An important part of college education is learning how to do research according to the standards and methods of your chosen field of study and academic discipline. Employers and graduate and professional schools increasingly are looking for college graduates with strong research, writing, analytical, and communication skills. Nothing helps you hone those skills more than working on a faculty-mentored, independent project. Choose any topic area to learn more:
Resource Allocation for Arctic Search and Rescue (RAASAR)
Steven Middleton ’16 Marketing/Information Systems
Jonathan Martial ’17 Political Science/Philosophy minor
The objective of the Resource Allocation for Arctic Search and Rescue (RAASAR) research is to create and implement novel information systems and operations research models and algorithms in order to allocate scarce resources (e.g., personnel, equipment, vessels or aircraft) to effectively respond to search and rescue (SAR) incidents in the Arctic. SAR incidents require the effective allocation of resources to search different areas using a variety of techniques in order to maximize the probability of success in responding to the SAR incident. This allocation is complicated in the Arctic due to the scarcity of supporting infrastructure for the SAR response and the remoteness of potential SAR incidents.
The project will take a two-stage approach to examining resource allocation challenges for Arctic SAR. The first phase of the project will focus on creating new information systems and operations research approaches for modeling resource allocation for a specific Arctic SAR incident by modeling the differences (e.g., lack of infrastructure and remoteness) compared to traditional SAR. This phase will include
- working with the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Center for Arctic
Maritime Domain Awareness at the University of Alaska Anchorage (UAA);
- review and analysis of previous SAROPS efforts and tools;
- working with U.S. Coast Guard District 17 in Anchorage/Juneau, Alaska, U.S. Coast Guard
Pacific Area Command7 in Alameda, California, and U.S. Coast Guard Headquarters in
Washington, D.C. to identify the unique characteristics of Arctic SAR; and
- coordinating systems development life cycle (SDLC) requirements with the U.S. Coast
Guard Research and Development Center in Stonington, CT.
These approaches will be validated on a common operational scenario focused on a passenger vessel adrift in the Bering Sea. The second phase of the project will then incorporate the response model into a large-scale infrastructure expansion model that can help to determine where to provide infrastructure to improve SAR capabilities across the Arctic. Phase 2 efforts can model resource allocation needs and bottlenecks given a desired SAR response capability/threshold, as well as model the effectiveness across potential SAR incidents, given a fixed budget and/or resources.
Wearable Immersive Augmented Reality (WIAR) Systems
Jean-Phillipe Rancy ’16 Management & Leadership/ Information Systems
The 2015-2016 McDevitt Undergraduate Research Fellows in Information Systems research in WIAR will focus on evaluating the contribution of WIAR systems to decision making with incomplete, uncertain and incomplete information. Earlier work developed a prototype Google Glass application for shipboard navigation; in 2015-2016, the MURFIS scholar will test the prototype application in a shipboard simulator in the United States and in Australia. A Systems Requirements Specification (SRS) will define the application programming interfaces (APIs) required between the Google Glass application and the ship simulator. The MURFIS Scholar is scheduled to present this research at the E-Navigation Underway conference in New York City on 30 September 2015, and a journal article co-authored by the MURFIS scholar is currently under review. Alternative WIAR technology will also be evaluated during 2015-2016, as new technology is introduced with advanced augmented reality functionality and system performance. In addition, the use of augmented reality projection displays will be investigated in order to develop a research plan comparing projected vs. wearable immersive augmented reality displays.
MURFIS Scholar Visits the University of Tasmania to Further Research
Jean-Phillipe Rancy ’16 Management & Leadership/ Information Systems
Jean-Phillipe Rancy and McDevitt Distinguished Chair in Information Systems Martha Grabowski recently visited the University of Tasmania, spending several days in the university's ship simulators, working on the interfaces between the Google Glass ship navigation application and the simulator. The simulator staff gave them a scenerio with snow and iceburgs as Rancy drove the ship simulator in Sydney Harbor.
Research in Wearable, Immersive Augmented Reality (WIAR)
Google Glass Research. Professor Grabowski, the McDevitt Distiguished Chair in Information Systems, was named a Google Glass Explorer in November 2013.
In academic year 2013-2014, thirteen Business, Information Systems, Biology, Chemistry, Computer Science and Physics/MS Electrical Engineering students explored research questions in wearable, immersive augmented reality (WIAR) with Google Glass; the use of Glass in emergency medicine; Big Data applications in financial systems; research challenges in complementary and alternative medicine; and requirements for next generation emergency management systems.
The McDevitt Information Systems Scholars developed Glass applications for visual and performing arts, virtualization and alternative user interfaces (holograms, laser keyboards). Here, team members Gabe Adams Computer Science ’18; Morgan Thomas Physics/MS Engineering ’16; Jean-Philippe Rancy Management – Leadership/Information Systems ’16 and Steve Weiter Computer Science ’15 work on the Glass virtualization application.
Jean-Philippe Rancy ‘16 is exploring the use of Google Glass for ship navigation. Rancy and Professor Grabowski’s work will be presented at an electronic ship navigation conference in 2015-2016 and their work has been submitted for journal publication. The Glass navigation application will be evaluated in a ship’s simulator at the Australian Maritime College in Tasmania as part of the Australian Ports Project in 2015-2016.
Jean-Philippe Rancy ’16 presents his Honors in Information Systems thesis ‘Augmented Reality for Maritime Navigation’ on Scholars Day, April 17, 2015.
Research in Large-Scale Resource Allocation Systems – Arctic Oil Spill Response
Christopher Rizzo ’15 developed an Arctic Oil Spill Response logistics database using a variety of public data
sources and input from an oil spill response organization on the North Slope and the U.S. Coast Guard. Rizzo gathered data and interviewed domain experts during a trip with Professor Grabowski to the Oil Spill Technology Research conference hosted by the University of Alaska Fairbanks and the U.S. Department of Interior’s/Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) in March 2015 in Fairbanks, Alaska.
Christopher Rizzo ’15 presents his Honors in Information Systems thesis ‘‘Resource Allocation Database Research for Arctic Oil Spill Response’ on Scholars Day, April 17, 2015
Research on the Implications of Arctic Energy Exploration and Development on Marine Transportation
Dara Degenarro ’15, McDevitt IS Scholar, and Professor Martha Grabowski, McDevitt Distinguished Chair in Information Systems, at Mendenhall Glacier, Juneau, Alaska on 13 November 2013 after briefing DeGenarro’s research on Arctic Marine Shipping challenges.
Travis Graig ’17 and CDR Paul M. Stocklin, USCG, Director of Oil Spill Response for U.S. Coast Guard District 17 in Juneau, Alaska, 9 December 2014. Graig ’s research explored the impact of Arctic sea ice decline and Arctic energy exploration and development activities on marine transportation. Graig worked with Dr. Greg Lepak and Professor Grabowski to analyze vessel traffic data through the Bering Strait from 2012-2015. Graig presented his Honors Thesis on May 1, 2015.
Rizzo and Graig’s research was submitted for journal publication, and their research will be presented to the U.S. Department of the Interior/Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement’s Offshore Oil and Gas Regulators conference in 2015.