Dr. Layne Watson recognized for his work with the IBM Cloud

Dr. Layne Watson, in addition to a team of professors and graduate students, is using the Power Development Cloud to create and test parallel mathematical software for global and stochastic optimization.  His research is ongoing and part of IBM”s Power Systems Academic Initiative.  According to an IBM press release, “The Power Systems Academic Initiative (PSAI) has achieved a major milestone by enrolling more than 300 colleges and universities around the globe in the program, providing these institutions with access to IBM Power Systems technology and helping to arm students with skills to handle new workloads like Big Data, cloud, mobile and social, that are crucial in today’s job market”.  Read more here.

 

Dr. Watson
Dr. Watson

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Margaret Ellis, CS Instructor, receives Engineering Inclusive Teaching (EIT) Educator’s Award

Margaret Ellis is a recipient of the 2015 Engineering Inclusive Teaching (EIT) Educator’s Award.  This award is given by the Women in Engineering ProActive Network (WEPAN).  The WEPAN helps educators craft inclusive engineering learning environments.  Her project titled “Promoting Self-Efficacy in Computer Science” is a collaborative project with CS faculty colleagues Jack Lesko, Manuel Perez-Quinones and Catherine Amelink.  Their work looks at what educational practices can be used to improve the self-efficacy of undergraduate students in low-level Computer Science courses.  Margaret said, “The project investigates what educational practices can be used to improve the self-efficacy of undergraduate students in Computer Science courses.  Adjustments are anticipated to encourage long-term interest in Computer Science among all students but among underrepresented groups in particular. We hope that our findings will yield information that can be used to make changes to other Computer Science courses.  We are looking at the impact of special GTA/UTA training sessions, approaches for modeling analytical skills students need to develop, and what type of feedback students need to feel successful and improve understanding of CS concepts”.  Visit http://www.wskc.org/eit to read more.  Margaret will present the findings of this project at the WEPAN Change Leaders Forum in Colorado in June 2015.

 

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Dr. Ali Butt awarded second NetApp Faculty Fellowship

Dr. Ali R. Butt, associate professor of computer science, has received his second NetApp Faculty Fellowship (NFF).  The NetApp Faculty Fellowship (NFF) program was established to encourage leading-edge research in storage and data management and to foster relationships between academic researchers and engineers and researchers at NetApp.  Ali’s work titled “Designing an In-Memory Object Caching Framework with Adaptive Load Balancing Synopsis” will focus on making access to cloud storage more efficient.  Please visit http://www.eng.vt.edu/news/ali-butt-hopes-make-access-cloud-storage-more-efficient to read more about Dr. Butt.

 

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Dr. Naren Ramakrishnan’s work featured in the Chronicle of Higher Education

Research conducted by Dr. Naren Ramakrishnan, Dr. Tom Ewing and colleagues across campus was recently featured in a Chronicle of Higher Education article.  Their work examined how reporting on the Spanish flu spread in 1918 and featured digital humanities.  To read the entire article visit http://chronicle.com/article/Big-Data-Project-on-1918-Flu/190457/.  Dr. Ramakrishnan is the Thomas L. Phillips Professor of Engineering at Virginia Tech.  He directs the Discovery Analytics Center, a university-wide effort that brings together researchers from computer science, statistics, mathematics, and electrical and computer engineering.

 

Dr.Ramakrishnan
Dr.Ramakrishnan

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Mai El-Shehaly wins interdisciplinary research competition

Mai El-Shehaly placed first in a university-wide interdisciplinary research competition.  Her poster was titled Real-tme Procesisng and Visualization of Multi-volume Time-variant Datasets.  Mai said, “The presented research focused on developing visualization and interaction techniques aimed at addressing some of the challenges that experts are faced with when analyzing the spatio-temporal behavior of physical phenomena given a number of datasets obtained from different sources.  The goal was to allow the user to construct a mental model representing the phenomena in question to increase their understanding of the spatiotemporal behavior of features of interest and verify the constructed model by real world measurements.”  To read more about the Interdisciplinary Research Honor Society at VT visit http://www.idrsociety.org/category/news/.  Dr. Denis Gracanin is Mai’s faculty advisor.

 

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CS@VT student Cory Bart wins at the ACM SIGCSE Student Research Competition

Cory Bart,CS Ph.D.,student, recently won 3rd place at the ACM SIGCSE Student Research Competition in early March 2015.  His project was entitled “Situating Computational Thinking with BigData Pedagogy and Technology”.  Cory’s co-advisors are Cliff Shaffer and Eli Tilevich.

When asked about his work, Cory said, “As Computational Thinking becomes pervasive in undergraduate programs, new students must be educated in meaningful, authentic contexts that they find both motivating and relatable.  I propose working with big data as a novel context for introductory programming, authentic given its importance in diverse fields such as agriculture, history, and more.  Big data is considered difficult to use because of its inherent technical obstacles.  To overcome these difficulties, I introduce a new project: CORGIS – a “Collection of Real-time, Giant, Interesting, Situated Datasets”.  The CORGIS project comprises a collection of libraries that provide an interface to big data for students, architectures for rapidly enabling new datasets, and a web-based textbook platform for disseminating relevant course materials.  This textbook features an online block-based programming environment, real-time collaborative text editing, and continuous server-side storage.  In this poster, I describe the educational theory guiding this work, the novel technology created and deployed, and the initial, promising results.”

 

Congratulations Cory!

Austin Cory Bart

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CS student selected as the 2015 Outstanding Senior for the College of Engineering

Robert (Kwamina) Orleans-Pobee has been selected as outstanding senior in the College of Engineering.  Robert has an excellent record of service to the university and the community including being part of the University Honors Program and serving as captain and Vice President of the Virginia Tech Fencing Club and the Club Fencing Team.  He has demonstrated a continued commitment to helping others and solving problems.  Two examples of his leadership include creating an application to help students navigate the complexities of course requesting and scheduling and leading two software development projects that combat human trafficking.  Dr. Cal Ribbens said, “These award winning projects both demonstrate innovative technical contributions to this important social cause.”  Robert will have the honor of speaking at commencement this year.  Read More

Please join the CS department in congratulating Robert!

 

Robert Orleans-Pobee

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Jessie Eaves receives 2015 Staff Career Achievement Award

Jessie Eaves, a retired CS staff member, was selected as one of the 5 winners for the 2015 University Staff Career Achievement Award.  Jesse was selected for this university-wide award because of her outstanding commitment to Virgina Tech and community service contributions to Southwest Virginia.  She will be honored and presented with her award at the College of Engineering Dean’s Staff Luncheon in May.  Read the full VT News Story.

Join the CS department in congratulating Jesse for 28 years of service to the university!

 

Jessie Eaves

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Matt McGarvey, CS staff, recognized for website design

Matt McGarvey, CS staff member, was recently recognized by the National Collegiate Emergency Medical Services Foundation for his website design work.  He designed the Virginia Tech Rescue Squad’s website, which can be viewed here.  Matt is a Rescue Squad volunteer and serves alongside more than 40 other student volunteers.  According to the VT News article, the squad has served the Virginia Tech community since 1969 and is the oldest collegiate rescue squad in Virginia and the second oldest in the nation.  Click here to read the full story here.

 

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Mohammed Seyam named 2015-16 Board of Visitors student representative

The university announced the selection of the undergraduate and graduate student representatives to the Board of Visitors.  Mohammed Seyam, a doctoral student in computer science, is appointed to serve a one year term as the graduate student representative.  The Board of Visitors is the governing body of the university.  Seyam is an active student leader and ambassador.  Read more here.

 

sayam

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