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UBCO students rope interest at Research Rodeo

Emad Awad speaks at the UBCO Research Rodeo Wednesday about his research on the effectiveness of health care for immigrants in B.C. Awad was one of 12 graduate students who had three minutes to present their research to the audience and a panel of judges. - Wade Paterson/Capital News
Emad Awad speaks at the UBCO Research Rodeo Wednesday about his research on the effectiveness of health care for immigrants in B.C. Awad was one of 12 graduate students who had three minutes to present their research to the audience and a panel of judges.
— image credit: Wade Paterson/Capital News

Undergraduate and graduate students didn't have much time to illustrate their research to an audience and panel of judges Wednesday at the UBCO Research Rodeo.

The event, which is one of several scheduled for Celebrate Research week at the university, allowed 10 undergraduate students and 12 graduate students three minutes each to explain their research and its importantance.

The students were only able to use one slide to help illustrate what they were talking about.

David Kadish spoke about the importance of context in artificial intelligence.

"My masters work focuses on computer vision algorithms: Those set of instructions that helps computers understand the content of images," said Kadish.

"I'm exploring the idea you can combine many different representations of an image to get a more accurate assessment than from any one representation on its own."

He illustrated his point by showing a picture of two apples. The first was clear; the second was blurry. The only difference was that the first apple had a visual texture element, the second didn't.

"By combining all of our ways of understanding the image, with a little bit of additional knowledge, we can get a much better result overall."

Emad Awad talked about his research into the effectiveness of the health care system for new immigrants in B.C.

His plan is to conduct interviews and do statistical analysis on what hinders various sections of the population from accessing health care.

"I'll look at the results and see whether these barriers accessing health care is limited to immigrants, or (experienced by) everybody," said Awad.

His plan is to use the results to educate policy makers and give suggestions of how the health system can be improved to benefit those who are new to the province.

Dr. Miriam Grant, vice provost of research at UBCO, said research being done at the university is extremely important.

"One discovery, an innovative idea, can change the world," said Grant.

"Research is a central component of UBCO's mandate as a public university and we're doing some great things with that mandate."

Grant said UBCO researchers received nearly $12 million in support of over 480 projects over the past year.

"Our students and their professors are answering critical questions at home and around the globe.

"Research Rodeo is a great sampling of that student research."

wpaterson@kelownacapnews.com

 

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