The Department of Computer Science and Engineering will host several Distinguished Speakers again in 2013-2014. The first Distinguished Speaker was Thomas Boehme of the University of Ilmenau in Germany on Friday, September 13. His presentation was "Learning in Repeated Games." Dr. Boehme was a faculty member in the CSE Department from 2001 to 2003.
The second seminar will be on Friday, October 11, 2:00 P.M., with Bjarne Stroustrup of Texas A&M, inventor of the C++ programming language speaking about "The Essence of C++ with examples in C++84, C++98, C++11, and C++14."
The third presentation will be by Jeff Gray of the University of Alabama on Friday, November 15, at 11:30 am, on "Supporting Software Evolution through Model Transformation".
These talks are open to the public and our alumni and friends are invited
Computer Science added to Teach North Texas Program
A widely held belief about the United States’ K–12 education system is that we lack qualified math and science teachers. One promising approach to increase the number of qualified teachers focuses on developing teacher certification programs that provide a 4-year course of study that includes both the 4-year disciplinary degree (in math or a science) and teacher preparation courses.
The University of North Texas has adopted such a program — Teach North Texas (TNT). TNT has been recognized for producing high-quality math and science teachers as demonstrated during a recent visit by U.S. Senator John Cornyn of Texas. And, in Fall 2013, UNT’s CSE Department received final state approval for CSE to prepare secondary teachers of Computer Science as part of the TNT program.
Compared to math and other sciences, computer science education in K–12 has been largely neglected, largely because so few well-trained teachers are available at the K–12 levels. To address this issue the National Science Foundation has sponsored the CS 10K program to prepare 10,000 well-qualified teachers of computer science as soon as possible. Teaching computer science provides a rewarding career alternative to those interested in computer science and CSE is actively recruiting students to participate in TNT. UNT’s addition of Computer Science to TNT is thus a timely attempt to help meet CS10K goals.
Anyone interested in our CS teacher preparation program should contact
Philip Sweany, Associate Professor of Computer Science and Engineering
at UNT. To learn more about the CS10k project, check out
CSE Research displayed at Perot Museum
Dr. Armin R. Mikler and his graduate students Joseph Helsing, Marty O’Neill, and Jorge Reyes-Silveyra introduced visitors to the field of computational epidemiology during a special event held in June 2013 at the Perot Museum of Nature and Science in Dallas.
Using two example computer simulations developed in the UNT Center for Computational Epidemiology and Response Analysis (CeCERA), they described the importance of computational modeling in the field of public health and assisted visitors in creating and analyzing their own infectious disease simulations.
Dr. Armin Mikler receives NIH grant
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) has awarded Dr. Armin Mikler and his team a grant of nearly $800,000 for a two year study for "Minimizing Access Disparities in Bio-Emergency Response Planning." Research focusing on the computational analysis and optimization of existing bio-emergency response plans has been gaining momentum due to the threat of adverse events, including the accidental or deliberate release of biochemical substances.
Demographic indicators of vulnerability, such as lack of personal or public transportation and language barriers, have been identified by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and in the Pandemic and All-Hazards Preparedness Act (PAHPA). The primary goal of the proposed work is to build upon the RE-PLAN Framework for response plan analysis, and to further refine the planning process to minimize access disparities by specifically addressing relevant vulnerabilities in the response plan design.
Project Investigators are Armin R. Mikler (PI), Chetan Tiwari (Co-I),
Tamara Schneider-Jimenez (Co-I), Renee Bryce (Co-I), Suhasini
Ramiseeti-Mikler (PI for UNTHSC).
Dr. Ram Dantu’s research featured on NSF website
The National Science Foundation’s website recently featured a press release and videos about Dr. Ram Dantu’s research on a new 9-1-1 software system using smart phone technology that virtually places 9-1-1 operators at an emergency scene, helping operators to gather the most accurate information possible to better prepare first responders.
The press release states that "with support from the National Science Foundation (NSF), his team designed several innovative smart phone apps that virtually place 9-1-1 operators at the scene of an emergency, allowing them to quickly and accurately collect information, assist victims and help first responders save lives."
To see the NSF press release and the videos, please see this College
Dr. Mohanty awarded U.S. patent for digital video security methods
Dr. Saraju Mohanty, Associate Professor in the CSE Department, has been awarded a U.S. patent for his "Apparatus and Method for Transmitting Secure and/or Copyrighted Digital Video Broadcasting Data over Internet Protocol Network."
His invention provides comprehensive solutions for securing digital video, and it offers advantages for content providers like Netflix, digital television companies, Hollywood movie studios, their distributors and end-users, and private parties posting to YouTube or sending video files over the internet.
CSE faculty and PhD graduate co-chair ICCCNT 2013
The Fourth International Conference on Computing, Communication and Networking Technologies (ICCCNT 2013) was held at Vivekanandha College of Engineering for Women, Tiruchengode, Tamilnadu, India on July 4-6, 2013. This Conference provided a forum for international researchers from academia and practitioners in industry to meet and exchange ideas and recent research work on all aspects of information and communication technologies.
CSE faculty member Dr. Bill Buckles was Co-Chair of the Technical Committee.
Dr. Krishna Kavi, Dr. Xiaohui Yuan, and Dr. Mahadevan Gomathisankaran, all CSE
faculty members, were Technical Committee Members. Dr. Mohammed Yassine
Belkhouche, a Summer 2012 CSE PhD graduate, was also on the Technical Committee.
Dr. Murali Varanasi, faculty member in the UNT Department of Electrical Engineering,
and Dr. Prakash Duraisamy, a PhD graduate of the CSE Department in December 2012
and now a visiting scientist at MIT, served as the Conference Co-Chairs. To see
more pictures of this conference, go to this
Media Gallery page.
Bug Wars REU at CSE
Bug Wars is a Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) Site that is sponsored by the National Science Foundation and run by Dr. Renee Bryce. This program provides undergraduate students with a research experience and prepares them for graduate programs. No prior research experience is required.
The 2013 cohort of students spent the summer working on projects that exposed them to research on software testing and AI planning through both competition and collaboration. Some students worked on user-session-based testing, model-based testing with AI planning, and the combination of these two techniques as applied to web applications in an effort to find as many "bugs" as possible in the systems under test.
Some of the students also worked on CS Education research that focuses on helping introductory students to avoid common programming bugs. Future UNT students will use their work!
Applications for the 2014 Bug Wars program will open in December 2013.
Accepted students will receive free housing in UNT dorms, a $5,000
stipend for the 10 week program, and relocation support if they are
RoboCamp offers new AppCamp
RoboCamp 2013 sessions were held in June and July 2013. Eight sessions including Xbox Game Camps and AppCamps were held in the CSE Department at UNT in Denton. A Girls Appcamp was held at the Frisco Campus of Collin College in Plano and a Co-Ed AppCamp was held at the Cisco Campus in Richardson, TX.
The Android App Camp was a new RoboCamp offering. The AppCamp was designed to introduce participants to the skills needed to develop mobile applications for Android phone and Tablet platforms. Apps were developed using the AppInventor toolkit originally developed by Google and now supported by the MIT Media Lab. This is an online tool that students can continue to use at home after the camp.
Cisco employees and CSE alumni Chris Pearce and Larry Michalewicz, both BS 1990 graduates, were important to getting the AppCamp on the Cisco campus. AppCamps were led by Joan King, a CSE doctoral student, and Gaith Albadarin, a teaching fellow and PhD student in the CSE Department.
David Keathly, a principal lecturer in the CSE Department, started
the RoboCamp program with associate professor Robert Akl nearly 10 years
ago. Keathly says "We’re exposing students to science and math at a
hands-on level. When students are in high school, they don’t see how
math matters. Here they see how these topics matter and how they can
be applied in a fun way."
CSRL members meet with researchers in Italy and Germany
Mahzabeen Islam, Marko Scrbak, and Charles Shelor, PhD students from Dr. Krishna Kavi’s Computer Systems Research Laboratory (CSRL) in the CSE Department, attended the Ninth International Summer School on Advanced Computer Architecture and Compilation for High-Performance and Embedded Systems (ACACES) in Fiuggi, Italy this summer.
The ACACES summer school attracts students and professors from all over Europe and the United States. Universities and institutions represented included MIT, Purdue, Carnegie Mellon, Barcelona Supercomputing Center, Inria, Georgia Institute of Technology, Oxford, Cambridge, and many others. There were a total of 12 courses offered and students selected the course of their choice from each of the 4 time slots. The courses included architectural modeling issues, parallel programming, reconfigurable computing, memory system advances, many core systems, and other topics. The course instructors were available for discussions during the breaks between classes and at each of the meals.
The summer school also included a poster session where 85 student research efforts were displayed. This allowed students and instructions to find others with similar research interests and share information. ACACES kicked off with a keynote session and welcome dinner on Sunday evening and concluded with a celebratory party on Friday evening. Details on the summer school can be found here.
Dr Kavi joined the students after the ACACES school for meetings with some of his former students and current colleagues to share research interests and plans to assess potential joint research activities. Meetings were held at Siena University in Italy and at Technical University of Dresden in Germany. A reunion with the Italian students that performed memory architecture research with the CSRL last spring took us to Pisa, Italy.
To read more information about the trip from Mahzabeen, Marko, and
Charles, please go
News from Dependable Computing Systems Lab
DCSL members Qiang Guan and Ziming Zhang worked as research interns at Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) in this summer. They joined the projects on enhancing the resilience and energy efficiency of high-performance computing systems. They worked with LANL research staff and successfully developed a soft error fault injector and a power usage simulator.
TAMS student Jason He, who has been working on the cloud power management project in the DCSL lab, presented his research findings and results on the 2013 DFW Science and Engineering Fair. His presentation was very well received and he received two awards from US Navy and American Society for Quality. Congratulations to Jason.
For the past four months, Xiajun Wang has been a visiting scholar in the DCSL lab. He is currently an Assistant Professor in the Department of Information Engineering at Changzhou Institute of Light Industry Technology, China. His expertise is in information management and communication systems. During his stay at UNT, he will be working with us on workload modeling for cloud applications.
The following papers were recently accepted by international conferences.
New members join Human Language Technologies Lab
The following members recently joined the Human Language Technologies Lab with Dr. Rodney Nielsen.
Dr. Amitava Das, joined University of North Texas in August 2013. He is working with Dr. Rodney Nielsen as a Research Scientist. Prior to this, he was working (January-June, 2013) as a Chief Engineer, at Samsung Research India (SRI), Bangalore. Before SRI he spent one year (January-December, 2012) in IDI, Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU), Norway as a Postdoctoral fellow with European Research Consortium for Informatics and Mathematics (ERCIM) fellowship. He earned his PhD from Jadavpur University, Kolkata, India under the supervision of Prof. Sivaji Bandyopadhyay, HOD, CSE, DEAN Engineering.
Dr. Das is an established researcher in the area of sentiment analysis and Natural Language Processing. His research areas of interest are related with human language and artificial intelligence. Presently his focus is on Sentiment Analysis though his interests includes various other aspects of NLP such as Mental Lexicon / Distributional Semantic Network, Named Entity Recognition (NER), Transliteration, Dependency Parsing, Information Retrieval, Natural language Generation / Information Fusion, Morphology & Stemming, Chunking and Clause Boundary Identification, Eye Tracking, Social Networking and Crowd-sourcing.
He has served on various program committees of well-known NLP conferences; recently COLING 2012, CICLING 2013, IJCNLP 2013, etc. Dr. Das’s activity includes various international workshop organizations. Notably he is associated as an organizer with the Workshop series on South and South-East Asian Languages (WSSANLP), the Workshop series on Sentiment Analysis where AI Meets Psychology (SAAIP), Workshop on Internet Advertising Using Sentiment Analysis (AdSent 2013), ICDM and various others. For more information, visit http://www.amitavadas.com.
New PhD Students:
James Glenn is beginning the PhD Program in Computer Science and Engineering. He will be working with Dr. Nielsen in the studies of Natural Language Processing. James served in the US Air Force for six years as a linguist. After the military, he has worked in the computer industry for many years working with Internet-based companies in hosting and development services. His professional work has been focused on Geographic Information Systems, Content Management, and Knowledge Management Services.
James received an AA in Foreign Language Studies from Monterey Peninsula College. He completed Geographic Information Systems Certificate Program and Crime Mapping and Analysis Certificate Program from George Mason University. In May 2013, James graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Information Technology with a minor in Chinese from UNT. He has been working with Dr. Nielsen since May on the SEEDING Project, a project to improve student success that uses Natural Language Processing functionality.
Hamed Khanpour is starting his Ph.D. this Fall in the Human Language Technologies lab, working on emotion recognition on the NSF-funded Companionbots project.
Frank Paiva, who has been working on the Institute of Education Sciences-funded Comprehension SEEDING project, received his BS from the CSE Department this past Spring. This Fall he enters the PhD program and will work on semantic analysis of student responses in educational technology.
Natalie Parde is a first-year PhD student. She graduated summa cum laude with her Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science from the University of North Texas in August, and continued immediately to graduate school. During her undergraduate career at UNT, Natalie served as an Engineering Ambassador for the College of Engineering and received numerous academic scholarships and awards, including the Honors Scholar Award granted by the UNT Honors College. She coauthored several publications as part of her undergraduate research with UNTANGLED, an interdisciplinary project between UNT’s Computer Science and Electrical Engineering departments that received the People’s Choice Award in the Games & Apps category of the 2012 International Science & Engineering Visualization Challenge, conducted by the National Science Foundation and Science magazine. Natalie’s primary research interests are in Natural Language Processing, and she looks forward to advancing her academic career in the coming semesters as a member of Dr. Nielsen’s lab.
Anil Kumar Veerepally, after completing his bachelors from JNTUH, India, worked for Amazon Dev Centre for 3 years in Seller Experience Technology team and led the Support Engineers. Anil is now a Master’s Student, specializing in Artificial Intelligence and is working for Dr. Rodney Nielsen’s Companionbots Project. He likes to spend time eating chocolates, playing cricket and watching movies.
Karen Mazidi, a second-semester PhD student, was recently selected to
participate in the UNT Graduate Student Research & Fellowship Support
Program. This program consists of workshops on preparing proposals for
grants and fellowships, and mentoring during the writing and
application process. Thirty students were selected from across all
disciplines of UNT graduate students.
UGC Raman Research Fellow Visits NanoSystem Design Laboratory (NSDL)
University Grant Commission, Government of India, Raman Research Fellow, Dr. Prasun Ghosal visits NSDL for a year for research collaboration. The fellowship is highly competitive which aims to facilitate the interactions of the researchers from India with the USA academic/scientific community to learn new academic and scientific research methods and to participate in collaborative research. The fellowship provides funds of $3,000 per month for 12 months and $1,200 conference travel. Dr. Ghosal is a faculty member at the Bengal Engineering and Science University (BESU), the 2nd oldest Engineering institute in India. His research interests include VLSI physical design algorithm, Network-on-a-Chip (NoC), and quantum circuits. He is particularly interested to collaborate in nanoelectronic design, optimization, and design flow needed for nanoelectronic circuits.
In the other news from NSDL, members from NSDL published a total of 4 journal papers and 8 conference papers in the current year. NSDL PhD candidate Karo Okobiah made multiple presentations at different double-blind review conferences including one at the International Symposium on Quality Electronic Design International Symposium on Quality Electronic Design]] held at Santa Clara, CA. NSDL PhD candidate Karo Okobiah and visiting scholar Dr. Ghosal made multiple presentation at the 56th IEEE International Midwest Symposium on Circuits & Systems (MWSCAS), Columbus, OH. The presentations made include the following:
Software Engineering Language Laboratory (SELL) News
Dr. Barrett Bryant presented a keynote lecture on "Grammarware,
Semantics and Modelware" on September 10, 2013, at the Federated
Conference On Computer Science and Information Systems (FedCSIS 2013)
in Kraków, Poland. This talk presented applications of grammar
inference to software engineering, namely in development of domain-specific
language (DSL) specifications and software model evolution, and explored how
semantics may be used to improve this process. Dr. Bryant also participated
in a panel on "Data Mining in Cyber Age – Opportunities and Limitations" where
he discussed applications of machine learning in software engineering. Further
details of this panel may be found
News from Trusted Security Systems Lab (TSSL)
TSSL has had a busy and productive year so far in 2013. We have published 4 peer-reviewed journal articles and 3 peer-reviewed conference papers. One journal article is accepted and in press and two journal articles and 2 conference papers are under submission.
Yernat Yestekov, a Fulbright scholar, has successfully defended his Master’s Thesis titled "Design and analysis of novel verifiable voting schemes" and graduated in the summer. His thesis research has resulted in two journal articles one of which is under submission and other one will be submitted soon.
Tawfiq Shah, an UNT undergraduate, has joined TSSL. He will be pursuing his Master’s thesis research in virtualization security. Tawfiq was awarded the PepsiCo scholarship in Spring 2013 by the Computer Science Department. He has also served as an Engineering Ambassador for the UNT College of Engineering. We are very happy to have Tawfiq on board and we wish him success.
Dr. Gomathisankaran (Principal Investigator) and Dr. Kavi (Co-Principal Investigator) have secured an NSF funding to do research on vulnerability analysis of Cloud Computing Systems. Patrick Kamongi and Srujan Kotikela will be part of this project. We have published two conference papers based on our initial research results. We are working on a journal article to be submitted soon.
Dr. Gomathisankaran delivered an invited lecture at the Missouri University of Science and Technology (MUST) Computer Science Colloquium lectures in Spring 2013. He presented his latest research results about the "HORNS: Homomorphic Encryption System". He participated as a Session Chair at the Seventh International Conference on Software Security and Reliability (SERE) 2013.
Dr. Gomathisankaran will be coaching the UNT CCDC team for the year
2014. This year’s team will be capitalizing on the previous year’s
successful qualification and experience at the southwest regional
competition. Dr. Gomathisankaran is teaching an Advanced Information
Systems Security course in Fall 2013 which will be used to train
students to compete in this competition. We encourage all UNT students
who want to participate in the CCDC competition to take this course.
CSE says Farewell to Rada Mihalcea
Rada Mihalcea left our CSE Department to take a position at the
University of Michigan at the end of the Spring 2013 semester. Dr.
Mihalcea came to UNT in 2002 and created the Language and Information
Technologies (LIT) Laboratory. CSE faculty and staff said goodbye to
Dr. Mihalcea at a dinner hosted by Dr. Bryant at Romano’s Macaroni
Grill in Lewisville, TX in July. Pictures from that event are
here in our Media