The award recognizes the best MS thesis in CS with consideration to novelty of idea; quality of resulting publications; effectiveness of writing; and contributions/impact to the field overall.
Xu’s computer science research primarily focused on modeling and predicting incidence in two cases that take dynamics of propagation into account. He has defended his master’s dissertation, “Modeling and Predicting Incidence: Critical Systems Failures and Flu Infection Cases,” and will receive his degree from the Department of Computer Science later this month.
Aditya Prakash, Xu’s advisor, nominated him for the research award.
“This award is a nice recognition of Xinfeng’s work,” Prakash said. “His thesis offers new algorithms and models for two tough real-world problems — vulnerability of critical infrastructure systems and influenza surveillance. We are already using algorithms from his thesis in a toolkit being developed with the Oak Ridge National Laboratory for power systems, and also as part of Virginia Tech’s submission to the ongoing 2018/19 CDC FluSight challenge.”
Xu is also a Ph.D. student in physics in the College of Science and will continue his research in that field exploring the mystery of Active Galactic Nuclei (AGN). He is projected to complete the Ph.D. program in Spring 2020.