This past summer, nearly 80 students conducted research at Stevens and abroad as part of the Stevens Scholars Program, and each had a chance to showcase and discuss their work on Wednesday, October 13, in the Babbio Center at a poster exhibit and reception to celebrate their accomplishments.
Scholars Program summer research projects are diverse in topic and scope. Commonly, though, all the projects allow students to apply their engineering and scientific training to design and research, an attractive challenge to students eager for experience beyond the classroom. Sophomores Jackson Kelly and Chris Federici were among the scholars presenting their work at the exhibit. Their study, "Investigation of Secure Human Identification Protocols with Random Noise," was conducted under the guidance of Dr. Antonio Nicolosi and, in layman's terms, involves designing the code and interface for a more secure way of utilizing usernames and passwords - while still maintaining ease of use for consumers. Both Chris and Jackson are pursuing degrees in Computer Science and Mathematics and said they appreciate the opportunity to conduct hands-on, cutting edge research. "The coursework is one thing," Jackson said. "But it's this kind of research opportunitiy that allows us to explore new territories - to take part in real-world problem solving."
Incoming freshmen were invited to attend the showcase, which, for them, is a chance to be inspired by and consider participation in such student-driven research as quantum cryptography, bone regeneration, neural tissue engineering, a novel approach to overcome the drug resistance of cancer cells, understanding social networks psychology of movement in video games, indoor geolocation technology, passive solar house technology, applications of energy harvesting for micro/nano robotics, and more.
"The Stevens Scholars Program provides our best students the opportunity to conduct research within a wide range of topics during the summer," said Dr. Edward Whittaker, professor of physics and engineering physics in the Charles V. Schaefer, Jr School of Engineering & Science and director of the Stevens Scholars Program. "Students work closely with a faculty member and present their research not only at annual poster sessions but also in leading research journals."
Stevens Scholars are typically high-acieving students with strong interest in and dedication to their areas of study. Strong candidates are invited by faculty to apply for the program. And once admitted, student scholars must maintain a minimum 3.2 GPA at Stevens. In addition to summer research - or additional summer coursework - Stevens scholars can earn a combined B.E/M.E, B.E./M.S., or B.S./M.S. degree in just four years and accelerate their programs of study to earn B.A., B.E. or B.S. degrees in three years. Over a dozen students from the Class of 2010 graduated with dual degrees earned through participation in the Scholars Program, Dr. Whittaker said.