Student posters, presentations earn 2017 research week honors

Victoria Rosado

Madison Moore

Posters and 10-minute oral presentations detailing a wide range of research findings by Texas A&M College of Architecture students were among the top submissions at the university’s 2017 [Student Research Week] ( .

The entries, which described investigations of vacant buildings’ effects on neighborhoods in Chicago, a video game design’s impact on player behavior, and additional topics, were juried by a group of faculty, graduate students and professionals, who awarded graduate and undergraduate students for their entries in 10 subject areas, including architecture.

The annual event is hosted by the university’s [Graduate and Professional Student Council] ( to demonstrate the depth and breadth of research conducted at the university. First-place winners in each subject area earned $300, and second-place winners earned $150.

Winning posters

In the contest’s poster division, two [Master of Science in Visualization] ( students teamed with two graduate computer science students to earn a first-place honor with their poster, which detailed their future study to learn how a multi-user, virtual reality video game’s design affects players’ actions.

“Because limited research in this kind of environment has been performed, numerous questions about story progression and multi-user behavior have yet to be answered,” said the students’ abstract.

For their project, the MS VIZ students, Mohamed Suhail and Qinghong Xu, and theircomputer sciencepartners , Ghanshyam Bhudra and Cullen Brown , created a virtual reality game, “The Cave,” in which players’ actions determine the fates of the characters, which include a young mother searching for her missing child in a monster’s cave.

The poster describes the game, design techniques the student designers made to influence players’ behavior and lists questions students are seeking to answer in the study.

The second place graduate poster entry, "A Systematic Framework for Assessing an Integrated Smart Transportation System at Community Level," was created by Shibiya Sulfikar Sabu , a [Master of Urban Planning] ( student.

The first place poster from a college undergraduate was created by Victoria Rosado , an [environmental design] ( student. Her poster describes and illustrates heating and cooling systems used in ancient structures and how, with some adaptations, they could be used today to reduce structures’ energy use and cost.

Winning presentations

Students also earned honors for describing their research in the best 10-minute oral presentations.

The first-place College of Architecture graduate student presentation was by Alyssa Peña , a visualization major, who described a virtual environment she created to visualize a U.S. Occupational Health and Safety Administration construction accident report.

Peña described the visuals and text designs she considered for the environment, where users examine the report’s data by exploring and interacting with it in the VR space.

“While research has been done on virtual environments for construction safety education, there is no set method for effectively contextualizing safety information and engaging students,” said Peña.

The second place graduate oral presentation, “Availability of Parks to Races and Ethnicities,” was made by Kaveh Forghanparast , a Master of Urban Planning student.

In the oral presentation undergraduate category, Madison Moore , an [Urban and Regional Planning] ( student, earned a first-place honor for presenting her finding that vacant buildings in Chicago promote crimes and have negative effects on their immediate vicinity and the entire area.

“This is an important issue to address because urban planners and city officials need to understand the effect an abandoned structure can have,” she said.

The second-place undergraduate oral presentation, “The Saving Grace Project: Reducing Social Vulnerability in a Flood-Prone Area,” was made by planning students Vanessa Ngo , Leticia Meza , Laura Ruiz and Francisca Yañez .

Richard Nira

posted April 18, 2017