Undergrad Researcher Receives National Recognition
Thursday, Dec. 11, 2008
USU Goldwater Scholar Arthur Mahoney was among the top four finalists in the nation for the Computing Research Association's 2009 Outstanding Undergraduate Research Award.
Mahoney, who was named a Goldwater Scholar in 2007 and a Governor’s Scholar in 2006, has pursued research in five areas that have resulted in three publications, two of which list the undergraduate as first author. His research includes parallel path planning in large graphs, altruistic negotiation systems, developing novel parallel algorithms for extremely fast robotic motion planning, massively parallel search strategies for discovering novel cancer therapies and parallel tools for hydrologic prediction and flood forecasting that scale to massive data sets.
Mahoney’s work on parallel search strategies for cancer therapies focuses on slowing angiogenesis — the growth of blood vessels — in and around malignant tumors. With faculty mentors Nicholas Flann, associate professor in the Computer Science Department, Greg Podgorski, associate professor in the Biology Department and graduate student Brian G. Smith, Mahoney uses a simulated computational modeling and search approach to evaluate current therapies and seek new ones.
With faculty mentor Dan Watson, Mahoney developed an algorithm to improve communications among robots used in military, law enforcement and industrial applications that safely extend the reach of humans into dangerous environments.
“(September 11) raised a lot of issues for search and rescue,” he says. “Robots would be useful in searching – they are a lot more expendable than human lives.”
A 2005 graduate of Utah’s Logan High School, Mahoney is an Honors student, a Presidential Scholar, a USU Undergraduate Research Fellow and a Willard L. Eccles Undergraduate Research Fellow. He was named the College of Science’s 2008 Peak Prize Undergraduate Researcher of the Year.
The Cache Valley native serves as administrator of the Computer Science Department’s computer cluster – a research tool Mahoney designed and assembled. In addition to maintaining a perfect GPA, Mahoney mentors fellow undergraduate researchers and serves as a tutor for the Mathematics and Statistics Department.
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