CSCI 340 – Final Ray Tracer Project

Professor Matthews’ W23 Computer Graphics course completed ray tracer images for their final project.  Ray tracers use reversed light rays and linear algebra to simulate the real world, including mirrored objects and refractive objects.  While pretty, images rendered by a ray tracer take a very long time to finish.  These images took DAYS to complete!

Ray tracer images

CSCI 340 Ray Tracer Projects are on full display at the entrance to the Computer Science Department.

2023 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 2023  Computer Science Department SRS students,  their faculty supervisors and descriptions of their projects:

Professor Taha Khan:

Professor Khan had 3 SRS students this summer — Bianca Pham ’26, Sarah Lathrop ’25 and James Xia ’26.  All three worked on the same project that focused on understanding how Internet users perceive what should happen to their data post bereavement. They also supported my AIM cybersecurity experience.

Bianca Pham '26
Bianca Pham ’26
James Xia '26
James Xia ’26
Sarah Lathrop '25
Sarah Lathrop ’25
(L-R) Sarah, Bianca, James and Prof. Khan
(L-R) Sarah, Bianca, James and Professor Khan

Professor Sara Sprenkle:

Professor Sprenkle also had 3 Summer Research Scholars — Petra Ilic ’24, Lakpa Sherpa ’25 and Ignas Volcokas ’25.  Below are the details about their projects.

Petra Iliac '24
Petra Iliac ’24

Petra Ilic 24, “Paying Down Technical Debt in the Ancient Graffiti Project” The Ancient Graffiti project began in 2013 as an online tool to study the lives of the common people in ancient Rome. In the ten years since then, new features and content have been added—as well as technical debt. Petra focused on making the application easier to develop and maintain for the next ten years.

Lakpa Sherpa '25
Lakpa Sherpa ’25

Lakpa Sherpa 25, “Detecting Anomalous Behavior through Clustering WebApplication User Sessions”. More than 30% of web traffic is bots trying to collect data or perform attacks to prevent the smooth delivery of services. Lakpa developed an automated framework to explore clustering to identify anomalous behavior.

Ignas Volcakas '25
Ignas Volcakas ’25

Ignas Volcokas 25, “Generating Cost-Effective Test Cases for WebApplications using Genetic Algorithms.” Web applications are popular and must be reliable and therefore must be thoroughly tested before every release. Since testing takes time, we want to execute the most cost-effective test suites. Ignas explored a variety of test-suite generating algorithms, with a focus on genetic algorithms, and compared the effectiveness of the generated test suites.

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!

CS Senior, Abdul AboEitta presents his Honors Thesis

On Thursday, April 6,  Abdul AboEitta, Class of 2023,  presented his Honors Thesis  “Hyperdimensional Computing for Gesture Recognition using a Dynamic Vision Sensor”

Abdul’s thesis introduced  a novel neuromorphic approach that exploits two biologically-inspired technologies: (1) Dynamic Vision Sensor (DVS) and (2) Hyperdimensional Computing (HDC). By integrating technologies inspired by the human brain, the primary goal of his research is to develop more efficient and adaptable Al systems that can handle various real-world problems, overcoming the constraints faced by CNNs and backpropagation.

Professor Levy and Abdul
Abdul’s presentation

For additional details, here’s the flyer of Abdul’s presentation.

CS Honors Thesis Poster

Another Publication for CS Professor Liz Matthews!

Congratulations to Professor Matthews for her latest online publication “Consistent Gaming Skill Demographics in Academic Research” !!
The paper has been published in the IADIS International Journal on  Computer Science and Information Systems – Volume 17, Issue 2, 2022 (online journal)
and is available at
http://www.iadisportal.org/ijcsis/
This publication is also noteworthy because it was co-authored by W&L students — Irina Koleva ’22 and Sujana Basnet ’23.

This paper highlights this problem of inconsistent gaming terminology, collects demographic questions in existing research, and showcases the data collected from a user study with these questions. The results show that self-chosen categories are a statistically significant metric and are recommended as an easy-to-obtain value.

Below is an image of the first page of the paper.

Abtract and Introduction of the pubilcation.

 

Published Paper for CS Prof. Liz Matthews

Congratulations to Professor Matthews  for her published paper  “Gaming Skill Demographics:  An Analysis of Consistency in Video Game Research”!

An important fact about this paper is it’s based on the work of two SRS students from last summer.  It was also selected as one of the best papers.  Although it didn’t win, this paper was extended for publication in another journal which should be accessible in another month or so.

Here is an image of the first page of the paper along with links to the title page and the website where the full paper will eventually be available.

Title page with Abstract and Introduction

FirstPagePaper

https://www.gaming-conf.org/

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.

 

Professor Taha Khan:

Jack Bosco ’24:

Jack is working on better understanding how Internet users perceive what should happen to their data post bereavement. Jack is developing a user study over the summer.

Mohamed Elhussiny’24:

Mohamed  is working on a project that involves analyzing at GitHub repositories to understand the significance of class methods are semantically≠ similar and investigate their security and usability implications. 

 

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

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!

 

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.