News & Media

Nicholas Winter wins UW-Parkside WiSys Quick Pitch competition

Kenosha-Nicholas Winter, Jose Herrera, and the student team of Dori Kosta & Khushi Patil were honored for their research and ideas at UW Parkside’s WiSys Quick Pitch competition on Wednesday, April 24.

Junior Nicholas Winter earned first place for his pitch, titled “Investigating CRISPR-Cas9 Induced Edits in Chlamydomonas reinhardtii Using the TLN1 Mutant to Test for Desired Phenotype Changes.” In his pitch, Winter explained that nitrogen is an essential element for all living organisms. When nitrogen starvation happens in Chlamydomonas reinhardtii, a type of green algae, it decreases growth but increased accumulation of triacylglycerols (TAGs). TAGs are used to produce biodiesel, a renewable form of clean energy. Winter’s faculty advisor is Dr. David Higgs, a professor in biological sciences.

With his first-place victory, Winter has secured a spot in the WiSys Quick Pitch State Final. The competition will be held during the WiSys SPARK Symposium this July on the UW-Superior campus.

Jose Herrera, a junior, earned second place for his pitch, titled “An EEG Investigation of Sleep Quality, Memory, and Executive Function.” Herrera described his research as an experiment to determine if the seven variables of sleep quality correlate with performance on a memory task and two tasks of executive function. Participants completed a computerized auditory or visual memory task while their EEG signals are recorded. Herrera’s faculty advisor is Dr. Melissa Gregg, Chair and Associate Professor of the Psychology, Professional Counseling, and Neuroscience Department.

Graduate students Dori Kosta and Khushi Patil earned the audience-voted people’s choice award for their pitch, titled “Resume Parsing – Standardization.” With the rapidly evolving landscape of recruitment, Kosta and Patil described how their research delved into how Natural Language Processing (NLP) and machine learning algorithms are reshaping the process to analyze the vast number of resumes submitted for jobs. Their faculty advisor is Dr. Vijayalakshmi Ramasamy, Chair and Associate Professor of the Computer Science Department.

Additional participants included:

  • Pasquale Chianello, “An EEG Investigation of the Effect of Positive Affirmations on Perception of Rapid Events”
  • Madeline Herbrechtsmeier, “Microwave-Assisted Synthesis of Fluorescent 8-aryl-7-deazaguanines”
  • Markie Peroutka and Zach Wilson, “Disentangling How Projections From the Ventral Pallidum to the Shell of the Nucleus Accumbens Regulate Non-Homeostatic Feeding”

Judges included:

  • Dr. Lynn Akey, Chancellor, UW-Parkside
  • Dr. Robert Ducoffe, Provost and Vice Chancellor of Academic & Student Affairs, UW-Parkside
  • Scott Rudie, Executive Director of Communication and Marketing, UW-Parkside

Photos from the event can be viewed here. Thank you to Alyssa Nepper, UW-Parkside photographer, for attending the event and taking pictures.

To learn more about WiSys Quick Pitch, click here. For questions about Quick Pitch, please contact Margot DeBaker, Regional Intellectual Property and Licensing Associate, at [email protected].