Hope College senior Alex Sherstov of Karaganda, Kazakhstan, has been named a finalist in the national "Outstanding Undergraduate Award" program sponsored by the Computing Research Association.

Sherstov was one of four male and three female students recognized as finalists in the competition. The association honored two students, one male and one female, as award winners; two as runners-up; seven as finalists; and 69 with honorable mention.

The competition recognizes undergraduate students who show outstanding research potential in an area of computing research. In addition to evidence of significant research contributions, the selection committee also considers the student's academic record and service to the community.

Sherstov was nominated for the award by Dr. Herb Dershem, who is professor of computer science and chair of the department at Hope.

"As a student in my classes, Alex is ideal. He is always enthusiastic and has a strong desire to gain a deep understanding," Dershem said. "He takes all assignments far beyond the level required."

Dershem also praised Sherstov for both the quality of his participation in research at the college and his involvement in the department generally.

Sherstov conducted research at Hope during the summer of 2001 as part of the research team led by Dr. Michael Jipping, associate professor of computer science, and on an independent project during the summer of 2002. He is also working with the college's engineering program to design and develop hardware and software for teaching computer architecture to non-science students.

He has been honored twice by the Consortium for Computing in Small Colleges for presentations concerning his summer work. The poster he helped create about the 2001 research won the award for the best research poster displayed during that year's Midwest Conference, and his paper on his 2002 research was selected one of the top three student works at the consortium's conference this past fall.

In November, he presented a paper on his 2002 research, "Streamlining Distributed Application Development," during the International Conference on Applied Modelling and Simulation, held in Cambridge, Mass. He will present the paper "Distributed Visualization of Graph Algorithms" during the "2003 Technical Symposium of Computer Science Education" being presented by the Special Interest Group on Computer Science Education of the Association for Computing Machinery in Reno, Nev., on Wednesday-Saturday, Feb. 19-22. In addition, he has been invited to enter a poster in the February symposium's international competition for the best undergraduate computer science research project.

Sherstov is an officer in the college's chapter of the Chi Omega Omicron computer science honorary society, and is a member of Hope's chapter of the Mortar Board national honor society. He has consistently been named to the Dean's List.