Roanoke Students Present at Computer Science Conference

by roanokecollege on January 25, 2014


This past semester, several Computer Science students attended the annual conference of the Southeastern Region of the Consortium for Computing Sciences in Colleges at Furman University. The research of four students was accepted for the poster presentation at the undergraduate student research competition at the conference. Thomas Lux and Randall Pittman were two of the students chosen to present their joint project and their project won the competition (scores being based on their abstracts, poster presentations, and oral presentations). Eight students, in two teams of four each, participated in the programming contest at the conference and out of 30 teams, Roanoke’s team, consisting of Natalie Wilkinson, Maya Shende, Thomas Lux, and Randall Pittman, came in third place.

Thomas Lux (Junior) has been doing research at Roanoke since his first year here and he will be starting a new project this semester.

“From the start of my college career I’d shown an intense interest in pursuing side projects for my computer science classes. In the spring semester of 2013 the professors of our computer science department approached me and two of my classmates about the possibility of doing research in the coming summer. Needless to say I was ecstatic, and immediately began working with the professors to decide what it was that I was going to pursue.”

Comp Science

The project that Thomas and Randall worked on was about “robotic localization and mapping, and to compare various sensor platforms for the purpose of mapping indoor environments with robots.” The project came about by their interest in the topics of robotics and artificial intelligence. Their faculty mentor for this project was Dr. Durell Bouchard and Thomas explains that working with him was an amazing experience.

“The experience has forever changed the way that I will approach new problems. Every other day we would meet to discuss progress, plans, and problems that we had encountered. This really helped us with time management and learning to set achievable goals. By setting goals, we were able to break down the immense amount of work we had into manageable chunks.”

Thomas highly encourages students to get involved in research opportunities here at Roanoke:

“Research is an experience unlike any other that you would receive in a classroom. Roanoke gave me a great opportunity because I simply showed interest. So show interest and try to learn about new things that you previously didn’t know existed.”

For more information on the Consortium for Computing Sciences in Colleges visit:

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