Information and Technology

Gibbons Summer Research Program Funds 70 Students and Counting

Story posted February 10, 2011

John Wendell '11 published a paper in Physical Review D, Danielle McAvoy '13 organized a Technology Day for non-profit organizations, and Will Albuquerque '11 digitized over 2,000 CDs from the WBOR collection.  John, Danielle, and Will were members of last summer’s Gibbons Summer Research Program and spent the summer pursuing their academic and extracurricular interests while gaining new technical skills.

John collaborated with Professor Thomas Baumgarte and studied numerical relativity.  He spent the summer writing code to simulate the black hole geometry in five spacetime dimensions.  More specifically, he studied the transition from a so-called wormhole geometry to a trumpet geometry in dynamical calculations.  His work has continued into this academic year with an honors project.  Additionally, he and Professor Baumgarte recently co-authored a paper on the subject that was published in Physical Review D.

One of Danielle’s goals for the service-learning project was to connect Computer Science students with non-profit organizations to help them accomplish a technical need.  As part of her project, she organized a technology day that brought staff from non-profit organizations to Bowdoin to learn more about Excel, digital video, databases, and social networking.  Her goal was achieved on October 29, 2010 when more than 30 people spent the day at Bowdoin attending workshops and gaining new knowledge.

Will has spent a lot of time at the WBOR radio station as a DJ and Publicity Director.  That time and experience made him keenly aware of the gems in the radio station’s collection and also made him realize how under-utilized the collection was.  He proposed a project to digitize and catalog the WBOR collection to make it accessible to student and community DJs via iTunes.  He began digitizing and cataloging the collection last summer and as of the present has completed more than 2,000 CDs and is well on his way to making the valuable collection more accessible.

These students were not the only ones to do excellent work last summer thanks to the Gibbons Summer Research Program.  The program also funded the work of Ben Johnson '11, Scott Longwell '12, Sean McElroy '12, Nathan Merritt '11, Nick Riker '12, and Chase Taylor '12 and their faculty advisors.

Since 1999, the Gibbons Summer Research Program has been funding students and faculty to collaborate on projects using technology.  John Gibbons '64 established the fund to enable rising sophomores, juniors, and seniors to work with faculty members on projects that will enhance their academic progress and explore interdisciplinary issues.  As a result of Mr. Gibbons' generosity, the program has funded over 70 students.

Links to articles and web sites about the Gibbons Summer Research Program

Dennison, K., Wendell, J., Baumgarte, T., & Brown, J. (2010). Trumpet slices of the Schwarzschild-Tangherlini spacetime. Physical Review D, 82, 124057-1-124057-10. (Featuring John Wendell '11)
Note: PDF of full article is available by subscription to Bowdoin community members

IT and McKeen Center hold First-ever "Technology Day" (Featuring Danielle McAvoy '13)

Maybank, E. (2010, May 7). WBOR manager to digitize radio station’s CD, vinyl collection. The Bowdoin Orient. (Featuring Will Albuquerque '11)

Bowdoin iPhone Dining App (Featuring Ben Johnson '11)

Gibbons Summer Research Program: Elise Krob and Professor Eric Chown (Featuring Elise Krob '10)

Gibbons Summer Research Program Video (Featuring students from Summer 2010)

I think it's really important to have students in here working on these projects in their fields of study over the summer.  It's really rewarding to be able to do that.
— Sean McElroy '12