Student Accomplishments from the Division of Mathematics & Computer Science
Math and computer science (MCS) students excel in research and technology.
Simmons is proud of our undergraduate students for engaging in impressive research projects, presenting papers, and offering their knowledge to others in the form of workshops and publications. Do you have news about a recent paper, award, invitation to speak, volunteer work or other accomplishment? Please share with us!
Computer science students Eva Lynch (pictured) and Nicole Rasmussen presented a workshop called “Musical Bears” to local high school students on October 26 at Simmons. They introduced Python and electronic projects through the use of Raspberry Pis, which are small computers the size of credit cards, and gummy bears.
Computer science student Michelle Medici and data science student Gemma Lein-McDonough presented their research in a Student Poster Session at the Space Computing & Connected Enterprise Resiliency Conference 2018 hosted by MITRE, Inc., on June 7. Lein-McDonough's poster, "Exploring Provisions of Instrumental Support in Online Health Communities," covered research that she did in the 2017 University of Minnesota Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) program: Computational Methods for Discovery Driven by Big Data. Her research is on applying machine learning and word2vec models to identify instrumental support needs in online health communities. Medici's poster (with Simmons students Eleanor Humphreys and Natalie Moore), "Automatic Interpretation of Speech Contours and Interlocutor Signalling," was based on research with Professor Nanette Veilleux and was presented at the 2018 Undergraduate Symposium at Simmons. The project combines the fields of Computer Science and Linguistics to observe the function of prosody in human speech. The results of this experimentation will be used to augment synthetic speech for a more natural result.
Biostatistics and psychology student Giulea Pintea was selected for a nine-week summer research program for undergraduates, the Research in Industrial Projects for Students program at UCLA (RIPS-LA), from June 25 - August 24. In her RIPS summer research, Pintea and her teammates worked on building a convolutional neural network to predict the severity of post-treatment side effects based on given radiation therapy dosage for prostate cancer patients. Their sponsor was the University of North Carolina Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center. In early August, the team flew to North Carolina for a site visit and presented their findings, "Using Quality-of-Life Scores to Guide Prostate Radiation Therapy Dosing." They gave an invited technical talk at the Machine Intelligence Conference (MIC) hosted at MIT on November 3. Pintea also gave a poster presentation on the findings from her SURPASs research project, "Evaluating the Perception of Roma in Europe through Social Network Analysis" at the 2018 Sigma Xi Annual Meeting & Student Research Conference, October 25–28 at the Hyatt Regency, San Francisco Airport. Sigma Xi is a national scientific honor society to which Pintea was inducted in April. Her project was published in the World Academy of Science, Engineering and Technology International Journal of Humanities and Social Sciences, Vol:12, No:10, 2018.
Math and computer science student Pam Qian was an intern this past summer at the Institute for Intelligent Systems at the University of Memphis. Qian's research interest is in educational technology to help students learn more efficiently and tools that can close the educational inequality gap. She worked on an intelligent tutoring system with Professors Zhiqiang Cai and Xiangen Hu of the Computer Science Department at the University of Memphis. This research was funded by the National Science Foundation as part of the work for AutoTutor, an intelligent tutor that communicates with students through holding conversations in English or Chinese. She helped to program AutoTutor. On October 6, Qian gave a presentation, "Data Mining in Sports: The Relationship between Anthropometric Characteristics of Collegiate Female Rowers and Pacing Strategies on a 2000-meter Ergometer Test," at the 2018 IEEE MIT Undergraduate Research Technology Conference. In her talk she described the research she carried out in the 2017 SURPASs program under the supervision of Professor Nanette Veilleux.