2024 PBK Inductions

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.

Washington and Lee University’s PBK chapter welcomed 54 members of the junior and senior classes at the Convocation on Friday, April 5.   The honorees were inducted into Phi Beta Kappa based on their exceptional academic achievements in the arts and sciences.  Following are the computer science initiates from the Class of 2024 and 2025:

2024
Danish Bokhari
Julia Raskin
Will Xue

2025
Sarah Lathrop
Linh Nguyen
Ignas Volcokas
Lydia Yang

Congratulations!

CS major Katie Yurechko – First Marshall Scholar at Washington and Lee!

Katie Yurechko, ’24, a computer science and philosophy double major, was one of 51 Marshall Scholars chosen in 2023.   She is the first Marshall Scholar at W&L!

The Marshall Scholarship program was created in 1953 by an Act of British Parliament as a thank-you to former U.S. Secretary of State General George Marshall and the United States for assistance under the Economic Recovery Act, better known as the Marshall Plan. The scholarships are awarded on the basis of academic merit, leadership potential and ambassadorial potential.

Katie will receive a scholarship that fully funds one to three years of study at UK universities.  She will study at the University of Oxford and University College London.

Click here to read the full story.

https://columns.wlu.edu/wls-katie-yurechko-among-2024-class-of-marshall-scholars/

Congratulations, Katie!

“Step Away from Your Screen” by CS Major Katie Yurechko ’24

Computer Science Major, Katie Yurechko, ’24,  provides a unique and compelling perspective on the use of social media in her feature “Step Away from Your Screen”.

Since this article was created exclusively for the Alumni Magazine,  it does not yet exist on the W&L website.  A  “go” link has been created that goes directly to Katie’s story via the ISSUU online platform flipbook.

Happy reading!https://go.wlu.edu/stepaway

CS major Katie Yurechko – Truman Foundation Finalist

Katie Yurechko, ’24, is a finalist for the Truman Foundation!

Created by Congress in 1975, the Foundation was President Harry S. Truman’s idea. A pragmatic Midwesterner who did not attend college, President Truman did not want a brick-and-mortar monument. Instead, he encouraged a living memorial that would give life to the values of service that encompassed his career.  In that spirit, the Truman Foundation supports Americans answering the call to serve.  The Truman Foundation identifies aspiring leaders at an important inflection point in their development (college) and recognizes and rewards their commitments to careers in public service.

The selection committee appointed 199 students from 133 institutions to interview with the Foundation’s Regional Review Panels between March 2nd and April 4th, 2024.    In 2023, the Truman Foundation received 705 applications from 275 institutions.

Congratulations, Katie!

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:

  • 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
  • Caleb Minjae Choe- Bachelor of Science
  • Madison E. Clubb- Bachelor of Arts
  • Peter McNulty Clyne- Bachelor of Science
  • Carson Brent Cooley- Bachelor of Science,  magna cum laude
  • Jared Alexander Cordova- Bachelor of Science
  • Harry Dodd Crutcher, Jr.- Bachelor of Science,  cum laude
  • Carl Lucas Erdmann- Bachelor of Arts
  • 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
  • Sarah Louise Martin- 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
  • Robert Warren Seeds- Bachelor of Science
  • Jorge Baunner Soto-Ventura- Bachelor of Arts
  • Nicholas Ransom Steinert- Bachelor of Arts, magna cum laude
  • Robert Taylor Tucker- Bachelor of Science, cum laude
  • Virginia Slater Weston- Bachelor of Science
  • 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!

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

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.

2023 ODK Computer Science Inductee – Katie Yurechko

W&L’s Alpha Circle of Omicron Delta Kappa (ODK), the national leadership honor society, held its spring induction ceremony on March 16.  Computer Science major, Katie Yurechko ’24, was among the 50 new members.

Congratulations, Katie!

To learn more about the ODK ceremony, click the link:
https://columns.wlu.edu/odk-holds-spring-initiation-for-wl-honorees-3/