Fall Projects


Students in the School of Computing and Information Sciences completed six data engineering projects this fall – two graduate capstone projects, one graduate class project, and three undergraduate projects. Graduate students in Radford University’s Data and Information Management (DAIM) Master’s program work with industry mentors.

2022 Project Abstracts


Simplify Amazon Analytics to Manage Ad Campaigns More Effectively

Presented by: Noah Bieker

Amazon Ads provides companies with the tools to run and manage advertisement campaigns on Amazon. However, the amount of data is overwhelming and the analytics are not insightful enough to measure performance. This project will develop a dashboard of visual indicators to quickly and accurately evaluate campaigns and take action.

  • Mentor: Chris Geiger, Solutions Architect at Amazon Web Services (AWS)

Predicting the Community Spread of Infectious Disease with EMR Data

Presented by: Sai Chandrika

Infectious diseases significantly impact patient health and healthcare expenses. To understand and predict the spread of infectious diseases and resulting outcomes, we seek to identify the factors that most influence transmission. These factors include developing a process that automate the processes of cleaning datasets that links individuals together based on co-location, their visits to the hospital, diagnosis, and cohabitation. Additionally, we will identify data features within electronic medical records (EMR) that present statistical evidence of explaining and predicting contagion among patients. Our data models are then tested and validated on specific infectious disease data points, including several variants of influence, Norovirus, SARS and its related coronavirus variants, and other comorbid infectious diseases as features are revealed. Our results have two-fold advantage: informing organizational policy to prevent internal contagion and workforce downtime and allocating resources more effectively during outbreaks.

  • Mentor: Mattie Tenzer, Technology Services Group Director for Health Analytics Research at Carilion Clinic

A Policy Solution for Protecting PII on the RU Cloud

Presented by: Grant McDonel

The current environment surrounding the protections of cloud users whose personally identifiable information (PII) is compromised is inconsistent and unclear. Cloud service providers create policies that mitigate their own responsibility to protect customer data, while lawmakers attempt to stop this business practice and hold companies accountable for data breaches using legislation. On a smaller scale, individuals whose PII has been compromised are not guaranteed to succeed in legal claims against a business protected against litigation by safe harbor policies. In fact, courts frequently rule in favor of the defending company. Thus, smaller institutions such as universities and others that may have a private third party managing their cloud computing environment must take on the responsibility to write unique policies protecting those who use their services. Since the number of people who store personal data in the cloud continues to grow, it should be a top priority to give more rights and protections to the service user, rather than the service provider, to ensure proper compensation for losses related to PII being exposed in the event of a data breach.


Examining the Impact of Life Events and Achievements on Income Status

Presented by: Courtney Hollis and Nicole Linkous

Life events and achievements may contribute to the likelihood of an individual living above the poverty threshold. This project analyzes recent census data to examine the impact on income level of two life events: moving and veteran status, and two achievements: purchasing a house and earning a high school diploma versus earning a bachelor’s degree. Our study compares census data from the Commonwealth of Virginia and the state of Hawaii. This research may inform government agencies and other organization making policy and resource investment decisions. 

  • Mentor: Rob Schaper, EVP of Business Intelligence and Analytics at CivilianCyber

Identifying Top Skills from Technology Job Boards

Presented by: Blake Conner and Ki Lee 

The vast range of skills needed for jobs in technology can be overwhelming for both employers and job seekers. Employers struggle to prioritize the most relevant skills for job descriptions. Similarly, job seekers want to know the most valuable skills to acquire. Our project will extract a set of high demand skills from the most popular technology job boards and categorize and rank the skills by job title. Our visualizations will help employers and job seekers identify the high demand skills to acquire and develop. 

  • Mentor: Rob Schaper, EVP of Business Intelligence and Analytics at CivilianCyber

Designing a Scalable Vaccine Verification Service

Presented by: Blake Conner, Carson Perkins, and Tony Sanchez 

Over 335 million people live in the United States and the world population recently surpassed 8 billion. A system to verify the vaccination status for individuals would experience tremendous load storing massive amounts of data and serving thousands of requests per second. A relational database would not scale to meet the demand. Our project designed a system using Amazon’s DynamoDB database, a purpose-built, cloud-native, highly distributed, NoSQL database. To meet query performance requirements, all data is stored in a single table eliminating joins. Data is stored in key-value pairs with one primary index and one secondary index. When a patron wants to enter a store, restaurant, or other type of venue, our system quickly verifies the patron’s vaccine status. Our system captures every request, records abuse, and generates reports.