Student Research in Mathematics and Computer Science

One of the hallmarks of Davidson College is the opportunity for students to work on significant projects as undergraduates.

Many students are involved in research work at Davidson beyond the scope of usual coursework, through summer research projects, research with faculty, independent studies, honors projects, and more, thanks in part to external faculty grants, as well as internal collaborative grants to faculty or students, such as the Davidson Research Initiative, the Faculty Study and Research (FS&R) fund, the Research in Science Experience (RISE) program, and the R. Craig and Sheila Yoder Applied Research Fellowship

Students pursue research in computer science, data analytics, and theoretical and applied mathematics, investigating areas such as graph theory, game theory, sports analytics, combinatorics, distributed systems, virtual reality, machine learning, and bioinformatics.

Research, teaching, and internships beyond Davidson are available on a list of summer opportunities in mathematics and computer science.

Student Research Projects

View All Past Student Projects


Name Project Area Faculty Mentor
Daniel Lammens ‘21

ALPhA: Reinforcement Learning for Automatic Beam Tuning

Michelle P. Kuchera and Raghu Ramanujan

Andrew Hoyle ‘21,  Eleni Tsitinidi ‘21, Rida Shahid ‘22, Meg Houck ‘20 Zach Nussbaum ‘20, Ryan Strauss ‘20, Michael Robertson ‘20, Evan Pritchard ‘22

ALPhA: Machine learning for nuclear theory

Michelle P. Kuchera and Raghu Ramanujan
Lexie Weghorn ‘21 (UW Lacrosse), John Blue ‘21, Jack Taylor ‘18

ALPhA: Machine learning for experimental nuclear physics

Michelle P. Kuchera and Raghu Ramanujan

Approximately 90 students 

Cats Stats

Tim Chartier

DavidSYS: Using Skip Graphs for NUMA Locality in Concurrent Data Structures

Hammurabi Mendes    

DavidSYS: Load Balancing in Lazy Stacked Data Structures

Hammurabi Mendes    


DavidSYS: Gossip over Thread-Local Priority Queues

 Hammurabi Mendes

DavidSYS: A Distributed Monte-Carlo Tree Search Library

 Hammurabi Mendes


DavidSYS: Simulation of Drone Swarms

Hammurabi Mendes

Geoffrey Wang ‘21, Max Zhao ‘21

Detecting Shadow Players in Complex Networks

Alexander Wiedemann

Luna Jerjees ‘23, My Doan ‘18

DRIVE: Virtual Body Ownership Illusions for Bias Reduction and Fostering Inclusivity in STEM Classrooms

Tabitha C. Peck and Jessica J. Good (Psychology)

Kern Qi ‘21, Jordan Reed ‘22, Niall Williams ‘19

DRIVE: Pre-service Educators Reimagining Core Experiences in Physics Teaching

Tabitha C. Peck

Sarah Hancock ‘21, Kylee Taylor ‘23, Genesis Bernadin ‘23

DRIVE: Underrepresentation in Virtual Reality Research

Tabitha C. Peck and Laura Sockol (Psychology)

Ryan Strauss ‘20, Wiley Baskin ‘21, Andrew Becker ‘18

DRIVE: Path Prediction in Virtual Environments using Reinforcement Learning

Tabitha C. Peck and Raghu Ramanujan

Altan Tutar ‘20

DRIVE: Avatar Embodiment and Stroop Interference

Tabitha C. Peck

Jacob D’Aurizio ‘20

Explorations in Lattice Path Enumeration: Counting Motzkin and Schröder Paths by Ascents and Peaks

Yan Zhuang

Crossan Cooper ‘20 and Will Jones ‘19

Explorations in Permutation Enumeration: Cyclic Valleys and Excedances in Conjugacy Classes of the Symmetric Group

Yan Zhuang

Lindy Bustabad ‘21

Explorations in Permutation Enumeration: Signed Permutation Statistics

Yan Zhuang

Carmon Proctor ‘22

Game Theory Lab: Data Structures for Computing Equilibria

Bryce Wiedenbeck

Madelyn Gatchel ‘21

Game Theory Lab: Leveraging Neural Networks to Analyze Large Games

Bryce Wiedenbeck

Lexie Shreeve ‘21, Lawrence Guo ‘20

Game Theory Lab: Modeling Credit Ratings Inflation in the 2008 Financial Crisis 

Bryce Wiedenbeck

Owen Bezick ‘21, Calvin Spencer ‘23

Gradebook for Standards Based Grading 

Sakib Miazi and Heather Smith 


Graph Pebbling Research

Hammurabi Mendes, Jonad Pulaj, Bryce Wiedenbeck, Carl Yerger

Owen Bezick ‘21, Wilbert Garcia ‘21, Nathan Jordan ‘22, Ethan Rodier ‘23, Katherine Smith ‘21

Project PRONTO++: C2i Dashboard

Laurie Heyer

Jake Carver ‘21, Nathan Little ‘21, and Brad Shook ‘22

Project PRONTO++: C2i Web Crawler

Laurie Heyer

Nade Bai ‘22, Abigail Santiago ‘22

Project PRONTO++: Gig-Hub App Development

Laurie Heyer

Daniel Cowan ‘22, Brad Shook ‘22

Project PRONTO++: Faculty Expertise Search Tool

Laurie Heyer

Hope Anderson ‘22, Mimi Ughetta ‘22

Project PRONTO++: Interactive Bio-Math Models

Laurie Heyer


Structural Graph Theory Research

Carl Yerger

Nathan Siu ‘21

A Tool to Quantify Localized Fluorescence in Caenorhabditis elegans

Heather Smith and Debbie Thurtle-Schmidt

Recent Student Publications

*Undergraduate author

Brandt, A.,Tenpas, N.*, Yerger, C. Planar graphs with girth 20 are additively 3-choosable, Discrete Applied Mathematics, (2020) 277, 14-21.

M. Crossan Cooper*, William S. Jones*, and Yan Zhuang. On the joint distribution of cyclic valleys and excedances over conjugacy classes of 𝕾nAdvances in Applied Mathematics 115: Article #101999, 15 pp., 2020.

Cranston, D., Postle, L., Xue, C.*, Yerger, C. Modified linear programming and Class 0 bounds for graph pebbling, Journal of Combinatorial Optimization, (2017) 34, 114-132.

Kuchera, M. P., Ramanujan, R., Taylor*, J. Z., Strauss*, R. R., Bazin, D., Bradt, J., & Chen*, R. (2019). Machine learning methods for track classification in the AT-TPC. Nuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics Research Section A: Accelerators, Spectrometers, Detectors and Associated Equipment940, 156-167.

Peck, Tabitha C., and Altan Tutar*. "The Impact of a Self-Avatar, Hand Collocation, and Hand Proximity on Embodiment and Stroop Interference." IEEE Transactions on Visualization and Computer Graphics 26.5 (2020): 1964-1971.

Peck, Tabitha C., Laura E. Sockol, and Sarah M. Hancock*. "Mind the Gap: The Underrepresentation of Female Participants and Authors in Virtual Reality Research." IEEE Transactions on Visualization and Computer Graphics 26.5 (2020): 1945-1954. (Nominated for best paper award at IEEE VR 2020)

Qi*, K., Borland, D., Williams*, N. L., Jackson, E., Minogue, J., & Peck, T. C. (2020, March). Augmenting Physics Education with Haptic and Visual Feedback. In 2020 IEEE Conference on Virtual Reality and 3D User Interfaces Abstracts and Workshops (VRW) (pp. 439-443). IEEE.

Qi*, K., Borland, D., Jackson, E., Williams*, N. L., Minogue, J., & Peck, T. C. (2020, March). The Impact of Haptic and Visual Feedback on Teaching. In 2020 IEEE Conference on Virtual Reality and 3D User Interfaces Abstracts and Workshops (VRW) (pp. 613-614). IEEE.

Seitz*, K. R., Good, J. J., & Peck, T. C. (2020, March). Shooter Bias in Virtual Reality: The Effect of Avatar Race and Socioeconomic Status on Shooting Decisions. In 2020 IEEE Conference on Virtual Reality and 3D User Interfaces Abstracts and Workshops (VRW) (pp. 607-608). IEEE.

Strauss*, R. R., Ramanujan, R., Becker*, A., and Peck, T.C. "A Steering Algorithm for Redirected Walking Using Reinforcement Learning." IEEE Transactions on Visualization and Computer Graphics 26.5 (2020): 1955-1963.

Thomas*, Samuel , Roxana Hayne*, Jonad Pulaj, and Hammurabi Mendes. Using Skip Graphs for Increased NUMA Locality. 2020 IEEE 32nd International Symposium on Computer Architecture and High Performance Computing (SBAC-PAD). DOI 10.1109/SBAC-PAD49847.2020.00031

You, J., Wu*, H., Barrett, C., Ramanujan, R., Leskovec, J. (2019, December). G2SAT: Learning to Generate SAT Formulas. Neural Information Processing Systems (NeurIPS), 2019: 10553--10564.