Professional Statement

As a new high school graduate, I knew upon establishing my career that I would be prosperous, independent, and involved in my community. However entering college, I lacked distinct goals but quickly developed self-motivation and self-determination through the support of Dr. Linda Hayden and the Elizabeth City State University (ECSU) Center of Excellence for Remote Sensing Education and Research (CERSER) program. In addition, I have been exposed to conferences, distinguished lectures, and research projects, which have encouraged my ambition within the field of computer science. Webster defines ambition as the desire to achieve a particular end.

As a freshman researcher on the CERSER Multimedia team for 2010-2011, the team conducted research to redesign the database and the code required to process the remotely sensed Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer (AVHRR) data received from orbiting National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) satellites. This data is collected by the SeaSpace TeraScan® system that is installed in the CERSER labs on the ECSU campus. Due to a change in operating systems the data derived from this system no longer were being analyzed daily. The team’s implementation of cross platform compatible file permits the data to be analyzed and reduces the challenges to be faced in future platform changes.

During the following summer, I was assigned to the MapReduce Team at the Summer Scholars Institute STEM initiative at the Indiana University Bloomington campus. MapReduce is a data processing framework that allows developers to write applications that can process large sets of data in a timely manner with the use of distributed computing resources.  The focus of this research project was to analyze the attributes of MapReduce frameworks for data intensive computing and to compare two different MapReduce frameworks, Hadoop and Twister. The MapReduce WordCount application was used to analyze the two frameworks because of its superior ability to partition large computation into parallel process computation. The team compared the performance of Hadoop's and Twister's scalability and efficiency for this particular application. This research experience taught me how to utilize various applications with increased skill without feeling overwhelmed or lost. In fact, the research that was conducted was interesting, fun, and challenging.

Because the research experience I had as a freshman was so exciting that I was thrilled to anticipate what skills and information I would learn as a sophomore researcher. Throughout the academic semester I was apart the CERSER Mathematics team for 2011-2012. The team conducted research concerning the End of Grade test scores for the Elizabeth City Middle School seventh grade students. A total of three math sprint tutorials, a structured educational game, were given to help students advance in areas such as problem solving, comprehension, and test taking skills. The students used math sprint strategies and practices in preparation for the post diagnostic exam. This project allowed me to have the experience of working with people which can be more complex than working with technology. The post diagnostic test was given to observe the student's progress and improvement from the pre-diagnostic exam. The student's work methods, behavior, learning styles, and results were closely examined throughout the experimentation. The pre and post diagnostic exam results were surveyed for improvement comparisons.

During the following summer I participated in the ECSU Research Experience for Undergraduates in Oceanographic, Marine, and Polar Science (REU OMPS). I was assigned to the SeaSpace© Team and had the opportunity to travel to the SeaSpace Corporation in Poway, CA for two weeks.  During the two weeks the team underwent training that included learning the differences between satellites and how they operate, conducting radio frequency surveys, and understanding and utilizing the TeraScan® system and all of its functions and applications. Once the team was finished the training we began our research. The team observed the Palmer Drought Severity Index (PDSI) data sets for summer 2002-2011, provided by the State Climate Office of North Carolina NC CRONOS database, the team observed that there has been a long-term drought since 2007 in the Northern Coastal Plains of North Carolina. The team’s objective was to analyze how long-term drought in summer month’s effects vegetation and land surface temperature in the Pasquotank and Gates county areas. The team used data from NASA’s LAADS website because of the ability to search for archived MODIS telemetry in our Lat/long parameters that was not limited to real time data. A master was defined as an area of interest in TeraScan® from where the data has be exclusively extracted and processed. The data was processed into LST and NDVI and TeraScan® resamples it to 1 Km by 1 Km pixels over the AOI. Once the LST and NDVI products have been composited, the data would then be analyzed in TeraVision using specified palettes to representing different values. From the Pasquotank and Gates County’s townships, data points were taken across the study area. The averaged Values at the same position were compared to one another according to the month in each year between the years and against various locations. The data points resulted in a little to no correlation of 11% Between LST and NDVI.

Upon completion of my Bachelor’s Degree, I plan to pursue my Master’s Degree in human computer interaction design. I would like to design and create affordable technologies that will advance the public’s social lives. Furthermore, I would also like to conduct a lecture series which exposes different grade-level students to Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) fields. Hopefully, some students will gain interest in STEM which, in turn, will motivate them to continue their education in the sciences. After receiving my Master’s Degree, I will continue my education by pursuing a doctorate. I will incorporate the knowledge gained through my experiences to advance the daily lives of the general public. This blueprint that has been laid therefore incorporates the immortal words of Bill Gates: “The computer was born to solve problems that did not exist before”.