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B-CU Welcomes 2019 National Science Foundation REU Scholars

NSFThe National Science Foundation Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) Site: Mathematical Modeling in Environmental, Biological and Other Sciences (MMEBS) Program is an eight-week research experience for undergraduate students hosted by Bethune–Cookman University (B-CU) with support of the National Science Foundation. The program combines learning scientific, mathematical, and data analytics with project work on interdisciplinary application problems. Students are granted stipends and assistance with housing and travel.

B-CU is pleased to welcome the 2019 cohort: Mary Abusafieh (Los Medanos College, Pittsburg, CA); Jacob Adkins (New College of Florida, Sarasota, FL); Alexandra France (Bethune-Cookman University, Daytona Beach, FL); Jeriah Henry (Lawson State College, Birmingham, AL); Noah Hitchcock (Regent University, Virginia Beach, VA); Mica Jarocki (Trinity University, San Antonio, TX); Purva Lotwala (Georgia Gwinnett College, Atlanta, GA); Lilshay Rogers (Elizabeth City State University, Elizabeth City, NC); Mervia Soius (Bethune-Cookman University, Daytona Beach, FL); and Gabriele Watkins (Bethune-Cookman University, Daytona Beach, FL).

REU ScholarsActivities of the program are conducted by teams of students, closely supported by faculty mentors Dr. Seenith Sivasundaram, Dr. Yungkul Kim, Dr. Raphael D. Isokpehi, Dr. Juan Calderon and Dr. Sarah Krejci and Dr. Vishwa Trivedi.

The students, who are in the fields of computer science, biology, biomedical sciences, applied mathematics, and environmental science will be conducting projects in the following areas:

  • Biological, Environmental Modeling
  • Disease Spread Modelling
  • Data Compression
  • Spatial and Temporal Analysis of Oyster Growth
  • Data Analytics of Expression and Neighborhood of Genes
  • Development of Cooperative Robotics Behaviors
  • Mobile Robot Navigation for Search-and-Rescue Tasks Using Reinforcement Learning
  • Machine Learning Techniques Applied to the Data Analysis Focused on Environmental Conservation
  • Spatial and Temporal Changes in Halifax River Lagoon Water Quality
  • Swarm Robotics Ocean Monitoring System
  • Determining the Extent of Fecal Coliform Contamination in Tomoka River Aquatic Preserve

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Joy Jones
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About Bethune Cookman University:

Founded in 1904 by Dr. Mary McLeod Bethune, Bethune-Cookman University (B-CU) today sustains her legacy of faith, scholarship, and service through its relationship with the United Methodist Church and its commitment to academic excellence and civic engagement.  B-CU offers 38 degrees on its main campus and online college. Located in Daytona Beach, B-CU is one of three private, historically black colleges in the state of Florida. The institution boasts a diverse and international faculty and student body of nearly 4,000.  For more information, visit

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