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Honors Undergraduate Thesis Defense: Ada Barach

Ada Barach

  • Distinguished Univ Grad Fellow, Graduate School Administration
  • Student Research Assistant 4, Dept of Engineering Education

Ada Barach, URA, defended her undergraduate thesis before advisor Dr. Krista Kecskemety and thesis committee member Dr. S. Zahra Atiq. In addition to preparing for her thesis defense, Ohio State suspend all in-person activities in the weeks before the event, and Ada had to unexpectedly give her defense virtually. Ada did an excellent job transitioning to this format. The defense was held on March 26th, 2020 via Zoom. After passing her defense, Ada earned her Research Distinction through the Department of Engineering Education.

Event Background: To complete an Honors Research Distinction, undergraduate students in the College of Engineering are required to defend his/her thesis before a faculty committee. Typically, these defenses last approximately an hour with time for a presentation and questions. These presentations are typically completed in person, but in this unprecedented time at the university, the defense was given virtually.

FYRE Participation: Ada Barach discussed her lead contribution to the development of a MATLAB concept inventory, MCS1. This concept inventory is a replication of a previously validated and language-independent concept inventory, but was designed to asses the programming ability of students who learn MATLAB in a more unbiased way. Ada's defense committee as well as her invited guests were impressed by her work and delivery of the material.

Future Plans: Ada's thesis will be published to the OSU Knowledge Bank in the next few weeks. She is continuing her work on the next phases of the MCS1 project with her teammates and will be publishing a paper to the 2020 ASEE Annual Conference on the subject. She is set to graduate in May 2020 and will start graduate school in autumn 2020 to pursue a PhD in computer science. Congratulations, Ada!

Tags: Awards