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Student Research

Sprenkle and Simko’s Research Paper Wins Award

Professor Sprenkle and Lucy Simko ’11‘s paper at the International Conference on Software Testing, Verification and Validation (ICST) won the Best Research Paper Award. ICST is a prestigious conference in software testing (21% acceptance rate) with over 300 attendees. The paper entitled “A Study of Usage-Based Navigation Models and Generated Abstract Test Cases for Web Applications” was done in collaboration with Dr. Lori Pollock of the University of Delaware. The paper was selected out of 35 accepted papers.

the best research paper award
The Best Research Paper Award. It's tricky to get a good picture of it because of how reflective it is.
Professor Sprenkle presenting at the ICST conference


Students Present Research at SSA

Several computer science students participated in W&L’s student conference SSA: Science, Society, and the Arts.

At the second poster session of the day, David Margolies ’12 presented his work with Professor Levy in an independent study he did in the fall. The poster’s title was “Robot Vision and Object Tracking”.

David is in the top right of the picture, in a dark coat and blue tie.

Also in that session, Lucy Simko ’11 and Anna Pobletts ’12 presented their poster on their automated web application testing research with Professor Sprenkle called “An analysis of the relationship between parameter characteristics and data model factors to automatically create effective test suites for web applications”. Whew! What a title!

In the picture below, Anna (teal) and Lucy (to the right) explain their project to curious minds.

Will Richardson ’11 and Chen Zhong ’12 presented their summer research project that was advised by Professor Stough: “Visual Object Class Recognition”.

At the afternoon poster session, Camille Cobb ’12 presented her research poster on “Toward a User-Session-Dependency Model for Automatically Testing Web Applications” that she is working on with Professor Sprenkle. Camille will be presenting a similar poster at the Richard Tapia Celebration of Diversity in Computing at the beginning of April.



Summer Research At WLU: Is There a Person in that Image?

Will Richardson ’11 and Chen Zhong ’12 are working with Dr. Joshua Stough this summer on object recognition in natural images, a popular research front at the intersection of computer vision and machine learning. The goal is to take a digital image, for example from the popular flickr.com website, and to accurately assess whether that image contains at least one instance of a person, airplane, dog, table, chair, and so on among 20 different object classes. The three will submit their results at the end of the summer to a workshop competition associated with the European Conference on Computer Vision.  See the PASCAL competition website for more information.



Rising Senior Simko Working on Research at Tufts University

Lucy Simko ’11 is spending this summer at Tufts University, working with Dr. Carla Brodley and two teammates on a research project through the Distributed Research Experiences for Undergraduates program.   The DREU program aims its programs at underrepresented groups in computing and engineering.

A week into her research, Lucy reports: “We’re developing a web crawler to essentially put together [the DREU program’s] mailing list for next year.  This may sound trivial, but it actually touches upon a lot of open questions, such as how to find websites of only computer scientists without going through the entire web, or what words are most likely to tell us that a website belongs to a certain demographic (such as student, female, and/or minority). We’re also interested in the machine learning aspect of the problem: that is, since the machine must be taught how to classify websites based on some training set, what should the training set include, and how should it be acquired”

Good luck, Lucy!



Research Project Funded by CREU Program

Professor Sara Sprenkle and students Camille Cobb, Anna Pobletts, and Lucy Simko’s proposal of a research project focused on automating testing of web applications was accepted as a sponsored Collaborative Research Experiences for Undergraduates (CREU) project for the 2010-2011 academic year. CREU provides stipends for the students’ work and additional funding for travel.

Stay tuned for updates on the new CREU crew’s progress!



Applications Open for CRA-W’s DREU Program

The objective of the Distributed Research Experiences for Undergraduates (DREU) program is to increase the number of women and students from underrepresented groups entering graduate studies in the fields of computer science and engineering. This highly selective program matches promising undergraduate women and undergraduate men from groups underrepresented in computing with a faculty mentor for a summer research experience at the faculty member’s home institution. Students are directly involved in a research project and interact with graduate students and professors on a daily basis. This experience is invaluable for students who are considering graduate school, providing them with a close-up view of what graduate school is really like and also increasing their competitiveness as an applicant for graduate admissions and fellowships.

Applications are due February 15, 2010.



Camille Cobb in Computing Research News

Camille Cobb ’12 is in the November edition of Computing Research News.  Check out her picture on the back page of her presenting her research poster with co-author Katie Baldwin from the University of Delaware at the Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing.



Camille Cobb ’12 Presents Research at Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing

Camille Cobb '12 (right) with co-author Katie Baldwin
Camille Cobb '12 (right) with co-author Katie Baldwin

Camille Cobb ’12 presented a research poster at the Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing.  The poster entitled “Exploring Data Models for Automatically Generating Tests for Web Applications” is co-authored with Carrie Hopkins ’12 and Professor Sara Sprenkle as well as Katie Baldwin ’10 and Professor Lori Pollock from the University of Delaware.

Many people came to talk to Camille and Katie about their poster, including alumna Anne Van Devender ’09 and the CTO of Amazon Werner Vogels, who especially encouraged them to continue their research.

W&L News Story



CS Students Present at Summer Research Showcase

Three computer science students presented at the Summer Research Showcase held in Leyburn Library on Monday, October 5.

Will Richardson ’11 presented his work “NuclearEd: A Powerful Resource for Educators.”  Will collaborated on the project with Chemistry professor Frank Settle and Computer Science professor Tom Whaley.

Camille Cobb ’12 and Carrie Hopkins ’12 presented their work on “Exploring Data Models for Automatically Generating Tests for Web Applications.”  Camille and Carrie collaborated with Computer Science professor Sara Sprenkle as well as Katie Baldwin ’10 and Professor Lori Pollock from the University of Delaware.

Click on the thumbnails above to view larger images.



Honor’s Thesis Abstract — Pasko Paskov

A Parallel Algorithm for Derivation of Regression Coefficients on the Graphics Processing Unit

Pasko Shterev Paskov

Regression analysis is one of the most common methods of statistical inference, finding its roots into scientific research from all areas for more than two centuries. It is used widely due to its intuitive way to establish a relationship between observations of different variables, and therefore provide empirical proof for a hypothetical connection, or dependence, between them.  Regression is an invaluable tool for both research and commerce alike, and has understandably received much attention from software companies in the past two decades, as they realized the immense potential of computers to improve and facilitate the use of the method. Although the contribution of such software to the use of regression should not be understated, the massive amounts of information that have become available with the rise of the digital age has made it increasingly more time consuming, and at instances near impossible, for machines to derive the estimated coefficients of regression. This is a very computationally intensive problem, and improving the efficiency of the algorithm is crucial to time-sensitive applications of regression. The series of graphics cards introduced in the past two years has found wide recognition as providing an accessible alternative to parallel computer clusters for many applications. The architecture and parallel capabilities of the GPU entail a great potential for an improvement of regression analysis calculations. This thesis introduces a new parallel regression algorithm in CUDA for use on the GPU, and demonstrates that this algorithm is between four times faster for smaller datasets and six hundred times faster for larger, depending also on the GPU architecture.




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