Published: April 2016
Ten undergraduate independent research projects—launched in the departments of biology, biochemistry, classical studies, computer science, economics, finance, information systems, and physics—were displayed at the University’s daylong symposium on big data held March 16 in the Newton and Boston Rooms. In a spirit of open exchange, another 19 undergraduates shared the work of their senior theses with faculty, staff, and peers in the O’Neill Reading Room on April 8. This sampler of student research presentations was drawn from photographs by Lee Pellegrini.
Big Data Symposium
Newton and Brighton Rooms, Corcoran Commons
Computer science major Ning Lu ’16 showed the outcomes of hypothetical computerized stock trades that relied on an algorithm he designed to yield improved results with repeated use (so-called machine learning). At left is Ginger Saariaho, executive director of school development for the Office of University Advancement.
Computer science major Ayako Mikami ’16 shared a piece of music produced with an algorithm she adapted. The algorithm enabled her computer to “learn” the patterns of some 2,500 traditional Chinese compositions.
Kaitlin Chaung ’17, a biology major who employed machine learning techniques to tag elements within cells using color or other visual cues, spoke with, from left, Rita Klapes ’86 (mother of another student researcher in the room, classical studies major Peter Klapes ’19) and Jill Edgar, licensing associate in the University’s Office of Technology Transfer and Licensing.
Peter Salvitti, chief technologist of information technology services at Boston College, tried out a virtual reality headset at a presentation by computer science majors Cameron Lunt ’17 (blue shirt) and Ryan Reede ’16 (not pictured). Beyond the poster, associate professor of the practice of English Joseph Nugent (left) talked with Neal H. Patel, head of human/social dynamics at Google Inc. Patel took part in an afternoon panel on the ethical implications of big data. Nugent spoke in the morning on how the resources of big data have changed literature studies.
Information systems and finance major Yuqi Wang ’16 (left) and physics major Ziyin Liu ’18 (right) described their collaborative research on stock prices and the influence of factors such as social media postings and New York City weather to Peter Salvitti, chief technologist of information technology services, and associate University librarian Kimberly Kowal.
Senior Thesis Poster Session
Reading Room, O’Neill Library
Political science major Marissa Marandola ’16 (right) wrote her thesis on “The Dollar Debates: Comparing the Implications of Judicial versus Political Intervention for School Finance Reform.” At left is fellow senior Brittany Keroack.
Political science major Michael Crupi ’16 described his study, “An Inquiry into the Intellectual Foundations of Modern American Conservatism,” to assistant professor of political science Lindsey O’Rourke.
Doyle Calhoun ’16, a linguistics major, talked with University Libraries staff members—from left, Carli Spina, Barbara Adams Hebard, Benjamin Florin, Christine Mayo, and Anna Kijas—about his work on “Language, Mission, and Africa: Digitizing and Contextualizing French Missionary Analyses of African Languages, c. 1850–1920.”
Philosophy major Eleni Callas ’16, whose thesis is titled “How Free Am I? Where Neuroscientific Experiments Can Lead,” talked with assistant professor of philosophy Richard Atkins.
Ejona Bakalli ’16 described her Islamic civilization and societies thesis—“The Ottoman Imperial Harem”—to fellow seniors (from left) Beylul Negassi, Chethanna Raphael, Yolanda Bustillo, and Olivia Guyon.
Philosophy major Walter Yu ’16 and theology professor M. Shawn Copeland discussed Yu’s work on “The Phenomenology of Empathy.”
International studies major Tate Krasner ’16 (center), with economics professor Joseph Quinn and Akua Sarr, vice provost for academic affairs. Krasner’s thesis was titled “Identity (in) Crisis: Examining Interorganizational Cooperation within the Peacekeeping Regime Complex.”
International studies major Garrett Lau ’16 researched “Roma Education in Post-Communist Eastern Europe: Pathways for Intervention to Reduce Levels of Social Exclusion.” At right is Lindsay Schrier ’18.
Richard Balagtas ’16, a philosophy major whose subject was “The Human Marketplace: The Ethical and Medical Challenges of Illicit Organ Trafficking,” talked with, from left, Allicen Dichiara ’16, Lauren Lin ’18, and Kejs Aliko ’18.
Alexander Hawley ’16 wrote about “The Muslim Brotherhood’s Gamble with the Arab Spring: The Re-Radicalization of Islamist Parties in Democratizing Governments” for his international studies thesis. At right is J. J. Mao ’16.