New York Institute of Technology student Neha Bala and Assistant Professor N. Sertac Artan.

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Perfect Ten: Undergrads Participate in NSF-Funded Research Program at New York Tech

August 12, 2019

Pictured: Computer science major Neha Bala, right, with N. Sertac Artan, assistant professor and director of the REU program.

On August 2, New York Institute of Technology concluded the seventh year of its Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU), which is funded by the National Science Foundation. Ten students from 10 colleges and universities conducted various research projects at the College of Engineering and Computing Science’s state-of-the-art research and instructional labs.

The students, known as REU fellows, came from the following schools:

  • Duke University
  • Johns Hopkins University
  • Kean University
  • New York City College of Technology
  • New York Institute of Technology
  • Oberlin College
  • Rowan University
  • Rutgers University
  • The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Arts and Sciences
  • Wesleyan University
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REU fellows at Google headquarters in New York City.

Over the course of 10 weeks, the REU fellows worked on their research projects with their New York Institute of Technology faculty mentors and attended technical writing workshops, career development workshops, and site visits to the Google headquarters in New York City as well as WINLAB, a wireless research center at Rutgers University. At the midpoint of the program, the REU fellows presented their research to New York Tech faculty and staff.

At the end of the program, the fellows presented their finished work at the final presentations attended by New York Tech faculty and staff, including Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs Junius Gonzales, M.D., M.B.A., and College of Engineering and Computing Sciences Dean Babak D. Beheshti, Ph.D.

Neha Bala, a computer science major at NYIT worked with faculty mentor and Assistant Professor of Computer Science Wenjia Li, Ph.D., on her project, “Malware Detection in Android Smartphones.”

“I learned how to apply my knowledge from every computer science class that I have taken,” said Bala. “I understood how to connect the dots between algorithms, operating systems, data structures, and technical writing. Even though I am concentrating on big data management, through this program, I was exposed to the security aspect of computer science, which allows me to grow in my field of study. Looking forward, I will be finishing up my undergraduate computer science degree in May 2020 and going onto graduate school at NYIT.”

N. Sertac Artan, Ph.D., assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering, who leads the REU program, notes the importance of participation from students from underrepresented groups in engineering and technology. “We are happy to host students from 10 different schools,” he said. “Along with having geographical diversity, the REU program at NYIT prides itself on the gender and race diversity of our REU fellow cohorts.”

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REU fellows pose with New York Institute of Technology faculty and staff.

REU Fellow Research Projects:
Project: Analysis of Multimodal Smartphone Behavioral Biometric Data
REU Fellows: Ariana J. LaCue (Kean University) and Matthew A. Lombardo (Johns Hopkins University)
NYIT Faculty Mentors: Associate Professor Paolo Gasti, Ph.D., and Associate Professor Kiran Balagani, Ph.D.

Project: Eddy Current Imaging
REU Fellows: Anwar Hussein (Rowan University)
NYIT Faculty Mentors: Assistant Professor Reza Amineh, Ph.D.

Project: Cognitive Distraction to Improve Cybersickness in Virtual Reality Environments
REU Fellows: Luisa Bryan (Wesleyan University), Celina Zhou (Duke University), and Evan Wang (Rutgers University)
NYIT Faculty Mentors: Associate Professor Ziqian (Cecilia) Dong, Ph.D., and Assistant Professor N. Sertac Artan, Ph.D.

Project: Malware Detection in Android Smartphones
REU Fellows: Neha Bala (New York Institute of Technology)
NYIT Faculty Mentor: Assistant Professor Wenjia Li, Ph.D.

Project: Impact of Net Neutrality Repeal in the Presence of Malicious Users in HetNets
REU Fellows: Alon S. Levin (The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Arts and Sciences)
NYIT Faculty Mentor: Assistant Professor Anand Santhanakrishnan, Ph.D.

Project: Analysis of Eye Fixations During Emotion Recognition in Faces
REU Fellows: Forest P. Elliott (Oberlin College)
NYIT Faculty Mentor: Assistant Professor Houwei Cao, Ph.D.

Project: Low-power Data Acquisition for Wearable and Implantable Devices
REU Fellows: Ralph Castro Ramirez (New York City College of Technology)
NYIT Faculty Mentor: Assistant Professor N. Sertac Artan, Ph.D.