When she’s not in the classroom, UNC Pembroke computer science professor Cynthia Zhang is busy inspiring future college students.
Dr. Zhang is a mentor and coach for the Science Olympiad team for IB Piedmont Open Middle School in Charlotte, N.C. Her Codebusters team won the state championship at the North Carolina Science Olympiad at N.C. State University held April 21.
Zhang’s team qualified for the National Science Olympiad competition in Wichita, Kansas, where they brought home fourth place in the Codebusters event in Division B. The event was held at Wichita State University on May 19-20.
One of the nation’s most prestigious STEM competitions, the Science Olympiad is comprised of knowledge events covering topics in engineering, physics, epidemiology, astronomy, chemistry, meteorology and coding. In Codebusters, students compete in encoding or decoding ciphers, such as Affine cipher, Caesar cipher, cryptarithm and Morse code ciphers.
The national event featured 120 teams from 50 states.