Faculty Recruiting Support CICS

McKenna, Oubre Receive CICS 2022 Outstanding Dissertation Awards

Ryan McKenna, Brandon Oubre
Ryan McKenna, Brandon Oubre

Ryan McKenna '22PhD and Brandon Oubre '22PhD have been announced as the recipients of the 2022 UMass Amherst College of Information and Computer Sciences (CICS) Outstanding Dissertation Awards.

McKenna's dissertation, "Practical Methods for High-Dimensional Data Publication with Differential Privacy," was advised by Professor Gerome Miklau and Associate Professor Dan Sheldon, who nominated him in recognition of his work's "remarkable impact on the practice of privacy beyond his published research." In particular, his High-Dimensional Matrix Mechanism, a novel mechanism for linear query answering, has been licensed by the startup company Tumult Labs and evaluated for use by the U.S. Census Bureau.

McKenna is currently working as a research scientist at Google.

Oubre was selected for "Unobtrusive Assessment of Upper-Limb Motor Impairment Using Wearable Inertial Sensors," his dissertation advised by Associate Professor Sunghoon Ivan Lee, which introduced computational methods to analyze submovements with a wrist-worn inertial sensor that arise during voluntary movements in stroke survivors and other patients with neurological disorders in order to determine disease severity and monitor recovery. In his nominating letter, Lee names Oubre as a "brilliant and effective researcher," saying that his dissertation "not only represents a remarkable contribution to the field of digital and mobile health, but also supports the college's vision of Computing for the Common Good."

Oubre is currently working as a postdoctoral research fellow in the Department of Neurology at Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts General Hospital.

The CICS Outstanding Dissertation Awards are given annually to graduating doctoral students in recognition of exceptional work and to encourage the highest levels of computer science scholarship and research. Awardees are nominated by CICS faculty.