The Network Newsletter (Fall 2020)
Greetings from Computer Science at Virginia Tech
Despite the strong headwinds of the pandemic, we are staying focused on our mission. I am extremely grateful for the resiliency and dedication of our staff, faculty, and students, and for the support of Virginia Tech leadership, which has allowed us to maintain remarkable momentum towards our ambitious goals.
Here are the headlines of continued momentum:
- Continued enrollment growth, which now places computer science as the largest undergraduate major in the College of Engineering and the second largest graduate program in the college
- Highly engaged fall virtual career fair with over 1,000 students and 40 companies participating
- Active hiring season, with seven new faculty members joining this fall and three more expected by January
- Steady progress on remodeling new space in Torgersen Hall, which will soon serve as the headquarters of our undergraduate program
- Accelerated planning process for three new construction projects — two in Blacksburg and one at the Innovation Campus in Alexandria — that will yield over 100,000 square feet of new space for the department over the next few years
As always, we are proud and grateful for all of our alumni and friends! Thank you for reaching out and staying engaged through this historically challenging time.
Facing off against COVID-19
In mid-March, when computer science graduate student Liam Chapin was working to produce prototype examples of every kind of face shield he could find online, he was guided by a philosophy he inherited from his dad. “Add your light to the sum of light,’ which is basically ‘take what you can do and try to leave the world a little better place than you found it.” Read his story >>
Scholarships drive Innovation Campus' first graduate degree program
This fall, Steven Barnett, of Alexandria, Virginia, joined the inaugural group of graduate students enrolled in Virginia Tech’s Master of Engineering in computer science program, the first degree designed for the new Innovation Campus. He's also a recipient of a tech talent scholarship offered by Virginia Tech. Learn more >>
Alumnus Newton Lee envisions a future with universal rights for all
Lee likens his own personal “leap of faith” of leaving his homeland of Hong Kong to study in the United States to the mantra of Star Trek, which encourages people “to explore strange new worlds and to seek out new life and new civilizations. Read his story >>
Xun (Steve) Jian receives NSF CAREER award to bolster cyberinfrastructure performance
"It is often said that a decade in computer science is a century in other sciences," said Jian, an assistant professor in the Department of Computer Science, of the aspects of his field that fascinate him. "New computer hardware technologies constantly emerge." Learn more about Jian's work >>
Powered by artificial intelligence, CT scans could fill gaps in COVID-19 testing
Computer scientists Wu Feng and Guohua Cao estimate their algorithm, honed through machine learning processes, could boost the nation’s daily testing capacity by more than 400,000. Read more >>
Computer Science Alumni Events
Other Virtual Opportunities:
- Hokie Mentorship Connect: Join our group, Computer Science & Information Technology, a great place to interact with students in our field who are requesting advice and mentorship.
- Nominate Alumni: Alumni of the Department of Computer Science are eligible for department and College of Engineering awards. You can nominate a fellow alumnus or alumna by filling out this form.
Gifts help our students learn
- Unrestricted current-use gifts have the most immediate and flexible impact on students and on the department's growth and excellence. Make a gift to the Computer Science Department Annual Fund.
- The department is building a special endowed fund, the Barbara Ryder Excellence Fund, which is particularly focused on supporting diversity and inclusion in computer science. Make a gift to the Barbara G. Ryder Fund for Excellence in Computer Science.
- Endowed scholarships help build our undergraduate scholarship endowment. Make a gift to the CS Investment in Excellence Endowment.
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