W&L Computer Science Blog

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W&L Faculty to Present Collaborative Project at LAWDI Institute

Rebecca Benefiel, associate professor of classics at Washington and Lee University, and Sara Sprenkle, assistant professor of computer science at W&L, will present their prototype of a new web application involving the ancient graffiti of Pompeii at the Linked Ancient World Data Institute (LAWDI) later this month

W&L Faculty to Present Collaborative Project at LAWDI Institute


Graduates, Scholarships, Awards, and Prizes 2013

Lee Davis, Alicia Bargar and Shannon McGovern
Lee Davis, Alicia Bargar and Shannon McGovern

Congratulations to all our computer science majors and minors for their outstanding work and efforts this academic year.



Alicia M. Bargar

Lee A. Davis

Paul Nguyen

Shannon L. McGovern

Phillip A. Lisovicz


Amy E. Clayton

Orrin H. Ingram

Ian L. Lenora

Scholarships, Awards, and Prizes

Computer Science major, Alicia M. Bargar ’13, was awarded the 2013 Computer Science Departmental Award. This prize is given annually to a Computer Science major who demonstrates academic excellence.   Alicia also graduated cum laude.

Computer Science major, Oliver Mahame ’14, was awarded The James McDowell Scholarship. The James McDowell Scholarship endowed by Mrs. Mary B. Ross in memory of her father, James McDowell, former Governor of Virginia, is conferred upon an undergraduate. The award is based on the student’s record during the previous two years here at W&L.

Richard J. Marmorstein ’14, Economics, and Computer Science major was awarded The Edwin Claybrook Griffith Scholarship in Economics. This scholarship is given annually to an economics major who demonstrates academic excellence and leadership in student activities.

Wenda Tu ’14, Computer Science minor won The Williams Prize in Mathematics. The Williams Prize in Mathematics, in honor of Dr. Charles W. Williams (emeritus Professor of Mathematics), is conferred upon the junior mathematics major who has the highest grade-point average in mathematics and who plans to attend graduate school in mathematics.

W&L Robots Rock the Spring Term Fair

Twenty-three students from CSCI 250 presented six different projects at the annual W&L Spring Term Fair in Leyburn Library — so many projects that they were given their own floor of the library for the demos!  W&L innovations included using Python to fly an AR.Drone via Kinect hand gestures and to navigate a Neato XV-11 LIDAR robot around an obstacle, as well as the cool projects depicted below (Steve Goryl photo credits).

ImageDeirdre  and Haley used a Raspberry Pi to add sonar capability to their Brookstone Rover ‘bot.

ImageSam, Drew, Jok, and Darren built and programmed a robotic arm.

ImageMichael, Stephen, and Hank built an R/C plane with remote pan-tilt camera and laptop controller.

ImageLee, James, and Colin programmed an AR.Drone to follow a moving ground vehicle.

Computer Science senior recognized as January General of the Month

Shannon McGovern ’13 was recognized as January General of the Month: “Generals of the Month is coordinated by the Celebrating Student Success (CSS) initiative and sponsored by the Division of Student Affairs to inspire engaged citizenship at Washington and Lee University.  CSS seeks to recognize students who are not typically or sufficiently touted for the depth and breadth they add to our campus community.”

Check out the details here:

W&L Seniors Shannon McGovern, Keaton Fletcher Are January Generals of the Month

Congratulations, Shannon!

W&L CS students compete at Longwood Programming Contest

Nine W&L students competed in the annual Longwood University Programming Contest, with one of our teams (the “Direct Executioners”) placing second out of the twelve teams who competed. Students spent six grueling hours solving tricky programming problems, fueled by doughnuts, soft drinks, and team spirit. Congratulations to Onye Ekenta and Paul Jang ’15 for defeating so many tough competitors!

Left: Suraj, Anton, and Connor in full hacker mode.

Right: Garrett, Alex, and Richard set a new CS fashion standard while working on a coding problem.

Adam Overholtzer ’04 Wins AI Award

W&L Computer Science alum Adam Overholtzer ’04 has won a Shakey Award, the “Oscar of Artificial Intelligence Documentaries”. Congratulations, Adam!

CSCI Outreach: Middle-School Students Explore Robots, iPhone Apps

On Wednesday 23 May 2012, Lexington middle-school students supervised by Gifted Education Coordinator Kevin Kendall (pictured above, at right) joined Prof. Simon Levy (above, at left) for an afternoon of building iPhone / iPod Touch apps and learning about wirelessly-controlled robots and related issues. (Steve Goryl photo.)

Computer Science spring-term course is #5 in the “Top 10 Wildest”

The Ring Tum Phi has picked CSCI 251: iPhone Application Programming as #5 in its list of Top Ten Wildest Spring-Term Courses.  We landed halfway between Music 101: Physics & Perception of Music (#10) and Chemistry 155: Science of Cooking: Italy (#1, an obvious choice).

CS Teams Impressive at Longwood Programming Contest

Organized by Richard Marmorstein ’14, two teams of W&L computer science students competed at Longwood University’s programming contest on Oct. 22 in Farmville, VA.  Despite limited practice the teams placed 2nd and 4th out of 16 teams.  The competition included teams from Longwood, Lynchburg, William and Mary, Randolph-Macon, Bridgewater, and others.  The 4th place team, ‘Syntax Errors to the Thrown Exception,’ consisted of Richard, Alex Baca ’14, and Suraj Bajracharya ’14, while the 2nd place team, ‘Direct Executioners,’ had Lee Davis ’13, Garrett Koller ’14, and Anton Reed ’14. Their nominal coach Dr. Stough attended with the teams and helped judge the competition.

The teams are now preparing to take their talents to Shippensburg, PA and the 2011 ACM Regional Programming Competition, with an opportunity to compete in the Nationals at stake. Go Syntax Errors and Direct Executioners!