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Perkins Hopes to Further Her Passion for Research

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Arkansas Tech student Melissa Perkins developed a passion for computer science research and is working diligently to help improve the scientific world.

Perkins, an information systems major, was awarded a competitive internship in the Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) summer program founded by the National Science Foundation at the University of Central Arkansas.

Her brother, who recently earned his PhD in mathematics, influenced her interest in research. “He highly encouraged me to take my internship this summer and also to look into graduate schools. I have strong support from my friends and especially my family,” Perkins said.

The research conducted during REU was primarily in the health informatics field regarding "Fractal Dimension and Circularity Measure for Melanoma Detection.” Perkins said her team hopes to see their research published in an Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) conference this spring.

“Research gives me an opportunity to apply what I learn in the classroom,” Perkins said. She is concentrating on computer science research and information security. Upon graduating in May of 2013, she plans to advance her education in graduate school.

Perkins said she chose Arkansas Tech because of the small classroom size, major selection, and proximity to her hometown of Bentonville.