Fall 2020 Independent Study Opportunities

If you are a University of Guelph student who is interested in registering for an independent study course this fall (such as CIS4900, MATH4600, STAT4600, or UNIV4200), I have several projects available.

As with all of the courses I am offering this fall, any independent study course will be strictly online. More details can be found here and here. If you have any questions about these projects, or would like to pose one of your own, please contact me.

  • Evaluating COVID-19 Mitigation Strategies Given a 2nd Pandemic Wave & Plausible Futures: Over the summer, a team of students have been working to develop an environmental Agent Based Model that simulates the spread of disease in the City of Guelph. The model incorporates geospatial risk and other risk factors. The goal is to use this model to evaluate the effectiveness of mitigation measures given a 2nd pandemic wave and in the face of other plausible scenarios (such as a bad flu season) that might hinder our ability to respond. This project would require good coding skills, and some math/stats skills. It is ideally suited for CIS4900, CIS4910, MATH4600, or STAT4600.
  • Evaluating the Impact of COVID-19 Policies on Diversity in Universities: The COVID-19 pandemic has had huge impacts on our daily lives, but that impact is not shared equally. Members of equity seeking communities or those in different socioeconomic groups may be more negatively affected than others. Using a compartmental model, the goal of this project is to understand how COVID-19 and COVID-19 related policies may affect the diversity of students in university. This project would require good coding skills, and/or math/stats skills. It is ideally suited for CIS4900, CIS4910, MATH4600, or STAT4600.
  • Develop Community-Based Solutions to Help Guelph Recover from the COVID-19 Pandemic: As part of the Ideas Congress (ICON) classroom, you will join a team of students from all year levels and majors to work with a community partner to develop feasible solutions to support COVID-19 recovery. You will learn how to work effectively in teams, and develop your foundational skills (these are skills that have been identified in RBC’s Humans Wanted report as being crucial to surviving in the new skills economy). This project is ideally suited for UNIV4200, CIS4900, CIS4910, MATH4600, STAT4600, and pretty much any senior independent study course on campus.
  • Developing Git Runners to Support Immediate Feedback in CIS3750. The goal of this project is to develop Git Runners that parse PlantUML files (which support the creation of UML diagrams) submitted by students, compare the parsed data against a standard set of mistakes a student might make, and then provide the student with different levels of feedback. Feedback is not intended to provide an answer, but to guide students to solve whatever problems they face. In particular, the Git Runners would be developed to support immediate feedback for Class Diagrams and Sequence Diagrams. This project would require good coding skills. It is ideally suited for CIS4900, and CIS4910.
  • Develop Simulations to Optimize Mobile Ad hoc Networks: Several graduate students are currently conducting research to optimize various aspects of mobile ad hoc networks. In particular, this includes studies on data storage, cluster head identification, cluster formation, and routing protocols. Students interested in this project would work with the graduate students to write and conduct simulations to evaluate different algorithms under various conditions. This would include appropriate analysis of the simulation outputs. This project would require coding skills, and some basic analytical skills. It is ideally suited for CIS4900, and CIS4910.
  • Developing a Cost of Science Index: Using a standard “basket of goods”, the Cost of Living Index is used to provide us with an estimate of our purchasing power. While this is useful, the standard basket of goods does not include anything that is meaningful to conducting research. Preliminary research indicates that costs for standard scientific expenses (e.g. conferences, publications, equipment, human resources) has increased at a pace that exceeds the Cost of Living Index. At the same time, investment in research funding has not kept pace with inflation. This means that our scientific purchasing power has decreased over time. This project will require a student to collect and analyze data to develop a potential Cost of Science Index. This project would require coding skills for web scraping, as well as data science, math, and/or stats skills. It is ideally suited for CIS4900, CIS4910, MATH4600, and STAT4600.
  • Quantify Canadian Funding Support for Education Research: The Tri-Council agencies (NSERC, SSHRC, and CIHR) do not typically support pedagogical research. Instead, educational research and classroom innovation, and the scholarship of teaching and learning (SoTL) are funded by grants that are offered through university Provost’s Offices or Open Education Offices. This project would require scraping 1) the Tri-council databases to identify funded education research projects, and 2) any freely available data on university websites across Canada to quantify the number and type of projects funded per year, the amount of funding provided, and the duration of the funding. It would also require evaluating the impact of this funding. This project would require coding skills for web scraping, as well as data science, math, and/or stats skills. It is ideally suited for CIS4900, and CIS4910.

I also have a list of other ongoing projects that you can find here.

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