Student Research Headlines Two Kennesaw State Events

On-campus showcases celebrate student research, industry collaboration

KENNESAW, Ga. (Dec 9, 2019) — With the fall semester winding down, Kennesaw State University has been anything but dormant as undergraduate and graduate students demonstrated their research prowess in a pair of on-campus events related to their fields of study.

Recently, more than 280 people participated in the eighth annual R Day hosted by the University’s Department of Statistics and Analytical Sciences. At R Day, students participated in a poster presentation session in which awards were given for first, second and third place at both the undergraduate and graduate levels, each of the presentations relating to analytics research. In a separate event, more than 200 College of Computing and Software Engineering students partook in the biannual Computing Showcase, better known as C-Day, in which they presented posters and computer games highlighting their experiences within internships, team projects, capstones and thesis work.

In R Day’s undergraduate category, computational and applied mathematics student Julia Fortenberry was awarded first place for her project, “What’s Cooler Than Being Cool? Ice Cold,” which studied an approach that could save a local warehouse and distribution operation more than $100,000 annually. Jonathan Boardman, who is pursuing a Ph.D. in Analytics and Data Science, won the top prize for a graduate student with his project, “CAkTuS: Tackling the Thorny Issue of Covariate Imbalance,” which proposes a novel algorithm for sampling data to obtain a representative sample when creating testing and validation data sets for large, complex data sets which require multiple levels of stratification.

In addition to poster presentations featuring student's analytics research, the conference features regional analytics leaders discussing evolving trends in industry and links the statistics programs at KSU with businesses that use analytics and data science.  The "R" in R day refers to the popular open-source statistical software used by statisticians and data scientists around the world.

“KSU R Day provides our students with a great networking opportunity to meet with regional R users, allowing them to begin building their professional network, and giving them a look at real-world careers available to them in advanced data science,” said Nicole Ferguson, R Day organizer and associate professor of statistics.

Like R Day, C-Day awards first, second and third place prizes to students across four categories: undergraduate capstone, undergraduate research project, graduate capstone and graduate research project. Additional awards were given by Atlanta-based company NCR and by a panel of CCSE alumni judges.

The event, which first started in the spring 2016 semester, is comprised of a panel of judges representing several industries related to the computing field, presenting students with additional opportunities to network with Atlanta area companies.

“C-Day has always proven to be a tremendous opportunity for not only our students, but also for local companies to see first-hand the quality and capability our students demonstrate by applying their studies for real-world solutions,” said Svetlana Peltsverger, associate dean in the College of Computing and Software Engineering. “For many, this an opportunity to highlight their skills directly to employers in a way that no resume can.”

The following students were recognized for their work at R Day and C-Day:

R Day Winners

Undergraduate: Julia Fortenberry, “What’s Cooler than Being Cold? Ice Cold.”

Graduate: Jonathan Boardman, “CAkTuS: Tackling the Thorny Issue of Covariate Imbalance.”

C-Day Winners

Best Undergraduate Capstone (tie): UC-13 “NCR/US Secret Service Capstone,” Alex Philavong, Oswaldo Armas, Seth Carroll, Lawson Garlin and Sol Kim; UC-19 “KSU Research Portal,” Ava Podrazhansky, Cody Harrison and Harriet Haisty.

Best Graduate Capstone: GC-09 “Table Order Management System,” Vincent Ogonor, Abdulaziz Houbani, Robert Hennings, Merlyn Sequeria and Pui Tam.

Best Undergraduate Research Project: UR-03 “Geospatial Cyber Threat Hunting,” Kristopher Barnette, Rabab Turabi and Lain Alexander.

Best Graduate Research Project: GR-04 “Network Anomaly Detection,” Daniel Karasek, Jeehyeong Kim, Victor Kemmoe and Seunghyeon Shin.

NCR Capstone Award: UC-13 “NCR/US Secret Service Capstone,” Alex Philavong, Oswaldo Armas, Seth Carroll, Lawson Garlin and Sol Kim.

Alumni Award: UC-24 “Computer Vision for Fall Detection,” Ryan Taylor, Elise Maloney, Dion Agbontaen and Marquez McClendon.

—Robert S. Godlewski and Travis Highfield


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A leader in innovative teaching and learning, Kennesaw State University offers more than 150 undergraduate, graduate and doctoral degrees to its approximately 38,000 students. With 13 colleges on two metro Atlanta campuses, Kennesaw State is a member of the University System of Georgia and the third-largest university in the state. The university’s vibrant campus culture, diverse population, strong global ties and entrepreneurial spirit draw students from throughout the region and from 92 countries across the globe. Kennesaw State is a Carnegie-designated doctoral research institution (R2), placing it among an elite group of only 6 percent of U.S. colleges and universities with an R1 or R2 status, and one of the 50 largest public institutions in the country. For more information, visit kennesaw.edu.

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