Have you ever wondered how long it would take to get to Mars? What about the crash likelihood of autonomous cars? Or even the cost-efficiency of turning waste into energy? UIC students were on hand to answer these questions and more at The Sixth Undergraduate Science & Technology Poster Presentation, held on 18 April, with 94 participants representing 72 projects.

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Year 4 Statistics Student, Zhao Chenchen, discovered through her research project, ‘A Cost Efficient Route to Mars: How Long It Takes? Which Path to Follow?’, that with the best possible information, it would take a little over four months to reach Mars from Earth. Chenchen did extensive research on the orbits of Mars and the Earth, including the path a spacecraft would have to take in order to reach Mars. Her innovative research won her the best poster award for the Statistics Programme.

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Zhao Chenchen explaining how long it could take to reach Mars

Coming back to earth, Year 4 Computer Science and Technology (CST) students, Feng Jiayi and Yang Yiyi, decided to do their project on ‘Traffic Sign Detection and Recognition for Autonomous Driving’. Their research focused on how accurately self-driving cars would be able to recognize traffic signs, which can often be the difference between life and death. Through the algorithms they explored, they were able to discover that by using a multiple level neural network approach helped improved traffic sign identification by 7-8%, bringing their final test accuracy up to 100%.

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The judges learn about ‘Traffic Sign Detection and Recognition for Autonomous Driving'

Speaking of the earth, what can we do about the excess waste we’re producing? Year Four Environmental Science (ENVS) students, Du Jiaxin and Lan Ruoqing, decided to conduct a ‘Feasibility Study of Developing Green Circular Economic in UIC-Huitong Community – Better Use of Kitchen Waste’. Their research quantified the large amount of waste being generated by staff and students, in terms of leftover food from dining on campus, and decided to perform a feasibility study to see if it would be cost effective to try to turn this waste into fertilizer or to use it to generate energy. The results of their study concluded that although it would not be cost effective using current methods, the kitchen waste would be able to generate over 15% of the energy needed for Huixian village – not bad for garbage.

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Du Jiaxin and Lan Ruoqing take the opportunity to display their research

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Image11This exhibit gives the students a chance to talk with different people about their work

Students’ projects focused on both the real and the hypothetical as well as pilot projects being conducted in China, like the ‘Intelligent Lighting System for Smart City’ project, which featured postgraduate student Li Shuxin. This was her second time participating in the Annual Poster Presentation, first as an undergraduate student at UIC, and now returning to do postgraduate research. Shuxin detailed that their project was focused on an intelligent street light system currently operating on a trial basis in Ningbo, China. Aims of the project are to not only reduce the waste of energy, but also be able to detect other problems like broken lights, cable stealing and more.

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This was the second time postgraduate student, Li Shuxin has taken part in this exhibit

Overall Best Poster of the Division was awarded to CST students, Yang Jiayu, Hu Ruihua, Kuang Bingran and Liu Zongdong for their project titled ‘Mobile Body 3D Construction for Scoliosis Patients’. Yang Jiayu said they had the idea to do the project based off of the data provided by Southern Medical University that many children in mountainous areas suffer from scoliosis because of their habitual habits in early years. “However, due to inadequate medical facilities, they cannot be treated promptly. We had the idea to ​​develop software that uses a mobile phone instead of an X-ray to measure scoliosis. Using a mobile phone camera to take a picture of the outside of the body, the software generates data and transmits it to the hospital. The resulting 3D model can be printed out in 3D. Then, by developing bracing, it can be corrected slowly as they grow.”

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Yang Jiayu, Hu Ruihua, Kuang Bingran and Liu Zongdong win the poster presentation with their Mobile Body 3D Construction Project

“This research project took a year or so from the start of planning to the final presentation. At the beginning we didn’t know much about the medical field and took a lot of detours, but our mentor, Dr Zhang Hui and professional doctors at Southern Medical University have been helping us to solve problems. Dr Zhang also met with us every week to pay close attention to the project's development and give guidance.” This project will be officially promoted to the general public in the future and will be launched in cooperation with Southern Medical University. It has now entered the research and development stage.

DST Poster Presentation Awards Winners

Overall Best Poster (Division level)

IMG 3323Mobile Body 3D Reconstruction for Scoliosis Patients (by Yang Jiayu, Hu Ruihua, Kuang Bingran and Liu Zongdong/CST, supervised by Dr Zhang Hui)

Best Posters (Programme Level)

Image14Applied Psychology: Achievement Motivation and Entrepreneurial Intention as Mediators between Collectivism-Individualism and Social Responsibility (by Dong Zheng, supervised by Dr Ghee Ho)

Image20Computer Science and Technology: Mobile Body 3D Reconstruction for Scoliosis Patients (by Yang Jiayu, Hu Ruihua, Kuang Bingran and Liu Zongdong, supervised by Dr Zhang Hui)

Image15Data Science: Traffic Sign Detection and Recognition for Autonomous Driving (by Feng Jiayi and Yang Yiyi, supervised by Dr Xuanyuan Zhe)

Image16Environmental Science: Environmental Characteristics of Seagrass Beds Halophila beccarii at Tangjiawan, Zhuhai (by Liao Anqi, Wang Haoyu, Wang Xiaomao, supervised by Dr Tsim Siutai)

Image17Financial Mathematics: Advertising Investment and Sensitivity to the Market Change: Evidence Based On Chinese Market (by Zhang Fengtian, supervised by Dr Wang Chen)

Image18Food Science and Technology: Inhibition of Stem Cell Genes Expression in Deoxycholic Acid treated Cancer Cells by Signal Transducer and Activator of Transcription-3 (STAT3) (by Wei Jingxi, supervised by Dr Karen Poon)

Image19Statistics: A Cost Efficient Route to Mars: How Long It Takes? Which Path to Follow? (by Zhao Chenchen, supervised by Prof Ken Tsang)

Student Choice Award

Achievement Motivation and Entrepreneurial Intention as Mediators between Collectivism-Individualism and Social Responsibility (by Dong Zheng/APSY Year 4, supervised by Dr Ghee Ho)

Research beyond FYPs

Emcees at the opening ceremony announced that this year had the most poster presentations ever in its 6th year of running. This was also the first year that included Data Science student projects, as well as the first year the projects have been expanded beyond Final Year Projects (FYPs) to include exemplary coursework of younger students.

At the opening ceremony, Dean of the Division of Science and Technology (DST), Prof Stephen Cheung, stated that one of the main purposes of this event was to encourage research beyond student’s FYPs, which is why they included other coursework this year.

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President of UIC, Prof Ng Ching-Fai, also said a few words, including that he believes this is a great outlet for students to exhibit their work, stating that research can help students find their ‘raison d’etre’, meaning their ‘reason for being’.

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Prof Ng shows his support for the exhibit

At the closing ceremony, two external judges came on stage to comment on their overall impression of the student’s projects. Senior Researcher from the Institute of Statistical Science Academia Sinica, Dr Philip Cheng, was incredibly impressed with the students’ work. He commented that the students seemed highly proficient in their technical analysis.

The second judge to speak was Biology Professor from HKBU, Prof Jonathan Wong. He detailed that these poster presentations were a very important exercise to expose students to an audience and share their work. Having been a part of designing the UIC curriculum, as well as working as an external examiner for UIC, Prof Wong said that he can see a difference in students from Year One to Year Four, with students really growing and being able to explain their ideas better each year.

UIC students’ projects are tackling important issues, from environmental waste to new technology in automobiles and medical applications to space travels. These projects are well executed, interesting, and relevant to the developing world of today.

20180420DST 8All the selected exhibitors receive an Outstanding Performance Award

Reporter: Samantha Burns
Photographers: Ivy Liao, Mai Xinying (ATS, Y3), Huang Chuzhang (ELLS, Y1)
Editors: Samuel Burgess, Deen He
(from MPRO)