College of Physical and Mathematical Sciences Staff Award
April, 25 2022
Erin Rowan smiling

She’s a great support to the chair. She’s been willing to take on tasks outside her job description to help the needs of the department.

Erin Rowan is the Department Secretary in Computer Science. She handles financials, supports faculty recruiting, and trains part-time staff and students.
Upcoming Devotional
April, 08 2022
BYU sign with flowers

We are looking forward to the devotionals we will be having during Spring term!

BYU devotionals are broadcast live on BYUtv, (and archived for on-demand streaming), KBYU-TV 11, Classical 89 FM, BYUradio 107.9 FM, and SiriusXM 143. Video, text, and audio are archived on They are on Tuesday's at 11:05 AM in the BYU Marriott Center.
CS Weekly Seminar Series
April, 04 2022
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Come to our CS Seminar this week!

Towards Intelligent Fully-Autonomous Information Gathering in Unstructured Marine Environments

Joshua Mangelson, PhD

Assistant Professor

Electrical and Computer Engineering

Brigham Young University


Over 70% of our world is underwater, but less than 1% of the world's oceans have been mapped at resolutions greater than 100m per pixel. Regular inspection, mapping, and data collection in marine environments is essential for a whole host of reasons including gaining a scientific understanding of our planet, civil infrastructure maintenance, and safe navigation. However, manual inspection/data collection using divers is expensive, dangerous, time-consuming, and tedious work. 

In this talk, I will discuss the use of autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs) and autonomous surface vessels (ASVs) to automatically and intelligently map, inspect, and collect information in unstructured marine environments. In particular, we will discuss the problems present in this space as well as the contributions my lab is making towards addressing these problems, including i) the development of a general-purpose marine robotics testbed at BYU, ii) the development of a marine robotics simulator called HoloOcean (, iii) advancements in marine robotic localization using Lie groups, and iv) preliminary results towards topic modeling and intelligent data collection.

Thursday, April 7th at 11am in 1170 TMCB
ICPC Regional Programming Contest
March, 23 2022
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It's still unofficial how many teams from each region will advance, but our team that came in 2nd place will probably go to the North American Championships in late May to compete against the top teams in the US and Canada (there are some really, really good teams there!).  Sadly, only 1 team per school can go, so even if they allow a 3rd team from our region, we cannot send both of our top teams... which is heartbreaking given how close the two teams were (only 2 mins!).

BYU Computer Science teams claimed both 2nd and 3rd place in the regional programming competition. Our team in 3rd place was only 2 minutes behind our team in 2nd! We had two really strong teams. You can see the full results (now finalized) here:
Musical Phrase Segmentation via Grammatical Induction
March, 14 2022

Friday, April 1st at 1-2:00pm, Summit Room 3346 TMCB

Advisor: Dan Ventura

Reed Perkins MS Thesis Defense
CS Graduation Reception
March, 07 2022
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BYU Graduation Commencement will be held on April 21st at 10am in the Marriott Center (more details here:

College Convocation for the Computer Science Department will be held on April 21st at 2pm in the WSC Ballrooms (more details here:

And CS Graduates don't forget to Save the Date for the upcoming Computer Science Graduation Reception!
Student Emmy Nomination
March, 04 2022
Student Emmy

"Their short animated film, “Stowaway” was nominated for a student Emmy for Best Animation, and the winner will be announced next month at the College Television Awards." from

Students from the BYU Animation Program received 4 of the 16 nominations, more than any other school.
Code: Debugging the Gender Gap
March, 03 2022
Register for FREE viewing at PEERYFILMS.BYU.EDU! Thursday, March 10th Reynolds Auditorium HBLL & Friday, March 11th, Varsity Theater WSC
Enhancing the Opportunities for Adults with Autism to Find Jobs Using a Job-Matching Algorithm
February, 28 2022

Wednesday, March 16th at 12-2:00pm, on Zoom

Meeting ID: 974 5563 5628

Meeting Passcode: 128976

Advisor: Yui-Kai Ng

Joseph Bills MS Thesis Defense
Symbolic Semantic Memory in Transformer Language Models
February, 14 2022

Wednesday, March 2nd at 3-4:30pm, Summit Room 3346 TMCB

Advisor: Dan Ventura

Robert Morain MS Thesis Defense/PhD Qualification
Creating A More Explainable and Efficient Game-Playing Agent
February, 04 2022

Wednesday, February 9th at 1pm, Summit Room 3346 TMCB

Advisor: Chris Archibald

MS Thesis Proposal for Jamison Moody
Eliciting Symbolic Association in Language Model Without Modes Tuning
January, 27 2022

Wednesday, February 2nd at 2pm, Summit Room 3346 TMCB

Advisor: David Wingate

MS Thesis Proposal for Josh Robinson
Large Language Models in Qualitative Analysis
January, 19 2022

Thursday, January 27th at 3pm, Summit Room 3346 TMCB

Advisor: Kevin Seppi

MS Thesis Proposal for Courtni Byun
Maximizing Performance of Dynamic Coalitions through LIGHT (Leadership Induced Group Horizontal Transfer)
December, 13 2021
Neal Munson

Friday December 17 at 11:00 a.m., 2222 TMCB

Advisor: Sean Warnick

MS Thesis Proposal for Neal Munson
New Faculty Member Steve Richardson
December, 06 2021
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Before joining the BYU CS department, Steve worked for 10 years at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, where he was the Manager of Machine Translation (MT) and Translation Systems. Prior to working at the Church, he presided over the Brazil São Paulo South Mission with his wife Marianna. Before the mission, he worked for 17 years at Microsoft Research as a Principal Researcher and manager of the MT Group and for 11 years at IBM, including at the TJ Watson Research Center, focusing on natural language processing (NLP).

We are excited to have Dr. Steve Richardson join the faculty.
CSIDE Watercoloring Event
December, 03 2021
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Come join us for a relaxing fun event! Everyone is welcome!
Simulating Government Institutions in Networked Societies
November, 17 2021
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Wednesday, November 17th at 3pm, Summit Room 3346 TMCB

Advisor: Jacob Crandall

MS Thesis Proposal Abstract for Michael Richards
BYU researchers create algorithm to predict suicidal thoughts in adolescents
November, 08 2021
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If counselors could predict which kids are most likely to commit suicide, they could save lives. Researchers from Brigham Young University, Johns Hopkins and Harvard have come up with an algorithm that predicts suicidal thoughts and behavior among adolescents. Their findings could lead to more effective measures to prevent suicide. (From

“I’ve had close friends that have had suicides in their family. For me, it’s kind of personal that way,” said BYU computer science professor Quinn Snell. “Our lab had been looking at suicidality and suicide ideation for quite a little while.” (Quote from
Modeling User Relationships in Online Communities of Creators
November, 04 2021
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Friday, November 19th at 1pm, 3350 TMCB

Advisor: Nancy Fulda

MS Thesis Defense for Berkeley Andrus
New Faculty Member - Brett Decker
October, 20 2021
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Brett Decker received a BS in Computer Science from Brigham Young University in 2012. He then was hired full-time at Sandia National Laboratories (SNL)---he first started working for SNL as a student intern in 2010. As part of SNL’s Critical Skills Master’s Program, Brett obtained a MS in Computer Science from Brown University in 2015. At SNL, Brett has been a software engineer, architect, and lead on various secure embedded and PC software systems. Brett came to BYU in Fall 2019.

I have a lot of hobbies, though I'm not good at all of them: reading, gardening, basketball, racquetball, board game design, piano, banjo & anything my kids are interested in.
Beware of IPs in Sheep’s Clothing: Measurement and Disclosure of IP Spoofing Vulnerabilities
October, 11 2021

Thursday, October 21st at 3pm, Conference Room

Advisor: Casey Deccio

MS Thesis Defense for Alden Hilton
Communication Effects when Playing with Humans in Multi-Round Games
October, 06 2021

Thursday, October 21st at 3pm

Advisor: Jacob Crandall

MS Thesis Defense for Tim Whiting
Eric Mercer receives Amazon Science Award
September, 11 2021
Eric Mercer

Dr Eric Mercer was the 2021 Amazon Research Awards recipient in AUTOMATED REASONING.

Mercer wins coveted Amazon Science Award
Online Learning for Hybrid Text Corpus Simplification and Named Entity Recognition
September, 08 2021
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Monday September 13th at 2pm

Advisor: Mark Clement

MS Thesis Defense for Brandon Bingham
Reducing the Manual Annotation Effort for Handwriting Recognition Using Active Transfer Learning
July, 23 2021

Friday July 30 at 10am

Advisor: Mark Clement

MS Thesis Defense for Eric Burdett
New Faculty Member - Dr. David Grimsman
June, 19 2021

David is a recent graduate of the University of California Santa Barbara in the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department. His research interests are centered on multiagent systems, game theory, distributed optimization, mechanism design, and security, however, he’s genuinely open to new domains of thinking which may challenge his assumptions or deepen his appreciation of current understanding. Alongside his academic pursuits, he has been able to work in industry for Applied Invention and MIT Lincoln Laboratories, allowing him to apply theory to several industries, including agriculture, national defense, travel, security, and aerospace. He has also been a leading member of Achilles Heel Technologies, a startup company applying systems theory to the security of critical infrastructures.

In his spare time, David enjoys watching and playing sports – really anything that’s active and strategic. He’s excited to be here at BYU with his wife, Kalisha, and his four children: Rose, Harvey, Elaine, and Walter.
Contrastive Pre-training for Discourse-Aware Conversation Models
June, 15 2021

Thursday, July 8th at 11:00am, 3350 TMCB

Advisor: Kevin Seppi

MS Thesis Defense for Roland Laboulaye
Exploring Non-functional Coupling Between Subsystems
June, 08 2021
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Wednesday, June 23 at 11:00am

Advisor: Jonathan Sillito

MS thesis defense for Matt Pope
Simple SSH Management
May, 19 2021
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Wednesday, June 9th at 4:00pm

Advisor: Daniel Zappala

MS Thesis Defense for Torstein Collett
Healing Racism Through Jesus Christ
May, 05 2021

Watch Ryan Gabriel's devotional, Healing Racism Through Jesus Christ, and learn more about how we can "work hard to heal the painful legacies of racism that we inherited."

"To pretend race is not important does not show compassion for the experiences of others who, by virtue of their experiences with racism, know that it is. Christ does not ask us to ignore or wish away another's pain but to know it and touch it." -Ryan Gabriel, assistant professor of sociology