Computer science doctoral student receives prestigious ACM fellowship

Computer Science student Clint Cuffy
Clint Cuffy, doctoral student in the Department of Computer Science

Clint Cuffy, a doctoral student in the Department of Computer Science, is one of 12 students internationally to receive a highly selective fellowship from the Association of Computing Machinery (ACM).

ACM’s Computational and Data Science Fellowship, awarded by its Special Interest Group on High-Performance Computing, provides recipients $15,000 annually for study anywhere in the world.

Nominees for this year's fellowship spanned disciplines from biochemistry and behavioral science to engineering and geosciences, and represented large, mid-sized, and small institutions in countries around the world.

Cuffy’s research focuses on natural language processing, which is the process of getting the computer to understand human language.

His adviser is Bridget McInnes, Ph.D., assistant professor of computer science. He is in the second year of his doctoral program at VCU College of Engineering.

Cuffy was an active researcher while earning his bachelor of science in computer science from VCU Engineering. As an undergraduate, with McInnes’ mentorship, he did extensive research on machine learning and natural language processing publishing his work in the Journal of Biomedical Informatics and the International BioNLP workshop.

He also participated in the VCU’s Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program (UROP), which gives undergraduates fellowships to conduct research in faculty labs, with guidance from professors, graduate students and postdoctoral researchers.

Cuffy’s study on word embedding generation models and concept vectors in biomedical texts won second place at the VCU Engineering’s 2017 Undergraduate Research Symposium.

Throughout his undergraduate and graduate studies, he has been active in outreach programs, including VCU’s Computer Science Day and CodeVA presentations, Nanoinformatics Day and Cyber Robotics Competition.