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AUS engineering students win high honors at IEEE UAE Student Day 2021
Three engineering student teams from American University of Sharjah (AUS) won high honors at the 15th IEEE UAE Student Day 2021 for their senior design projects.
Organized by the UAE Branch of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), the competition invites senior undergraduate students to present their graduation projects to a committee of judges. The projects are evaluated on originality and creativity, quality of technical content, results, attention to non-technical details and professionalism in oral presentation. The AUS teams placed second and third in the Computing and Robotics category and third in the Communications and Electronics category.
Placing second in the Computing and Robotics category, the AUS team project “Classifying Plant Diseases Using Deep Learning” aimed to help novice gardeners and gardening enthusiasts to better care for their plants by creating a system that identifies plant diseases using a mobile application.
When the user takes a photograph of the plant’s leaf, the application scans it and identifies the type of disease it has. The application provides the user with the disease classification, plant care support required and other useful information to help the plant.
In the initial phase of the project, computer engineering majors Rawan Suwwan, Seba Alkafri and Yara Rashed developed a model to train the Convolutional Neural Networks (CNNs)—a class of deep neural networks, most commonly applied to analyze visual imagery. The results were studied to ensure that the CNNs integrated in the app were highly accurate. The second phase of the project involved working on the mobile application, which was developed by student Mariam Reda. The project was supervised by Dr. Tamer Shanableh, Professor in Computer Science and Engineering at AUS.
“This project had a huge role in teaching us about the applications of artificial intelligence and deep learning. It was mainly focused on image processing, training neural networks as well as mobile development. We gained knowledge in all those fields. We also learned the importance of teamwork and the dynamics of working in a team. It was such a pleasure to be recognized for our project. We worked very hard and it was rewarding to see results,” said Rashed.
In addition to being recognized by IEEE, the team received the AUS Undergraduate Research Award for this project and published a paper about it in the proceedings of an IEEE conference held in Spain in May.
Taking third place in the Computing and Robotics category was “Insights,” a web application developed to compensate for the absence of non-verbal communication in online learning. Using a color-coded classification system of positive, negative and neutral, the application captures images of students at set time intervals and classifies them accordingly. The results appear to each of the students accompanied by a suggestion to improve their engagement, as well as to the instructors to help them tailor their teaching approach to students’ needs. The results can also be shared with the instructors’ supervisors to help assess the level of the course, current teaching approach and the course’s overall success.
The application was developed by computer engineering majors Ayesha Al-Marri, Natasha Madhu and Maya Khaled Hiba and was supervised by Dr. Shanableh.
“One of the main skills we gained while working on the project was team management. We had to learn how to manage and fulfill our tasks despite not being able to meet physically to work on the project. While coordination was a challenge, we were able to meet our goals despite it. We also learned resilience and adaptability since most of the components in our technology stack were foreign to us, but that did not stop us from learning as we developed our project,” said Hiba, who was responsible for the development of the AI model and the deployment of the project on Google Cloud and the backend of the web application.
Team member Mahdu worked on the integration of the database and the backend of the web application, and Al-Marri worked on the web application’s user interface.
Data protection was the subject of the AUS project winning third place in the Communications and Electronics category. Titled “Protect,” the project offers a system that protects the data of companies from being leaked by insiders. It helps protect intellectual property, sensitive data and customer information, based on what each company deems classified information.
Computer engineering majors Dana Osama Mohamed and Meera Jassim Rashid developed the sensitivity analysis section of the project and carried out extensive research on the topic. Computer engineering student Youssef Yasser Awad was responsible for the system’s backend engineering and design, while student Wisam Marwan Orabi designed the user interface and worked closely with Awad to integrate it with the backend systems. The project was supervised by Dr. Hicham Hallal, Senior Lecturer in Computer Science and Engineering, and Dr. Raafat Abu-Rukba, Assistant Professor in Computer Science and Engineering at AUS.
“While preparing for the competition required a lot of effort, the competition day was enjoyable and challenging, providing us with a great opportunity to showcase our work. Winning third place was a wonderful highlight, and sharing the news with our advisors was something we really were very happy about,” said Orabi.
AUS offers both bachelor’s and master’s degrees in computer engineering, and a bachelor’s degree in computer science. For more information on these highly regarded and accredited programs, please visit www.aus.edu/cen.