Greetings from Madison!

After an April full of heat, rain, cold, snow, more heat, and more snow - in other words, a typical Madison April - summer seems to be upon us. It is sunny and warm and the Terrace is full of students, some of them about to graduate and celebrating their last few days and nights on our beautiful campus. Some of them, not graduating, but celebrating anyhow. You know how students are!

Speaking of students, we have a lot of them! Over 2200 CS undergraduate majors are learning with us these days, and over 400 graduate students. It's an exciting time to be in CS at Wisconsin! And the Data Science major, which we run jointly with our friends in Statistics, is the fastest growing major on campus, with nearly 800 students in its second year of existence. Soon, Data Science will be one of the top ten biggest majors at UW. 

In this edition of Badger Bytes, we are pleased to announce several awards won by our faculty. We also have a story from "On, Wisconsin" magazine about CS alum Matt Amodio, who recently had the second longest winning streak on the game show Jeopardy! Finally, our students have been busy with a UPL hackathon, the SACM Research Symposium, and working with industry in the prototype CS Capstone class.

I hope you enjoy hearing about some of the many great things happening on campus these days. And we have more big things happening, including a new building to house our School of Computer, Data & Information Sciences (CDIS). The building will house the entire CS department, the entire Statistics department, the entire iSchool, AI-related faculty from the Department of Biostatistics and Medical Informatics (BMI), and the American Family Data Science Institute. It truly will be the hub of computing and data activities on campus. The construction begins this summer! See for details.

In any case, please do stay in touch. One of the best parts of being department chair is meeting our wonderful alums, so get in touch and say hello. I'd be more than happy to connect.

On Wisconsin!
Recent Computer Sciences Department Faculty Awards
Mark Hill, Jignesh Patel, and Somesh Jha AAAS Lifetime Fellows
UW- Madison CS alum Matt Amodio (MS '17) became a legendary Jeopardy! winner with a unique style of play
Matt Amodio first applied to be on Jeopardy! while working on his MS in Computer Sciences. He went on to win the second most number of games in the history of the show. Learn about his fascinating style of play and his time at UW in the On Wisconsin story below.

Undergraduate Projects Lab Hackathon brings students together With "Help Your Community" theme
The UPL held a 24-hour "Hatathon" for students of all experience levels with the goal of helping the community. Check out all the innovative projects here.

CS Undergrad Capstone Course: "I've never felt so proud of something I've made in class before"
About 40 undergraduates worked with business partners to build their computer science skills with industry-relevant projects. “Not only are students working on real business problems for their corporate partners, they’re using and integrating new technologies, and collaborating on teams using Scrum, Kanban, etc (agile processes), much like they will when they graduate,” Instructor Amber Field said.
Assistant Professor Fred Sala delivers a keynote talk entitled Overcoming Machine Learnings Data Bottlenecks
Students learn from each other at SACM Research Symposium
The Student chapter of the Association for Computing Machinery (SACM) planned and carried out another successful research symposium for CS students. “I hope students can learn what their peers are working on . . . , fostering the inspiration from curious minds and encouraging junior graduate students or undergraduates to be involved in CS research," said Jing Liu, one of the organizers.
Commencement 2022! Congrats to our newest alumni!
Spring 2022 commencement launched almost 600 CS undergraduates and 60 CS master's students out into the world. We also have at least six more PhDs graduating for a total of about 30 during the 2021-22 academic year.

In addition to the UW-wide commencement ceremonies, CS held graduate receptions so each grad could be recognized. Congratulations, all! And please keep in touch!
School of Computer, Data & Information Sciences (CDIS)
The new building project for the School of Computer, Data & Information Sciences (CDIS) has launched! Groundbreaking will take place this summer, with an estimated completion date at the end of 2024. Check out this virtual tour of the building!

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