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    When Anderson Valencia transfers to City College in the spring, he will have not only significant research experience under his belt, but an achievement award from NASA and the New York City Research Initiative (NYCRI) as well.

    This year Anderson spent two months of his summer working full-time on a research project developed by his mentor Professor Yasser Hassebo of the Mathematics, Engineering and Computer Science Department at LaGuardia.

    During the project, entitled “Earth Surface Temperature Analysis: Satellite Remote Sensing and Consideration,” LaGuardia students developed algorithms in order to organize, correct and analyze more than 181 million real data points of Earth surface temperature from satellites around the world.

    “This research puts the student in direct contact with how to understand and solve global disasters. What we have been doing is directly related to climate change on the earth and these unusual hurricanes that we have had. So the student comes in direct contact with these issues, and maybe in the future he becomes a scientist developing a solution,” says Professor Hassebo.

    Anderson moved to the U.S. from Colombia at the age of 16 and after high school, served in the Navy for four years. After starting at LaGuardia in 2009, he was deployed to Iraq where he stayed until 2010 year. Only a few months after returning, Anderson jumped right back into his studies, and while he’s graduating soon, his time at LaGuardia isn’t over.

    “When we were working on this research, I read a couple of journals that Professor Hassebo published. He knows a lot about the topic. It was through this research that I became interested in Environmental Science,” says Anderson. While pursuing his bachelors at City College, Anderson will also be finishing a second Associate degree at LaGuardia in Environmental Science.

    While it’s clear how a mentor relationship benefits the student in and outside of the classroom, Professor Hassebo stresses that Anderson’s success adds something to his own academic experience. “The most interesting moment for me is when I witness a successful moment for my students. When I see them earning awards, improving their skills and thinking about applying to senior colleges, this is a good moment for me emotionally,” he says.
     

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