High School Students Study Computational Science Model at Caltech

The 1998 Caltech Computational Sciences Awareness Program, held March 23-24, introduced more than 100 high school students to groundbreaking research in science, mathematics, and technology. Now in its sixth year, this annual outreach program for minority youth offers stimulating, first-hand information on scientific work in a variety of fields, with a special emphasis on the computational science model and its elements.

"Since the program was initiated six years ago by Dr. Herb Keller of the CRPC at Caltech, more than 200 individuals have contributed their time and expertise, including professors, post doctorate scholars, graduate students, staff, and industry professionals from the private and public sectors," says program organizer James Muldavin. "This personal commitment is what makes the program work so effectively."

This year, participants learned about the history and evolution of computers; modern-day applications of advanced computers in research, business, and government; and new applications and possibilities for parallel and distributed computing. The students were exposed to research in such diverse areas as seismology, planetary sciences, materials and molecular simulation, nuclear physics, fluid dynamics, chemical reactions, economics, and more.

Participants are drawn from magnet science and technology programs at more than 20 high schools throughout the Los Angeles metropolitan area. The overall goal of the program is to encourage minority youth to consider or continue to prepare for math-or science-related careers; in particular, those related to computers or the computational sciences. Other objectives include to:

Sponsored by the CRPC and Caltech, the workshop is developed in conjunction with Capitol Focus, a Sacramento-based, interdisciplinary outreach project for California citizens and youth. Other organizations providing assistance include the Shodor Educational Foundation in North Carolina (Dr. Robert Panoff) and the San Diego Supercomputer Center.

For more information, contact Muldavin at (916) 443-2229, muldavin@mail.mother.com. For information on this or other CRPC- sponsored education programs at Caltech, contact JoAnn Boyd, (818) 395-4562, joann@ama.caltech.edu.

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