Prayaag Venkat named a Goldwater Scholar

Prayaag Venkat has been named a Goldwater Scholar for 2017. His accomplishment has been highlighted by the College of Computer Math and Natural Sciences on their website in Matt Wright's article congratulating the college's awardees: 

Prayaag Venkat—a computer science and mathematics double major who is also a member of the University Honors Program and a Banneker/Key Scholar—is interested in an area of theoretical computer science known as approximation algorithms, which look for the closest optimal solutions to complex problems for which exact solutions are impractical.

Venkat has worked with his faculty mentor, Professor and Elizabeth Stevinson Iribe Chair of Computer Science Samir Khuller, to address a number of problems suitable for approximation algorithms. He contributed to a poster presentation at a meeting organized by the National Science Foundation in October 2016, and has submitted a paper to the 2017 Algorithms and Data Structures Symposium this summer.

One of Venkat’s first projects was to design space-efficient data structures for solving problems in computational geometry, under the guidance of Computer Science Professor David Mount.

“Even though Prayaag is still an undergraduate, if he were to enter our Ph.D. program right now, he would easily be among the top 10 percent,” Mount said. “In spite of his intellectual ability, energy, creativity and independence, he is very down-to-earth and unassuming.”

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