science contest
  • 3 to 3:30 – Concurrent breakout session
  • 3:45 to 4:15 – Awards ceremony and keynote speech
  • 4:15 to 4:30 – Networking and social

The mathematics breakout session will focus on using mathematics and acting skills to help students pretend to read someone’s mind. Ricardo Teixeira, a UHV instructor of mathematics, will lead the session.

The computer science breakout session, offered at the same time as the computer science contest, will help students learn to make movies and computer animation using an “Unreal Development Kit.” Tavakkoli will walk students through design techniques for cinema and gaming using the most advanced game engine in the world.

For more information about the event or individual contests, contact Tavakkoli at 361-570-4024, Teixeira at 361-570-4206 or Darin Kazmir of Victoria College at 361-582-2417.

The University of Houston-Victoria, located in the heart of the Coastal Bend region since 1973 in Victoria, Texas, offers courses leading to more than 80 academic programs in the schools of Arts & Sciences; Business Administration; and Education, Health Professions & Human Development. UHV provides face-to-face classes at its Victoria campus, as well as an instructional site in Katy, Texas, and online classes that students can take from anywhere. UHV supports the American Association of State Colleges and Universities Opportunities for All initiative to increase awareness about state colleges and universities and the important role they have in providing a high-quality and accessible education to an increasingly diverse student population, as well as contributing to regional and state economic development.

Ken Cooke 361-570-4342