Two CoT students presented research during LSAMP event
Top: Chad Laux and Isaiah Butler discuss data about Butler's research project. Bottom: Aamir Williams works on his project in the Integrated Sensing and Smart Solution Lab.
Two College of Technology students presented their extracurricular
undergraduate research Dec. 2 as part of Purdue’s LSAMP Research
Isaiah Butler, a junior double majoring in organizational leadership and supervision and industrial technology, and Aamir Williams, a sophomore majoring in electrical and computer engineering technology, discussed their research during a poster session in Purdue Memorial Union.
The event was the culmination of a semester-long research project for the two scholars. It was part of the Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation (LSAMP) activities to help undergraduate students get excited about research and eventually graduate school. Participants receive a stipend, but the work they perform is in addition to their regular full load of classes.
“Well, I learned a lot about research, how to correctly go about it,” Butler said. “I didn’t think it was going to take so much time. You have to be dedicated. I learned a lot about critical thinking. I had done papers before, but this is different.”
Butler worked with Chad Laux, assistant professor of industrial technology. He studied how high school students learn the principles of Lean manufacturing through simulation. With help from Gene Harding, associate professor of electrical and computer engineering technology at the College of Technology at South Bend, Butler was able to test simulation techniques with nearly 100 high school students. His research is related to work Laux and Nathan Mentzer, assistant professor of industrial technology, have been doing.
Williams worked with Suranjan Panigrahi, professor of electrical and computer engineering technology. He worked an existing personal air quality monitor to enhance its capabilities while making it smaller and cheaper. He wants to create a monitor that is portable, has a wireless connection capability, and could someday fit into a watch or a handheld device.
The process of researching his project has helped Williams be better organized.
“No matter how complex a project looks, if you can break it down into smaller parts, you can do it,” he said. “The research is out there; you just have to find it and you use it.”
Both students had the benefit of studying their topics in class with their mentors during the semester. But their investigations went beyond the material normally covered in a lecture.
“I can be difficult for undergraduates to do research when we are asking them to answer a problem in an area they are still learning about,” Laux said. “Research is not a first or second goal for most undergraduates. So as mentors, we are here to provide advice, understanding and guidance.”