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Computing in Science & Engineering

St. Petersburg State University Professor Wins CiSE Educational Software Contest

A program that simulates the properties of ocean tides for geophysics students won first prize in the Computing in Science & Engineering educational software design contest. Eugene Butikov, a professor of physics at St. Petersburg State University in Russia, designed The Ocean Tides to demonstrate various properties of the gravitational forces that generate tides. Developed with MS Visual Basic 6.0, the program runs under Windows 95 or higher on PCs and is appropriate for college students studying geophysics, astronomy, or general physics. The program illustrates the properties of stationary tidal waves created in the open ocean by sun- or moon-induced tidal forces. The simulation uses a simplified model of the ocean, consisting of a water shell of equal depth wholly covering the globe. Butikov will receive a $500 award and a link from which to download his program on the Computer Society’s Web site.

Earning second place in the CiSE software contest is a program that models resonance and interference as waves pass through layers of materials. In electromagnetic mode, the program models the transmission of light through multilayer films; the quantum mechanics mode models the transmission of de Broglie waves through piecewise-continuous potential barriers. Designed by Wolfgang Christian and Jim Nolen of Davidson College in North Carolina, Reflection Physlet was written in Java 1.1 and runs on Java-ready browsers.

If you create great educational software

you can win professional recognition, widespread distribution of your software, and a $500 cash prize!

Computing in Science & Engineering magazine wishes to recognize and reward both professional and student authors of outstanding pedagogical software.

The contest goals are

  • to provide professional recognition to both professional and student authors of exceptional pedagogical software and
  • to help make the recognized software available to the scientific and engineering communities.

Winning entries must

  • have sound scientific/engineering/technical content appropriate to university-level and continuing-education students (students are encouraged to enter the contest);
  • present that material in a pedagogically effective way (for instance, offer good ancillary material such as worksheets, notes, perhaps a book);
  • accomplish something that is particularly well suited to the computer, rather than something just as well done with pen and paper; and
  • be freely available through the Internet (submissions that run on the Web using standard Web browsers are encouraged).

Up to six first-place winners will receive a certificate of recognition, professional commendation on CiSE’s Web site, and a $500 award. At the judges’ discretion, one of these may be deemed the grand prize winner and awarded $1000. Second-place winners will receive a certificate of recognition and professional commendation on CiSE’s Web site. We will describe all winning packages in a future issue of CiSE.

Check back to this site for details and submission instructions for next year's contest.

Updated: 3 November 2000

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