MSU grad student receives $50,000 to advance skeletal research


Contact: Sam Kealhofer

STARKVILLE, Mississippi—Eric Anderson of Mississippi State is receiving a $50,000 grant from the SMART Business Accelerator Initiative to continue developing a mobile app for his wearable osteometric device, a new tool created to ensure efficient analysis and measurement of human skeletal remains.

Eric Anderson (Submitted Photo)
Sierra Malis
Sierra Malis (Submitted Photo)

The SMART Business Accelerate Initiative is an extension of the Strengthening Mississippi Academic Research Through (SMART) business law, which was passed by the Mississippi Legislature in 2013 to encourage Mississippi businesses to engage with public universities to conduct research .

Anderson and Sierra Malis, both graduate students in MSU’s Department of Anthropology and Middle Eastern Cultures, were featured in the June issue of the National Association for the Practice of Anthropology newsletter, the NAPA Ratings, for Anderson’s POD. Featuring a compact design and laser sensors to measure bone length, the device is faster, more reliable and more accurate than current technology. Anderson collaborated with Malis to form a new company, Advanced Research Collection Technologies LLC, or ARC Tech, to continue improving the POD and disseminating it to the anthropological community.

“My goal is to offer POD as a new tool that will make research goals faster and more reliable than ever before,” Anderson said.

The ARC Tech app is user-friendly and customizable, allowing users to meet their specific search parameters in both online and offline settings. It uses Bluetooth technology to automatically transfer measurements to the app, dramatically reducing data entry time and transcription errors. Users can download data to an Excel spreadsheet to enable quick transfer of data into their database.

ARC Tech is expected to deploy the POD and its associated application by the end of this year.

“Our goal with ARC Technologies is to produce affordable and reliable equipment for researchers,” Malis said. “We’re excited about what’s to come.”

Hsain Ilahiane, professor and head of the Department of Anthropology and Middle Eastern Cultures at MSU, said the students “embodied the spirit of innovation, openness, application and transformation of knowledge that the department cultivates in its student body”.

Part of the College of Arts and Sciences, MSU’s Department of Anthropology and Middle Eastern Cultures is online at

MSU is the main university in Mississippi, available online at


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