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Tuesday, March 31, 2015
Bellmore-Merrick Central District boasts three Intel semifinalists
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Corey Wald, of Mepham High, combined his loves of sports and science for his project. He was joined by his science adviser, Dr. David Kommor, left, and Mepham Principal Michael Harrington.

Wald, whom teachers at Mepham describe as a master of mathematics, conducted a statistical analysis of the effects of cloud cover on how well –– or poorly –– baseball games are played. He got the idea from a Kent State University master’s thesis, “The Impact of Cloud Cover on Major League Baseball,” published by graduate student Wesley Kent in 2004.

Wald looked at a variety of variables, from pitching to hitting to fielding, and found that batters were negatively affected by bright sun. His study, which was contained in monstrous spreadsheets, reinforced the data that Kent found in his study.

“We tell students from day one, ‘Do what you want,’ and he did,” said Dr. David Kommor, Wald’s research adviser at Mepham.

“Dr. Kommor helped me along the way,” Wald quickly piped in. “He steered me in the right direction.”

Kommor said that Wald wasn’t shy about citing Kent’s work in his final research paper. “He gave credit where credit was due,” Kommor said. “It was so genuine. It was honest.”

Mepham Principal Michael Harrington, who played college baseball at Providence, said he is a “huge baseball fan.” But, he noted, “I’m an even bigger Corey Wald fan. He represents the very best at Mepham.”

Wald is vice president of the Students Against Destructive Decisions club and a member of the national, English, social studies, math, science and French honor societies. He is a regular participant in Mepham’s Elite program, which offers short after-school classes to enrich students’ learning experiences. His favorite class, he said, was a one-day seminar in which he dissected a pig.

He said he hopes to study biomedical engineering at Johns Hopkins University or the University of Pennsylvania this fall.


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