Expo showcases student research and creative works

University of Arkansas at Little Rock students showcased their academic work this semester at the recent Student Research and Creative Works Expo held April 18 in the Jack Stephens Center.

More than 200 students representing every college within the university participated this year, with projects spanning research in computer science/information science, creative work, economics, education, engineering/engineering technology/construction management, health science, humanities, interdisciplinary, life science, physical science, service work/professional application, social science, and social work.

More than 100 of the participating students received Signature Experience Awards of up to $1,000 to fund their research this semester.

Kajal Shukla, a senior computer science major, used machine learning to predict coronary heart disease. Shukla, who was mentored by Dr. Mariofannia Milanova in the Department of Computer Science, chose to investigate heart disease because a data set was already available for heart disease that allowed her to experiment with three different machine learning models to determine which was the most useful. Shukla will graduate May 11 with a Bachelor of Science in computer science and plans to start a master’s degree program in June.

More than a dozen entries in this year’s expo were creative works.

Aaron Prosser earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts in graphic art in December but returned to campus to exhibit his “Organo Guys,” a series of action figures that combine his love of toys and his graphic design talent. Inspired by Captain Planet, Swamp Thing, and the Ninja Turtles, Prosser’s action figures were sent by Mother Earth to enforce the preservation of the environment. Prosser was mentored by Kevin Cates.

Kat Hall, who will graduate May 11 with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in theatre arts, explored the process and conventions used during the 16th century in England under strict sumptuary laws to transform male players into female characters on stage. Her project, “Cross Dressing: The Transformative Power of Costumes on Shakespeare’s Stage,” used contemporary flat pattern and draping methods to create costumes.

“The Student Research and Creative Works Expo really captures the diversity, breadth, and calibre of our students, and is a testament to the expertise and engagement of their faculty mentors,” said Lawrence Smith, assistant professor in UA Little Rock’s Theatre Arts and Dance Department and co-chair of the Student Research and Creative Works Committee. “It gives you a great insight to the creativity and intellectual rigor that is the heart of our work at UA Little Rock.”

In addition to the expo, individual colleges at UA Little Rock showcased their programs, research, and resources as part of a larger Research and Creativity in the Rock event.

The College of Social Sciences and Communication hosted a two-day mini-conference featuring interdisciplinary panels with faculty, staff, and students.

The College of Arts, Letters, and Sciences gave tours of its science laboratories to visiting high school students who were also treated to music and dance and music performances in the Stella Boyle Smith Concert Hall, a majors fair, and  tour of the Windgate Center of Art and Design.

The Donaghey College of Engineering and Information Technology also gave tours of its engineering, engineering technology, and earth science laboratories to visiting high school students who also toured the Emerging Analytics Center.

The College of Education and Health Professions hosted an open house in the Bailey Alumni Center to showcase faculty and student research and information about the STEM Education Center, and the George W. Donaghey College of Engineering and Information Technology hosted an open house with student poster presentations and demonstrations.

UA Little Rock students discuss their research with visitors at the Student Research and Creative Works Expo held April 18 in the Jack Stephens Center. Photo by Benjamin Krain

 

 

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