Math majors receive recognition from the CRA

Norah Tan
Xinyu (Norah) Tan

The Computing Research Association (CRA) recognizes undergraduate students in North American colleges and universities who show outstanding potential in an area of computing research.  Recipients of the Outstanding Undergraduate Award show excellence in research, have excellent academic records and will have engaged in some form of service.  In this competition, there were four awardees, four runner-ups, 20 finalists, and Honorable Mentions.

Xinyu (Norah) Tan who recently graduated from Duke, majoring in Mathematics (highest distinction) and in Computer Science, was a runner-up in the competition.  Her research is in the areas of quantum computing and flash memory systems.  In one project on quantum benchmarking, she designed an improvement to the protocol used to estimate the average gate fidelity in a quantum computer that is used to characterize the degree of error in the environment.  In an unrelated project on flash memory, Xinyu created a method for deriving the power spectral density of constrained codes in flash memory systems, where better estimates of power spectral density can be used to improve the reliability of flash memory systems.  This work was published in the IEEE Transactions on Communications and was selected as a finalist for the Non-Volatile Memories Workshop’s Memorable Paper award.  In addition to serving as a teaching assistant for four courses, including a graduate level course in mathematics, Xinyu also co-founded the Duke Undergraduate Quantum Information Society, which organizes talks by external speakers, and has organized and taught a house course on quantum computing.

Jerry Liu, who also just graduated from Duke Math in Fall 2021, received an honorable mention, as did Zeyu Shen, a junior at Duke also majoring in math major.

Congratulations to Norah, Jerry and Zeyu for this honor.