The purpose of the NASA/NSF/TSU Research Symposium is to give student researchers a platform for presenting their research. This year's symposium allowed researchers from various fields and colleges to present their research, some for the first time. Research from astronomy, biological, and physics were just a few of the subject areas represented.
Dr. Willard Smith of Tennessee State University (TSU) opened the symposium. Dr. Smith is director of the TSU Center of Excellence, NASA Networks and Training Site. He is the director of several college and high school programs whose purposes are to increase interest in scientific fields. Dr. Mike Busby, head of the TSU Centers of Excellence, followed Dr. Smith. Dr. Busby gave a brief overview of the program and allowed for introductions of those present.

Eunice Smith and Carl Seward of ECSUs ONR program both gave oral presentations. All of the team from ECSU, including Danielle Graves, David Small, and Dana Brown, presented posters on their research from this year.

Abstracts and Research

One of the most interesting presentations at the conference was on "Intelligent Tutoring For African-American Students: A Systems Engineering Approach." In this project it addressed the fact that different students learn in different ways. It combines the theory of Intelligent Tutorial Systems to present information to tailored instruction to a group of students based on the student's individual learning style. A systems engineering approach uses well-defined functional requirements to formulate a management plan. The system takes into account the entire life cycle of the system, thus avoiding the problems that may emerge after deployment and widespread use. The interesting thing that I like about the project is its conceptual ideal that instruction through a systems engineering approach can help in the aid of individualized education.
Carl Seward, ONR Researcher

Poster Presentations

Dr. Todd Gary from the Department of Biological Sciences, Center for Excellence, TSU was the first presenter. He announced the Life Science Institute that has been approved by the state. Astrobiology, Proteonics, Bioformatics, and other topics will be studied. Dr. Gary is an expert who discovered an extra solar planet. Cynthia Aguilar and Dorel Ibarra, students from UCLA, discussed their interdisciplinary Astrobiology Society, which is run by students majoring in economics to technology. I presented, What I Break - What Breaks Me: A Perl Programming Project during Session 1.
We took a small break and continued with Session 2. M. Paquiot presented her research on Learning- Style Based Computer Aided Instruction. She discussed statistics, hypermedia packages, online tutorials, and distance learning. According to her research, there is a 20% decrease in graduate rate and 25-35% increase in jobs predicted. Mismatched teaching and learning styles may be a cause of the deficit in graduation. The tools used to design the courses included File Maker, RealBasic 4, and the Keirsey Temparament Sorter. The next presenter discussed the Planer Motion of Liquid under Markovian Structural Perturbations; he showed us a lot of proofs.
Eunice Smith, ONR Researcher

I feel very privileged to have been able to have this experience. I gained personal knowledge and learned the do's and don't' of making a good presentation. I look forward to presenting my own research in the future.
Danielle Graves, ONR Researcher

Dinner at the Stockyard

The last session began at 9:10 the next morning. During this session, one of the heads of the program, Dr. Willard Smith, gave his presentation on an on-line streaming course in astronomy. This project is still in the making and he asked if any participant would be willing to sign up to test out at least one episode of the on-line class. Mr. James Harrington, a technical advisor who works at Goddard Space Flight Center, offered a telescope or palm pilot to anyone who was interested. Mr. Harrington is one of the people responsible for funding for such programs as the TSU Symposium. He gave an interesting speech on an upcoming launch of a new satellite called Messenger, which will study Mercury. He also talked about the alignment of Venus and Earth, a spectacle that only happens once or if you are lucky, twice a century. After the sign up, lunch was served and the meeting was adjourned.
Dana Brown, ONR Researcher