Spring and early Summer 2012 Research Awards

Publish Date: 07/27/2012

Congratulations to CS Faculty who were awarded research funding in the spring and early summer from ACM SIGSCE/SEC, Burroughs Wellcome, Compugreen, the NSF, and the Virginia Tech Provost.

Dr. Yang Cao received a Mentoring Microgrant from the Virginia Tech Provost's Office.  This grant will help provide travel support to Pacific NW National Lab (PNNL) and Oak Ride National Lab (ORNL).

Dr. Wu Feng received a funding gift from CompuGreen to be used to conduct innovative research in the area of green supercomputing, including new evaluative metrics, methodologies, and workloads.

Dr. Liqing Zhang, Dr. Skip Garner (PI) and Kristy Collins of the Virginia Bioinformatics Institute, and Dr. Peter Athanas of the Bradley Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, were awarded an NSF grant for "Determining Feasibility and Scalability of a Life/Medical Science Hybrid-core Based Platform."  A description of the project: "In the life and medical sciences, data sets are immense and computations are frequently not floating point intensive. We will deploy a different computer architecture and surrounding infrastructure (hardware, software, personnel) to explicitly address the emerging needs of the non-PDE solving community, and leverage recent advances made on a prototype system, Shadowfax, at Virginia Tech."  There will be a workshop for High Performance Computing for Life Sciences and Medical Applications in July 2012. 

Dr. Alexey Onufriev and Dr. Ramamoorthi (Ramu) Anandakrishnan, a 2011 graduate of the CS@VT PhD program, received a travel grant from the Burroughs Wellcome Fund.  This grant will provide funding for travel to the San Deigo Supercomputer Center.  A brief description of the project: "The goal is to use massively parellel computation to understand details of DNA packing inside the nucleus." 

Dr. Diana Ridgwill (Director of the CLAHS Undergraduate Research Institute), principal investigator, and Co-PIs, Dr. James Ivory (Communication Studies), Dr. Julie Dunsmore (Psychology), Dr. Scott Geller (Psychology), Dr. Cynthia Smith (Human Development), and Dr. Deborah Tatar (Computer Science) received funding for their new NSF REU site "'Hands-on Minds-on': Multidisciplinary Approaches to Understanding and Preventing  Societal Violence."  A description of the project, from Dr.Tatar: "The 'Hands-on Minds-on' REU Program will provide undergraduate students with opportunities to research and study antecedents and consequences of violence. This program brings together scholars from three different colleges at Virginia Tech (Engineering, Liberal Arts and Human Sciences, and Science), encompassing several different departments and programs (Communication, Computer Science, Human Development, Psychology, Sociology, Women’s and Gender Studies, and Africana Studies). Student exposure to the interdisciplinary study of this pressing social problem will be supported both through interaction with participating faculty and in conjunction with the Virginia Tech Center for Peace Studies and Violence Prevention. In this ten-week summer program, undergraduate students (representing Virginia Community Colleges, Virginia Tech, and other national four-year institutions) will work with faculty on one of five research studies: 1) Socialization of Emotions, 2) Bullying Prevention, 3) Responses to Media Violence, 4) Peace Education, or 5) Technology and Conflict Management. REU students will participate in team and project based training and will benefit from working with faculty at a major research university."

Dr. Cliff Shaffer and colleagues, Dr. Tom Naps, University of Wisconsin Osh-Kosh, and Dr. Richard Braniuk of Rice University (Connexions Project), received an NSF grant entitled "OpenDSA project: Integrating the eTextbook: Truly Interactive Textbooks for Computer Science Education."  Dr. Shaffer describes the project: "Our goal is to develop a complete online textbook for data structures and algorithms (DSA) courses. Our vision requires a deep integration of content with algorithm visualizations to show the dynamic processes of algorithms and many interactive assessment activities that give students immediate feedback on their proficiency with the material. For more information see http://algoviz.org/OpenDSA."

Dr. Steve Edwards and recent PhD graduate, Dr. Tony Allevato, received funding from ACM SIGSCE and the VT Student Engineers' Council for a project aimed at helping beginning programming students to learn Python.  Dr. Allevato gives a description of the project: "Pythy is a web-based programming environment for Python that eliminates software-related barriers to entry for novice programmers, such as installing the language runtime and IDE and properly configuring other dependencies. Within seconds, students can begin writing code, watch it execute, debug it, and access support materials and tutorials, all from within the familiar context of their web browser."