Computer Science doctoral student Fengyuan Xu is one of two recipients of the 2010-2011 Awards for Excellence in Undergraduate Mentoring in the Natural and Computational Sciences. Fengyuan will be the first Computer Science graduate student to receive this award.
In the spring of 2009, the College of Arts & Sciences' Graduate Studies Advisory Board initiated annual awards to Arts & Science graduate students in recognition of outstanding undergraduate mentoring in scholarship and research outside of classroom teaching.
Fengyuan is a member of the Wireless Networking Group (WING) directed by Professor Qun Li. Members of WING use small sensor devices called Motes, designed by researchers at the University of California, Berkeley, as a platform to do experiments to test wireless protocol designs. It takes time to get used to the programming environment and programming style for Motes. Qun Li and Harry Gao (B.S., 2011) nominated Fengyuan for Excellence in Undergraduate Mentoring because for each of the past three years, he has helped the undergraduate researchers in WING — including Harry — learn how to use the Motes platform. Fengyuan has also helped them work toward finding solutions to the research problems they were tackling, such as Harry's work on how to design a security protocol to secure the communications between a vehicle and sensors deployed on the roadside.
As noted by Qun in his letter of nomination for Fengyuan, large research groups need experienced Ph.D. students to help supervise undergraduate students to do high-quality research. This award recognizes Fengyuan's valuable contributions to the educational mission of the College of William & Mary through his work to sustain a vibrant research program involving undergraduate students, graduate students, and faculty.
The award will be presented at the Graduate Research Symposium awards luncheon on Saturday, March 26.