The Computer Science Department at The University of Texas at Dallas held its first annual Undergraduate Research Expo in Computer Science on Saturday, April 11th 2015. Approximately 75 students attended the Expo, including 20 who came from other Universities.
In his opening speech kicking off the Expo, Professor John Cole, the event chairman, warmly welcomed the attendees. He applauded all who came and presented, saying that by doing research, they “as undergraduates, are doing something few people ever do.” He described research as “what I’m doing when I don’t know what I’m doing!” He went on to point out how “other sciences look upon computation as a means to an end, a way to perform arithmetic or do math that is too time-consuming to do by hand; computer science in its purest form deals with the emergent properties of computation.”
Presentations at the Undergraduate Research Expo in Computer Science were selected by a program committee that consisted of Prof. John Cole (chair), Prof. Zygmunt Haas, Prof. Ryan McMahan, Prof. Balakrishnan Prabhakaran and Prof. Shyam Karrah. Computer Science students from around Texas and the Southwest submitted their papers, posters and software demos for review before they were accepted into the Expo. Undergraduate UT Dallas Students were especially encouraged to participate in the first inaugural Undergraduate Research Expo.
The 15-minute student talks in the morning and afternoon varied from research papers to posters to software demos. Presentations covered a wide variety of topics in computer science. The presentations subsequently were judged by the Program Committee aided by Profs Nicholas Ruozzi and Neeraj Gupta. The Expo offered cash prizes totaling $2,500.
The event also included a series of short talks given during lunch by UT Dallas CS faculty members. Dr. Zygmunt Haas gave a short presentation on why one should do a PhD and what the advantages are in getting that degree from UT Dallas. Drs. Murat Kantarcioglu, Balakrishnan Prabhakaran, Lawrence Chung, Ravi Prakash, Ding Z. Du, and Yang Liu highlighted the research being conducted by, respectively, the Cyber Security, Computer Systems, Software Engineering, Networking, Computing Theory, and Intelligent Systems groups within the UT Dallas CS Department.
The winners of the 2015 Computer Science Expo were the following:
First place: Stephen Pena – On Delay Variation for Internet Multimedia – University of Houston – Victoria
Second place: Timothy Hewitt – PSIL Seriously Isn’t LISP – UT Dallas
Honorable mention: Nicholas Herrera – Brain Computer Interface Travel Technique – UT Dallas
Honorable mention: Kishan Patel and Harit Shah — A Physiology-based Monotonous Driving Detection System – University of Houston Downtown
First place: Devin Wiley – Recognizing Function Boundary Without Learning – UT Dallas
Second place: Brandon Wilson – An Efficient Non-Parametric Background Modeling with CUDA Heterogenous Parallel Architecture – University of Houston – Victoria
Honorable mention: Siddhesh Pratap Singh – Modifying Burrows-Wheeler Transform for Improved Compression in the Context of Genomic Assembly – UT Dallas
Honorable mention: Xavia Kirk – Noninvasive Method for Monitoring Heart and Respiration Rates During Sleep Using Phonocardiography and a Pneumatic Method- UT Arlington
Devin Wiley who won first place in the paper presentation category is a senior at UT Dallas. He has been working under the guidance of Dr. Zhiqiang Lin for a few years as an undergraduate and will be getting a Masters in Computer Science with a concentration in Information Assurance in the fall of 2016. “Doing research definitely does take time – I started work on this paper in December and have been putting in 6-8 hours a week. We are continuing to increase the size of our data sets to solidify our argument and we hope to publish the paper in a major cyber security conference.”
A full list of presentations can be found at the Expo website.
About UT Dallas Computer Science Department:
The Department of Computer Science at UT Dallas is one of the largest Computer Science departments in the United States with over 1,300 bachelor’s-degree students, more than 1150 master’s students, 150 PhD students, and 75 faculty members. They are committed to exceptional teaching and research in a culture that is as daring as it is supportive.