Friday, January 29, 2016

Undergraduate Research at Fordham

I’ve been lucky enough to participate in undergraduate research since my second week on campus of my freshman year (I am currently a second semester senior).  I am a member of the Wireless Sensor Data Mining (WISDM) Lab that is run by Dr. Gary Weiss from the Department of Computer and Information Science.  Our main projects utilize data mining techniques with sensor data from smartphones and smartwatches to perform activity recognition and biometric identification tasks.  Fordham is a strong proponent of undergraduate research, so being able to participate work in a lab with one of my professors an undergrad has afforded me many opportunities that I may not have had at another school. 

WISDM members and Dr. Weiss working in the lab
I have been awarded multiple Fordham Undergraduate Research Grants during my time here that have funded my work during the academic year.  I have also received grants through Fordham and the Clare Boothe Luce Foundation so that I could continue my research on campus during the summer where my housing was paid for and I received a stipend.  One highly anticipated event every spring is Fordham’s Undergraduate Research Symposium held in April.  Over 300 students participated last year giving talks or presenting posters about their work.  I have participated in this event each year and look forward to once again sharing my research with faculty and my peers.  I have also had a chance to present my work at the Bronx Science Consortium Poster Symposium held at the Bronx Zoo.  Fordham University is part of the consortium alongside the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Montefiore Hospital, the New York Botanical Gardens, and the Wildlife Conservation Society/Bronx Zoo.
WISDM poster at the Undergraduate Research Symposium
In collaboration with Dr. Weiss and some other members of the WISDM lab, I submitted a paper to a conference describing our most recent work with smartwatch-based activity recognition.  We recently found out that the paper was accepted, and I am especially excited because I have the opportunity to attend the BHI-2016 International Conference on Biomedical and Health Informatics in Las Vegas.  Fordham awarded me an undergraduate travel grant so that I can present this paper at the conference at the end of February. 

Working on my research in the WISDM Lab
My involvement with undergraduate research has afforded me many opportunities to learn about and gain relevant experience in the computer science field.  I would not be pursuing the career path I am now if I had not been exposed to the field of data mining through my involvement with the WISDM Lab.  As I reflect on my time at Fordham, I am especially grateful for the support my school and faculty have offered me in my pursuit of my research.  I would not be where I am today without this incredible experience.  

You can read more about student research at Fordham here and here.  If you want to learn more about Fordham College at Rose Hill undergraduate research, research grants, and the Undergraduate Research Symposium, you can read about it here

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