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1995 Winnners: Outstanding Undergraduate Awards

The Computing Research Association is delighted to announce the results of the first CRA Outstanding Undergraduate Awards competition. We are also delighted to acknowledge the support of the Microsoft Corporation as the sponsor of the first year of this program.

Awards are presented in two categories: Outstanding Female Undergraduate and Outstanding Male Undergraduate. The candidates were nominated by their departments subject to the condition the department nominate at most one candidate in each category, and that each nominee is majoring in computer science, computer engineering or an equivalent program. A total of 18 female and 29 male candidates were nominated.

The selection committee, consisting of Ruzena Bajcsy of the University of Pennsylvania, Daniel Huttenlocher of Cornell University and Maria Klawe of the University of British Columbia (committee chair), was impressed by the quality of all the candidates. In addition to choosing an overall winner in each category, the committee recognized a small number of runners-up, as well as several candidates deserving honorable mention.

Outstanding Female Undergraduates Winner:

Diane Tang, Harvard University, Computer Science


  • Lynn Sock-Eng Chua, Arizona State University, Computer Systems Engineering
  • Mandana Vaziri-Faharani, Carnegie Mellon University, Electrical and Computer Engineering

Honorable Mention:

  • Teresa Chen, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science
  • Mauria Finley, Stanford University, Computer Science
  • Archra Kalra, University of Pittsburgh, Computer Science
  • Svetlana Kryukova, California Institute of Technology, Computer Science
  • Amoolya Singh, Carnegie Mellon University, Computer Science
  • Susan Thrane, University of Texas at Arlington, Computer Science and Engineering
  • Tina Wong, University of Washington, Computer Science
  • Ke Yee Yeung, University of Waterloo, Computer Science

Outstanding Male Undergraduate Winner:

Bryan Ford, University of Utah, Computer Science


  • Ian Goldberg, University of Waterloo, Computer Science
  • Michael Leventon, Cornell University, Computer Science
  • Avrom Pfeffer, University of California at Berkeley, Computer Science

Honorable Mention:

  • James Clough, University of Idaho, Computer Science
  • Joseph Felder, Temple University, Computer and Information Sciences
  • Stephen Freund, Stanford University, Computer Science
  • Steve Gribble, University of British Columbia, Computer Science
  • Michael Katchabaw, University of Western Ontario, Computer Science
  • Ramon Lawrence, University of Manitoba, Computer Science
  • Patrick (Chris) Leger, Carnegie Mellon University, Electrical and Computer Engineering
  • Quaid Morris, University of Toronto, Computer Science
  • Frank Anderson (Andy) Smith, North Carolina State University, Computer Science

Special Note on Andris Ambainis

The selection committee also decided to make a special, one-time only recognition of an outstanding nominee, Andris Ambainis from the University of Latvia. Since membership in the Computing Research Association is restricted to North American organizations, the CRA's Outstanding Undergraduate Award competition is limited to students enrolled in North American institutions. Unfortunately, the announcement of the competition did not mention this restriction. Ambainis was the only nominee from outside North America, but was such an impressive candidate that the selection committee felt that in view of the omission in the announcement, it was appropriate to provide special recognition for Ambainis. Future competition announcements will clearly indicate the restriction to North American students.

About the Winners

Diane Tangis in her senior year as an undergraduate in computer science at Harvard University. She is doing an honors thesis with Margo Seltzer on the topic of designing and evaluating benchmark suites for filesystems. She has established herself as a star student, excelling all her courses, including the several graduate courses she has taken over the past three years. She has made significant research contributions in three areas: networking, graphics and operating systems. These resulted in, respectively, a best student paper award (USENIX Technical Conference 94), a journal publication and a submitted paper to a major conference. She is a Barry M. Goldwater Scholar and has won several other scholarships and awards. She serves on the executive committees of the Harvard Computer Society and of the Undergraduates in Computer Science Society. Her other activities include piano, playing on the women's Ultimate Frisbee team and biking.

Bryan Ford will graduate with an honors degree in computer science from the University of Utah in 1996. Bryan has a startling list of accomplishments including an outstanding academic record, six publications (and one submitted) on operating systems, seven widely used software programs and the formation of a start-up software company. He is a key technical contributor in the design of a radically new version of Mach, which resulted in a major three-year grant from the Advanced Research Projects Agency. He is leading the Mach kernel portions of this project. His software contributions range from commercial packages for the Amiga to a number of public domain items including Mach 4, Multiplayer and XPK (a data compression and encryption package for the Amiga). He is a Barry M. Goldwater Scholar and has won several other scholarships and awards. He is the coordinator of the University of Utah chapter of the Utah Coalition of National Health Care Reform and is on the executive committee of the Salt Lake Junior Academy. His other interests include international issues, business models and computer graphics tools for developing action and adventure games.

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