College of Arts & Sciences

UNCW Department of Mathematics and Statistics Hosts First NSF REU Summer Program

The UNCW Department of Mathematics and Statistics completed its first National Science Foundation Research Experiences for Undergraduates (NSF REU) program this summer. The program focuses on statistical machine learning and data mining with applications in computer vision and pattern recognition. Over 100 applicants from across the country applied. Eight students were accepted into the program: Garrett Bingham (Yale University), Kevin Park (Emory University), Morgan Ferguson (Elon University), Catherine Nansalo (North Carolina State University), Katherine Kempfert (University of Florida), Ben Yip (University of North Carolina Chapel Hill), Rachel Towner (University of North Carolina Wilmington) and Jonathan Fabish (North Carolina A&T).

For almost two months, students worked under the supervision of Dr. Cuixian Chen, Dr. Yishi Wang, and graduate assistant Troy Kling. They shared their work at a research showcase in July. Students also attended seven presentations given by UNCW faculty and staff on topics including career development, scientific writing, and the grant application process, and they participated in three field trips to learn more about opportunities for statisticians and data scientists, both locally and nationally.

“Over 80 people attended the research showcase which featured posters explaining the students’ work. This was a great turnout and the REU students received a lot of compliments on their research achievements,” said Wang. 

--Gena Guthrie