Computer Science students receive recognition at Missouri Academy of Science presentation competition
University of Missouri computer science students took first and second place for Best Presentation in the computer science and math fields at the Missouri Academy of Science annual oral/poster competition on April 15 at Lincoln University in Jefferson City.
Undergraduate and high school students were invited to participate in a competition by presenting a paper and project of their interest from one of the fields of agriculture, atmospheric science, biological sciences, biomedicine/biotechnology, chemistry, computer science, conservation, engineering, geography, geosciences, physics, science education or speleology.
Justin Schuyler, senior information technology student, won first place in best presentation for his capstone project on constructing a remotely operated underwater vehicle (ROV) that captures 3-D film.
The team has been working on the project for about a year, researching last fall and constructing the vehicle this semester.
“You wouldn’t think that a project like this could possibly have any real-world applications, but it’s surprisingly relevant. Last Fall, deep-sea ROVs were used to capture 3D footage of the Titanic. In addition, there are many practical applications for a couple of the components used in our project. Our brushless motor control system, for instance, could allow an RC (remote-control) hobbyist to control a powerful brushless motor easily over USB,” Schuyler said.
Brushless motor systems use electronic commutation systems rather than mechanical commutators to operate. Schuyler said the brushless motor is more powerful than a typical motor, and by attaching a PC to the device they work together and can fulfill a variety of tasks.
“It makes the PC literally mobile,” Schuyler said.
The presentations involve explaining the process behind your project, its applications and your research.
“3-D is not necessarily a new technology, it’s been used by directors like Alfred Hitchcock since the 1950s. We are now experiencing a renaissance of 3-D that truly is state of the art. And there isn’t a lot in the field of underwater 3-D,” Schuyler said.
Schuyler worked with his capstone teammates — Doug Royal, Erik Ingebretson and Alex Rodriguez — experimenting with both anaglyph and active polarized 3D. Anaglyph 3D uses red/cyan glasses, whereas active polarization requires a fancier version of what you would find in the movie theater.
Schuyler said that the team is leaving the project to the computer science department to either be expanded by another capstone group or a researcher in the future.
Senior Terrence Kwentus won second place in best presentation for his capstone project designing a web security system to provide universal firewall rules for an organization’s servers, as well as analyze attacks against the network.
“Our research represents an area where there is a gap in the security landscape. We are the first project that actually provides automatic firewall rule setup in addition to providing data on attacks against a system in an easily-understood format using charts and graphs,” Kwentus said.
Kwentus and his capstone group — Justin Colbert, Justin Hitchens, James Russell and Steven Sutton — designed the honeypot-based security system (meaning a trap to detect and counteract unauthorized attempts of system use) to modify parts of the already existing Linux operating system.
The project, titled Project Bearricade, involves recording the IP address, username and password attempts, and the time of the attack. This information then allows them to set up firewall rules to block attack attempts.
“The Division of IT has expressed interest in keeping Bearricade running on the campus network for some period of time to judge its usefulness to the University,” Kwentus said.
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