Each year the Computing Research Association recognizes a small number of undergraduate students in their Outstanding Undergraduate Researcher Award competition – students who, as undergraduates, have conducted cutting-edge research working alongside faculty members, postdocs, and graduate students. CRA honors a Winner, a Runner-up, a small number of Finalists, and a larger (but still highly selective) number of Honorable Mentions, among both male and female students.
Three UW CSE students have been recognized in the 2015 competition: Saloni Parikh, KimYen Truong, and Brett Boston.
Saloni was named a Finalist among women. Saloni is working with Gaetano Borriello, Richard Anderson, and Global Health faculty member Carey Farquhar to create a system for the longitudinal tracking of HIV discordant couples (where one is HIV positive and one negative) in Western Kenya over several years to determine which health intervention were most effective in saving the other partner from HIV infection.
KimYen was named an Honorable Mention among women. KimYen is working with Maya Cakmak to develop a low-cost robotic tutor for teaching language. It has been consistently demonstrated that an embodied robotic agent is significantly more effective in teaching than a virtual or disembodied agent delivering the same content. The specific idea of using robots to teach language came from the founders of a non-profit foundation that builds schools in Africa, where they have difficulty finding qualified English teachers or recruiting foreign teachers.
Brett was named the Runner-up among men. Brett is working with Dan Grossman, Luis Ceze, and senior graduate student Adrian Sampson on the area of approximate computing – the controversial (blasphemous?) idea of letting some computations be (occasionally) incorrect in order to improve performance or energy.
Congratulations to Saloni, KimYen, Brett, and all of UW CSE’s amazing students!
(Last we checked, over the past decade more students from UW CSE had been recognized in CRA’s Outstanding Undergraduate Researcher Award competition that from any other university. Go team!)