Nine Pomona College students on two teams—Team Chirp and Team Stingrays—earned top honors at this year’s DataFest, a 48-hour competition held at UCLA in April. Thirty-two teams competed in the data analysis competition using data from users of the online dating site eHarmony. The teams were whittled down and allowed to pair up, ending with the combined Pomona team winning one of two “Best Insight” awards, the competition’s best-in-show prize. Students analyzed matches made by eHarmony’s algorithm and communicated their findings via graphics to a panel of judges. As the hours ticked by, the urgency ramped up for the Pomona students, advised by Math Professor Johanna Hardin. “We were able to crank out everything we needed with literally five minutes to spare,” says Brian Williamson ’14, who downed five cups of coffee during the final push.
The new documentary Out! Loud!, produced and directed by Theatre Professor Betty Bernhard, received great press in India, including an interview with Bernhard in the magazine Femina, published by The Times of India. The documentary draws parallels between ancient Indian stories and the lives of contemporary young LGBT persons in Pune, India, as they devise a play He She It. Bernhard also produced He She It, an original work based on the true stories of the actors. The documentary and the play were supported with funding from Pomona College and Claremont School of Theology.
Mae Coyiuto ’16 was the subject of a recent Los Angeles Times story titled “Tennis and writing a love match for Pomona-Pitzer freshman.” Coyiuto is one of the top players on the Sagehens at No. 2 singles, and also a published author who has started a nonprofit to help build libraries in her native Philippines. Writes the Times: “It is difficult to decide which is the most notable of Coyiuto’s accomplishments—her tennis success, the fact she has already written four books or that she hopes to open a library in her home town of Makati City.”
Professor Daniel Martínez’s research project “Identifying and Characterizing the Genes of Immortality in Hydra” was among the first research proposals selected for funding by The Immortality Project at UC Riverside. Martínez will use the $250,000 grant to determine which genes are implicated in making the freshwater hydra effectively immortal, research that has implications for human medicine. The Immortality Project was established in 2012 to examine a wide range of issues related to immortality.