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Shepherd student has internship with NASA

Auld coding programs that NASA engineers use to do their jobs

August 30, 2010

SHEPHERDSTOWN, W.Va. - Shepherd University senior computer science and mathematics major Robert Auld of Gerrardstown, W.Va., joined 250 interns at the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center to work with NASA engineers during a summer internship program.

The internship, which began June 1 and continued through August, was in Greenbelt, Md.

While there, Auld coded programs that NASA engineers use to do their jobs, working on optimization of antennae on a sounding rocket to maximize scientific returns given a set of constraints.

The interns working at the center this summer were selected from a national pool of roughly 2,500 applicants.

The NASA internship was promoted to Shepherd students in the Department of Computer Science, Mathematics and Engineering.

Auld said the application process was mainly online. Applicants searched through hundreds of projects and applied for the specific programs in which they were interested.

Dr. Weidong Liao, associate professor in the Department of Computer Science, Mathematics and Engineering, said only a few Shepherd students have interned at NASA facilities in the past.

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Liao said he believes that Auld is the only Shepherd student selected by the NASA Goddard Center in the past five years.

Following graduation, Auld said he would like to get a job at NASA, although he is also considering other government agencies to pursue a career in computer coding.

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