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UT Tyler 2012 LSAMP Academy Students Present Research

August 8, 2012

Media Contact:  Hannah Buchanan
Public Affairs Specialist
Marketing and Communications
The University of Texas at Tyler
903.565.5769 or 903.539.7196 (cell)

The 2012 UT System Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation Summer Research Academy students concluded their fellowship by presenting research in an on-campus poster competition.  

The participating research fellows are listed by hometown with their research field and faculty mentor.

ARP – Victoria Vaught, chemistry, Dr. Sean Butler.

BROWNSBORO – Halima Farooq, biology, Dr. Ali Azghani.

BUDA – Isaac Hemby, biology, Dr. John Placyk.

HENDERSON – Sadie Hillis, biology, Placyk.

KEMP – Joshua Mesa, biology, Dr. Joshua Banta.

KILGORE – Lakshman Raut, electrical engineering, Dr. David Hoe.

MANSFIELD – MacKenzie Patton, biology, Dr. Blake Bextine.

OVERTON – Justin Hazlerig, biology, Bextine.

TYLER – John Hyde, mathematics, Dr. Casey Mann; and Melecio Silva, biology, Banta. 

Dr. Ginny Soong, associate professor of computer science, served as lead judge for the competition. Hyde’s research presentation, “An Algorithmic Approach to Pentagonal Plane Tiling,” was ranked first place. He will represent UT Tyler at the 2012 UT System LSAMP Student Research Conference Sept. 20 – 23 at UT El Paso by giving an oral presentation about his research.

Other top poster presenters and research titles are:

Hillis – “DNA Barcoding in Ribbonsnakes.”

Raut – “Stream cipher design for RFID tags using cellular automata.”

Hazlerig – “Gene Knockdown in Homalodisca vitripennis cell cultures.”

Hemby – “Molecular Phylogenetics of the Ribbonsnakes Thamnophis sauritus and T. proximus.”

These students’ posters will be featured at the conference.

The UT LSAMP program is supported by funding from the National Science Foundation and provides undergraduate research experiences in an effort to encourage students from underrepresented groups to pursue graduate level studies in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics programs. 

Each student received a fellowship stipend for their participation and faculty mentors received funding for supplies and materials to support their students’ research activities.

Dr. Stephen B. Rainwater, Lecil and Barbara Chandler endowed professor of computer science, serves as local campus director of the UT Tyler LSAMP program. Dr. Neil Gray, chair and professor of chemistry, and Dr. Neil Ford, professor of biology, also contribute in their supporting roles on the advisory committee for the program.

One of the 15 campuses of the UT System, UT Tyler offers excellence in teaching, research, artistic performance and community service. More than 80 undergraduate and graduate degree programs are available at UT Tyler, which has an enrollment of almost 7,000 high-ability students at its campuses in Tyler, Longview and Palestine.
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