CS Community Drive nears completion; scholarship awarded

The CS Community Drive was launched during our 50th anniversary celebration last fall. The friends and alumni of the School of CS have stepped up to help us achieve our goals, but we can still use your help. CS still needs to gather many more alumni email addresses, and there is still time to take advantage of the matching gift challenge. CS alum Steve Vinter (Ph.D. '85) will match gifts to the Community Fund (up to $50,000) made before October 31, 2014 in order to encourage fellow alumni to donate. The Fund provides student scholarship support. See www.cs.umas.edu/donate for details.

Undergrad Linda Yeboah is the first recipient of a CS Community Fund Award. She received scholarship funds to support her summer research project with Assistant Professor Alexandra Meliou. "We often rely on other people's opinions to make every-day decisions: which restaurants to visit, where to go on vacation, which products to buy," says Meliou. "Online marketplaces and dedicated review websites cater to this need by providing a platform to publish users' reviews. However, reviews are sometimes published by spammers, or users with very different preferences and interests." Yeboah's summer research focuses on improving the usability of reviewing platforms by analyzing and publishing information on the provenance of each review. Her work helps identify unreliable sources and personalizes reviewing platforms by highlighting reviews by people with the most similar interests to specific users.