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"Games By Teens" Rewards Creativity, Computer Savvy of Area High School Pupils

The Muskingum College "Games By Teens" competition held its awards ceremony May 30th on the campus, granting prizes and scholarships to local students who created the most imaginative and challenging computer games.

The competition was sponsored by the College and Resource Systems of New Concord. During the awards ceremony, contest creator Muskingum College Instructor of Computer Science, Jay Shaffstall, also thanked his colleague, Professor of Chemistry, Dr. Raymond Rataiczak, who provided extensive support from Muskingum's Science Division to make the contest possible.

In the photo: From left to right, Emily Vanasdale, Collin Thomas, Aj Hallmon and Lance Hecker.

First place was awarded to the team of Aj Hallmon of Zanesville High School and Collin Thomas of John Glenn High School, who created RoboNinja. The prize, an eight-gigabyte iPod Touch, was provided by Resource Systems of New Concord. The two also shared a $500 Muskingum College scholarship, provided by the Admission Office.

Second place was awarded to Emily Vanasdale, who is home schooled, who is the creator of Running To Freedom. She received a copy of Dark Basic Studio, a game creation software package, and a reference book on how to use it.

Third place went to Lance Hecker of West Muskingum High School, who created UFO Game. The prize, an Eclipse III backlit multimedia keyboard, was provided by Hacker’s Hideout of Zanesville.

Honorable mention winners received a variety of prizes, provided by Sunrise Bowling of Zanesville and the Muskingum College bookstore. The honorable mention winners were:

Great New Version Of A Classic Game was awarded to Nathan Stout of West Muskingum High School, who created an updated version of Pong.

Terrific Fantasy Back Story was awarded to Justin Hunt of East Muskingum High School, who created Grado.

Great New Version Of A Flying Shooter was granted to Fernando X. Avila-Soto of John Glenn High School, who created Warzone.

Best Use Of A Simple Concept was awarded to Steven Hixson of John Glenn High School, who created Pform.

Most Ambitious Design was granted to Ferdinand G. Avila-Soto of John Glenn High School, who created Platform Madness.

A total of 14 students from area schools accepted the challenge to create, design and program the computer games of their choosing, even if they had no programming or computer science experience. They were helped along in the process during a series of workshops held at West Muskingum Middle School in April and May.

The students’ games were then played and judged by a panel made up of Shaffstall; Jason Witherell, a member of the Gaming and Simulation faculty at Shawnee State University; Cory Williams, Skunkworks architect at Resource Systems; and Dave Burkhart, multimedia teacher at West Muskingum Middle School.


Computer Science Students Present Research at Undergraduate Research and Scholarship Week Poster Session:

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The Science Division held its annual Undergraduate Research and Scholarship Week in April, during which students presented their research findings in poster presentations. Each worked with the faculty at Muskingum, as well as with experts and organizations from outside the campus.

MACS Department students participating in the Poster Session were:

Chad Callihan

Abstract: The World Wide Web is a tool that continues to grow each day both in the vast amount of content and number of users.  As this growth continues, the steps taken to find information online can become cumbersome.  With such an immense amount of content, pinpointing specific information online may sometimes seem impossible to a user.  For this reason, a number of ideas are being developed to make the experience of the user faster, easier, and more personalized.

Jayson Hilborn

Abstract: According to the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), RDF is a language for representing resources in the World Wide Web.  Like Extensible Markup Language (XML), RDF is used to describe metadata about information that is on the Web.  But what makes RDF different is that it can be generalized to describe any resource that can be identified on the Web.  This does not necessarily mean that the information needs to be directly retrievable from the Web. The intended use for RDF is to present information that can be used by computers.  RDF can be passed between applications and still hold its semantic meaning.  The common framework can then be used to pass information between applications even if the application was not originally created to process the information.

New Faculty Joins the MACS Department

Dr. Laura Bosley has joined the MACS Department as Assistant Professor of Mathematics and will begin teaching fall semester 2009. Laura received her Ph.D. from Ohio University and comes to us from Denison University. She has received the Carl H. Denbow Fund for Graduate Studies in Mathematics Award in 2003, and the Arts and Sciences Outstanding Teaching Assistant Award in 2004.

Laura has abundant teaching experience at the college level and has taught a wide range of courses, ranging from teaching math, geometry, and probability and statistics to elementary education majors to teaching calculus classes for science and engineering majors.

Ms. Holly Moore is will be Muskingum's new Instructor of Mathematics starting fall semester 2009. She has a masters in Mathematics Education (1999) from The Ohio State University. Holly has seventeen years of experience as an instructor, including teaching at Granville High School and Wittenberg University.

Holly was also head of the math department and on the Principal's Advisory Committee and Granville High School.