Student Spotlight: Canon Sbravati

Student Spotlight: Canon Sbravati

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Headshot of Canon Sbravati

A passion for creating brought Canon Sbravati to Mississippi State University and the Social Science Research Center.

The native of Cleveland, Mississippi, is a junior computer science major interested in programming—building the blocks that create websites, applications, or processes.

“My parents always say that even as a small kid, I would build forts and things out of our empty delivery boxes, so I guess I’ve always been creating,” Sbravati said.

Last year, Sbravati sought opportunities to connect what he was learning in the classroom to real-time experience. That’s when he found a listing for an undergraduate student position with the SSRC under Sujan Anreddy, an assistant research professor specializing in visual data analytics. With Anreddy, Sbravati has been immersed in the world of programming for websites and applications the public uses.

“It was a lot of fun to work on TRAPS and actually see the results of upgrading it because when I first started on the maps, it would hardly load or operate very slowly. But after I got to work on it, it was loading instantaneously,” he said.

TRAPS, or Tobacco Reporting And Progress System, shares data collected for the Mississippi Office of Tobacco Control through interactive maps and displays. Users can filter the data in multiple ways, such as sorting through the number of high school students who use tobacco and what types. This mechanism is critical to compelling programming, education, and strategic planning to provide intervention and influence policies.

Sbravati assists Anreddy on additional projects, such as registration portals and interfaces for the Mississippi Alcohol Safety Education Program’s online section.  

“The biggest challenge has been in learning a new programming language or frameworks for these applications with which I was unfamiliar. You really have to get into a rhythm when you are working on a project so that you can really make progress,” he said.

Anreddy says Sbravati has taken initiative in projects and become a valuable part of the team.

“Canon is a brilliant student with a great enthusiasm for learning new skills and a strong work ethic. I look forward to learning, implementing, and integrating cutting-edge functionality into SSRC's technology products that benefit Mississippi's public health and safety efforts," Andreddy said.

Outside of the SSRC, Sbravati tinkers with building and creating in other ways. He’s recently delved into building video games and computers, which may be where his future will take him.

“I’m interested in game or software development, or there are some other fields I’m open to. I’m sure there will be many career paths in the future, but I’m not dead set on anything yet,” Sbravati said.

Like the many programming languages that can lead to similar results, Sbravati is open to following his own path as he continues honing his SSRC skills.

“The learning experience and knowledge I’ve gained, along with the experience of working with this team, have all been extremely invaluable,” he said.