UA in the News: July 27, 2012
July 27, 2012 - Filed under: UA in the News
Science summer camps aim to create new technology developers
Tuscaloosa News – July 27
Many students know how to use technology, but that is not enough in today’s world. “We want to create technology developers, not just technology users,” said Dr. Jeff Gray, an associate professor of computer science at the University of Alabama and director of the Alabama Computer Science Summer Camps. The annual summer camps, hosted by the university’s Department of Computer Science, are open to rising high school sophomores through seniors, as well as middle school students. Each week-long camp focuses on a different area, using both instruction and hands-on projects to engage the students. Over the past few weeks, students from 12 states, Hong Kong and Beijing learned not only how to program with Java, a computer programming language, but also how to apply that knowledge to real-world projects. Middle school students created video games and movies, while high school students designed smartphone apps and battled it out sumo-style with Lego robots. The biggest benefit of learning computer science is not a greater understanding of technology, but the ability to solve problems and think analytically, said Amber Wagner, a camp staffer and UA student working on her doctorate in computer science, with a focus on human-computer interaction and model-driven engineering. “Computer science has really taught me how to think and analyze problems in a logical fashion,” Wagner said. “By teaching students at a young age, they usually score higher in math or other science fields, because they learn how to think through the situation.”
RISE graduation held today in Tuscaloosa
Fox 6 (Birmingham) – July 26
Kids graduating from the University of Alabama’s RISE program held a pretty entertaining dress rehearsal this morning. Before kids walk across the stage for their diplomas tonight, they’ll perform skits with singing and dancing. RISE helps children with and without disabilities prepare for entering school. In some cases, classes are designed to help those with specific needs. The mother of one student explains how people there helped her son prepare for life. “To see the accomplishments that so many of these kids have made, especially the ones that were told they would never do these things, it’s very special,” Elizabeth Bearden said. RISE has been on the University of Alabama campus for 30 years. This year’s graduation started at 6 p.m.
ABC 33/40 (Birmingham) – July 26
Distracted driving claims more than 100 lives in Alabama alone
WTVM-ABC (Columbus, Ga.) – July 26
It’s time to put down the phone. In less than a week, Alabama’s texting and driving ban goes into effect. The University of Alabama Center for Public Safety says distracted driving has claimed more than a hundred lives in Alabama alone. Legislators hope the new law will make a difference.
WAFF-NBC (Huntsville) – July 26
Board gives city schools chief satisfactory evaluation
Tuscaloosa News – July 27
Superintendent Paul McKendrick’s first year on the job was rated satisfactory, according to the Tuscaloosa City Board of Education’s evaluation. University of Alabama statistical methods professor Jamie Mills critiqued the board’s newly created superintendent evaluation tool and summarized the board’s evaluation during a Thursday meeting. Mills stated that according to the evaluation, the superintendent’s strengths are he communicates well, he has positive community involvement and has been effective in establishing interpersonal relations. Other areas where McKendrick scored well were on how he provides leadership to improve instruction, his decision-making skills and how he monitors the construction, renovation and demolition of school facilities, especially the recovery from the April 27, 2011, tornado…
Bentley announces grant to promote tourism
Cleburne News – July 26
They once mined gold in those hills. Now economic developers in nine east Alabama counties are hoping to strike pay dirt through increased tourism thanks to a $60,000 grant, announced by Gov. Robert Bentley. The funding from the Appalachian Regional Commission will promote tourism in Calhoun, Chambers, Cherokee, Clay, Cleburne, Coosa, Randolph, Talladega and Tallapoosa counties. Most of the counties are within a triangular slice of Alabama where active gold mining started in the early 1800s, and panning for gold remains a modern-day attraction…The University of Alabama’s Center for Economic Development will work with chambers of commerce, government agencies, merchant groups and interested persons to identify and promote tourism opportunities in each of the counties. A website will be developed to highlight attractions and recreational opportunities that have the most potential to attract visitors.
UA student catches big fish
WKRG-CBS (Mobile) – July 26
Yesterday, Marcus Gibson and Robert Crismon set out to catch a few big fish. They went south of Dauphin Island in a 17-foot Negus for a day of catch and release. The boys caught and released 15 kings, two Spanish mackerel and a Bonita. Marcus attends the University of Alabama and Robert will be a upcoming senior at McGill Toolen High School in Mobile and will attend U of A next year.
The University of Alabama, a student-centered research university, is experiencing significant growth in both enrollment and academic quality. This growth, which is positively impacting the campus and the state's economy, is in keeping with UA's vision to be the university of choice for the best and brightest students. UA, the state's flagship university, is an academic community united in its commitment to enhancing the quality of life for all Alabamians.