Undergraduate and STEM Leadership

Undergraduate Mini Courses in Data Sciences

Data Science

Two mini courses will be offered on April 17 to introduce undergraduates students to data science and its application. The mini courses target data science: definition and applications and big data.

Introduction to Data Sciences
Data Science is an area that manages, manipulates, extracts, and interprets knowledge from tremendous amount of data. Theories and techniques from many fields and disciplines such as Computer Science, Mathematics, and Statistics are used to investigate and analyze a large amount of data to help decision makers in many industries such as science, engineering, economics, politics, finance, and education. This mini course will introduce data sciences to undergraduate students and expose them to many real life applications and theories of data sciences. It will highlight the importance of data sciences in the 21st century and the crucial need for data scientists. Dr. Kamal Al Nasr, Dr. Matthew Hayes, and Dr. Jean-Claude Pedjeu are the speakers for this mini course.

Big Data
Although many large data sets are composed are text or numerical values, large sets of images present special challenges to computational scientists. In textual and numerical data, detecting patterns and is relatively straightforward. However detecting the patterns and similarities between images requires a more complex approach. In this talk, I will present two very different examples of image collections that I have worked on. The first is data from an astronomical survey of galaxies known as the Sloan Digital Sky Survey. The second is a collection of scanned manuscripts from ancient Egypt. I will talk about how our team uses a combination of crowd sourcing and computational intelligence algorithms to help us deal with this very different kind of data flood.

Digital Wallet Innovation within Bank of America
Speaker will be Andy Heiman from Bank of America

Full Undergraduate Program


Dr. Wallin Dr. John Walling, Director of the Interdisciplinary Ph.D. Program in Computational Science
Middle Tennessee State University

Dr. Wallin is a Professor at Middle Tennesee State University in the Department of Physics and Astronomy. His primary research is aimed at understanding the gravitationally interactions in the universe. In this research, Dr. Wallin uses a variety of computational and observational techniques linking numerical models with data. His research has included developing algorithms for improving the performance of meshless methods in lagrangian hydrodynamic simulations as well as probing deviations from the inverse square law in the outer solar system.
Most recently, he has become involved in the Zooniverse project to enable volunteer Citizen Scientists to contribute their eyes and brains to analyzing scientific data. He and his gradudate student Anthony Holincheck created the "Merger Zoo" http://mergerzoo.galaxyzoo.org This project allows volunteers to help match simulated galaxy collisions with real interacting systems. He currently is involved in linking computaitonal intelligence to Citizen Science data.
Wallin received his B.S. Degrees in Physics, Astronomy, and Mathematics at Mankato State University in 1984. In 1989, Wallin obtained his Ph.D. in Astrophysics at Iowa State University. He was a National Research Council Cooperative Research Associate working in the Space Sciences Division at the Naval Research Laboratory from 1989 to 1992. From 1992 to 2010, Dr. Wallin was a faculty member in the Computational Science Program at George Mason University. During the 1999-2000 school year, he was on sabbatical leave as a visiting scientist at Los Alamos National Laboratory's Applied Physics Division (X-3). In 2010, he took the job as the first director of the Computational Sciences Program at MTSU. During the spring of 2010, he was be a Visiting Fellow at Mansfield College Oxford and the University of Minnesota

Andy Heiman, Senior VP, Tech Solutions Manager, Payments and Commerce
Bank of America

Andy has been with Bank of America for 5 years and currently leads a technology portfolio responsible for the implementation of Apple Pay and new digital wallet enhancements. Andy has been part of the Payments and Commerce technology team for 3 years and has led other initiatives including BankAmeriDeals and an emerging Gift Card product. He previously worked for the United States Golf Association and as an Equity Research Analyst before joining the Bank.

Dr. Al Nasr Dr. Kamal Al Nasr, Assistant Professor of Computer Science
Tennessee State University

Dr. Al Nasr received his Bachelor's and Master's degree in Computer Science from Yarmouk University (Jordan) in 2003 and 2005, respectively. Dr. Al Nasr received a second Master's degree in Computer Science from New Mexico State University (Las Cruces, NM) in 2011. He received his Ph.D. in Computer Science from Old Dominion University (Norfolk, VA) in 2012. During his Ph.D. study, he was awarded College of Science's university fellowship on July 2010. He Joined the Department of Systems and Computer Science at Howard University (Washington, D.C.) as a postdoctoral research scientist in 2012. His research interest is centered on developing efficient computational methods for protein structure prediction in de novo modeling. Specifically, he focuses on using Electron Cryo-Microscopy, high performance computing, and graph theory to design algorithms which efficiently predict the structure of proteins in 3-dimensional space. His research resulted in many publications in nationally and internationally recognized leading journals and conferences. Dr. Al Nasr joined Computer Science Department at Tennessee State University on Fall 2013.

Dr. Hayes Dr. Matthew Hayes, Assistant Professor of Computer Science
Tennessee State University

Dr. Hayes is an assistant professor in the Computer Science Department at Tennessee State University. He received his Bachelor's and Master's degrees in computer science from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette in 2005 and 2008, respectively. He earned his Ph.D. in computer science from Case Western Reserve University in 2013. During the 2013-2014 academic year, Dr. Hayes was a visiting assistant professor of computer science at McNeese State University in Lake Charles, LA.
Dr. Hayes' research focuses on efficient algorithm development to classify and discover genomic abnormalities that are relevant to disease onset and progression. He has been a reviewer for journals such as Bioinformatics (Oxford Journals), BMC Bioinformatics, and IEEE Transactions on Computational Biology and Bioinformatics. He has published research in journals such as BMC Genetics, BMC Bioinformatics, PLoS One, and Bioinformatics (Oxford Journals), and has presented research at conferences such as RECOMB, RECOMB-Seq, ISBRA, and BIOT. In Summer 2015, Dr. Hayes will be a Research Fellow at the Naval Health Research Center in San Diego, CA.

Dr. Pedjeu Dr. Jean-Claude Pedjeu, Assistant Professor of Mathematics
Tennessee State University

Dr. Pedjeu holds a PhD in Mathematics with concentration is Statistics and a Graduate Certificate in Biostatistics, both from the University of South Florida. Dr. Pedjeu's research includes stochatic differential equations and applications, fractional stochatic differential equations, stochastic integrodifferential equations, numerical and approximation methods, survival anaylsis. One of his current research interests is statistic education.