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Registration open for UHV Math & Robotics Awareness Day

High school students watch a robotics demonstration from the advanced robotics class taught by UHV associate professor Alireza Tavakkoli. The students visited UHV for the 2015 Math and Robotics Awareness Day. This year’s event will be on April 28.

Area high school students interested in mathematics, robotics and other sciences will have the opportunity to attend an event devoted to exploring those subjects at the University of Houston-Victoria.

Ricardo Teixeira

The 21st annual Math and Robotics Awareness Day is hosted by UHV and funded by Alcoa Foundation. Last year’s event brought in about 240 high school students from schools across the area, including Victoria West, Victoria East, St. Joseph, Faith Family, Liberty Academy, Hallettsville, Goliad and Edna.

“The Math and Robotics Awareness Day impacts and changes the perspectives of students,” said Ricardo Teixeira, a UHV assistant professor of mathematics. “It’s an opportunity for us to reach more than 200 students and show them it’s possible to have fun with math and see how many ways it can be used.”

The event will begin at 8 a.m. April 28 in the UHV University North Multi-Purpose Room, 3007 N. Ben Wilson St. After a welcome by Jeffrey Di Leo, dean of the UHV School of Arts & Sciences, students will take a math test. The top scorers in each grade will receive a prize at the end of the day.

“I love being a part of this event and connecting with students,” said Alireza Tavakkoli, director of the UHV digital gaming and simulation program and an associate professor of computer science. “This is the point when high school students are getting ready to make some important decisions about the directions of their lives, and this event engages them intellectually and helps equip them to make those decisions.”

Alireza Tavakkoli

After taking the test, students will have the opportunity to watch and take part in activities involving math and robotics, including a demonstration by high school students taking an after-school robotics class taught by Tavakkoli. Students also can attend presentations that show interesting ways math can be used, including “mathemagics,” predictions, algorithms and illusions.

In addition, students can take tours of the UHV campus and speak with representatives from area companies that use science, technology, engineering and mathematics in their industries. These include Dow, Alcoa, VISD Engineering, Civilcorp, Caterpillar, INVISTA and Diamond Fiberglass.

“Far too often, students think that a math degree is only good for math teachers or professors,” Teixeira said. “In reality, a degree in mathematics opens possibilities in multiple fields, including work as a private or government analyst, risk analysis for insurance companies or even counter terrorism work.”

After lunch, the awards for the top math test scores will be presented during a special ceremony. The first-place winner for each grade will receive a tablet.

In addition to the Math & Robotics Awareness Day, UHV is offering after-school classes to area high school students to teach them basic and advanced robotics. Tavakkoli also will be offering a C++ programming course. Students can sign up for the after-school courses at hsrobotics.aiatuhv.com/ApplyNow.aspx.

The deadline to register for Math & Robotics Awareness Day is March 25. Students can register through their high schools or online at mathcs.aiatuhv.com. For more information about the event, contact Teixeira at 361-570-4206 or teixeirar@uhv.edu.

The University of Houston-Victoria, located in the heart of the Coastal Bend region since 1973, offers courses leading to 70 bachelor’s, master’s and specialist degree programs and concentrations 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 a teaching center in Katy, 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.