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PLM Electronics Engineering students Justine Clare T. Badajos, King Matthew P. Ochoa, and Rex Albert P. Tejadilla presented a paper at the 11th International Conference on Humanoid, Nanotechnology, Information Technology, Communication and Control, Environment, and Management (HNICEM) held at Fort Ilocandia, Laoag City.

The students wrote and presented the paper “Reduction of Audio Noise with Lowpass Chebyshev Type II Filter Simulated using GNU Octave”, which started as a case study for a course subject under Engr. Reynaldo Ted Peñ as II.

Badajos explained that "All signals, including voice, have alloted frequency range. When the signals fall short or exceed that frequency, they are automatically considered as noise." 

Simply put, the study sought to specify the best filter specifications that would yield the least noise by comparing one-word recordings. Their findings show that filter that get the "wide pass" or width of the signals produce the best quality because it retains most of the details.

The research also showed that the filter has commercial value. It can be used for improved processing of not only audio signals but also electromyogram (EMG) and electrocardiogram (ECG) signals.

The comparative study took one year to finish. Their professor, Engr. Peñ as, then submitted the paper to several conference organizers in June 2019. The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), an international association of electronic engineering and electrical engineering professionals, informed the group that the paper was qualified for presentation at the 11th International Conference on Humanoid, Nanotechnology, Information Technology, Communication and Control, Environment, and Management to be held in Laoag City, Ilocos Norte. 

PLM paid the students' conference participation costs which amount to P75,000.

"Shoulder-to-shoulder with professionals"

Badajos recalled how she felt days prior to the conference. "I was excited to go there because I've always been fond of researches since high school. To be at the IEEE, an international conference to boot, is an honor and source of joy. The other presenters at the conference were professionals who have masteral or doctorate degrees. I felt small because I thought that they knew better than us. Even if we were just undergraduate students, the conference organizers saw the potential in our paper," she shared in Filipino.

"But I realized after the sessions, there was I reason why we were there. May reason bakit nakapasa ang paper namin. Nakataaas ng self-esteem. We saw the presentation of students from private universities like Mapua and De La Salle University, which have way more resources that PLM does. Pero kahit na ganun, nagagawa naming makasabay," added Badajos.

Ochoa admitted that having the paper accepted by and presented to an international body of professionals is a huge boost to his experience and resume. "We attended different sessions. We interacted with high-ranking corporate officials and professionals. The experience gave me an idea what I would want to do as a professional.

Ochoa said he hopes the experience will encourage fellow PLM students to conduct researches and represent their alma mater. "If others can do that, so can we. I hope students would do the same and more professors will encourage students to conduct research. PLM students are resourceful. Our experiences have made us to think differently, so it's likely that we can come up with new approaches to things which the world would be interested to know," he said.

Inspired by the experience, the students are eager to complete and publish their respective theses, so they can participate in another conference.