A new scholarship program instituted by the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) in collaboration with Miami University's Mobile Learning Center provides $6,500 for each of 11 Miami students to conduct research during the academic year at Miami and during the following summer at the AFRL Discovery Lab, a resident at the Tec^Edge Innovation and Collaboration Center in Dayton.
“This ‘Year-At-The-Edge’ (YATE) program with Miami University and the Miami Mobile Learning Center is a unique collaboration establishing a principal research effort for the AFRL program at the partnering university. The YATE program is an extension of the highly successful Summer-At-The-Edge (SATE) program conducted at the Discovery Lab,” said Robert Williams, research director of the Tec^Edge center and the Discovery Lab — the principle university-centric component of the Tec^Edge center.
The students will conduct research on how crowd-sourcing with mobile devices can be used along with virtual and augmented reality environments to provide emergency personnel with real-time data capture services for the purpose of managing disasters and emergency situations, said Gerald C. Gannod, professor of computer science and software engineering, and director of Miami's Mobile Learning Center.
“Students will investigate how social networks and other emerging technologies can be integrated to provide up-to-date information that facilitates just-in-time decision making. As part of this research, students will interact with researchers and other student scholars from around the country using real-time virtual reality environments similar to Second Life as part of the AFRL's Virtual Discovery Center,” explained Gannod.
Students will work with Miami faculty and AFRL mentors Gannod, Williams, Peter Jamieson, assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering, and Eric Hodgson, visiting assistant professor of psychology and director of the AIMS Smale Interactive Visualization Center.
The goal of the program is to help increase the number of students doing research, especially in mobile computing, to recruit the next generation of scientists and engineers into graduate schools and to focus on potential careers at the Air Force Research Laboratory, other government labs, or in supporting industries.
The inaugural scholarship recipients for 2011-2012 are: computer science majors Daniel Bray, Robert Smayda, Matthew Weber and Taylor White; software engineering majors Jordan Komnick, Alex Meyer and Keith Batesole, double major with computer science; computer engineering major Brian Breitsch; and electrical engineering and computer engineering double major Tyler Maschino. Two additional scholarships are being reserved for interactive media studies/graphic design majors.
Miami’s Mobile Learning Center was initiated last year to promote the use of mobile technology for education. The center is a joint venture of Miami’s School of Engineering and Applied Sciences,the Armstrong
Institute for Interactive Media Studies, and information technology services.