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Scholars

Brian Burg

2009-10 Goldwater Scholar

Hometown: Hudsonville, Michigan

College: College of Science

Major: Computer Science Honors

Additional Program: University Honors Program

At Purdue, Brian majored in Computer Science Honors and minored in Mathematics and Japanese. He earned numerous honors including the CRA Outstanding Undergraduate Award and the Purdue Computer Science Scholarship. He graduated in 2010 with honors.

His research at Purdue was extensive. Since his sophomore year he was involved with various research projects with the Secure Software Systems (S3) laboratory and Professor Jan Vitek. His first project dealt with Thorn, a new programming language, that improves and scripts languages by adding support for concurrency and evolutionary programming. Thorn is a collaboration between researchers at IBM, Purdue, Cambridge, and other universities. His senior thesis was rooted in similar initiatives and Brian collaborated with Purdue researchers in order to examine the dynamic runtime behavior of JavaScript programs -- with implications for JavaScript implementations, security research, and language design.

Brian's work was not limited to Purdue. In his junior year, he traveled abroad and studied at Tohoku University in Sendai, Japan. Brian conducted research in the Kobayashi-Sumii laboratory and was supervised by Professor Naoki Kobayashi. He was immersed in and learned the foundations of programming languages research, and investigated practical applications of the lab's theoretical process -- calculi work. The benefits of his travels were abundant. He recalled, "The freedom afforded in Japan taught me how to learn independently from textbooks and papers, as well as how to pursue lines of inquiry of my own creation." Brian entered graduate school in Fall 2010, and aims to continue his research professionally in either academia or industry.