The Computer Science Graduate Student Group hosted a research symposium on Wednesday, Dec. 8.
The keynote speaker was John A. Stankovic, BP America Professor of Computer Science and director of the Link Lab for cyber-physical systems. Stankovic, who received a University of Virginia Research Mentor Award for being a role model who is always willing to offer guidance, presented “Real-Time and Cyber Physical Systems: Interwoven Advice and Results.”
In the talk, Stankovic shared five guiding principles for research success. First, always work on the edge by looking five years into the future to anticipate how technology will change. Second, always challenge current assumptions and introduce ideas from other fields. Third, synthesize what is central and foundational to the underlying science. Fourth, solve problems that people care about. And, finally, have a vision and specific point of view for your research.
Stankovic provided examples of these principles in action from a research career – across areas of electrical and computer engineering, computer science and cyber-physical systems – that has resulted in over 69,000 citations and an h-index of 121.
The event also offered a forum for the graduate students to present their research and gain insights from numerous computer science faculty who gave talks that offered best practices and advice. (View the poster awards here.)
Josephine Lamp and Soneya Binta Hossain, two of eight graduate students on the Computer Science Graduate Student Group’s steering committee, coordinated the all-day research symposium.
Lamp conducts research, under advisors Lu Feng and David Evans, in the area of formal methods as applied to medical cyber-physical systems. Hossain conducts research, in formal methods that will lead to safer autonomous systems, under advisor Matthew B. Dwyer.
Hossain, who is the leadership chair of the student group, opened the symposium with a welcome and introduction of Stankovic. She chose UVA’s School of Engineering and Applied Science for her doctoral studies specifically because she wanted the opportunity to work with Dwyer who is a founding faculty member of the Leading Engineering for Safe Software Lab, commonly known as the LESS Lab.
“The Department of Computer Science is particularly strong in the research area of software engineering and this is my particular interest,” said Hossain. She credits Dwyer and all the faculty in the LESS Lab with encouraging its graduate students to participate in leadership activities, like coordinating the research symposium.
“I was working in the technology industry for several years before I came to UVA and that corporate experience gave me an appreciation for critical skills that are needed outside of the lab.” Hossain said. “Putting together this symposium provided real-world experience in working with a team in preparing for a future that will be filled with attending conferences and presenting my research.”
“I hope to act as a useful representative and help improve and support the program and students here,” Lamp said about her work with the Computer Science Graduate Student Group. Events like the research symposium are one way of building community and creating connections between students and faculty.
Hossain also credits opportunities like the research symposium – where students and faculty gather to share ideas – with helping her quickly integrate into the UVA Engineering community. “As an international Ph.D. student, I faced a lot of challenges when I first came here and I am sure other students feel the same way,” she said.
Hossain found community-focused events to be so rewarding that she stepped into her leadership role with the Computer Science Graduate Student Group. “Our work centers on creating opportunities that not only lead to a vibrant research community but also build strong social connections, which are so important to a successful academic experience,” she said.