Xavier Ateneo Students Win BPI-DOST Science Awards

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October 28, 2019

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Three students from Xavier University-Ateneo de Cagayan have been recognized in the 2019 BPI-DOST Science Awards for their scientific researches and innovations supporting the attainment of global sustainable development goals.

Among the top 10 awardees with the most promising researches were Marc Anthony B. Reyes and Marvin Serge G. Fuentes, both BS Computer Science students from Xavier Ateneo.

Now on its 30th years, the prestigious awards program honors young Filipino undergraduate students who excel in basic and applied science. It is a joint project of the Department of Science and Technology and BPI Foundation with the goal of empowering students who venture into innovative research.

During the annual research competition, Reyes presented his study titled “A Mobile Application Using Convolutional Neural Networks for Detecting Rice Plant Diseases and Pests.”

Reyes developed a mobile app called PalayLab, which uses deep learning to help farmers detect pests and diseases in rice plants.

Fuentes, on the other hand, focused on “Developing a Rule-Based Chatbot to Classify the Severity of Depression Using Decision Trees.”

Fuentes’s Atom chatbot uses a natural language processing engine to detect the level of depression of a person.

Another entry from XavierAteneo that made it to the top 30 was the study conducted by BS Biology student Lloyd Alvin P. Caumban. His research, titled “Bioremediation Potential and Biomass Production of Indigenous Microalgae Consortia Cultured in Urban Wastewater,” centered on the use of microalgae in sequestering wastewater nutrients.

Reyes and Fuentes each received P25, 000, a medal, and a certificate at the awards ceremony held at the Alphaland City Club in Makati City last August 2. Caumban took home P10, 000 and a medal.

In her speech during the awarding, DOST-Science Education Institute Director Dr. Josette Biyo commended all participants, saying: “The works of our young scientists and engineers are truly worthy of recognition.”

She also thanked BPI Foundation for “urging and inspiring students to excel in science and technology.”

BPI Foundation Executive Director Maricris San Diego said that through the BPI-DOST Science Awards, they hope to “inspire more Filipino students to pursue scientific researches and innovations that contribute to building a stronger and more sustainable future for all of us.”


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