Rebekah Overdorf '12
2011 Soar Student
“The SOAR program gave me the opportunity to explore a part of computer science that I am very interested in and would have otherwise not had the opportunity to study in a formal setting.”
Hometown: Plainfield Township, Pa
Major(s): Computer Science/Mathematics
Project: The Complexity of Games
Faculty Advisor: Dr. Matthew Lang
Goal: My goal was to explore the complexity of popular board games and logic puzzle including Math-24 and Chinese checkers. In addition, I aimed to learn much more about computational complexity and the different classes associated with how difficult it is to solve a problem.
What I learned: I proved that my generalization of Math-24 is NP-Complete (which could potentially help solve the infamous problem does P=NP?). I also learned about the research process in the field of computational complexity and the amount of work that is necessary to solve just one small problem. This experience gave me a better idea of what I would like to study in the future and will no doubt help me as I continue on to graduate school.
Future plans: I am currently applying to graduate school Ph.D programs in computer science and hope to continue studying computational theory.