Texas Tech University

Honors College Recent Graduate Named Honorable Mention in Computing Research Association for the Outstanding Undergraduate Researchers Award

Posted on: Dec 21, 2017

Isaac Griswold-Steiner

Isaac Griswold-Steiner, Class of 2017, was named an Honorable Mention in the Outstanding Undergraduate Researchers Award given by the Computing Research Association. His work examined writer authentication technology. Writer authentication is currently a manual and time consuming process that requires an expert to closely examine written documents. While research to automate writer authentication has been conducted for over 40 years using a variety of methods, a combination of limitations has limited market penetration. Most methods of handwriting authentication require specialized hardware such as pens or tablets, or they rely on manual scanning prior to off-line authentication. In addition, signatures are frequently used for writer authentication rather than text-independent writing; a factor that limits the range of possible application scenarios. Griswold-Steiner was on a team under the direction of Dr. Abdul Serwadda of the Department of Computer Science and their research tries to fill this void by leveraging the growing wearables market as a data source and point of authentication without compromising performance.

This year's nominees from all over the nation were a very impressive group. A number of them were commended for making significant contributions to more than one research project, several were authors or coauthors on multiple papers, others had made presentations at major conferences, and some had produced software artifacts that were in widespread use. Many of our nominees had been involved in successful summer research or internship programs, many had been teaching assistants, tutors, or mentors, and a number had significant involvement in community volunteer efforts. It is quite an honor to be selected for honorable mention.

Selection Committee:

  • Ran Libeskind-Hadas (Harvey Mudd), Chair
  • Eric Aaron (Vassar College)
  • Pieter Abbeel (UC Berkeley)
  • Michela Becchi (North Carolina State)
  • Cristina Nita-Rotaru (Northeastern University)
  • Margo Seltzer (Harvard University)
  • Brian Tjaden (Wellesley College)

CRA gratefully acknowledges the support of Microsoft Research and Mitsubishi Electric Research Labs (MERL) who sponsor the Outstanding Undergraduate Researcher Award program in alternate years. MERL is the sponsor of this year's awards.

CRA Outstanding Undergraduate Researcher Awards 2018

Non-PhD-granting institutions


Richard Phillips, Haverford College


Daniel Johnson, Harvey Mudd College


Srishti Palani, Mount Holyoke College

Honorable Mentions

  • Kiya Govek, Carleton College
  • Jordan Haack, Harvey Mudd College
  • Xuan Huang, Bryn Mawr College
  • Jamie Tucker-Foltz, Amherst College
  • Maryam Hedayati, Carleton College
  • Valerie Zhao, Wellesley College
  • Zheyuan Shi, Swarthmore College

PhD-granting institutions


Ashlie Martinez, University of Texas at Austin

Joshua Brakensiek, Carnegie Mellon University

Ching-Yun Hsu, California Institute of Technology


Sarah Hall-Swan, Tufts University

Julia Len, University of California, San Diego

Noah Golowich, Harvard College


  • Eric Deng, University of Southern California
  • Sheila Alemany, Florida International University
  • Margaret Lawson, Dartmouth College
  • Dan Hendrycks, University of Chicago
  • Ahmad Shikib Mehri, University of British Columbia
  • Garrett Thomas, University of California, Berkeley
  • Peter Manohar, University of California, Berkeley
  • aphael Meyer, Purdue University
  • Alannah Oleson, Oregon State University
  • Kimberly Ruth, University of Washington
  • Raymond Fok, University of Michigan
  • William Kuszmaul, Stanford University
  • Hillary Lia, Queen's University

Honorable Mentions

  • Rachel Alexander – University of Southern California
  • Mark Bryan – Cornell University
  • Kevin Chow – University of British Columbia
  • Mike D'Arcy – Cleveland State University
  • Anh Dao – University of Arizona
  • Rohan Doshi – Princeton University
  • Kiya Govek – Carleton College
  • Daniel Gratzer – Carnegie Mellon University
  • Isaac Griswold-Steiner – Texas Tech University
  • Jordan Haack – Harvey Mudd College
  • Maryam Hedayati – Carleton College
  • Xuan Huang – Bryn Mawr College
  • Preston Jiang – University of Washington
  • Siddharth Karamcheti – Brown University
  • Raunak Kumar – University of British Columbia
  • Rae Lasko – Carnegie Mellon University
  • Vivian Li – University of Rochester
  • Max Li – University of Pennsylvania
  • Siqi Liu – University of California, Berkeley
  • Kelly Mack – University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
  • Liza Mansbach – Cornell University
  • Daniel Minahan – University of Michigan
  • Ian Neal – University of Texas, Austin
  • Brandon Neth – University of Arizona
  • Scott Neville – University of Utah
  • Dana Nguyen – University of California Santa Barbara
  • Ke Ni – University of California, Santa Barbara
  • Deric Pang – University of Washington
  • Alex Pissinou Makki – University of California, Berkeley
  • Sorawee Porncharoenwase – Brown University
  • Nicholas Rioux – Northeastern University
  • Andy Rosales – University of California, Santa Barbara
  • Eric Rosen – Brown University
  • Nolan Shah – University of Houston
  • Zheyuan Shi – Swarthmore College
  • Yiliang Shi – University of Utah
  • Yousuf Soliman – Carnegie Mellon University
  • Jacob (Jalex) Stark – California Institute of Technology
  • Clayton Thomas – Purdue University
  • Jamie Tucker-Foltz – Amherst College
  • Jacob Van Geffen – University of Texas, Austin
  • Nick Walker – University of Texas, Austin
  • Kathleen Watson – University of Minnesota
  • Yucheng Yin – University of Michigan
  • Tianhe Yu – University of California, Berkeley
  • Valerie Zhao – Wellesley College
  • Ruiqi Zhong – Columbia University