Computer Science Student Wins Award at Regional Symposium
Philip Hanson ’09, who received a BS in computer science at Commencement on May 16, won the Most Creative Research Project Award at the inaugural New England Undergraduate Computing Symposium (NEUCS), held in mid-April at Wellesley College. The symposium attracted nearly a hundred students and faculty members from around the region, including several students from WPI.
Hanson’s prize-winning project was titled "XQuery Optimization." It was advised by Murali Mani, assistant professor of computer science at WPI. According to the project abstract, while XML data queries are increasingly common, optimization strategies for these queries are not well developed. Hanson proposed a novel optimization scheme that uses "semantic information from the XML schema, in which we rewrite a query into an equivalent query with fewer XPath expressions based on schema information,” the project abstract notes. "Our experimental results indicate that this optimization can result in substantial performance improvements."
NEUCS was conceived by the New England Computer Science Department Chairs and the New England Area Empowering Leadership: Computing Scholars of Tomorrow Alliance, which is funded by the National Science Foundation. Participants hailed from WPI, Boston College, Boston University, Brandeis University, Hampshire College, Mount Holyoke College, Olin College of Engineering, Tufts University, University of Massachusetts Amherst, University of Massachusetts Boston, University of Massachusetts Lowell, and Wellesley.
"All of the computer science faculty members present were impressed with the students' work,” noted Randy Schull, computer science department Chair at Wellesley. “More important, the students were able to network with their peers and learn more about research in a range of fields."
Hanson was a recipient of the Dr. Neil Sullivan ’83 Memorial Award, presented to juniors majoring in computer science at WPI in recognition of demonstrated ability and promise, and received an honorable mention in the 2008 Stage Innovation Awards competition sponsored by the WPI Collaborative for Entrepreneurship and Innovation.
June 2, 2009