Cru Fall Retreat

Joshua Igwe

Joshua Igwe,
Senior, Industrial & Systems Engineering

Athens, OH 18 October 2016

Last weekend I took a break from my industrial engineering studies and spent a few days at the Scioto Hills camp site with CRU. CRU is a college campus ministry that I have been involved with since my freshman year.

Each fall a group of about 200 students who are involved with CRU at Ohio University and a few other small schools in southeastern Ohio, travel about an hour from campus to spend time together learning more about Jesus, deepening our relationships with one another and playing fun games like ultimate pumpkin, shown below. (I’m in the red shirt on the far right.)

Ultimate Pumpkin

Ultimate pumpkin is an annual fall retreat event that is similar to ultimate Frisbee, but played with a greased-down pumpkin. There are three teams composed of students that live on the three main greens or sections of campus, South Green, East Green and West Green (which is also home of the engineering buildings).

Since I lived on South Green my freshman year, I played with the South Green team. In 2015 South Green suffered their first lost since the tournament began in 2009, but I am glad to report that I helped bring the trophy back to South where it rightly belongs.

Saturday night, there is a large bonfire. This is a time for students to reflect on what they have learned and experienced during the retreat. (In the picture below, I am on the far left side in the black T-shirt with the bear.)

Cru Bonfire

I really enjoy CRU and many other student organizations that I have had a chance to check out since I began my time at Ohio University. There is truly an organization tailored to fit every type of student on campus regardless of background and interest.

Training for a Half Marathon

Emily Morello

Emily Morello,
Junior, Mechanical Engineering

Athens, OH 6 October 2016

This past summer, I started becoming more interested in running. I used to love running when I was younger. I ran the 4×400 m dash and the 400 m dash for track in middle school and high school. I also started running cross country in high school. Unfortunately, my running days came to an end due to very tight muscles in my knees. I had to go to physical therapy for a month in order to try healing them. The therapy did not seem to work, so I quit running for a year or so and my knees felt a lot better.

Last year, I decided to start running again since my knee pain was gone. It was a slow start and very hard to finish even a mile or two. This past summer, however, I had an internship at JPMorgan Chase in Columbus. A few of my friends from high school live there, so I was glad I got to hang out with them a lot. I decided to join a local gym with one of my friends so we could have something to do together after work. She not only worked out, but also ran a lot. She has actually finished a few half marathons in Columbus, which at the moment, I thought was crazy.

My friend, Marissa, motivated me to start running more. I stretch every day now, so the knee pain has not returned, thankfully. After I could run four miles pretty easily, I started asking her about the half marathon. She told me that I could find routines online that fit with my running level and how often I wanted to run, and there was one coming up in Columbus on October 16th 2016.

It took me a little while before I actually committed to the half marathon. I started my training in the middle of July, running three days a week: one easy run, one pace run, and one long run. Now, I am two weeks away from my first half marathon and feel very confident in my training. I finished ten miles last Friday and will continue to run for the next two weeks to work on speed. My goal is to finish in less than two hours. Training for this half marathon during school has been a pretty big commitment, but I am very excited that it will finally happen soon so I can feel accomplished.

Quintin Fettes

Quintin Fettes,
Senior, Computer Science

Athens, OH 2 October 2016

Another research opportunity at Ohio University has brought me closer to the goals and aspirations I once had as a kid. I’d always wanted to be a doctor, so that I could help sick people get better; I’d always wanted to make the first true Artificial Intelligence, like Arnold in the second Terminator movie; and I’d always wanted to be a professional Athlete.

My research in Artificial Intelligence started during Spring Semester of my Sophomore year. I reached out to one of my professors at Ohio University to study machine learning, a sub-field of Artificial Intelligence. The next semester, I was offered a research position in the Smarthealth Laboratory working with Dr. Marling and Dr. Bunescu, where we write AI programs to help patients with Type 1 Diabetes manage their condition. Ultimately the work will help these patients live more comfortably and safely.

It was here that I realized OU had given me the opportunity to apply my unique skills as a Computer Science major to help people. I’m not a physician, but I still have the feeling that my 8-year-old self is proud.

My latest research project was awarded to me by the Russ College Undergraduate Research Fund. I’m now able to research with Dr. Vigo in the SCOPE laboratory. Here, we work on the mathematical modeling of human conceptual behavior. In other words, my job is to help apply mathematics to computers to help them form concepts in the same way that a human would. It’s a long way from the science fiction AI, but I don’t think I’ve disappointed my younger self.

In short, Ohio University has taken what I thought was a decision to only be a computer scientist, and it’s opened my eyes to the cross-disciplinary work that will help me contribute to almost all of the fields I had once intended. Now, I just have to make a smart robot that can hit a 450ft homerun. I couldn’t be more thankful for the opportunity, and I hope this isn’t the last time you read about my research.

Retail’s Digital Summit

Mia Wilson

Mia Wilson,
Junior, Electrical Engineeering

Athens, OH 27 September 2016

This past weekend I attended Retail’s Digital Summit in Dallas, Texas. They flew a few Ohio University students down there for free. The only thing I had to pay for was a ride to and from the airport, a lunch and a dinner.

I was informed about the event by our secretary here in the School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science. I saw “free” written everywhere, and so I figured I would apply. After a day they emailed me and told me I had been accepted to go to the conference.

One important aspect of the trip was being able to network with large retail companies like GSN, Ebay, and PayPal. They attend this conference looking to network and team up with other companies to brainstorm new ideas for selling their products. They also were hoping to show off their recent marketing schemes.

One thing that I did learn was how to communicate on a professional level with people that aren’t just strictly engineering. I got to meet some students from other schools. I also got to meet some students from Ohio University’s Russ College who I hadn’t known before this event. I also learned that although the marketing industry treats their members very nicely, I don’t think it’s a field that interests me.

While I was in Dallas, I was able to do some sight-seeing and enjoy some good food. I got to see where John F Kennedy was shot with the help of an unofficial tour guide. He pulled us out into the street to get a picture near the “X” of his assassination. The skyline was beautiful and so was our hotel. I tried one of the best steaks I’ve ever had, with some amazing peach cobbler. We got delicious free food at the conference events. Although we tried to diversify our taste buds, to save some money we stopped by a Subway to get an Italian BMT.

Human-Powered Vehicle Team

Matt McKenzie

Matt McKenzie,
Junior, Mechanical Engineering

Athens, OH 24 September 2016

With the school year setting in, the American Society of Mechanical Engineers’ Human Powered Vehicle team has begun its quest for the top. Each year, around 35 universities compete in a series of rigorous events and races with the vehicles they have designed over the previous year.

As a leader of the OU team, my passion and goal is to continue to help young, aspiring engineers through the engineering process from research to testing, and ultimately to show off what Ohio University students have to offer.

In my previous two years’ experience, I have learned a lot about not only bicycles, but also the engineering process, including many items that I have not yet learned in the classroom environment.

As this year rolls in, and I continue on to my second year as a leader of the team, I am looking to pass on that information to younger members so they can continue leading the organization to success after I have moved on. One of the most gratifying parts of this organization for me is being able to pass on the knowledge I have gained to other members.

The process of designing, analyzing, manufacturing, and testing a vehicle is neither a simple nor short endeavor. As a leader of such an extracurricular group, I realize that time while in college is precious and a juggling act between classes, extracurricular activities, personal life, and even work. I have devoted much of my time to the organization and am very grateful to see new and returning members devoting theirs to the organization as well.

While there are still many unknowns and hurdles to overcome, I continue to look forward to passing on knowledge and seeing the ideas members come up with to solve the challenging issues they face, with the hopes of bringing home a win for Ohio University come competition time.

Internet Engineering

Mollie Whitacre

Mollie Whitacre,
Junior, Computer Science

Athens, OH 22 September 2016

Coming down to the end of my college journey, the classes I need to take are slowly dwindling down. I’m able to pick electives that are outside of the normal Computer Science scope. One class I decided to take this semester is Internet Engineering. It isn’t too hard to guess what this class would be about…yes, how the internet works.

When I enrolled for it, I thought it was going to be such a cool class and sure enough it has already exceeded my expectations. With it being one of my hardest and most demanding classes, it is still definitely one of the most rewarding ones I’ve taken. It has actually showed me what I want to do with life after college.

An interesting topic we’ve covered so far is routing to different computers and setting up the internet using solely IP Addresses. At first, it was all over my head and I felt lost, but the more time I spend walking to and from classes, I find myself thinking about how those computers are all connected together on the same network. I’m excited to see what other random facts I learn and to cover more topics as the year progresses.

Summer Research in Copenhagen, Denmark

Nathan Arnett

Nathan Arnett,
Junior, Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering

Athens, OH 16 September 2016

In my opinion, one of the greatest components of the Russ College and Ohio University in general is the approachability of the professors and staff. In Fall 2015, I went to my academic advisor, Dr. Gerardine Botte, and told her I really wanted to get a research internship abroad for the summer. She thought it was a good idea, and she put me in contact with Dr. John Kopchick because of his extensive network of colleagues overseas.

After meeting with Dr. Kopchick, we reached out to various researchers from all along the globe asking if they would be interested in hosting me. After weighing the options, we decided the best fit for me would be in Copenhagen, Denmark.

So this past summer, I was fortunate to spend two months at the Novo Nordisk Foundation Center for Basic Metabolic Research! Being a Chemical Engineering student on the Biological Track, I felt that experience in a molecular biology lab would be very beneficial learning experience—and I was right. I gained a vast amount of knowledge and experience in the field and I’m excited to see how it helps me in the future.

All of my time wasn’t spent in the lab, however. I got plenty of free time to explore the city of Copenhagen, go to concerts, and meet incredible new people! Travelling is one of my favorite hobbies, and being able to do so through the helpfulness and approachability of the Ohio University faculty is a prime example of how valuable of a resource your professors can be.