ECE PhD student places in poster competition at the Richard A. Tapia Celebration of Diversity in Computing Conference

Yusuf Sermet, ECE PhD student, won 2nd Place in the Student Poster Competition at the Richard A. Tapia Celebration of Diversity in Computing conference in San Diego, California, in September 2019. His poster, “Virtual Stage Sensors: Alternative Approaches for Smartphone-Based Crowdsourced Water Level Measurements,” was based on his research that focuses on applying advancements in computer sciences and engineering to environmental problems including climate change, disaster management, and water resources.  His dissertation is about the realization of a futuristic vision of a voice-controlled smart assistant for environmental management powered by artificial intelligence and immersive technologies.

 Mr. Sermet says, “I was extremely fortunate to be accepted to attend and present my research at the Tapia Conference for the 3rd time in a row. Tapia provided a fantastic gathering, prospering an inclusive environment for people from all backgrounds. It is one of the largest conferences with the main purpose of facilitating communication, embracing diversity, and promoting equity and inclusion. During my time at Tapia, I have built lasting relationships and connections that helped me personally as well as communally so that I can carry back the valuable vision I learned there to my institute to develop a safe and empowering work environment.”

The goal of the Tapia Conferences is to bring together undergraduate and graduate students, faculty, researchers, and professionals in computing from all backgrounds and ethnicities. The 2019 Tapia conference theme, “Diversity: Building a Stronger Future” reminds us of the critical role of diversity in computing innovation and the creation of the future of all aspects of STEM. Engaging a diverse workforce results in solutions that benefit everyone and creates a stronger, brighter future.

Mr. Sermet was able to attend the conference through funding from the National Science Foundation as well as a Student Travel Grant from the College of Engineering Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Council.

Sermet also has two recent 1st author publications:

    • Sermet, Yusuf, Villanueva, P., Sit, M.A., Demir, I., ‘Crowdsourced approaches for stage measurements at ungauged locations using smartphones’, Hydrological Sciences Journal, 2019. DOI: 10.1080/02626667.2019.1659508
      • This study proposes a novel methodology to allow citizens perform water level measurements using smartphones. This project serves as a complementary method to expensive sensor technologies with the purpose of advancing environmental research and disaster management.
    • Sermet, Yusuf, Demir, I., ‘Towards an Information Centric Flood Ontology for Information Management and Communication’, Earth Science Informatics, 2019. DOI: 10.1007/s12145-019-00398-9
      • This study presents several information-centric ontologies to allow smart assistants grasp the environmental and disaster-related concepts and their relationships in real-world to power voice-enabled natural language question answering systems.