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College of Science Alumni and Friends Newsletter Student Spotlight

Trevor Rice

Mr. Trevor Rice was raised in southeastern Kentucky where he still lives. His interests in science, mathematics, and technology led him to Eastern Kentucky University (EKU) to study computer science. “When I was in high school I became really interested in computer science and programming, and read about how great EKU's computer science program was. I did a bit more research and the location, price, and quality that EKU provided for me led to my decision to choose EKU,” said Mr. Rice.

Mr. Rice is currently pursuing a B.S. degree in Computer Science with a general computer science concentration and plans to graduate in December 2020. “My immediate goal is to land a software development position at a company that can utilize the skills I've honed here at EKU. Later, I would love to teach computer science at any level because I believe that technology should be taught to everyone. It continues to be more and more important as we head into the future,” Mr. Rice said.

Mr. Rice is a member of Upsilon Pi Epsilon (UPE), the International Honor Society for Computing and Information Disciplines. This summer he received funding under the Battelle-EKU Science Scholars Program to conduct undergraduate research under the supervision of Dr. Dae Wook Kim, an assistant professor in the Department of Computer Science. He will be working with Dr. Kim in the Machine Learning and Deep Learning (MLDL) Lab.

Their project is titled Graphics Processing Unit (GPU)-accelerated Malicious Domain Detection. Normally, querying a dataset of known malicious domains to determine if an arbitrarily chosen domain is malicious or not takes a lot of computation and time. The goal of the project is to use the parallel architecture of GPUs to speed this process up by orders of magnitude faster than normal CPU computation.

Dr. Kim said “Starting in the summer of 2019, Trevor developed a fully functional prototyping application. He successfully showed a project demo to the 2019 EKU Computer Science advisory board members and made a good impression. Thanks to the 2020 Battelle-EKU Science Scholars Program, he has been working on developing a robust, scalable distributed framework to enhance the malicious domain detection rate and achieve substantial speed up in terms of execution time. Through my interactions with Trevor, I can see that he has strong problem-solving abilities and has potential to complete all responsibilities as a software engineer and researcher in the IT industry.”

When Mr. Rice was asked what he has learned from his time at EKU, he remarked, “How to learn new information. It is easy to memorize a lot of things for a test, but if you don't study correctly, that information will be gone soon after the test is over. You should always keep ideas and questions in your mind that you're working on or trying to understand. Doing this will allow you to learn things more deeply and permanently. This is the thing I've been taught again and again by my professors at EKU and is by far the most important skill I've learned while here.”

In his free time, Mr. Rice enjoys playing video games, 3-D printing, and doing programming side projects. He also enjoys playing a few musical instruments, including guitar and ukulele.

Published on August 04, 2020

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