Greetings, I am Michael Austin and I am currently a Senior majoring in Computer Science with a concentration in Remote Sensing at Elizabeth City State University (ECSU). Upon, graduating from Elizabeth City State University, I plan to further my education by obtaining a master’s degree and PhD in Computer Science. With obtaining these degrees, I plan to work for a major company working with computers.

I have chosen to major in computer science and minor in remote sensing. This course will allow me to follow my dream to work with computers, and make an impact in this field. This area of study has interested me since I was in grade school. The amount of work that can be done with a computer is amazing. As my life went on my skills with computers excelled and it was apparent that working with them is what I was meant to do.

To further grasp more knowledge in computer science I have taken courses in C++, linux, and assembly language. These programming language and skills will assist me not only now but also later in life. To obtain the knowledge to program in one language makes it easier to learn others. Along with C++ I have taken it upon myself to learn how to use MySQL, Python, Perl, VXML, C, C#, and even code in Java. While sharpening my skills during the academic school year I also plan to attend internships, conferences, and research opportunities to obtain the experience needed to excel.

After being accepted to ECSU in 2008, I was accepted into the Center of Excellence in Remote Sensing Education and Research (CERSER) program. This program is lead by Dr. Linda B. Hayden. CERSER provides me with research experiences, the ability to attend conferences and represent the program. CERSER will allow me to become well rounded and very experienced in the computer science field. Not only does this program prepare me for what lies ahead but will help me prepare to attend graduate school and ultimately obtain my Ph.D..

During the 2008 – 2009 academic school years, I was a member of the Multimedia Team. We worked on a project titled, Evaluation and Implementation of Web 2.0 Technologies in Support of CReSIS and Cyber infrastructure Research Projects at Elizabeth City State University. During this research our team examined four different Content Management Systems (CMS). These systems were, Drupal, Joomla, WordPress, and MediaWiki. These systems were then installed on a Windows, Apache, MySQL, and PHP platform, Also known as WAMP. While installing these CMS’s their usability and difficulty of installation were noted and then compared to each other.

For the Summer of 2009, I have had the opportunity to attend an internship at Elizabeth City State University entitled Undergraduate Research Experience in Ocean, Marine, and Polar science (UREOMPS). During my time at this internship I have been received training in global positioning systems (GPS), geographic information system (GIS) and water quality testing. During this internship I have also obtained certifications in boating safety and Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR). The research that I took place in while at this internship was titled, “Visualization of the CReSIS Greenland Data Sets for the PolarGrid high Performance Computing System”. This research involved downloading data sets that contained the ice thickness recordings for Greenland and making them visual. During this research my team utilized tools such as Microsoft Word and Excel to format the data sets. The team then used Hypertext Markup Language (HTML), JavaScript and PHP to provide an online visual representation of the data sets. The visuals included the depth of the ice and providing the user a map of the route the plane took while recording the data with radar.

The training that I have, and will receive from The Center of Remote Sensing Education and Research, will help prepare me for the obstacles that lay ahead of me. All of the conferences, internships, and research experiences will also help mold and guide me to follow the path to receive my Ph.D. I know that if I follow the advice and the aid that is given to me by those who make the CERSER program possible, I will excel at anything I put my mind to.

During the 2010 summer, I had the pleasure of interning with the Summer, Technology, Engineering, and Mathemaitcs (STEM) Initiative Summer Scholars Institute at Indiana University at Bloomington (IUB). The program's primary focus is to increase the number of African-American graduate students, scholars, and professionals in the STEM disciplines through research opportunities.

During the program, I worked under the mentorship of Dr. Marlon Pierce at the Pervasive Technology Institute building on the school’s campus. The goal of my team’s research was to create a visual representation of the ice thickness and bed elevation of the Greenland ice-sheet. This was done by utilizing Python and Google Earth; the title of our research was the “Visualization of Ice Sheet Elevation Data Using Google Earth & Python Plotting Libraries.”