Anderson, Indiana

AU students receive Indiana Space Grant Consortium Scholarship

Wed, 2012-07-11 12:10 -- univcomm
July 11, 2012

Students from the Anderson University Department of Computer Science were recently rewarded for their hard work with a scholarship from the Indiana Space Grant Consortium (INSGC). AU grad Tyler Atkinson BA '12, sophomore Cody Friend, and junior Rebekah Gray were each awarded $1,500 through the scholarship.

The scholarship allows students with a science, technology, engineering, or mathematics major and a high GPA to apply by answering a two-part essay. The questions students must address are their short- and long-term career goals and the impact of science, mathematics, engineering, and technology on their lives.

[Photo: 2012 AU grad Tyler Atkinson]

“I spoke mainly about how I plan to combine my interests in music with computer science, programming, and problem-solving,” said Atkinson, who is also a music major. “Thanks to many classes I took at AU, I know a lot of ways to do this in areas where it needs to be done.”

Atkinson has already applied his interest in music and computer science in his development of a smartphone application, which he discussed in his scholarship application. The other students also showcased their “real world” knowledge when they applied for the INSGC scholarship.

“All of the knowledge I have gained from my classes here at AU, along with the help from my advisors, has greatly prepared me for this scholarship and hopefully a very successful career in the computer science field,” said Friend. “It is a great honor to have received a scholarship like this, and I am very appreciative.”

In addition to the scholarship, Anderson University recently received an INSGC grant for two students to conduct research for NASA.

“For the same funding round, I received a research grant from INSGC for which two of our students — Cameron Gray and Tyler Williamson — are getting paid by NASA to do research,” said Professor of Physics Dr. John Millis.

Williamson is a freshman double majoring in physics and mathematics. “I was surprised and excited about the opportunity,” said Williamson. “I was very eager about working hands-on with real physics research data and excited to gain experience both because I enjoy physics and because having this experience will help me when I apply for other opportunities later on.”

Williamson and Gray will be working on data analysis from the Very Energetic Radiation Imaging Telescope Array System (VERITAS) in Arizona.

“Basically, we retrieve gamma radiation data from the VERITAS database and run it through an analysis process to determine if the image contains radiation, how intense it is, and other factors,” said Williamson. “Studying this radiation reveals information about the stars or nebulae that it comes from, such as how energetic they are.”

Applying what they have learned at AU, Atkinson, Friend, and Gray are able to showcase their current and previous work, while Williamson and Gray are able to build new knowledge with their research.

— Lydia Hawley is a sophomore from Homerville, Ohio, double majoring in communication arts and dance. Lydia is an associate with Fifth Street Communications, writing on behalf of the Anderson University Office of University Communications. Photo credit: Lauren Freitas.

Anderson University is a private Christian university of 2,600 undergraduate and graduate students in central Indiana. Anderson University continues to be recognized as one of America's top colleges by U.S. News and World Report, The Princeton Review, and Forbes. Established in 1917 by the Church of God, Anderson University offers more than 65 undergraduate majors and graduate programs in business, music, nursing, and theology.