MSIT’13 at UCA
The sixth annual Mathematics Science and Information Technology Academy, known as MSIT Academy at the University of Central Arkansas, was held during the week of July 15-19, 2013 in the Department of Mathematics at UCA. Participating in the academy were thirteen high school students from Benton, Conway, Rogers, Little Rock, and Vilonia. Two activities were presented this year at this week-long program. One is Cryptology: Coding and Decoding Secret Messages and the other is Graphic Programming in Java Script. The Cryptology activity, which had five students, was presented by Drs. Ramesh Garimella and R.B. Lenin. The Graphic Programming activity, which had eight students, was presented by Dr. Clarence
Burg. Lunch time activities included a visit to the UCA planetarium, a Chemistry activity, an activity on robotics, and career opportunity in STEM fields. The MSIT program is designed to stimulate and enhance high school students’ interest in mathematics and its applications to the physical, biological, and computer sciences. For information on future MSIT activities, contact Dr. Ramesh Garimella, Chair of the Department of Mathematics at UCA at firstname.lastname@example.org .
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TAP Program Introduces Students to Information Systems, Technology
The office of diversity and inclusion at the Sam M. Walton College of Business, the college’s Information Technology Research Institute and corporate sponsors conducted the Technology Awareness Program on July 7-12.
Twenty-four high-school students from under-represented groups were introduced to the field of information systems, college life and careers in information technology. The students also interacted with top business professionals and observed them in their work environments.
The students took part in a challenging team project provided by the college’s information systems faculty that helped develop research, teamwork, communication and oral presentation skills. The project taught the students how to analyze big data through the creation of an interactive dashboard.
The program included a visit to J.B. Hunt Transport Services Inc.; a presentation at the Walmart Innovation Center and a tour at the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art. Students also took a trip to Fast Lane Entertainment for bowling, laser tag and go-karts.
The program concluded with the students presenting their projects, followed by a dinner attended by college staff, faculty and parents.
UCA Summer IT Camp
For the seventh year in a row, the University of Central Arkansas (UCA) and Acxiom have teamed up to provide highly qualified high school students an opportunity to learn more about careers in information technology (IT).
From July 24-27 the university and Acxiom hosted the annual Information Technologies Careers Camp on the UCA campus. For the third straight year, the faculty from the Management Information Systems (MIS) and Computer Science (CS) Departments collaborated in hosting the camp. The camp is open to high school students in grades 9 through 12. Allison Nicholas, leader of College Recruiting/University Relations at Acxiom, said the program benefits both UCA and Acxiom. She also said that most of the students that come to the camp are either very technical or creative and have interest in technology and learning.
Like last year, this year’s camp offered two tracks — one for first time campers in web development and a second track for the more advanced (returning campers) in game design. The first track group participated in a competition that involved developing a web page about IT careers. The second track group developed a game application where campers were instructed to improve a “shooting” game and make it their own.
For the first time, this camp focused on Entrepreneurial Culture, with a variety of activities and competitions that focused on individuals and companies that are innovative and new. Several individuals from local businesses took part in this aspect of the camp. The students took part in other technology education activities and visited the Acxiom campuses in both Little Rock and Conway as well as a host of start-up technology businesses in Conway.
As UCA is a significant hiring base for Acxiom, the benefit of the collaboration is that campers can learn about information technology and associated careers, what the MIS and CS departments have to offer, UCA as a college campus, and Acxiom as large local employer of IT professionals. The hope is that if students have a good experience they may eventually come to study at UCA and then go on to work at Acxiom. The camp is entirely funded by Acxiom.
UCA Students’ Software Design Places Third in Microsoft Imagine Cup
An automated system designed by two UCA students that allows people to self monitor their diagnosed skin cancer using cell phones placed third in software design in the U.S. finals of the Microsoft Imagine Cup 2011.
The Imagine Cup is the world’s premier student technology competition sponsored and hosted by Microsoft. This year, 74,000 students from 400 different schools participated in the competition. The top 10 teams competed in the finals held April 9-11 in Redmond, Washington.
The College of Engineering and Information Technology at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock conducts a variety of outreach programs throughout the year designed to motivate students in grades six through twelve to pursue science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) degrees.
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