Computer In Engineering Essay Contests

Computer science PhD student Weiwei Duan is a winner of the GPU Essay Challenge, presented by the United States Geospatial Intelligence Foundation (USGIF) in partnership with NVIDIA. Photo/Yijun Lin.

USC computer science PhD student Weiwei Duan has been named a winner of the GPU Essay Challenge, presented by the United States Geospatial Intelligence Foundation (USGIF) and technology company NVIDIA.

Open to individuals attending or working at one of USGIF’s 14 accredited universities, contestants were tasked to answer the question: “If you were given dedicated access to an NVIDIA GPU-powered supercomputer, what problems could you solve?

Duan’s insightful prize-winning essay revealed how she plans to harness the power of supercomputers to advance the field of prediction analysis. A traditionally labor-intensive task, prediction analysis applies advanced analytics techniques to data sets to forecast future activity, behaviors and trends.

In previous work, Duan and Yao-Yi Chiang, an associate professor of research with USC’s Spatial Sciences Institute, presented a semi-automated predictive analysis system called Sansa, which streamlines data analysis workflow from heterogeneous data sources. In a case study, Duan and Chiang demonstrated the system’s ability to predict future geographic hubs for fuel cell technologies.

Duan hopes the prize of two NVIDIA Titan Xp graphics processing units (GPU) will propel their research to the next level.

In her essay, she writes: “If given dedicated access to a NVIDIA GPU-powered supercomputer to Sansa, we will be able to test and integrate selected deep learning models into Sansa and will, in turn, allow Sansa to handle large heterogeneous data sources and to improve the prediction results.”

The contest is a way to support educators and students in their efforts to accelerate innovation. The other two winning essays were submitted by researchers at the University of South Carolina and the U.S. Military Academy at West Point.

“All the applications were very professional and unveiled interesting ideas on how to use the GPUs in research and/or teaching,” said Dr. Camelia Kantor, USGIF’s Director of Academic Programs, in a news release.

“With such strong contenders for the award it was a difficult choice. The three winners stood out because they made a strong case for using the GPUs for the benefit of their students.”

Win Scholarship Money Now! 10 Essay Contests for High School Sophomores and Juniors


Learn how to win college scholarship money now with these 10 essay contests for high school sophomores and juniors.

Opportunities abound for high school sophomores and juniors to write essays and win college scholarship money. For potential pay-days as big as $10,000, it’s time well-spent.

My College Guide has gathered a list of 10 essay contests that high school sophomores and juniors can participate in. Be sure to check each contest’s website for complete rules and deadlines. Now, get your laptop ready and start writing!

American Foreign Service Association Essay Contest: Write an essay for this prestigious national essay contest for a chance to win a $2,500 cash prize, an all-expenses-paid trip to Washington, D.C. to meet the Secretary of State and full tuition to cover a Semester at Sea voyage once you enroll at an accredited university. Any high school student can enter. New essay contest rules and the application are posted in November each year. The deadline is typically in April.

Bennington Young Writers Awards: Students in grades 10 through 12 can participate in this writing contest. Choose from one of three categories: poetry, fiction or nonfiction personal or academic essay. The deadline is usually November 1 each year. Top prize is $500.

DuPont Challenge Science Essay Contest: Middle school and high school students can participate in this essay contest. Write an essay on a science-related topic on one of four of the identified challenges: feeding the world, building a secure energy future, protecting people and the environment and being innovative. The deadline is typically in February each year. Prizes range from a $250 U.S. Savings Bond to a $5,000 U.S. Savings Bond. First, second and third place winners also receive a trip to Orlando.

EGirl Essay Contest: The National Academy of Engineering’s EngineerGirl website offers an essay contest on an engineering topic for girls and boys. Awards range from $100 to $500. Winning entries are published online.

First Freedom Student Competition: Write an essay (or create a video) about a topic examining the history and current-day relevance of religious freedom. Top prize is $2,500. The deadline is usually in November each year.

The Fountainhead Essay Contest: High school juniors can read Ayn Rand’s The Fountainhead and write an essay on one of three topics. Prizes range from $50 to $10,000. The entry deadline is typically in April.

JFK Profile in Courage Essay Contest: Write an essay on a U.S. elected official “who has chosen to do what is right, rather than what is expedient.” The winner gets $10,000, second place gets $1,000 and up to five finalists receive $500 each. The deadline is typically in early January each year.

George S. & Stella M. Knight Essay Contest: The National Society Sons of the American Revolution sponsors this annual essay contest. Students compete at the state and national levels. You must write an essay on a topic related to the American Revolution, Declaration of Independence or U.S. Constitution. The top national winner receives $2,000. State/local deadlines are usually by no later than December 31 each year, but these deadlines can vary depending on location.

National Peace Essay Contest: The U.S. Institute of Peace offers this contest. First-place state winners receive a trip to Washington, D.C., and a $1,000 scholarship. National award winners receive $2,500 to $10,000. Essays are typically due in February.

Scholastic Art & Writing Awards: Apply in one of 28 categories to earn a scholarship and have your artwork exhibited or writing published. Awards range from $500 to $2,500. New submissions are typically accepted beginning in September each year. Deadlines vary by region and contest.

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