Published on December 10, 2021 by David Luginbuhl  
ACM Mid Southeast 2021 Samford Attendees
Samford ACM attendees included Thomas Walker, Mat Lad, David Luginbuhl, Greg Kawell and Merritt Cahoon

Computer science students and faculty represented Samford at the 63rd Mid-Southeast Fall Conference of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) in Gatlinburg, Tennessee, in November. The chapter is “dedicated to furthering of Computer Science in Alabama, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, South Carolina, and Tennessee, and the fall conference is one of the oldest conferences in the ACM. After the pandemic forced last year’s conference to go virtual, the 93 attendees for this year’s conference were happy to be back in person in Gatlinburg.

Attendees heard a keynote address from high performance computing pioneer Jack Dongarra of the University of Tennessee. Dongarra provided a rich perspective and history of the growth of the high-performance computing sector to serve computational science needs and shared thoughts about the future of high-speed computing.

Attendees also heard presentations from students and faculty from universities across the region. 

Samford computer science and mathematics major Merritt Cahoon presented the results of her summer research experience at the University of Texas-Arlington. “Robot-ouille: The In-Home Cooking Assistant that Serves Independence with Food” described efforts to build a cooking robot to help the elderly and disabled live more independently.  Cahoon also presented this research at the 2021 Southern Conference Undergraduate Research Forum Conference in October.

Professor Greg Kawell presented “Teaching OS via Collaboration, Research and Presentations,” which described the evolution of Samford’s operating systems course into a project-based experience that emphasizes collaboration and encourages communication and research to facilitate student learning of critical course concepts. Kawell and professor David Luginbuhl and also served as chairs for undergraduate research sessions at the conference.

Samford is a leading Christian university offering undergraduate programs grounded in the liberal arts with an array of nationally recognized graduate and professional schools. Founded in 1841, Samford is the 87th-oldest institution of higher learning in the United States. Samford enrolls 5,791 students from 49 states, Puerto Rico and 16 countries in its 10 academic schools: arts, arts and sciences, business, divinity, education, health professions, law, nursing, pharmacy and public health. Samford fields 17 athletic teams that compete in the tradition-rich Southern Conference and ranks 6th nationally for its Graduation Success Rate among all NCAA Division I schools.