Student projects this year explore social and environmental issues, workplace satisfaction, healthcare and other areas.
The Summer Research Scholars program was extended this year as students and their faculty advisers regained access to labs and other campus facilities that were temporarily closed due to COVID-19 restrictions.
Students will continue working on projects throughout the fall semester and will present findings to the public during a symposium tentatively scheduled for the spring.
Some of the projects our students are completing now include:
Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) as a Tool for Tumor Detection
Mathematics professor Angel Pineda, Ph.D., received a National Institutes of Health (NIH) grant recently to expand ongoing research involving Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) technology. As a result, students Alexandra O’Neill ’22 and Emely Valdez ’21 are working with Pineda to design experiments and use modeling to understand how an MRI machine detects tumors in humans. That project is a combination of psychology, mathematics and computer science. Mathematics major Rachel Roca ’20 and Joshua Herman, a graduate student in applied mathematics and data analytics, are also working on the project, which determines how to use deep learning for generating MRI images.
Aaron Kim ’21 is studying levels of tax literacy among college students to determine whether age, field of study and prior experiences with taxes impact their level of understanding in this area. Kim, an accounting major, will glean results from a survey he is developing with adviser Hanni Liu, Ph.D., assistant professor of accounting, CIS and law. This survey will be sent to all Manhattan College students via email.
Engineering students Cassandra Cortes ’22 and Christine Baula ’22 are measuring concentrations of chemicals that are harmful to the environment in commonly used hair dyes. Currently, they are conducting experiments in Leo Hall’s chemical engineering lab to detect levels of ammonia, sulfates, certain phosphates and peroxides in L’Oreal’s line of Feria products, compared with the hair dye Arctic Fox, which advertises as vegan. The faculty adviser in their research is chemical engineering professor Richard Carbonaro, Ph.D.
Computer Technology to Help the Visually Impaired
Computer engineering major Angel Gutierrez ’22 is developing the framework for an assistive device to benefit visually impaired people. The technology consists of a chest-mounted camera connected to a Raspberry Pi 4 computer system and micro-controllers on a glove, which together alert the wearer of shadows and unlevel floors visible to their left, middle and right-hand sides. With help from faculty adviser Wafa Elmannai, Ph.D., assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering, Gutierrez is writing the code to ensure that the virtual scene visible on the chest-mounted camera mirrors what the wearer is seeing in real time. Next, Gutierrez will test the technology in real-world environments.
Philosophy major DeVaughn Harris ’22 is compiling evidence to support his claim that Donald Glover (AKA the musician Childish Gambino) communicates ideas about the African diaspora through the ancient griot tradition, which shares the history of West Africa through creative media. Harris argues that Glover’s method of storytelling has allowed him to connect with Black youth as they determine what it means to be Black and how they can trace those ideas to their roots while living in America. English professor Adam Koehler, Ph.D., is serving as faculty adviser on this project. See more details about DeVaughn's research here.
Samantha Rini ’22, a dual childhood and special education major, wants to understand how job satisfaction among early career teachers impacts retention in the field. For her research with adviser William Furey, Ph.D., assistant professor of education, Rini will administer social media surveys to young alumni who have been teaching 1-5 years, and lead a series of interviews with teachers that seek to examine how support networks may or may not influence job satisfaction, burnout, and feelings of self-efficacy in the field.