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Bang Nguyen ’22 presents at oSTEM conference, competes in hackathon

photo of bang nguyen

Bang Nguyen ’22, a Computer Science major with a minor in Data Science & Communication Studies at The College of Wooster, recently presented his research at a conference for oSTEM, which stands for Out in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics.

The conference provides a welcoming space for LGBTQ+ students and professionals in STEM fields to share their experiences and learn from one another.

Nguyen shared his Independent Study project during the poster session of the conference. His research, quantitatively and qualitatively, investigates the biases against LGBTQ+ individuals in many modern technologies that attempt to understand and generate human language. Nguyen said LGBTQ+ terms such as “gay,” “queer,” etc. are often understood as toxic and negative by these technologies.

“From this analysis, I hope to identify a computational approach to controlling such biases and advocate for social justice,” he said. “So far, I have been doing a lot of research on existing work and coding based on current technologies. I have finished collecting data from Twitter and the next step is to apply these technical methods to this data set.”

Nguyen also participated in a “hackathon” in which teams of students attempt to solve a real-life problem using technology, typically through a software prototype. He joined two students from other institutions and designed a web application for reporting and tracking inaccessible conditions on college campuses.

“It lasted three days with a total of 24 hacking hours,” said Nguyen. “It was stressful with classes and other events of the conference still going on during the hackathon, but I did enjoy it and learn a lot from my teammates.”

Published Nov. 18, 2021

Posted in News on November 18, 2021.