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Bowie State Doctoral Student Wins Honors at International Conference

November 7, 2018
James Stigall Presents Virtual Reality Research Named 'Best Paper Award Finalist'

MEDIA CONTACT: Damita Chambers,, 301-832-2628 mobile

(BOWIE, Md.) – A Bowie State University doctoral candidate, who uses 3D holographic technology to build virtual environments, was honored last month at the 27th International Conference on Software Engineering and Data Engineering in New Orleans for a research paper exploring an application to aid in building evacuation drills.

Lamar Taylor, Sharad Sharma and James Stigall stand side by side

Doctoral candidate James Stigall (right)
holds his research award certificate, as he
stands with doctoral candidate Lamar
Taylor (left) and Associate Professor Sharad
Sharma (center).

James Stigall, a candidate in the Doctor of Science in computer science program, presented the research named a best paper award finalist. The paper proposes the architecture, design and implementation of an augmented reality application to simulate a building evaluation and demonstrates its effectiveness for emergency evacuation drills. Funded in part by an Army Research Laboratory (ARL) grant, the paper includes the work of doctoral student Sri Teja Bodempudi and award-winning virtual reality expert, BSU Associate Professor Sharad Sharma, as well as three ARL researchers. Dr. Sharma also served a program chair for the conference.

Stigall was one of four BSU doctoral students, along with a recent graduate of the master’s degree in computer science program, whose peer-reviewed papers were presented Oct. 8-10 at the research conference, attracting scholars and professionals from around the world. Each of them developed their research in partnership with Dr. Sharma, who leads Bowie State’s Virtual Reality Laboratory in the Department of Computer Science. Students conducting research with the Virtual Reality Lab have multiple opportunities to present their work at conferences or in scholarly journals.

Stigall presented another paper he wrote with Revanth Baskar (’17) and Dr. Sharma that explores using the immersive virtual reality application, AssemblyVR, that enables scientists and engineers to discuss and modify concept designs before implementing them.

Lamar Taylor, another candidate in the Doctor of Science in computer science program, attended the conference and presented a paper that proposes using distributed ledger technology, or blockchain technology, as an approach to combat the dissemination of fake news. He illustrates how a distributed knowledge base, built atop a public distributed ledger, can infuse a certain degree of trust in the information we consume.

Dr. Sharma also presented a paper he wrote with Sarika Rajeev, a doctoral candidate set to graduate in December 2018, which evaluates the effectiveness of an instructional video game using a virtual instructor to teach computer programming to undergraduate students. Rajeev presented a similarly focused paper, based on her dissertation work, at the 44th Annual Conference of the IEEE Industrial Electronics Society, which took place Oct. 21-23 in Washington, DC.

Through their participation in research conferences, students and recent graduates contribute to the knowledge in the profession and demonstrate the quality of Bowie State’s computer science programs.


About Bowie State University
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