Texas A&M University-Commerce Department of Computer Science graduate students Kushal Bohra, Johnny Esquivel and Harish Ankam, undergraduate student Heriberto Flores and visiting scholar Devrim Akgun presented at the 2014 MidSouth Computational Biology and Bioinformatics Society (MCBIOS) Conference in Stillwater, Okla. in early March.
Supervised by Drs. Mutlu Mete, Abdullah Arslan and Unal “Zak” Sakoglu—all assistant professors of computer science—the students’ five projects were selected from numerous submissions to the conference. Under the direction of Sakoglu, Bohra received the second place award for a student poster presentation on computational application for his work “Software Toolbox for Multivariate Pattern Analysis of Different Brain States from Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging Data.”
“Getting feedback on my research work and poster from judges and other researchers and attending the MATLAB workshop for computational applications from MathWorks Application Engineer was an add-on benefit,” said Bohra. “It feels so special to see Texas A&M University-Commerce receiving second prize for my research work.”
Bohra’s project was supported by a Faculty Research Enhancement Program grant awarded to Sakoglu last summer by the A&M-Commerce Graduate School and the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs. To attend the MCBIOS Conference, all five students applied for and received travel grants from the university.
“As a student, it is great opportunity to present my work at such a reputed conference to many experts in the biology & computation field. This opportunity has obviously enhanced my time at Texas A&M University-Commerce, as this will help toward my research exposure and graduation,” said Ankam.
“Having my graduate work on display at such an established forum gives endorsement to my work,” said Esquivel. “The field of computer science is often multidisciplinary. This MCBIOS conference was tailored toward biologists but had a computer science aspect, which shows me other fields that I could work in as a computer scientist.”
MCBIOS seeks to advance the understanding of bioinformatics and computational biology and to foster networking, education and collaboration opportunities for professionals and students in those fields. The MCBIOS Conference is sponsored by the Food and Drug Administration’s National Center for Toxicological Research, with the International Society for Computational Biology and the Association of Biomolecular Resource Facilities as affiliates. Proceedings from the 2014 MCBIOS Conference will appear in a special issue of BMC Bioinformatics.
“Participating at a scientific conference and presenting their work is great for our students. It tells them that what they are doing is valuable, and it motivates them to continue doing research for their future careers,” said Sakoglu. “I congratulate all of the hardworking students, the visiting scholar and my colleagues Dr. Mete and Dr. Arslan.”
For more information about MCBIOS, please visit mcbios.org.