Grad Student Spotlight: Jerome Mitchell


By Bill Daehler
Summer 2012

You could say that Jerome Mitchell has been an involved and contributing member of CReSIS for most of its seven-year history—and most of his academic career.

Jerome Mitchell

Mitchell is a CReSIS graduate research assistant who has attended three CReSIS partner institutions—the University of Kansas, Indiana University and Elizabeth City State University—throughout his academic career, and he looks forward to continuing work with CReSIS after completing his Ph.D.

“Polar science interests me from the standpoint of being able to collect data in remote parts of the world,” Mitchell said. He said the idea of sea level rise affecting him from his hometown—Chesapeake, Virginia— on the Atlantic coast attracted him to CReSIS and polar science research.

Mitchell earned a bachelor’s degree in Computer Science from Elizabeth City State University, a master’s degree from the University of Kansas and is currently a Ph.D. candidate at the University of Indiana. He’s pursuing his doctorate in Computer Science, specializing in high performance computing. He is also a graduate research assistant at IU’s Pervasive Technology Institute.

In addition to research, Mitchell has also contributed to CReSIS’ education mission. For instance, last summer he hosted a cloud computing workshop at his alma mater, ECSU. The workshop aimed to educate students who don’t have regular opportunities to learn about developments in computing technology. The workshop was intended to reach as many students as possible, though it sought to educate minority students specifically. Mitchell discussed cloud computing with faculty and graduate students from the Association of Computer/Information Sciences and Engineering Departments at Minority Institutions (ADMI) in the one-week workshop.

He has also conducted field research through CReSIS, beginning with his first trip to the West Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS) in 2005-2006 as a student at ECSU. Since then, Mitchell has made a number of other research contributions including, most recently, co-authoring a paper that will be presented at this year’s International Geoscience and Remote Sensing Symposium (IGARSS) in Munich, Germany. The paper entitled “Charles Creek Flood Zone Modeling: A Correlation Study of Environmental Conditions Versus Water Level in the Pasquotank Watershed” was authored with researchers from ECSU, Spelman College and Mississippi Valley State University.

“I am parallelizing time consuming portions of the CReSIS toolbox using graphical processing units, and I have been automating near surface layers using computer vision algorithms,” said Mitchell of his current research.

After receiving his doctorate, Mitchell says he will continue working towards understanding ice sheet behavior and how processing/collecting data can be improved. He also said he hopes to continue “to be involved with the missions of CReSIS.”

When he’s not working, Mitchell enjoys watching movies and discussing politics.

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