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Charlotte Amalie
Thursday, July 7, 2022


Four students in the science and mathematics division at the University of the Virgin Islands brought home top prizes from a scientific research conference held in Birmingham, Alabama.
The students, Stanford Mings, Andy Hodge, Keller Allen and Barry Volson, presented their research projects at the first Miles College Winter Research Conference Feb. 16 and 17. The conference was an opportunity for students from Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) to present their scientific research projects in a competitive environment.
Mings received first prize for his computer science research project entitled, "Genetic algorithms and the villains they create," which examines the approach of artificial intelligence to problem solving.
Hodge received first prize in mathematics for his project, "The probability of false diagnosis of prostate cancer using a logistic function, a patient's age and f/t PSA ratio."
Allen received First Prize in Physics for his project, "A coordinated asteroid search," and Volson received Second Prize in biology for his project, "Variability of dissolved oxygen, temperature and salinity along a transect in John Brewers Bay, St. Thomas, USVI."
UVI senior biology majors Vernon Callwood and Erik Emeric also presented at the conference.
Dr. Rosenid Hernandez-Badia, an assistant professor of biology at UVI, accompanied the UVI students to Birmingham.
"There were a lot of good projects, very good projects," she said of the competition. "Our students responded so well to all the questions the judges raised. They were very into it and that's the best way to cultivate a judge."
The UVI contingent was one of the smallest to represent a single HBCU, she said.
Volson said he and his colleagues were not intimidated by the research conducted by students from larger institutions.
"We were put in the spotlight. We really tried to clean house."
UVI's participation in the conference is made possible by a grant UVI received from the National Science Foundation.

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