KSU's computing showcase pivots to online format


Students relish chance at professional feedback in C-Day

KENNESAW, Ga. (Apr 27, 2020) — For Kennesaw State University computer science student Ava Podrazhansky, perhaps the most valuable aspect of the Computing Showcase, better known as C-Day, is the advice she receives from industry professionals.

Held each semester by the College of Computing and Software Engineering (CCSE), the event serves as an opportunity for undergraduate and graduate students to highlight their experiences within internships, research projects, capstones and thesis work. Students vie for the title of best project across multiple categories and are judged by industry leaders across the metro Atlanta area. 

“The connection is much more personal when you are talking to the judges and others who are viewing your project,” said Podrazhansky, who tied for first place in the undergraduate capstone category in 2019. “They end up telling you things that you might never consider. Last year, it just took one judge proposing a solution to a problem we were facing that allowed us to take the project to the next level.”

Unlike last year, Podrazhansky and more than 200 other students were tasked with pivoting from their traditional face-to-face discussions with judges and peers to a virtual based approach in the wake of COVID-19. Rather than present posters, she and others pitched their research and capstone projects in the form of five-minute YouTube videos shared ahead of the event. Instead of making personal connections face-to-face during the normal oral presentation session, many students elected to host judges over Zoom and Microsoft Teams video conferences.

Once again Podrazhansky found success, placing third in the undergraduate capstone project for her role in the Anti-COVID-19 Assistant, a mobile application designed to compile all news and information surrounding the spread of the disease with built-in artificial intelligence that allows users to judge whether they should seek medical attention based on a list of Centers for Disease Control and Prevention criteria. Joined by computer science students Jay Bhatt and Hao Zhang, the team completed the project in just a month.

“It was nice to get feedback from the industry experts and to also receive some recognition for all of the hard work that goes into these kinds of projects,” Podrazhansky said. “But it was also cool to see what your colleagues are doing in their own areas.”

Recognizing the importance of C-Day to CCSE students, Associate Dean Svetlana Peltsverger said the college made every attempt to run the event as close to normal as possible, even including a prerecorded video of Dean Jon Preston’s traditional opening remarks to students.

“This is an opportunity for our students to put together everything they’ve learned throughout their academic career and apply it,” Peltsverger said. “This an experience many have come to expect from the College of Computing and Software Engineering, and we worked hard to ensure everything was as normal as possible for our students.”

Chris Baxter, a graduate software engineering student returning for his second C-Day, said while he enjoys the chance to demonstrate the skills, he’s acquired throughout his time at Kennesaw State, he also savors the opportunity to hone his communication skills, which he believes will help him succeed as a researcher.

Having previously won first place at C-Day for his undergraduate capstone project, Baxter once again took first in the graduate research category for his project Analysis of Mental Illness with Virtual Reality (VR). The project seeks to provide mental health professionals with a visual tool to help augment their current practices of diagnosing mental illness in patients.

“C-Day has allowed me to better understand my own strengths and weaknesses, and correct any issues that the experts feel require it,” Baxter said. “As a result, I have become more mature, specifically as a communicator and presenter. In research and academia, one needs to have strong communication skills in order to flourish.”

The following were awarded for their 2020 C-Day projects:

Graduate Capstone Project

1st place

CCSE Project Management System: Geetika Bajaj, Nikita Talole, Elizabeth Gladstone and Casiana Mba Maye

Advisor: Dawn Tatum

2nd place

Backdoor Attacks: Bhavana Pateriya, Sowmya Kari and Priyanka Velu

Advisor: Xiaohua Xu

3rd place

Smart Traffic Light: Tony Niebank and Andrew Henshaw

Advisor: Mohammad Aledhari

Graduate Research Project

1st place

Analysis of Mental Illness with VR: Christopher Baxter

Advisor: Joy Li

2nd place

Group Key Exchange without TTP: Youdom Kemmoe Victor, Yongseok Kwo Kwon, Seunghyeon Shin, Rasheed Hussain and Sunghyun Cho

Advisor: Junggab Son

3rd place

Outlier Detection using RandomForest: Divya Pramasani Mohandoss

Advisor: Yong Shi

Undergraduate Capstone Project

1st place

The Clarity Project: Jacob Barnett, Henry Colomb, Amari McGee, Christian Moore and Jack Wengert

Advisor: Ying Xie

2nd place

Enlightenment: Jim Sizemore, Logan Thompson, Matt Dwyer and Chase Peery

Advisor: Joy Li

3rd place

Anti-COVID-19 Assistant: Ava Podrazhansky, Jay Bhatt and Hao Zhang

Advisors: Meng Han and Selena He

Undergraduate Research Project

1st place

App Ordinal Classification: Kayla Dougal, Jean Rodriguez, Jovanny Duran Salgado and David Hinojos

Advisor: Ying Xie

2nd place

Edge Computation for SDR-SDN: Samuel Helwig, Brandon Gocool, Olutayo Taiwo, Daniel Pierce and Brad Barnett

Advisors: Sumit Chakravarty and Ying Xie

3rd place

Vehicle License Plate Recognition: Zekai Fei

Advisor: Selena He


– Travis Highfield

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A leader in innovative teaching and learning, Kennesaw State University offers undergraduate, graduate and doctoral degrees to its nearly 43,000 students. With 11 colleges on two metro Atlanta campuses, Kennesaw State is a member of the University System of Georgia. The university’s vibrant campus culture, diverse population, strong global ties and entrepreneurial spirit draw students from throughout the country and the world. 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. For more information, visit kennesaw.edu