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Impact Award, Fall 2018

Matt W. Davis

An Arizona State University Experience Day during his senior year of high school led Matt W. Davis to attend ASU. His experience on the student-led tours and meeting ASU faculty led him to make it his mission to give back in similar ways as an ASU student.

A scholar in Barrett, The Honors College, Davis gave tours of the ASU honors college and helped recruit prospective students as part of the Honors Devils organization.

During his sophomore and junior years, Davis was a community assistant in the Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering where he mentored many first-year engineering students on campus and directly assisted more than 50 first-year students in a residence hall.

He was recognized with the “Sparky’s Choice” award, which is given to a leader on the residential community staff who always helps others, even without being asked.

“I believe that what goes around comes around,” Davis says, “so I hope that some of those students who I gave tours to and mentored as a community assistant will go on to have similar stories to mine in the future.”

Davis conducted research during his senior year as part of the Fulton Undergraduate Research Initiative. He worked on a real-time software application using machine learning techniques to detect Twitter bots that appear after disasters. His goals were to prevent the spread of fake news and malicious content, make existing disaster relief systems more precise and improve other disaster relief efforts on social media.

Davis says conducting research in a computer science lab as part of FURI and his undergraduate honors thesis was the most rewarding part of his undergraduate studies.

“I was able to apply what I learned in multiple classes directly to my project and learned from my research as well,” says Davis, a New American University Scholar and Barrett Scholar.

After graduation, Davis will complete a master’s degree in computer science as part of the 4+1 accelerated master’s program here at ASU.

When he’s not giving ASU tours, mentoring students, conducting research, or working toward a certificate in Applied Business Data Analytics, Davis enjoys playing ice hockey — a sport he has played since he was five years old. He played on the DII ACHA team his freshman year.

“Hockey has always been something I am extremely passionate about,” Davis says. “I will continue to support ASU’s hockey program even after graduation as our team grows in the future.”

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