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ODU STUDENTS WIN AWARDS IN THE VMASC CAPSTONE CONFERENCE

Three Old Dominion University students, one from Auburn University and another from the University of Virginia won first place awards in the 2007 Student Capstone Conference for Modeling, Simulation and Gaming sponsored by the Virginia Modeling, Analysis and Simulation Center (VMASC).

The all-day event was held Thursday, April 19, on the campus of Old Dominion University, which is VMASC's parent institution. There were more than 90 participants.

ODU's winners and their subject tracts were James Schlit, medical modeling; Sarah Daugherty, education and gaming; and Syed Rizvi, transportation.

Volkan Ustun of Auburn won in the military modeling and homeland security tract and Ross Gore of UVa. won in body of knowledge and applications.

This first event in what is planned as an annual competition offered university students the opportunity to present their modeling and simulation research to professors, government agency and military representatives, as well as the public.

Students participating this year were from ODU, College of William and Mary, University of Virginia, Auburn University and the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. They gave presentations touching on topics such as transportation modeling, medical training simulations, educational gaming, homeland security and military preparedness. In addition to modeling and simulation, this year's student participants are from programs in biology, health sciences, electrical and computer engineering, psychology and computer science.

Industry sponsors for the conference were Alion Science and Technology, Maersk Line, General Dynamics, Lockheed Martin, DDL/Omni Engineering, Northrop Grumman and Science Applications International Corp.

"The conference was a success by any measure," said Michael McGinnis, executive director of VMASC. "The event's organizer, Dr. Cathy Banks, did an extraordinary job and the credit for our success is due to her efforts." Banks is VMASC director of academic affairs.

At the conference banquet, Patrick Driscoll, professor of operations research in the Department of Systems Engineering at West Point, announced two new features for the 2008 conference. He said the international Institute for Operations Research and Management Science will sponsor a new tract in operations research modeling and simulation. Also, he announced that the nonprofit Consortium for Mathematics and Its Applications will sponsor a modeling and simulation tract for high school students at next year's conference.

Other researchers affiliated with VMASC who had leading roles in the conference include John Sokolowski, VMASC director of research and adjunct assistant professor of engineering management and systems; Mike Fontaine, assistant professor of civil and environmental engineering; Andreas Tolk, associate professor of engineering management and systems engineering; Stacie Ringleb, adjunct assistant professor of mechanical engineering; and Alicia Sanchez, research scientist.

Judges this year came from ODU, other universities in the United States and Canada, the U.S. military, NASA, Virginia Transportation Research Council and Hampton Roads Planning District Commission.

Other ODU winners: Charles Turnista, 2nd place, body of knowledge and applications; Betsy Schmidt, 2nd place, medical modeling; Srivinas Jakkala, 3rd place, military modeling and homeland security; and Shawn Rosengrant, 3rd place, medical modeling

This article was posted on: April 23, 2007

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