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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VT team wins Caring the Caregive Hackathon

A team of six undergraduate and graduate students won, the Caring for the Caregiver Hackathon sponsored by the Lindsay Institute for Innovations in Caregiving. Three members of the team and the faculty advisor came from the Department of Computer Science.  The winning design, called CareFood, helps caregivers develop ideas and plans about what to eat, given the burdens of caretaking and the many restrictions on food that people with Alzheimer’s disease may face due to their medication regimes.  It relies on location-based crowdsourcing for recommendations.

CS team members Maoyuan Sun, Peng Mi, and Junyang Chen stayed up throughout the night to create a working prototype of the front end.  Dr. Deborah Tatar, CS faculty, coached the team. Yujun Liu, from human development, represented the gerontology knowledge and assembled the team.  Yong Sue from the Pamplin School developed the required approach to business, and Ross Ritsch, a freshman in International Studies, provided a fresh voice and served as a spokesman during the project presentation.  Mary-Margaret Fosmark, a caregiver provided by the sponsors, advised the team about caregiver needs.


Tarter photo 03.31.15

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Programming Team advances to World Finals in Morocco

(pictured left to right, Eric Woods, IBM Representative (and VT grad); Miraziz Yusupov, Nick Sharp, Scott Pruett and Coach Dr. Godmar Back)

December 2, 2014 — The VT team has advanced to the 2015 ACM-ICPC World Finals to be held May 16 – May 21 in Marrakech, Morocco.

On Nov 1st, the Virginia Tech ACM Programming Team competed in the 2014 Regional ACM International Collegiate Programming Competition (ICPC).  Virginia Tech fielded eight teams of three students each, who competed among 188 teams from universities and colleges across the Mid-Atlantic region for a coveted spot at the ACM ICPC World Finals, which will be held in Marrakech, Morocco in May 2015.  The Mid-Atlantic region comprises universities and colleges in the states of Virginia, North Carolina, West Virginia, Delaware, Maryland, D.C., East Pennsylvania and South New Jersey.

The ACM ICPC contest fosters creativity, teamwork, and innovation in building new software programs, and enables students to test their ability to perform under pressure.  It is the oldest, largest, and most prestigious programming contest in the world.

All participating students were CS majors, ranging from sophomores who competed for the first time to seniors who participated for the 2nd or 3rd year.  Virginia Tech's top-scoring team, which consisted of CS students Nicholas Sharp, Scott Pruett, and Miraziz Yusupov, finished first at the Radford University site, and placed overall 3rd place. With this result, it is one of only 22 teams from North America to qualify for a spot at the World Finals.

Overall, our teams placed as follows:

#3  The Traveling Salesmen:

        Scott Pruett, Nick Sharp, Miraziz Yusupov

#11 Trie Hards:

        Brendan Avent, Tucker Noia, Saurav Sharma

#15 The Canonical Backtrackers:

        Hassan Almas, Andriy Katkov, Nathaniel Lahn

#16 The Breadth-First Searchers:

        Harrison Fang, Daniel Gil, Luke Wolff

#48 Ternary Search Party:

        Nate Craun, Michael Zamani, Loran Steinberger

Honorable mention:

The Multinomials:

    Larissa Perara, Aarathi Raghuraman, Monica Wei

Recursive Descendants:

    Carlos Folgar, Brannon Mason, Elliace Zargarpur

The Naive Backtrackers:

    Patrick Easter, Edward McEnrue, Reid Thomas

Our teams prepared in weekly practices and multiple 5-hour mock contests held on the weekends leading up to the regional contest.

The ACM Programming Team is open to all undergraduate students and to graduate students who have not completed more than 5 years of post-K12 education. See here for complete eligibility requirements.

Students interested in participating in the team should contact Team Coach Dr. Godmar Back (gback@vt.edu), or visit the team web page at https://icpc.cs.vt.edu/ 

All CS@VT teams pictured below:

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1st Virginia Tech High School Programming Contest

As part of our departmental outreach to the community, the ACM-ICPC Programming Team of the Virginia Tech, led by its coach Dr. Godmar Back, held the first Virginia Tech High School Programming Contest. The contest was held on Saturday, Dec 6, online.

24 teams from 7 high schools across the state competed for 5 hours to solve 10 challenging programming problems, posed in the style of the ACM-ICPC contest. The winning team from the Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology, TJHSST Freshmen, solved 9 out of 10 problems.


The top three teams were:

  1. Place: TJHSST Freshmen (Thomas Jefferson High School): Sujay Ratna, Shwetark Patel, William Li
  2. Place: Betaware 4 (Battlefield High School): Ethan Villagran, Ian Cabacungan, Nick Gill
  3. Place: CIT Team 1 (Deep Run High School): Roman Bohuk, Jake Smith, Seth Tenembaum

This contest was organized by Dr. Godmar Back (Contest Director and Head Judge), and volunteers from the Virginia Tech ACM ICPC Programming Team: Daniel Gil, Rupin Khera, Larissa Perara, Nick Sharp, Andriy Katkov, Harrison Fang. Problems were created by Dr. Back, Nick Sharp, Andriy Katkov, and Daniel Gil. Several high school teachers and parents functioned as on-site coaches.

For more information, including full final results and the problem set, see here.

Virginia Tech is planning to host this contest annually during the Fall semester. High School teachers and other interested parties who wish to be informed about future contests are invited to join the vthscontest Google group.

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Team from Department of Computer Science Awarded Honorary Mention at The ACM-ICPC World Finals

A programming team composed of three students from the Department of Computer Science, lead by Dr. Godmar Back, received an honorary mention at the ACM-ICPC World Finals, held in May 2014. The team members were Matthew Dallmeyer, Michael O’Beirne, and Nicholas Sharp. Overall the team finished #92 out of 122; or #16 out of 21 teams within North America. St. Petersburg State won the championship, and NYU was the best among the US universities.

This competition, a great experience for the students, was held in Yekaterinburg, Russia’s fourth-largest city. Ural Federal University hosted the event, which was broadcasted sports-entertainment style by the same company who worked in Sochi for the Olympic games. Next year, the ACM-ICPC competition will be held in Morocco.

More information about this competition can be found at http://icpc.baylor.edu/. And the full list of results for the 2014 competition can be seen at http://icpc.baylor.edu/worldfinals/results.

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DelMundo awarded third place in the Grand Finals of the annual 2014 ACM Student Research Competition

Carlo DelMundo, student in ECE Department, was awarded third place in the Grand Finals of the annual 2014 ACM Student Research Competition. This was a competition among previous winners from different areas of CS. Del Mundo placed first at the Student Research Competition last fall at Supercomputing 2013, which lead him to the Grand Finals. Del Mundo, who was also recognized as the Outstanding CE Senior in the Spring 2014, is a part of the Synergy research group, lead by Dr. Wu Feng. For more information on the ACM Student Research Competition, please visit http://src.acm.org/about.html.

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Engineering 1024 Slides

Dr. Perez and I have been making appearances in ENGE 1024 classes this week, talking about why we think CS is a great major and career. They gave us five minutes and a limit of three ppt slides, so we couldn’t get in much trouble. If you want to see the slides we used, see below. I have to admit that this idea of actively recruiting undergraduate students is taking some getting used to. Five years ago we had more students than we could handle. And since we got into CS because we thought it was really cool and challenging and rewarding … we can’t imagine that anyone would see it differently, right?

By the way, being forced to stand up and say why your department exists, and having five minutes to do it, is a pretty good exercise. Maybe we should make all professors do this.

CS Department Blurb for ENGE 1024

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