The talents of SU Computer Science majors have been recognized by several outside organizations, allowing them to travel conferences, workshops, and internships.

Most recently, CS major and current CS Club president Marissa Madrid-Ortega traveled to Orlando, Florida with Math and Computer Science double-major Kristen McCrary to attend the Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing. Both students are of the class of 2018. They received full funding as Grace Hopper Scholars to attend the conference: Marissa from and Kristen from Sonos. At the conference, they even met up with SU alumna Kathryn Reagan ’16, who had also attended the conference when she was a student at SU.

Marissa also attended the Richard Tapia Celebration of Diversity in Computing this year, which was held in Atlanta, Georgia. Marissa also received a full scholarship to attend this conference, where she learned about various opportunities in computer science.

In fact, job and internship recruiters often attend these conferences. Another SU student, Computer Science and Chemistry double-major, and CS Club vice president, Lauren Gillespie of the class of 2019, just completed an internship this summer at the Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) in New Mexico. Lauren was initially encouraged to apply for this position when she attended the Tapia conference last year. Specifically, Lauren’s internship was with the Computer System, Cluster, and Networking Summer Institute (CSCNSI) which is part of LANL’s High Performance Computing division. In fact, Lauren will be presenting a research poster about her internship at the International Conference for High Performance Computing, Networking, Storage and Analysis, to be held during November in Denver, Colorado. Her attendance at this conference will be funded by a scholarship from the High Performance Computing for Undergraduates Program.

Lauren also attended another conference over the summer, this one in Berlin, Germany. Lauren attended the Genetic and Evolutionary Computation Conference to present original research conducted with Gabriela Gonzalez ’16 under the supervision of assistant professor of Computer Science, Dr. Jacob Schrum. This research project was initiated as part of SU’s summer research program SCOPE (Summer Collaborative Opportunities and Experiences) in 2016. At the conference, Lauren presented her research paper on applying evolutionary computation techniques to play the game of Tetris. Lauren’s attendance at the conference was supported by a prestigious ACM-W scholarship, which supports travel by women to research conferences to support their continued studies and research.

Another event attended by SU students this summer was the UM Explore Graduate Studies 2017 workshop organized by the University of Michigan’s Computer Science and Engineering Department, and funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF). Marissa Madrid-Ortega also attended this event, but this time she was accompanied by Math and Computer Science double-major Elyssa Sliheet, class of 2019, who is also president of SU’s Math Club. Elyssa and Marissa were exposed to various fields of faculty research, gained first-hand insight into the graduate student research at the University of Michigan, knowledge of how to write personal statements to graduate school, and met students from around the country who are also interested in applying to graduate school in computer science.

Elyssa also took part in a Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) this summer at California State University Channel Islands. This Mathematics-focused REU was also funded by the NSF. Elyssa’s research focused on operator theory, but the experience also involved weekly workshops on topics like graduate school, giving a good Math talk or poster presentation, and Math jobs both inside and outside of academia. 

Congratulations to all of these SU students on their great achievements!