How would a 3-D printer work in the microgravity of suborbital space after surviving a jarring ride 100 miles above the earth? A group of Virginia Tech College of Engineering students answered that after a launch at NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility. The use of a 3-D printer in space is not new. A 3-D printer is on the International Space Station. But this is the first time such a printer was used on an unmanned rocket during flight, said Virginia Tech RockSat-X team leader Sebastian Welsh of Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania, and senior in the department of computer science.
Rising Virginia Tech sophomore Marcus Wanner was a home-schooled 15-year-old when he solved an enigmatic series of cryptographic mindbenders that landed him in the pages of Rolling Stone magazine. Now he’s a computer science major who is applying his experience in cryptography and computer security to genomic research. Read Full Story
Computer Science graduate student Zheng (Jason) Song won 2nd place in the ACM Student Research Competition at MobileSoft 2015. Jason’s project was entitled: “Programming Support for Seamless Resource Sharing across Heterogeneous Mobile Devices.” The MobileSoft conference (ACM International Conference on Mobile Software Engineering and Systems) took place May 16-17 in Florence, Italy. The event was co-hosted by ICSE, http://mobilesoftconf.org/2015/. Professor Eli Tilevich is Jason’s advisor.
The Virginia Tech ACM ICPC Programming Team competed in the 39th ICPC World Finals in Morocco on May 16 to 21, 2015. The field of competition was highly selective. A total of 128 teams of three were chosen (from a field of 38,160 contestants from 2,534 universities in 101 countries on six continents) to compete for the chance to win medals and become the world champion. The Virginia Tech team consisted of Scott Pruett (computer science), Nick Sharp (computer science), and Aziz Yusupov (computer science and business economics), with Dr. Godmar Back (computer science) as their coach.
The competition took place over two days and consisted of 13 challenging problems posed to teams. For the first time in the history of the competition, the winning team from St. Petersburg State University of Information Technologies, Mechanics, and Optics (ITMO) managed to solve all of the problems. The top 12 teams, that solved 9 or more problems, received medals. The scoreboard can be viewed here.
The Virginia Tech team solved 4 problems and placed 92 out of 128 teams. The new season will start soon and the team will face strong opponents in the region, including the University of Virginia who is yearning for a chance to regain the spot Virginia Tech took from them last year!
According to their website, the ACM International Collegiate Programming Contest (ICPC) is the premier global programming competition conducted by and for the world’s universities. The competition operates under the auspices of ACM, is sponsored by IBM, and is headquartered at Baylor University. For nearly four decades, the ICPC has grown to be a game-changing global competitive educational program that has raised aspirations and performance of generations of the world’s problem solvers in the computing sciences and engineering.
Last Friday, April 24th, the Association for Women in Computing (AWC) held the 17th Annual Women in Computing Day at Virginia Tech. 60 local 7th grade girls from Blacksburg, Pulaski, Dublin and Floyd participated. Terri Mitchell, the vice-president of TMS Integration at IBM, opened the event with an introduction to women in computing. Following Mrs. Mitchell, the girls were separated into small groups and rotated through four exciting and interactive activities that exposed them to computers and computational thinking from different perspectives. These workshops included “Decoding your DNA” focused on code as it occurs in nature. “Be the data”, which was a data analytic and visualization activity held in the Cube at the Moss Art Center. “Squishy circuits” allowed the girls to create circuits using conductive play-dough, LEDs and batteries, and “Do it yourself Apps are a Snap!” introduced them to the Snap! Programming environment.
The girls and volunteers were given t-shirts that resulted from the annual AWC design competition. Women in Computing Day was organized by sophomore Aarathi Raghuraman and junior Divya Sharma. WCD has been supported by the Department of Computer Science and Computer Science Research Consortium for 17 years, and this year was aided by ICAT.
The day culminated a year of student-led activities from the AWC. Opportunities for both graduate and undergraduates to get involved with the AWC and shape next year to their own ideas can be pursued by sending email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
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.”
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!