Honors College Graduates: Fall Thesis Highlights
This December, the Honors College saw many great students defend their undergraduate thesis. Some defended as they prepared to walk across the graduation stage, others prepared for final semesters as student-teachers or abroad.
Kimberly Apple graduated from the UTeach program with a bachelors in Mathematics. She studied optimal colorings, similar to those found in the famous Four Color Problem. Rather than determining that it only takes four different colors to color a map, she applied graph theory and linear programming to explore the colorings of Platonic and Archimedean solids. Her paper, mentored by Dr. Eugene Ionascu, was selected as one of the top ten in the country in the National Collegiate Honors Council’s Portz Competition. Returning to CSU as a non-traditional student, Kim made the decision to join the Honors College and work on her degree in Mathematics Education. Kim was able to publish three problems- two in MAA and one in the Cannadian MAA (CMA), was a finalist for the National Collegiate Honors Council's Portz Scholars Award, and successfully defended her thesis entitled, “Optimal half-dependence arrangements in graphs of regular and semi-regular polyhedra.”
Abby Gibbons defended her thesis during the fall prior to leaving for Oxford University. She’ll be graduating in Spring 2018. Her work analyzed travel texts from the fourteenth century authored by two Christian travelers, Marco Polo and John Mandeville, and one Muslim traveler, Ibn Battuta. She brilliantly argued that fourteenth century travel literature presented a paradigm based in sensationalism and de-emphasized populations in key cities of Baghdad and Jerusalem. The authors focused on entertainment and wonder, rather than education and dissemination of knowledge. Her thesis, entitled “Silent Cities: Sensationalism and Removed Populations within Fourteen Century Western Christian and Muslim Travel Accounts of Baghdad and Jerusalem,” was mentored by Dr. Ryan Lynch. As Abby will be abroad for part of the spring semester, she has managed to complete her Honors College requirements ahead of schedule. During her undergraduate career, Abby's love of history has led her to volunteering with the CSU Archives. This has been a rich experience for Abby and also equipped her to do some research on the family behind Illges Hall, the new home of the Honors College.
Manuel Parrachavez graduated with a degree in Computer Science after defending a senior project that developed a strategy to detect computer network intrusions entitled, “Using Self-Organizing Maps for Computer Network Intrusion Detection.” Working with Dr. Shamim Khan, Manuel implemented a self-organizing map and compared it to other neural network implementations to compare effectiveness. The self-organizing maps worked remarkably well in detecting anomalies. Manuel has finished up his degree in a mere 3 and a half years. He also managed to fit in an internship in Germany over a summer and remained active with Honoris Causa, our student-led organization.
Karolyn “Kallie” Turner developed her senior project as part of her internship at the Columbus Museum. Under the direction of Dr. Barbara Johnston, she developed lesson plans for children visiting the museum that integrated her major, Art History, with science and math for her thesis entitled, “Lesson Plans Integrating Art with STEAM: Providing Students with Universal Education Experience.” Kallie undertook the interdisciplinary challenge of researching the role of museums in education, Georgia standards for math, sciences and art, and the historical pieces available in the museum. The lesson plans bridged the gap between schools and the museum allowing students to experience STEAM (Science,Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics).
Sam Resenhouse also integrated an internships with his senior project in Computer Science. He developed an algorithm using natural language processing that could detect if radiological reports contained positive indications that a patient might have an abdominal aortic aneurysms for his thesis entitled, “Detecting Abdominal Aortic Aneurysms in the Clinical Narrative.” These aneurysms are a leading cause of death in the Western world and the algorithm provided promising way to efficiently and effectively identify patients at risk.
Alex Jones graduated with a degree in English, specializing in professional writing, and developed a thesis entitled, “Pick Me! Pick Me! Using Aristotelian Rhetorical Persuasion & Advertising Appeals for Self-Promotion.” Alex examined how the three classical rhetorical means of persuasion (ethos, pathos, and logos) could be used for self-promotion, and used cases from elimination-style reality shows, Survivor and Big Brother, to support his argument. He completed the work under the mentorship of Dr. Eliot Rendleman. Alex also graduated in less than 4 years, but during that time he has been a vital part of Honoris Causa, serving in an officer position since his sophomore year. Alex served two years as Main Campus Secretary, and one semester as Vice President before his graduation. He has already landed a job following his internship at WTVM.
Want to hear more about our graduates? Check the next edition of Aspirations, out in May of 2018, for information on our May graduates and their theses. Until then, enjoy your 2018 and thank you for all you do for the Columbus State University Honors College.
A Semester In Photos
Our students took part of CSU's Annual Day of Service and helped clean up 2nd Avenue in Columbus, GA. From mowing lawns and leaf-blowing, to cleaning abandoned porches and putting down pine straw, our students enjoyed their opportunity to improve our community.
The Honors College took 51 students and staff to get a view of the full Eclipse, stopping in the parking lot of Augusta Tech to put on our safety glasses and enjoy the view.