The Governor's School of Engineering and Technology is a unique and intensive residential summer program that brings together some of New Jersey's most talented and motivated high school students. Hosted on the campus of the Rutgers University School of Engineering, it was held this year from June 27 – July 23, 2010.
At no cost to their families, students spend part of the summer following their junior year taking team-based courses in areas such as "Robot Soccer" and research projects ranging from creating biodiesel fuel to enhancing privacy on Facebook, students collaborate on interesting and cutting-edge topics.
During the program, scholars collaborate with 2-4 other students on a novel research project, and also enroll in five challenging engineering courses that cover material not normally seen in high schools, or even at the undergraduate level.
One of the courses this year was "Math Behind the Machine" taught by postdoc Troy Lee. This series of 11 lectures gave a taste of the topics and techniques of theoretical computer science to 23 enthusiastic students, including 9 women. The lectures ranged from a classic algorithm to arrange happy marriages acted out by the students to an introduction to quantum computing. Center Postdoc Guy Rothblum also gave a guest lecture in the series on cryptography.
Center postdocs Vassilevska and Williams gave a similar course at the Governor's School last year and the body of available material to introduce high school students to theoretical computer science
continues to grow and evolve.
A website for the course, including lecture notes, may be found here.