Thursday, October 4, 2012

GHC12: SRC Poster Competition: Undergraduate – Round Two

In this session semifinalist undergraduate students from the Wednesday night poster session are each given 15 minutes to present their work.

The first presentation was on Digital Organisms, a topic I had never heard about before!  Mairin Chesney, The student, whose name I missed, was from Michigan State. She was focusing on host and parasite organisms, along with sexual recombination. I have to admit, this was a bit difficult to wrap my head around, though the videos of a organism growing and being attacked by a parasite were quite fascinating. She also shared some stories from the research about these organisms learning things - like "playing dead" in an attack scenario.

The next presenter was Jillian Kramer, Villanova University, talking about her work on mobile technology and efficiency. For example, what's faster? Starting an app to read a QR code to get to a webpage, or just opening a browser window and tying in the URL? Her research assumed there was an expert user and the phone was already unlocked. The most efficient method for accessing a link? Clicking on a link in email, next fastest was QR code, finally - good old fashioned typing was the slowest.

Kaleigh Clary, Hendrix College, researched for a superior method for handwriting recognition by a machine. Part of her research had to do with teaching a machine to learn handwriting, using a lot of interesting algorithms She compared Self-Organized Maps with Growing Neural Gas Network, finding that GNG was the best.

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