Jennifer Iorgulescu

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These are Posts that have been published by Jennifer Iorgulescu

The Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics (PI) is a place where bold ideas flourish. It brings together great minds in a shared effort to achieve scientific breakthroughs that will transform our future. PI is an independent research center in foundational theoretical physics.

One of the key mission objectives of Perimeter is to provide scientific training and educational outreach activities to the general public. Maplesoft is proud to be part of this endeavor, as PI’s Educational Outreach Champion. Maplesoft’s contributions support Perimeter’s Teacher Network training activities, core educational resources, development of online course material, support of events such as the EinsteinPlus workshop for high school teachers, the International Summer School for Young Physicists (ISSYP), and other initiatives.
 

The annual International Summer School for Young Physicists (ISSYP) is a two-week camp that brings together 40 exceptional physics-minded students from high schools across the globe to PI. The program covers many different topics in physics such as quantum mechanics, special relativity, general relativity, and cosmology. Each year students receive a complimentary copy of Maple, and use the product to practice and strengthen their math skills. The program receives an average of three-hundred applications from students in grades eleven and twelve from around the world. Competition is intense, and students who are chosen for the program are extremely bright and advanced for their age; however there is some variation in their level of math and physics knowledge. . Students are asked to review a “math primer” document to prepare them with the background needed for the program.The ISSYP program now uses Möbius, Maplesoft’s online courseware platform to administer this primer. With Möbius, PI has moved from a pdf document primer to fully online material, which has motivated more students to complete the material and be more engaged in their courses. The interactivity and engagement that technology provides has made the summer program more productive and dynamic.

EinsteinPlus is a one-week intensive workshop for Canadian and international high school teachers that focuses on modern physics, including quantum physics, special relativity, and cosmology. EinsteinPlus also provides unique opportunities to learn some of the latest developments in physics from expert researchers at the forefront of their fields. Maplesoft proudly supports this workshop by giving teachers access to and training in Maple.

 

Perimeter Institute also organizes a lively program of seminars, regularly exposing researchers and students to current ideas in the wider theoretical physics community. The talks provide content outside of, but related to, core disciplines.  Recently Maplesoft’s own physics expert Dr. Edgardo Cheb-Terrab conducted a lecture and training session at PI on Computer Algebra for Theoretical Physics.

Dr. Edgardo Cheb-Terrab is the force behind the algorithms and Maple libraries of the ODE and PDE symbolic solvers, the MathematicalFunctions package (an expert system in special functions) and the Physics package, among other things.  

In his talk at PI, the Physics project at Maplesoft was presented and the resulting Physics package was illustrated through simple problems in classical field theory, quantum mechanics and general relativity, and through tackling the computations of some recent Physical Review papers in those areas.   In addition there was a hands-on workshop where attendees were offered four choices of activity:  follow the mini-course; explore items of the worksheet of the morning presentation; or bring their own problems so that Dr. Cheb-Terrab could guide them on how to tackle it using the Physics package and Maple in general.

As a company that strives to continuously improve student learning, and empower instructors and researchers with the tools necessary to compete in an ever changing and demanding educational environment, Maplesoft’s partnership with the Perimeter Institute allows us to do just that. We take great pride and joy in bringing our technology to outreach programs for students and teachers, making these opportunities a more productive and dynamic experience for all.

 

Since 2002, the Texas A&M Math Department has sponsored a Summer Educational Enrichment in Math (SEE-Math) Program for gifted middle school students entering the 6th, 7th or 8th grade under the direction of Philip Yasskin and David Manuel.  Students spend two weeks exploring ideas from algebra, geometry, graph theory, topology, and other mathematical topics. 

The program’s primary goal is to help students find excitement in the discovery of mathematics and science concepts, and to provide them with the knowledge and confidence to continue their studies in math and science related fields. “I love working with the bright young kids who come to SEE-Math, they keep me young,” said Yasskin, one of the programs directors.


Maplesoft has been a sponsor of SEE-Math for many years and are happy to see the students explore math at this young age. Research into the importance of early math skills shows that children who are taught math early and learn the basics at a young age are set up for a lifetime of achievement in all aspects of their academic performance.  Every year, Maplesoft commits time, funds and people to various organizations to enhance the quality of math-based learning and discovery and to encourage students to strengthen their math skills.

One of the major activities of the SEE-Math program, and something the students really enjoy doing, is creating computer animations in Maple. The kids are divided into 3 groups; the Euler group is mostly made up of 6th graders with a few younger, the Fibonacci group is mostly 6th and 7th graders, and the Gauss group is 7th and 8th graders.

 Here are the 2017 first place winners from each group and their animations:

Euler Group - Nigel M "Buckets"

Fibonacci Group - Gabriel M "Skillz"

Gauss Group - Michael C - "Newton's Castle"

 

 

To learn more about this program visit: http://see-math.math.tamu.edu/2017/

   Maplesoft aims to promote innovation in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) in high school students by partnering with various organizations, and sponsoring initiatives in education, research and innovation. Every year, Maplesoft commits time, funds and people to enhance the quality of math-based learning and discovery and to encourage high school students to strengthen their math skills.

   One such organization we partner with is The Perimeter Institute, a leading centre for scientific research, training and educational outreach in foundational theoretical physics.  Maplesoft currently serves as its Educational Outreach Champion, supporting various initiatives that promote math learning and exploration. Perhaps the most popular of its student outreach program is the annual International Summer School for Young Physicists (ISSYP), a two-week camp that brings together 40 exceptional students from high schools across the globe.  Each year students receive a complimentary copy of Maple, and use the product to practice and strengthen their math skills.  The ISSYP program also uses Möbius, the comprehensive online STEM courseware platform from Maplesoft, to offer preparatory course materials to students.  Completing lessons in Möbius aid in making the summer program a more productive and dynamic experience for the students.

  

International Summer School for Young Scientists at Perimeter Institute

 

   Who Wants to Be a Mathematician is a competition organized by the American Mathematical Society (AMS) for high school students in North America. Maplesoft has been a sponsor of the contest for many years.  Maple T.A., the testing and assessment tool by Maplesoft, is used to administer the tests online, saving significant time and money for the organizers. When Maplesoft first introduced Maple T.A. to the contest, taking the competition from pen-and-paper tests to online tests, the number of contestants doubled, with about 2000 students participating in the contest. Maplesoft also donates prizes to the games in order to promote the use and love of math by high school students.  This year will be first time the competition moves international. Six students in the UK took the Round 2 qualifying test, with the use of Maple T.A., and qualified for the live, on-stage finals of the UK edition of the competition that took place at the 2017 Maths Fest in London. Maplesoft is also supporting the spread of the WWTBAM contest to Canada in 2017.


Who Wants to be a Mathematician finals

Maplesoft also sponsors two outreach initiatives in Texas A&M University.  The Summer Educational Enrichment (SEE) Math Program is a summer workshop attended by gifted middle school students. Students spend two weeks exploring ideas such as algebra, geometry, graph theory, and topology.  The University also conducts the Integral Bee every year, a math based contest for high school students.

In addition to the above key projects, throughout the year Maplesoft also sponsors and is associated with a number of other competitions, conferences, and educational initiatives. A few of these are listed below.

  • The Connecticut Science & Engineering Fair is a yearly, statewide science and engineering fair open to all 7th through 12th grade students.  An important objective of their program is to attract young people to careers in science and engineering while developing skills essential to critical thinking.
  • FIRST Robotics Competition is a high school robotics competition. Each year, teams of high school students and mentors work during a six-week period to build game-playing robots that weigh up to 120 pounds.

 

FIRSTRobotics Competition

  • ScienceExpo Conference is a student-run event that engages students with STEM-related opportunities and workshops
  • SWATposium is an annual robotics conference that brings together nearly 40 First Robotic Competition teams from both Canada and the United States for a day of guest speakers, workshops and social activities.

        

SWATposium

  • FIRST LEGO League gives elementary and middle school students and their adult coaches the opportunity to work and create together to solve a common problem.

      

FIRST LEGO League at St. Luke's School in Waterloo

   Maplesoft’s objective of these sponsorships is to support those who inspire and channel young minds to be STEM focussed. By engaging them in exciting contests and programs the hope is that they build science, engineering, and technology skills at a young age and grow to be innovators and technology leaders of tomorrow.

Everything is simple, until you go underwater – This is what the University of Waterloo Submarine Racing team, or in short ‘WatSub’ coined as their motto. Never mind learning to scuba dive, and dealing with such things as rust, this newly formed team would have to compete against university teams with a decade or more of experience.

But that did not deter the team, and they started work on Ontario’s first submarine racing project. The team approached Maplesoft to be a sponsor and we are proud to have supported this ingenious venture. The team has used Maplesoft technology in the design and testing of the submarine.

“Maple has been our go-to calculations and analysis tool throughout the development of Amy (2015-2016 season), and we will continue using it throughout the development of Bolt (2016-2017 season),” said Gonzalo Espinoza Graham, President of the WatSub Team. “Its familiar interface and computing environment allowed us to set design benchmark targets from early on the design process and follow through with them on the later stage.”

What started as an engineering project in December 2014, becoming officially the first submarine racing team in Ontario. The team soon grew to over 130 general members and a tight core-team, who were eager to tackle new challenges.  The team resides inside the Sedra Student Design Centre, University of Waterloo’s state of the art facility that houses over 25 student teams, the largest of its kind in North America.  

WatSub made its first appearance on the European International Submarine Races (eISR) back in July 2016, with its 1st submarine ‘Amy’, where a single scuba diver piloted the submarine and propelled it through an unforgiving winding course marked by obstacles and turns 10 meters underwater. The team has since then participated in other competitions and is constantly improving the design and performance of the submarine, learning from each competition they participate in.  Next year Amy will participate in the 14th edition of the eISR international competition. “I think the greatest thing we learned is never to give up,” said Ana Krstanovic, a third-year political science student who manages communications for the team. “We’re more motivated now than ever.”

 

Ojaswi Tagore, Gonzalo Espinoza Graham, and Janna Henzl represented WatSub at the European International Submarine Race in Gosport, UK.

 

Another example of an innovative project that Maplesoft supported in 2016 is Waterloop: The Canadian SpaceX Hyperloop Competition Team, Canada's only SpaceX Hyperloop Pod Competition team. This project, which could change the way we travel in the future, is driven by a group of dedicated University of Waterloo students who have taken on the challenge to design and build a functional prototype Hyperloop pod. They will test it on a one-mile test track in Hawthorne, California in January 2017, pitting it against 22 of the 1200+ teams who originally entered the competition.

The Hyperloop is a conceptual next generation high-speed transit system that will take commuters between cities at speeds over 1,000 km/h. The technology will differ from previous rail transit by having pods ride on a cushion of air in a reduced pressure tube in order to reach greater speeds with a smoother ride, and is powered entirely by renewable energy.

 The Hyperloop Pod Competition was launched by Elon Musk, the billionaire engineer and founder of SpaceX and Tesla Motors.  The competition is separated into 3 rounds. The first one was held in late December, where selected teams sent in their initial designs to be reviewed. From there, 180 teams were chosen to compete at Texas A&M University. Each team set up a booth and a panel of judges critiqued them and chose 31 teams to move onto the final, build and test stage.

Waterloop Goose I

Waterloop Goose X

The GOOSE I is Waterloop’s half-scale, functional prototype vehicle pod, which will be the one in the competition.  The GOOSE X pod is a conceptual full size Hyperloop vehicle inspired by the prototype they are building. The full size pod will have a capacity of 26 passengers per pod.

"Our prototype has been designed to be as simple and economical as possible, while still performing all necessary functions for the full size Hyperloop. If it is successful, it has the potential to revolutionize the transit industry in the same manner the train and airplane has before it," said Montgomery de Luna, architectural design lead for Waterloop. “We would like to thank Maplesoft for their generous support.  Without sponsors like Maplesoft supporting our vision and encouraging innovative student projects, we wouldn’t be able to achieve our goal.”

Revolutionizing the transportation industry isn’t easy and is at times frustrating and time consuming for these teams, but having the best tools and resources will ensure that the teams have a good chance at excelling in competitions and creating innovative models that could change our future.

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