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Computer science professor wins IMPACT Award

news-portrait-sherif-rashad.webpDr. Sherif Rashad, professor of computer science, was a winner at the Kentucky Commercialization Ventures (KCV) Innovative Mobile, Public Health, And Community-Oriented Technologies (IMPACT) Competition. The KCV IMPACT award aims to help move innovative ideas towards commercialization while highlighting the value of innovators from across Kentucky creating solutions relevant to Kentucky's problems. 

Rashad received a $10,000 award from KCV to support his idea of designing and implementing an Innovative system for real-time translation of American Sign Language (ASL) using machine learning. The proposed system introduces an innovative method to solve the problem of automatic real-time conversion from ASL to English using a motion controller and machine learning algorithms to capture and analyze hand movements in real-time. The algorithm then converts the interpreted signs into spoken words. The method would not require the user to wear a sensor of any kind and does not require any physical contact with the system for user input. This system will be able to work adaptively to learn new signs to expand its dictionary and allow higher accuracy on an individual level. Possible applications include healthcare, education, gamification, communication and more.  

"I am honored to receive this award from KCV to assist in developing this idea and moving it toward commercialization. I highly appreciate all the support that I had from the KCV team and the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs at Morehead State University to apply for this award. Millions of people globally use some form of sign language in their everyday lives, and we seek to build a system that is easy to use, intuitive to understand, adaptable to the individual, and usable in everyday life. This project provides also an excellent opportunity for students in the Computer Science program to work as undergraduate research fellows and participate in high-impact activities," Rashad said.  

To learn more about the project, contact Rashad at or 606-783-9179.  

For more information about MSU's computer science program, email or call 606-783-2090.  

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