University of North Texas
CSE Alumni Email Newsletter

September 2012  

CSE News
Alumni News
Student News
College of Engineering News
UNT News

Greetings from the CSE Chair

Chairman Barrett Bryant

Dear CSE Alumni and Friends,

The UNT Department of Computer Science and Engineering is 40 years old and you are invited to attend our 40th Anniversary Celebration on Friday, October 26. You are also invited to tour our CSE Department that day at 10 am, 2 pm and 4 pm. CSE students will be doing demos at the first two tours. We are excited about this event and we hope you are planning to attend! Please see the invitation below and RSVP by September 30.

Just before the semester began, Dr. Krishna Kavi's Net-Centric Software and Systems Industry/University Cooperative Research Center won the Tech Titan of the Future, University award. Our Robocamp program won the same award in 2010. We are proud these programs are being recognized in the North Texas region.

We recently received notification from the ABET Computing Accreditation Commission that our Computer Science B.S. has been re-accredited. Our department was among the first departments to receive ABET CAC accreditation for a B.S. in computer science in 1986, and we have followed this with accreditation of our B.S. in computer engineering in 2008. Our newest degree is a B. A. in Information Technology and we plan to seek accreditation for this in the next accreditation cycle.

Nelson Cicchito is our Alumni Focus in this issue. Nelson graduated from our program with honors in 1989. As you will read below, he founded Avatier Corp. in 1997. When he received his invitation to our 40th Anniversary Celebration, he contacted me about Avatier sponsoring the event. We are glad Avatier's sponsorship has made possible our event and we thank Nelson for his support of our CSE Department.

I am excited about the 40th Anniversary Celebration and I look forward to meeting you there!

Barrett Bryant
Professor and Chair

Department of Computer Science and
Engineering News

40th Anniversary Celebration on October 26

The UNT Department of Computer Science and Engineering will celebrate our 40th Anniversary on Friday, October 26, from 6 pm until 10 pm at UNT's Apogee Stadium. The evening will begin with a reception at 6 pm followed by dinner at 7 pm. This 40th anniversary celebration is hosted by Avatier (which was founded by CSE alumnus Nelson Cicchitto — see Alumni Focus below) and the UNT CSE Department.

Graduates and faculty from the 1970s, 1980s, 1990s, 2000s up to May 2012 have all been invited to attend. We hope you plan to attend! Please RSVP by Sunday, September 30th to Sally Pettyjohn at (940) 565-2803 or Seating is limited so please reserve your seat today. We look forward to seeing you there!

You are also invited to tour our current CSE Department during the day on Friday, October 26. Tours will be offered at 10 am, 2 pm and 4 pm, with CSE student demos on the first two tours. If you would like to tour our CSE Department in F201, please come to UNT Discovery Park at 3940 North Elm Street in Denton.

The Department of Computer Science and Engineering joined the newly formed UNT College of Engineering in 2002 and moved to Discovery Park. A complete history of the UNT College of Engineering is here.

For fun, here is our Media Gallery page from our 30th Anniversary Celebration in 2002.

B.S. in Computer Science accredited by ABET

The UNT Department of Computer Science and Engineering has received accreditation from ABET for its B.S. in Computer Science program. This program has been continuously accredited since 1986. Earning a degree from a program accredited by ABET:

  • Verifies that the quality of your degree meets the standards of the profession.
  • Increases and enhances employment opportunities.
  • Permits and eases entry to a technical profession through licensure, registration, and certification.
  • Establishes eligibility for many federal student loans, grants, and/or scholarships.

ABET accreditation provides the best proof possible of a program's quality. The CSE Department is proud to offer programs that are accredited by ABET.

Dr. Kavi's Center wins Tech Titan award

Dr. Kavi holds the Tech Titans trophy, and standing with him, from left to right are: CENG Dean Dr. Costas Tsatsoulis, CSE Chair Dr. Barrett Bryant, and CSE Professor Dr. Bill Buckles.

Congratulations to Dr. Krishna Kavi, Director of the NSF Net-Centric Software and Systems Industry/University Cooperative Research Center for winning the Tech Titan of the Future, University award on August 24, 2012. This award, presented annually by The Metroplex Technology Business Council, recognizes educational institutions that encourage and support students in choosing engineering and technology-related disciplines as a preferred path. This award category spotlights DFW area higher educational institutions' tech-related curricula and incentives to perpetuate tech-related knowledge transfer.

A joint venture between academic, government and commercial institutions, the Net-Centric Software and Systems I/UCRC focuses on fundamental research needed for the development and deployment of software and applications into cloud and net-centric environments software and information available over a network or in a central location rather than on individual computers.

The Net-Centric Software and Systems I/UCRC was established by the National Science Foundation in 2009 and includes University of North Texas, Arizona State University, the University of Texas at Dallas, Missouri University of Science and Technology, Southern Methodist University and more than 20 industry partners. Over the past 3.5 years, the center universities raised $1.65M from industry and $2.33M from NSF and other funding agencies to support center research. Nearly 60 students have participated on various research projects.

The Tech Titans Awards were launched in 2001 to recognize outstanding technology companies and individuals in the North Texas area who have made contributions during the past year locally, as well as to the technology industry overall. UNT also won the Tech Titan of the Future at the university-level for its summer Robocamp for Girls program in 2010.

For more information, see this UNT press release.

Welcome New CSE Faculty

Renee Bryce joins the CSE faculty as an Associate Professor. Dr. Bryce received her Ph.D. from Arizona State University in 2006. Before coming to UNT, Dr. Bryce was at Utah State University.

Dr. Bryce's research is in software testing. Her primary goal is to develop and examine new software testing techniques that may help testers to more effectively identify software defects. Her research has been funded by the National Science Foundation, the National Institute of Standards and Technology, U.S.D.A. (Forest Service), and the Computing Research Association (CRA-W) Collaborative Research Experience for Undergraduates (CREU).

This semester Dr. Bryce is teaching Software Development (CSCE 5420 crosslisted with CSCE 4444). Find out more about Dr. Bryce at her website.

Cornelia Caragea completed her Ph.D. in computer science in 2009 at Iowa State University and earned her B.S. in computer science at the University of Bucharest, Romania, in 1997. She joins UNT as an Assistant Professor; her home department will be Computer Science and Engineering, with a joint appointment in the Department of Library and Information Sciences.

Dr. Caragea's research applies machine learning techniques to text classification in large library databases, sequence analysis in bioinformatics, and emergency response management in disasters, including the development of effective and efficient methods for classification, organization, indexing, and summarization, to facilitate retrieval of content that is tailored to the interests of specific users or groups.

Dr. Caragea is teaching CSCE 5215, Machine Learning, in Fall 2012. Learn more about Dr. Caragea at her website.

Rodney Nielsen joins the CSE Faculty as an Associate Professor. Dr. Nielsen received a dual Ph.D. in Computer Science and Cognitive Science from the University of Colorado, Boulder in 2008. Before coming to UNT, Dr. Nielsen was an Assistant Professor Adjunct in the Computer Science Department at CU, a Research Scientist in CU's Center for Computational Language and Education Research, and a Research Scientist with Boulder Language Technologies.

Dr. Nielsen's research is primarily in the areas of Machine Learning, Computational Semantics, Natural Language Processing, and the application of these fields to Educational Technology, Health Informatics, Companion Robots, and End-User Development.

In Fall 2012, Dr. Nielsen is teaching Natural Language Processing (CSCE 5290). More information about Dr. Nielsen is available at his website.

Under Prof. Mohanty's Leadership, UNT gets Major Visibility at International Conference

Prof. Mohanty (center) with his Ph.D. students Karo Okobiah (left) and Geng Zheng (right) at ISVLSI 2012.

Prof. Saraju Mohanty was the conference chair for IEEE-CS International Symposium on VLSI 2012 (ISVLSI 2012) which was held in Amherst, MA August 19-21, 2012. As the general chair, he provided leadership role for ISVLSI 2012. Prof. Mohanty was guest editor for two special issues in highly visible international journals. One special issue titled Power, Parasitics, and Process-Variation (P3) Awareness in Mixed-Signal Design appeared in ASP Journal of Low-Power Electronics, Volume 8, Issue 3, June, 2012. Another special issue titled New Circuit and Architecture Level Solutions for Multidiscipline Systems appeared in ACM Journal on Emerging Technologies in Computing Systems (JETC), Volume 8, Issue 3, August, 2012.

Two of Dr. Mohanty's students Geng Zheng and Karo Okobiah also attended ISVLSI 2012. Both Geng and Karo are Ph.D. candidates and pursuing research in the areas of nanoscale CMOS mixed-signal metamodeling and Verilog-AMS modeling, respectively under the supervision of Prof. Mohanty. Their presentations at ISVLSI 2012 included the following papers:

  • G. Zheng, S. P. Mohanty, and E. Kougianos, Metamodel-Assisted Fast and Accurate Optimization of an OP-AMP for Biomedical Applications
  • O. Okobiah, S. P. Mohanty, and E. Kougianos, Geostatistical-Inspired Metamodeling and Optimization of Nano-CMOS Circuits
  • O. Okobiah, S. P. Mohanty, E. Kougianos, O. Garitselov, and G. Zheng, Stochastic Gradient Descent Optimization for Low Power Nanoscale CMOS Thermal Sensor Design

Visiting Scholar at Computer Vision and Intelligent Systems Lab

Dr. Xiaohui Yuan, Director of CoVIS, and
Dr. Anusha Chennamma
For the past three months, Dr. Anusha Chennamma has been a visiting scholar at the Computer Vision and Intelligent Systems Lab (CoVIS). She is currently an Assistant Professor at the Sri Jayachamarajendra College of Engineering in India. She received her Ph.D. in Computer Science and Technology in 2011. Her expertise is in image processing and computer vision. She has done several research projects including face image recognition and image authentification, and received awards and scholarships from conferences and the government of India. During her stay at UNT, she will be working with graduate student Mohan Velagaleti on automatic gaze tracking using web cameras.

News from Dependable Computing Systems Lab

(L-R): Dr. Fu, Ziming Zhang, Devender Singh, and Qiang Guan

Dr. Song Fu, Director of the DCS Lab, has been appointed as the Program Chair of the 31st IEEE International Performance Computing and Communications Conference. IPCCC 2012 will be held in Austin, December 1-3, 2012. Dr. Fu believes this event will bring significant visibility to UNT.

Graduate student Qiang Guan passed the Ph.D. Proposal examination on August 20, 2012 by giving a dissertation proposal on Autonomic Failure Detection and Diagnosis for Building Dependable Cloud Computing Systems, to his Ph.D. Committee, consisting of Drs. Song Fu (advisor and committee chair), Yan Huang, Krishna Kavi, and Xiaohui Yuan. Congratulations to Qiang!

Two research papers, coauthored by Chi-Chen Chiu, a senior undergraduate student worked in the DCS Lab, were recently accepted by two IEEE international conferences on system dependability.

The following papers were published/accepted by the DCSL group in the past four months:

  • H. Pannu, J. Liu, and S. Fu, "Self-Evolving Anomaly Identification for Developing Highly Dependable Utility Clouds", accepted by IEEE Global Communications Conference (GLOBECOM), December 2012.
  • Q. Guan, C. Chiu, and S. Fu, "A Cloud Dependability Analysis Framework for Characterizing System Dependability in Cloud Computing Infrastructures", accepted by the 18th IEEE International Symposium on Dependable Computing (PRDC), November 2012.
  • H. Pannu, J. Liu, and S. Fu, "AAD: Adaptive Anomaly Detection System for Cloud Computing Infrastructures", accepted by the 31st IEEE International Symposium on Reliable Distributed Systems (SRDS), October 2012.
  • Q. Guan, C. Chiu, Z. Zhang, and S. Fu, "Efficient and Accurate Anomaly Identification Using Reduced Metric Space in Utility Clouds", in Proceedings of IEEE International Conference on Networking, Architecture, and Storage (NAS), July 2012.


Dr. Ian Parberry, Director of the UNT Laboratory for Recreational Computing (LARC) has signed a contract to publish a new book entitled Introduction to Game Physics with Box2D in 2013.

LARC Alumnus Jason West was presented with UNT's Distinguished Alumni Award in Spring 2012. In May 2012, Jason was interviewed in a Game Informer article about a lawsuit brought by a former employer, Activision.

Another LARC Alumnus Dr. Timothy Roden was featured in an article Riding the Game Trend, on Tim is now the Chair of the Computer Science Department at Angelo State University. According to the article, their computer science program now boasts the highest per capita undergraduate enrollment of any state university in Texas due to Tim's game development program. Tim received his Ph.D. under Ian Parberry in 2005 with a thesis entitled "Procedural Content Creation and Technologies for 3D Graphics Applications and Games".

Graduate student Dhanyu Amarasinghe passed his Ph.D. proposal last Spring. Dhanyu and Dr. Parberry's paper "Real-time Rendering of Burning Solid Objects in Video Games" was presented at the 17th International Conference on Computer Games held in Louisville, KY in July 2012.

News from Software Engineering Language Lab

Danielle Gaither in front of the Parlement of Brittany, a pre-French Revolution court of justice,
in Rennes, France.

The Software Engineering Language Lab has merged with the Declarative Programming Languages and Computational Mathematics Laboratory. The new lab co-directed by Dr. Barrett Bryant, Dr. Phil Sweany and Dr. Paul Tarau is now located in F212. In addition to returning students from both labs, Gaith Albadarin, Patrick Burke, Danielle Gaither, Famida Hamid, David Haraburda, and Tomyo Maeshiro, David Adamo joins us this Fall. David is from Nigeria and is the brother of Oluwayomi Adamo who completed his Ph. D. in our department last year.

In July, Dr. Bryant and Ph.D. student Danielle Gaither visited the INRIA research lab in Rennes, France, to establish a collaboration in the area of formalization of domain-specific modeling languages. Domain-specific modeling languages provide a very high level of abstraction for constructing models of software systems within a given application domain (e.g., aerospace, automotive, health, telecom, etc.). This work intends to establish such a formalization for the purpose of automated tool generation to facilitate the software engineering of such systems. The planned collaboration with INRIA will include the opportunity for UNT students working in software engineering to visit their lab.

Software Testing Lab receives new grant

Dr. Renee Bryce's Software Testing Lab received a new CRA-W CREU grant for $30,300 that funds four excellent students to work on undergraduate research this year.

Left to right in the above picture are Mallory Smith, Nick Stradford, Lisa Reynolds and Heather Wilson.

Ph.D. student, Quentin Mayo, also participated in undergraduate research at Dr. Bryce's NSF REU Site this past summer. Find out more information at the Software Testing Lab website.

Convergence Technology Center Upgraded

UNT CSE has been a partner for the last four years in the Convergence Technology Center, an NSF Advanced Technology Education center hosted at Collin College. The Center promotes programs and curriculum development in Convergence areas including networking, information security, mobile and cloud computing and related areas. In September the center was awarded a new 4-year NSF grant of just over $4 million dollars and upgraded to a National NSF center. Over 60 Community Colleges are part of the network and there are now 7 partner schools in the program that represent the entire US region.

UNT CSE's David Keathly is a Co-PI for the Center. Plans for this grant period include new summer programs in mobile app development for middle and high schools students, a recurring conference on Mobile and Cloud computing, as well as programs for faculty professional development and conference presentations. UNT CSE will receive directly about $183,000 in support plus have access to additional funds in the grant to support conference attendance by faculty and students and to host conferences and professional development events outside the scope of the primary sub-award.

The Center award was recently featured in this Plano Star-Courier article.

CSE receives grant from STARS Alliance

UNT CSE received a grant from the STARS Alliance to broaden participation in computing. This grant funds students to work on various projects involving outreach, recruiting, and retention. The project is led by Professors Ryan Garlick and David Keathly of the Computer Science and Engineering Department.

A class has formed, with one team of students tasked with working on CSE's popular RoboCamp and adding an AppCamp component to the existing summer camp lineup.

Another team will help develop an App Development Incubator at UNT with collaboration from industry. The idea is to bring students, multi-disciplinary faculty, and industry together to learn about app development while creating real-world software that can assist at UNT and in the community. The CSE Department at UNT has been collaborating with BottleRocket Apps of Dallas to further the idea.

Another team will revive the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) chapter at UNT, promoting the programming competition and bringing guest speakers to campus.

We are excited to be a new school for 2012 in the STARS Alliance, and look forward to success in the program!

CSE Summer Camps

UNT CSE held their eighth annual Summer Camp program in June and July with 2 XBox Game Camps and 4 Robocamps. One camp was held in conjunction with the Convergence Technology Center on the Collin College Campus in Frisco and combined Robotics activities with IT and Networking skills development. The remaining camps were held at Discovery Park. This year a fee was charged for the first time. Several CSE alumni donated scholarships as did the CSE Department and the Convergence Technology Center. A total of 43 scholarships were offered for the 120 seats that were available.

Plans are being made for next year's 9th camp season and include development of a new camp program focused on Mobile Application development, as well as curriculum updates for the Robotics and Gaming programs. Efforts are also underway to secure additional grant funding for next year's program.

For more information and to see pictures from summer camps, visit our website.

News for Alumni

Alumni Focus

Nelson Cicchitto graduated with honors from UNT in 1989, with a bachelor's degree in Computer Science and a minor in business. While enrolled there, he served as a computer analyst, managing the largest Novell network deployment at that time. He also kept busy teaching AutoCad in the graphics lab, and taught business classes in the evening as an adjunct professor. After graduation, Nelson held senior and lead architect positions at Chevron Information Technology Company (the business unit technology operations of Chevron Corp.) and Pacific Bell, respectively, before moving on to found his first company, Master Design & Development, Inc. (MDD). During his five-year tenure at MDD, Nelson began developing a set of products that would eventually become one of the most successful solutions in the identity and access management (IAM) industry.

Nelson founded California-based Avatier Corp. in 1997, and has built it into one of the world's leading IAM companies, with offices on three continents and customers in sixteen different vertical markets. Avatier's success is based on increasing a company's security by assuring only the right people have access to the right company data based on best practice, industry standards and corporate policies. Throughout his career, however, the real challenge has always remained the same leverage Information Technology (IT) systems by empowering business users with "business process first, technology second" capabilities. With operational services focused on business as it changes, Avatier's products ultimately yield dramatic cost savings while enabling an organization to focus on core business initiatives, rather than IT operations. Avatier offers four product categories: User Provisioning solutions which ensure increased security; Password Management that helps maintain security and efficiency; Access Governance which makes sure regulatory requirements are met; and Risk Intelligence that keeps costs under control.

A true innovator in the field, last year Nelson envisioned and created a way for the Avatier Identity and Access Risk Management Suite (ARMS) of products to enable business line managers to take control of the identity process through a simple, patented IT storefront technology similar to the familiar online checkout process. It is the first provisioning approval technology that has become an iPad application.

However, most important to his success in providing solutions to Fortune 500 companies and large government agencies, is the fact that his company can deploy a world-class identity and access risk management solution in weeks not months. As a result, the company competes successfully against solutions from some of the technology industry's largest corporations, including Oracle, Microsoft and IBM.

Avatier has a strong customer base that includes such marquee names as Starbucks, ING Direct, Halliburton, DHL, Marriott and ESPN. The company has received a number of awards, and has been recognized in both 2010 and 2011 for both vision and execution in the leading industry analyst market evaluation ranking, the Gartner's Magic Quadrant for User Provisioning.

Nelson holds four patents for the world's first delegated administration solution, and is a Certified Novell Instructor and a Certified Novell Engineer.

We want to hear from you! What have you been doing since graduating from UNT?
Please send a few paragraphs and a picture to

Alumni invited to CENG tent for UNT Homecoming on November 3

CSE alumni are invited join the celebration of "Once Upon a Homecoming" October 20-November 3, including the November 3 football game at 4:00 pm against Arkansas State at UNT's Apogee Stadium. Tickets for the game start at $15. Go to or call 800-868-2366 for tickets.

Before the game, CSE alumni are invited to visit the College of Engineering tent in the Mean Green Village on Saturday, November 3, from 1 to 3:30 pm. The College of Engineering will participate in the Homecoming festivities to showcase the accomplishments of all CENG departments. CSE Chair Dr. Barrett Bryant will be at the College of Engineering tent.

CSE alumni are invited to all the Alumni Events for Homecoming!

LIKE UNT Computer Science and Engineering Alumni to get all the latest news from your CSE Department!

You can also register on our Alumni application or update your alumni information on our CSE website.

Alumni Mentoring and Support is important for our CSE Students

Michael Hall, BS 1980 and MS 1981, was Professor for a Day in Dr. Ryan Garlick's classes in February 2012.
The Fall semester once again brings the opportunity for students to become involved in a variety of professional societies, special interest groups and honor societies. These organizations can benefit them in many ways, as our alumni are aware. But how can you assist our student organizations to contribute effectively at UNT? Here are a few suggestions:

  1. Volunteer as a guest speaker or recommend someone at your company or in your network that would be interesting and educational. Perhaps you are a member of a society that has a speakers bureau!
  2. Help organize a field trip to your company for something interesting.
  3. Volunteer as a mentor to work with a small group of students to develop their leadership skills and invite them to the DFW area section meetings of the various societies if you are a member.
  4. Donate funds or materials to help the organizations provide programming and host special events, or sponsor a scholarship to subsidize the membership fees for students. Many companies have matching funds available for scholarships.
  5. Encourage your company to sponsor an event or other funding for these organizations in exchange for advertising and opportunities to recruit potential employees at career fairs and other events.
  6. Sponsor a student to attend one of the Student Leadership conferences or a technical conference sponsored by a society. Be a part of our National Engineers Week activities.
  7. Visit a student group meeting once a year so the students will begin to understand their importance and potential impact on their immediate and long term career success.
  8. Encourage your company to offer internships at UNT so that our students can gain valuable work experience and improve their technical, communications and leadership skills.
  9. Suggest and mentor a project for one of our Capstone courses. We have one year sequences in IT and Computer Engineering and a one semester course in Computer Science. These students work on real projects for clients and follow a full product development lifecycle from requirements to delivery. The results are presented annually at our Design Day event in the College of Engineering in April. Come visit to see what our students are doing!

We have a number of honor societies, including Tau Beta Pi and Eta Kappa Nu. These groups also need help from our alumni in a fashion similar to those listed above. Also if you are an honor society member, you can assist with induction ceremonies and other events.

We also currently have student chapters of IEEE, IEEE Computer Society, SWE, as well as a Robotics Society, Information Security Group, a Linux Users group and a Competitive Programming Team associated with our department. Our student chapter of the ACM is being revived, we are adding an ACM-W chapter, and we will soon have an Upsilon Pi Epsilon Honor Society Chapter again.

Please consider helping us create an active, supportive and vibrant collection of student professional and honor organizations. Contact the department for more information on how you can help.

Student News

Congratulations to CSE graduates

Congratulations to all of our Department of Computer Science and Engineering graduates in Spring 2012 and Summer 2012.

Ph.D. Graduates in Spring 2012

Oleg Garitselov
Dissertation: "Metamodeling-based Fast Optimization of Nanoscale AMS SoCs"
Major Professor: Saraju Mohanty

Balathasan Giritharan
Dissertation: "Incremental Learning with Large Datasets"
Major Professor: Xiaohui Yuan

Dr. Giritharan is now a Data Scientist for City Search in West Hollywood, CA.

Terry Wayne Griffin
Dissertation: "GPS CaPPture: A System for GPS Trajectory Collection, Processing, and Destination Prediction"
Major Professor: Yan Huang

Dr. Griffin is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Computer Science at Midwestern State University in Wichita Falls, TX.

Ph.D. Graduates in Summer 2012

Mohammed Yassine Belkhouche
Dissertation: "Multi-Perspective, Multi-Modal Image Registration and Fusion"
Major Professor: Bill Buckles

Dr. Belkhouche is an adjunct instructor for the UNT CSE Department.

Michael Augustine Gaylord Mohler
Dissertation: "Sentence Similarity Analysis with Applications in Automatic Short Answer Grading"
Major Professor: Rada Mihalcea

Dr. Mohler is a Research Scientist with Language Computer Corporation, in Richardson, TX.

Students defend M.S. Theses

Congratulations to these graduate students who defended in May 2012!

Matthew Hoyt (center with Dr. Brazile on left and Dr. Yuan on right)
Thesis: "Automatic Tagging of Communication Data"
Major Professor: Dr. Kathleen Swigger
Defense Date: May 9, 2012

Dayin He (right with Dr. Huang on left)
Thesis: "A Smooth-Turn Mobility Model for Airborne Networks"
Major Professor: Dr. Yan Huang
Defense Date: May 31, 2012

CRA-W/CDC Computer Architecture Summer School Experience

By Mahzabeen Islam, CSE Ph.D. student

Mahzabeen Islam at a workshop lunch by Lake Michigan at Northwestern University campus.
At the end of summer 2012, I attended the CRA-W/CDC Computer Architecture Summer School 2012 workshop, which was the 3rd summer school workshop on computer architecture jointly organized by the Computing Research Association's Committee on the Status of Women (CRA-W) and the Coalition to Diversify Computing (CDC). The two day workshop was on August 27th and 28th at the campus of Northwestern University at Evanston, IL, Chicago. This workshop is designed mainly for women and minorities who are enrolled in Computer Science/Engineering graduate program with major in Computer Architecture. Participants were selected based on application and recommendation letters, and the participants received full support to attend the workshop including travel, lodging and meals.

I went to Chicago on 26th of August and from O'Hare airport I took a taxi to Hilton Orrington hotel at Evanston. Rooms for the participants of the workshop were booked there by the organizers. There I met other participants coming from different universities for the same workshop. Since there was no workshop on the 26th, we had plenty of time to roam around. Some of us went to Chicago to have a view of the city from Willis (Sears) tower Skydeck and some of us were wandering around the Northwestern University's Evanston campus which is just along the shore of Lake Michigan. I really enjoyed the wonderful campus with old buildings by the magnificent blue lake.

The workshop was held on Ford Center on Northwestern's Evanston campus, which was a 20 minute walk from the hotel. On the first day of the workshop there were speeches on emerging topics of computer architecture research, finding good advisors, mentors and references, how to create and find internships, post-docs and career opportunities. There were speakers from academia like MIT, Princeton University, Northwestern University, University of Illinois at Chicago, University of Washington and also from organizations like Intel, IBM, AMD, Microsoft, and Google. On the same day there was a networking dinner in a cozy restaurant just by the hotel. At each table the speakers were sitting with the attendees like myself to answer our questions. On the second day there were talks on how to excel in graduate school, how to successfully present our research in various formats: poster, paper, elevator, talk, proposals, balancing life and career, etc.

This was the first workshop I attended after starting my Ph.D. at the University of North Texas and I must say it is truly motivating for students like us who are in the early stage of starting their research in different areas of computer architecture. And also we had many valuable suggestions from the organizers and speakers about how one should start networking and looking for career opportunities. As a whole, I found this workshop really worthwhile for graduate students to attend. I express my sincere gratitude to Professor Krishna Kavi who recommended me to the workshop and the organizers of the workshop.

Tommy Janjusic's summer internship at Oak Ridge National Laboratory

By Tommy Janjusic, CSE Ph.D. student

This summer I had the privilege of working at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, or ORNL for short. ORNL is home to arguably the smartest people in the scientific community. It is home to one of the fastest and largest super-computers in the world. A working day at ORNL is an everyday learning experience. From meeting with mentors to hallway conversations with fellow colleagues, working at ORNL is an ongoing intellectual challenge and satisfaction. In addition, Oak Ridge National Laboratory is a regular host to a large number of academic and research personnel. Attending the talks gives an unprecedented perspective on present scientific disciplines and challenges they face.

During my summer internship, I had the pleasure of working with ORNL's Performance Tools Group within the Computer Science and Mathematics Division. They are a group of brilliant and dedicated scientists involved in shaping the next generation software for future high performance computers. My involvement at ORNL involved the study of communication primitives known as "message passing interfaces". In layman's terms they are pieces of software code that distribute data across the system. My task was to figure out timing anomalies that occurred during different simulation runs. These underlying communication primitives add overhead to the total running time of simulations, and any improvements in reducing that overhead will undoubtedly improve overall system performance. It will speed up scientific simulations, increase scientific throughput, save energy consumption, and ultimately save operational costs.

I worked on Jaguar-XT5, ORNL's latest technological marvel. Jaguar is a super-computer comprised of over 224,000 processing cores and serves as the fundamental tool for cutting edge scientific research. It is capable of simulating anything from star explosions to building blocks of matter. To put its size in perspective, Jaguar spans over 4000 sq. feet (larger than an NBA's basketball court), and requires several million dollars in electricity costs to keep running.

My summer internship was an enormous success as I have learned and gained a lot to further my educational, professional, and personal experience.

CSE Students enjoy Welcome picnic

The Department of Computer Science and Engineering welcomed students, faculty and staff at a picnic on September 19, 2012. Dr. Barrett Bryant, on the right in the picture, welcomed everyone to the CSE Department and then invited students to enjoy a lunch of beef, chicken or veggie fajitas served by El Guapos. Students were able to sit and talk with each other and faculty members. See more pictures of CSE students enjoying the picnic at this media gallery page. It was a wonderful way to begin the school year!

College of Engineering News

CSE students serve as CENG Ambassadors

CENG Ambassadors Brett McCormick, Tawfiq Shah, Natalie Parde and John Carlson

Four students from the Department of Computer Science and Engineering are serving as Student Ambassadors for the College of Engineering. John Carlson, Brett McCormick, Natalie Parde and Tawfiq Shah were selected to serve as the face of the College of Engineering and represent the College at events and assist in recruitment activities. You may even see these Student Ambassadors giving tours of Discovery Park to prospective students, parents and other visitors. We are proud to have these students representing our CSE Department and serving the UNT College of Engineering.

BSET-Construction Engineering Technology Program receives ABET Accreditation

The UNT Department of Engineering Technology in the College of Engineering is proud to announce that the BSET-Construction Technology program has been accredited by the Engineering Technology Accreditation of ABET.

National Academy of Engineering Member joins UNT faculty

Dr. Jim Williams, one of the world's leading authorities on titanium alloys and a member of the National Academy of Engineering, has joined the UNT College of Engineering. Williams came to UNT as a distinguished research professor with a part-time appointment in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering on July 1. Most recently Williams served on the faculty and previously as the Dean of Engineering at Ohio State University. He also served on the faculty at Carnegie Mellon University for 13 years, included six years as the Dean of the College of Engineering. For more information about Dr. Williams, see this UNT press release.

University of North Texas News

UNT Freshman Enrollment sets record

For the second straight year, the University of North Texas greeted the largest freshman class in its history in Fall 2012. The freshman class totals 4,444 students, a 9.2 percent increase over Fall 2011.

Enrollment in the UNT Honors College has also grown to 1,645 in Fall 2012, compared to 1,306 in Fall 2011, a 26 percent increase. UNT continues to be one of the most diverse universities with 6,102 Hispanic students, a 10.6 percent increase, and 4,697 African American students, a 3.1 percent increase.

To read more about UNT's increase in enrollment, please see this UNT press release.

UNT ranked among "Best in the West" by Princeton Review

The University of North Texas has been named "Best in the West" by The Princeton Review, a nationally known education services company. UNT was selected as one of 122 institutions in its website feature, 2013 Best Colleges: Region by Region. For five consecutive years, UNT has been recognized by The Princeton Review as "Best in the West."

For more information, see this UNT press release.

The CSE Email Newsletter was assembled and produced by Genene Murphy and Don Retzlaff. It is a publication of the UNT Computer Science and Engineering Department. Contact the department at

If you would like to receive this newsletter as text rather than formatted in HTML, please contact Don Retzlaff at UNT Computer Science and Engineering Department — September 2012