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/

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/

Showcasing Joe Salerno ’22 Athletic Achievements!

Joe Salerno who graduated in May 2022 with a B.S.  in computer science,  set the season pin record for W&L wrestling .  Joe’s win means he had 21 pins on the season, breaking his own school record of 20 set during the 2019-20 season.  Joe has 59 career pins, –another school record!   This wrestling success was featured in the 2021-22 Conference Athletes of the Week article.  Congratulations, Joe!

Follow these links to learn more

https://generalssports.com/news/2022/2/5/salerno-sets-season-pin-record-as-w-l-wrestling-goes-2-0-at-mcdaniel.aspx

https://generalssports.com/sports/2021/7/29/2021-22-athletes-of-the-week-landing.aspx

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.