Students Cite Valuable Research Experiences

Janeth Moran

Janeth Moran, ‘12 B.S. in Mathematics and Computer Science

During the 2011-12 academic year, I created an iPhone application that identifies plant species based on photos of plant leaves. Drawing from mathematics and computer science, I identified geometric features of the leaf shape that allow for effective species classification. The iPhone snaps a photo then queries a leaf database on an external server. The external server uses the leaf features to return the plant species label to the iPhone. Challenges of this project are determining the best features for classification and establishing communication paths between the phone and server.

Participating in research opened my eyes to new possibilities for the future. Because my research entailed understanding mathematical theory as well as programming techniques, I now plan to pursue a career in artificial intelligence. I gained valuable tools from doing research: self-discipline, the ability to find resources, and the ability to use my knowledge to formulate a solution to a previously unsolved problem. Research has built my confidence to work on difficult problems for long periods of time, something that’s imperative to make a difference in the world.

Janeth Moran won first place in the 2012 CSU Student Research Competition for Mathematical and Physical Sciences. She is now in a master’s degree program in Computer Science as preparation for a PhD.


Civic engagement graphic

Students Corey Sloane and Isaac Moorthy presented “Media and Political Cynicism” at the 2012 Student Research Competition. Their presentation was awarded first place in the Interdisciplinary category. The SRC draws students from across the CSU.  

Under the direction of Dr. Sean Kelly, the students analyzed the effect of televised political media on political cynicism and voter efficacy - the feeling that civic engagement matters. The work that led to this high achievement was based on a concept developed by Dr. Kelly.  

Not everyone recognizes that the experiences of conducting and presenting original research can be some of the most important an undergraduate student can obtain. Moorthy explained that “Dr. Kelly’s hands-on methods are very effective, and we hope that CI will continue to promote student research in the future. Corey and I would like to thank Dr. Kelly, CI, and the CSU for providing this wonderful opportunity to advance our educations.”

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