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Leesville Daily Leader - Leesville, LA
  • LSMSA Computer Science program showcased through student awards

  • The National Center for Women in Technology (NCWIT) has selected two Louisiana School for Math, Science, and the Arts students for their prestigious “Aspirations in Computing” Award. The 2012 awardees are Samantha Fadrigalan, a senior from Baton Rouge, and Brianna Lawson, a senior from Lake Charles.
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  • The National Center for Women in Technology (NCWIT) has selected two Louisiana School for Math, Science, and the Arts students for their prestigious “Aspirations in Computing” Award. The 2012 awardees are Samantha Fadrigalan, a senior from Baton Rouge, and Brianna Lawson, a senior from Lake Charles.
    The NCWIT honors young women at the high school level for their computing and technology related achievements and interests. Awardees are selected for their computing and IT aptitude, leadership ability, academic history and plans for post-secondary education.
    “Computers have so much power and influence today and knowing how to use one properly is important," Lawson said. "Learning programming helped me realize how much I took for granted that had actually taken a really long time to create and work correctly. I plan to take the knowledge I have learned in computer science and major in mathematics. The two fields interest me and are very similar. For example, computers can iterate and do math functions much faster and more effectively than a human can.”
    Among the courses Lawson has taken while at LSMSA are linear algebra, differential equations, data structures, C++ and exploring computer science.
    "I had experience with programming before I went to LSMSA but I never really thought of pursuing anything that was computer related,” Fadrigalan said. “After taking the C++ class that my pre-calculus teacher talked me into, my ideal potential career path veered from being a pediatrician to an engineer. I was so fascinated with C++ and actually knowing how programming is utilized everywhere, from the local donut shop's cash register, to the basics of making scientific simulations.”
    Fadrigalan spent last summer at LSU as an intern in the physics and astronomy department studying message passing interface (MPI) to optimize matrix multiplication. That experience propelled her to consider a career in computer engineering. Through the internship and by participating on an LSMSA team that presented at an Oklahoma supercomputing symposium, Fadrigalan said she gained insight as to how important supercomputing is in everything from medical research labs to car manufacturing.
    “The Aspirations Award is a highly prestigious award that elevates and celebrates today's extraordinary tech-savvy women,” said computer science instructor Sanjeetha Peters. “I'm stoked the Louisiana state winners are from LSMSA. It is important to see these girls recognized because they will be tomorrow's architects of change in a predominantly male-dominated technology industry.”
    Both students will attend an awards ceremony April 1 at Louisiana Tech University in Ruston, where they will receive a plaque and a range of prizes provided by sponsors including Microsoft, the Motorola Solutions Foundation and Google.

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