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LU hosts ACET computing conference

Lamar University hosted the 2016 Association of Computing Educators in Texas (ACET) Conference. One of the leading computer science and IT pedagogical associations in the state, ACET’s annual conference focused on teaching the millennial generation and featured papers presenting current research, and sessions to inform participants about teaching innovations and current developments in the field.

ACET participantsJoe Nordgren, interim dean of LU’s College of Arts and Sciences, served as conference keynote speaker and sponsored registration fees for 15 LU students as well as the grand prize awarded for the best student poster presentation. Nordgren spoke on artificial intelligence and the HBO series “Westworld.”

“I enjoyed welcoming the many participants to campus and learning from their experiences about the challenges and opportunities in teaching the millennial generation,” Nordgren said.

The conference sought to “provide the exchange and sharing of ideas, techniques, materials and procedures for use in educational computing,” Nordgren said.

Bill Booth, 2016 ACET program chair and senior lecturer at Baylor University gave the lunch keynote on “The Millennial Generation.”

“We are deeply grateful to Lamar University for hosting our 52nd Annual Conference,” Booth said. “Dr. Stefan Andrei and his staff played an integral role in organizing and facilitating this year’s conference. The annual ACET conference focuses on education and training for high school, college and university faculty, staff and administrators.”

ACET presenters“We had a record number of 25 researchers/faculty and 29 students presenting papers and posters,” Andrei said. “This was definitely a much larger number of students compared to the last eight editions.”

First place was awarded to a poster “Work in Progress: Machine Learning in Robotics,” by Tim Gonzales, a senior at LU majoring in computer science.

“I attended several talks, my favorite being over the utilization of virtual reality and simulations in the overcoming of various mental disorders,” Gonzales said. He presented a poster with co-author Greg Yera.

The third place honors went to LU’s Monica Pandey, Alex Strong and Jay Karmarkar, and Anca Andrei from University of Texas. The students were mentored by Chris Klotz from No Magic Inc. (www.nomagic.org) and Andrei from Lamar University for their project “Microsoft Project Plugin for MagicDraw” the result of summer internship offered by No Magic.

No Magic chief technology officer Enrique Krajmalnik congratulated the team on the project representing the beginning of the development of a Microsoft Project plugin for MagicDraw, a product offered by the company.

“Attending the ACET conference was a great experience, providing me exposure to meet and connect with all the computer science faculty members from different universities,” Pandey said. “I’m thankful to Dr. Andrei, for giving me this wonderful opportunity to represent my work, which i did as a part of my summer internship. Winning third place for poster presentation and giving a student talk has definitely boosted my confidence and improved my leadership skills.”

A poster presented by Oyesh Singh on “Brain Tumor Segmentation Using Deep Learning Technique” took fourth place.

“The ACET conference was a wonderful opportunity to showcase the research project to the faculty working in different areas in Computer Science,” Singh said. “It gave me a platform to interact with students, professors and teachers from other universities. I am very thankful to Dr. Jing Zhang and Dr. Stefan Andrei for giving me the support to participate in this conference. This conference has definitely boosted my passion towards becoming a research scientist.”