Sunday, October 9, 2016

This Young Woman Excels at Math!

The factorial function of a non-negative integer, denoted by N!, is the product of all positive integers less than or equal to N. It can also be defined recursively as N! = N * (N – 1)! Show the steps required to fully evaluate (((1! + 1)! + 1)! – 1)!

Can you solve the problem above?

Camille van der Watt can! And she did it before she started high school this September.

Recognizing her potential in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM), Peconic Bay Zonta and Brookhaven Women In Science (BWIS) paid for Camille's tuition at a workshop on scientific computing, held at Brookhaven National Laboratory this past summer.

At a recent event, Camille van der Watt described the summer workshop in scientific computing she took at Brookhaven Lab. She acknowledged and thanked Zonta and BWIS for their support. The woman seen on the screen to the right, Kathryn Meehan, was participating in the event from California via Skype. She is a Ph.D. student in physics at UC Davis and accepted a $1,000 prize given annually by BWIS. A good role model for Camille!

Every student who wished to participate in the workshop was given 10 questions to answer as part of the application process. The question above was #5.

Because space was limited, the selection process was very competitive. We learned through the workshop leader, David Biersach, a technology architect at Brookhaven Lab, that Camille was the first to complete early versions of the aptitude test and scored the highest.

This young woman excels at math!

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