Students in a West Virginia University engineering class are gaining skills in problem solving, computer programming and mathematical simulation in an unusual waya trip to the bowling alley.

Alfred H. Stiller, a professor of chemical engineering, will lead two honors sections of Engineering 102an introductory class for freshmenin a trip to the Mountainlairs bowling alley at 5:30 p.m., Wednesday, April 4.

The purpose of the bowling trip is to gather the data that the students will then use to design and develop a simulated bowling game,said Stiller.

Bowling is a game in which possible events do not have equal probabilities, explained Stiller.

It is a fairly complex process to determine the probabilities of various pins being knocked over by any one shot,he said.

The students will bowl several games, then gather and compile all of the data from the results. Theyll enter the data into a spreadsheet program on laptop computers while they bowl.

Additionally, the students will conduct computer programming and mathematical simulations to design a simulated computer bowling game. The simulated game will use probabilities based on results of the games bowled.

The students will write the computer program for the simulated bowling game using C and MATLAB programming languages, which they have been learning in class.

Stiller has been introducing engineering freshmen to computer programming and mathematical simulation through this project for several years.

The simulated game of each class is unique because the data from their actual bowling games vary widely,said Stiller.This is a very popular activity for these honors freshmen in engineering and not just because they are getting to leave the classroom and spend time at the bowling alley.

The students enjoy this exercise because it provides them with a real challenge and an opportunity to use skills they have gained in class.

For more information, contact Stiller at 304-293-2111, ext. 2408.