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Winners of the ICDS Fall 2021 Symposium's poster contest are exploring research questions about autism and urban flooding. Credit: Jordan Futrick/ICDS. All Rights Reserved.

Symposium’s poster winners’ research investigates autism, flooding

Posted on November 9, 2021

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — The Institute for Computational and Data Sciences (ICDS) at Penn State announced the two winners for the 2021 ICDS Fall Symposium’s virtual poster presentation. The winning posters included research on autism detection and urban flooding.

The first-place award for $500 went to Yu-Hsin Chen, doctoral student in industrial and manufacturing engineering. Chen used machine learning models to detect children with autism spectrum disorder — ASD — at a young age, which could allow for better identification of high-risk children so that they receive early monitoring and attention.

“Our study demonstrates the feasibility of utilizing machine learning models and healthcare service claims data for identifying children with ASD at a young age, which is deemed a promising approach for monitoring ASD risk in the general children population and early detection of high-risk children for targeted screening,” said Chen. “We hope that with this prediction, we’re able to help identify the ASD children the earlier the better so they can start their treatment earlier and have a better treatment outcome.”

Her collaborators included Qiushi Chen, assistant professor in industrial and manufacturing engineering, and Lan Kong, professor, and Guodong Liu, associate professor, both in public health sciences.

Harman Singh, a graduate student in geography, won the $200 second-place prize for a study that used a mixed-method approach to examine the nature of complex urban flooding in Kerala, India. According to Singh, flash floods and urban floods claim thousands of lives globally every year. Mixed methods — which combine both qualitative and quantitative analysis — are an underutilized tool in understanding these events, she added.

Singh is advised by Helen Greatrex, assistant professor of geography and statistics and ICDS co-hire, and Trevor Birkenholtz, associate professor of geography.

Judges for the contest included Penn State faculty members and representatives from ICDS’s industry partners.

A total of 15 entries were submitted to the contest. Participants were invited to a networking mixer at the Penn Stater Hotel & Conference Center where poster presenters gave “elevator pitches” about their research.

IBM helped sponsor the prize.


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