Bradyite places fourth in national scholastic contest

The nation’s capital turned its attention to the country’s top high school science, math and technology students at the national finals of the Siemens Westinghouse Science & Technology Competition and the Heart of Texas was represented by Brady’s Charles Hallford. Six individuals and six teams, using visual and oral presentations, competed over the weekend for college scholarships ranging from $10,000 to $100,000. The winners were named in an awards ceremony held at the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) in Washington, D.C. Among the winners in the team competition was Charles Hallford, a member of the fourth place team. The fourth place finish entitles he and two team members to a $30,000 scholarship to be split among them. Hallford, the son of Charles and Virginia Hallford of Brady, is currently a student at the Academy of Mathematics and Science, a two-year residential program at the University of North Texas. Students in the program are given the opportunity to complete their freshman and sophomore years of college while earning their high school dimplomas. For their project entitled: ‘The Generalization of the deBruijn Edge Sums,’ Ms. Chi, Hallford and Ms. Williams spent six weeks of the summer examining different graphs and writing proofs about the properties they deduced while attending Southwest Texas State University Honors Summer Math Camp. From researching and studying the graphs, the team found different properties of a class of graphs, called deBruijn graphs, which are used to code and decode messages. Besides its applications to cryptology, graph theory can be used to model electrical and communications networks ranging from highway systems to computers. The national individual winner, Ryan Patterson, designed and developed an innovative tool to translate sign language into characters on a small computer screen and won a $100,000 college scholarship. Mr. Patterson is a senior at Central High School in Grand Junction, Colo. Shira Billet and Dora Sosnowik won first place in the team competition for their development of a viscometer for ultra thin lubricants and will divide a $100,000 scholarship. Ms. Billet and Ms. Sosnowik are seniors at the Stella K. Abraham High School for Girls, Hewlett Bay Park, N.Y. Mr. Patterson’s project, titled ‘The Sign Language Translator,’ consists of a modified golf glove and translator/display unit. His project’inspired by a need in the community for alternatives to human interpreters’uses a tiny computer mounted on a standard golf glove to translate the hand movements of sign language into characters that appear almost simultaneously onto an electronic screen the size of a cell phone. The result is a near fluid conversation between those who understand and use sign language and those who do not. ‘Not only is Mr. Patterson’s project groundbreaking, it is already patented. You wouldn’t ask more from a small engineering start-up company,’ said lead judge Dr. George D. ‘Pinky’ Nelson, project director at the American Association for the Advancement of Science. ‘Mr. Patterson works at a professional engineering level. He understood at every stage of his research just what he was trying to do’and completely pulled it off.’ Shira Billet and Dora Sosnowik won the team competition with an original research project titled: ‘A Viscometer for Ultra Thin Films.’ The team developed a precise new way of measuring the viscosity of thin lubricants of film. Their research is significant because it has many potential practical applications, particularly in micro-electronics and bio-materials. One application is in the building of artificial joints’good news for arthritis sufferers who benefit from such a treatment. It also has far-reaching consequences in the fields of electronics and micro-mechanical systems, where efficient lubricants allow disk drives and computers to function properly. ‘The Siemens Foundation is proud of all of our 2001 winners,’ said Albert Hoser, chairman and CEO of the Foundation. ‘Their remarkable contributions to science, mathematics and technology have set the gold standard for future generations.’ The other national Siemens Westinghouse Science & Technology team winners included: Second place team ($50,000)’ Heather and Hanna Craig, Anchorage, Alaska, Third place team ($40,000)’ Gabriel Rosenhouse and Mark Saiget, Portland, Ore., Established in 1998 to promote and support educational activities, the Siemens Foundation recognizes America’s most promising science and mathematics students and teachers, as well as schools that are doing the most to promote education in the core sciences. Its mission is based on the culture of innovation, research and educational support that is a hallmark of Siemens’ U.S. operating companies and its parent company, Siemens AG.

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