Mount Allison students take 1st place at Science Atlantic Conference

31 Oct 2023

Five Mount Allison students recently earned first prize at the Science Atlantic Mathematics, Statistics, and Computer Science Conference (MSCS) held at UPEI this Fall.

2023 Computer Science Awards

  • Aakanksha Khandwaha (Computer Science & Math, minors in Biochemistry and Chemistry)
    First place, Undergraduate Research Award for Analysis Of Racial and Gender Bias In Mimic-Iv Clinical Notes Via Natural Language Processing
  • Logan Pipes (Hon. Math, minor in Computer Science), Hayden Walker (Computer Science), and Sawyer Stanley (Computer Science, minor in Physics)
    First place, Atlantic Canadian Programming Competition

2023 Mathematics and Statistics Awards

  • Logan Pipes (Hon. Math, minor in Computer Science)
    First place, Undergraduate Research Award for Mixing Models for Domination Reconfiguration
  • Heather MacTavish (Biology, minor in Data Science)
    First place, Communication Award for Modelling the Effectiveness of Non-Pharmaceutical Interventions on Influenza A & B
Aakanksha Khandwaha, Duc Tri Dang, Matya Stavnitzky, Prof. Geoffrey Cruttwell, Heather McTavish, Jayden Campbell-Takasu, Logan Pipes, Hayden Walker, Alex Giroux, Brenden Cosman, and Sawyer Stanley

Fourth-year student Aakanksha Khandwaha won the first prize in the Computer Science category for her talk on analyzing differences in sentiment in the physician reports towards racial and gender subgroups via natural language processing (NLP) methods.

"I’m happy that the computer science community recognizes the importance of researching the ethical implications of using artificial intelligence in high-risk domains such as healthcare," says Khandwaha. "I’m also really excited to continue doing research in such an interdisciplinary field after I graduate, which I think is more important now than ever."

Third-year Heather MacTavish won the Communication Award for her talk on using historical flu data to estimate the effectiveness of non-pharmaceutical interventions (such as social distancing and masking) in Canada.

"Winning was really a big confidence builder for me," says MacTavish. "Presentations have always been one of my weaknesses, and I went to the conference to get more experience presenting in front of large groups of people, so the fact that I won the award for communication was so shocking for me."

About the Science Atlantic Mathematics, Statistics, and Computer Science Conference

MSCS is an annual regional event started more than 30 years ago bringing together undergraduate students in Atlantic Canada.

The conference aims to facilitate better interaction between members of the academic, research, and industrial community in Atlantic Canada having an interest in solving and analyzing problems in mathematics, statistics and computer science. It provides a platform for undergraduate students to disseminate their research projects, participate in contests, and network with other students in the region. It also serves as a networking event for faculty members of Atlantic Canadian universities.

Next Steps

Be part of Canada's best undergraduate university