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Media Advisory: High schoolers get crash course in materials science at UB summer camp

E. Bruce Pitman speaks to students at the 2015 Eric Pitman Annual Summer Workshop in Computational Science. Credit: Douglas Levere.

Release Date: July 5, 2017

“This conference, now in its 19th year, shows local high school students that there is incredible science happening right in their backyard, and that there are incredible academic and career opportunities available to them in Buffalo.”
E. Bruce Pitman, professor
Department of Materials Design and Innovation

BUFFALO, N.Y. — What causes lithium-ion batteries to explode? Can we eliminate pollution from cars? What does “supercomputing” really mean?

Those are just some of the topics that local high school students will discuss Friday, July 7, while giving presentations on what they’ve learned during the past two weeks at UB’s Eric Pitman Annual Summer Workshop in Computational Science.

News media are invited to the workshop, which features some of the most exciting and cutting-edge science that’s happening in Buffalo. This year’s workshop focuses on materials science and engineering.

When: 9:30-11:30 a.m. Friday, July 7.

Where: Bruce Holm Commons Area, 2nd floor of UB’s New York State Center of Excellence in Bioinformatics and Life Sciences, 701 Ellicott St., Buffalo.

On-site contacts for press: E. Bruce Pitman, professor in UB’s Department of Materials Design and Innovation (MDI), and Thomas Furlani, director of UB’s Center for Computational Research (CCR).

The workshop is a two-week program that introduces high school students to the use of computer modeling and simulation to solve science and engineering problems. CCR has hosted the workshop every year since 1999. Since 2007, it has been held in honor of Eric Pitman, who was a freshman at St. Joseph’s Collegiate Institute when he passed away in 2007 after a brief illness.

“This conference, now in its 19th year, shows local high school students that there is incredible science happening right in their backyard, and that there are incredible academic and career opportunities available to them in Buffalo,” said E. Bruce Pitman, Eric Pitman’s father.

Students received tours of state-of-the art facilities and attended lectures on topics such as how scientists use big data to improve treatment of diseases and how industry is trying to design and build computer disk drives without using the “rare earth” elements that are difficult to mine and often come from countries with questionable records in human rights and worker safety.

Jeanette Sperhac, scientific programmer at CCR, is the workshop’s principal instructor. Additional presenters include Peter Winkelstein, executive director of the UB Institute for Healthcare Informatics; Krishna Rajan, Erich Bloch Endowed Chair of MDI; Jaroslaw Zola, UB assistant professor of computer science and engineering; Marc Halfon, UB professor of biochemistry; and others.

Media Contact Information

Cory Nealon
Director of News Content
Engineering, Computer Science
Tel: 716-645-4614
cmnealon@buffalo.edu
Twitter: @UBengineering