The Allen School presents the Best Senior Thesis Award annually. The purpose of the award is to recognize the honors student(s) who writes the most outstanding senior thesis in a given year.


  • Nomination Letter. The faculty member sponsoring the research project provides a nomination letter describing the student's research contribution. The nomination letter should address the criteria listed below.
  • Submission Deadline.The nomination letter and senior thesis must be submitted to the undergraduate advisers on or before the last day of instruction in Spring quarter (for spring 2022, June 3). Submissions after the deadline will not be considered.
  • Selection Committee. The selection of the best senior thesis will be done by a committee of two faculty members and one undergraduate adviser according to the criteria below.
  • Announcement of the Award. The announcement of the Best Senior Thesis Award will take place at the departmental graduation ceremony on graduation day.


The selection of the best senior thesis is based on the originality, impact, and written quality of the work. Work that has been submitted to and/or accepted at workshops, conferences, or journals will be considered more favorably. Work that is primarily attributed to the student's own initiative will be considered more favorably. Finally, the quality of the written document in terms of its organization, polish, and use of language will be considered.

Past Winners

2023 Best Senior Thesis Award

Winner, 2022 Best Senior Thesis Award
Flipping the Script: Co-Designing Systems to Support Blind and Low Vision Audio Description Scriptwriters
Lucy Jiang, supervised by Richard Ladner

Winners, 2021 Best Senior Thesis Award

Winner, 2020 Best Senior Thesis Award
Understanding and Designing for Security and Privacy in Multi-User AR Interactions
Kimberly Ruth, supervised by Franziska Roesner & Yoshi Kohno

Winner, 2019 Best Senior Thesis Award
Implicit Linguistic Knowledge of Neural Natural Language Processing Models
Nelson Liu, supervised by Noah Smith

Winner, 2018 Best Senior Thesis Award
A Crash-Safe Key-Value Store Using Chained Copy-on-Write B-trees
Bruno Castro-Karney, supervised by Xi Wang

Winner, 2017 Best Senior Thesis Award
The Methods of Interlacing Polynomials
Kuikui Liu, supervised by Shayan Oveis Gharan

Winner, 2017 Best Senior Thesis Award
Respeak: A Voice-based, Crowd-powered, and Accessible Speech Transcription System
Pooja Sethi, supervised by Richard Anderson

Winner, 2016 Best Senior Thesis Award
Navigating a 2D Virtual World Using Direct Brain Stimulation
Darby Losey, supervised by Rajesh Rao

Winner, 2015 Best Senior Thesis Award
Probability Type Inference for Flexible Approximate Programming
Brett Boston, supervised by Dan Grossman

Winner, 2014 Best Senior Thesis Award
DCDN: Distributed Content Delivery for the Modern Web
Nick Martindell, supervised by Tom Anderson & Arvind Krishnamurthy

Winner, 2013 Best Senior Thesis Award
An API For Touch-Free Interfaces For Andriod Devices
Leeran Raphaely, supervised by Gaetano Borriello

Winner, 2012 Best Senior Thesis Award
The Elan Programming Language for Field-Programmable Gate Arrays
Elliott Brossard, supervised by Carl Ebeling

Winner, 2011 Best Senior Thesis Award
LIFEGUARD: Locating Internet Failure Events and Generating Usable Alternate Routes Dynamically
Robert Colin Scott, supervised by Tom Anderson

Winner, 2010 Best Senior Thesis Award
Applications of the IP Timestamp Option to Internet Measurement
Justine Sherry, supervised by Tom Anderson

Winner, 2009 Best Senior Thesis Award
Real-Time Classification of Everyday Fitness Activities on Windows Mobile
Alireza Bagheri Garakani, supervised by James Fogarty

Winner, 2008 Best Senior Thesis Award
Maintaining Intelligibility of ASL Video in the Presence of Data Loss
Sam Whittle, supervised by Richard Ladner

Winner, 2007 Best Senior Thesis Award
Context-Based Arithmetic Coding for the DCT: Achieving high compression rates with block transforms and simple context modeling
Kyle Littlefield, supervised by Richard Ladner

Winner, 2006 Best Senior Thesis Award
Feature-Based Classification of the Mouse Eye Images
Jenny Yuen, supervised by Linda Shapiro

Winner, 2005 Best Senior Thesis Award
Text Segmentation and Grouping for Tactile Graphics
Matthew Renzelmann, supervised by Richard Ladner

All CSE honors theses, including the past winners of the Best Senior Thesis Award, are published online as part of the Undergraduate Thesis Archive.