emoment with carl
When I was a dean at the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia, one of the top high schools from which we recruited was Thomas Jefferson Magnet School. It’s considered by some to be the top high school in the U.S. with only a 17 percent acceptance rate. “TJ” routinely has won the American Computer Science League Invitational All-Star Competition. Not this year. Emmaus High School, open to all students in the East Penn School District in the Lehigh Valley region of Pennsylvania, sent a team to the competition in Thousand Oaks, California, beating not only TJ, but teams from across the U.S. and Europe. One of Emmaus’ five team members, Ian Bowler, became interested in computers at age three. Computers “allow me to learn in the way I feel most comfortable: from the examples of others and through hands-on experimentation.” As impressive as he and his teammates were individually, Ian says they won by working together: “Our greatest key to success was working in a way where we all were confident in our abilities, but still having the support of others when we faced challenges we could not face alone.” Sought after by numerous colleges, Ian visited E-town where professors “treated me as though I was not only a student, but a member of the community. The small class sizes, direct research opportunities with professors, and ability to bond with other students through these opportunities drew me to the college. I felt like I was home at Elizabethtown College.” Ian now looks forward to the College’s Signature Learning Experiences of internships and investigating “the use of artificial intelligence and robotics to assist and even replace humans in dangerous situations.” “Using computers to automatically control basic operations,” Ian says, “gives humans the opportunity to focus on innovation in other areas.”

Welcome to E-town, Ian and the rest of the Great Class of 2021.

Enjoy the moment,

Carl J. Strikwerda,

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