Innovation and Entrepreneurship were on Display at Student Research Colloquium
The events of Inauguration began with the Student Research Colloquium, held on October 13th. Current research of selected doctoral students was presented in Babbio while undergraduate students exhibited their achievements of the Summer 2011 programs in Babbio Atrium.
The research projects presented, evolved from departments such as Biomedical Engineering, Howe School of Technology Management, Ocean Engineering, Music and Technology, and many more. Through Stevens summer programs, students had access to hands-on research in collaboration with faculty mentors through two elite programs for especially high-achieving undergraduate students: the Stevens Scholars and Technogenesis Summer programs.
Students selected to participate in the summer programs acquire experience in advanced research, design, and business development projects.
Victoria Baldwin, class of 2013, completed her project on photovoltaic efficiency through nonporous anti-reflective thin films.
“As renewable energy continues to grow in significance each and every day, so does its compatible power sources, particularly in the photovoltaic field,” says Victoria. “The question is whether photovoltaic efficiency can be significantly increased in order to make this field a more reliable and effective source of power for consumers.”
Senior, Robert Moakler, double major in Physics and Service Oriented Computing created a project based on the human psyche. His research is based on the concept that groups of users can successfully lie on the Internet using services like Twitter and Facebook. He realized if these lies gain enough momentum they can be placed on the monitors of millions of users worldwide. He named the project “Anatomy of a Lie.”
Joseph Huyett and Angela LoPiccolo, both sophomore Mechanical Engineer majors, partnered to research vibration energy harvesting. The goal of their project was to autonomously tune piezoelectric beams to ambient vibrations. Magnets were utilized in order to change the stiffness and resonant frequency of the beams. During the course of the experiment the prototype was redesigned to reduce the play in the system. A linear potentiometer was added to transmit data about the position of the beams to a microcontroller.
The autonomous system calculated the frequency based on the number of times the voltage coming from the beams changed in a set time interval, used an experimental model to calculate the goal position and then finally moved the motor until the beams were in position.
Joseph remarked, “It was a great experience. There was no one babysitting us during the research so it really taught you how to be your own boss. I now know the value of time management and overall, I feel like we accomplished a milestone that I am truly proud of.”
Associate Provost of the Office for Academic Entrepreneurship, Christos Christodoulatos, is a huge proponent of the Technogenesis program.
“I think this is a tremendous success for our students and advisors,” Christodoulatos said. “Students are gaining experience through their projects, which emphasize innovation and entrepreneurship in a way that teach our students the value and impact they have on society. They are given both the soft skills and business skills it takes to compete in the real world.”
Jie Ren, one of the doctoral students of the Howe School of Technology and Management, conducted her research on crowdsourcing, titling her project "Who's More Creative, Experts or the Crowd?"
Jie says, “I am so passionate about the research that I could not wait to present at the Colloquium. I was really proud of myself today.”
She explored the difference between experts and the crowd in terms of generating creative ideas for products. By using Mechanical Turk (i.e., a Crowd sourcing marketplace) and rating these ideas, she found that a difference does exist and is significantly moderated by product information asymmetry.
Jie’s research shows that for high information asymmetry products, firms would be better off if they directly ask experts for advice. On the other hand, for low information asymmetry products, firms can ask either experts inside firms or the crowd for creative ideas.
Babbio was swarming with students, faculty, and outside audience members as they talked and listened to the students displaying their research. Among them was our new President, Dr. Nariman Farvardin, who was inspired by the open forum.
“I am overly excited about what I see. I am amazed that some of these students have started their research in their first summer at Stevens and are only in their second year now. For them to do so much already is very impressive. These students are so bright and I can see the spark in their eyes.” Farvardin adds, “These are the leaders of the future.”