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SXU Student Presents NASA Research at American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting


Saint Xavier University (SXU) computer science student Amr Alshatnawi recently presented research from an internship he completed with NASA at the American Geophysical Union (AGU) Fall Meeting in New Orleans, considered to be the most influential event in the word dedicated to the advancement of Earth and space sciences. Over 25,000 people including doctors, scientists, educators, students, and policymakers, among others, from more than 100 countries come together to share research and network.

The research Alshatnawi presented involved work he'd completed during his internship with NASA, which was funded by an SXU National Science Foundation (NSF) Grant (No. 1832511). The grant, awarded to support the efforts of SXU's EXPLORE STEM program, serves to help students develop identities as scientists and prepare students for graduate school and career opportunities through field-based, hands-on experiential learning.

Alshatnawi, who is from Oak Lawn, completed his project on heliophysics, the science of understanding the sun and its interactions with Earth and the solar system. "Facilitating Heliophysics Data Discovery with Cloud Collaboration: Development for the HSO Connect Program" is a data access development project and establishes a connection for collaboration and data sharing. 

"The objective of my project is to alleviate the struggles scientists face to find and share data. We were able to develop and test different collaboration and data-sharing tools to help achieve our goal. By using data science, we hope to bridge the gap between heliophysics and other disciplines," said Alshatnawi.

"Attending the AGU Meeting was an astonishing experience. Being able to present and teach others about the work I did was so enjoyable. I loved meeting new people from around the world and having the chance to learn about how we're responding to current issues in the world. It was an amazing opportunity," added Alshatnawi.

Alshatnawi was drawn to studying computer science because he feels the major allows him to develop, explore, invent and find solutions to help make a positive difference in the world.

"Science impacts everyone and everything. It helps us understand the world and explore solutions to real-world problems. I always enjoyed problem solving, being challenged and working on things that impact the world," said Alshatnawi.

The courses Alshatnawi is taking at SXU are giving him the confidence and skills he needs to succeed.

"The science courses I've taken at SXU have been a great resource that have helped me to participate in external science events and prepare me for my career. I've acquired the knowledge and skills needed for me to be confident and ready to start a career in STEM," said Alshatnawi.

In the future, Alshatnawi hopes to participate in more conferences and workshops. He plans to attend graduate school and pursue a career where he is able to positively impact and make a difference in the world.