CS News Briefs

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

    2023 CS Research Symposium Highlights

    October 17, 2023

    On October 3, 2023, the Computer Science Graduate Student Group (CSGSG) held their annual research symposium in Rice Hall. The event included a mix of talks from faculty and students, as well as two breakout poster sessions where graduate students presented their research. Awards were given at the conclusion of the event based for “Faculty’s Choice” and “Student’s Choice” from the two poster sessions. (Read on to find the results!)

    A UVA Engineering Rising Star Recognized With International Conference Research Award

    August 14, 2023

    Jundong Li, a University of Virginia School of Engineering and Applied Science assistant professor who specializes in data mining and machine learning, has been honored with the Early Career Research Award at the 2023 Pacific-Asia Conference on Knowledge Discovery and Data Mining.

    In its 27th year, the conference — known as PAKDD — is one of the longest-running and leading international forums for researchers and industry practitioners to share ideas, original research results and practical development experiences across knowledge discovery and data mining fields.

    The Early Career Research Award recognizes excellence and promise in the awardee’s body of work over the first 10 years after receiving the Ph.D. degree.

    Li received his Ph.D. in computer science at Arizona State University in 2019. His Ph.D. dissertation research focused on algorithms to make predictive models more accurate and productive.

    He also holds a Master of Science in computer science from the University of Alberta, Canada, and a Bachelor of Engineering in software engineering from Zhejiang University in China.

    Li joined UVA Engineering’s Charles L. Brown Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering as an assistant professor in the fall of 2019, with joint appointments in the Department of Computer Science and School of Data Science.

    His recent research focus areas include causal inference — or finding cause-and-effect relationships in huge data sets — and algorithmic fairness. The latter aims to open the “black box” of algorithms that affect people’s lives — such as computer models that evaluate bank loan applications — to ensure equal treatment across demographics.

    CS Department End of Year Award Recipients 2022-2023

    May 03, 2023

    During a ceremony on Wednesday, May 3, 2023, the recipients of our department end-of-year awards were announced and presented with certificates. We congratulate these undergraduate and graduate student for their tremendous work and efforts this year! 

    HooHacks Turns 10: UVA’s Student-run Hackathon Going Strong

    May 02, 2023


    UVA students cracked more than few smiles during HooHacks 2023, the 10th year of the student-run hackathon event.

    HooHacks recently marked 10 years of running what has become one of the largest collegiate hackathons in the state — a streak that includes pivoting to an all-virtual format during the pandemic, then relearning how to host hundreds of hackers on site.

    After last year’s hybrid event, 2023’s version was entirely in person for the first time since 2019, and in-person attendance roughly doubled from 2022. The team was led by co-presidents and fourth-year computer science students Jade Heilemann and Amrit Gorle with the support of dozens of students handling tasks from technology setup to budgeting and marketing. Organizers signed in a whopping 620 students from 31 schools and oversaw 102 project submissions over the 24-hour event that began March 25.

    The completely student-run hackathon invites graduate, undergraduate and high school students 18 years and older with coding experience ranging from none to lots to team up, dream up and build tech projects across numerous categories, competing with each other for prizes. Categories relate to topics such as disability accessibility, finance and education, to name a few. Many of the prizes are sponsored by companies who partner with UVA and the HooHacks team.

    Examples of winning projects include an attachment to affordably enable any motorized wheelchair to operate through eye-tracking. The team was motivated by the high cost of even basic eye-tracking systems, which puts the technology out of reach for many quadriplegics who could benefit from it.

    Alumnus Wins Award for Outstanding Dissertation in Area of Software Engineering

    April 14, 2023

    David Shriver, a recent graduate of the University of Virginia computer science Ph.D. program, has won the 2023 SIGSOFT Outstanding Doctoral Dissertation Award from the Association for Computing Machinery’s Special Interest Group on Software Engineering.

    Shriver was advised by Matthew Dwyer, the Robert Thomson Distinguished Professor, and Sebastian Elbaum, the Anita Jones Faculty Fellow and Professor, in the computer science department. Shriver defended his dissertation, Increasing the Applicability of Verification Tools for Neural Networks, last fall, earning his degree in December 2022.

    The ACM SIGSOFT award recognizes an outstanding dissertation in the area of software engineering. Shriver’s research developed techniques to ensure that systems using machine learning behave in the way the systems are intended to behave. Machine learning is a branch of artificial intelligence that continues to expand into complex and often high-stakes or safety-critical applications such as financial systems and self-driving cars.

    Rather than develop new ways to check the correctness of neural networks — models learned by software created to emulate human thinking — Shriver focused on adapting “verifiers” and “falsifiers” that are already in use but are limited in the types of networks and properties they support.

    UVA Computer Science Team Wins 2023 Virginia Cyber Cup

    April 05, 2023


    From left are UVA coach Daniel Graham; UVA team members August Bresnaider, Maxim Gorodchanin, Chase Hildebrand, Christopher Marotta, Kyle McDonald and Ethan Steere; Col. David Gray, director of the VMI Center for Leadership and Ethics; David Raymond, head of Virginia Cyber Range; and Sarah Solari Hayes, portfolio director, Commonwealth Cyber Initiative.

    The team from the University of Virginia Department of Computer Science brought the Virginia Cyber Cup home to Charlottesville after an impressive runaway performance in the cyber security competition.

    Teams vied for the cup at Commonwealth Cyber Fusion, an annual conference of the 24 Virginia colleges and universities that are designated National Centers of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense.

    UVA team members August Bresnaider, Maxim Gorodchanin, Chase Hildebrand, Christopher Marotta, Kyle McDonald and Ethan Steere competed under the coaching of their advisor, Daniel Graham, an assistant professor of computer science.

    Computer Science Chair Sandhya Dwarkadas’ 2002 Paper Stands the Test of Time

    March 03, 2023


    Department of Computer Science chair Sandhya Dwarkadas has won the Technical Committee on Computer Architecture’s 2022 Test of Time Award for “Energy-efficient processor design using multiple clock domains with dynamic voltage and frequency scaling,” a paper she co-authored in 2002.

    Dwarkadas, the Walter N. Munster Professor of Computer Science at the University of Virginia School of Engineering and Applied Science, received the award with her colleagues at HPCA2023, the 29th IEEE International Symposium on High-Performance Computer Architecture, in February.

    The Technical Committee on Computer Architecture is a unit of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Computer Society. The committee’s citation notes the Test of Time Award is the “highest honor an academic paper can receive for its impact and recognizes an HPCA paper whose influence is still felt 18-22 years after its initial publication.”

    Doryab Part of Sleep Study Published in PNAS

    February 17, 2023


    Afsaneh Doryab, assistant professor of systems engineering and computer science, was part of a multi-university collaboration between Carnegie Mellon University, the University of Washington, Notre Dame and the University of Virginia that recently published a paper in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, “Nightly Sleep Duration Predicts Grade Point Average in the First Year of College.” Doryab led the collection, processing, and analysis of the CMU student data and developed the design for processing the study data that was collected via smartphone and Fitbit. Their research was covered by The Washington Post.


    Computer Science Professor Wins Best Paper Award at Symposium on Edge Computing

    January 05, 2023

    Associate professor of computer science Felix Xiaozhu Lin and his co-author, Hongyu Miao, a former Ph.D. advisee at Purdue University, won the best paper award at the Seventh ACM/IEEE Symposium on Edge Computing in Seattle last month.

    Lin and Miao’s paper, “Towards Out-of-core Neural Networks on Microcontrollers,” addresses constraints imposed by memory size on microcontroller units to run large neural networks. The team demonstrated a technique to enable microcontroller units to run large neural networks with acceptable cost-benefit tradeoffs.

    Their findings mean microcontroller units, previously thought unsuitable for many important use cases, can be deployed for these functions, such as analyzing traffic patterns from city cameras, understanding speech in smart homes and smart spaces, and detecting anomalies in manufacturing environments.