2020 Computer Science End of Year Award Winners

Congratulations to our outstanding students for their achievements during the 2019-2020 academic year!

    2020 CS Outstanding Graduate Service Award Winner: Jack Lanchantin

    May 13, 2020

    Jack Lanchantin photo

    About Jack:

    My research interests include sequence representation learning, and in particular learning the language of DNA and proteins.

    What has kept Jack motivated:

    I enjoy reading and walking around UVA.

    2020 CS Outstanding Graduate Service Award Winner: Josephine Lamp

    May 13, 2020

    Josephine Lamp photo

    About Josie:

    I am a second-year Computer Science PhD student, 2020 NSF Graduate Research Fellow and Olive B. and Franklin C. Mac Krell Jefferson Fellow in the Link Lab at the University of Virginia. I am advised by Dr. Lu Feng and Dr. Dave Evans. My research is at the intersection of Healthcare, Computer Science and Cybersecurity; specifically, I’m developing privacy-preserving machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI) techniques for clinical decision support systems. My research is applied to improve outcomes for patients with Advanced Heart Failure and Type I Diabetes, among others. I received my B.S. in Biomedical Informatics (BMI) from Barrett, the Honors College at Arizona State University, where I graduated Summa Cum Laude, as a distinguished Outstanding Graduate and in the first graduating cohort of BMI undergraduates. I am also involved in health-privacy policy efforts, Chair of the Computer Science Department Graduate Student Group (student council,) and Editor-in-Chief of the Jefferson Journal of Science and Culture, an interdisciplinary journal run by Jefferson Fellows.

    What has kept Josie motivated:

    In terms of motivation, I have found focusing on the good and recognizing the new opportunities afforded to me by being home all the time has really helped. I am an optimist by nature, and although I’ve had my share of trials and tribulations during this quarantine, there have also been able a variety of positives that I am grateful for. For example, my home office is set against our large patio windows, and I never noticed how many beautiful birds there are that live in my neighborhood! I have also been able to learn how to make some delicious new recipes (pre-pandemic Josie was a terrible cook) and talk/skype my family much more often than I normally do because I am too busy.

    In addition, I have tried to make detailed schedules with what my weekly goals are and what I am going to do each day. This is something I usually do to stay productive; I have very detailed to do lists for each of my projects, extracurriculars, and even life stuff (i.e. go to grocery store) to keep track of everything. For the pandemic however, I have found it useful to be kind to myself and expect less each day. I still make weekly goals and daily tasks, but I give myself less to do each day than what I would normally expect. That way, I don’t feel discouraged if I am not as productive as I normally am, but I still have things I have to do to keep me focused each day.


    2020 CS Outstanding Graduate Teaching Award Winner: Anastasia Lalamentik

    May 13, 2020

    Anastasia Lalamentik photo

    About Anastasia:

    I am originally from Jakarta, Indonesia. I went to UNC-Chapel Hill for my undergraduate degree and worked as a software developer for three years before joining UVA. My area of research is Human-Computer Interaction, specifically haptics and accessibility. Some of my hobbies include music, photography, aerial arts, and traveling. A fun fact about me is that I have been studying abroad ever since I was eleven years old.

    2020 CS Outstanding Graduate Teaching Award Winner: Trey West

    May 13, 2020

    Trey West

    About Trey:

    I'm currently a 2nd-year Ph.D. student at UVA. My research at UVA includes thermal modeling and, more recently, acceleration and emulation using FPGAs. I received my undergraduate degree from Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) in Computer Engineering. While there, I worked on the RaPID prototyping project in which we researched re-purposing Blu-ray drives to be photolithography prototyping tools.

    I've always been interested in teaching, which is why I've pursued being a TA as long as I have. I have TA'ed courses involving signals and systems, microcomputer systems, FPGAs, computer architecture, and algorithms. I find teaching very rewarding, and aspire to one day be a professor teaching my own classes.

    As for my personal life, I enjoy spending my free time with my family. I just got engaged to my beautiful fiancee in April, and so I'm excited for the adventure that lies ahead of us. I'm also an avid board game collector, and I love to play board games and tabletop RPGs.

    What has kept Trey motivated:

    Funny enough, the main thing that has motivated me throughout this pandemic has been a fear of becoming unproductive. I've moved out of Charlottesville to be with my family, and I knew that being home with them could cause an extreme lack of motivation and, consequently, decrease my productivity. I didn't want this to happen, so I proactively forced myself to set aside time to get my work done. I'm actually working more regular hours (and probably more hours overall) now that I'm home than I did when I was in Charlottesville.

    2020 John A. Stankovic Graduate Research Award Winner: Huazheng Wang

    May 13, 2020

    Huazheng Wang photo

    About Huazheng:

    I am a Ph.D. student in Computer Science at University of Virginia, supervised by Prof. Hongning Wang. My current research focuses on multi-armed bandit algorithms with application to online recommendation and information retrieval systems.

    What has kept Huazheng motivated:

    While I spend most of the time in my room, I try to talk a walk outdoor every day. Breathing fresh air helps me to keep positive!

    2020 John A. Stankovic Graduate Research Award Winner: Qingyun Wu

    May 13, 2020

    Qingyun Wu photo

    About Qingyun:

    I am a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Computer Science, University of Virginia, advised by Prof. Hongning Wang. My research focuses on interactive online learning, including bandit algorithms, reinforcement learning, and their applications in real-world problems. My research has appeared in multiple top-tier venues, including SIGIR, WWW, KDD, and NeurIPS; and my algorithms have been evaluated in several commercial systems in industry (including Yahoo news recommendation and Snapchat lens recommendation). I received multiple prestigious awards from the University of Virginia for her excellence in research, including the Virginia Engineering Foundation Fellowship and the Graduate Student Award for Outstanding Research. My recent work on online learning to rank won the Best Paper Award of SIGIR'2019. I was also selected as one of the Rising Stars in EECS 2019. I will be joining Penn State University as an Assistant Professor in 2021.

    One key concept of my research work is 'Learning by Exploration'. However, I seldomly explore when it comes to food (or in the exploitation stage in the explore-then-commit strategy).

    What has kept Qingyun motivated:

    One thing that constantly motivates me the most is curiosity no matter during pandemic or not. Another very important thing that claims me down is a desk by the window. I enjoy occasionally looking outside of the window while working. It is really comforting to see the beauty of nature.


    2020 John A. Stankovic Graduate Research Award Winner: Saeed Mahloujifar

    May 13, 2020

    Saeed Mahloujifar photo

    About Saeed:

    I am a Ph.D. candidate at Computer Science Department of the University of Virginia. My research interest is in security and privacy of machine learning and their interplay with Cryptography. Before coming to UVA, I obtained my Bachelor’s degree in Software Engineering from Sharif University of Technology. I also spent Summer of 2019 interning at Microsoft Research, Redmond.

    2020 Louis T. Rader Undergraduate Chairperson/Research Award Winner: Alex Hicks

    May 13, 2020

    Alex Hicks photo

    About Alex:

    I am a graduating Computer Science and History double major and the Meals on Wheels capstone team that I got to work on this semester was definitely a highlight of my last year at UVA. Throughout my time here, I have been a TA for CS 2110 and CS 4102 for the past two years as well as teaching a student taught class on the intersection of CS and History last fall.  Next year I will be starting a PhD program in CS at Virginia Tech and I can’t wait to further explore CS education and hopefully teach some classes of my own.  In my free time, I have been involved in several different research projects as well with ESC and RodCouncil and a few intramural sports with my friends.

    What has kept Alex motivated:

    In order to keep myself motivated in this pandemic, I have been focusing on looking forward and making plans for next year. I have reached out to prospective advisors in order to start working on research this summer. I have also been free to spend more time with my family, read a couple new books, and keep in touch with my friends over Zoom.

    2020 Louis T. Rader Undergraduate Chairperson/Research Award Winner: Jack Morris

    May 13, 2020

    Jack Morris photo

    About Jack:

    I've been doing research on the robustness of NLP machine learning models with Prof. Yanjun Qi. I'm also a TA for algorithms, one of the best classes at UVA. In my spare time I like riding my bike, watching the NBA, and sometimes, coding for fun. Next year I'll be moving to Mountain View to participate in the Google AI Residency program!

    What has kept Jack motivated:

    I've been trying to teach myself guitar, which is a good way to pass the days and nights in quarantine. I heard ESPN is going to start showing South Korean baseball so I'm probably going to watch a decent amount of that.

    2020 Louis T. Rader Undergraduate Chairperson/Research Award Winner: James Yun

    May 13, 2020

    James Yun

    About James:

    I’m a full stack developer, entrepreneur, and lifelong learner from Arlington, Virginia. I am passionate about creating applications that make a lasting difference in people’s lives. When I'm not programming, I like to run, invest, and keep up with the latest tech news. After graduation, I’ll be joining Capital One as a software engineer.

    What has kept James motivated:

    Developing TrackCorona has been a calling for me to inform the world about the ongoing pandemic. Seeing the growth of our website and its global impact has been very rewarding.