While at W&L, Cory Walker majored in computer science and minored in music. After graduation, Cory attended JMU and received her master’s in computer science and digital forensics. She is currently working with the government in the field of Cyber Security. Click on the link below to learn more about Cory’s exciting endeavors!
The Women’s Golf Coaches Association (WGCA) announced its 2017 Division III Awards in Houston, Texas earlier this month. Washington and Lee junior Liza Freed (Alexandria, Va. / St. Stephen’s & St. Agnes) was among those honored. Click on the link to read more about her achievements:
Alexus McGriff ’18, Karishma Patel ’18, and Professor Sara Sprenkle attended the 2016 Grace Hopper Women in Computing Conference, in Houston, Texas, October 18-22. The primary focus of the Conference was technical and professional development with a highlight being that Alexus was awarded a scholarship to attend. The conference has grown over the years to about 15,000 attendees–this one being the biggest GHC conference yet. This was Prof. Sprenkle’s 9th Hopper Conference and she attended, in part, as Co-Chair of the Faculty Track. Her first one, in Vancouver, had about 600 attendees. With GHC expanding to 15,000–it’s a completely different experience now!
Alexus provided a wonderful observation about the conference: “In short, I feel that it was a great opportunity to be put into contact with a lot of powerful women, and not solely for networking reasons, but to simply be inspired by them. It was such an amazing feeling to be able see a great woman in computing every where I turned for four straight days. It was my first GHC, and I totally plan to go again next year!”
Johanna Goergen ’16 will defend her Thesis on Friday, April 8th at 4pm in the CSCI Department.
“Leveraging Parameter and Resource Naming Conventions to Improve Test Suite Adherence to Persistent State Conditions”
A web application is a software application whose functionality can be accessed by users over the Internet via web browsers. As web applications take on vital and sensitive responsibilities, it is critical that web applications are well-tested and maintained before they are deployed to the public and with every subsequent update or change. A common approach to automating web application testing is test suite generation based on user sessions. Although these approaches to automated testing are promising,
they leave room for improvement in effectiveness due to their lack of adherence to requirements imposed by data outside of application code, such as data stored in databases. My objective is to contribute an approach to creating more effective web application test suites based on predicting the content of the application’s external data store(s) throughout testing.
The Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing is the world’s largest gathering of women technologists. Earlier this fall, W&L’s Computer Science Department was fortunate to have five senior computer science students attend the GHC in Phoenix, Arizona for the 14th Grace Hopper Celebration (GHC). The W&L attendees starting from the left (Cory Walker, Madeline Forrestel, Gabi Tremo, Sam O’Dell Paul Jang and Alicia Barger ‘13) are all senior computer science majors who presented projects at the poster session on Wednesday night of the conference. This is a record number of attendees from W&L, a trend we hope will continue because the conference is such a valuable experience for attendees.
Madeline received a scholarship from GHC and Paul received a scholarship from his summer research program to attend the program. The other attendees received funding from the Provost’s Office and the Computer Science department.
Of the conference attendees, 483—or approximately 6 percent—were men, including Paul Jang, the first W&L man to attend GHC. While the conference focuses on celebrating the achievements of incredible women in computing, this year the celebration incorporated the first ever male keynote and plenary Male Allies panel.
The students even met up with Alicia Bargar, a 2013 graduate and current graduate student at Georgia Tech.
Here is a story from Cory Walker about her experience at the GHC in October:
One of my favorite talks was the one by Jo Miller, on overcoming office politics. Her talk was so crowded that it was in one of the largest ballrooms, she held two sessions, and we were turned away from the first one because it was overcrowded. She talked about different ways to think of office politics in a positive light and use it to get ahead. She also used a technique called a Shadow Organization map to identify key areas for improvement.
The most interesting person to come by my poster was a man whose brother (now deceased) went to W&L before women were even admitted. He said his brother was against the integration, but then we talked about how much the school has improved since that time. It was interesting hearing this perspective of W&L at a women’s computer science conference in Phoenix, AZ.
It was my third year going to the conference, and as always, I had a wonderful time and got many interviews from the companies there. And of course, I’m very grateful to W&L and our Computer Science Department for helping pay our way.
Attendee Madeline Forrestel had this experience.
“It was truly a privilege having the opportunity to attend the Grace Hopper Celebration this year. I was wonderfully overwhelmed by the number of brilliant women, young and old, who surrounded me. I have never left an event feeling more inspired than I did leaving Phoenix. One of the most outstanding elements of the conference was the career fair. It was truly motivating to see just how many opportunities are out there and how enthusiastic and supportive companies are toward welcoming women into the industry”.
Please contact the computer science department if you would be interested in helping to sponsor future attendance of W&L students at the conference.
W&L Programming teams won 2nd and 6th place out of 20 at the annual Dickinson College Programming Contest on Saturday, April 5. Team “Syntax Error to the Thrown Exception” placed 2nd with seniors Richard Marmorstein ’14 and Alex Baca ’14 and first year Lauren Revere ’17. Team “Justice League” placed 6th with seniors Garrett Koller ’14 and Anton Reed ’14 and junior Samantha O’Dell ’15.
In such competitions, teams try to solve as many of the programming problems as possible in the least amount of time, fueled by pizza, snacks, and caffeine. A solution consists of code that correctly executes for all possible correctly formatted inputs. The contest also included teams from Dickinson, Elizabethtown, Ursinus, Gettysburg, Lebanon Valley, and Messiah Colleges and Penn State – Harrisburg. Team “F.R.O.G” from Messiah College won the competition.
The Programming Club and ACM Student Chapter at Washington and Lee is led by Alex Baca ’14.
It’s the middle of finals week, and everyone is in their own headspace. As a student body, we’re over-caffeinated, we’ve had too little sleep, and I think it’s safe to say we aren’t busy thinking a lot about how beautiful the world around us is (although with the improved weather these past few days, that isn’t as true as it could be). However, all I can think about is this time a year ago. I was so excited to finish my second semester of Real Analysis, and little did I know I was about to get an email that would begin easily the best year of my life so far.
The night after finals ended, I got an email from a research lab offering me a position in their Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) program for the summer. If you don’t know about the REU program, it’s a National Science Foundation-funded program aimed at, as the name implies, making research experience possible for undergraduate students who may be interested in graduate-level research. In particular, the program aims to provide opportunities for students from smaller liberal-arts colleges to experience research at larger research institutions. In my case, this was the Institute for Creative Technologies (ICT), an Army-funded University Affiliated Research Center (UARC) at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles.
A position in the Narrative Group at ICT seemed right up my alley – investigating how people experience, interpret, and narrate the events of their lives. I got to work with Andrew Gordon and Melissa Roemmele, two researchers in the Narrative Group, who are working on modeling behavior interpretation and narrative-generation. The program took about ten undergraduates and ICT also hosted many graduate interns and international research students. Over the ten weeks of the internship, I saw research more intimately than ever before, met some of the most intellectually passionate students I could imagine, and got to experience the bizarre transition from Lexington, Virginia to Los Angeles, California.
For some students who participate in REUs, the experience ends with the summer. However, I was lucky enough that Andrew and Melissa allowed me to help with a conference submission- a short paper describing the findings so far, as well as the methods we used in the first steps of generating narrative based on behavior. As an undergraduate still not really sure whether I was hoping to do research in the future, I wasn’t at all expecting the paper to be accepted into the conference. I had emailed my advisor, Professor Levy, about the possibility of department funding for conference travel, but I worked actively to keep my hopes down. When the date on which authors were supposed to be notified came and went, I was disappointed to be sure, but I figured it was for the best in the grand scheme of things.
A day or two later, I got an email from Andrew – the paper had been accepted. I was simultaneously stunned and excited, and emailed Professor Levy once again as a shot in the dark. “Professor Levy, is there any possibility that funding would still be possible for the conference? The paper was accepted.” With both department support and a scholarship for travel from the Association of Computer Machinery, I registered for the International Conference on Intelligent User Interfaces and booked my first international plane ticket, trying to figure out how I would make it from Lexington, Virginia all the way to Haifa, Israel during a school week.
The conference on Intelligent User Interfaces is focused on the intersection of Artificial Intelligence and Human-Computer Interaction. This takes a host of different meanings, from recommendation systems and intuitive map interfaces to multitouch typing, layered stereoscopic displays, and interface adaptation for users with impaired dexterity. If technology is becoming ubiquitous, how do we make it as intuitive as possible? Can we simulate the way we already think about and interact with the world?
Before this February, the farthest that I’d ever been from my hometown of Austin, Texas was the ski town of Whistler, British Columbia in 2003. The most indispensable part of this conference for me was the experience of being so far from home, meeting people from around the world who have written in the same field as me, and scheduling my time out of the conference so I could see as much as possible of Israel.
Because neither of us had ever been to Israel, Melissa Roemmele and I travelled together. We arrived in Tel Aviv a day early and, over the course of our time there, managed to see what we could of Jerusalem, Haifa, Akko, and Tel Aviv. The entire duration of the conference, I felt for the first time in quite a while that I truly knew what I was doing. Everything I had done up until then led me to a demo session meeting a graduate student whose father and sister both went to W&L; to sitting across from a graduate student from Japan who that night won Best Paper at the conference; to hearing about the potential of the Heider-Simmel Interactive Theater project from Wolfgang Wahlster, that day’s keynote speaker. I have never felt so continuously starstruck as I did talking over lunch to people I had earlier that day heard speak eloquently, hopefully about the future of intelligent interface design. I don’t know that I’ve ever felt as hopeful or as inspired as I did that week, and in the time following the conference.
In under a week I managed to see more of the world than in my twenty years combined. While it was a sharp change coming back to Lexington, back to classwork and short writing assignments and club meetings, I’ve never before felt like I know what I’m doing, like anything is possible and the future is right ahead of me. I’m not a sentimental person, but I can’t help but muse on how beautiful a year it’s been, on how far I’ve come and how much further there is to go.
As I go into my first final of the term today, for Women’s and Gender Studies, so many perspectives we’ve discussed this term revolve around the necessity of narrative. Everything we experience in life comes down to how we frame it. How we narrate the events in our lives says a lot about those events, but it also determines how we interpret those events. Sooner or later, everything connects. What a year and what a world.
Congratulations to Camille Cobb ’12, who is a recipient of an NSF (National Science Foundation)graduate Research Fellowship. Camille Cobb is a University of Washington, Computer Science and Engineering Ph.D. student. Research Fellowships are among the most prestigious awards available to graduate students in the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) field.