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CCI Doctoral Student Gabriel Schwartz Receives 2016 Jay Modi Memorial Award

Jay Modi Lecture 2016
This year’s invited Jay Modi Memorial speaker, David Walker, PhD, presents his lecture titled “Confluences in Programming Languages Research” on May 16.

May 25, 2016

In celebration of the late Drexel computer science professor, Pragnesh Jay Modi, PhD the College of Computing & Informatics (CCI) presented computer science doctoral candidate Gabriel Schwartz with the 2016 Jay Modi Award, as part of the 8th annual Jay Modi Memorial Lecture held in the Paul Peck Alumni Center on May 16. The Jay Modi Award is presented annually to a graduate student in recognition of academic excellence and the potential to become a leader in the computing field.

Schwartz’ research interests are mostly centered on computer vision. His current research projects focus on material recognition (i.e., technology that identifies material types in an image such as metal, plastic, fabric, etc.). Schwartz earned his BS and MS in Computer Science from Drexel University.

This year’s invited Jay Modi Memorial speaker, David Walker, PhD, presented his lecture titled “Confluences in Programming Languages Research,” which discussed how confluences often occur when basic research finds application in an important new domain.

Walker is a professor of computer science at Princeton University, where he studies programming language theory, design and implementation, with an emphasis on the design of domain-specific languages. He received his bachelor’s degree from Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario, and his doctoral and master’s degrees in computer science from Cornell, before joining Princeton in 2002.

His awards include an NSF CAREER Award, a Sloan Fellowship and the 2015 ACM SIGPLAN Robin Milner Young Researcher Award. Together with his collaborators, he has also won a 10-year retrospective award for the most influential paper at ACM POPL 1998, a best paper award at ACM PLDI 2007, and a community award for his work at USENIX NSDI 2013. He served as an associate editor for ACM Transactions on Programming Languages and Systems from 2007-2015 and as program chair for the ACM Symposium on Principles of Programming Languages in 2015.

About the Jay Modi Memorial Lecture and Award

Pragnesh Jay Modi (1975-2007) joined Drexel’s Computer Science Department as an assistant professor in 2005 upon completing his PhD from the University of Southern California and a post-doctoral research position at Carnegie Mellon University. Professor Modi was an outstanding teacher and a rising star in the Artificial Intelligence (AI) community. He was selected as one of the top ten young AI researchers by the IEEE Intelligent Systems Advisory Board and received the prestigious NSF CAREER award.

His dissertation, “Distributed Constraint Optimization for Multiagent Systems,” made several fundamental contributions to the field and is widely cited in the multiagent community. In recognition of his impact, the International Foundation for Autonomous Agents and Multiagent Systems has named its outstanding student paper after him.

In the relatively short time Jay spent at Drexel, he was instrumental in building the PhD program and the prestige of the department, college and Drexel University. In addition to his technical accomplishments, Jay was a valuable member of the Computer Science Department, the College of Engineering, Drexel University and his research community.

Previous Award Winners
  • 2014-2015: Lingchuan Meng
  • 2013-14: Linge Bai
  • 2012-13: Stephen Lombardi
  • 2011-12: Michael Brennan
  • 2010-11: Maxim Shevertalov
  • 2009-10: Louis Kratz
  • 2008: Evan Sultanik
Previous Jay Modi Lecturers
  • 2014-15: Vijay Kumar - Aerial Robot Swarms
  • 2013-14: Peter Stone - Learning and Multiagent Reasoning for Autonomous Robots
  • 2012-13: Balachander Krishnamurthy - Internet Privacy: Towards More Transparency
  • 2011-12: Robert Sedgewick - Algorithms for the Masses
  • 2010-11: Sven Koenig - Keeping Up with a Changing World
  • 2009-10: Manuela Veloso - Planning, Execution, and Learning for Autonomous Robots in Uncertain Dynamic Environments
  • 2008: Milind Tambe - Multiagent Systems: Lessons Learned From Putting Theory Into Practice