FSC Grad Takes Second in Regional Computer Science Competition
Recent FSC grad, Christopher G. Stahl won second place in the Undergraduate Student Research Competition at the Annual South Central Conference of the Consortium for Computing Sciences in Colleges.
LAKELAND, Fla. (May 6, 2011) -- Christopher G. Stahl, Florida Southern College Class of 2011, won second place in the Undergraduate Student Research Competition at the Annual South Central Conference of the Consortium for Computing Sciences in Colleges (CCSC-SC). The CCSC-SC is a non-profit organization focused on promoting quality computer-oriented curricula, as well as, effective use of computing in institutions of higher learning.
Stahl's project, titled "Dream 6800: A Further Understanding of Computer Organization and Architecture Through Hands-On Construction," was part of his Computer Science Senior Seminar work, performed under the direction of Dr. Gwendolyn Walton, FSC professor of computer science and the Charles and Mildred Jenkins Chair in Mathematics and Computer Science. In it, he documented his quest to reconstruct a hobby computer from a 1979 diagram as well as design and develop software to emulate a processor.
He built the computer from scratch with low-level parts such as resistors, transistors, and integrated circuits. He used the original schematic and, when possible, used components from the parts list published in 1979. Because many of the original parts are no longer available, Stahl's research included a significant amount of investigation to identify and test alternative components before he could begin construction.
To participate in this competition, students submitted extended abstracts of their research. Based on those abstracts, qualified scholars were invited to participate in the research competition by making a poster presentation at the CCSC-SC conference, held April 15-16 at Sam Houston State University in Huntsville, Texas. The winners were announced at the conference banquet.
"We are all very proud of Chris," said Dr. Walton. "It has been a joy and a privilege for me to direct Chris' undergraduate research and to teach the Florida Southern College computer science students."
Stahl has participated in a variety of research and development projects during his undergraduate career at Florida Southern College. As a junior, he worked with another FSC computer science student on an undergraduate research project directed by Dr. Walton that explored open source software in robot vision. Building on his experience in that project, and based on his excellent academic credentials, Stahl was invited to the University of New Orleans in 2010 to participate in a Research Experience for Undergraduates sponsored by the National Science Foundation. Recently, he was approved for a 2011 summer internship at Oak Ridge National Laboratory.
In addition to his undergraduate research, Stahl has been involved in software design and development, including spending personal time to develop games for the Xbox 360 and iPhone, as well as, working with two teams of students in his computer science courses to develop a multi-platform computer game using the Java programming language and to develop a game for Android phones. In April 2011, Chris was awarded the Albert & Marjory Sheppard Computer Science Award, an award given to the most outstanding FSC senior computer science student.
Stahl is also a talented musician who has played viola as a contract musician in various locations in Florida during his years as a Florida Southern College undergraduate. He is a student member of the IEEE Computer Society, the national mathematics honor society Kappa Mu Epsilon, and Delta Omicron International Music Fraternity.
Florida Southern College offers the only computer science degree program in Polk County. In addition to providing a sound academic base, the computer science curriculum exemplifies FSC's renowned tradition of experiential learning by including many opportunities for students to participate in real-world projects, service learning, undergraduate research, and exploratory and collaborative problem solving. "Chris has done an excellent job of taking advantage of all we have to offer and building on his coursework to explore a variety of computer science areas," said Dr. Walton.
Stahl graduated from Florida Southern College on April 30, 2011 with a B. S. in computer science, a minor in mathematics, and a minor in music.