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Willamette students and faculty shine at regional computer science conference

by Melanie Moyer,

Spencer Veatch, Professor Haiyan Cheng, Assistant Professor Lucas Cordova, and Assistant Professor Calvin Deutchbein

For two days in October, Willamette University’s computer science faculty and a student participated in the Consortium for Computing Sciences Northwest (CCSC-NW) Conference. The event featured computer science technology research and education from several colleges in the Pacific Northwest. Professor of Computer Science Haiyan Cheng served as this year’s conference program chair and as a session chair.

Participants presented papers, submitted work for the conference’s yearly publication, and took part in a panel discussion and tutorials. Students were also invited to participate in a poster competition and share their research.

This year, Spencer Veatch BA/BS’24, MS’24 won first place in the poster competition. Veatch, a student in Willamette’s new accelerated 3+1 data science program, presented his research using computer vision to more accurately differentiate between eight kinds of skin cancer. His research was the culmination of his final project in Professor Cheng’s Introduction to Data Science course, where he became increasingly interested in machine learning — a burgeoning field using sophisticated artificial intelligence and deep-learning algorithms systems.

Veatch hopes to expand his work on the project to include more diverse datasets, and says that the CCSC-NW gave him an opportunity to network with professionals working at the intersection of data science and health.

Also attending this year’s conference was Assistant Professor Calvin Deutschbein, who served as the student poster chair, and Assistant Professor Lucas Cordova, who will serve as next year’s conference chair.

Willamette will host next year’s conference for the first time since 2004. The honor of hosting the conference is a testament to the success of Willamette’s new School of Computing & Information Sciences and its faculty’s leadership in the field. Without the typical travel barriers, Willamette students can also register for the event at a discount to listen to the newest developments from Computer Science faculty, connect with industry experts, or enter their research in the poster competition.

Photo caption: pictured left to right: Willamette Student Spencer Veatch, Professor Haiyan Cheng, Assistant Professor Lucas Cordova, and Assistant Professor Calvin Deutchbein

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