Sorawee Porncharoenwase Wins The Randy F. Pausch Computer Science Undergraduate Summer Research Award


Click the link that follows for more content on the Randy F. Pausch '82 Computer Science Undergraduate Summer Research Award.

The Randy F. Pausch '82 Computer Science Undergraduate Summer Research Award, given this year to Sorawee Porncharoenwase, recognizes strong achievement from young students and offers them the opportunity to partner with faculty and advance work that began in the Brown CS undergraduate research program.

A generous gift from Peter Norvig '78 (a Director of Research at Google and a thought leader in the areas of artificial intelligence, natural language processing, information retrieval, and software engineering) established the award, which provides $10,000 annually to support an undergraduate engaged in an intensive faculty-student summer research partnership. The gift honors the life and work of Randy F. Pausch '82, a renowned expert in computer science, human-computer interaction, and design who died of complications from pancreatic cancer in 2008. "His story is inspiring," Peter says, "and this is an opportunity to remember him."

"My research project with [Postdoctoral Research Associate] Tim Nelson," Sorawee explains, "is about using logic to aid users in verifying correctness of a system. I was introduced to software verification and programming languages at Brown, and I've been interested in them ever since. After taking Logic for Systems with Tim in my first year, I continued my interest by TAing the course last year and this year." 

This summer, he'll be working on program synthesis combined with past work that Tim, Professor Shriram Krishnamurthi, and their PhD student, Natasha Danas, have done on presenting the output of formal methods tools. Sorawee says, "I'm very excited for this summer. The project is an opportunity to work with Tim again. Moreover, now we'll be developing a tool for other people to use! I'm very grateful for the award, and I'd also like to thank Tim and Shriram for all of their support."

Tool-building is exactly what Peter Norvig is looking for. He sees this award as a "multiplier" that will amplify the value of his gift and extend it through time. "In the past," he says, "we had to build all our own tools, and we didn't have time to combine computer science with other fields. Now, there are so many opportunities to do so. I think it's a wise choice: you invest in things that you think will do good, and educating a student allows them to help add to the things that you're already trying to accomplish." 

For more information, click the link that follows to contact Brown CS Communications Outreach Specialist Jesse C. Polhemus.