Mercyhurst partners with NCI on artificial intelligence database

Ryan Davey, Staff writer

Mercyhurst University has recently forged a partnership with NCI Information Systems, Inc. (NCI), to support the Reston, Virginia systems innovator in conveying the latest artificial intelligence (AI) technology to the federal government.

“We’re excited to work with Mercyhurst University to further augment the NCI Empower AI platform,” said NCI President and CEO, Paul A. Dillahay.

He proceeded to talk about how the partnership between MU and NCI Information Systems, Inc. is very promising.

“The strength of our teams collaborating together promises to yield exciting new possibilities for the infusion of machine learning and data analytics capabilities into our arsenal of operational AI tools and technologies,” said Dillahay.

Four students from the Ridge College of Intelligence Studies and Applied Sciences within the Department of Computing and Information Science were selected to work with NCI on a customized AI database, an innovation designed to transform the way federal agencies do business while being more efficient, and reducing operational costs.

The students working on the project consist of undergraduate Brentyn Muir and graduate students Kutlu Mizrak, Arseniy Sklyarov and Alex Nicanor Kenmogne Tayou.

They will also be supervised by assistant professor of data science and machine learning, Oluwatosin Ogundare, Ph.D. One of the graduate students, Arseniy Sklyarov, shared his experience with the partnership and how he became interested in the opportunity.

“I got involved by asking Dr. Ogundare if there were any Data Science positions available for me to get some hands on experience in this novel field to me. After speaking with him, the NCI project interested me and he recommended that I apply for the project position,” said Sklyarov.

Brentyn Muir, the only undergraduate student on the project, was ecstatic to hear the news when he was chosen to work on the NCI job.

“I was absolutely thrilled,” said Muir. “NCI Inc. is an industry leader in providing AI solutions which is an area of study I am keenly interested in.”

Despite feeling excited about the opportunity, Muir also felt another emotion.

“I was also extremely nervous. I am the only undergraduate student in a project filled with highly knowledgeable professionals with far more experience than me.”

Since this project is a partnership between MU and NCI Information Systems, Inc., there are numerous benefits and advantages for working on such a unique project. Students receive hands on experience in their field of study, which will serve them well as they look to a career in the future.

Graduate student, Alex Nicanor Kenmogne Tayou talked about how becoming a project participant will not only benefit him, but also distinguish him from others when looking for a future job.

“I have been able to gain some industry experience which will be a great resume booster and an opportunity to distinguish myself and my colleagues from others when we get in the job market,” said Tayou.

When asked if the partnership between Mercyhurst University and NCI Information Systems, Inc. will continue after this year, Ogundare stated the following.

“We are in the works for a phase two plan for next year.” For any current or future students in MU’s Department of Computing and Information Science within the university’s Ridge College of Intelligence Studies and Applied Sciences, you will have the opportunity next year to be apply to be a participant in the phase two plan of the NCI project.