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Student Work in M&S Showcased at VMASC's Capstone Conference

The presentations ranged from analyses of the spread of a pandemic, to traffic forecasting, to a study of the arms trade.

Some of the brightest student minds in the field of modeling and simulation wowed the judges at the Student Capstone Conference, hosted by Old Dominion University's Virginia Modeling, Analysis and Simulation Center (VMASC) on Thursday, April 8.

VMASC executive director John Sokolowski said the conference is a great opportunity for students to showcase their work in front of judges who are experts in the field of M&S, both from industry and academia. Sokolowski was impressed by the work the students produced. "Many students contribute to the groundbreaking research that is done at VMASC. This is a good opportunity for them to display their talent," he said.

Three winners in each of five categories received cash prizes and the Gene Newman Award, named in honor of Eugene G. Newman, for his efforts in advancing modeling and simulation education, research and development. Newman played a significant role in the creation of VMASC, recognizing the need for credentialed experts in the M&S workforce, the military and industry.

Many of those future credentialed experts will come from the ranks of the students whose work was on display at Capstone.

That sentiment was uttered by Capstone Conference keynote speaker Tuncer Ören, professor emeritus of computer science from the School of Information Technology and Engineering at the University of Ottawa, Canada, who addressed the students at the Capstone banquet.

"I am overjoyed that so many of you have chosen to continue the dialogue and research of modeling and simulation with your contributions here today and feel better knowing that you are all my future colleagues," Ören said.

Joshua Behr, associate research professor at VMASC and an associate professor of political science and geography, was track chair for the general sciences division at the Student Capstone Conference. He said the event could be viewed as an indicator of the health and viability of the modeling and simulation community, both in Hampton Roads and at ODU.

"This Capstone Conference, now heading into its fifth year, has witnessed robust growth in the number, quality and breadth of research presentations," Behr said. "Modeling and simulation is a university-led effort that reaches into all colleges. Often we hear the phrase "multidisciplinary" being bantered about causally, but in reality the idea of an M&S approach that embraces multidisciplinary collaboration is being realized."

In addition to ODU students, students from the U.S. Military Academy, Colorado State University, the University of Ottawa, the University of Genoa and Eastern Virginia Medical School attended the conference.

The winners in the five tracks at the Student Capstone Conference are as follows:

Transportation: Ilyas Ustun, ODU - Origin Destination Estimation for Trucks Based on Re-identification Methods;

Medical: Jacqueline Jackson, ODU - The Use of Getis and Ord Cluster Analysis for Analyzing Rainfall Data in Relation to Rift Valley Fever Outbreaks;

General Science: Nick Drucker and Kenyth Campbell, ODU - An Agent Based Modeling Approach to Examining the Relationships Between Education, Social Networks and Democratic Support;

Military/Homeland Security: Elaine Blount, ODU - Physical Fitness for Tactical Success ; and

Engineering: Francesca Madeo and Federico Tarone, University of Genoa - Simulation for Environmental Impact Analysis and Sustainability.

This article was posted on: April 9, 2010

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