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Shepherd's Department of Computer Science, Mathematics, and Engineering receives grant

ISSUED: 4 October 2010
MEDIA CONTACT: Valerie Owens
(Shepherd's Department of Computer Science, Mathematics, and Engineering receives grant)

Shepherdstown, WV--Shepherd University's Department of Computer Science, Mathematics, and Engineering recently received a $98,000 West Virginia EPSCOR Research Trust Fund grant, which was matched by the Shepherd University Foundation.

The $98,000 science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) grant, which the department applied for in May 2010, will help strengthen the department through undergraduate research, retention of students, development of curriculum, and hosting a robotics competition.

Gov. Joe Manchin announced the newest awards supported by the "Bucks for Brains" Research Trust Fund on Friday, September 24.

"When we created the Bucks for Brains program, our goal was to not only spur research and intellectual capital at our state's major research institutions but also to encourage greater learning in STEM fields at colleges and universities statewide," Gov. Manchin said. "By providing opportunities for more of our students to innovate and compete, we're planting the seeds for a more diverse, high-tech economy in West Virginia."

Professor Reza Mirdamadi, chair of the Department of Computer Science, Mathematics, and Engineering and Dr. Seung-yun Kim, assistant professor of computer and information sciences, said that the components would be completed over the next three years.

Mirdamadi said that the grant would allow the department to emphasize robotics and combine all three parts of the department to provide more opportunities to students interested in robotics research. Currently, 30 students are involved in the Robotics Club, and Kim said that more are interested in getting involved.

Robotics is an emerging multidisciplinary STEM area that combines mechanical, electrical, and computer engineering in the design and construction of robots to perform specific tasks, in addition to emphasizing mathematics and computer science.

"Robotics will bring excitement to students interested in pursuing careers in a STEM-related field and will generate a lot of special interest from those in the metro area," Mirdamadi said. "We wish to thank President Suzanne Shipley, the Shepherd University Foundation, and donors for their generous support."


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