Category: CMS-Newsletter

Student Kudos

UCO Student Wins First Place in the Non-Life Science Poster Presentation at Annual Research Symposium

 The UCO College of Mathematics and Science, School of Engineering student, Kayley McBride was

awarded first place in the non-life science poster presentation at the Oklahoma Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation (OK-LSAMP) 28th Annual Research Symposium. McBride’s presentation, titled “ParaView-ing Data at NERSC Remotely Using Jupyter Notebooks”.

The symposium, held on October 1, 2022 at the OSU campus in Stillwater, included approximately 70 students from ten universities across Oklahoma. McBride, a biomedical engineering senior was among ten students in the non-life science poster category. Research was conducted at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL) in summer 2022 with mentorship by Johannes Blaschke, Ph.D., a LBNL application performance specialist and Gang Xu, D.Sc., UCO professor of Biomedical Engineering.

Jupyter Notebook is an increasingly popular open-source application that allows users to create an

d share documents containing live codes, equations, and data, but with limited visualization capacity especially for large datasets. On the other hand, ParaView is one of the open-source data analysis and visualization applications that allow quick analysis and interactive visualization of extremely large datasets. As part of the project funded by the Department of Energy, McBride’s task was to combine the best of both worlds in order to process and visualize the complex datasets from the computational fluid dynamics simulations run on the LBNL supercomputers. She showed that Jupyter Notebook running the ParaView kernel can be set up on a personal computer or laptop and then connected to a ParaView server that is running on a supercomputer. Her project supports th

e possibility of fully implementing the ParaView kernel on a supercomputer and dramatically improving the user experience in large data visualization in Jupyter Notebook, which will benefit a wide range of computational projects and researchers.

 

The Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation (OK-LSAMP) is a National Science Foundation funded consortium of Oklahoma colleges and universities working together to develop programs aimed at increasing the number of students from under-represented populations who receive degrees in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) disciplines. Current goals and activities of OK-LSAMP focus on undergraduate research experiences, graduate school preparation, and international experiences.

Message from the Dean

Dear College of Mathematics and Science Alumni and Friends,

As I reflect on the college’s progress over the past few months, I am amazed at how many examples I can provide of the energetic contributions and efforts of our faculty and staff.  We have remained steadfast in our commitment to our mission to advance knowledge, prepare students for success and leadership roles, and contribute to the intellectual life, health, and economy of the metropolitan area. The awards our outstanding faculty received at the August convocation demonstrate some of the ways we contribute to academic excellence, transformative learning, and student success, and engage with our community:

  • Sanjeewa Gamagedara from the Department of Chemistry was a recipient of the Neely Excellence in Teaching Award. This is notable because this is the fourth year in a row that a College of Mathematics & Science faculty member has received this prestigious university-wide award!
  • The Vanderford Engagement Award went to Dr. Matthew Parks from the Department of Biology. This award recognized Dr. Parks’ engagement with undergraduate students and colleagues in research.
  • Jicheng Fu from the Department of Computer Science and Dr. Morshed Khandaker from the School of Engineering received Merit Credit awards for Research, Scholarly, and Creative Activities.
  • Although not from CMS, Jared Scism from the UCO Office of Global Affairs received an Exceptional Performance Award for his work immersing our Iraqi Fulbright Scholars in Oklahoma culture and planning activities to help our UCO community better understand Iraqi history and culture.
  • And at our CMS Back-to School Meeting, Dr. Michelle Haynie from the Department of Biology received the CMS Vanderford Teaching Award.

We have continued our efforts to increase our students’ preparation and competitiveness for the workforce, and to help fill critical workforce needs in Oklahoma. We developed another curriculum option for student success, an undergraduate Certificate in Cybersecurity in the Department of Computer Science.  Our Department of Engineering and Physics was re-designated as a School of Engineering to recognize its excellence and productivity.  We formed a partnership with Tinker Air Force Base that resulted in the donation of a large supercomputer cluster that will enhance our faculty’s and students’ ability to analyze large sets of data.  The Engineering Makerspace, made possible by Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education workforce development funds, is under construction and will be completed in the spring.  The Department of Nursing responded to workforce needs by adding an evening cohort of students this fall to increase bachelor’s trained nurses. We held a STEM Industry Careers Panel with representatives who shared their experiences and advice with students. The John Barthell Pollinator Garden, composed of Oklahoma native plants, will be established by the STEM Building this fall, providing many opportunities for education, research, and outreach.

Our faculty and students produced many publications, gave many research presentations, and submitted 45 external grant proposals.  Among the funded proposals were two National Institutes of Health grants and a National Science Foundation grant. The Fulbright Scholar Pro

gram resumed this summer, bringing four Iraqi Scholars to our college. Several faculty members mentored incoming students in our Summer Bridge program, and the Department of Engineering & Physics held a STEM Summer Academy.

Our Health Professions Mentorship Dinner last spring was a huge success and has led to more alumni being engaged with and supporting our pre-health professions students.  The partnerships we are pursuing with engineering and biotechnology companies are leading to collaborations, internships, and a pipeline into jobs for our students.  If you wish to help us in our efforts to better prepare our students for the workforce and professional schools, please reach out to me or to one of our department chairs!

On behalf of the faculty, staff, and students, I thank you for your continued confidence in and support of our college.

Gloria Caddell, Ph. D.

 

Gloria Caddell, Ph.D.

Dean, College of Mathematics and Science

Biology Department

The Biology Department has had a great start to the year.  We’ve had new faculty members join the department and we are so lucky to have them! They include Dr. Justin Agan. He teaches Bio for Majors: Diversity & Life Sciences Lab. Dr. Ashley Mattison teaches Bio for Majors: Principals, General Biology, and Intro to Micro and lab. Dr. Richard Dolman teaches a Life Sciences Lab & Human Physiology lecture and lab and is also Physiology lab coordinator. Randee Marble M.S. teaches Mammalian Physiology I, Cell Biology and Lab, and she’s the Cell Bio Lab’s coordinator.  Come by and say hello to them all.

We are revising the Biology: Biomedical Sciences degree and developing new courses for the Spring 2023 semester. Look for Pathogenic Microbiology and Advanced Human Anatomy and Dissection next semester and more for the Fall 2023 semester. We are also excited for the final approval for a new Ecology and Conservation Biology degree that could be in the 2023-2024 course catalog.

STEM Industry Careers Panel

CMS recently hosted 18 industry leaders from around the OKC Metro area for a STEM Industry Careers Panel. Panelists participated in moderator led Q&A sessions followed by industry focused break-out sessions with students. Panelists shared how they entered their careers upon completion of their degree and provided advice to students on how to prepare for career opportunities in various STEM fields.

The event took place in two lecture halls and included panelists from Tinker Air Force Base, Cytovance Biologics, American Fidelity, Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation, Love’s, ASRC Federal, FSB Architects and Engineers, ARL Bio Pharma, Oklahoma City Public Schools, Paycom, ALK OKC Allergy Supplies Inc., Bethany Children’s Health Center, OU Health Center, Oklahoma State Department of Health, Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality and the FBI. Over one hundred students attended the panel discussions throughout the two lecture halls and break-out rooms.

Panelists then broke in to five targeted sessions focusing on computer science, math, engineering, nursing, biological and chemical sciences. Students participated in the break-out sessions asking questions and sharing information pertinent to their future career goals.

The event ended with a networking reception for students and professionals to continue visiting and building connections. Throughout the one-hour event conversations revolved around ways to enter an industry as well as how careers take shape as the discipline evolves.

UCO Professors Receive Grants to Research Advances in Electrocardiograms, Cybersecurity, and Materials Science

Dr. Emily Hendryx from the Department of Mathematics and Statistics was just awarded a three-year, $410,515 grant from the National Institute of Health. Titled “Summarizing Cardiac Data: An Automated Approach for Identifying Representative Heartbeats in the Clinical Setting,” this project involves a collaboration with Baylor College of Medicine and Texas Children’s Hospital to ​apply applied mathematics and data science in removing noise and summarizing pediatric electrocardiogram data recorded at hospital bedsides. This project will provide a way to present a representation of a patient’s recent cardiac health history to clinicians and deliver clinical decision support toward improving patient outcomes. Co-advised by Dr. Tyler Cook from the Department of Mathematics and Statistics, this project will also offer undergraduate students an opportunity to participate in innovative interdisciplinary research.

Dr. John Rhee from the Department of Computer Science received a $87,873 grant from Sandia National Laboratories as part of his effort to build better cybersecurity services for cloud-based software systems. Once completed, the tools developed in his project titled “TelScope: Discovering Blind Spots of Telemetry Diagnosability” will be used to reveal gaps between telemetry requirements and implemented telemetry collection for cloud services.

Dr. Morshed Khandaker from the Department of Engineering and Physics received an Oklahoma Established Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR) grant for his project “Anti Corrosion Behavior of Mg and Zn nanoparticle incorporated nanofiber membrane.” This $5,000 award will be used to evaluate the structural efficacy of magnesium- and zinc-loaded nanofiber membrane coating on steel in reinforced concrete.

The College of Mathematics and Science would like to thank Sandia National Laboratories, Oklahoma EPSCoR, and the NIH — particularly the National Institute of General Medical Sciences and the National Library of Medicine — for their generosity.

Area Industry Partners Sponsor Engineering Senior Design Projects

Every student who graduates from an engineering program at UCO participates in a 2-semester senior engineering design capstone experience.  During this experience, an interdisciplinary team composed of three to four students will identify an engineering problem, design and develop potential solutions to the problem, analyze and improve their solutions, and ultimately deliver a final prototype. Throughout the process, students utilize the knowledge and skills attained in their degree program’s prior coursework, while ensuring they meet specific industry standards and work within their projects’ identified constraints.

While many senior design projects are proposed by UCO faculty, and a few by the students themselves, over one-third of the projects, come from the department’s many industry partners. Last August, for example, Dakota Maxwell (a 2018 graduate of UCO’s Mechanical Engineering program and who is currently an R&D Mechanical Engineer at Nortek Air Solutions), approached the department with three potential projects. After some discussion, it was agreed to submit two of the projects for review by new senior design students in the 2021 Fall Semester. There are always more projects than student teams, and some projects end up being shifted to future semesters. In this case, both projects were chosen.

The first project, the Nortek Air Solution Duct Air Sampling System, involves developing an apparatus to take uniformly averaged air temperatures in rectangular air ducts of arbitrary sizes. The Senior Design Team of Amanda Durbin (Mechanical Engineering), Jenny James (Biomedical Engineering), and Samantha Mas (Biomedical Engineering and Electrical Engineering) are undertaking this project under faculty sponsor Dr. Evan Lemley.

The second project is the Nortek Air Solution Center of Family Love Filter Frame Helper. The Center of Family Love is an organization that employs individuals with special needs. One of their programs allows their employees to manufacture air filters for residential and commercial applications. Unfortunately, many of the workers do not have the dexterity to fold the air filter cardboard frames without assistance. This project involves the design and fabrication of an automated jig to provide the assistance the workers need to overcome their dexterity challenges in assembling air filters. The Senior Design Team of Luis Martinez (Electrical Engineering), Rose Njoki (Biomedical Engineering), and Aaron Smith (Electrical Engineering) are undertaking this project under faculty sponsor Dr. Abdellah Ait moussa.

The department is extremely thankful to our many industry partners for their assistance in identifying and providing support for these industry-sponsored projects. In addition to Nortek Air Solutions, recent Senior Design Project sponsors have included ClimateMaster, Aaon Heating and Cooling, Oklahoma City VA Health Care System, OU Health Science Center, Pelco Products, Boeing, FAA, Tinker AFB, Kamray, Oklahoma Department of Transportation, Stanfield Engineering, and many others. Companies interested in sponsoring future projects may contact the department’s Industry Liaison, Dr. Mohamed Bingabr (mbingabr@uco.edu).