Summer Scholar Research Highlights

by Kristal Mainsah on September 6, 2019

Andrew Droubay ‘20

Major: Computer Science & Mathematics

Title: Pointer Visualization and Education in C++ Through Gamification

Abstract:The syntactic and theoretical use of pointers within computer programming is often a difficult obstacle to intermediate students. Solutions involving visualizations and practice problems have been used before, but a better result may be obtained through gamifying the problem. This project aims to create an enjoyable, educational, and visual game that will reinforce the use of pointers within a computer science curriculum. The game’s effectiveness will be tested on a group of students in CPSC 170 at Roanoke College.

Something about the scholar:  Andrew is a math and computer science major and IT programmer at Roanoke College, where he writes forms and web applications for the college’s website and internal IT use. He has been inducted into Alpha Lambda Delta, the freshman honor society, and Pi Mu Epsilon, the national mathematics honor society, and has been a member of the President’s or Dean’s list each semester at Roanoke. He enjoys computer science as a problem solving challenge yielding tangible results. When he’s not studying, he likes to spend his time fishing, woodworking, or designing, studying, and playing video games.

Mark Maust ‘20

Major:Chemistry

Title:Optimization and Investigation of a novel palladium-catalyzed olefin difunctionalization

Abstract:Organic compounds are molecules are compounds that can be found everywhere in modern life. The creation of organic compounds is often tedious and costly, so exploring opportunities to efficiently synthesize these compounds is of interest. An essential component to the synthesis of organic molecules is the formation of carbon-carbon bonds. Palladium has shown capabilities to form carbon-carbon bonds and thus has been utilized widely in organic synthesis. Specifically, this research investigates the transformation of a carbon-carbon double bond through a novel pathway using palladium to gain a deeper understanding of the reaction so others can utilize it in their investigations.

Something about the scholar: A third year Chemistry major, Mark has an interest for the discovery and excitement that is associated with research. In the summer of 2017, Mark began his research in the Brenzovich lab where he began studying a palladium-catalyzed olefin difunctionalization reaction. During his research time, Mark has successfully created unique compounds that have provided insight into the step-by-step process of how the reaction occurs. The work he performed has been presented at the national American Chemical Society Conference (March 2018) and is currently being prepared for publication. Mark plans to continue his research and take his love for discovery to graduate school to further his education in organic synthesis and hopefully start a career in pharmaceutical research. 

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