Katie Yurechko ’24 is 2024 ODK Leader of the Year in academics and research

Another well deserved achievement for Katie!

Yurechko, who double majors in computer science and philosophy and minors in poverty and human capability studies,  has been named the 2024 Omicron Delta Kappa (ODK) Leader of the Year in academics and research.

The Omicron Delta Kappa (ODK) Leader of the Year in academics and research recognizes individuals who have demonstrated exceptional leadership qualities and achievements in the area of academia and research within their academic community or institution.

A 2023 initiate of the University’s Alpha Circle of ODK,  Katie will graduate in May 2024 with a 4.0 GPA.  She was also named W&L’s first Marshall Scholar in December 2023.

Congratulations!

Here’s the link to the full story.

https://columns.wlu.edu/wls-katie-yurechko-24-named-odk-national-leader-of-the-year-in-academics-and-research/

Danish Bokari ’24, Lakpa Sherpa ’25 and Mohamed Soliman ’27 are winners at the SOLVE 2024 Hackathon!

The first ever W&L SOLVE Hackathon was held in the IQ Center, May 12-13, 2024.

A hackathon is an event where individuals or teams come together to collaboratively work on solving problems or creating innovative projects within a limited time frame.  The SOLVE 2024 event was an interdisciplinary student-focused gathering for any undergraduate student from W&L.

A grand prize of $1,000 was awarded to three separate teams judged to have created the best products or for embodying the spirit of the competition. Danish Bokhari ’24, Lakpa Sherpa ’25 and Mohamed Soliman ’27, who created EcoEats, a food app designed to revolutionize the way we eat and live sustainably, were one of the three winning teams.

Congratulations Danish, Lakpa and Mohamed!

Click here to read the full Columns article:

https://columns.wlu.edu/wl-holds-inaugural-solve-2024-hackathon-event-on-campus/

2024 Game Demo Day

Students in Professor Matthews CSCI 319 Video Game Design class  showcased their final games at the end of winter term.

Game Demo Day took place on Saturday, April 13 from 10:30am – 12:30pm in the Science Center Great Hall.

It was a great turnout as lots of people came and played video games!

CS’s Capture the Flag (CtF) event

On November 2 , the Computer Science Department held its first ever Capture the Flag event.

Capture the Flag (CtF) in computer security is an exercise in which participants attempt to find text strings, called “flags”, which are secretly hidden in purposefully-vulnerable programs or websites.

From unraveling cryptic codes to identifying vulnerabilities in simulated systems, student teams showcased their skills in ethical hacking and digital defense.  CS’s CtF served to foster a dynamic cybersecurity community on campus.

The success of this initial session set the stage for future exciting and intellectually stimulating CtF competitions!

Professor Tolley explains the rules, while Professor Khan looks on.
Students receive CtF instructions.
Teams focused on their CtF objectives.
Students working to find the “flags”!

2023 CS Halloween Party

The Computer Science Dept. Halloween party took place on Nov. 7.  The party, held at Professor Matthews’ house,  was fun and festive!
Check out these party pics!

outside decorations – spooky!
costume contest winners (L-R). Han Huynh, Beza Mengistu
costume contest winners (L-R). Han Huynh (Little Bo Peep), Beza Mengistu (spider hat!)
Group photo! (l-r). first row: Prof. Sprenkle, Xander, Han, Bianca, Naka, Carolyn, Prof. Matthews second row: Beza, Lakpa, Janeet, Brenda, Prof. Watson, Evan, Billy, Colin and Danish
Colin (or, Ken) and Billy (channeling Ted Lasso), chatting
Mark and Michelle show off their CS-themed costumes.
 
 

 

2023 Computer Science Degrees, Scholarships, Prizes and Awards

Congratulations to the Class of 2023 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.

2023 Graduates:

Majors:

  • Abdelraham Hesham AboEitta – Bachelor of Science, Honors in Computer Science ( Thesis: “Hyperdimensional Computing for Gesture Recognitiion Using a Dynamic Vision Sensor”), Phi Beta Kappa; summa cum laude
  • Praise D. Apata – Bachelor of Science
  • Sujana Basnet- Bachelor of Science,  magna cum laude
  • Madison E. Clubb- Bachelor of Arts
  • Carson Brent Cooley- Bachelor of Science,  magna cum laude
  • Jared Alexander Cordova- Bachelor of Science
  • Ana Sophia Estrada Hamm- Bachelor of Arts,  Phi Beta Kappa, summa cum laude
  • Dario Fumarola- Bachelor of Arts
  • Selihom Gobeze- Bachelor of Science
  • Daniel Kenji Kung- Bachelor of Science
  • Leslie Taylor Le- Bachelor of Science
  • Grace Murphy MacDonald- Bachelor of Science,  Phi Beta Kappa, summa cum laude
  • Nobel Sintayehu Manye- Bachelor of Science
  • Ryan Davis Messick- Bachelor of Arts
  • Cong Danh Nguyen- Bachelor of Science, Phi Beta Kappa, magna cum laude
  • Nicholas Q. Nguyen- Bachelor of Science
  • Mesoma Ifechukwu Okolocha- Bachelor of Science
  • Jorge Baunner Soto-Ventura- Bachelor of Arts
  • Robert Taylor Tucker- Bachelor of Science, cum laude
  • Virginia Slater Weston- Bachelor of Science

Minors:

  • Peter McNulty Clyne- Bachelor of Science
  • Caleb Minjae Choe- Bachelor of Science
  • Harry Dodd Crutcher, Jr.- Bachelor of Science,  cum laude
  • Carl Lucas Erdmann- Bachelor of Arts
  • Sarah Louise Martin- Bachelor of Science
  • Robert Warren Seeds- Bachelor of Science
  • Nicholas Ransom Steinert- Bachelor of Arts, magna cum laude
  • Colin James Whiting- Bachelor of Science, cum laude
  • Yoseph W. Wolde- Bachelor of Arts

Fellowships Received:

  • Ana Sophia Estrada Hamm ’22 – Fulbright U.S. Student Program, Israel

Departmental Awards:

  • Carson Brent Cooley- The Luther Seevers Birely Scholarship
  • Kathryn Marie Yurechko ’24- The James McDowell Scholarship
  • Grace Murphy MacDonald – The Computer Science Department Award
  • Nobel Sintayehu Manaye- The H. Thomas Williams, Jr. Undergraduate Research Award
  • Mesoma Ifechukwu Okolocha- Senior Bonner Scholars
  • Jackson Jacobs ’24- Richard Miller Cross Country Award

CS Major Katie Yurechko ’24 presents at the 2023 ACM Web Conference

The 2023 Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) Conference took place in Austin, Texas on April 30-May 4.  This conference is considered the most recognized forum to showcase and discuss progress in research, development, standards and applications of web-related topics.  Katie, along with collaborators Carnegie Mellon professor Daniel Klug and student Ella Steen of Gordon College,  presented their research findings, on “How Algorithm Awareness Impacts Algospeak Use on TikTok” .

In addition to being a Johnson Scholar, Yurechko double majors in computer science and philosophy.  She is also minors in poverty and human capability.   Katie is dedicated to supporting marginalized communities and promoting diversity in computing,  stating that “computer science is not solely about creating technical advances; it is also about critically analyzing those advances from interdisciplinary perspectives.”

Congratulations to Katie on her accomplishments and achievements!

2023 CS Phi Beta Kappa Initiates

Phi Beta Kappa (PBK)  was founded in 1776 at the College of William and Mary.   Its motto is “Love of learning is the guide of life.” The Gamma of Virginia Chapter was chartered at W&L in 1911.

The PBK chapter at Washington and Lee University welcomed 49 members of the junior and senior classes at the Phi Beta Kappa/Society of the Cincinnati Convocation on March 31.  Of those initiates, the following computer science majors are from the Class of 2023 and 2024:

2023
Grace MacDonald
Dan Nguyen

2024
Katie Yurechko

Congratulations!

W&L’s Lakpa Sherpa ’25 and Ignas Volcokas ’25 – 2nd place winners at Hackathon

Lakpa and Ignas came in second for best education hack at Hoo Hacks 2023 with their EsyLearn project.

During the hackathon, Lakpa and Ignas  were inspired to produce a personal learning assistant that would accept and adjust to the learning needs of its user.   

Lapka and Ignas pose, smiling, in front of the Welcome to HooHacks sign.
Welcome to HooHacks!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

EsyLearn

EsyLearn communicates with users via a web interface where the users can easily speak and get responses back, just like talking to another human being. Through natural language processing, it provides responses both in text and audio for better understanding.  Within 24 hours, Lakpa and Ignas essentially created a virtual assistant that is as smart as Jarvis in the Iron Man Movies.

Congratulations, Lakpa and Ignas!

You can learn more in the W&L feature story and in the Hook Hacks project gallery.

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