“I am honored to have mentored these three students. I encourage all PCCC students who are interested to come to the Beacon Conference club and prepare to participate in a future Conference."
July 12, 2019

Three PCCC Students Selected to Present in the 2019 Beacon Conference

Maximino DiGiacomo-Castillo Receives First Place Award

For the second consecutive year, Maximino DiGiacomo-Castillo received a top award for his research paper and presentation at the Beacon Conference, an annual competition highlighting the academic achievements of outstanding Honors Program students at community colleges in the Mid-Atlantic region.

Maximino and fellow PCCC students, Noelle Millner and Maximilian Mrozek-McCourt were among 51 students selected from applicants across the region to present their original research at this year’s conference, held June 2 at Lehigh Carbon Community College in Pennsylvania. 

A Computer and Information Sciences major, Maximino received the Most Outstanding Research Paper Award in the category of Mathematics, Engineering, and Computer Science.  The topic of Max’s paper was “Cryptocurrencies: Research Perspectives and Implementation Techniques.” 

A second-year student at PCCC, Maximino took the top award last year in his first presentation at the Beacon Conference on the topic of blockchains. (Read more).  He is also the current president of the Beacon Conference Club at PCCC, which was formed to support students who want to participate in the Conference. This summer, Max is at Stanford University on an internship to research consensus protocols for blockchains.

Noelle Millner received a certificate of participation for her presentation in the Environmental Studies category on the topic, “The Greenhouse Effect and Earth’s Environment.” Noelle received her Associate in Science degree in Biology with highest honors in PCCC’s 47th Commencement last May. 

Maximillian Mrozek-McCourt was selected to present his paper entitled “Spectroscopic Analysis for Understanding Galaxy-Black Hole Coevolution,” in the General Science category.
Unfortunately, he could not attend the Beacon Conference, due to a scheduling conflict with his summer research internship. A physical science major, Maximillian is now a research intern at the University of North Texas studying a chemical compound to make computer transistors smaller and more efficient.

“The research papers submitted by the PCCC students were among the top three submissions within their individual categories,” said Marc Yeung, a math professor and advisor to the Beacon Conference Club. 

To participate in the Beacon Conference, students must submit a mentored research paper. A panel of judges, mostly professors of four-year colleges, selects three finalists from each subject category for a conference presentation. Selection is based on quality of research and originality. The finalists are judged on both the research paper and an oral presentation of 10 to 20 minutes.

“This year the Beacon Conference had 15 different categories and a total of 17 different panels,” said Professor Yeung. “A total of 51 students presented their research paper and 15 students presented in the poster session.”

Professor Yeung mentored all three of this year’s PCCC participants and was mentor last year to Maximino.

“I am honored to have mentored these three students,” said Professor Yeung. “I encourage all PCCC students who are interested to come to the Beacon Conference club and prepare to participate in a future Conference. It is an amazing experience.”  Contact Professor Yeung at [email protected]

Written by Linda Telesco
Photos courtesy of Professor Marc Yeung