Travelers Recognizes High Achieving CS Students


The Travelers Insurance Company has awarded two Department of Computer Science students with $2,000 scholarships for achievements in academic excellence and promise. Travelers Insurance has been awarding Stony Brook University students for their academic success since 2000.

The two students, Anthony Musco and Wendy Zheng, a junior and sophomore, respectively, are both computer science majors.

Musco is from Chester, NY in Orange County, and Zheng hails from Massapequa, NY. Musco, who was a resident assistant on Mendelssohn Quad during the spring 2015 semester, was also a teaching assistant for a computer science class he previously completed, Data Structures. Musco’s academic interests involve applying computer science to physics and astronomy, he said.

“For as long as I can remember I have loved space exploration and the challenge of going to new places. This passion has guided a few of my academic projects in the past: the most recent of which is a project for CSE 328 (Computer Graphics) for which my final project is an interactive simulation displaying the curvature of spacetime following the equations of General Relativity via the Tensor Splat rendering technique,” he said. “My dream is to one day work on navigation and trajectory plotting systems for NASA or some space exploration company such as SpaceX or Orbital Sciences Corporation.”

In addition to physics and astronomy, Musco said his other academic interests include machine learning. He is currently working on a project to use NYC Department of Finance data to determine whether arbitrary multifamily properties are over-assessed or under-assessed, he said.

Heavily involved in student groups at Stony Brook, Zheng is a member of the Stony Brook Computing Society, the Event Committee Chair during the spring 2015 for Stony Brook Women in Computer Science, and she served as a student technician for DoIT’s Client Support. Though Zheng said that she struggled throughout grade school because of a language barrier—English is her second language—she has always succeeded academically, earning her spot as one of the thirteen students to receive summa cum laude in her high school graduating class. “I never gave up trying to do my best,” she said. “My ambition and hard word [are] traits I attribute to my parents.”

Zheng has received the Outstanding Academic Achievement Award three times, and last fall, she was a recipient of the DoIT scholarship, funded by Stony Brook’s Division of Information Technology. Zheng, who is the first member of her family to attend college, said she is looking to give back to Stony Brook University as an alumna to help students just as she has been helped.

Musco summed up the meaning of the award when he said, “The Travelers Award is a great honor and a fantastic opportunity. Beyond the obvious financial benefit, being recognized for my academic achievement is both thrilling and humbling.”