CS Spotlight: Graduate Students & Teaching Assistants Recognized for Outstanding Achievements

Please join us in congratulating our deserving, 2017 graduate student and teaching assistant award winners. 

Outstanding Publication Award recipient: Ruoyu (Fish) Wang: "Ramblr: Making Reassembly Great Again"
The publication "Ramblr: Making Reassembly Great Again" received the Distinguished Paper Award at NDSS 2017, which is a top venue for security research. By introducing a novel approach to disassemble and reassemble binaries, Fish Wang and his co-authors (including a high school student and two undergrads) have created a new mechanism to patch binaries in a way that is both reliable and efficient, providing another tool to improve the security of binary programs.  -Prof. Giovanni Vigna

Outstanding Dissertation Award recipient: Yan Shoshitaishvili "Building a Base for Cyber-Autonomy" 
Yan Shoshitaishvili’s thesis includes novel, high-impact ideas. Yan's research has focused on the vulnerability analysis of binary program. As part of his research he worked on the development of a novel binary analysis framework, called angr. The framework implements a number of novel binary analysis techniques, both static and dynamic, and it has fast become the most popular open-source binary analysis system, has been "starred" on GitHub more than 700 times, and has been downloaded thousands of times. This framework has been instrumental in creating Mechanical Phish, the autonomous hacking system that participated in the DARPA CGC competition, bringing 1.5M in cash prizes.          -Prof. Giovanni Vigna

Outstanding Graduate Student Award recipient: Lucas Bang
Lucas Bang's unassuming character hides his ambitious nature as a hard-working computer scientist who never rests on his laurels. Lucas is an outstanding researcher who has made contributions to a wide variety of areas including model counting constraint solvers, side channel analysis, program complexity analysis and randomized algorithms. His research results have been published in top venues such as the ACM SIGSOFT's flagship conference Foundations of Software Engineering (FSE) and the top verification conference Computer Aided Verification (CAV). Lucas has also been a dedicated citizen of our department. He served the department as a TA and as an instructor. He was recognized with an Outstanding TA award and was the Lead TA for a year. He served in the Grad Affairs Committee and was the Computer Science Department representative to the university-wide Grad Student Association. The Computer Science Department recognizes Lucas Bang's excellent scientific contributions and dedicated service with the Outstanding Graduate Student Award.  -Prof. Tevfik Bultan

Outstanding Graduate Student Award recipients: Morgan Vigil-Hayes
Morgan Vigil-Hayes exemplifies the CS Outstanding Graduate Student Award in every way - excellence in research, teaching, and departmental service. Morgan began her PhD in Fall 2012 and will defend her dissertation on June 14. Morgan’s dissertation focuses on solving issues of content dissemination and propagation in developing rural areas that lack high speed Internet access. In particular, she has focused on Internet connectivity and usage on Native American reservations, and on developing data-driven, community-based network infrastructures to better enable Native Americans to participate in the Internet. During the course of her PhD, she has closely collaborated not only with her advisor, Elizabeth Belding, but also with three other faculty at three other universities. She has taught CS 16 for our department, and has performed a variety of service including as co-president of the Women in Computer Science group, twice a member of the CS Graduate Student Workshop TPC, an organizer of the first departmental graduate student research colloquium, and a graduate student representative to the faculty’s grad admissions committee. While a student here, she has received three merit-based fellowships, including an NSF Graduate Fellowship, as well as an honorable mention best paper award for ACM CSCW 2017. We are proud to bestow this honor on Morgan, and excited for her as she begins her faculty career.  -Prof. Elizabeth Belding

OUTSTANDING Teaching Assistant (TA) AWARDS

  • Nik Chaconas – Nominated by Prof. Rich Wolski, CS 170 W17: “Absolutely the best TA on the planet, bar none.” Also nominated by Prof. Tao Yang CS 170 S17: “Excellent communicating with students, setting up the project grading system, leading discussions and answering questions.” The TA evaluations reflect this praise.
  • Raymond Wong – Nominated by Prof. Ömer Eğecioğlu, Prof. Emeritus Teo Gonzales, and Omid Askarisichani. Teo Gonzales CS 130B S16: "Raymond has consistently been an excellent TA over the years and his TA evaluations reflect that. He is excellent with communicating with students and leading discussions." Members of the GAC commented that Raymond Wong has indeed been a dedicated and very knowledgeable TA for several courses, including CS8, CS138, and CS130B. 
  • Jenna Cryan – Nominated by Prof. Ben Zhao, CS 176B: “She went way above and beyond the call of duty. She worked nonstop through holidays to prepare an excellent new project for CS 176A students that will be used for years to come. Students learned a tremendous amount about real world network systems."