2022 Computer Science Summer Research Scholars

The Summer Research Scholars (SRS) program supports students participating in collaborative research supervised by W&L faculty. The program aims to encourage the development of research techniques within a particular discipline, to promote the active acquisition of knowledge, and to stimulate student interest in inquiry.

Here are the 2022  Computer Science Department’s SRS students,  their faculty supervisors and descriptions of their projects:

Professor Liz Matthews:

Sarah Martin, ’23:
-Sarah is implementing statistical analysis using nonparametric methods on data collected about gamer skill levels and features.
Danish Bokhari, ’24:≠
-Danish is studying design and data collection about video game enjoyment metrics for games containing procedural generation.

 

 

Professor Simon Levy:

Matt Stock≠ ’23
Matt and Prof. Levy are working on adding a RaspberryPi (“Internet of Things”) project  to enable a RealAnt robot to move about wirelessly and learn some interesting behaviors.

Professor Sara Sprenkle:

≠Grace MacDonald ’23:
Grace is developing new features and functionality for The Ancient Graffiti, a perfect fit for a computer science major with a classics minor!  She is improving AGP’s usability on mobile devices and will work on a variety of projects to make more graffiti available for public viewing.

≠

Armando Mendez-Anastasio ’24:
Armando is developing ChemTutor, an online chemistry tutorial to help students transition to college-level chemistry.  He will add new functionality to the site and work on making ChemTutor more easily deployed to the cloud.

≠Lakpa Sherpa ’25:
Lakpa is exploring how to automatically identify anomalous behavior in accesses to web applications.  He will be running automated experiments and analyzing lots of data.

 

 

Professor Cody Watson:

≠Abdelrahman AboEitta ’23:
Abdul and Professor Watson are working on a deep learning model that can identify and automatically fix security vulnerabilities in java source code methods.

 

 

Bennett Ehret, ’24:
Bennett and Professor Watson are working on a deep learning solution to automatically generate code documentation, specifically code comments, for source code methods that implement machine learning models.

 

 

≠
Mohamed Elhussiny

Mohamed Elhussiny’24 and Leyti Ndiaye ’26:
Along with Professor Watson, Mohamed and Leyti are building a variety of machine learning methods to automatically identify negative in-game behavior within the popular video game League of Legends.

2022 Computer Science Degrees, Scholarships, Prizes and Awards

Congratulations to the Class of 2022 Computer Science Majors and Minors for their outstanding achievements!   Their accomplishments, along with the accomplishments of certain CS undergraduates  are listed here, as they appear in the Commencement Bulletin.

2022 Graduates:

  • Luke Patrick Alli – Bachelor of Science
  • Theodore C. Bentley – Bachelor of Science
  • Samuel Thomas Bluestone – Bachelor of Science, Phi Beta Kappa, magna cum laude
  • Dominique Nicole Broomfield – Bachelor of Science
  • August Spencer Donovan – Bachelor of Arts
  • Ana Sophia Estrada Hamm
    Jackson Mark Gazin – Bachelor of Arts, Honors in Mathematics (Thesis: “Linear Algebraic Methods in Data Science and Neural Networks”)
  • Bryan Lawrence Hadley – Bachelor of Science
  • Jae-Ung Jung – Bachelor of Science
  • Tara Krishnadas Kakkaramadam – Bachelor of Science
  • Laurie A. Lee – Bachelor of Arts, cum laude
  • Elyssa M. McMaster – Bachelor of Arts, Honors in Art History (Thesis:  “Florence + The Machine:  A Computational Approach to Florentine Liturgical Manuscript Illuminations from the Late Trecento”)
  • Walter Ellis Millwood – Bachelor of Science
  • Garrett Montgomery Mize – Bachelor of Science, cum laude
  • Evan Lewis Phaup – Bachelor of Science
  • Joseph Paul Salerno – Bachelor of Science
  • Yoseph Mandefro Tamene – Bachelor of Science, magna cum laude
  • Finn Ellis Thorne – Bachelor of Science
  • Haochen Tu – Bachelor of Science, Phi Beta Kappa, magna cum laude
  • (Alyssa) Trang Thuy Vu – Bachelor of Science, Phi Beta Kappa, summa cum laude, Valedictorian
  • Scott Kenneth Walters – Bachelor of Arts
  • Taylor Ryan Witherell – Bachelor of Science

Fellowships Received:

  • Elyssa M. McMaster – Fulbright U.S. Student Program, Italy
  • Ana Sophia Estrada Hamm – U.S. Department of State Critical Language Scholarship, Arabic

Scholarships, Awards, and Prizes:

  • (Alyssa) Trang Thuy Vu – The Robinson Award in Mathematics and Science

Departmental Awards:

  • Samuel Thomas Bluestone – The Computer Science Department Award
  • Ana Sophia Estrada Hamm – The Computer Science Department Award
  • Yoseph Mandefro Tamene –  The Computer Science Department Award
  • (Alyssa) Trang Thuy Vu – The Computer Science Department Award
  • Dominique Nicole Broomfield – The Linda Cooper and Bobby Henderson Prize
  • Haochen Tu – International Education, Certificate of International Immersion
  • Samuel Thomas Bluestone – Office of Jewish Life, The Jewish Learning Fellowship
  • Nicholas Ranson Steinert ’23 – The Economic Academic Excellence Award
  • Sujana Basnet ’23 – The Griffith Scholarship
  • Jackson J. Jacobs, ’24 – Richard Miller Cross Country Award

Spring Term ’22 – Professor Watson’s class takes a “Walk Through the Ages”

 

CSCI 257-01: “A Walk Through the Ages: Using Artificial Intelligence to Understand the Evolution of Exercise,” .  in this S22 course, students monitor movements on exercise trackers and examine patterns of exercise, movement and health impacts while researching the evolution of human exercise.

This course is co-taught by assistant professor of computer science Cody Watson and assistant professor of biology Natalia Toporikova.

Click on the link to learn more!

https://columns.wlu.edu/life-on-two-legs/?fbclid=IwAR0vw1ii22RdQkUW3PpuO1fxn-yH_NhuyLUwuk6VZ-8uokJ3T9YR337n2WU

2022 PBK initiates from the Computer Science Department

Here are the CS Dept. student inductees from the Class of 2022 and 2023 for the Phi Beta Kappa (PBK) Society of Cincinnati:

2022
Sam Bluestone
Ana Estrada Hamm
Haochen Tu

2023
Abdel AboEitta

Congratulations!

Computer Science Game Demo Day 2022!

Mark your calendar for Game Demo Day!

Students in Professor Matthews CSCI 319 Video Game Design class  will showcase their final games.

Game Demo Day will take place on Saturday, April 9 from 10:30am – 12:30pm in the Science Center Great Hall.

Everyone is welcome!

 

Just released — W&L After Class Podcast featuring Professor Khan!

 

Washington and Lee’s Office of Lifelong Learning has a podcast “W&L After Class” where you can hear from various faculty members about a wide variety of topics they have expertise in.

In session 3, Taha Khan, assistant professor of computer science  at W&L, discusses his research on computer security, privacy and human-computer interaction – including cybercrime.

Protect Yourself!

A Discussion About Cybersecurity with Taha Khan

Recorded Jan. 11, 2022
Aired Feb. 8, 2022

listen to the podcast at this link:

https://www.wlu.edu/alumni/lifelong-learning/online-programs/after-class-the-w-l-lifelong-learning-podcast/

CS’s Professor Khan has publications!

Professor Taha Khan published 2 papers in AY 2020-21.   Both papers were published in the same conference, USENIX Security.  The USENIX Association is a nonprofit organization, dedicated to supporting the advanced computing systems communities and furthering the reach of innovative research.  Professor Khan’s papers were entitled “Helping Users Automatically Find and Manage Sensitive, Expendable Files in Cloud Storage” and  “Blind In/On-Path Attacks and Applications to VPNs”.

Click here to learn more:  https://dblp.org/pid/154/3627.html

 

Spotlight on Summer Research Scholars

Abdelrahman AboEitta ’23, CS Major
Abdel developed the latest version of ChemTutor (https://chemtutor.wlu.edu/), an online tutorial to help prepare students for college-level chemistry.  ChemTutor was developed by faculty and students at 4 small, liberal arts institutions and is funded by the Associated Colleges of the South.  Beyond developing new functionality for instructors, Abdel used Docker to deploy ChemTutor on Amazon Web Services so that it is easier for other institutions to deploy.

Sujana Basnet, ’23, CS Major
Irina Koleva, ’22, Neuroscience Major
Sujana and Irina completed a survey of academic research on video game experience categories, designed and conducted a user study to collect data based on the survey, and ran statistical analysis of the user study data. Also, they began work on an academic paper to be submitted to an appropriate venue in the Fall.

William Xue ’24
Will’s project name was:  Cloudsweeper: A Tool for Personal Cloud Management. The personal cloud is a convenient and affordable way to retain and share files over time. However, as time passes, some files lose their relevance. Crucially, some files that are no longer useful may still contain sensitive information, creating risks due to data breaches, lost devices, and account takeovers.  During the Summer of 2021, Will used his Python and web design skills to work both on the front and backend of the design of Cloudsweeper, a web application which incorporates machine learning to highlight potentially sensitive and useless files in individuals’ cloud accounts. The current version is live at: https://cloudsweeper.app.  Currently, the app only supports the Google Drive cloud platform. Will plans to continue work with the team to integrate the app with support across multiple cloud platforms and conduct future research studies by using the app as a data collection tool.

Billy Tobin ’24
Billy’s project name was : An Empirical Evaluation of Method Signature Similarity in Codebases.  Modern programming languages have revolutionized the way in which software developers design and develop computer programs. These languages provide individuals with user-friendly capabilities that enhance the productivity of developers while ensuring minimal code redundancy. One such feature of programming languages is method overloading.Billy spent the summer of 2021 empirically evaluating the pervasiveness of overloaded methods in large-scale repositories understanding their relationship over time, as repositories grow. Based on the initial results, Billy plans to extend his work to understand the usability aspects of overloaded methods and determine where they may have correctness, security, performance, and complexity implications.

Honors Thesis: Evolutionary Control of Micro Aerial Vehicles in Simulation– Coletta R. Fuller ’21

Coletta, a Johnson Scholar, double majored  in computer science and music, and minored in creative writing.  She presented her Honors Thesis on Evolutionary Control of Micro Aerial Vehicles in Simulation via Zoom on Wednesday April 14th.

This thesis examined the challenge of safely landing quadcopters in simulation, using OpenAI gym environments to evaluate various machine learning algorithms. The two main categories explored were Deep Reinforcement Learning and Evolutionary algorithms. While the success of the DRL approach motivated this work, the evolutionary angle is of more interest due to its roots in more realistic biological inspiration. One specific evolutionary approach, NEAT, had success in the three-dimensional version of the problem, while none of the DRL attempts were successful. The dominance of NEAT on this challenge, while impressive in contrast with DRL, also had reasonably comparable success to a heuristic, human engineered approach.

CS Professor, Kefu Lu, has published a paper!

Kefu Lu, an assistant professor with W&L’s Computer Science Department, has recently published a paper.  This paper will be showcased, in September,  at the International European Conference for Parallel and Distributed Computing (Euro-Par),  one of the premier venues in parallel computing. The paper is titled “A Scalable Approximation Algorithm for Weighted Longest Common Subsequence” and focuses on designing an accurate and fast algorithm in the context of distributed systems for a fundamental process most notably utilized for sequence alignment in bioinformatics.

Congratulations, Professor Lu!

Click on the link the see the paper in its entirety.

https://wlu.app.box.com/file/827747067869