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09 December, 2010

VCUQatar Hosts Physics and Mathematics Projects Day

Virginia Commonwealth University in Qatar presents Physics and Mathematics Projects Day on Thursday, 9 December, 2010 from 10:00 AM to 1:00 PM at the saffron hall in VCUQatar.

Projects created by VCUQatar’s physics students taking ‘Wonders of Technology’ and mathematics students taking ‘Introduction to Contemporary Mathematics’ classes will be on display while students explain their projects with a demonstration. Over 36 math-related projects developed using Fibonacci numbers, golden ratio, symmetry, fractals, and graph theory and 23 physics-related projects ranging from material properties to light and interaction between light and materials, textiles, nanotechnology, and electricity and magnetism will be showcased while students also explain how the education they acquire through physics and math at VCUQatar helps them relate to their chosen majors (fashion, graphic, or interior design and painting and printmaking) and life.

The annual Physics and Mathematics Projects Day at VCUQatar is in its third year and is further supported by an annual Science Fair in April. Both these events were initiated by Dr. Khalid Saoud, assistant professor of Physics and Dr. John Schmeelk, associate professor of Mathematics who realized the increasing role physics and mathematics were playing in modern design. At these events high school students get an opportunity to learn about how design has been influenced by mathematics and science especially in Islamic culture and architecture.

The event will begin with opening remarks from Dr. Saoud and Dr. Schmeelk who will introduce the event to students from visiting high schools. “Since math and physics offer difficulties for our students, we began the project notion to have the students develop a project that uses principles from math and physics to illustrate the results. The students do a very good project since they do this type of work in their majors. So here too they can demonstrate their creative skills and apply them for math and physics,” said Dr. Schmeelk.

Dr. Saoud said events like these gave the public an understanding of how general education works in a design school and how schools in Qatar could come together to promote science as a key factor in education in Qatar. “If you like to see how art, design, math, and physics complement each other and improve our way of doing things in our daily life you should attend the event and support our young designers,” he added.

The Physics and Mathematics Projects Day at VCUQatar is open from 10:00 AM to 1:00 PM on 9 December, 2010.The event is open to all school students and the broader public.

A visiting high school examining a project

VCUQatar student Fahad Al-Kuwari explaining how his project works

Dr. John Schmeelk examining a project

VCUQatar student’s physics-related project on fashion