Kai Zeng, a computer science graduate student in the College of Engineering at Oregon State University, brought home first place in the Lucid Programming Competition. Zeng competed among 260 participants from across the western United States in the hackathon. The outer space-themed challenge required contestants to solve 12 mathematic and algorithm problems such as Six Degrees of Neil Armstrong and Antimatter Annihilation.

Although he hadn’t done any algorithmic problem solving for a while, Zeng decided to enter the contest just to brush up on those skills. “I think algorithm skills should be exercised regularly,” he said. “I plan to participate in more programming competitions in the future to continue to improve my thinking and coding abilities.”

Zeng is a master’s degree student with a research focus on distributed systems and machine learning, advised by Associate Professor Lizhong Chen.

“Zeng’s excellent programming skills have helped his research significantly,” said Chen.

Photo of Jacob Cook.

Jacob Cook is the definition of an overachiever. This spring he had the rare distinction of graduating with not one but two honors bachelor’s degrees from the College of Engineering at Oregon State University, in bioengineering and electrical and computer engineering, as well as a minor in computer science.

“Successful completion of a dual degree requires unparalleled dedication and discipline to meet requirements for both programs,” said Matthew Johnston, assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering.

Cook’s achievements were recognized with the Burgess/Tektronix Award, given each year by the College of Engineering to a senior who has demonstrated exceptional participation in activities beyond academic performance. 

In addition to excelling in two challenging academic programs, Cook also completed a MECOP internship, participated in research for two different labs, served as both an undergraduate learning assistant and a resident assistant, and was an active community member.

“Jacob’s dedication and productive contributions to multiple hands-on research programs is remarkable, and it speaks to his future potential for contributions to the industry,” Johnston said.

Although he put in a huge amount of work on his own, Cook says he was lucky to have had tremendous support from his family. 

“Both my parents are computer engineers who taught me great perseverance and an intense work ethic,” he said. “They raised me to do my best and encouraged me to go to college. Likewise, my grandfather was a businessman who taught me the importance of leadership and interpersonal skills for success. I cannot imagine where I would be without my family, and I wouldn’t have received this award without their help.”

The Burgess/Tektronix Award was initiated in 1990 to honor Fred Burgess, past dean of the College of Engineering. Cook received a plaque and a check for $500 and will be recognized at the fall College of Engineering Celebrate Excellence event in the fall.

Photo of Laurel Hopkins

Laurel Hopkins was awarded the Future Investigators in NASA Earth and Space Science and Technology fellowship to support her doctoral research to improve species distribution models. The models link environmental variables to species occurrences and are useful tools for science and conservation.

Hopkins, a graduate student of computer science in the College of Engineering at Oregon State, was inspired by a class project in which she was modeling butterfly occurrences. She realized she could improve species distribution models using deep learning methods to analyze satellite images.

“Deep learning methods are incredibly powerful in extracting semantic information from images, meaning these techniques are well suited to analyze remotely sensed data,” she said.

She will use a large dataset of NASA Landsat images to train deep networks which, based on preliminary results, she expects will produce habitat summaries that are more descriptive than traditional methods, and lead to more informative species distribution models.

 Hopkins will publicly share the image library and deep network architectures so other researchers can use them to advance ecological research.

The award is for $135,000 to support her research under the guidance of Rebecca Hutchinson, assistant professor of computer science, and of fisheries and wildlife.

“I am thrilled to be working towards better understanding how we can limit our footprint and help support biodiversity,” Hopkins said. “It is phenomenal to get this support from NASA because it means that they understand the need and importance of this area of work.”

Photo of Margaret Burnett

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has named Margaret Burnett, Distinguished Professor of Computer Science at Oregon State University, to the Information Science and Technology Study Group for a three-year term beginning this summer. The group brings 30 of the brightest scientists and engineers together to identify new areas of development in computer and communication technologies and to recommend future research directions.

Burnett is the second Oregon State member of the study group. Tom Dietterich, Distinguished Professor of Computer Science, a part of the steering committee for the group.

“This is a chance to be a part of making a real impact together with some of the leading minds in science and technology, and change the world for the better,” Burnett said.

Burnett specializes in research at the intersection of human computer interaction and software engineering, and is known for her pioneering work in visual programming languages, end-user software engineering, and gender-inclusive software. She has received recognition from national organizations including the CHI Academy, the National Center for Women and TechnologyACM SIGSOFT, and IEEE Symposium on Visual Languages and Human-Centric Computing.

The Information Science and Technology Study Group was established by DARPA in 1987 to support its technology offices and provide continuing and independent assessment of the state of advanced information science and technology as it relates to the U.S. Department of Defense.

Lizhong Chen
Lizhong Chen

Lizhong Chen, assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering in the College of Engineering at Oregon State University, joins five others this year who were inducted into the Hall of Fame of the IEEE International Symposium on High-Performance Computer Architecture. It is the top venue in the field and there are only 53 inductees in its 26-year history who meet the requirement of having at least eight publications accepted to the symposium.

“I feel honored, as most of the current members in the Hall of Fame are senior researchers who are IEEE and/or ACM Fellows,” said Chen. “I appreciate the recognition as it acknowledges my technical contribution to the computer architecture community in the past decade. It also helps to increase the visibility of Oregon State in this research field.”

Earlier this year, Chen received the Best Paper Runner-Up Award at the 2020 IEEE International Symposium on High-Performance Computer Architecture. He also received the prestigious National Science Foundation CAREER Award in 2018.

Chen is the founder and organizer of the Annual International Workshop on AI-Assisted Design for Architecture. He is a Senior Member of the IEEE and the Association for Computing Machinery, and currently serves as an associate editor of the IEEE Transactions on Computers.

Photo of Ni Trieu.

Ni Trieu (’20 Ph.D., Computer Science) was recognized for her work in an area of cryptography called private set interaction. It allows two entities to compare databases to find items in common without leaking other information such as passwords.

Trieu received the dissertation award from the School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science for research that improved the speed and security of private set interaction.  She also developed the first practical techniques to compare more than two sets of data.

“Ni has a great aptitude for research, and a compelling vision of how cryptographic tools can protect the privacy of everyday people,” said Mike Rosulek, associate professor of computer science in the College of Engineering. “She matches her technical aptitude with an equal measure of hard work and persistence.”

Trieu grew up in Vietnam and received a scholarship to do her undergraduate studies in Russia at St. Petersburg State Polytechnic University. During her time there, she developed an interest in theoretical computer science, including cryptography, which she describes as a bridge between theory and practical applications.

As a student at Oregon State, Ni also spent several summers as a research intern at Bell Labs, Visa Research, and Google. She is currently a postdoctoral researcher at University of California, Berkeley. She will be joining Arizona State University as an assistant professor this fall.

Photo of Souti Chattopadhyay
Souti Chattopadhyay, graduate student of computer science.

Souti Chattopadhyay, graduate student of computer science in the College of Engineering at Oregon State University, was first author on a paper that won the Honorable Mention Award at the 2020 ACM CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems. The distinction is given to the top 10% of the papers presented.

Other authors include her advisor, Anita Sarma, associate professor of computer science, and colleagues at Microsoft and University of Tennessee-Knoxville.

“This award means that our research matters and provides deeper insight into what the future can hold in terms of accessible and inclusive computing,” Chattopadhyay said.

Chattopadhyay’s research examines how data scientists make decisions when interacting with programming interfaces. The goal is to make programming tools contextually assistive with freedom to delay and review the outcomes of decisions along the path.

What’s Wrong with Computational Notebooks? Pain Points, Needs, and Design Opportunities

Souti Chattopadhyay1, Ishita Prasad2, Austin Z. Henley3, Anita Sarma1, Titus Barik2

Oregon State University1, Microsoft2, University of Tennessee-Knoxville3


Computational notebooks—such as Azure, Databricks, and Jupyter—are a popular, interactive paradigm for data scientists to author code, analyze data, and interleave visualizations, all within a single document. Nevertheless, as data scientists incorporate more of their activities into notebooks, they encounter unexpected difficulties, or pain points, that impact their productivity and disrupt their workflow. Through a systematic, mixed-methods study using semi-structured interviews (n = 20) and survey (n = 156) with data scientists, we catalog nine pain points when working with notebooks. Our findings suggest that data scientists face numerous pain points throughout the entire workflow—from setting up notebooks to deploying to production—across many notebook environments. Our data scientists report essential notebook requirements, such as supporting data exploration and visualization. The results of our study inform and inspire the design of computational notebooks.

John F. Conley, Jr., professor of electrical and computer engineering, was appointed associate editor of IEEE Transactions on Electron Devices, the flagship journal of the IEEE Electron Devices Society.

Photo fo John F. Conley
John F. Conley achieves another milestone.

Conley is also an IEEE Fellow and was elected a 2019 Fellow of the American Vacuum Society. In other recent achievements, he nearly made it to the top of Marys Peak on his road bike starting from his house in Corvallis, but got turned around by snow.

“I am excited about my new role as associate editor which will be continuing my long service to IEEE that began in graduate school as a reviewer for Transactions on Nuclear Science,” Conley said. “I view associate editorship as an honor as well as an obligation. It will require much hard work but will give me the opportunity to arrange for appropriate and constructive technical reviews and to influence the content and quality of one of IEEE’s flagship journals.”

Read more about Conley’s life and career.

Photo of Jordan Bartos.
Jordan Bartos, president of the OSU Hackathon club.

The coronavirus pandemic didn’t stop the OSU Hackathon Club from holding BeaverHacks Spring 2020 on March 27-29. Seventy-four participants formed 17 teams to develop a website, app, or API on the theme of community building.

It was held online — the usual venue for the club’s events, since the organizers are computer science students in the online baccalaureate program. However, the global health emergency still had an influence on the event.  

“We had a lot of submissions that somehow tied to the pandemic,” said Jordan Bartos, postbaccalaureate student in computer science and president of the club.

Teams were judged by a panel of instructors and industry representatives. The club distributed $400 in prizes to the following winners:

  • First place: The Reading Room by Mae LaPresta, Elizabeth Tackett, Manda Jensen.
  • Second place: Where the Heck by Zach Tindell, Jeremy Binder, Chia-Tse Weng.
  • Third place: barterNow by Lifang Yan, Cameron Grover, Felipe Teixeira Groberio
  • New student category: Community Request Board by Jung Min (Judy) Lee, Wei Yu Tang, Angela Dimon.

All submissions are posted on the Hackathon website.

“It was incredibly gratifying to win, because the focus of our project was something all of us felt very passionately about,” said Mae La Presta, postbaccalaureate student in computer science. She was part of the winning team that created the Reading Room app to help foster a sense of community when social distancing has become the new norm.

Although the club was started by students from the online program, they welcome all Oregon State students. Bartos says his priority as president is to grow the membership of the club and raise awareness of their events. Future events could include collaborations with other clubs on campus.

“I feel pretty strongly about the benefits of the Hackathon club because when I competed in the first one, it really ignited something in me for coding in general,” Bartos said.

Participants say that learning new technical skills, building relationships with other students, and having the reward of creating something new were the main benefits of the experience.

“I was impressed by what everyone was able to accomplish by the end of the weekend. The presentations were incredible, and it was so cool to see what everyone’s ideas were,” said Manda Jensen, postbaccalaureate student in computer science.

Congratulations to the 512 students majoring in electrical and computer engineering or computer science who made the College of Engineering Dean’s List for winter term of 2020! These undergraduate and postbaccalaureate students achieved better than a 3.75 GPA with at least 12 credits.

Nikolas Achatz
Benjamin Adams
Victor Agostinelli III
Walter Agra Neto
Humza Ahmed
Francesco Aiello
Alhusam Sarhan Hilal Al Harthy
Abdulaziz Al-Mannai
Ibrahim Alarifi
Ryan Alder
Ali Mohamed Abdulrahman Sheikh Alhabshi
Matthew Alonso
Nawaf Alothman
Benjamin Alvi
Jacob Anderson
Hannah Armstrong
Theodora Arnold
Kevin Atkins
Aaron Au
Stephanie Babb
Aditya Bagchi
Xiaoqin Bai
Ian Bailey
Spencer Bain
Dakota Baird
Alexander Baird-Appleton
Aeijan Bajracharya
Wesley Bakane
Jack Barnes
Nicolas Barraclough
Joshua Barringer
Samuel Barton
Kyle Barton
Aylish Bateman
Jordan Baxter
Ryan Bay
Jared Beale
Aidan Beery
John Behman
Bolivar Beleno Santos
Rebecca Bell
Kenton Bender
Sebastian Benjamin
Connor Bentzley
Braam Beresford
Justin Bethel
Tyler Betley
Nicholas Biggerstaff
Anthony Bishop
Zachary Bishop
Jackson Bizjak
Megan Black
Peter Bloch
Roman Bober
Reed Boeshans
Carl Bohme
Francisco Bolanos
Michael Boly
Lauren Boone
Sean Booth
Piers Borngasser
Miklos Bowling
Samuel Brimhall
Nicholas Broce
Ian Brown
Brayden Brown
Felix Brucker
Sawyer Brundage
Kiet Song Bui
Timothy Bui
Peri Cabrales
Claire Cahill
Sonia Camacho
John Pierre Carr
Milton Carreno Rodriguez
Brian Cebra
Blake Cecil
Lilian Chan
Michael Chan
David Chan
Jason Chen
Yuhang Chen
Min Chew
Hae Won Cho
Sanchit Chopra
Brian Christensen
Hunter Christiansen
Malachi Christman
Kendrick Chu
Adam Clayman
Evan Cochran
Tyler Cole
Michael Commins
Beniamin Condrea
Adam Conrad
Joshua Cook
David Coons
Kira Corbett
Devon Crane
Amanda Crawford
Gabriel Crew
Thomas Croll
Brian Cross
Rebecca Croysdale
Nathan Crozier
Ryan Cryar
Ziqi Cui
Jackson Cutler
Zeyu Dai
William Dam
William Dang
Dominic Daprano
John Davis
Hudson Dean
Mark Deane
Wyatt Deck
Hao Deng
Abbi Devins-Suresh
Madison Dhanens
Austin Dibble
Joseph Didner
Chetan Dindukurthi
Heather DiRuscio
Kristen Dolan
Samuel Dorning
Miles Drake
Jonathan Dressel
Dylan Drudge
Liang Du
Dafei Du
Alexander Dunn
Sarah Eastwood
Victoria Ebert
Christopher Eckerson
Dirar El Hadar
Rasheed El Kassed
Mohamed Eldebri
Mark Ellarma
Robert Elsom
Jacob Engstrom
Martin Escoto
Kyle Esquerra
Alyssa Estenson
Maxwell Evdemon
Michael Fagan
Shannon Farazi
Anousha Farshid
Danila Fedorin
Kyle Felix
Matthew Ferchland
Christopher Feth
Anthony Filippello
Julian Fortune
Neal Fredrick
Duncan Freeman
Sierra Freihoefer
Johannes Freischuetz
Caden Friesen
Michael Fuller
Calvin Gagliano
Aaron Galati
Kate Galle
Lyubomir Gankov
Jared Gaskin
David Gasper
Tristan Gavin
Kai Gay
Andrew Gehrke
Sean Gillen
Timothy Glew
Yesh Godse
Austin Goergen
Jackson Golletz
Bradley Gore
Sergiy Greblov
Benjamin Green
Connor Greenwald
Alex Grejuc
Taylor Griffin
Isaac Grossberg
Shengjun Gu
Matthew Guo
Gavin Gutowsky
Melanie Gutzmann
Alexander Guyer
Grant Haines
Adam Hamilton-Sutherland
Geoffry Hammon
Quinn Handley
Lucas Hanssen
Donald Harkins
Keaton Hartman
Nathan Hausman
David Headrick
Elise Hebert
Claire Hekkala
Kyle Hiebel
Aleksi Hieta
Arthur Hiew
Benjamin Hillen
Ethan Hirsch
Eric Hoang
Jaiden Hodson
Tyler Holeman
Monica Holliday
Evan Hopper-Moore
Zachary Horine
Caulin Horowitz
Christien Hotchkiss
Bart Hough
Wei-Chien Hsu
Catherine Hu
Andy Hua
Zijing Huang
Michael Huang
Jianlong Huang
Casey Huggins
Megan Hurley
Mark Huynh
Kevin Hwang
Gaetan Ingrassia
Matthew Jacobsen
Kyler Jacobson
Brieanna Jeibmann
Fischer Jemison
Manda Jensen
Junhyeok Jeong
Nathaniel Jewell
Helen Jiang
Laura Jiang
Nicholas Johansen
Lukas Johnson
Ethan Jones
Cameron Jones
Donald Joyce
Sowmya Jujjuri
Nelson Mwangi Kangethe
Kyle Kanwischer
John Kaufman
Zavi Kaul
Matthew Kerr
Nicholas Kiddle
Trenton Kilgore
Jinwon Kim
Brian Kim
Kwanghyuk Kim
Atsuhito Kita
Cameron Kocher
Matthew Koenig
Amber Kolar
Noah Koontz
Andrey Kornilovich
Nicholas Kosa
Aditya Dilip Kothari
Chase Kozol
Rajat Kulkarni
Violet Kurtz
Lindsey Kvarfordt
Jacob Lagmay
Brandon Lam
Joseph Landreville
Kevin Le
Dustin Lear
Yevgeniy Lebid
Youngjoo Lee
Benjamin Lee
Juichi Lee
Joe Lei
Oscar Lemus
Samuel Leonard
Grayson Lewis
Samuel Lewis
Yue Li
Jia Yi Li
Wence Li
Feng Liang
Megan Liles
Xinwei Lin
Virginia Link
Ryan Little
Jaelyn Litzinger
Suyang Liu
Haolin Liu
Zhihui Liu
Susan Liu
Nathan Liu
Alexis Lopez
Jose Lopez Alcala
Simon Louie
Grayland Lunn
Kenny Luong
Tristan Luther
Phi Luu
Stanislav Lyakhov
Jiaheng Lyu
Xinyu Ma
Melvin Ma
Jonathan Macias
Matthew Macovsky
Seika Mahmud
Theresa Mai
Cameron Markwell
Isaac Marquez
Jordyn Marshall
Benjamin Martin
Anthony Martin
Mary May
Shawn Mc Mannis
Cody McCall
Patrick McGrath
Danielle McIntosh
Patrick McKillop-Bay
Daniel Mesa
Nicholas Milford
Leif Miller
Harry Miller
Aedan Mills
Brogan Miner
Luke Mitchell-Nelson
Jasmine Mittal
Jiawei Mo
Grayson Molesworth
Alex Molisani
Anna Mollere
Alexander Molotkov
Santiago Monleon
Samson Mont
Danyelle Montalvo
Stephen More
Michael Morelli
Pablo Moreno
Kevin Moy
Joshua Muir
Hamza Munaf
Trevor Murphy
Colin Murphy
Alexander Nead-Work
Kevin Neiger
Aiden Nelson
Evan Newman
Ethan Ng
Don Nguyen
Triet Nguyen
Anthony Nguyen
Bao Nguyen
Minh Nguyen
Khanh Nguyen
Coulby Nguyen
An-phong Nguyen
Hoang Nguyen
Nancy Nguyen
Thuy-Vy Nguyen
Jonathan Nguyen
Quan Nguyen
Pham Phuoc Loc Nguyen
Corey Nielsen
Jacob Niphanprasart
Kyle Noble
Josie O’Harrow
Timothy O’Rourke
Stephen Oh
Sae Hyoung Oh
Jaegeun Oh
Carter Olsen
Payton Olson
Nicholas Olson
Breanne Oo
Rachel Orrell
Felipe Orrico Scognamiglio
Drew Ortega
Steven Owens
Alexa Pack
Ajay Pallekonda
Justin Parks
Zachary Parsons
Christopher Patenaude
Ethan Patterson
Joshua Pauls
Michael Payne
Kawin Pechetratanapanit
Zack Pelster
Jessica Peterson
Preston Pickering
Trinity Polk
Thomas Prihoda
Ashyan Rahavi
Ridwana Rahman
Jose Ramos
Lyell Read
Mateo Rey-Rosa
Kyle Rosenau
Ekaterina Rott
Emmanuel Rovirosa
Chalida Ruangrotsakun
Nikita Rubocki
Matthew Ruder
Daniel Safarov
Sachin Sakthivel
Ricky Salinas
Micah Samaduroff
Gregory Sanchez
McIntyre Santa Cruz
Andrew Sauer
Bailey Sauter
Zakiah Schaefle
Shifra Schectman
Mitchell Schenk
Jason Scott-Hakanson
Nathan Seabourn
Jett Seale
Richard Seals
Karen Setiawan
Noah Seumalo
Nathan Shaaban
Jordan Sheller
Joshua Shequin
NianJun Shi
Isaac Shih
Patrick Shuler
Elijah Shumway
Zhaowei Si
Jonah Siekmann
Pranav Simha
Roy Simons
Harshvardhan Singh
Andy Situ
Allison Skinner
Richard Smith
Madelyn Smith
Thomas Snyder
Sebastian Sojka
Cruz Solano-Nieblas
Nathan Stageberg
Jason Stallkamp
Avery Stauber
Benjamin Steele
Zachary Steinberg
Matthew Sterrett
Keith Stevens
Shanti Stewart
Yuhao Su
Clayton Surgeon
Cole Swanson
Marjorie Symonds
Blaise Takushi
Wei Tang
Pavan Thakkar
Zachary Thomas
Tristan Thompson
Thomas Tonini
Logan Traffas
Khoa Tran
Shayla Tran
Brayden Tremper
Andy Trinh
Anthony Trinh
James Trotter
Leif Tsang
Alexis Tucker
Jeremy Udarbe
Alexander Uong
Rohan Varma
Aaron Vaughan
Hannah Vaughan
Andres Vega
Aishwarya Vellanki
Jeffrey Visosky
Chinmay Wadgaonkar
Aaron Walder
Kyle Walker
Benjiman Walsh
Alexander Wan
Huahua Wang
Shiyao Wang
Faaiq Waqar
Benjamin Warschauer
Philip Warton
Christopher Weiner
Nicholas Weinert
Chung Weng
Joshua Wentzel
Natashia White
Austin Wilmoth
Calder Wilson
Blair Wilson
Odyssey Wilson
Andrew Wilson
Justin Womack
Jason Wong
Bradford Wong
Jackson Wright
Cheng Xie
Yuechen Xu
Qi Xu
Tianbao Yan
Jiayun Yan
James Yang
Xiaoyan Yang
Orel Yehuda
Eugene Jie Yee Yong
Arthur York
Logan York
Sam Young
Alex Young
Jason Yue
Ulises Zaragoza
Samantha Zeigler
Haoxuan Zhang
Dianxiong Zhang
Zisong Zhang
Jiaming Zhu
John Zontos