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Student Recognition


(L to R) Jackson Streeter, David Strength, Tyler Hadden, Max Collins-Shenfield, Allison Hardee
(not pictured: Lesya Zhukovska, Alice Curtis)

Award Recipients for 2014
  • The Raymond H. Medley, Jr. Outstanding Senior Mathematics Award
    2014 Recipients: Alice Curtis and Max Collins-Shenfield
  • The Raymond H. Medley, Jr. Outstanding Senior Computer Science Award
    2014 Recipient: David Strength
  • The Stephen R. Campbell Mathematics and Computer Science Award
    2014 Recipients: Tyler Hadden and Allison Hardee
  • The Mathematics Problem Solving Award
    2014 Recipients: Jackson Streeter and Lesya Zhukovska

Geoff Gross Finalist for Nashville Technology Council's Technology Student of the Year

grossGeoffrey Gross, a senior computer science major and mathematics minor, was recently selected as a finalist for the Nashville Technology Council’s (NTC) Technology Student of the Year. Each year, the NTC seeks to recognize the individuals throughout the Nashville community that are leading the charge on technology and pushing the boundaries on what has previously been done.

The Technology Student of the Year is one of many awards that will be announced on January 22, 2015 at the NTC’s Annual Gala.

A student leader on campus, Gross is involved in many things outside of the classroom. During his time at Belmont, he has been a member of Alpha Tau Omega, a national fraternity known for community service and leadership, the vice president of Belmont’s Mathematical Association of America and Association of Computing Machinery chapter and a Young Life leader, a Christian outreach organization that works with high school students.

In his nomination submission, Mathematics and Computer Science Professor Dr. Glenn Acree said, “[Geoff] is a caring and curious young man with a strong mind and a bright future. Geoff is equally talented in mathematics, as he is in computer science. This combination, along with his ease of communication, creativity and work ethic, will serve him well for a successful future in our technology community. I cannot imagine a better representative for the technology students in Nashville.”

For a full list of NTC’s awards and nominees, click here.

Mathematics Major passes first Actuarial Exam

Mallory White
, Mathematics Major, class of 2016, passed Actuarial Exam P/1 on her first try! This is the first of a series of nine exams which are required for full status as an actuary. Exam P/1 has only a 30-40% pass rate.  The actuarial profession is usually ranked in the top five of career choices. Actuaries work in the insurance and financial sectors and specialize in analyzing the financial impact of risk and uncertainty. Belmont University's Belmont Actuarial Students Society is an organization for students interested in pursuing the Actuarial profession. Dr. Daniel Biles in the faculty advisor for this student organization.

Belmont Seniors Present at Computing Sciences Conference

andrew and davidBelmont seniors Andrew Trask and David Gilmore each had papers accepted to the 12th Annual Consortium for Computing Sciences in Colleges (CCSC) Mid-South Conference. They presented their papers at LeMoyne-Owen College in Memphis, TN on April 5, 2014. The CCSC Mid-South Conference seeks to provide a forum for the exchange of information on computing and computing education.

Andrew Trask graduates in May with a Bachelor of Science in Applied Discrete Mathematics and a Bachelor of Business Administration in Finance.  His paper, "Distributing a Fully Connected Neural Network: A Novel Approach," describes a novel approach to distributing artificial neural networks, which reduces their evaluation time by an order of magnitude.

David Gilmore graduates in May with a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science. His paper, "Online-Analytical Processing: RDBMS vs Hadoop," describes a way to speed up a common business query task from seven hours to 12 minutes. 

Belmont Students and Alumni Get a 'Jumpstart' for Poliana

polianaA group of Belmont students and alumni are working to increase civic responsibility through a web application that explains United States government and politics. Funded through a $15,000 investment, the app, Poliana, aggregates millions of data points on a wide range of government activity, including voting records, financial contributions, lobbying, bills and industry influence.

Nashville business incubator Jumpstart Foundry awarded Poliana founders with the start-up cash during a 14-week process. Throughout the process the founders–Belmont students David Gilmore and Patrick Cason along with alumni Grayson Carroll, Kenny House and Seth Whiting– were guided and mentored by Nashville’s most influential business people, designers, developers, lawyers, marketers and entrepreneurs.  From May to August, Poliana’s staff worked 60-hour weeks at The Jumpstart Foundry, located in the  Nashville Entrepreneurship Center on Second Avenue South, developing software, the website and business leads, preparing for investor day, listening to academic lectures from Nashville-area business executives and learning about accounting and marketing.

graysonTheir entrepreneurial jumpstart culminated with “investor day,” where Poliana presented a 10-minute business pitch to hundreds of potential investors from all over the country.They created Poliana as a way for Americans to get objective information about their elected officials and government.  What makes Poliana different from other website and news sources, Cason said, is that it leverages big data, artificial intelligence and machine learning to compile information about the country’s political system. Poliana is working towards its beta release in spring 2014. To watch the "business pitch" -- click here
Grayson Carroll -- CEO at Poliana

Belmont Student Develops Popular iOS Photography App

brynWhile interning at local app development company Aloompa, Belmont senior Bryn Bodayle partnered with photographer Jeremy Cowart as the primary developer on OKDOTHIS, an iOS app that provides an idea community for photography. The app has been steadily climbing the Apple App Store charts since its launch in late November. Aloompa, which was co-founded by two Belmont alumni, specializes in mobile apps for music, food, conference and community events.

OKDOTHIS allows users to share both their favorite photos and the creative ideas (“DOs”) that led to it. Users can connect with other photographers, become inspired by their DOs, and watch as their DOs spark the creativity of others. Recent examples of inspiring “DOs”include “Use car headlights to light a subject” and “Show off a piece of art that a friend made.”

Bodayle, an honors student majoring in Computer Science with a minor in Design Communications, began studying the development of iOS apps when he was a freshman at Belmont.“I had never programmed before coming to Belmont, but even before the first smartphones, I was captivated by the potential for mobile phones,” Bodayle said. “After my first introductory programming course, I was hooked.”

The first smartphone app Bodayle created was for a project with fellow Belmont student Andrew Trask. The two were recruited to build an iPhone app for a charity fashion show at Belmont. Although Apple never approved the app, the experience earned Bodayle an internship at Aloompa.

Bodayle has been at Aloompa for almost three years and has worked on dozens of apps including OKDOTHIS for the iPhone, iPad and Mac along with working on apps for clients such as John Mayer, Kenny Chesney, Coachella and Bonnaroo. He will graduate from Belmont in May 2014.

Student Awarded Actuarial Scholarship

Lesya Zhukovska (Mathematics major, class of 2014) was awarded the Southeastern Actuaries Conference (SEAC) Scholarship for the 2013-2014 academic year. Each year the Southeastern Actuaries Conference funds actuarial science scholarships for full-time students at universities and colleges in the Southeast who have demonstrated a commitment to pursuing a career in the actuarial field. The SEAC Scholarship Committee receives scholarship applications from students and then meets to select the scholarship winners, typically five each year. The actuarial profession is usually ranked in the top five of career choices. Actuaries analyze the financial costs of risk and uncertainty. They use mathematics, statistics, and financial theory to assess the risk that an event will occur and to help businesses and clients develop policies that minimize the cost of that risk.

Student Invited to Present at National Conference on Undergraduate Research

Andrew Trask, a Belmont senior pursuing a B.S. in Applied Discrete Mathematics and a B.B.A. in Finance, presented an oral presentation at NCUR 2013 at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse in April 2013. Chosen from more than 3,500 submissions, his abstract demonstrates a unique contribution to his field of study.  The title of his presentation is "Predicting Stock Change Using Twitter and Artificial Neural Networks." The National Conferences on Undergraduate Research (NCUR), established in 1987, is dedicated to promoting undergraduate research, scholarship, and creative activity in all fields of study by sponsoring an annual conference for students. Attendance was anticipated to range from 3000 to 3500 individuals representing over 300 research universities, comprehensive universities, and private liberal arts colleges, from 35 to 45 states plus the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Canada, and likely other countries.

Student presents at The Improvising Brain Symposium
Brian Howell, a senior majoring in Computer Science, presented "Application of Music Analysis Algorithms to Interactive Music Synthesis" with David Halpern of Columbia University and Dr. Robert Keller of Harvey Mudd College at The Improvising Brain Symposium at Georgia State University (GSU) in Atlanta, GA, April 7 – 9, 2013. The Improvising Brain is a symposium and concert event that will bring together researchers and musicians to explore music, improvisation, and related brain processes. It is sponsored by the GSU School of Music, the GSU Neuroscience Institute and the Center for Collaborative and International Arts.  The paper resulted from work done at a Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) Brian attended last summer on Intelligent Music Software at Harvey Mudd College in Claremont, CA.