Sather Gate
May 18, 2024

Awards Honor May 2024 Graduates

The School of Information’s May 2024 Commencement presented an opportunity to honor faculty and student achievements.

Interim Dean Marti Hearst presented awards for outstanding capstone projects from the Master of Information Management and Systems program, the Master of Information and Data Science program, and the Master of Information and Cybersecurity program.

Students in the MIMS, MIDS, and MICS programs voted for their most outstanding instructors and gave awards to their classmates.

James R. Chen Award for Outstanding MIMS Final Project, 2024

Session 1

Research indicates that children globally are increasingly disconnected from nature, spending more time indoors. To combat this, the team created PlayScape to cultivate children’s connection with nature through an outdoor play experience and an accompanying digital application. Children will learn more about local biodiversity while engaging in playful learning, focusing on educational and sensory experiences.

Judges praised the project, stating that “the idea of creating an outdoor interactive installation is clever, and even with just a few screenshots of the digital app, the design stood out as innovative and child-friendly.”

Session 2

Young adults in the United States below the age of thirty-four remain underserved by available political information sources, report more negative attitudes toward politics, and engage less in politics relative to other age groups. Magenta is a mobile application that provides young adults with highly accessible local political information and connects these individuals with their local community. 

“Magenta took a look at a real problem (how to increase civic engagement) through the lens of the most important tool of the day (mobile phones),” judges remarked. “The innovative result is a polished, engaging, and usable mobile app that can be successful out of the box and extended in multiple promising ways.”

Hal R. Varian MIDS Capstone Award, Spring 2024

After an unknown oil barage capsized off the shore of Trinidad and Tobago earlier this year, it took four days to discover the wreckage. At that point, nearly 10 miles of coastline were affected and the oil spill eventually spread over 100 km away. This incident underscored the critical importance of early detection and rapid response mechanisms in mitigating the devastating impact of oil spills on marine ecosystems and coastal communities.

OceanWatch aims to provide a solution for swift and automated oil spill detection by utilizing Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) imagery and cutting-edge machine learning techniques to ensure timely and accurate detection, enabling precise response and the preservation of our invaluable marine ecosystems.

Lily L. Chang MICS Capstone Award, Spring 2024

Seeing a rise in automobile theft but a decrease in carjackings throughout the years, the team behind NFC Sentinel identified a trend: criminals are relying on more high tech means of automobile theft, especially those related to key fobs or passive keyless entry (PKE) hacks. 

To combat this issue, NFC Sentinel aims to improve on the security of keyless car key fobs by integrating a novel multi-factor authentification system using Near Field Communication (NFC) technology. This will work in tandem with existing key fobs and ensure the key fob's signal is authorized via a secondary, secure channel to nullify the threat posed by most entry attacks.

For more information on previous MIDS and MICS Capstone awards, please check out our Summer 2023 winners and Fall 2023 winners.

Faculty Awards 

Excellence in Teaching Award (MIMS program): John Chuang, Professor for INFO 206A. Introduction to Programming and ComputationINFO 206B. Introduction to Data Structures and Analytics; INFO 134. Information Technology Economics, Strategy, and Policy; and INFO 290. Climate, People, and Informatics.

Excellence in Teaching Award (MIDS program): Mark Butler, Lecturer for DATASCI 266. Natural Language Processing with Deep Learning and DATASCI 290. Generative AI: Foundations, Techniques, Challenges, and Opportunities.

Excellence in Teaching Award (5th Year MIDS program): Joyce Shen, Lecturer for DATASCI 210. Capstone and DATSCI 221. Modern Data Applications.

Excellence in Teaching Award (MICS program): Jennia Hizver, Lecturer for CYBER 284. Web Application Security Assessment and CYBER 204. Software Security.

Student Awards

Student with the Most Spirit (MIMS): Tanay Mahindru

Outstanding Teaching Assistant (MIMS): Drake White, INFO 206A. Introduction to Programming and Computation and INFO 206B. Introduction to Data Structures and Analytics

Outstanding Teaching Assistant (MIDS): Amy Ho, DATASCI 203. Statistics for Data Science.

a woman in a white blouse presents behind a computer, with four people standing around her
Team PlayScape (Andy Vo, Natalie Chan, Zoya Abdullah, Grace Roseman, and Emily Ton) presenting at the showcase.
five people standing a row; person on right poses in front of a slide
Soorya Narayan Satheesh, Donte Arrivas-Bedford, Nyah Mattison, May Simpson, and Ivana Albernas discuss their app “Magenta.”
OceanWatch logo: a circle with a large wave
logo of nfc sentinel with car
NFC Sentinel
Professor John Chuang
Professor John Chuang
older man with glasses and beard
Mark Butler, Lecturer (MIDS)
headshot Joyce Shen
Joyce Shen, Lecturer (5YMIDS)
ginger woman with glasses
Jennia Hizver, Lecturer (MICS)
man with teal polo shirt
Tanay Mahindru, MIMS ’24 (Photo by Brittany Hosea-Small for the School of Information)
man in blue suit with glasses
Drake White, MIMS ’24 (Photo by Brittany Hosea-Small for the School of Information)
A headshot picture of Amy Ho
Amy Ho, MIDS ’24

Last updated:

May 22, 2024