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STEM Grows at Fordham


Fordham’s future leaders in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) presented a daylong workshop on April 7 highlighting research projects supervised by faculty mentors.

Nineteen students gave oral presentations while five submitted poster presentations on projects ranging from magnetically sensitive polymers and methods for factoring the product of two prime numbers to the effect of acoustics on bird breeding.

“Working with my mentor has opened up all sorts of opportunities for me,” said Jennifer Kwapisz, a senior computer science major who has worked with Gary Weiss, Ph.D., since her sophomore year.

Kwapisz gave an oral presentation, “Person Identification and Activity Monitoring Using Wireless Sensor Data Mining,” describing her research on accelerometers. Such devices, she said, are found in iPods, smartphones and other electronic handhelds and can measure even small movements in the devices’ users. Monitoring such measurements, said Kwapisz, can have both security and commercial applications.

“There is potential for automatically adjusting preferences, depending on who is using the device,” she said.

The STEM students were mentored by 16 members of Fordham’s faculty in the sciences. For Masaaki Hamaguchi, Ph.D., associate professor of biological science and a researcher in cancerous cells, mentoring students is simply “paying forward.”

“I have had good mentors who changed my life and guided me without asking for a payback,” said Hamaguchi, who mentored Bronx High School of Science student Erica Ma and Fordham junior Olivia Begasse de Dhaem. “It’s my turn to furnish [the]younger generation with something I have.”

The event was sponsored by the Faculty of Arts and Sciences for Fordham College at Rose Hill.


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