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New Mexico State University

New Mexico State University

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Summer camp allows community college students to earn while they learn

A five-week computer science summer camp to be held at New Mexico State University July 10-Aug. 11 will give students attending two-year vocational schools, tribal colleges and community colleges the opportunity to get paid to learn about a promising new field in science while living on campus.

s accepted into the program will receive free tuition for the two-credit course, as well as free books, materials, meals, lodging, activity cards, round-trip travel reimbursement and a $300 weekly stipend for five weeks.

The summer camp is funded by the National Science Foundation and will focus on the fields of computer science and bioinformatics.

According to Desh Ranjan, professor and head of the department of computer science at NMSU, bioinformatics can be defined as "the science that uses advanced computing techniques for management and analysis of biological data."

Ranjan said the complete sequencing of the human genome, a major scientific breakthrough, would not have been possible without bioinformatics. Better drug design, gene therapy and the development of new varieties of disease-resistant crops also rely on bioinformatics.

To be eligible for participation, students must have at least a 3.0 GPA, a background in science-related courses and two recommendations from professors familiar with their work. Applicants must also submit an essay explaining why they believe they would benefit from attending the camp, and be willing to spend five weeks on the NMSU campus.

"These summer camps offer students a wonderful opportunity to gain experience in a university setting and to network with other students with similar interests as well as with the faculty and staff at the computer science department," said Linda Sandoval, program coordinator for the NMSU department of computer science.

To apply go to http://www.cs.nmsu.edu/CREST. The deadline for applications is April 28.

Austin Craig
March 9, 2006