College of Computing student Dezhi (Andy) Fang won two prestigious undergraduate awards from the College of Computing and from Georgia Tech for Spring 2018.
Fang won the Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program (UROP) Award, an annual recognition that honors one student from each department in Georgia Tech. The award is given to students based on their involvement in long-term research projects, participation in conferences, published research papers, displayed leadership within the research environment, and unique contributions to the field.
He was also the recipient of College of Computing Outstanding Undergraduate Research Award, an award given annually to one student from the college who is nominated by faculty members, recognizing their involvement in undergraduate research.
CSE Associate Professor Polo Chau, who is Fang’s faculty mentor said, “Even though he is still an undergraduate and the School of Computational Science and Engineering (CSE) consists of graduate students, Andy is still considered part of the CSE family.”
“Andy has been working with me since fall 2015 on multiple research projects, leading to three first-author papers and a second-author paper.”
Fang was also the recipient of the 2016 President’s Undergraduate Research Award, which included the PURA Travel Award. He used this award to fund his trip to present machine learning research at 2016 ACM SIGMOD/PODS. Fang also won the PURA Salary Award in fall 2016, which funded his research for a semester.
“For me, I’m interested in larger-scale systems such as performance and large-scale visualizations,” said Fang. “My research is similar to what Polo does in that it is at the intersection of HCI [human computer interaction] and data mining. Data mining systems are often capable of processing huge amounts of data, and our goal is to figure out how to best bridge that with the human mind, which possesses the skills of innovation and critical thinking,” said Fang.
Fang became interested in computing while still in high school where he began competing in algorithm competitions.
“I also worked on web development and software engineering in general, which puts me in the position to effectively combining high-performance computing with HCI, which has a huge impact on what computing can do for people.”
Fang holds that the key to his success is largely thanks to Georgia Tech and great mentorship. “I’ve had the best access to resources at a level I never imaged,” continued Fang. “Polo has been very supportive, in not only my development in academia, but also in my technical skill.”