UHV student group hosts international conference

A University of Houston-Victoria student branch of an international technological society recently hosted its inaugural international conference, bringing participants from a dozen countries together to discuss artificial intelligence and cybersecurity.

Hardik Gohel

The UHV Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Student Branch held the UHV International Conference on Artificial Intelligence in Cybersecurity from May 24 to 26 in the UHV University South visualization theatre and through Microsoft Teams. The conference saw 22 participants from 12 countries, including Singapore, Malaysia, Qatar, China, India, Lithuania, Saudi Arabia, Australia, Norway, Pakistan and the United Kingdom.

The conference provided a platform for scientists to showcase their research on various topics that focused on artificial intelligence and cybersecurity. During the conference, 22 research papers with the work of 51 authors were presented, said Hardik Gohel, an assistant professor of computer science and executive faculty advisor to the student group.

“To have a conference like this is especially beneficial for our computer information system and computer science students because it gives them the opportunity to think about how UHV’s program and their research training on artificial intelligence, data science and cybersecurity at UHV computer science will help them in their careers,” Gohel said. “The objective of the conference was to foster international collaboration between UHV and other scientists around the world, and inform others of our growing science, technology and math programs, and our future in STEM at UHV.”

One of the speakers at the event was Aobo Jin, an assistant professor of computer science. Jin gave a presentation during the conference about artificial intelligence in gaming and spoke about how it is being used in gaming animation. He also spoke about reinforcement learning, a basic machine learning method where an intelligent agent or computer program learns in an interactive environment through trial and error, and showed several examples using an algorithm in computer games.

Aobo Jin

“This conference brings people to our university, and it’s a great chance to show off our faculty and students, as well as a great way to market UHV and our programs to an international audience,” Jin said. “We are also able to show our ability in our AI programs and what our students learn here at UHV.”

UHV graduate computer science student Pavithra Sivashanmugam attended the conference virtually. Although she did not attend the event in person, she was able to connect with others who attended the conference and get to know their work in artificial intelligence and machine learning and gain more visibility that could help in her research. She also was able to review some of the papers presented, which gave her wider insight into how machine learning and artificial intelligence are being used in various fields. She learned about blockchain technology and its usage in securing smart cities, which was a new learning experience for her. She now is trying to see if she can incorporate blockchain in her research.

Pavithra Sivashanmugam

Since the IEEE is one of the largest technical organizations in the world, holding conferences at UHV creates opportunities for students in professional development, mentorship and personal growth, she said. Students also benefit from reduced or free registration fees for the conference as well as access to many technical resources and the ability to gain knowledge in various technologies and refine their skills.

“The conference was well-organized, and every participant was given sufficient time to present their papers,” she said. “The questions and input from other participants helped everyone in the conference to gain more insight and to widen their area of research.”

The University of Houston-Victoria, located in the heart of the Coastal Bend region since 1973 in Victoria, Texas, offers courses leading to more than 80 academic programs in the schools of Arts & Sciences; Business Administration; and Education, Health Professions & Human Development. UHV provides face-to-face classes at its Victoria campus, as well as an instructional site in Katy, Texas, and online classes that students can take from anywhere. UHV supports the American Association of State Colleges and Universities Opportunities for All initiative to increase awareness about state colleges and universities and the important role they have in providing a high-quality and accessible education to an increasingly diverse student population, as well as contributing to regional and state economic development.

Amber Aldaco