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.

Student Researchers Scene on Campus

Professor Levy and student researchers Olivier Mahame ’14, Bipeen Acharya ’15, and Suraj Bajacharya ’14 demonstrate flying their drone in the Great Hall of the Science Center. Read the story
Richard Marmorstein ’14 presents his progress on developing and testing an online symbolic logic tutorial to Professor Sprenkle.  The application he is developing will be used by Professor Gregory in logic courses and by Professor Sprenkle in web application testing experiments.

Photos courtesy of Kevin Remington and Scene on Campus.

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.

T-Shirt Design Poll

We had three t-shirt design submissions. You can click on each design below to see it in a larger form and then vote for your favorite in the poll at the bottom of this entry.

Computer Scientist as The Ultimate Superhero
Best Major Ever
Computer Science is AWESOME
2009 T-Shirt Design

T-Shirt Design Competition

The Computer Science Department is having a t-shirt design competition!

Rules (subject to change):

  • short or long-sleeve t-shirt
  • one color printed on a solid color t-shirt
  • options for printing are front/back/sleeve (probably only 2 of those 3)
  • keep it clean and original (we don’t want to worry about trademarks)!

Submission (subject to change): Send the images (in some commonly used format, like jpg, png, tiff) to Sara Sprenkle (sprenkles@wlu.edu).   Include explanation, if necessary, such as which image is on the front and which is on the back.

Please let us know if you have any other ideas/suggestions.

Cobb ’12 a Finalist in ACM Student Research Competition at SIGCSE

Cobb '12 at SIGCSE
Camille at the "welcome gate" to SIGCSE

Camille Cobb ’12 was a finalist in the ACM Student Research Competition held at SIGCSE 2012 in Raleigh, NC.  Camille presented her poster on “Exploring Text-Based Analysis of Test Case Dependencies of Web Applications” in a four-hour session to unknown judges, which placed her in the top five student researchers.  She gave a well-received 12-minute presentation two days later with tough competition–by all accounts, the finalists were all very strong.

The official W&L story

Camille presents her research along with the four other finalists.

Guest Speaker: Andrew Danner of Swarthmore College

Andrew Danner, Ph.D., of Swarthmore College will talk about his work on developing efficient techniques to process large GIS data sets–a topic of interest to both computer scientists and geologists.

“TerraStream: From Elevation Data
to Watershed Hierarchies”

Monday, January 30 at 11:15 a.m.
Parmly 307 in the Science Center

Terra Stream
Abstract: Modern remote sensing and mapping technologies generate Geographic Information Systems (GIS) that often exceed several Gigabytes or Terrabytes in size. Processing such huge data sets poses a number of computational challenges. Portions of the data must reside on large but slow hard disks, while computation can only occur in the smaller but faster internal memory of modern computers. In these cases the transfer of data between disk and main memory becomes the primary bottleneck rather than internal CPU computation.

This talk will describe the I/O model of computation in which we can develop scalable algorithms for processing large data sets. I will also present TerraStream–an implementation of several I/O-efficient algorithms for processing large point clouds of elevation data, creating digital surface models, extracting river networks, and constructing watershed hierarchies. TerraStream performance scales efficiently to input data sets containing over 300 million points and over 20GB in size.