ISU Undergrad presents poster at analytical chemistry conferences, wins first place prize

Thomas Attebery

Brett Brownfield, an undergraduate student studying chemistry at Idaho State University, was awarded the 2014 Society of Applied Spectroscopy's student ambassador award, giving him the chance to attend the 14th Annual Chemometrics in Analytical Chemistry Conference.

ISU Undergrad presents poster at analytical chemistry conferences, wins first place prize

The conference was held in Richmond, Virginia from June 9-13.

The Society's student ambassador award is fairly exclusive - usually only doctoral students are awarded the money to go to conferences like this. Brownfield was also aided in his travel by ISU Professor of Chemistry Dr. John Kalivas' securing of a National Science Foundation grant.

Brownfield presented a poster entitled, "Improving Outlier Detection by Fusion of Outlier Detections Merits Using Sum of Ranking Differences." He was awarded first place, which included a $450 prize.

The conference included a broad range of spectroscopic topics including "-omic" applications, imaging, and computational modeling. There were a total of nine plenary and keynote lectures, 40 oral presentations and 70 posters which were on display for the entire conference.

Although the conference was held in the United States, there were 142 participants from 26 different countries.

The conference also hosted off-site excursions, which enabled Brownfield to visit the Science Museum of Virginia and attend a banquet at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts. He was glad to have been given the opportunity to attend the conference.

"It's a great chance to learn," he said, "You wouldn't necessarily have an opportunity like this at other universities."

Brownfield has been working with Professor Kalivas in his lab. Annually, Kalivas employs four to six undergraduates in his analytical chemistry lab focusing on chemometrics for developing new multivariate data analysis tools for agriculture, biomedical, forensics, pharmaceutical, environmental and other data sets.

"It's nice to have the chance to do this work as an undergrad," Brownfield said. "Some colleges just give a lot of focus to chemistry graduate students. It's great for undergrads to have the opportunity to be so directly involved."

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