Mathematics, Computer Science, & Physics, 2008
  • Mathematics, Computer Science, & Physics, 2008



    Predicting Stock Performance Using Artificial Intelligence
    Tyler M. Clemons
    Mentor: John Phillips

    With the ever growing power of computers, computer science and mathematics have been effectively integrated across other fields such as finance. When applied together, computer science, mathematics, and finance are known as computational finance. This presentation will discuss a particular area of computational science, artificial neural networks and predicting stock price performance. Artificial neural networks are a model of neurons found in the human brain. Artificial neural networks have been used in many fields to supplement and replace existing methods because of their relative accuracy. By analyzing the past performance of an object, such as a security, it has been found that an artificial neural network can outperform conventional methods in predicting future performance. This presentation addresses to the design of an artificial neural network. It includes the structure of the network, the mathematical formulas used, training the network, the C++ code behind the network, and the results yielded from the network.



    Cryptography-Securing Communication
    Tyler M. Clemons
    Mentor: David M. Reed

    The desire to keep information secure has long been a concern in the communication field. Cryptography has evolved throughout its history from simple substitution methods to complex computer algorithms. All modern web browsers use encryption when sending sensitive data such as passwords and account numbers across the internet to banks and shopping web sites. Public key cryptography is the standard technique for encrypting data and the RSA algorithm is the defacto standard public key algorithm. It relies on the fact that factoring large numbers is computationally expensive and breaking the encryption would take hundreds or thousands of years. This presentation discusses the mathematical principles of public key encryption and demonstrates an example implementation of the RSA algorithm.


    Software Engineering for Service Learning
    Chris Dereskiewicz
    Mentor: Thomas K. Gearhart, Doreen P. Close

    A service learning project was undertaken to help a household materials assistance program jointly sponsored by two area churches. The program staff needed a computerized system that would keep track of donors, items donated, and pick-up information. This presentation discusses the process of choosing an appropriate database management system, designing the database schema, selecting a programming language for the application, and developing a custom graphical user interface. The software development model that discussed is known as the waterfall model. The waterfall model involves a series of steps leading to product deployment. Some of the many challenges that arose during the project regarding requirements specification, client communications, testing, and final implementation are addressed.



    Electricity, Energy, & Emissions: How the Nation’s Power Supply can be Revamped in the 21st Century
    Katherine Golovin
    Mentor: Robert L. Mertens, John Phillips

    Our world is full of high, fast paced energy consumption. Society is always producing more technology to harness the need for speed. Rapidly following this necessity is the decrease in fossil fuels available for use. That is the problem that addressed within the research. With the effort already being processed, our world can become more dependent on renewable and alternative energy that can never be in danger of becoming unavailable. Many new opportunities are beneficial to our environment and our own physical wellbeing. With the creation of alternative fuels and discovery of renewable natural resources, there is a reduction in emissions, jobs created, and homes with energy saved. It was surprising to find the number of organizations and countries expending energy and money towards understanding and developing techniques. Products to help with the conservation of energy and recyclable fuels exist within the global market.



    Farm Market Insulation
    Mitchell D Hirschfeld
    Mentor: John Phillips

    Farming is a fragile business. It’s daily risks are interactive. Success is determined by weather, market prices, and the risk of occupational injury. Farmers have traditionally used community support to hedge against disaster and attain success for the whole community. While weather and accidents are unpredictable, the commodities market reflects patterns that are similar to other markets and can be isolated and studied. To assist in making educated financial decisions, my research focuses on market insulation for the modern farmer. To analyze the vast amount of data present in the form of stock history, a computer model that employs modern financial techniques is created. Using linear regression, the "random walk" or volatility of the price can be extracted. The model then uses the continuous Black and Schole’s formula and the statistics gathered from the history of an individual stock to predict future prices. Using this estimate, with current risk management and hedging techniques, an investment portfolio can be created for the modern farmer for protection against fluctuations in commodity prices. This insulation added to current risk management techniques already in place assists the farmer to achieve overall success.



    Calculators in the Mathematics Classroom
    Megan A. Iacoboni
    Mentor: Jane Baldwin

    The use of technology has extended the ability of the human race to manipulate the natural world. As technology continues to evolve, it has quickly become an integral part of our daily lives and has extended its influence into nearly every aspect of human life. The extension and integration of technology within the classroom can be observed by the existence of a variety of different tools. Over the last twenty years, calculators have become widely used in the mathematics classroom, presenting a challenge for teachers trying to balance traditional and modern mathematical approaches. Compiling data from observational field experiences and interviews conducted with current mathematics teachers confirmed the hypothesis that students have become dependent on the convenience of calculators to solve even the simplest of problems. As a result, students are not obtaining the basic mathematical skills necessary to operate efficiently without the assistance of technology. During the presentation we discuss the research findings that examine the impact technology has made in the math classroom and whether it has been beneficial or detrimental for students.



    Designing a Guidance Aid for the Visually Impaired
    Walter M. Lowry II
    Mentor: John Phillips

    Most people would agree that having the ability to see is a very important part of their life. Unfortunately, everyone in the world does not have the ability to see. In a world of increasing technological advancements, what technology is being developed for those who are visually impaired? Is this technical age helping visually impaired persons more or not at all? How could a visual aid be developed? What would be the steps involved in development? These and other questions will be answered as I cover the process of designing a guidance aid for the visually impaired. This aid employs the use of haptic technology to relay feedback to the wearer of the system. This system is a simulation of how a finished prototype will function. What should be taken away from this project is the following: to better understand the research and development process of design and to begin understanding how an aid for the visually impaired could be designed. This guidance aid is by no means a perfect system. Hopefully this age of increasing technology can help yield some useful results.



    Interpolation Using Radial Basis Functions
    Mindy Schockling
    Mentor: John Phillips

    In the real world, it is not always possible to collect as much data as would be desired. Such under sampled or irregular data are sometimes called sparse or scattered data. Many problems in science and engineering involve scattered data sets that discourage or even eliminate the possibility of obtaining an acceptable solution with most commonly used techniques which assume the availability of closely sampled, regular data. The relatively new procedure using radial basis functions (RBF’s) provides an innovative method for approaching many problems in applied mathematics since it does not require that the data lie on a regular grid and is well suited to sparse data sets. In particular, the interpolation problem is easily approached by approximating the solution with a linear combination of translated RBF’s. This method can be implemented fairly easily with MATLAB, and a gradient descent process is used to find an optimal fit. As an example application, an interpolation problem in graphics is discussed that uses over sampling to obtain a zoom-in image.



    Reading CAPTCHA Images with Neural Networks
    Benjamin Snider
    Mentor: David M. Reed

    CAPTCHA images (Completely Automated Public Turing test to tell Computers and Humans Apart), are a front-line defense in many Internet registration schemes. Organizations such as Yahoo, Google, and Wikipedia rely on CAPTCHAs to verify that an entity attempting to register for email accounts or edit public information is indeed a human. This approach presumes that CAPTCHA images are impossible or very difficult for a computer algorithm to accurately read and guess which characters the image represents. Indeed, traditional algorithms are often not suited for the type of pattern matching required for a processing task such as reading arbitrary characters from a possibly distorted and noisy image. However, neural networks excel at pattern matching and it is the purpose of this presentation to show how neural network technologies can be leveraged to read CAPTCHA images to the end of defeating a common security protocol.