Thomas Dodson, computer science and computer engineering senior, received Honorable Mention in the Computing Research Association’s (CRA) Outstanding Undergraduate Researcher Award competition for 2012. This award program recognizes undergraduate students in North American colleges and universities who show outstanding research potential in an area of computing research.
Dodson was recognized for his research work on three projects in distinct disciplines: computer simulation of physical phenomena on few-layer graphene, design of an explanation interface for a Markov Decision Process (MDP), and design and construction of a nano-satellite – KySat-1.
Dodson is a graduate of Henry Clay High School in Lexington. He won a Goldwater Scholarship in 2009 and traveled to Harbin China in 2010 to compete in the ACM’s International Collegiate Programming Competition. He began working full-time as a software developer at HP Exstream (formerly Exstream Software) in 2008. Dodson kept his job at HP Exstream and returned to school in the fall of 2008 to pursue a BA in Physics, and will be graduating in May 2012.
According to the notification letter from CRA, this year’s nominees were “a very impressive group”. A number of nominees were commended for making significant contributions to more than one research project, several were authors or coauthors on multiple papers, others had made presentations at major conferences, and some had produced software artifacts that were in widespread use. Many nominees had been involved in successful summer research or internship programs, had been teaching assistants, tutors, or mentors, and a number had significant involvement in community volunteer efforts. It is quite an honor to be selected for Honorable Mention from this group.
CRA gratefully acknowledges the support of Microsoft Research and Mitsubishi Electric Research Labs (MERL) who sponsor the Outstanding Undergraduate Researcher Awards program in alternate years. MERL is the sponsor of this year’s awards.