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Engineering, Computer Science Students Conduct Research on Quantum Sensors for Competition

Their challenge was to research the past and to present a possible vision for the future of quantum sensors.

Teams of Old Dominion University engineering and computer science students presented their research findings and visualizations to a panel of government and business professionals during ODU's first-ever Infographics Competition on Jan. 25 in the Learning Commons of Perry Library.

A quantum sensor is a device that exploits quantum correlations to achieve better sensitivity or resolution in a variety of measurements.

The competition, designed and organized by Steven Walk, assistant professor of electrical engineering technology, gave the student teams the task of "developing innovative data visualizations (either static or interactive) to communicate to anyone the history and trajectory of quantum sensing technology." Michele Weigle, associate professor of computer science, and Yuzhong Shen, associate professor of modeling, simulation and visualization engineering, assisted with the competition.

The competition was funded by WorldTech International, of Arlington, Va., and conceived and initiated by company president Earnest Paylor II. Walk, whose research expertise includes projecting the adoption of new technology by society, provided student teams an initial database of information extracted from the area of quantum sensors over the past decade. Students were then encouraged to seek collaborations outside ODU and to employ publicly available data mining and display tools to create their best design from what they learned.

The student teams submitted their designs in December. The final entries were presented for examination by a panel of judges that included Karen Jackson, deputy secretary of technology for the commonwealth of Virginia; Phillip Lanzafame, director of knowledge solutions with Sentara Healthcare; Marty Kaszubowski, president of General Ideas; Drew Ungvarsky, owner and creative director of Grow Interactive; and Robert Lindberg, a consultant and research professor at the University of Virginia.

Three judging categories were created, with each winning team receiving cash prizes. The team led by Wayne Stilwell won $500 for outstanding visualization techniques. The team of John Shull, Faisal Mahmud and Mohammad Obeid was recognized for outstanding data mining and data management techniques, winning $500. The team led by Stilwell also captured the Outstanding Overall Achievement Award, receiving $1,500.

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