BAC Showcases Research at the Capitol Building
Bryn Athyn, PA – Most attention in Harrisburg last week was surrounding Governor Wolf’s first budget address. Prior to the main event, however, undergraduate research students from around the State displayed their work at a competitive poster presentation at the Capitol building. Stealing the spotlight were Bryn Athyn College students as they made their debut among the other research institutions in Pennsylvania.
Bryn Athyn College’s Math330 (Probability) students created two poster presentations which are interesting from both theoretical and practical perspectives. The students analyzed data from the white-tailed deer study from a research project that the College is carrying out together with the Pennypack Ecological Restoration Trust (PERT). The students used the data from the ongoing research program and analyzed the data using a probabilistic point of view. One poster focused on whether the deer learned not to cross the roads while the other tackled the spatial distribution of the deer within the home range.
According to faculty organizer Eugene Potapov, Bryn Athyn College’s presentation was a huge draw because it presented fundamentals of probabilities and applied them to an object which is a local favorite: the white tailed deer.
“Our students provided a clear perspective on the probability of animal movements – animals that are local and live in our own backyard,” said Potapov. “It was easy to follow and people could relate the poster to an everyday practical use and understanding. I could not be more proud of our students,” he added.
The six Bryn Athyn students who worked on the presentation were Josh Alden, Jody Chapin, Phoenix Fritch, Minghui Jiang, Niraj Khatiwada, and Swan Kim. The students gained practical research experience in dealing with the large datasets and applying the law of large numbers, various sampling procedures, and concepts of random walk. The end result was a presentation on the subject of probability applicable to real-world processes.
To help support each application, the students also wrote to local legislators asking for support of their application. Both Senator Greenleaf and State Representative Hon. T. Murt visited the Bryn Athyn College students at their poster presentation at the Capitol Building where they discussed the research aspects of a Bryn Athyn education.