W&J senior earns runner-up at regional Computer Science conference

Created: January 4, 2018
Last Updated: January 14, 2020

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WASHINGTON, PA (Jan. 4, 2018)—What if you could catalog the content you see on social media based on the post’s sentiment? What if you could choose to highlight positive tweets, or weed out the negative or promotional content and curate your feed to see what’s most important to you?

Those are the questions Washington & Jefferson College (W&J) computing and information studies major Ravneet Singh ’18 asked himself while taking on his project, “Opinions Matter: Sentiment Analysis of Tweets.” He examined the language in the short social media posts and categorized them as “positive,” “negative,” “neutral,” or “promotion.”

“I decided to work on this project because I’m interested in exploring what aspects of language we deem important in identifying sentiment of tweets. Considering parts of speech or knowing whether a word is typically positive, negative, or neutral are some possible ways we communicate sentiment in language,” he said.

The technology could be highly useful for companies that are looking to understand their consumer base, Ravneet said.

“Companies can easily use this kind of technology to get a sense of how well their product is doing. For example, ‘Is Apple’s new product being received well?’” he said.

Ravneet took his work to the Consortium of Computing Science in Colleges annual Eastern Region Conference for a poster presentation, where he was the runner-up for the student poster award.

“Getting runner-up felt great. There were a lot of amazing projects being presented, and I feel really accomplished to have received this award,” Ravneet said. “The experience overall was fun as I was able to talk about my work to professors from other colleges and get feedback from them. Also, I was able to hear about the work of other students at the conference.”

Later in the weekend, he went on to compete in a programming competition with fellow students Shulai Yang ’18 and Dominic Scalies ’19, with the team coming in 4th place.

“I feel this experience and my W&J graduation have prepared me well for the future, especially since I am pursuing graduate school and this is the kind of work I would like to continue doing,” Ravneet said.

About Washington & Jefferson College

Washington & Jefferson College, located in Washington, Pa., is a selective liberal arts college founded in 1781. Committed to providing each of its students with the highest-quality undergraduate education available, W&J offers a traditional arts and sciences curriculum emphasizing interdisciplinary study and independent study work. For more information about W&J, visit www.washjeff.edu, or call 888-W-AND-JAY.

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