James Bridegum named University of Nevada, Reno’s 2014 Herz Gold Medalist

Carson High School graduate caps academic career

5/15/2014 - By: Natalie Savidge
James Bridegum James Bridegum graduates from the University of Nevada, Reno this spring with the highest grade-point average. The Carson High School alumnus is awarded the 2014 Herz Gold Medal for outstanding scholarship, and will be congratulated during the University’s Spring Commencement ceremony Friday morning, May 16. Photo by Theresa Danna-Douglas.

The University of Nevada, Reno named James Bridegum the recipient of the 2014 Herz Gold Medal for outstanding scholarship. The Herz Gold Medal is presented each year during the Spring Commencement ceremony to the graduating senior with the highest grade-point average. 

Bridegum, a native Nevadan and graduate of Carson High School in Carson City, graduates from the University Friday, May 16, with a bachelor's of science degree in computer science and engineering with a minor in mathematics. He earned a 4.0 grade-point average.

As a National Merit Scholar and member of the Honors Program, he worked as an undergraduate researcher for the University's Computer Networking Laboratory where he developed an application for measuring cloud storage provider network connection parameters as a precursor to a privacy-preserving, peer-to-peer social networking service for mobile devices.

"For my senior project and honors thesis I worked with a project team to develop a cataloging and visualization tool for the digital map collection of the DeLaMare Science and Engineering Library," Bridegum said. 

Bridegum's mentor, Sergiu Dascalu, associate professor in the University's Department of Computer Science and Engineering in the College of Engineering, said Bridegum is quiet and understated, but also very knowledgeable, resourceful and bright. 

"James has impressed me through his exceptional dedication to studying a range of computer science topics, including software engineering, artificial intelligence and computer networks," Dascalu said. "He is very punctual and reliable; he never missed a minute of the classes he took with me. Also, he delivered all his assigned work on time, and with excellent results. He is helpful, thoughtful and friendly, and he has collaborated very well with his peers and gained a deep appreciation from both his colleagues and instructors. Remarkably, James is driven by a strong desire to always learn more, improve and excel. I have no doubts whatsoever that he will be a very successful computer scientist, with a rich and prestigious professional career."

After graduation, Bridegum plans on pursuing an advanced-degree in computer science.

The Herz Gold Medal is the University of Nevada, Reno's oldest and most prestigious award and was established in 1910 when the University was only 36 years old by brothers Richard, Carl and Otto Herz. 

Funding for the award is provided by the University of Nevada, Reno Foundation and the Thelma B. and Thomas P. Hart Foundation, a Reno-based charity. The foundations continue to honor the Herz family and this tradition of recognizing excellence.


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