Student named finalist for National Outstanding Undergraduate Research Award

PULLMAN – Svetlana Lockwood, a senior majoring in computer science at WSU, has been named a finalist in the Computing Research Association’s (CRA) Outstanding Undergraduate Research Award competition for 2010.

This award program recognizes undergraduate students at North American universities who show outstanding research potential in computing research and demonstrated excellence in computing research ability, according to the CRA’s Web site.

Working with WSU Professor Diane Cook, Lockwood conducted unique research to examine the possibility of providing automated living environments with voice-user interfaces.  Providing such automated environments is taking on increasingly importance as the U.S. population age. The researchers hope that the work will allow people to maintain an independent lifestyle at home longer and avoid the need to enter assisted living facilities.

Currently she is working on an interdisciplinary, collaborative project in the bioinformatics area with researchers in the School of Molecular Biosciences and the Department of Mathematics. Working with Bala Krishnamoorthy, assistant professor of mathematics, and Ping Ye, assistant professor in the School of Molecular Biosciences, Lockwood is developing a computation model that could predict temperature-sensitive (Ts) mutations in proteins. Ts mutants are important because they help scientists to elucidate functional properties of proteins.

In addition to her research, Lockwood is active in the Bio Math Club and works as a tutor in the College of Engineering and Architecture Tutoring Lab. She has also participated in the National Science Foundation Undergraduate Biology and Mathematics (UBM) program, a program designed to enhance undergraduate education and training at the intersection of the biological and mathematical sciences and to better prepare undergraduate biology or mathematics students to pursue graduate study and careers in fields that integrate the mathematical and biological sciences.

Last year, she was one of only six students in Washington State to receive a prestigious Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship. The scholarship is widely considered the most prestigious award in the U.S. conferred upon undergraduates studying the sciences. It is awarded to about 300 college sophomores and juniors nationwide.
A native of Russia, Lockwood came to the U.S. in 2002 and began attending school at WSU in 2005. She plans to continue research in computer science as a graduate student.


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