Three computer science students at Princeton University were honored by the Computing Research Association, which recognizes undergraduate students at North American universities for outstanding potential in areas of computing research.

Katherine Ye, a senior computer science major, was named an Outstanding Undergraduate Researcher by the association, and awarded up to $1,500 to attend a research conference of her choice, while seniors Esther Rolf and Benjamin Spar received honorable mentions.

Ye’s research applies “formal methods” and “program synthesis techniques” to create software and hardware systems, the formal specification of DNS servers (the standard technology for managing public names of websites), and verification of elements of cryptographic systems, which help secure e-mail and other forms of sensitive communication. She was nominated for the CRA award by her academic adviser Andrew Appel, the Eugene Higgins Professor of Computer Science at the University.

Appel called Ye one of the most “capable, motivated, accomplished, smart” undergraduate researchers he has ever advised. He said she has already co-authored a paper for a major conference and is doing the “heavy lifting” in a cryptographic research project that includes himself and Matthew Green, a computer science professor at Johns Hopkins University.

“She has plans for her academic career and she knows how to accomplish them,” Appel said. “And she has the smarts required.”

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    Computer Science