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Leela Senthil Nathan Receives Honorable Mention in the Computing Research Association’s Outstanding Undergraduate Researcher Award Program

Leela Senthil Nathan has just been awarded an honorable mention in the 2014 Computing Research Association’s Outstanding Undergraduate Researcher Award program. She joins the Department of Computer Science’s Yudi Fu and Douglas McErlean, who received honorable mention last year. The program recognizes undergraduate students in North American colleges and universities who show outstanding potential in an area of computing research.

Leela’s research included a project with Professor James Hays in which she devised a new approach to scene understanding in photographs through the use of uniform segmentation to estimate geometric structure. She also worked with Professor Amy Greenwald to develop optimization algorithms for how to best bid in simultaneous auctions.

The potential of Leela’s research was immediately evident to Professor Greenwald, who notes, “There’s no question that she’s proven herself as a talented researcher, working diligently to refine her algorithm week after week. Leela’s work may someday prove valuable to anyone taking part in simultaneous online auctions. This includes situations as common as the person who only wants one iPad but bids on two of them at once in order to get the best price.”

Reflecting on this honor, Leela says, “I want to thank Professors Greenwald and Hays for their support. Faculty members throughout the department were extremely approachable when I started my research, and I’m very happy to receive this honor and see my work recognized as worthwhile.”