The DREAM team, students collaborate with peers at CADSCOM Conference

Minnesota State students part of Data Resources for Eager and Analytical Minds (DREAM) networked with professionals and gained insight in their field during the fourth Colloquium on Analytics, Data Science, and Computing conference. 

Hosted at Minnesota State’s Edina campus, student research paper presentations, panel discussions and projects were showcased while students could engage with professionals. 

Geared toward students pursuing careers in computer information sciences, the conference had various workshops and hands-on activities for students to participate in.

“The workshop was really inspiring during the conference because you could explore on your own,” Malavika Basani, graduate student in the Data Science Program at MSU, said. “We got to share many ideas from students who participated and also it gave us ideas for our own projects.”

Those who were selected were able to share their research in progress papers and present them to their peers and industry professionals.

Samuel Lemma, a graduate student in the Data Science Program at MSU, shared his paper at the conference on “Detecting Overlapping Gene Region Using UNET Attention Mechanism.”

“It was an engaging learning experience for me, I gained a lot of insight and met people from different industries,” Lemma said. “One of the professors said to me, ‘Whenever you feel like you are at a dead end, rephrase the problem.’ So whenever you are doing research, see the problem from a different angle and solve it in a different way.”

His paper aimed to address the need for a system to identify, treat, and prevent cancer by making the procedure less tedious and producing results in a faster method.

The conference also included a technology space for students to share their ideas with others.

This was Sonika Shrestha’s first conference and first research in progress paper, and she found that speaking with like-minded individuals gave her ideas for the future.

“Overall the conference was insightful and empowering. It motivates me to work more on my paper and I got more feedback than I did at school,” Shrestha said.

By building relationships for professional growth, presenters were able to get feedback that will help extended their research being done.

Originating as an RSO in 2016 with two students and Rajeev Bukralia, associate professor and graduate coordinator in the department of computer information science, DREAM has grown exponentially.

Recovering from COVID after having limited in-person events, DREAM is back hosting events this semester. They predict to have the number of members they did pre-COVID, which were in the 250-300 range.

DREAM caters primarily to computer information science majors; however, all are welcome. Those from other disciplines such as statistics, biology, and business management can find value in DREAM.

“When we started DREAM we didn’t think of it as an RSO, we thought of it as a force for change, a youth movement and helping students succeed by providing networking opportunities with professionals,” Bukralia said.

DREAM looks to eventually make efforts that involve the youth and to do something to make a difference in education. Using the data science skills learned, DREAM aspires to use their knowledge to engage with the community.

“The next phase of DREAM is when DREAM students will actually do something to help society. One project I am working on is with disadvantaged students in the Twin Cities area, and in high schools for those who believe they can’t do math and science,” Bukralia said. “We want to engage DREAM, in helping those students who don’t believe they can do computer programming and to inspire them.”

Header photo: Students from MSU who attended Colloquium on Analytics, Data Science, and Computing were able to workshop and collaborate with peers and professionals in the data science field. (Photo Courtesy of Rajeev Bukralia)

Write to Julia Barton at

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