Jay Lin Receives The Randy F. Pausch ‘82 Computer Science Undergraduate Summer Research Award

Click the links that follow for more news items about Peter Norvig, the Randy F. Pausch '82 Computer Science Undergraduate Summer Research Award, and other recent accomplishments by our students.

The Randy F. Pausch '82 Computer Science Undergraduate Summer Research Award, given this year to Jay Lin to support his work with Brown CS faculty member Amy Greenwald, recognizes strong achievement from undergraduate researchers and offers them the opportunity to continue their work over the summer.

A generous gift from Peter Norvig '78 (a Director of Research at Google and a thought leader in the areas of artificial intelligence, natural language processing, information retrieval, and software engineering) established the award, which provides $12,000 annually to support an undergraduate engaged in an intensive faculty-student summer research partnership. The gift honors the life and work of Randy F. Pausch '82, a renowned expert in computer science, human-computer interaction, and design who died of complications from pancreatic cancer in 2008. “His story is inspiring,” Peter says, “and this is an opportunity to remember him.”

Jay's Pausch award will replace his current SPRINT/UTRA award, which is supporting his research with Amy to solve auctions using variants of gradient descent ascent. He has implemented a suite of algorithms, which he is now packaging up as a library, and is using for experimentation to ideally find an algorithm that solves auctions both with good theoretical guarantees and that works practically. His proposed research for the summer is an extension of his current work.

“By even approximately solving simple (for example, first- or second-price) auctions with budget constraints,” Jay says, “the results would be novel.” He points out that his research has wide-reaching applications, with potential to increase both computational and economic efficiency in ad auctions, government auctions, electricity markets, and other areas.

“I’m excited,” Jay tells us, “to continue working with Amy over the summer and further our research progress. I also really value the mentorship relationship that I have with Amy and Denizalp Goktas, a PhD student in her lab. My overall goal is to learn how to be an effective researcher while producing high-quality artifacts (for example, code bases and papers) along the way. This award will propel me on my journey to do so.”

Jay’s enthusiasm and curiosity are exactly what Peter Norvig is looking for. He sees this award as a multiplier that will amplify the value of his gift and extend it through time. "In the past," he says, "we had to build all our own tools, and we didn't have time to combine computer science with other fields. Now, there are so many opportunities to do so. I think it's a wise choice: you invest in things that you think will do good, and educating a student allows them to help add to the things that you're already trying to accomplish."

For more information, click the link that follows to contact Brown CS Communications Manager Jesse C. Polhemus.