Summer Research Empowers Computer Science Students to “Learn Outside the Lines”

From augmented reality to data mining, students conduct summer research in pursuit of their passions

Student Success, Iona Students Learn Outside The Lines

Computer science plays a role in almost all aspects of our daily lives, especially in today’s fast-paced, digital society. The Iona College Computer Science program provides students with a challenging yet supportive environment led by dedicated and passionate faculty, with a strong track record of placing students in excellent internships and job positions.

Taking lessons learned in the classroom and applying them to professional experiences, the following students have been engaged in summer research that is empowering them to “Learn Outside the Lines” in pursuit of their passions. Congratulations to all involved.

Catherine DiProperzio ’23 is a recipient of the Clare Boothe Luce Research Scholarship, awarded to outstanding undergraduate women who are studying or planning to teach science, mathematics, and/or engineering. DiProperzio is currently working with Dr. Smiljana Petrovic on exploring the authorship attribution of collaborative writings, combining DiProperzio’s interests in computer science and English. “I am hoping that that this project will not only give me experience in designing software, but also aid historians in their quest to discover who wrote what,” said DiProperzio. “Doing research over the summer provides me with a fun and fruitful activity. I’m applying all of the skills I have learned from my computer science classes.”

Maddison Lopol ’24 is an additional Iona student participating in the Clare Boothe Luce Scholars research program. In her research, she is using data mining to explore factors that affect students’ performance levels. As part of her work, alongside Petrovic, she is learning about data mining methods and visualization; she is now using that knowledge to process a variety of data from the New York State school system. She hopes to identify the factors that relate to poor performance and those that give positive development instead.  “Doing a summer research project is a great way to expand your knowledge outside of the classroom on topics you love,” said Lopol. “I am honored to have been chosen for this research project and to have the opportunity to represent women in the STEM field, specifically computer science.”

Adonis Paulino ’24 is working with Petrovic on applying data mining techniques to the Internet firewall dataset in order to predict denial of service. “This research will be beneficial to me in two ways. First, it has given me a head start in learning about databases and data mining, allowing me to test my knowledge of computer networking from my self-studies. Secondly, this research opportunity has opened my mind on what I'll be learning about soon and I am very grateful for that,” said Paulino.

This summer, Diego Rivera ’23 is working with Petrovic to explore a dataset of Jordanian university students’ physical and mental health impacted by prolonged use of e-learning tools forced by COVID-19. He is excited to work on this important topic and hopes to find a better understanding of the impacts of recent changes in educational approaches toward students.

Kylie Etwaroo ’24 is learning about data mining with Petrovic and applying the learned knowledge on a real-life dataset while exploring a dataset of patients who suffered from a stroke and another one of patients with lung cancer. Her studies include looking for factors that may contribute to their diagnosis and learning the visualization of data. Etwaroo will also participate in a discussion of ethical consideration with use of medical data.

Jaiell Taylor '22 is working with Dr. Lubomir Ivanov on a virtual reality simulation that explores the role of bystanders in resolving bullying situations; part of a much larger project intended to train young children on how to recognize and deal with bullying.

Brandan Gianni '22 is developing an augmented reality campus navigation application under Ivanov’s mentorship. Once deployed, students will be able to download the application, specify which class/classroom they wish to go to and the app will guide them from their present location to the door of the classroom.

John Millar '21 MS has been working on his thesis for his master’s program with Dr. Paolina Centonze, delving into the topic of new cryptographic methods for handover authentication key generation in 5G networks.

Timothy Strowbridge '21 MS has also been studying with Centonze for his thesis on text watermarking as a defense against file tampering for G-Code files for additive manufacturing.