I am a PhD student studying Computer Science at UMass Amherst.

I work in the Database Lab with Dr. Gerome Miklau. My research interests include data privacy, machine learning, optimization, and probabilistic modelling. In my free time, I enjoy functional programming, solving project euler problems, working on sabermetrics problems, and blogging about all the above and more.

Publications

  • [PAPER] G. Bernstein, R. McKenna, T. Sun, M. Hay, G. Miklau, D. Sheldon “Differentially Private Learning of Undirected Graphical Models using CGMs,” in Proceedings of 34th International Conference on Machine Learning (ICML), 2017.
  • [SHORT PAPER] R. McKenna, S. Herbein, A. Moody, T. Gamblin, M. Taufer “Machine Learning Predictions of Runtime and IO Traffic on High-end Clusters,” in Proceedings of 2016 IEEE International Conference on Cluster Computing (CLUSTER), 2016.
  • [POSTER] R. McKenna, A. Moody, T. Gamblin, M. Taufer “Forecasting Storms in Parallel Filesystems,” ACM Student Research Competition (SRC) Poster at the 27th IEEE International Conference on Supercomputing (SC15), Austin TX, 2015.
  • [PAPER] R. McKenna, V.K. Pallipuram, R. Vargas, M. Taufer “From HPC Performance to Climate Modeling: Transforming Methods for HPC Prediction into Models of Extreme Climate Conditions,” in Proceedings of the 10th IEEE International Conference on e-Science and Grid Technologies (eScience), Munich, Germany, 2015.
  • [PAPER] C. Sahin, P. Tornquist, R. McKenna, Z. Pearson, J. Clause “How Do Code Obfuscations Impact Energy Usage?” in Proceedings of the 30th International Conference on Software Maintenence and Evolution (ICSME), 2014.

Interests

Probabilistic Modeling

How do you model a real world probabilistic process? And how do you efficiently do learning and inference under such a model?

Differential Privacy

How do you release useful statistical information from a data source while providing formal privacy gurantees for the individuals in the data?

Sabermetrics

How do you model baseball interactions? And how do you use that model to make better game-time decisions?

Personal Projects

I have an awesome Github page.

 ryan112358

Laser Game

Laser game is a simple but addicting computer game that I wrote using Dr. Racket as a side project in my freshman year.

Battleship!

I wrote Battleship! in my intro to computer science class using Dr. Racket, and included support for two-player games over a network or single-player games against an AI.

Nim's Game

Nim's game is a mathematical strategy game often used as a toy example in combinatoric game theory. I created an android app for two variations of the game.

Minesweeper Bot

As a fun exercise in AI, I created a minesweeper bot - a program that takes control of your mouse and solves minesweeper boards for you!

RopeIt Pro!

RopeIt Pro! is a java application I created for my software engineering class that allows golfers to visualize their shots and track their progress.

Optimized LU Factorization

In my Computer Architecture class, I implemented a highly optimized LU Factorization algorithm in C to target multi-core machines.

Poker Bot

I used to have an ambitious goal of creating a bot that can play poker in the same way my other bot played minesweeper. I created a bot that can automatically play blackjack without human intervention, but never generalized it to more profitable games like texas holdem.

Project Euler

I have solved over 400 project euler problems since I started in January 2013, and I plan to continue solving more in the future. To keep in line with the Project Euler spirit, I am not publishing my solutions to GitHub.

Education

University of Massachusetts Amherst

Ph.D. Computer Science — 2021 (est)

M.S. Computer Science — 2019 (est)

Courses
  • Machine Learning
  • Interactive Machine Learning
  • Probabilistic Graphical Models
  • Applied Statistics and Data Analysis
  • Algorithms
  • Machine Learning Theory

University of Delaware

B.S. Computer Science — 2016

B.S. Mathematics — 2016

Advanced Courses
  • Algorithms
  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Data Mining
  • Parallel Programming
  • Combinatorics
  • Abstract Algebra
  • Advanced Statistics
  • Computational Math I and II

Resources

Contact

I welcome you to contact me through one of the methods below.