SAS Capstone Day: Students Achievements on Display
By Farah Al Saati (contributed writer)
The senior students at the School of Arts and Sciences crowned their final year achievements during the successful pilot run of Capstone Projects Day held by SAS at LAU on the 26th and 27th of April, 2016. The two-day event, consisting of oral presentations and poster exhibition, was intended to foster a rich academic collaboration among students and faculty.
Being an opportunity to apply and integrate students’ compiled educational experience at LAU into a crafted final project, the event’s centerpiece, the poster exhibition (mainly by students from Education, Psychology, Computer Science, and Translation departments), showcased the best of the class of 2016’s capstone.
The Best Capstone Project Award in computer science went to Siba Al Hajjar and Marie-Belle El Haber for their remarkable project “Pet Kart”. The Computer Science seniors took advantage of the hefty use of smartphones nowadays and designed a personal robotic car that can be controlled from by the latter. Pet Kart can be used for various deeds; for example it can be used as a toy for kids, an aid for disabled people, or as an assistant robot to move objects.
Sky Nour Boustani Peterson, a Social Science graduating student, conducted her final research on the “locus of control” of LAU students. Her project’s results concluded that the difference between women’s and men’s internal vs. external locus effect was not significant as in previous studies.
For the Translation Department students, the dominating theme was the translation of ads. In her project “Translation of Advertisements between English and Arabic: From Adaptation to Transcreation” Samar Charara explained that translation of foreign ads is not a mere change of language, but also it is a process of adjusting the concepts within to fit within the culture targeted.
Furthermore, her classmate Farah Jawhar clarified that the translation should also cater to the level of knowledge of the receiver. Jawhar shed the light in her project that translating technical specialized discourses to experts differ greatly to that framed for general public consumption.
The highlight of the event was the oral presentations of the Capstone papers where seniors had a 20 to 30 minutes time slot to validate the selected argument in front of their advisors and classmates. The advisors were: Dr. Faisal Abu Khzam, Dr. Azzam Mourad, and Dr. Ramzi Haraty from Computer Science; Dr. Jenine Aboushi and Dr. Kristiaan Aercke from English Department; Dr. Bassel Salloukh, Dr. Imad Salamey, and Dr. Jennifer Skulte-Ouais from Political Science Department.
While Political Science students naturally focused on the current political turmoil and religious conflicts taking place in neighboring countries, the Department of Computer Science and Mathematics projects stretched from cloud computing to wireless baby monitoring system. Choosing one of the most pressing current stories in the media today, student Nour Al Sourani focused on the history and current standing of Palestine in the International Criminal Court.
In contrast to the former, the presentations of the Department of English soon-to-be alumnae were lighthearted and depicted the students’ personal experience. Baudoin Paul Chaar’s essay was a story, weaved out of his real-life personal encounters with Lebanese cab drivers, of a boy seeking love advice from taxi drivers. “All taxi drivers I rode with told me stories about their lives or about Lebanon, so I decided to write the stories down, and I started looking for a logical frame to place them; hence, the story was born” Chaar explained.
The Senior Study Days portray a celebration of the senior class’ accomplishments. The School of Arts and Sciences hopes to sustain the prosperous journey to achieve the university’s and departments’ educational goals with the continuous support of LAU and valued guidance of SAS faculty.