2015 Mitacs Undergraduate Award for Outstanding Innovation: Alberto Solis Serrano

Alberto Solis Serrano, from Mexico’s Universidad Autónoma de Nuevo León is the recipient of the Mitacs Undergraduate Award for Outstanding Innovation for his research at the University of Alberta in summer 2015 under supervison of Professor Patricio Mendez in the Department of Chemical and Materials Engineering.

Watch Alberto's acceptance speech below.

Reduced-Complexity Radio Resource Management Algorithms for Heterogeneous MIMO Cellular Networks

Future broadband cellular systems will require very high throughput data transmission to satisfy ever increasing demands of mobile users for high speed multimedia services. Using innovative approaches to multiantenna transmission/reception and to cooperation of network nodes the achievable data rates can be greatly increased. Two significant obstacles to achieving very high data rates are interference and network latency. In this project, we shall attempt to reduce interference by introducing novel methods and algorithms to coordinate
transmissions from clusters of network nodes.

Mathematical Models of cell invasion types emerging from phenotypic and environmental heterogene

The building blocks of multicellular organisms such as humans are cells, vessels and protein fibers. Cell migrations are instrumental in the development and maintenance of multicellular organisms (such as wound healing). Aberrant cellular migrations are important in many
pathological conditions, for instance in cancer. The majority of cancer related deaths (80-90%) are caused by spread of cancer cells to distant organs. This is called metastasis.

Optimization Techniques for Automatic Assessment of Manually Drawn Diagrams in Educational Problem Sets

In STEM education, many problem sets require a student to answer a question with a drawing. For example, kinematic physics or statics/dynamics engineering problems often require the student to construct a free-body diagram as a necessary step in the solution. However, when such subjects are taught through online education (such as though a MOOC), most automatic assessment is only done through the constraints of multi-choice answers.

3D Modeling of The Pancreas For Use in Preoperative Surgical Planning and Rehearsal

The graduate student (Simon Byrns) will work closely with pancreas surgeons and experts in computer image manipulation to generate 3D models of the relevant anatomy in pancreas surgery. These models will then be printed on a 3D printer and used to investigate their utility in the preoperative planning phase prior to surgery. The use of augmented reality (superimposing computer generated images on live images) to enhance the visualization of internal structures within the 3D models will also be investigated.

Developing diagnostic tools for aggressive skin cancer

In 2015 alone, it is estimated that approximately 8500 Canadians will be diagnosed with the most aggressive form of skin cancer: melanoma. Often forming from an abnormal mole or lesion on the skin, early detection of melanoma can be life-saving. That is why Mitacs Globalink research intern Suranjana Samanta has dedicated her studies to furthering technologies that can save lives through the accurate and early detection of cancers.

The effect of dynamic information display on perception of public restroom cleanliness

The cleanliness of restroom drives people’s preferences. In places such as hotels, restaurants and hospitals, a dirty bathroom will drive away potential customers as it lead them to question the cleanliness of the whole facility. Visionstate Inc. developed WANDA (Washroom Attendant Notification Digital Aid), a LCD touch screen that display the time of most recent restroom service and a interactive interface to request restroom maintenance. The proposed study is to investigate whether features of WANDA enhance people’s perception of bathroom cleanliness.

Distributed Control Strategy Development for Demand-Side Energy Management in Commercial Buildings With Photo-Voltaic and Energy Storage

Increasing global energy demand coupled with efforts to reduce our carbon emission has pushed for improved energy efficiency in many areas. One area in need of improvement is residential and commercial buildings. Specifically, the demand-side energy management of commercial buildings can be improved significantly with improved control. With the addition of on-site renewable energy generation such as Photo-Voltaic and energy storage, a large commercial building can be optimally controlled to provide reliable, stable power while maintaining minimal wasted energy.

Evaluation Capacity Network: Aligning Evaluative Thinking and Practice among Early Childhood Stakeholders

This project aims to provide much needed evidence to service providers and program managers working in the field of early childhood development (ECD). Early childhood programs are required to provide evidence of tangible outcomes to validate the impacts of their programs. Organizations, though, do not always have the knowledge, resources, or capacity to support such processes and the intent of gathering such evidence is interpreted differently depending on the individual sector.

Transdermal delivery of peptide hormones to treat tibial bone stress fractures using DiffusiMax liposomal cream base

The goal of this Mitacs research proposal study is to develop and apply experimental methodology for transdermal delivery of bone-targeting peptide hormone drugs. We aim to deliver these compounds using an appropriate hydrophilic-hydrophobic Diffusimax liposomal drug delivery cream base to anatomically superficial bone, at the sites of stress fractures (also known as “shin-splints”) in order to trigger bone repair, reduce pain burden, and to minimize possible side effects if those drugs were used systemically.