Stroke analysis project wins Spring D2K Showcase

Rice D2K Lab students work with UTHealth researchers on building models that forecast stroke incidents

Capstone team Stroke Risk won Spring D2K Showcase

Deep learning can be a tool to help those who suffer strokes discover their risk of having another. That premise and the data models used in the process won the top capstone prize in the Spring Data-to-Knowledge (D2K Lab) Showcase. 

The packed event at Duncan Hall on April 20 featured project-detailing posters by 28 teams, 14 of them capstone projects and 14 by students in the Introduction to Data Science course. The capstone teams also gave one-minute video presentations, accessible via the showcase website.

Judges chose Team Stroke Risk, which leveraged medical data provided by sponsors at the University of Texas Health Science Center, Houston (UTHealth), and graph machine learning to help the facility better allocate care to stroke patients. 

All of the winning team members -- Artun Bayer, Josue Casco-Rodriguez, Justin Cheung, Samantha Fuentes, Nick Glaze and Michael Sprintson – are seniors majoring in electrical and computer engineering. Their sponsors are Xiaoqian Jiang, a professor of biomedical informatics at UTHealth, and Sean Savitz, a professor of neurology at UTHealth’s McGovern Medical School. Their faculty mentor is Arko Barman, an assistant teaching professor at the D2K Lab.


Team Superb Owl earned honorable mention for its project to assemble the first complete genome of the great horned owl, Rice University’s mascot, based on blood samples provided by the Houston Zoo and data from Baylor College of Medicine. (Read about the project at The team used cutting-edge genome assembly tools and developed analytical methods to evaluate the assembly quality.

Team Superb Owl - D2K Capstone team

Members of the team are Liangying Huang, a professional master’s student in computer science; Anthony Minsuk Kang, a senior computational and applied mathematics major, data science minor and biochemistry and cell biology minor; and Hanna Yin, a graduate student in ecology and evolutionary biology. Sponsors are Todd Treangen, an assistant professor of computer science, and Huw Ogilvie, an assistant research professor computer science. Their faculty mentor is Genevera Allen, an associate professor  of electrical and computer engineering, statistics and computer science and founder and faculty director of the D2K Lab.

The capstone audience choice award went to Team COVID Jigsaw, which worked to understand how the next coronavirus variant will affect the population by studying the impact of vaccinations and government involvement on previous variant surges. 

D2K Capstone team- COVID Jigsaw

Team members are Brian Hoepfl, Haijilao Lu and Min Hung Shih, all professional master’s students in computer science; Cynthia Chen, a senior in computational and applied mathematics; Nathan Powell, a junior in computer science; and Tasfia Azim, a graduate student in chemical and biomolecular engineering. Their sponsor is Ray Simar, a professor in the practice in electrical and computer engineering. Barman served as faculty mentor. 

Introductory Data Science Team J.A.D.D.Y.

Team J.A.D.D.Y. won the audience choice award for introductory data science teams for its work to understand food insecurity in the United States. The team looked at county demographics to determine the correlation between education, income, ethnicity and food insecurity. 

Team members are Jamie Stewart-Aday, a freshman in political science and social policy analysis; Ashwini Bandi, a senior in biological sciences; Yuka Aoyama, a sophomore in computer science; DeBraylon Carroll, a junior in sport management; and Dean Connors, a freshman in psychology. Faculty mentor is Su Chen, an assistant teaching professor in the D2K Lab.

Rice University D2K Showcase full room

"The D2K Lab is a core part of Rice's data science and engineering vision," said Luay Nakhleh, Dean of the School of Engineering during the Showcase introduction. "The D2K Lab will become the home of Rice data science undergraduate minor next academic year and lead a transition to make the curriculum more accessible and flexible for students from any major at Rice."

"I'm reminded of how much we've grown seeing so many students, sponsors and partners from external organizations coming to Rice for this Showcase," said Genenera Allen, D2K Founder and Faculty Director. "I’m really proud of all the teams and what they’ve accomplished this semester by applying data science and machine learning to real-world projects.


Congratulations to all the winning teams!

Interested in working with Rice student and faculty teams to solve real-world data science challenges?

Email for more information about the D2K Capstone projects.



(Original article on Rice News by Mike Williams)

Related Articles

Team’s computer vision system tracks waterfowl, counts them from the air

Rice D2K Lab students build a predictive maintenance model to improve operations with machine learning.