2015 News

Mitchell Gordon '16 wins CRA Outstanding Undergrad Researcher Award

December 16, 2015

The Computing Research Association announced that Mitchell Gordon '16 is the 2016 winner of the Outstanding Undergraduate Research Award for PhD granting institutions.  Mitchell has an impressive body of research, having worked with Jeff Bigham both at UR and CMU, Walter Lasecki (PhD '15, now faculty at U. Michigan) and most recently with Prof. Philip Guo.  Gordon's work has been in Human Computer Interaction.  His first-authored paper “WatchWriter: Tap and Gesture Typing on a Smartwatch with Miniature Qwerty and Beyond” (Mitchell Gordon, Tom Ouyang, Shumin Zhai) was accepted this week for the Proceedings of the International ACM Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI 2016). One might say this was a good week for Mitchell!

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Pamela Vong '08 Participates in White House Tech Jam

December 7, 2015

Pamela Vong '08 was recently invited to participate in the first White House Tech Jam as part of National Computer Science Education Week.  Pam has been an advocate for Women in Computer Science, having been the first undergraduate our Computer Science Department sent to the Grace Hopper Conference in 2007.  Pam also attended this year's Grace Hopper Conference and spent time with our UR students at the alumni dinner held in Houston during the conference.  She has been instrumental in the Women Who Code DC Mentoring Program. All these efforts on behalf of improving the CSC pipeline most likely made her a prime candidate for being invited to take part in the White House Tech Jam.

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UR Women in Computing Represented at Grace Hopper Conference 2015

November 30, 2015

Thanks to funding from the BRAID initiative to increase diversity in computing, the Department of Computer Science was able to fund nineteen young women to attend the Grace Hopper Conference in Houston, Texas from Oct. 14-17th.  Undergraduate coordinator Marty Guenther, graduate coordinator Niki Pizzutelli & and chairwoman Sandhya Dwarkadas hosted a booth representing both Computer Science and Data Science at the 3-day Career Fair to recruit graduate students, faculty and generate interest in the Computer Science and Data Science programs at Rochester among the attendees.

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YellowJackets place 3rd at ICPC-ACM Programming Regionals

November 19, 2015

URCS sent two teams to the Northeast North America sub-regional ACM competition held in October at SUNY Oswego.  YellowJacket #1 team, consisting of freshmen Jackson Abascal, Zachary Polansky and junior Daniel Rubery, took first place with YellowJacket #2 team (juniors Maria Janczak, Mikayla Konst and Hassler Thurston) placing fourth. First and second place (RIT) teams then moved to the regional competition held a few weeks later.

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Criswell's Dissertation Receives Honorable Mention from ACM

May 5, 2015

John Criswell, an assistant professor in the Department of Computer Science, was awarded one of two honorable mentions for the ACM Doctoral Dissertation Award.  ACM presents these awards each year to the top doctoral dissertations in Computer Science.  This is the second honorable mention for Criswell’s dissertation; Criswell was awarded the honorable mention for the ACM SIGOPS Dennis M. Ritchie Doctoral Dissertation Award last year.

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Rashid and Tevanian Win ACM Software System Award

April 27, 2015

The ACM has announced that Rick Rashid and Avie Tevanian will receive the association's 2015 Software System Award in recognition of their development of the Mach operating system.  Rashid was among the URCS department's first alumni, receiving his PhD in 1980.  He then joined the faculty at CMU, and later went on to found Microsoft Research.  Tevanian was a 3-2 student at the U of R, receiving his MS in Computer Science before going on to complete his PhD with Rashid at CMU.

The roots of Mach can be found in the Rochester Intelligent Gateway system (RIG), which Rashid worked on during his graduate studies.  At CMU this work evolved first into the Accent system, and then into Mach.  Upon finishing his PhD, Tevanian carried Mach to NeXT Computer and then to Apple, where it forms the core of Mac OS X and iOS today.

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URCS Sends Team to CS Games in Sherbrooke, ON

March 15, 2015

Ten URCS students spent part of their spring break north of the border in Sherbrooke, Ontario at the annual CS Games March 13-15th.  This year's theme for the competition was Friday the 13th, since the competition began on that infamous day.  Two car loads of students made it to the event a bit late due to car troubles and border crossing delays, but managed to come home with several trophies for their efforts after the 48 hour competition.  The team name was "Considered Harmful" and members of the team are: Freshman  Joel Kottas , sophomores Mikayla Konst, Nicole Giggey and Lia Klein, juniors Hassler Thurston, Jack Valinsky, and Adam Scrivener,  and seniors Doug Miller, Charlie Lehner and Jeremy Warner. The team finished 5th overall out of 30 teams, and placing in the top 5 in 8 of 15 events.  Additional awards for the trophy case on the 6th floor of Computer Studies include a first place for Theoretical Computing, 2nd place for Machine Learning, 3rd place for both Extreme Programming and Security events.  The team also tied for 3rd on the Parallel Programming event but the trophy was given to the other team.

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Haptech Project qualifies for finals in the Microsoft Imagine Cup

February 9, 2015

Our Computer Science Haptech Research Team was notified yesterday that they are one of 4 teams in the country who have made it to the US finals round of the Microsoft Imagine Cup competition, to be held in Silicon Valley, April 21-24, 2016.  The video presentation can be seen here.  The team members are from several Hajim departments, including Computer Science, Electrical and Computer Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, and Biomedical Engineering.

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Haptech Research Team submits video to Semi-Final Round

January 15, 2015

The undergraduate research team known as Haptech (a sub-group from UR Robotics) has prepared and submitted their video for the semi-final round of the Microsoft Imagine Cup.  Students featured in the video are Morgan Sinko '16 (CSC), Jordan Brooks '16 (ME), Lucian Copeland '15 (ECE), and Kian Jones '17 (CSC). The Team hopes to also compete at the Intel Cornell Cup, and the finalists will be announced for that in February.

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