Robyn Evans URE 2009

There is one common goal in life, to be happy and successful; however, no two individuals define happiness and success the same, nor do they achieve their defined goal in the same manner. I believe that happiness and success can be achieved through hard work. Since I was a little girl, my family instilled in me a love for learning. They believed that an educated mind could take me far. They always encouraged me to do well in school and any activity that I became involved with. Their motto was “Work first, play later.” While the message is simple, it is effective.

My name is Robyn R. Evans, and I am currently a sophomore majoring in Mathematics with a minor in Computer Science at Elizabeth City State University (ECSU). Upon graduation from ECSU, I plan on furthering my education by attending graduate school, earning a master’s degree in Architecture. My ultimate educational goal is to earn a Ph.D. in Mathematics.

My interest in Mathematics began while in grade school. I excelled in the area and began focusing on improving my knowledge and skills. For me, math was not just a part of everyday life, but a necessity to every aspect of life. My favorite area in math is geometry; the different shapes and angles allow you to design new objects. Geometry combines two of my passions. I then decided to find a career in architecture; this would allow me to express myself creatively while using the mathematical skills I have acquired over the years.

As an undergraduate student at ECSU, I have taken courses to learn how to use tools to better assist me in my studies and career. I am currently learning how to use an interactive system called Matrix Laboratory, or MATLab. MATLab is a high-level technical computing language and interactive environment for algorithm development, data visualization, data analysis, and numeric computation. The tool is used to solve technical computing problems faster than traditional programming languages, such as C++. I also plan on sharpening my skills by participating in undergraduate research opportunities, internships, attending conferences, and taking challenging courses.

Prior to attending ECSU, I was accepted into the Center of Excellence for Remote Sensing Education and Research (CERSER) scholarship program. The program is under the leadership of Dr. Linda B. Hayden and provides students with undergraduate research experience, educational support, and assistance with obtaining internships. Through CERSER, I have had the opportunity to attend conferences, develop professionally, and gain scientific research experience.

During the 2008 – 2009 academic school year, 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 Cyberinfrastructure Research Projects at Elizabeth City State University.” We examined four popular open source Content Management Systems (CMS): Joomla, WordPress, MediaWiki, and Drupal. We installed each CMS on a test Windows Apache MySQL Php (WAMP) platform and evaluated them based on their ease of use. As a team, we wanted to analyze these different CMSs and pick what we felt was the best so the CERSER program could use the tool as a resource; students could access a team’s notes and ideas from previous years for references while conducting research. I was able to present this research at a conference I attended.

I have been to two conferences so far, the Black Engineer of the Year Awards (BEYA) Conference and the Association of Computer/Information Science and Engineering Departments at Minority Institutes (ADMI), both held in Baltimore, Maryland. At BEYA, I had the opportunity to interact with professionals in the science, engineering and technology fields by attending a career fair and sitting in on seminars and workshops.

At the ADMI conference, I attended workshops and seminars where some of the key speakers were Juan Gilbert—creator of the first Electronic Voting System, Prime III, Lieutenant Commander Warren Judge of the Coast Guard , and Gerry Dozier--Professor & Chair of the Computer Science Department at North Carolina A&T State University. At the conference, I participated in the poster session and had the chance to present the research I conducted during the academic year. By participating in the ADMI poster session, I took away one key thing that some people forget—do not get so caught up in your research that you forget the basics of science, the scientific method.

For the summer of 2009, I am interning with the Undergraduate Research Experience in Ocean, Marine, and Polar Science (UREOMPS) at Elizabeth City State University. Through UREOMP I have gained valuable training in global positioning system/geographic information system, water quality testing, and earned certifications in boating safety, CPR, and first aid. Currently, I am on the Polar Grid Team. The title of our research is, “A Comparative Analysis of Dependent MATLab Code Verses Independent Mex Binaries in the Charting of CReSIS Flight Path Data.” We are trying to take MATLab dependent code and convert it into a MATLab independent code, so our partners through CReSIS may use it to analyze their data. Normally, a conversion program can cost thousands of dollars, but we are hoping to offer a cheaper solution.

No matter where I end up in life, I want to be happy and successful. The only way I feel that I can do this is by working hard while continuing my education. One day I would like to be in the position where I can give back to the community that helped raise me. If I achieve these goals, I believe that I will be very happy and able to begin establishing more goals to contribute to my feeling of success.
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