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Neukom Prizes

Neukom Prize 2017 Winners

Neukom Prize for Outstanding Graduate Research

1st Prize  

Mackenzie Jones – Cosmic Evolution of Supermassive Black Holes

Mentor • Ryan Hickox, Physics & Astronomy

“Do you see what I see? Exploring the Consequences of Luminosity in Black Hole-Galaxy Evolution Studies” Department of Physics and Astronomy 

Mackenzie’s computational work as a graduate student has broken important new ground in our understanding of the cosmic evolution of supermassive black holes. The model she is building has the potential to be an extraordinarily useful for understanding the massive data sets from the coming generation of astronomical surveys.

 

2nd Prize 

Shiva Farashahi – Uncertainty at the Synaptic Level

Mentor • Alireza Soltani, PBS

“Metaplasticity as a Neural Substrate for Adaptive Learning and Choice under Uncertainty” Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences

Shiva’s most recent work has been published in the highly prestigious journal Neuron. This work proposes a new computational model for learning under uncertainty at the synaptic level, and in doing so, bridges the gap between synaptic mechanisms and behavior. This model reveals that there’s not a single rate of learning for everything we do, as the brain can self-­adjust its learning rates using a synaptic mechanism called metaplasticity. Her findings refute the theory that the brain always behaves optimally.

 

Neukom Prize for Outstanding Undergraduate Research

Two 1st Prize winners

Emily Grabowski – ATLAS (Automated Tone Level Annotation System)

Mentor • Laura McPherson, Linguistics

Emily has created a tool ATLAS (Automated Tone Level Annotation System) that will import audio from field recordings of spoken languages, extract and normalize the pitch, then automatically assign each syllable in the recording a “tone level”, a number representing which part of the speaker’s range it is pronounced in. The number of levels can be set by the researcher depending upon how much detail about the pitch contours of a speaker’s utterance is necessary. These annotations are an enormous timesaver for the researcher, who currently must annotate each syllable by hand using either his or her ear or raw acoustic measures. The annotations that are computationally produced by ATLAS are also superior in that they are objective and replicable, based on the actual acoustic signal rather than the researcher’s (often imperfect) ear.

 

Emily Greene - Selective Sharing of Health Data

Mentor • Dave Kotz, CS

In her senior honors thesis Emily has leveraged advanced cryptographic techniques to make it possible for wearers of Amulet, or similar mobile Health devices, to upload their mobile Health data to the cloud and then selectively share that data with family, friends, caregivers, and researchers. This challenge – selective sharing of health data – is one of the great unsolved problems in the mobile Health sector.

 

2nd Prize  

Jonathan Huang – Augmented Reality for the Visually Impaired

Mentors • Emily Cooper (PBS) and Wojciech Jarosz (CS)

“A HoloLens Application to Aid People who are Visually Impaired in Navigation Tasks” Department of Computer Science

Jonathan worked with Professors Emily Cooper (PBS), and Wojciech Jarosz (CS) and postdoc Max Kinateder (PBS) on his thesis project to develop an application for an Augmented Reality (Microsoft HoloLens) device that assists users with severely impaired visual acuity to locate, identify, and read text information. His TextSpotting application makes use of the Microsoft HoloLens’s sensors and combines them with the capabilities of the Google Vision API to locate, highlight and read text. 

 

Neukom Prizes

The Neukom Prizes were created to encourage undergraduate and graduate interest in research and to recognize outstanding research in the computational sciences. There are two competitions:

Neukom Prize for Outstanding Undergrad Research in Computational Science 

recognizes first-rate computationally-oriented research by undergraduate students.

Computational science and computational techniques have enabled and encouraged a relatively early introduction to first-rate computationally-oriented research for undergraduates.

With this in mind, the Neukom Institute is once again offering the Neukom Prize for Outstanding Undergraduate Research in Computational Science, open to all Dartmouth undergraduates:

Neukom Prize for Outstanding Graduate Research in Computational Science 

recognizes first-rate computationally-oriented research by graduate students.

Computational science and computational techniques are now ubiquitous across the research landscape, creating a wide range of diverse and fascinating projects on the Dartmouth campus, in labs, offices, studios, and performance spaces.

With this in mind, the Neukom Institute is once again offering the Neukom Prize for Outstanding Graduate Research in Computational Science, open to all Dartmouth graduate students:

 

Last Deadline: May 25, 2017

Rules

  • Contestants must be enrolled Dartmouth students
  • Entries must be submitted electronically as pdf files to Neukom Institute
  • Materials must include:
    • A write-up of the work (which may very well be a journal or conference submission)
    • at least one and not more than two, letters of recommendation related to the work and the contestant  

Prizes 
1st Place $1,000 • 2nd Place $750 (two awards) • 3rd Place $500

Deadline May 25, 2017

 

Email questions to Christine Alberga

 

 

Last Updated: 6/20/17