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DSU student researchers honored for project work

April 4, 2019

Six student researchers were honored at the 2019 Research Symposium Poster Session March 27.

The centerpiece of Dakota State’s annual Research Symposium, the poster session “is an opportunity for faculty and students to challenge each other to ask better questions, embed them in excellent research design, share compelling findings, and renew this process with persistent curiosity,” said Dr. Josh Pauli, vice president for Research and Economic Development.

“The 2019 Research Symposium represented a diverse cross-section of ongoing undergraduate and graduate research here at DSU,” said Dr. Peter Hoesing, director of Sponsored Programs. Seven faculty and 28 student projects were represented in a variety of work.

Hoesing noted that guests at the session included representatives of the National Science Board and several regional institutions, who were impressed with the quality and variety of research they learned about here.

“These are encouraging signals for the future of research at Dakota State,” he stated.

The first-place winner in the graduate category was Martinson Ofori, a computer science master’s degree student. His project was titled, “Smart Agriculture Beyond Industry: Analyzing the Future of Agriculture Through Social Media Insights.”

Ofori pointed out that his home country, Ghana, is the second largest producer of cocoa in the world, yet as with most developing countries, “there are issues with land degradation, lack of investment, and over-reliance on traditional cropping methods.”

For him, this smart agriculture research and first place award “represents a win for everyone as it provides key insights into adoption of artificial intelligence and big data in agriculture from a public perspective.” He notes that these technologies are changing industry practices the world over and introducing new efficiencies.

“I am hopeful that my findings will garner quick adoption of these innovations and in turn, food production in both developing and developed countries as we prepare towards achieving the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 2 (zero hunger),” Ofori said.

The first-place undergraduate winner, Alexis VanderWilt, said “being a part of the rising undergraduate research culture has been life-changing.”

A computer science and mathematics for information systems double major from Mitchell, S.D., she said “I have learned so much about how to be curious, ask questions, and leverage all of the resources that DSU has to offer. I can't wait to see what next year brings and where my research can take me.”

Out of 14 undergraduate projects, a panel of judges named these as the top three:

1st place: “What is the Relationship between the Interpretation of Data and the Medium of Presentation?” by Alexis VanderWilt, computer science and mathematics for information systems double major from Mitchell, S.D. Faculty advisor was Dr. Cherie Noteboom.

2nd place: “Computer Modelling of the Projectile Trajectory through Fluid” by Samuel Drummond, a physical sciences major from Seaford, Victoria, Australia. Faculty advisor was Dr. James Maloney.

3rd place: “Mastermind with Deceptive Code Maker,” by Madison Krell, a computer science and math double major from Shakopee, Minn. Faculty advisor was Dr. Mark Spanier.

Out of 14 graduate projects, a panel of judges named these as the top three:

1st place: “Smart Agriculture Beyond Industry: Analyzing the Future of Agriculture Through Social Media Insights” by Martinson Ofori, a master’s degree student in computer science from Ghana. Faculty researcher Dr. Omar El-Gayar.

2nd place: “Effectiveness of Transfer Learning on Medical Image Classification Using Chest-XRAY DataSet” by doctoral student James Boit. Faculty researcher was Dr. David Zeng.

3rd place: “Understanding the Influence of Digital Divide and Socio-Economic Factors on the Prevalence of Diabetes,” by Loknath Sai Ambati, a doctoral student from India majoring in Information Systems, specializing in decision support systems. Faculty researchers were Dr. Omar El-Gayar and Dr. Nevine Nawar.