Josh Payne receives "Best Student Paper" and a research scholarship award
Release Date: 04-10-2007
Josh Payne, graduate student in computer science in the UVM College of Engineering and Mathematical Sciences (CEMS) received "Best Student Paper Award" during the IEEE Symposium Series on Computational Intelligence held April 1-5 in Honolulu, Hawaii.
Payne's paper, "Sensitivity of Self-Organized Speciation to Long-Distance Dispersal," was presented during the ALIFE Symposium. Co-authored with Margaret J. Eppstein, (Assistant Professor, UVM CEMS Dept. of Computer Science; Co-Director, UVM Complex Systems Center) and Charles J. Goodnight (Professor, UVM Dept. of Biology), the paper is part of the Proceedings of the 2007 IEEE Symposium on Artificial Life (CI-ALife'07; pp. 1-7).
The research investigated the sensitivity of speciation dynamics to more biologically meaningful population structures. "Real world models require viewing interactions differently," Payne explains. "The proposed mechanism could potentially shed light on the manner in which one group becomes two; in evolutionary biology, this is a big problem."
Payne's presentation was well received by a full audience. His name was called during the Computational Intelligence Banquet to announce that he had won the Best Student Paper Award. "I couldn't believe it," Payne says. "I was totally surprised!"
Payne's hometown is Williamson, New York. He received a B.S. in both math and computer science from Regis University in Denver, Colorado, and an M.Eng. from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, New York. Payne chose UVM CEMS after a meeting with Professor Maggie Eppstein. "Things truly clicked after talking with Maggie," Payne says. "I knew right away that she would be an amazing person to work with." Eppstein is equally complimentary. "Josh has been a pleasure to supervise," she says. "He and I have a great working relationship that has been very productive for us both."
An additional honor: "Research Scholar"
Payne has also been selected (as one of 56 out of 427 applicants) as a "Research Scholar" to attend the 2007 Complex Systems Summer School at the Santa Fe Institute in Santa Fe, New Mexico, in June 2007.
This nomination comes on the heels of the IEEE award, but is separate from it. "I am truly honored and excited to attend this school," says Payne.
"The Complex Systems Summer School is a fantastic opportunity for Josh," Eppstein says. "He'll get to meet and work with some amazing people from a variety of disciplines, and I'm sure he'll come back with a ton of new ideas!"