Faculty of Information Technology Masters Students Receive Research Grant from NACOSTI
Masters Students Allan Omondi and Sidi Mwakalu, will enjoy funding support courtesy of NACOSTI through the research grants awarded to them. The duet who are studying Master of Science in Information Technology and Master of Science in Computer-Based Information Systems respectively, followed a prompting by their Senior Lecturer, Dr. Ismail Ateya-Faculty of Information Technology (FIT), to apply for the research grants.
The two submitted proposals on their approved research in November last year and received the grant in March this year. The grant involved Allan and Sidi receiving Kshs. 199,800 and 70,000 respectively for their research.
For Allan, his research focuses on applying artificial intelligence in farming by using machine learning and color quantization. This is a branch of computer vision that involves compressing a range of colors into a single quantum value, using this to enhance decision making. Such a system is particularly useful to farmers because it helps in determining the most optimum time to harvest, prescribing what ought to be done based on the color of the fruit. Farmers will need to have a phone with a camera and access to the Internet, through which they will upload a picture of a bunch of fruits to be assessed. Young farmers and farmers with visual impairment are set to benefit more from this application: According to research farmers waste a lot of nutrients and yield low quality fruits because of harvesting at the wrong time.
Allans project research is entitled; Vision-Based Data Fruit Maturity-Level Prediction Model: Case of Pawpaw in Makueni County. He focuses on pawpaw because it is one of the fruits that changes color as it prepares for harvest. He chose to research in Makueni County because it is a favourable area for growing fruits making his research process easier.
Allan was privileged to receive the full amount of what he requested. Although he is about to finish his masters, the funding will assist him to further his research into a PhD and hopefully research on other plants that may benefit from this new system. He also plans to buy a high-end PC that will support the process further-intensifying the research. The PC will also benefit Strathmore University as more researchers can use it to further their own studies.
Sidis research is based on security. Her system is set to help with predicting areas prone to crime based on tweets shared on twitter. Twitter is known to give live feeds on happenings around the world, as a result, it is a good avenue to establish crime possibilities when followed keenly. Using the live feeds and the new system, policy makers, police and the public can respond to crime incidents faster.
Sidis project research is entitled; Crime Prediction Using Events Extracted from Twitter Posts.
Though they are about to finish their masters, the funds granted will help them to further their research for the PhD level, something they are grateful for. The selection process was rigorous but we must have stood out because our research aimed at benefitting the society, said Allan.
To apply for the NACOSTI research grant, Masters Students are advised to apply once they have successfully defended their research proposals.
Congratulations to Allan and Sidi, we wish them the best in their future endeavors.