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Fresno State grad finds his voice; now helping others find their own – Fresno, California

Fresno, California 2022-05-17 13:16:05 –

When John Egan was 15, he panicked. The right side of his face was suddenly paralyzed. He couldn’t speak and his facial muscles got stuck — I wondered if he had a stroke.

Then he remembered the condition in which his mother caused facial paralysis: Bell’s palsy. Many people recover completely from this nervous state in weeks or months, while others take time or do not.

For Egan, the onset of this condition changed his life overnight. The right side of his face was visibly hanging down, and he lost control of his lips and mouth. But the most significant change was the loss of communication skills. At the height of adolescence, Eagan couldn’t speak, but he still faced a constant gaze and torrent of questions about his condition that he couldn’t literally answer.

“Nodding,’Hmm, hmm’ can only be understood so far in conversation,” Eagan said.

Eagan took years of effort to relearn how to speak — retraining muscles that never regained full nerve function. Even now, her experience plagues Eagan. It’s almost impossible to notice his condition now, but his speech hiccups mentally bring him back to the era of the first struggle.

“Occasionally, if your speech is off or you can’t speak, you’ll quickly cramp your face and make sure everything is still working,” he said.

The adversity that Eagan endured was challenging, but he also helped shape his future positively — he said to really find his voice during his time in Fresno. Motivated.

“This experience has given us a deeper insight into the importance of communication through the frustration we felt when we weren’t understood,” he said. “Personal expressions and conversations with others are now an important driving force in my life as I try to make up for all the lost ideas and topics I couldn’t communicate with. My time at Fresno State University Department of Computer Science It gave me lots of opportunities to discuss things with my colleagues and build confidence in communicating. ”

Eagan graduated from Fresno State University in May this year with a bachelor’s degree in computer science. He has achieved 4.0 GPA each semester and has been on the president’s list for four years in Fresno.His research Science and Mathematics University Graduation ceremony at Friday, May 20th, 5pmAt the Save Mart Center.

But for Eagan, finding his voice here was his greatest victory — and he uses computer science to help others find them.

Big plan for graduate school

After graduating, Eagan will hold a Master’s degree in Computer Science from Fresno State University to study natural language processing and real-time AI-assisted communication. He is also interested in providing real-time lip reading by combining facial image processing with hardware acceleration.

After taking vocal lessons as an undergraduate, Eagan was able to discuss the group project with colleagues and present their work to a larger audience. Eagan’s project group worked on creating a new algorithm for matrix multiplication that can speed up computations using computer graphics processing equipment. He co-authored an academic dissertation on the project he wanted to publish. He also recorded a presentation of the group’s work for a high-impact practice symposium on campus, “something I didn’t think I could communicate with a few years ago,” he said. I did.

At the same event, Eagan’s group unveiled a website (Word of Mouth) designed to connect employers to potential contractors, self-employed and local businesses through personalized profiles and reviews. bottom. The project won a certificate of excellence presentation at the symposium.

A key component is Eagan’s natural language processing model, which uses machine learning to judge a review’s emotions as positive, negative, or neutral.

“You could understand their general feelings and their thoughts without even knowing exactly what someone was saying,” he explained. “This quest for machine learning and language processing has opened our doors to the potential to build and enhance communication between people using computer science and human agent teams.”

Eagan’s professors were impressed with his work and dedication. Dr. Shih-Hsi “Alex” Liu, a professor and chair of the Department of Computer Science, states that Eagan is “a hard-working student with good academic ethics.” His academic performance is in the top 1% of the 2022 class … [Eagan’s] With leadership, his team always finishes every aspect of software development with outstanding quality and acts as a role model for other teams to follow. ”

Liu also states that Eagan’s work is state-of-the-art and his latest project integrates NFTs (Non-Fungible Tokens). This is the first project in the department.

Dr. Athanasios Aris Panagopoulos, an assistant professor in the Department of Computer Science, states that Eagan “has demonstrated excellent problem-solving and analytical skills, as well as outstanding academic motivation and curiosity.”

While communication is still sometimes a challenge for him, Egen is working on finding ways to help people communicate more effectively through technology.

“Communication is still difficult for me,” he said. “I don’t know exactly what to say or how best to express my thoughts, but this fixes the way people struggle to communicate and the annoying silence of computer science. I think it’s a positive contribution to understanding how to do it.

Celebrate the 2022 class

In the next few days FresnoStateNews.com Emphasize the story of an exciting student graduating this spring. Eight college graduation ceremonies and some affinity celebrations will take place on May 20th and 21st.visit beginment.fresnostate.edu For more information.

Fresno State grad finds his voice; now helping others find their own Source link Fresno State grad finds his voice; now helping others find their own

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