University Community | Research and Impact

OHIO’s Choose Ohio First Scholars to present at Ohio Statehouse

Two of Ohio University’s Choose Ohio First scholars, Alexander Nemecek and Brady Phelps, will present posters during the 2023 Choose Ohio First Scholar Showcase at the Ohio Statehouse on April 11, 2023. 

The Choose Ohio First Scholarship is designed to significantly strengthen Ohio’s competitiveness within STEM disciplines and STEM education. The annual event, the Choose Ohio First Showcase, is an opportunity for Choose Ohio First scholars and institutions to highlight research and academic projects in STEM disciplines supported by Choose Ohio First scholarships.  

OHIO hosts three cohorts of scholars in computer science, advanced manufacturing and energy engineering. These programs leverage the strengths of existing programs in the Russ College of Engineering and Technology to prepare students to ultimately enter the growing STEM workforce upon graduation. Nemecek and Phelps are two current scholars who are preparing to present in the Showcase.  

Nemecek researches machine learning models to improve internet safety and usability 

Nemecek, a fourth-year computer science and psychology student, will present his poster titled “Detecting network attacks using machine learning models.” As people have embraced internet-based technology in academic and professional settings in recent decades, network attacks have also become a common method to disable this resource.  

In his research, Nemecek seeks to develop machine learning models, programs that use previously acquired data to make predictions about the future, to identify a type of network attack called a distributed denial of service (DDoS attack). This model would be able to identify and ideally stop an attack before it causes a disruption for a given group of network users.  

“A benefit of being a Choose Ohio First scholar is having the ability to conduct research as an undergraduate while being financially supported. It gives students the opportunity to learn anything they want and the possibility to present their research at different events,” said Nemecek.  

As he finishes up his final year at OHIO, Nemecek has led an active undergraduate career in addition to his success with the Choose Ohio First program. He has embraced collaborative opportunities within the Russ College including his senior design project to develop an app for children in foster care. He also participated in internships across Ohio and engaged in undergraduate research, which has helped him to establish the next steps for his career.  

After graduation, Nemecek has accepted a position as a hardware engineer intern at Cisco for the summer. In the fall, he will start his master’s in computer science at Case Western Reserve University.  

Phelps uses multithreading to improve graphic displays 

Phelps, a second-year advanced computing student, will present his poster called, “Utilizing multithreading for iterative refinement of antenna pattern visualization.” His research focuses on applications of multithreading, which is the process of a computer performing multiple tasks simultaneously. He sought out to investigate multithreading to improve the quality of loading images in the Ohio University Navigational Aid Performance Prediction Module (OUNPPM), while maintaining the functionality of a program.  

“This improves the interactivity of the program for future users; this benefits a variety of public, private and military airports across the world who use OUNPPM software,” said Phelps.  

Beyond this Choose Ohio First Scholar Showcase, Brady has embraced experiential learning opportunities both with the Choose Ohio First program and beyond. For example, he has interned with Procter & Gamble, completed an apprenticeship with the Honors Tutorial College (HTC) and interned with Mammoth Cave National Park. In his apprenticeship with HTC, Phelps worked with Chang Liu, professor in the School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, to create an XR application which acted as an interface between users and robots on manufacturing lines for increased efficiency and automation. Additionally, he has worked on a project focusing on creating an augmented reality application for Parkinson’s patients who are struggling with gait freeze in partnership with Ohio Health and Liu. 

“I love learning inside the classroom, but I think my research has been drastically affected by the experiential experiences I have had [outside of the classroom],” said Phelps. “Perhaps my most memorable experience was an internship at Mammoth Cave National Park last summer. This was an eye-opening experience which shaped many of the ways in which I view myself and my work. This experience allowed me to step outside my comfort zone and engage in research projects from a variety of disciplines.” 

This summer, Phelps plans to study quantum computing and quantum cryptography under an REU research internship at the University of Connecticut. 

March 31, 2023
Chloe Musick