5 Facts About the Computer Science & Information Systems D.A.T.A. Poster Competition

Students will compete for $1800 in prizes during the first annual D.A.T.A. (Data, Algorithms, & Technology Advances) Poster Competition on Friday, March 29, 2019, from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. in the 3rd floor MSB Breezeway. Hosted by Computer Science & Information Systems, this poster competition is open to all CS/CIS undergraduate and graduate students, as well as non-majors who team up with a student in the department. Here are five things to know in advance of the event.

5. It’s Judged by Community Members

UM-Flint faculty won’t be choosing the winners. Instead, two members of the community will serve as judges. Jennifer McLaughlin (’05, MS’07) is an alumna of both the undergraduate and graduate computer science programs at UM-Flint. She is the Manager of IT Security & IT Compliance for Auto-Owners Insurance. Robert Bernard is a Professor and Programs Coordinator of Information Technology at Mott Community College.

4. $1800 In Prizes Are Up for Grabs

The CS/CIS Department is utilizing funds generously donated by Auto-Owners Insurance to provide Amazon gift cards to the competition winners. There are first- and second-place prizes available for team and solo entries, both on the undergrad and graduate level. A total of eight prizes are up for grabs.

3. You Don’t Have to be a CS/CIS Major to Attend

This event is a great opportunity for students of all majors to connect around skills that will help them as a professional. Dr. Michael Farmer, chair of Computer Science, Engineering, & Physics Department, explains.

“When you go into the workforce, you work with people from all disciplines. When I was in industry I worked with mechanical engineering majors, electrical engineering majors, marketing majors, English majors, you name it,” Farmer says. “Real-world work is team-based, and this event allows you to get a feel for what your teammates will be bringing to the table.”

2. It’s an Opportunity for Students to Present Their Existing Work

Farmer is looking forward to students being able to showcase the interesting things they have been creating as part of their coursework.

Samantha Lang (’15) is earning her M.S. in Computer Science after completing a bachelor’s in Psychology. She is presenting work on updating belief systems in humans and AI systems that she completed while working as a research assistant for Dr. Farmer.

“This opportunity is beneficial as a student to gain experience within different types of contests and conferences,” Lang says. “You never know who might be attending, notice your work, and be willing to help take it to the next level of success.”

1. It Will Be a Yearly Event

This year’s D.A.T.A. competition will be the first of many in years to come.

“If you’re a freshman and haven’t completed any big projects yet, enter next year,” Farmer says. “This is going to be a regular fixture on the UM-Flint campus.”

Everyone is invited to stop by the MSB Breezeway on March 29 from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. to view the competition entries.