2023 CRA Undergraduate Research Faculty Mentoring Award

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Yi-Chieh (Jessica) Wu

Congratulations to Prof. Jessica Wu!

This award recognizes her exceptional mentorship, contributions to undergraduate research experiences, and guidance on admission and matriculation of students in research-focused graduate programs.

From the CRA-E website:

Dr. Yi-Chieh (Jessica) Wu is an Associate Professor of Computer Science at Harvey Mudd College (HMC). Her research develops and applies computational and mathematical models to study evolutionary biology. Currently, she focuses on reconstructing gene histories across multiple species, with the goal of understanding differences within and across species, particularly in how genes form and function. She is the recipient of the prestigious 2018 NSF Faculty Early Career Development grant: “CAREER: Algorithms for Gene Family Evolution with Gene Duplication, Loss, and Coalescence”. Within HMC and her department, Wu stands out as an exceptionally productive scholar in terms of both the impact of her work and also her ability to meaningfully involve undergraduates in her research.

Wu has consistently provided students with high-quality, high-impact research experiences.  She has mentored 29 undergraduate research students since joining the Harvey Mudd faculty in 2014, 28 of whom have already graduated and 10 of whom have gone on to PhD programs at schools including MIT, UC Berkeley, University of Washington, and Penn, among others. A total of 18 students were co-authors on nine distinct papers, some of which appear in the top venues in computational biology. Wu’s passion for undergraduate research mentoring extends beyond her own research program by empowering other faculty to become better undergraduate research mentors. She has served as faculty mentoring coordinator for the CS department and currently serves as Director of the HMC Postdoctoral Program in Interdisciplinary Computation (PIC). The PIC program provides postdoctoral scholars with an opportunity to pursue in-depth research and novel pedagogical methods while gaining the experience and preparation necessary for teaching, conducting research with undergraduate students, and promoting diversity and inclusion at a small liberal arts college.