Undergraduate Daniel Stubbs Wins National Computer Science Award

Daniel Stubbs

Daniel Stubbs, a senior studying computer science and mathematics, has received the 2014 Outstanding Undergraduate Researcher Award from the Computing Research Association (CRA), a group of more than 200 North American academic departments of computer science and related fields.

The national honor recognizes Stubbs’ “exemplary record of research in theoretical computer science, specifically in algorithms for data stream processing,” the award states. “He improved algorithms for computing statistics in randomly ordered streams of unknown length, reduced the space needed to compute the earth mover distance problem, and created an algorithm for estimating matches of graphs in the case the graphs are not accessible in their entirety.” He is co-teaching a one-credit undergraduate computer science course for honors students.

The Amherst native received a cash prize of $1,000 and a plaque. In addition, CRA will reimburse his expenses to attend a suitable research conference related to his interests. The group will sponsor a reception in his honor for his department and featured winners in the January issue of Computing Research News. Stubbs may choose to receive the plaque and check at either the reception or at the conference.

Stubb’s advisor, professor Andrew McGregor, says this is the first time a School of Computer Science undergraduate has won this national award. “Dan’s work is being published at international conferences and read by the top researchers in the area. We’re very proud that he’s received this award and excited to see what he does next.”

Stubbs says, “I’m very excited about this award. It’s great to have this recognition for the work I've been doing, and the mentorship and support provided by professor Andrew McGregor and the UMass School of Computer Science. Hopefully this award will help me as I apply to PhD programs so I can be a professor myself someday.”

The CRA selection committee included computer science researchers from across the country. Their award letter tells Stubbs, “We are pleased to have you as a member of the computing research community, and wish you the best for the future.” They added, “This year’s nominees were a very impressive group. A number of them 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 of our nominees had been involved in successful summer research or internship programs, many 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 as a winner.”

CRA acknowledges support from Microsoft Research and Mitsubishi Electric Research Labs, who sponsor the award in alternate years.