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UOIT showcases student research projects

Spencer Lamash, a second-year UOIT electrical engineering student, shows off one of 56 research projects featured at the university’s annual Student Research Showcase. Lamash is part of a project team that is studying how passwords reflect how the brain works. (Photo by Dave Flaherty).

By Dave Flaherty/The Oshawa Express

The results of months of dedicated research of UOIT students were proudly presented during the university’s annual research showcase.

The showcase featured 56 research projects from the school.

Student representatives from the projects created posters to bring their research to life visually while also speaking with members of the public and judges.

“This is an event our office has been putting on for about 12 years, and it’s an opportunity for students from all seven faculties at the university to present their research projects that they’ve been working on since last September,” says Jennifer Goldsmith, administrative assistant with for the office of Vice-President, Research, Innovation and International at UOIT.

Instead of presenting to the auditorium packed with people, students meet with judges of the showcase in a face-to-face, personal fashion.

“We have experts in their field come up and approach them right at their poster, where they can critique and question them,” Goldsmith says. “They may present more than one time because we have multiple judges per faculty and it just gives them extra practice to take their experiential learning a bit further.”

Jennifer Freeman, director of research services at UOIT, was “extremely impressed” with this year’s projects, which covered an array of topics.

“The quality of the research proposals they’ve put together is outstanding. Not only that, but their ability to translate the research they’ve done to some individuals, such as myself, who may or may not have knowledge in some of the disciplines was also incredible,” Freeman says. “They were able to articulate the science, the methodology, the outcomes and the potential impacts of their research.”

Spencer Lamash, a second-year Electrical Engineering student at UOIT, presented “What Your Brain Says About Your Password” during the showcase.

He and the five other members of his research team, are investigating the characteristics of passwords by using brain computer interface (BCI) devices to capture brain activity called electroencephalogram signals, which allow for a deeper look into how different passwords stimulate the brain.

According to Lamash, preliminary experimentation was conducted where participants were presented with passwords while wearing the BCI device. A series of other experimental tasks were undertaken to help create baselines and markers that allow the research team to discover the characteristics of brain signals that can be associated with the passwords.

It is believed research conducted during the experiment will help the team to understand both what makes a password usable and how to make stronger passwords.

Awards were handed out to the top posters for each faculty at UOIT.

“One great thing is we have faculty members who are judging, but we also bring in some industry and community partners, and some administrative staff who are judging, it’s quite an eclectic group of multi-disciplinary experts who are coming together,” Freeman stated.