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As a minority in the twenty-first century, I have achieved and accomplished a great deal. My strong will and positive mindset have given me the willpower and the want to do my best at whatever it is that I put my mind to. Having been raised to the tune of Philippians 4:13, which reads, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me,” has greatly influenced my drive for success.

My name is Danielle Cherita Graves. I am a junior attending Elizabeth City State University in Elizabeth City, NC. My major is Applied Mathematics with a minor in Computer Science. My objective is to obtain the knowledge and skills at undergraduate and graduate levels that will enable a successful career in the fields of Mathematics and Computer Science.

As a student, I have always had a profound passion for mathematics and computers. My love for math and passion for computers strongly influenced my decision in choosing a major and a minor. Mathematics, because it is and has always been my best subject and I find great pleasure in problem solving. Computers, which are becoming a lifeline for today's society, have always been an interest of mine. I acknowledged early on that with technology advancing at the rate that it is, a career in the fields of computer science and mathematics would be a smart choice for me, especially as a minority. After obtaining a Bachelor of Science degree in Applied Mathematics, I plan to attend graduate school to pursue a Master's degree in Computer Science and a doctorate degree soon after.

In order to better prepare myself for graduate school and the working world, I have not only conducted research at my instituion, but I have also participated in a summer internship program. At Elizabeth City State University, I am a researcher in the Office of Naval Research (ONR) program. Throughout the school year, many different training sessions are conducted to introduce to some and ehance the skills of others using various software packages and platforms. Thus far, the program has allowed me opportunities to work with UNIX, HTML, C++, Adobe Photoshop, PageMaker, Remote Sensing, Macromedia Dreamweaver 4.0 and MX, Macromedia Flash, Macromedia Fireworks, and Macromedia Authorware, Earth 2.1, and ArcView. During my freshman year (2001-2002), I was a member of the Math of the Great Dismal Swamp Research Team. Our objective was to use various software presentation packages to develop a program that would present the water quality research, history, and geography of the swamp in electronic format. Our research also included the development of an interactive game, using mathematics and Great Dismal Swamp information, that would be used in classrooms of K-3rd grades.
As a sophomore (2002-2003), I worked on the Networking Team on a project entitled "How To Site Manage Networks, Computers, And Services Using Administrative Tools." Our focus was to implement local and global site polices that would allow our team to effectively administer the existing ONR and CERSER networks.

ONR strongly encourages its participants to apply and take part in summer internships. During the summer of 2002, I was afforded the opportunity to participate in the Undergraduate Institute in Physics - Research Experience for Undergraduates (UnIPhy-REU) at Hampton University in Hampton, Virginia. The title of my research was "The Analysis of Fuel Optimal Periodic Trajectories." The project entailed flying conventional aircrafts on periodic cruise trajectories in order to determine if flying periodically is more fuel-efficient than flying steady-state. In order to make the data more accessible and easier to analyze, an analysis package was developed using MATLAB. Thus far, I have presented my research at the Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility, better known as "Jefferson Lab," in Newport News, Virginia, at the 12th Annual SOARS Conference, held on the campus of North Carolina Central University, in the fall of 2002, and at the 2003 Council on Undergraduate Research Symposium: "Posters on the Hill".

My research experiences have been very useful, informative, and worthwhile. These opportunities are steps that I now am able to climb in my journey to success. I plan to continue to conduct research and expand my horizons so that I will be a well-rounded individual with a broad list of capabilities.

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