CS majors Kyle Asher, Grant Miller and Aneri Shah among students selected as Phillips Ambassadors for study abroad in Asia in 2017

April 20, 2017

Eighteen undergraduates from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and one undergraduate from Duke University have been selected as Phillips Ambassadors for summer and fall 2017 study abroad programs in Asia. In addition, one history doctoral candidate was awarded a Phillips Graduate Ambassador travel award for research in India and Malaysia this summer.

Undergraduate scholarship recipients will study in China, Hong Kong, India, Japan, Singapore and South Korea.

The Phillips Ambassadors program is part of UNC’s Carolina Asia Center, in association with the Study Abroad Office. Phillips Ambassadors are selected twice a year and receive $5,000 each. Selection is based on strong communication skills, intellectual curiosity and engagement, academic achievement, evidence of generous service to the campus and wider community, and a previous record of leadership.

Twenty-five percent of the scholarships are reserved for qualified undergraduate business majors and minors at UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School. Up to two scholarships each year are available to qualified Duke University undergraduates.

Phillips Ambassadors choose from more than 50 academic programs in Asia that are approved by the College of Arts and Sciences and UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School. Scholarship recipients enroll in a three-credit hour global studies course designed uniquely for them. Led by Carolina faculty, the course challenges students to explore their study abroad locale in significant detail and seek understanding of the region in a global context.

A distinguishing feature of the program is an emphasis on what is called a “Give Back,” or sharing of one’s study abroad experience in Asia with the Carolina community and the student’s hometown. In accepting the scholarship, students agree to fulfill a Give Back related to their study abroad experience. Give Backs include endeavors such as published articles, classroom presentations at a student’s hometown high school, photo and art exhibitions, musical performances and group projects focused on Asia.

The Phillips Ambassadors program is made possible through a gift from Carolina alumnus Earl N. “Phil” Phillips, an entrepreneur and former U.S. ambassador, and his family.

“Our goal with this gift has been to encourage more students to spend their study abroad experiences focused on Asia — an increasingly vital region of the future,” said Phillips, who splits his time between High Point and Chapel Hill, North Carolina.

The first group of Phillips Ambassadors studied abroad in Asia in the summer of 2007. By the end of 2017, 289 Carolina undergraduates will have studied abroad in Asia as Phillips Ambassadors.

The new Phillips Ambassadors are listed below alphabetically by North Carolina county, followed by out-of-state recipients.

NORTH CAROLINA RECIPIENTS

Carteret

Grant Miller of Ocean will study through the National University of Singapore School of Computing fall program. He is a computer science major with a music minor.

Guilford

Maria Martinez Ospina of Greensboro will study through the National University of Singapore Arts and Socials Sciences fall program. She is a psychology major with a chemistry minor.

Jackson

Kyle Clapper of Cullowhee will study through UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School Chinese University of Hong Kong summer program. He is a business administration major.

Mecklenburg

Kyle Asher of Charlotte will study through the CET Beijing Intensive Language summer program. He is a Chinese and computer science double major.

Chichi Osunkwo of Charlotte will study through the Yonsei University summer program. She is a media and journalism and global studies double major.

Orange

Nico Krachenfels of Chapel Hill will study through the UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School International Internship in Hong Kong summer program. He is a business administration major with an entrepreneurship and Spanish for the business professions double minor.

Kristen Lee of Carrboro will study through the UNC Entrepreneurship in Shanghai summer program. She is an interdisciplinary studies in food systems planning major with a business administration and urban studies and planning double minor.

Pitt

Everette Lassiter of Greenville will study through the Chinese University of Hong Kong summer program. He is a business administration and public policy double major with an entrepreneurship minor.

Wake

Lydia Field of Raleigh will study through the CET Harbin Intensive Language summer program. She is an Asian studies and global studies double major with a neuroscience minor.

Samantha Hutchings of Cary will study through the CET Beijing Intensive Language summer program. She is an Asian studies and English double major.

Aneri Shah of Apex will study through the National University of Singapore School of Computing fall program. She is an information science and computer science double major with a linguistics minor.

OUT-OF-STATE RECIPIENTS

Delaware

Brandon Dawson of Middletown will study through the UNC Summer in India program. He is a public policy major at Duke University.

Florida

Khaleelah Elhajoui of Sarasota will study through the UNC Summer in Japan program. She is a linguistics and Asian studies double major.

Iowa

Scott Diekema of Iowa City will study through the UNC Summer in India program. He is an Asian studies and economics double major with an entrepreneurship minor.

Maryland

Olga Prokunina of Rockville and Moscow, Russia, will study through the SIT Community Health and Traditional Chinese Medicine summer program. She is a psychology major with a medical anthropology and chemistry double minor.

Massachusetts

Stephen Zawada of Groton will study through the UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School Chinese University of Hong Kong summer program. He is a business administration major.

Pennsylvania

Catherine Lucchi of Scranton will study through the UNC Summer in India program. She is an Asian studies major with an education minor.

INTERNATIONAL RECIPIENT

Cathleen Rueckeis of Berlin, Germany will study through the National University of Singapore Science fall program. She is a quantitative biology major with a chemistry and astronomy double minor.

PHILLIPS GRADUATE AMBASSADOR

Zardas Shuk-man Lee, a doctoral candidate in history, will conduct research in India and Malaysia this summer.

Learn more about the Phillips Ambassadors.

UNC CS researchers earn Best Paper award at IEEE VR 2017

April 10, 2017
dunn_ieee_vr
David Dunn receives the IEEE VR 2017 Best Paper award on behalf of his co-authors from UNC-Chapel Hill, the Max-Planck Institute for Informatics and Nvidia

A paper co-authored by graduate students David Dunn, Kent Torell and Cary Tippets and professor Henry Fuchs received the Best Paper award at IEEE VR 2017 in Los Angeles, California.

The paper, titled “Wide Field Of View Varifocal Near-Eye Display using See-through Deformable Membrane Mirrors,” was a collaboration between researchers at UNC-Chapel Hill, the Max-Planck Institute for Informatics and Nvidia. It was authored by David Dunn, Cary Tippets, Kent Torell, Petr Kellnhofer, Kaan Aksit, Piotr Didyk, Karol Myszkowski , David Luebke and Henry Fuchs.

The award-winning paper describes an augmented reality display capable of overcoming challenges related to depth cues, field of view or resolution that plague displays which are optimized to solve a single problem. The display presented in the paper utilizes a single see-through, varifocal, deformable membrane mirror for each eye. The two flexible panes are maneuvered by the display so that objects projected toward the wearer’s eyes can be skewed to appear closer to or further from the wearer. Because the mirror panes are so flexible, projected objects can be quickly moved to different depths. Projecting onto large, see-through panes allows for a wide, unobstructed field of view.

For more information about the paper or the augmented reality display, visit the UNC Telepresence group’s website.

Welch one of seven selected for 2017 Horizon Awards

April 5, 2017

Joshua WelchGraduate student Joshua Welch received a 2017 Horizon Award from the Graduate School at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Welch was one of seven recipients for 2017.

Since 2003, the Graduate Education Advancement Board (GEAB) has provided Impact Awards annually to recognize graduate students and recent graduate alumni whose discoveries directly impact the state of North Carolina in the present time.  Recipients receive a one-time monetary award, which varies in value from year to year. Recipients earned $500 in 2016.

The Horizon Award, created this year, recognizes those whose research “holds extremely high potential for making a significant contribution to the educational, economic, physical, social or cultural well-being of North Carolina citizens and beyond at some future time.” The award focuses on research of a more theoretical or basic nature that is likely to one day solve major problems in the state and beyond.

Welch’s award-winning research analyzes ‘snapshots’ of cells to improve heart disease treatment. The laboratory of assistant professor Li Qian in the Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine has managed to convert heart scar tissue cells back into heart muscle cells. Unfortunately, researchers need more information about the circumstances that lead to successful reprogramming of heart cells in order to improve the effectiveness of the treatment.

To support this effort, Welch developed SLICER, a computational approach that analyzes momentary data collected from cells throughout processes like cardiac reprogramming. SLICER orders genetic changes to allow the process to be viewed by researchers in the correct sequence. Paired with experimental data from Qian’s research group, SLICER identified thousands of genes that turn on and off during cardiac reprogramming, including genes that may hinder cells from responding to the treatment.

Welch is advised by professor Jan Prins of the Department of Computer Science.

CS major Scott Emmons one of two UNC students to receive Goldwater Scholarships

March 31, 2017

Two UNC-Chapel Hill students earn Goldwater Scholarships

(Chapel Hill, N.C. –  March 31, 2017) – The Barry Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Program named University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill second-year student Scott Emmons and third-year student Sarah Miller as 2017 Goldwater Scholars.

This prestigious scholarship provides up to $7,500 per year for eligible educational expenses to students who excel in academics and who plan to pursue research careers in science, mathematics, engineering and computer disciplines.

“My congratulations go to Scott and Sarah on their recognition from the prestigious Goldwater Foundation,” said Chancellor Carol L. Folt. “They are prefect examples of the next generation of innovative researchers and problem solvers who will make an impact on a global scale. The diversity of their research — in areas ranging from visualization of microbiome data to non-coding RNA in embryonic stem cells — sets them apart as pioneers who will help create scientific breakthroughs.”

For 2017, the foundation selected 240 scholarship recipients. Emmons, Gray, and Miller were chosen from a field of 1,286 students who were nominated by 470 colleges and universities nationwide.

“We are thrilled that these three exceptional students have been selected by the Goldwater Foundation,” said Inger Brodey, director of the Office of Distinguished Scholarships. “Their exceptional academic qualifications and substantial practical research experiences exemplify the type of groundbreaking leadership we seek to nurture at Carolina.”

Emmons, 20, is a sophomore from Bloomington, Ind., majoring in computer science and mathematics in the College of Arts and Sciences. He is a Robertson Scholar and an Honors Carolina student.

At Carolina, Emmons has done research in visualization of microbiome data, and is now researching in the mathematics department on network theory. He spent last summer teaching middle school math in the Mississippi delta.

While still in high school, Scott Emmons co-founded Sparq Creative Solutions, LLC to help small business owners organize their resources and target them efficiently. He plans to pursue a Ph.D. in Computer Science and conduct research in network sciences and teach at the university level.

Miller, 20, is a junior from Wilmington, majoring in chemistry in the College of Arts and Sciences with a business administration minor in the Kenan-Flagler Business School.

She has been doing research on a non-coding RNA that regulates the transition to a differentiated (non-stem cell) fate in embryonic stem cells. She expects to be able to publish this work in the coming year.

Miller plans to pursue a M.D. and a Ph.D. in epigenetics and hopes to conduct research regarding long non-coding RNA. Her goal is to be principal investigator in a laboratory at a research university’s school of medicine, investigating epigenetic influences of certain RNA as they relate to human health.

Joshua Gray, a third-year student from Raleigh, was awarded an Honorable Mention.

Congress established the Goldwater scholarship program in 1986 to honor the late Barry M. Goldwater of Arizona who served in the U.S. Senate for 30 years. The first awards were given in 1989.

Click here for more information about the Office of Distinguished Scholarships.

-Carolina-

About the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, the nation’s first public university, is a global higher education leader known for innovative teaching, research and public service. A member of the prestigious Association of American Universities, Carolina regularly ranks as the best value for academic quality in U.S. public higher education. Now in its third century, the University offers 77 bachelor’s, 110 master’s, 64 doctorate and seven professional degree programs through 14 schools and the College of Arts and Sciences. Every day, faculty – including two Nobel laureates – staff and students shape their teaching, research and public service to meet North Carolina’s most pressing needs in every region and all 100 counties. Carolina’s 317,000-plus alumni live in all 50 states and 156 other countries. More than 167,000 live in North Carolina.

UNC computer science major starts week to acknowledge women in technology

March 30, 2017

Frustrated by male-dominated tech culture, junior computer science major Kaylee Llewellyn started Women in Tech Week, which is hosting events on campus through Friday.

She said she wants to raise awareness that women are underrepresented in many tech industries and show how people at UNC can make a difference.

“I think the biggest goal would just be to start a conversation and hopefully people that felt like they didn’t really have an idea of what they could do to change this gender gap walk away from this week with some concrete examples of things that they can do to be more supportive of women in tech in general,” Llewellyn said.

Gina Rozier, external relations manager of the Department of Computer Science, helped Llewellyn start the week.

“When Kaylee came up the idea, I think she had originally figured we would do a day … ” Rozier said. “And when she said she wanted it to be big — and she did, she said she wanted it to be big — so then we needed it to be an amount of time … so we thought, ‘Why don’t we make multiple events throuought the week.”

Rozier said they advertised for the week mainly through social media and through fliers. She said they garnered a lot of student participation.

Second-year graduate student in the Department of Computer Science, Tanya Amert, said she’s always loved to play with computers.

“I really like visual things, so being able to describe, say, an image or scene really simply and visualize that, or even simplify daily tasks, like math homework or keeping track of what I wanna do today — any of that I do with technology,” Amert said.

She said she thinks women in the tech industry face hurdles and is glad there is an opportunity to have a conversation about the issue.

Computer science professor Mike Reiter, who helped organize the Women in Tech Week, said the lack of women in the field is important to address.

“I think it hurts the field a lot and I think obviously, you know, there are a lot of job opportunities in this field so I think it’s important that women have these opportunities as well,” he said. “So I think the Women in Tech Week is one of many ways we can try to bring attention to this issue.”

Reiter said it is a win-win to hold events like Women in Tech Week, because it benefits women and the field in general.

Computer science professor Diane Pozefsky said one thing that can help increase women representation in the field is to encourage women to consider technology in the first place.

“We have a lot of different efforts, one of them is introducing them to computers and technologies through different paths … if you get people excited about what they can do, before they start working on what they do, if you can show them they can do things to help other people or they can make a difference in certain areas, whether it be the humanities or things like that, we’ll get them coming in from a whole lot of different areas,” she said.

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Llewellyn honored with University Award for the Advancement of Women

March 30, 2017
Kaylee Llewellyn
Kaylee Llewellyn

Junior computer science major Kaylee Llewellyn was recognized on March 7 with the University Award for the Advancement of Women. Llewellyn was one of four recipients for 2017 who were honored during a ceremony in the Campus Y at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Llewellyn was selected by the university for her efforts to fight to gender imbalance in computer science and technology. According to the National Center for Women and Information Technology (NCWIT), only 22 percent of those who took AP computer science tests in 2015 were female. While retention over time is an issue, Llewellyn believes the biggest challenge is recruiting women into computer science in the first place.

Mike Reiter and Kaylee LLewellyn
Llewellyn (right) with Michael Reiter, who nominated her for the award

As an undergraduate student, Llewellyn founded and manages the UNC Girls Who Code club, which is affiliated with the national non-profit organization Girls Who Code. The club began in Fall 2016 with weekly meetings where interested middle- and high-school students could meet with mentors from the undergraduate and graduate computer science programs at UNC. Llewellyn organized all club meetings, including scheduling outside speakers and adjusting curriculum to fit the interests of attendees.

After the first semester, the club’s popularity necessitated an expansion from one weekly meeting to three as registration tripled.

Michael Reiter, a professor in the Department of Computer Science and the club’s faculty adviser, said he was most impressed with Llewellyn’s ability to handle the club’s rapid growth.

“I don’t know how, but Kaylee has made it look easy,” Reiter said.

In addition to her work with UNC Girls Who Code, Llewellyn served as an organizer of Pearl Hacks, one of the country’s largest annual all-female hackathons. She also helped plan the UNC CS Women in Tech Week, which was held from March 27 to March 31 by the Department of Computer Science and involved a film screening of “She Started It,” a panel discussion and other initiatives to grow support for women in technology.

“Kaylee and I speak often about her seemingly endless list of ideas to promote women in technology, and the status of her plans to pursue them,” said Reiter.

“I honestly don’t know of another student or faculty member on campus who is doing as much to promote the engagement of women in technology.”

As a recipient of the prize, Llewellyn receives a $2,500 monetary award.

Mehra receives 2016 VGTC Virtual Reality Best Dissertation Award

March 29, 2017

Ravish Mehra (Ph.D. 2014)Ravish Mehra, a 2014 doctoral graduate in computer science from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, was awarded the 2016 VGTC Virtual Reality Best Dissertation Award for his work developing simulated sound propagation algorithms.

The IEEE VGTC Virtual Reality Best Dissertation Award was established in 2016 to recognize the best doctoral dissertation in the field of virtual reality defended within the preceding two calendar years. Mehra’s dissertation was selected from a pool of 16 nominations.

Mehra’s dissertation, titled “Efficient Techniques for Wave-Based Sound Propagation in Interactive Applications,” proposed new methods for simulated propagation of sound in virtual reality environments in order to improve realism of sound and enhance the immersion of users within the environment.

More information about Mehra’s doctoral research at UNC, including audio and video samples and full publications, can be found at cs.unc.edu/~ravishm.

Mehra’s dissertation was advised by professors Ming Lin and Dinesh Manocha. Mehra now works as a research scientist for Oculus VR in Seattle, WA, and his sound propagation and spatial audio research has already been integrated into virtual gaming systems.

UNC-Chapel Hill Hosts Women in Tech Week

March 28, 2017

Posted by | Mar 28, 2017 |

Several events to promote women who opt for careers in the technology industry will be held at UNC-Chapel Hill as part of the Department of Computer Science’s Women in Tech Week.

The five-day promotion was conceived by Kaylee Llewellyn, a junior majoring in computer science who won the University Award for the Advancement of Women earlier this month.

According to Llewellyn, the purpose of the week is to “start a conversation about ways to support women in tech and make the tech environment at UNC a more open and accepting community.”

Functions planned for the week include a a research demo session sponsored by the Graduate Women in Computer Science Group and a screening of an award-winning documentary.

With events like these, Llewellyn noted that “the goal is to have students, faculty and staff end the week excited about the important contributions women in tech are making.”

Women in Tech Week is currently underway and will continue through this Friday, with a schedule of the proceedings available on the website for the Department of Computer Science.

12 CS majors, 4 CS minors inducted into Phi Beta Kappa for 2017

March 28, 2017

150 at UNC-Chapel Hill inducted into Phi Beta Kappa

 

(Chapel Hill, N.C. – March 28, 2017) – Phi Beta Kappa, the nation’s oldest and most honored college honorary society, has inducted 150 University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill students as new members.

 

The recent induction ceremony featured remarks by Chancellor Carol L. Folt and a keynote address by Carol A. Hee, clinical associate professor of strategy and entrepreneurship. New members received certificates and Phi Beta Kappa keys, the organization’s symbol.

 

Phi Beta Kappa membership is open to undergraduates in the college and professional degree programs who meet stringent eligibility requirements.

 

A student who has completed 75 hours of course work in the liberal arts and sciences with a GPA of 3.85 or better (on a 4-point scale) is eligible for membership. Also eligible is any student who has completed 105 hours of course work in the liberal arts and sciences with a 3.75 GPA. Grades earned at other universities are not considered. Less than 1 percent of all college students qualify.

 

Past and present Phi Beta Kappa members from across the country have included 17 American presidents and numerous artistic, intellectual and political leaders. Seven of the current U.S. Supreme Court Justices are members.

 

Phi Beta Kappa has 286 chapters nationwide. UNC’s chapter, Alpha of North Carolina, was founded in 1904 and is the oldest of seven chapters in the state. Each year, Phi Beta Kappa chapters and alumni associations across the country raise and distribute more than $1 million in awards, scholarships and prizes benefiting high schools and college students.

 

Phi Beta Kappa officers at Carolina for 2016-2017 are students Aaron Homburger, president; Kylie Nowicki, vice president; and Guilia Curcelli, recording secretary. James L. Leloudis, professor of history, associate dean for Honors Carolina and director of the James M. Johnston Center for Undergraduate Excellence, is chapter executive secretary and faculty advisor.

 

Listed below are 149 inductees, 93 of whom are from North Carolina. The names appear below in alphabetical order by North Carolina county, then by state and country. All study in the College of Arts and Sciences except where otherwise noted. One student chose not to be listed.

 

Alamance County

  • Andrew Carden, a senior with an exercise and sport science major, son of Eric Carden and Dana Carden of Burlington.

 

Brunswick County

  • Amber Nicole Fulford, a junior with biology and anthropology majors and a chemistry minor, daughter of Adam Fulford Sr. and Crystal Fulford of Supply.

 

Buncombe County

  • Catherine McCann Blalock, a senior with a political science major and a public policy minor, daughter of Richard Blalock and Jennifer McCann of Asheville.
  • Michael William Thomas, a senior with a history major, son of Michael Thomas and Cathy Thomas of Asheville
  • Evelyn Scott Yarborough, a senior with peace, war, and defense and English majors and a history minor, daughter of William Yarborough, III of Greenville, South Carolina and Denise Yarborough of Asheville.

 

Cabarrus County

  • Alexander Warren Griffin, a senior with a classical archaeology major and a history minor, son of Dr. Keith Griffin and Stacey Griffin of Concord.
  • Robert Thomas Short III, a senior with a psychology major and a chemistry minor, son of Robert Short, Jr. and Linda Short of Concord.
  • Elizabeth Marie Thompson, a senior with an exercise and sport science major, of Harrisburg.

 

Chatham County

  • Philip Bray Straughn, a senior with a chemistry major and a computer science minor, son of Charles Straughn and Linda Straughn of Chapel Hill.

 

Craven County

  • Jacob Fisher, a senior with a computer science major, of New Bern.

 

Cumberland County

  • Srihita Bongu, a senior with economics and chemistry majors, daughter of Ram Mohan Bongu and Deepika Bongu of Fayetteville.
  • Brian Michael Fields, a junior with a political science major and urban and regional planning and history minors, son of Michael Fields and Becky Fields of Fayetteville.
  • Gillian Elizabeth Manning, a senior with an art history major and a Latin minor, daughter of MD Kenneth Manning and Brynn Manning of Fayetteville.

 

Dare County

  • Kathrin Morgan Hennigan, a junior with a psychology major and a neuroscience minor, of Kitty Hawk.

 

Durham County

  • Emma Marina Bogerd, a junior with biology and environmental sciences majors and a chemistry minor, of Durham.
  • Eliza McClellan Pentecost Farren, a senior with a global studies major and a Chinese minor, daughter of David Farren of Chicago, Illinois and Martha Pentecost Jr. of Durham.
  • Andrew Charles Kelly, a junior with a computer science major and astronomy and mathematics minors, son of Charles Kelly and Barbara Kelly of Durham.

 

Forsyth County

  • Katherine Butler Elliott, a senior with a business administration major and a coaching education minor, daughter of Dr. J. Grady Elliott Jr. and Kristine Elliott of Winston-Salem.
  • Lily Jewel Jones, a junior with a nutrition major and Chinese and chemistry minors, daughter of Dr. Beverly Jones III and Janet Jones of Winston-Salem.
  • Christina Margaret Korzen, a junior with environmental studies and public policy majors, daughter of John Korzen and Catherine Korzen of Kernersville.
  • Elizabeth Salisbury Neill, a senior with psychology and political science majors, of Winston-Salem.
  • Samuel Leo Pranikoff, a senior with a political science major and a sustainability studies minor, son of Dr. Thomas Pranikoff and Karen Pranikoff of Winston-Salem.
  • Dustin P Sneed, a junior with an economics major and a chemistry minor, son of Steve Sneed and Kathy Sneed of Winston-Salem.

 

Gaston County

  • Mitchell Coles Hanks, a senior with an exercise and sport science major, of Belmont.

 

Guilford County

  • Erin Kennedy Allred, a senior with a communication studies major and a dramatic art minor, of Oak Ridge.
  • Suejette Davidson Black, a senior with an economics major and a chemistry minor, daughter of Richard Black of Wilmington and Sydney Cardone of Greensboro.
  • Katherine Marie Corum, a senior with a geography major and history and women’s and gender studies minors, daughter of Daniel Corum and Megan Corum of Pleasant Garden.
  • Jordan Robert Elliott, a senior with a computer science major and a history minor, son of Dennis Elliott and Inez Elliott of Brown Summit.
  • Anne Bennett Osteen, a senior with business administration and English majors, daughter of Bill Osteen Jr. and Elizabeth Osteen of Greensboro.
  • Shannon Elise Paylor, a senior with a mathematical decision sciences major and a French minor, daughter of Flynn Paylor and Deb Paylor.
  • Catherine Marie Phipps, a senior with a sociology major and a Spanish for the professions minor, daughter of David Phipps and Lynn Phipps of High Point.

 

Johnston County

  • Lewis Carpenter Flowers III, a senior with economics and history majors and a philosophy, politics and economics minor, son of Lewis Flowers Jr. and Kimberly Flowers of Manila, Philippines.

 

Mecklenburg County

  • Brooke Alexandria Davies, a senior with a peace, war and defense major, daughter of David Davies and Michele Fasciana of Charlotte.
  • Morgan Elizabeth Ferone, a junior with a biology major and religious studies and chemistry minors, daughter of Michael Ferone and Susan Ferone of Charlotte.
  • Laura Wells Gill, a senior with a computer science major and a business administration minor, daughter of Thold Gill and Ellen Gill of Charlotte.
  • Daniel Aryon Khordehforosh, a senior with a chemistry major and biology and business administration minors, son of Parvaneh Taheri of Charlotte.
  • Kayla Grace Kopczynski, a senior with a biology major, daughter of Todd Kopczynski and Michelle Moore of Charlotte.
  • Lee Powell Landess, a senior with a music major and chemistry and biology minors, son of Bart Landess and Fran Landess of Charlotte.
  • Lewis McAden Malone, a junior with computer science and philosophy majors and a writing for the screen and stage minor, son of James Malone and Mary Malone of Chapel Hill.
  • Allison Marvin, a junior with a biology major and a chemistry minor, of Charlotte.
  • Bharath Rama, a junior with biochemistry and mathematics majors, son of Ganapathy Rama and Savithri Konamme of Matthews.
  • Sharath Rama, a junior with a biostatistics major and a chemistry minor, son of Ganapathy Rama and Savithri Konamme of Matthews.
  • Emily Anne Reckard, a senior with anthropology and environmental studies majors and a geography minor, daughter of Heidi Reckard and Stan Reckard of Charlotte.
  • Roman John Rogowski, a senior with a computer science major and a mathematics minor, of Huntersville.
  • Anne Rutledge, a senior with history and global studies majors and an education minor, of Davidson.
  • Rachel Carolyn Cheng Uri, a senior with a psychology major and a neuroscience minor, of Charlotte.
  • Michelle Zixin Yu, a junior with biology and communication studies majors and a studio art minor, daughter of Jennifer Yu of Charlotte.
  • Huanyu Zhu, a junior with a biochemistry major and a computer science minor, son of Xiuli Lin and Chenfu Zhu of Charlotte.

 

Moore County

  • Elaine Kaye Kearney, a junior with biostatistics and computer science majors, daughter of Wayne Kearney Jr. and Jennifer Kearney of Pinehurst.
  • Grant Alexander King, a senior with economics and linguistics majors and a Japanese minor, of Pinehurst.

 

New Hanover County

  • Katharine Chase Frazier, a senior with an English major, of Wilmington.
  • Justine Taylor Orlovsky-Schnitzler, a senior with history and women’s and gender studies majors and a social and economic justice minor, daughter of Steven Schnitzler and Lisa Schnitzler of Wilmington.
  • Ellie Scialabba, a senior with a psychology major and geography and religious studies minors, daughter of Dr. Fred Scialabba and Dr. Annette Scialabba of Wilmington.

 

Onslow County

  • Erika Lynn Booth, a senior with biology and psychology majors and a chemistry minor, daughter of Ginger Booth and Scott Booth of Jacksonville.

 

Orange County

  • Emily Belding, a senior with political science and global studies majors and an environmental studies minor, of Hillsborough.
  • Susan K Leichliter, a senior with a women’s and gender studies major and a social and economic justice minor, of Chapel Hill.
  • Nathaniel Pritchard, a senior with mathematical decision sciences and economics majors and a Spanish for the professions minor, son of William Pritchard and Michelle Pritchard of Chapel Hill.
  • Kevin Su, a senior with a psychology major and cognitive science and chemistry minors, of Chapel Hill.
  • Teddy Wong, Jr., a junior with chemistry and mathematics majors, of Chapel Hill.

 

Pitt County

  • Patrick John Moloney, a senior with economics and business administration majors, son of Rob Moloney and Maria Moloney of Greenville.
  • Brendon Connor Murray, a junior with archaeology and history majors, son of Dr. Kevin Murray and Dr. Maria Murray of Greenville.

 

Rockingham County

  • Nathan Ray Hayes, a senior with political science and history majors, son of Kenneth Hayes and Teresa Hayes of Reidsville.

 

Union County

  • Megan Nicole Brown, a senior with a Hispanic linguistics major and a speech and hearing sciences minor, daughter of Mark Brown and Elaine Brown of Weddington.
  • Jessica Reggan Hoffman, a junior with environmental sciences and mathematics majors and a chemistry minor, daughter of Greg Hoffman and Chandra Hoffman of Indian Trail.
  • Jeet H Patel, a senior with a quantitative biology major, son of Hitesh Patel and Tejal Patel of Monroe.

 

Wake County

  • Jacqueline Ivy Battaile, a senior with a history major, daughter of Lawrence Battaile and Dr. Melinda Battaile of Raleigh.
  • Abigail Elizabeth Bell, a senior with a global studies major and Spanish and geography minors, daughter of Thomas Bell and Julia Bell and of Cary.
  • William Michael Buddendeck, a junior with economics and music majors and a Spanish for the professions minor, son of Michael Buddendeck and Karen Buddendeck of Cary.
  • Lin Cao, a junior with biology and anthropology majors and a chemistry minor, daughter of Lianyong Cao and Wei Wang of Cary.
  • Bailey Reed DeSimone, a senior with history and global studies majors and a German minor, daughter of Doug DeSimone of Raleigh and Patty Sandberg of Cary.
  • Eileen May Harvey, a senior with a global studies major and Chinese and urban studies and planning minors, daughter of David Harvey and Grace Harvey of Cary.
  • Wendy Kally Ji, a senior with a public policy major and a business administration minor, daughter of Dr. Wan Ji and Dr. Li Cai of Cary.
  • Kaitlyn Rose Johnson, a senior with a biology major and chemistry and women’s and gender studies minors, daughter of David Johnson and Kristyn Johnson of Raleigh.
  • Nina Rachel Joseph, a junior with mathematical decision sciences and computer science majors and a Jewish studies minor, of Cary.
  • Stephanie Kim, a junior with a chemistry major and a Spanish for the professions minor, daughter of Dr. Kalhee Kim and Jenny Kim of Cary.
  • Sarah Gray Lesley, a junior with English and music majors and a creative writing minor, daughter of Robert Lesley and Lu-Ann Lesley of Raleigh.
  • Dana Michelle Lingenfelser, a senior with an environmental studies major and a public policy minor, daughter of Charles Lingenfelser and Denise Lingenfelser of Fuquay-Varina.
  • Charles Bracken Lumsden, a senior with history and anthropology majors and a Spanish minor, son of William Lumsden and Margaret Lumsden of Raleigh.
  • Ryan K. McCord, a junior with public policy and global studies majors and an African studies minor, of Raleigh.
  • Aakash Mehta, a junior with environmental health sciences and biology majors and a chemistry minor, of Holly Springs.
  • Alexander Scot O’Hara, a senior with a biology major and chemistry and neuroscience minors, son of Jeffrey O’Hara and Brenda O’Hara of Cary.
  • William Robert Ostrom, a senior with a nutrition major and a chemistry minor, son of Bob Ostrom and Melissa Ostrom of Cary.
  • Timothy Michael Preston, a senior with an exercise and sport science major and a chemistry minor, of Raleigh.
  • Laura Elizabeth Roberson, a junior with biology and geography majors, daughter of Mark Roberson and Muriel Roberson of Cary.
  • Halle Marie Ronk, a junior with biology and chemistry majors, daughter of Kevin Ronk and Lorraine Ronk of Raleigh.
  • Rohanit Singh, a junior with environmental health sciences and biology majors and a Spanish for the medical professions minor, son of Dr. Manmohan Singh and Ritu Singh of Cary.
  • Priyanka Srinivas, a junior with a biology major and neuroscience and chemistry minors, daughter of Srinivasa Boregowda and Bharati Srinivasa of Cary.
  • Olivia Terrell, a senior with a communication studies major and an English minor, of Cary.
  • Paige Emily Trexler, a junior with a biology major and chemistry and Spanish for the professions minors, daughter of Mark Trexler and Suzanne Trexler of Cary.
  • Audrey Elizabeth Woolard, a senior with English and history majors and a creative writing minor, daughter of James Woolard Jr. and Michelle Woolard of Raleigh.
  • Andrew Joseph Notz Zalesak, a sophomore with chemistry and music majors, of Cary.

 

Watauga County

  • Lynde Marie Wangler, a junior with a psychology major and neuroscience and biology minors, of Boone.

 

Wilkes County

  • Erin Kolstad, a senior with media and journalism and psychology majors, daughter of Charles Kolstad and Catherine Kolstad of Wilkesboro.

 

Connecticut

  • Nikaya Smith, a senior with a mathematics major and a mathematical decision sciences minor, daughter of Clarence Smith and Penny Smith of West Hartford.

 

Delaware

  • Benjamin Clyde Creekmore, a junior with biochemistry and biophysics majors and a biology minor, son of Dr. J. Richard Creekmore and Lisa Creekmore of Wilmington.

 

Florida

  • Jonathan Tyler Alvarez, a junior with a biomedical and health sciences engineering major, son of Jose Alvarez of Miami.
  • Martina Knechel, a junior with biochemistry and biology majors, of Gainesville.
  • Diana Cristina Lopez, a junior with biology and Hispanic literature and cultures majors and a neuroscience minor, daughter of Jaime Lopez and Diana B. Lopez of Miami.
  • Shelby L. Waldron, a junior with psychology and exercise and sport science majors, daughter of R. Larry Waldron and Dolores Waldron of Brandon.

 

Georgia

  • Sarah Ellyn Boland, a senior with health behavior and physics majors and a chemistry minor, daughter of Dr. Ryan Boland and Dr. Pam Boland of Savannah.
  • Prasanna Kumar, a junior with psychology and economics majors and a chemistry minor, son of Dr. Sri Kumar and Ganga Kumar of Buford.
  • Alexandra Marie Paré, a senior with a broadcast and electronic journalism major and an entrepreneurship minor, daughter of Richard Paré and Anna Paré of Atlanta.
  • Amy Elizabeth Shehan, a senior with a political science major and Spanish for the professions and social and economic justice minors, daughter of Wayne Shehan and Mary Shehan of Alpharetta.
  • Mary Caroline Tarallo, a junior with biology and chemistry majors, daughter of Frank Tarallo of Atlanta and Cathy Roush of Hilton Head, South Carolina.

 

Maryland

  • Emily Claire Crockett, a senior with information science and art history majors and an Italian minor, daughter of David Crockett Jr. of Zimmerman, Minnesota and Susan Crockett of Raleigh, North Carolina.
  • Martha Isaacs, a senior with a geography major and city and regional planning and philosophy minors, daughter of William Isaacs and Louise Isaacs of Baltimore.
  • Emma Johnson, a senior with political science and history majors and a women’s and gender studies minor, daughter of Mark Johnson and Donna Tasso-Johnson of Potomac.
  • Christina Marie Kochanski, a senior with an economics major and a philosophy, politics, and economics minor, daughter of Matthew Kochanski and Margaret Kochanski of Columbia.
  • Spencer Kyle Lichtenberg, a senior with computer science and Asian studies majors, son of Marc Lichtenberg and Leslie Lichtenberg of Baltimore.
  • Carolyn Jennifer Reuland, a junior with biology and Spanish majors and a chemistry minor, daughter of Dr. Charles Reuland and Melissa Reuland of Baltimore.

 

Massachusetts

  • Andrea Joyce McSweeney, a senior with a biology major and a Spanish for the professions minor, daughter of Gregory McSweeney and Joyce McSweeney of Needham.
  • Benjamin Edward Shirley, a senior with a health policy and management major and a Spanish for the professions minor, of Beverly.

 

Missouri

  • Michael Gu, a junior with computer science and mathematics majors, of St. Louis.

 

New Jersey

  • William Matthew Townley Christoffersen, a junior with English and American studies majors and a music minor, of Lawrenceville.
  • Kimberly Mae Hoover, a junior with a psychology major and chemistry and biology minors, of Medford.

 

New Mexico

  • Ana Cutts Dougherty, a senior with economics and global studies majors and a philosophy, politics and economics minor, daughter of Tim Dougherty and Dr. Katharine Dougherty of Interlochen, Michigan.

 

New York

  • David Cortese DeGenova, a senior with a philosophy major and mathematical decision sciences and entrepreneurship minors, of Croton on Hudson.
  • Kelly Lynn Jasiura, a senior with public relations and public policy majors, daughter of Richard Jasiura and Joyce Jasiura of Buffalo.
  • Diane G Li, a senior with a public policy major, daughter of Minbin Li and Zhuobin Chen of New Hyde Park.
  • Isabel Maria Pinheiro, a senior with an interdisciplinary studies major and a composition, rhetoric and digital literacy minor, of Menands.
  • Matthew Ragusa, a junior with business administration and computer science majors, son of Gerard Ragusa and Jamie Ragusa of Staten Island.
  • Kathryn Nell Ryan, a senior with a psychology major and a Spanish for the professions minor, daughter of Greg Ryan and Eileen Ryan of Rockville Centre.
  • Danielle Christina Spitzer, a senior with biology and women’s and gender studies majors and a chemistry minor, daughter of Peter Spitzer and Doris Spitzer of Albany.

 

Ohio

  • Michael Louis Palumbo III, a junior with astrophysics and Latin majors, son of Michael Palumbo Jr. and Christina Palumbo of Concord.

 

Oregon

  • Ashley Han, a junior with a biology major and music and chemistry minors, daughter of Dr. Dong-ho Han and Mi-young Han of Beaverton.

 

Pennsylvania

  • Brian Charles Shields, a senior with philosophy and economics majors, son of Joseph Shields and Valerie Shields of Pittsburgh.

 

South Carolina

  • Aaron Paul Lovett, a senior with communication studies and documentary studies majors and a creative writing minor, son of the late James Lovett of Charleston and Iris Lovett of Charlotte, North Carolina.
  • Madeline Norris, a senior with English and psychology majors and a creative writing minor, daughter of Terry Melloh of Columbia.
  • Sarah Suzanne Renfro, a junior with an environmental health sciences major and a computer science minor, daughter of Dr. John Renfro and Dr. Suzanne Renfro of Greenville.

 

Texas

  • Gefen Kusin-Kline, a senior with an English major, of Dallas.
  • Katherine Anne Stotesbery, a senior with public policy and political science majors and an entrepreneurship minor, daughter of William Stotesbery and Susan Stotesbery of Austin.

 

Vermont

  • Anne Sutton, a junior with music and geography majors, daughter of Edward Sutton and Lynn Sutton of Burlington.

 

Virginia

  • Grant Scott Broussard, a junior with biology and chemistry majors, of Glen Allen.
  • Julia Whipple Gallini, a senior with biostatistics and mathematics majors and a music minor, daughter of Peter Gallini and Alisha Gallini of Richmond.
  • Michael Joseph Sanders, a junior with history and English majors and a philosophy, politics and economics minor, son of David Sanders and Jane Kotlarski of McLean.
  • Kara Louise Walker, a junior with information science and Latin majors, daughter of Dr. Richard Walker and Ellen Walker of Blacksburg.

 

West Virginia

  • Jasmine Shishir Shah, a senior with biology and psychology majors and a chemistry minor, daughter of Dr. Shishir Shah and Bindiya Shah of Wheeling.

 

Canada

  • Ariana B. Vaisey, a senior with an economics major and a geography minor, of Vancouver.

 

China

  • Xuewen Chen, a junior with biology and chemistry majors, of Hangzhou.
  • Zhengyang Fang, a junior with computer science and mathematical decision sciences majors, son of Lei Fang and Shuxian Wu of Jinan.
  • Jialing Jiang, a senior with economics and philosophy majors, of Beijing.
  • Ao Joseph Qiao, a junior with public policy and economics majors and a mathematical decision science minor, of Anhui.
  • Shengding Sun, a junior with a mathematics major and a computer science minor, of Beijing.
  • Zijun Tian, a junior with mathematical decision sciences and economics majors and a mathematics minor, of Jinan.
  • Xingzhi Wang, a junior with chemistry and mathematics majors and a geography minor, of Guangzhou.
  • Zicheng Ye, a junior with mathematics and economics majors, son of Boyu Ye and Wei Sun.
  • Wei Zhou, a senior with business journalism and political science majors, daughter of Qingsong Zhou and Qiuling Hu of Zhengzhou.

 

England

  • James Patrick Ellsmoor, a May 2016 graduate with geography and economics majors and a sustainability studies minor, son of Stephen Ellsmoor and Jane Ellsmoor of Market Drayton.

 

Peru

  • Gerardo Manuel Perez Goncalves, a junior with a biochemistry major and mathematics and biology minors, son of Leopoldo Perez Padilla and Yracy Goncalves Pereira of Morrisville, North Carolina.

 

 

-Carolina-

 

About the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill



The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, the nation’s first public university, is a global higher education leader known for innovative teaching, research and public service. A member of the prestigious Association of American Universities, Carolina regularly ranks as the best value for academic quality in U.S. public higher education. Now in its third century, the University offers 77 bachelor’s, 110 master’s, 64 doctorate and seven professional degree programs through 14 schools and the College of Arts and Sciences. Every day, faculty, staff and students shape their teaching, research and public service to meet North Carolina’s most pressing needs in every region and all 100 counties. Carolina’s 317,000-plus alumni live in all 50 states and 156 other countries. More than 167,000 live in North Carolina.

 

Phi Beta Kappa contact: Jason Clemmons, (919) 843-7756, jclem@email.unc.edu

University Communications contact: MC VanGraafeiland, (919) 962-7090, mc.vangraafeiland@unc.edu

‘Spork Lab’ tackles password security

March 28, 2017

Creating passwords that are memorable, hintable and resistant to attack is an increasingly important issue, especially in the age of savvy cyber-hackers — but computer-generated passwords are often too hard for people to remember, experts say.

It turns out that the challenge of creating attack-resistant passwords is a perfect fit for two departments who at first glance might seem to have little in common: linguistics and computer science.

In 2013, the National Science Foundation awarded UNC faculty members from both disciplines a $500,000 multi-year grant to study password security.

“This is such a relatable problem that we all have to deal with. … We wondered, ‘To what extent can we have the user influence a system-generated password?’” said computer scientist Fabian Monrose. “We wanted to first understand the constraints people are under in coming up with passwords.”

The Spork Lab has recently learned that another proposal has been recommended for funding by the NSF. The new three-year grant would fund a collaboration with linguists and neuroscientists at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. (photo by Donn Young)

Linguists Elliott Moreton, Jennifer Smith and Katya Pertsova began to explore the idea of lexical blends, words like “brunch” (for breakfast/lunch) or “spork” (for spoon/fork). Moreton quickly dubbed the new NSF-funded partnership “The Spork Lab” and ordered titanium sporks for everyone. The utensils are both flexible and strong, just like the interdepartmental collaboration, he said.

The lexical blend “fantabulous” even made its way into one of their joint papers: “Isn’t that Fantabulous: Security, Linguistic and Usability Challenges of Pronounceable Tokens.”

The researchers had a lot of questions they wanted to explore, such as: Just how big is blend space? If you make up a blended word, how do you measure its pronounceability? What kind of choices do people make in preserving parts of a word when they make a blend; i.e., do they choose to create flamingoose or flamongoose (when blending flamingo and mongoose?)

Our new paper reveals that, in general, people “tend to preserve more of a word that better predicts overall meaning,” Pertsova said.

“With passwords, one of the things that facilitates memorability is predictability, and that of course undermines security,” Moreton added. “They are at war with each other.”

It’s been a fertile area of exploration for both the faculty members and graduate students. The grant has supported masters’ theses, journal articles, papers for international conferences and more. Several projects have extended the work beyond English into Japanese and Spanish.

Monrose said they are also examining how many different source words might be needed to create a blend that’s resistant to attack, since password length — “we think the sweet spot is probably in the 16-character range” — also matters.

The original grant ends this year, but The Spork Lab has recently learned that another proposal has been recommended for funding by the NSF. The new three-year grant would fund a collaboration with linguists and neuroscientists at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst to investigate whether linguistic and nonlinguistic patterns are learned using the same cognitive processes.

“We hope to take all of this information into the next phase and determine how to design algorithms to generate passwords that are resistant to attack; we need more data to better understand all of the techniques available to the adversary,” said Monrose, who has woven some of the group’s initial findings into his introductory course on computer security.

By chance, it was an undergraduate student pursuing a dual major in linguistics and computer science who first brought the faculty members together in a cross-disciplinary partnership that everyone hopes will continue.

“It’s been really fun to collaborate with someone in a separate field and have him look at your work and ask questions about it,” Smith said. “We all come at the issue from different angles.”

By Kim Weaver Spurr ’88