CS News Briefs

Read the latest news briefs from and about students and faculty in the UVA Computer Science Department.

    Student Committee Creates Stronger Community

    June 10, 2021

    The Link Lab Student Committee on Culture and Livability is a graduate student organization focused on building community through inclusivity. During a year of social distancing, the committee worked even harder to create opportunities for social gatherings in support of the well-being of students and faculty members of the Link Lab. The committee’s work to keep everyone connected in the difficult time of pandemic culminated in the year-end picnic with family and friends to celebrate a successful year.

    Meiyi Ma and John A. Stankovic Win Best Paper Award

    June 04, 2021

    Meiyi Ma, a computer science Ph.D. graduate, and her advisor John A. Stankovic, BP America Professor of Computer Science, are part of a team whose paper won the best paper award at this year’s ICCPS, the ACM/IEEE International Conference on Cyber-Physical Systems. The paper, titled “DeResolver: A Decentralized Negotiation and Conflict Resolution Framework for Smart City Services,” by Y. Yuan, M. Ma, S. Han, D. Zhang, F. Miao, J. A. Stankovic, and S. Lin, was recognized by ICCPS with this citation: “This paper provides an important contribution to a challenge in large-scale systems-of-systems. The authors’ work combines theoretical guarantees with machine learning optimization. The approach has been verified using real-world data applied to simulation.”

    Qingyun Wu Receives UVA International Studies Office Award for Graduate Academic Excellence

    June 04, 2021

    Congratulations to Qingyun Wu, a 2021 computer science Ph.D. graduate, for receiving a UVA International Studies Office Award for Graduate Academic Excellence. The award recognizes graduating international students who have excelled academically and demonstrated strong leadership in the UVA and Charlottesville community. Her research focus is machine learning with an emphasis on methods that involve online decision-making. Wu was advised by Hongning Wang, associate professor in the Department of Computer Science. 

    Qingyun Wu

    ESE Team Wins Best Paper Award

    May 27, 2021

    A research team from the University of Virginia’s Department of Engineering Systems and Environment has won a 2021 Best Paper Award in the journal Water.

    The paper, “Forecasting Groundwater Table in a Flood-Prone Coastal City with Long Short-term Memory and Recurrent Neural Networks,” reports on research by Benjamin Bowes, an ESE Ph.D. student. Bowes co-authored the work with Jeffrey Sadler, a 2019 Ph.D. graduate; Mohamed Morsy, a 2017 Ph.D. graduate; Madhur Behl, assistant professor in computer science and engineering systems and environment; and Jonathan Goodall, professor in engineering systems and environment and associate director of UVA Engineering’s Link Lab. Behl is also affiliated with the Link Lab, an interdisciplinary center for cyber-physical systems research.

    Find the paper here.

    2021 CS John A. Stankovic Graduate Research Award Winner: Mengdi Huai

    May 18, 2021

    Mengdi photo

    About Mengdi: 

    I am a Ph.D. Student in the Department of Computer Science supervised by Prof. Aidong Zhang. My research interests broadly are data mining and machine learning, with an emphasis on the aspects of model transparency, security, privacy, and algorithm design. 


    How Mengdi achieved success this year: 

    I enjoy solving new problems and challenges using my skillset, which motivates me to work really hard and push myself to achieve new goals. 

    2021 CS John A. Stankovic Graduate Research Award Winner: Marzieh Lenjani

    May 18, 2021

    Marzieh Lenjani Photo

    About Marzieh: 

    I am a Ph.D. candidate advised by Professor Kevin Skadron. My research explores application characterization, accelerator design for machine learning and big data applications, and mapping and optimization of modern applications on emerging processors and accelerators. I enjoy swimming, hiking, cooking, and writing diaries. 


    How Marzieh achieved success this year: 

    Working on what I think will have a real impact and support from my advisor helped me the most. I work on reducing the cost of data movement, where the collective impact of the research area is solving a very important problem and resolve the main hindrance to future applications. Research in this area is challenging. However, having a supportive advisor who always encourages me and is very supportive even when facing setbacks is very helpful. More importantly, my advisor values balancing work and personal lives, allowing me to assign some time for taking care of my mental and physical health. All these together have made the Ph.D. journey enjoyable for me. 


    2021 CS John A. Stankovic Graduate Research Award Winner: Tianlu Wang

    May 18, 2021

    Tianlu Wang photo

    About Tianlu: 

    I am a Ph.D. student in the Department of Computer Science. I am fortunate to work with my advisor, Prof. Vicente Ordóñez Román. Before coming to UVA, I obtained my bachelor's degree in computer science from Zhejiang University, China. I received a Best Paper Award at EMNLP 2017. I have a broad interest in exploring topics concerning fairness, robustness, and accountability in machine learning models, especially in computer vision and natural language processing systems. 


    How Tianlu achieved success this year: 

    I always believe that my research is important and useful. I look forward to exploring more fairness-related problems in my future career. 

    2021 CS Graduate Service Award Winner: Yasunari Kato

    May 18, 2021

    Yasunari photo

    About Yasunari: 

    I am a first year Computer Science Masters student, focusing on Computer Architecture. I am currently doing research on Persistent Memory Errors under Professor Samira Khan. I am also currently the CSGSG Diversity Chair. 

    When not focusing on my studies, I enjoy outdoor activities such as hiking, Ultimate Frisbee, and snowboarding. I also like spending my time playing popular board games such as Settlers of Catan and Avalon. 


    How Yasunari achieved success this year: 

    Maximizing social interaction, whether it be outside with friends, over zoom for happy hours, or even just calling or texting helped me feel less isolated this past year. 


    2021 CS Graduate Service Award Winner: Xida Ren

    May 18, 2021

    Xida Ren Photo

    About Xida: 

    I'm working in Computer Architecture, but also interested in machine learning, biology, math, and some political / social science. I love Asimov's science fiction because they touch on a bit of all of the above. I have a 10 year old BMW that I bought for cheap and maintain myself (no way I'm going to fix it at the dealership on a grad student stipend), but I've sortta accepted that I'm not going to be able to fix this car and I'm just slowing its end. I'm a recovering DOTA addict, but I sometimes still check into the game and see what's going on. 

    I love every aspect of TAing except grading, and gradescope is an amazing thing to have in a class. This is why I think I'll eventually become a professor and teach. 


    How Xida achieved success this year: 

    For me it's mostly been people. Work can be painful, but with people to help you get past obstacles and celebrate success, it makes it bearable and even enjoyable to try and accomplish things. Research wise, my advisor Ashish Venkat was amazing. A good amount of guidance and push for research, but I'm also constantly encouraged to take care of myself. He leads by example and tells me his own stories which is really encouraging. 

    In the CSGSG, I'd like to thank Josie, Yasunari, and Rory. Josie is an amazing mentor and taught me a lot about sending out announcements, organizing meetings, and just getting things done in an organization while keeping it pleasant for everybody. Yasunari has been very very active and a constant stream of energy and good ideas. Rory did a lot of infrastructure work and made it very easy for me to engage newcomers in the CSGSG. Outside the CSGSG, I really appreciate my friends David and Dante for being super supportive and kind to me even when I'm just a ball of stress. 

    2021 CS Graduate Teaching Award Winner: Md Aashikur Rahman Azim

    May 18, 2021

    Aashik photo

    About Aashikur: 

    I am a third-year Computer Science Ph.D. student. I am advised by Dr. Seongkook Heo. My area of research is Human-Computer Interaction, especially wearable user interfaces and interactions. I received both Bachelor of Science and Master of Science degrees from Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology (BUET). I am a family man, spend most of the free time with family by visiting new places. I play indoor and outdoor sports- cricket, soccer, and table tennis, depending on the weather and situations. 


    How Aashikur achieved success this year: 

    To keep me motivated during the unusual year, I have focused on a better future and planning to visit my home country once the pandemic comes to an end. While getting stuck in doing things, I used to sit alone on my balcony, having fresh air, which helped me get back to work with full rhythm.