Senior Softball Pitcher and Captain Emma Harrington Receives International Computer Research Award

Head Coach Kris Herman (l.) and Emma Harrington '15
Head Coach Kris Herman (l.) and Emma Harrington '15

WILLIAMSTOWN, MA -- The Computer Research Association (CRA) has awarded Williams College student Emma Harrington '15 (Columbus, OH/Columbus Academy) the Outstanding Undergraduate Researcher Award for work performed in the computer science department.

The award program recognizes undergraduate students in North American colleges and universities who show outstanding research potential in an area of computing research. Each year, the award is given to two male students and two female students. Harrington received the award for female students at non-Ph.D. granting institutions. Her research involved software defect detection.

Harrington is a computer science and economics double major from Gambier, Ohio. Currently, she is pursuing a thesis that spans both disciplines, examining what motivates people to produce free content online. She is a Phi Beta Kappa inductee, captain of the Williams softball team, and a Computer Science Class of 1960s Scholar, and she served previously as a teaching assistant for multivariable calculus. Harrington spent the summer doing research with computer science professor Steven Freund, who is also her advisor, and she presented the results of that work at the Grace Hopper Celebration, a conference for women in computing.

"Emma pursues her scholarship with enthusiasm and determination," says Freund. "She views the world with a sharp, scientific mind, and is an absolute pleasure to work with. The entire department is delighted that the CRA has recognized Emma's achievements. Her efforts here at Williams have placed her on an excellent trajectory for graduate school and beyond."

Harrington says of the award, "I couldn't have won the CRA Award without the guidance of a couple of phenomenal advisors, the support of the Computer Science Department, and Williams' commitment to undergraduate research.... I'm grateful for the fertile ground Williams provides for the growth of undergraduate researchers."

"Emma has impressed me most with her personal improvement, her intentional personal improvement over her career at Williams," said Eph softball head coach Kris Herman.  "She made a great plan for getting better each year and executed that plan really well each time.  She has added skills to her arsenal and become better and better in her time at Williams."

In three years as a starting pitcher for the Ephs Harrington has compiled a record of 36-19. She has authored 11 shutouts and has a 2.33 earned run average.

"Emma is also a great academic role model and the diversity of her interests and the way she works -- the efficiency in which she's able to get much done -- has inspired many of her teammates. She continues to work at being a great pitcher, a great captain, and on helping her team toward it's lofty goals."

The Computer Research Association was founded in 1972 as the Computer Science Board. Its mission is to enhance innovation by joining with industry, government, and academia to strengthen research and advanced education in computing.

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