Several students from the COSMOS Research Center have won awards for their research at the 2024 University of Arkansas at Little Rock Research and Creative Works Expo held on Friday, April 19th, 2024.

Every year, UA Little Rock hosts its campus-wide Research and Creative Works Expo, celebrating students from all colleges and their unique research. More than 60 talented students presented their work during the 2024 Student Research and Creative Works Expo! We are thrilled to share that, this year, several of our team members won awards at the Expo! These team members are:

  • Anulika “Pearl” Nwashili, Lotenna Nwana, Mustafa Alasssad, and Nitin Agarwal, with 1st place in the Graduate Oral Presentations category for their project titled Examining Bot Influence in Driving Toxicity on Twitter 
  • Md Monoarul Islam Bhuiyan, Mayor Inna Gurung, Ahmed Al-Taweel, and Nitin Agarwal, with 2nd place in the Graduate Research Poster Presentations category and 1st place in Elevator Speech for their project titled Decoding YouTube’s Recommendation System: A Comparative Study of Metadata and GPT-4 Extracted Narratives
  • Sayantan Bhattacharya, Billy Span, and Nitin Agarwal, with 3rd place in the Graduate Research projects Poster Presentations for their project titled Solidarity to Storming: Assessing the Socio-technical Factors Behind Modern Social Movements 

Commenting on his first Expo experience, Monoarul says, “Participating in the UA Little Rock Research and Creative Works Expo is something that I looked forward to ever since I joined COSMOS.  Being in the first ever poster presentation and eventually winning an accolade from the research work that I am doing here at COSMOS will always be a cherished memory for me. This milestone would not have been possible without the unwavering support of my project team lead Mayor Inna and the invaluable guidance and supervision of Dr. Nitin Agarwal.”

Pearl, who graduates this month, also talked about her presentation, as it was her second time presenting at the Expo. “The experience was indeed a great one. I was able to effectively communicate the research objectives and results within the required ten-minute time frame, which was something I had struggled with in last year’s expo oral presentation. There were interesting questions and conversations centered around how content on social media applications and algorithms could be moderated to filter out bot manipulated content—which is one of the practical implications of our research. These conversations were a testament to how relatable people found the research, specifically from the angle of them being social media users themselves.”

Sayantan commented, saying, “Participating in the Research Expo offers us the chance to showcase our research and the year-long effort we’ve put into our work. Explaining our projects to individuals outside our field, who nonetheless value and appreciate its significance, is an immensely rewarding experience. It not only motivates us to continue pushing boundaries but also inspires us to produce even more impactful work in the future.”

Mayor Inna also remarked, “It was truly a remarkable experience—my first time delivering an elevator pitch with a strict one-minute limit. I had to carefully balance providing sufficient detail while also being concise, ensuring that every word contributed meaningfully to my message. I am glad our research is getting local recognition.”

Dr. Agarwal said, “I am extremely proud of our students and their contributions to the various research projects at the COSMOS Research Center. These awards demonstrate their team spirit and dedication to research.”