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LU math, computer science major wins COTS award

Chelsea Boling, a math and computer science major, won best undergraduate poster award at the Conference of Texas Statisticians, COTS, held at the University of Texas at Dallas on March 21.

“This is a great honor for all of us,” said Kumer Das, associate professor of statistics. “Chelsea competed with other undergraduate and graduate students and won the award. It shows us how important it is to have a small student-faculty ratio on campus. We provide ample time to students like Chelsea inside and outside of the classroom.”

Named as one of the 2014 grant recipients by the Office of Undergraduate Research, Boling plans to conduct her undergraduate research on the same topic she presented at the conference.

“Dr. Kumer Das, who is my mentor, encouraged me to understand more about nonnegative matrix factorization, which led me to read several articles on latent semantic analysis (LSA),” Boling said. “I have a growing interest in ongoing developing methods of data extraction, which can be used to understand constructive information of high dimensional data.

Especially with LSA and working with biomedical literature, I would like to make refinements on my research based on the shortfalls that I have observed using LSA.”

Boling is also an ASCENT scholar, a program where selected math and computer science students are awarded scholarships for up to four semesters at Lamar. During the first summer, students take a class, engage in a research project with mathematics and computer science faculty, and participate in an orientation to the Lamar University campus and community.

“I think this award will be inspirational to all other students in the department,” said Das. “For the grant winners, it is very encouraging as well. Chelsea’s success increases their confidence level significantly.”

For more information regarding the Office of Undergraduate Research grant recipients or the ASCENT program, contact Kumer Das at kumer.das@lamar.edu.