Tillie Ferguson '23 won the Best Student Paper Award at the 2023 Practice and Experience in Advanced Research Computing Conference (PEARC'23), competing with other first authored research papers from graduate and undergraduate students.
Tillie presented her paper, entitled "Efficient Parallelization of Dynamic Programming for Large Applications" , co-authored with professors Lila Fontes and Tia Newhall, at the conference. The paper is based on her CS honors thesis research project, which developed and evaluated novel techniques for parallelizing dynamic programming algorithms. The research work specifically targeted “big data”-sized applications, which are too large to feasibly solve using just a single compute node. Her experimental results show that her algorithm scales well to solving these large-sized applications. Her work can be applied to efficiently solve a wide range of data intensive applications such as RNA secondary substructure folding, detecting gerrymandering in election districts, large scheduling problems, and numerous computational science problems. Tillie plans to continue investigating extensions to her research post-graduation.