W&L Computer Science Blog

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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.

CSCI335 Students Demo Their Web Applications at Spring Term Fair

Thirteen students in CSCI335: Software Engineering through Web Applications demonstrated their three team projects at the Spring Fest.  In teams of four or five, the students gathered requirements for their project, created a static prototype, and developed a dynamic, user-friendly prototype–all in four weeks.

CSCI335 Students
CSCI335 students present their applications on their laptops to students and faculty.

Each student worked on one of three projects:

  • The Collegium Project – a digital humanities project in collaboration with Professor Sarah Bond, a history professor at Marquette University and a former Mellon Fellow at W&L.
  • Corsola – a tool for visualizing course schedules and conflicts.  W&L students may be able to use a version of Corsola as early as this fall.
  • The Ancient Graffiti Search Engine Project – a digital humanities project in collaboration with classics professor Rebecca Benefiel
Paul Jang '15 demonstrates the Ancient Graffiti project to Professor Janelle Gertz
Paul Jang ’15 demonstrates the Ancient Graffiti project to Professor Janelle Gertz
Olivier Mahame '14 (l) and Cathy Wang '15 (r) demonstrate the Collegium project to Chief Technology Officer David Saake.
Olivier Mahame ’14 (l) and Cathy Wang ’15 (r) demonstrate the Collegium project to Chief Technology Officer David Saake on the big screen.

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.

W&L at Grace Hopper: Are We There Yet?

Six students and one faculty member represented Washington and Lee at this year’s Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing in Baltimore, MD.   The student-focused conference features both technical and professional development sessions.

Haley, Sam, Cory, and Deirdre at the entryway for the conference

Alicia Bargar ’13, Samantha O’Dell ’15, and Cory Walker ’15 were awarded ultra-competitive scholarships to attend.  Having three scholarship winners from W&L–out of 300 scholarships awarded and many, many more applicants–is quite impressive!  Haley Archer-McClellan ’15, Deirdre Tobin ’15, and Wenda Tu ’14 were generously supported by the Provost’s Office.

All students agreed the conference was an inspiring and motivating experience and the career fair opened their eyes to a lot of opportunities.

Some highlights:

  • Cory won a Ninja Coder t-shirt from Amazon for programming the Fibonacci sequence in Python
  • Wenda met an executive from GE and had an enlightening conversation that covered some diverse topics, including material for Wenda’s Feminist Social and Political Philosophy course.
Haley, Alicia, and Deirdre at the Inner Harbor. The RockIT Science and Systers 25th Anniversary Celebration was held at the Maryland Science Center.

Professor Sprenkle attended the conference as a representative of the GHC Academic Advisory Board, helped lead the Faculty Speed Networking session, helped organize the Faculty Lightning Talks, and served as a judge of the undergraduate student research competition.

The theme of this year’s conference was “Are We There Yet?”  While the answer seems to clearly be “no”, W&L is definitely making strides in the right direction.

Class of 2012

Most of our class of 2012 (from left to right): Camille Cobb, David Margolies, Charles Gould, Joey Brown, Anna Pobletts, and Mike White.

We are quite proud of the class of 2012 graduates from computer science!

A picture of the class of 2012 on graduation day. Back, left to right: Andrew Bennett, Joey Brown, David Margolies, Charles Gould, Mike White Front (left to right): Camille Cobb, Anna Pobletts
A picture of the class of 2012 on graduation day.
Back, left to right: Andrew Bennett, Joey Brown, David Margolies, Charles Gould, Mike White
Front (left to right): Camille Cobb, Anna Pobletts

W&L Computer Science Featured on WVTF

Sandy Hausman from WVTF reported a story about women in computer science at Washington and Lee.  The story features Professor Sara Sprenkle and students Camille Cobb ’12 and Cory Walker ’15.

CS Major Lee Davis Represents TN in MockCon Parade

Lee Davis '13 (yellow hat) waves from Tennessee's float in the MockCon parade. Photo courtesy of Kevin Remington.

W&L Women in Computer Science Continue to Buck National Trend

Link to the W&L news article

Spring-Term CSCI ‘bots invade Leyburn Library

This year’s W&L Spring-Term Festival took place in Leyburn Library, and the Computer Science Department was there in force: the twelve students enrolled in CSCI 250: Introduction to Robotics demonstrated robots that flew over obstacles, followed their creators around like a pet, played a game of Tron, and obeyed commands issued from an XBox Kinect sensor.  There was even some cross-project interference, as the Kinect-driven bot tried to steal the Rovipet’s beloved green ball.

CSCI 250 also featured a field trip to the Areva Nuclear Power facility in Lynchburg, where we got to see some bigger robots in action.