University of North Texas
CSE Alumni Email Newsletter

September 2013  

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

Greetings from the CSE Chair

Chairman Barrett Bryant

Dear CSE Alumni and Friends,

The Fall 2013 semester has begun! We welcome our new faculty member, Dr. Hassan Takabi, who will be working in computer security. We want to congratulate Dr. Paul Tarau on his promotion to Professor and David Keathly on his promotion to Principal Lecturer. Our CSE Department is growing and we will be searching for three new faculty members this year.

Our BS in Computer Engineering program was first accredited in 2008 by ABET. We will be visited by evaluators from ABET in October for the reaccreditation of this program. Our BA in Information Technology program will be evaluated for first-time accreditation by ABET also in October. Our BS in Computer Science program will be evaluated in 2014. Our CSE Department is proud to offer ABET-accredited programs.

Our CSE Department has received state approval for us to prepare secondary teachers of Computer Science as part of the Teach North Texas program. Congratulations to our CSE students, James Glenn, Mingyu Lin, Zachary Morgan, and Jason He, who won awards at the first College of Engineering’s Showcase for Undergraduate Research. Please read below about all the activities of our faculty and students.

Mark Eastwood is our Alumni Focus in this issue. Alumni support and mentoring are important to our CSE students. I will be at the College of Engineering tent at Homecoming on November 9. Please come and meet with me to find out how you can help support our CSE Department. I look forward to seeing you there!

Barrett Bryant
Professor and Chair

Department of Computer Science and
Engineering News

New CSE Faculty

Dr. Hassan Takabi joins the CSE faculty as an Assistant Professor. He received his PhD from the University of Pittsburgh where he was a member of the Laboratory of Education and Research on Security Assured Information Systems (LERSAIS). Before joining the University of Pittsburgh, he was a research scholar in the e-Security research centre at the London South Bank University. Dr. Takabi completed his MS in Information Technology from Sharif University of Technology (Computer Networks) in 2007 and his BS in Computer Engineering (Software) from AmirKabir University of Technology (Tehran Polytechnic) in 2004.

His research interests include access control models, trust management, privacy enhancing technologies, usable security and privacy, and security, privacy, and trust issues in cloud computing environments and online social networks. Dr. Takabi is also a member of the Center for Information and Computer Security (CICS) and teaching introduction to computer security (CSCE 4550 cross listed with CSCE 5550) in Fall 2013. Find out more about Dr. Takabi at his website.

ABET accreditation visit in Fall 2013

The UNT Department of Computer Science and Engineering is applying for reaccreditation for its BS in Computer Engineering program and first-time accreditation for its new BA in Information Technology program from ABET. The BS in Computer Engineering program was first accredited in 2008. Our BS in Computer Science program has been continuously accredited since 1986.

The CSE Department submitted Self-Studies for each program in July. ABET has assigned a team of program evaluators to review those Self-Studies. The ABET team will be here in October to meet with faculty and students about these two programs.

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.

Distinguished Speakers in 2013-2014

Thomas Boehme was our first Distinguished Speaker.

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 to attend!

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 CS10K Community.

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.

More details about this event are here. More pictures on the Media Gallery page are here.

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 of Engineering article.

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.

For more details about Dr. Mohanty’s patent, please read this press release Dr. Mohanty directs the NanoSystem Design Laboratory in the CSE Department.

CSE faculty and PhD graduate co-chair ICCCNT 2013

Dr. Krishna Kavi talks to Dr. Xiaohui Yuan in the center with Dr. Murali Varanasi on the right
at 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

2013 Bug Wars Students. Back Row: Lisa Reynolds, Chad Rymer, Brett Slabaugh, Quentin Mayo (former REU student and current PhD student), Megan Lyle, Ashley Therriault Front Row: Ben Garside, Max Miller, Eric Binnion, Mayaria Johnson, Mallory Smith

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 from out-of-state.

RoboCamp offers new AppCamp

CSE PhD student Joan King helps students at the AppCamp hosted by Cisco.

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

UNT and Siena researchers with Dr. Krishna Kavi (fifth from left) and Dr. Roberto Giorgi (sixth from left). Marko, Mahzabeen and Charles (1, 2, and 3 from left)

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 here.

News from Dependable Computing Systems Lab

Qiang Guan and Ziming Zhang presented their work on the annual symposium at
Los Alamos National Laboratory.

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.

  • Q. Guan and S. Fu, "Adaptive Anomaly Identification by Exploring Metric Subspace in Cloud Computing Infrastructures", accepted by the 32nd IEEE International Symposium on Reliable Distributed Systems (SRDS), 10 pages, October 2013.

  • Q. Guan and S. Fu, "Wavelet-Based Multi-Scale Anomaly Identification in Cloud Computing Systems", accepted by IEEE Global Communications Conference (GLOBECOM), 7 pages, December 2013.

  • Q. Guan, S. Fu and N. DeBardeleben, and S. Blanchard, "Exploring Time and Frequency Domains for Accurate and Automated Anomaly Detection in Cloud Computing Systems", accepted by the 19th IEEE/IFIP International Symposium on Dependable Computing (PRDC), 10 pages, December 2013.

  • Q. Guan, "Autonomic Failure Identification and Diagnosis for Building Dependable Computing Systems", accepted for PhD dissertation research showcase presentation on IEEE/ACM Supercomputing Conference (SC), November 2013.

New members join Human Language Technologies Lab

Dr. Nielsen and his students at lunch

The following members recently joined the Human Language Technologies Lab with Dr. Rodney Nielsen.

Research Scientist:

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

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.

Master’s Student:

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.

Student Award:

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)

Dr. Mohanty and Dr. Ghosal

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:

  • G. Zheng, S. P. Mohanty, E. Kougianos, and O. Okobiah, "Polynomial Metamodel Integrated Verilog-AMS for Memristor-Based Mixed-Signal System Design", in Proceedings of the 56th IEEE International Midwest Symposium on Circuits & Systems (MWSCAS), 2013, pp. 916--919.

  • O. Okobiah, S. P. Mohanty, and E. Kougianos, "Fast Statistical Process Variation Analysis using Universal Kriging Metamodeling: A PLL Example", in Proceedings of the 56th IEEE International Midwest Symposium on Circuits & Systems (MWSCAS), 2013, pp. 277--280.

Software Engineering Language Laboratory (SELL) News

Dr. Barrett Bryant at Wawel Castle,
Krakow, Poland

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 here.

News from Trusted Security Systems Lab (TSSL)

(L-R): Patrick Kamongi, Srujan Kotikela, Dr. Gomathisankaran, Satyajeet Nimgaonkar, Tawfiq Shah

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 Gallery.

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CSE Alumni News

Alumni Focus on Mark Eastwood

I graduated from UNT in 1988 with a BS in Computer Science and promptly started a job in Plano with a company that made telephone switches. Telephone switches are essentially large special purpose computers. I spent a few years developing operating software and enjoying every minute. Those were the days when I programmed in assembly language and knew how each instruction was translated into machine code and how many clock-cycles each instruction took.

I spent the next 20 years as a software consultant in the decision management space. Decision management is the automation of decisions supporting business functions. Examples include home loan and credit card application decisions, credit card transactions and credit card anti-fraud for major banks around the world, scheduling commercials on ESPN and monitoring electricity power transfers for the California Independent System Operator. Developing high-quality, high-performance software has caused me to travel more than 40 countries around the world, some of them many, many times. Today I manage teams of consultants and software professionals stationed around the world, leveraging software to analyze big-data for leading CPG companies.

Alumni invited to CENG tent for UNT Homecoming

CSE alumni and friends are invited to join the UNT Homecoming celebration November 4th-9th. The theme this year is "Mean Green on the Big Screen." The Homecoming Picnic will be held on November 5 from 11 am to 1 pm on the Library Mall. The Spirit March will begin at 7 pm on November 8 at Fraternity Row followed by the Bonfire at 8 pm at Apogee Stadium. On Saturday, the Homecoming Parade will be at 9 am down Hickory Street to the Denton Square.

The College of Engineering will again host a hospitality tent outside Apogee Stadium on November 9 before the football game from 12-3 pm. Come join us and meet College of Engineering faculty members and students and find out what is happening in your Department of Computer Science and Engineering. That afternoon at 2:30, the Homecoming Football Game will be your Mean Green vs. University of Texas at El Paso at Apogee Stadium.

CSE Students need Alumni Mentoring and Support

Greg Thurman, BS 1998, came back to UNT as a "Professor for a Day" in David Keathly's CSCE 4925 Information Technology capstone in February 2013. More pictures here.

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!

10. When you order from Amazon, you can support ACM and ACM-W by using this link.

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 ACM, ACM-W, 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. There is also an Eta Kappa Nu honor society (Computer Engineering) and we are trying to revive the Upsilon Pi Epsilon Honor Society Chapter (Computer Science).

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.

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

Student News

Congratulations to CSE graduates

Congratulations to all of our Department of Computer Science and Engineering graduates in Spring 2013 and Summer 2013!

PhD Graduates in Spring 2013

Carmen Banea
Dissertation: "Extrapolating Subjectivity Research to Other Languages"
Major Professor: Rada Mihalcea

Olivia Glicine Loza
Dissertation: "Optimizing Non-Pharmaceutical Interventions using Multi-Coaffiliation Networks"
Major Professor: Armin Mikler

Ravi Som Sinha
Dissertation: "Finding Meaning in Context using Graph Algorithms in Mono- and Cross-Lingual Settings"
Major Professor: Rada Mihalcea

Geng Zheng
Dissertation: "Layout-Accurate Ultra-Fast System-Level Design Exploration through Verilog-AMS"
Major Professor: Saraju P. Mohanty

PhD Graduates in Summer 2013

Dhanyu Eshaka Amarasinghe
Dissertation: "Real-time Rendering of Burning Objects in Video Games"
Major Professor: Ian Parberry

Enkh-Amgalan Baatarjav
Dissertation: "Privacy Management for Online Social Networks"
Major Professor: Ram Dantu

Bharath Dandala
Dissertation: "Multilingual Word Sense Disambiguation using Wikipedia"
Major Professor: Rada Mihalcea

Neeraj Gupta
Dissertation: "Modeling and Analysis of Next Generation 9-1-1 Emergency Medical Dispatch Protocols"
Major Professor: Ram Dantu

Tomislav Janjusic
Dissertation: "Framework for Evaluating Dynamic Memory Allocators including a New Equivalence Class Based Cache-Conscious Allocator"
Major Professor: Krishna M. Kavi

Muthukudage Jayantha Kumara
Dissertation: "Automated Real-Time Objects in Colonoscopy Videos for Quality Measurements"
Major Professor: JungHwan Oh

Ruwan Dharshana Nawarathna
Dissertation: "Detection of Temporal Events and Abnormal Images for Quality Analysis" for Endoscopy Videos"
Major Professor: JungHwan Oh

Students defend MS Theses

Congratulations to these graduate students who defended their MS Theses since the previous newsletter!

Sagarika Adepu
Thesis: "QOS Aware Service Oriented Architecture"
Major Professor: Krishna Kavi
Defense Date: April 24, 2013

Yernat Yestekov
Thesis: "Design and Analysis of Novel Verifiable Voting Schemes"
Major Professor: Mahadevan Gomathisankaran
Defense Date: July 29, 2013

CSE Student presents at HiTec Conference

David Keathly with James Glenn

James Glenn graduated in Spring 2013 with a BA in Information Technology. The CSE Faculty selected James as the Outstanding Undergraduate Student in Information Technology in 2012-2013. In Spring 2013, James was in IT Senior Design Project class and worked with a team of students to develop "Tru Identity," an Identity Protection Mobile App to design a solution for mobile devices using only one unique and creative authentication method without remembering usernames and passwords.

James presented "Tru Identity" at the 2013 Hi-Tech Conference held in July in Austin, TX. This High Impact Technology Exchange Conference is a national conference on advanced technological education where secondary and postsecondary educators, counselors, industry professionals, trade organizations, and technicians can update their knowledge and skills. Charged with Educating America’s Technical Workforce, the event focuses on the preparation needed by the existing and future workforce for companies in the high-tech sectors that drive our nation’s economy.

In Fall 2013, James will begin the PhD program in the CSE Department here at UNT where he will be working with Dr. Rodney Nielsen in the area of Natural Language Processing.

CSE Students attend Stars Alliance Celebration

CSE Students who attended Stars Alliance Celebration (L-R): Mallory Smith, Lisa Reynolds, and Quentin Mayo

Stars Alliance Celebration conference was a great experience that allowed us to meet professionals in the field of computer science and find out more information on growing issues. We had a great opportunity to go to several workshops where we learned about issues facing minorities, research, and new teaching strategies. Several well-known people including Dr. Juan Gilbert, Dr. Dilma DeSilva, and others also gave thought-provoking speeches on issues facing minorities in the computing field.

Career Fair at Discovery Park on October 3

Jacob Tendy, BS in Computer Science in 2010, recruiting for Fidelity Investments.

The Career Center will host an Engineering and Computer Science Career and Internship Fair on Thursday, October 3, from 10 am to 2 pm in the Discovery Park Commons. This is a great opportunity for CSE students to find a job and the rest of the students to learn about employer recruiting activities and the interview process.

If your company would like to participate in our Engineering and Computer Science Career and Internship Fair, please contact Amy Ferman at at the Career Center. Also, if you are seeking employment, please see this Alumni page.

College of Engineering News

CENG hosts first Showcase of Undergraduate Research in Engineering

Dr. Costas Tsatsoulis, Dean of the UNT College of Engineering, congratulates James Glenn and Mingyu Lin on the left, Zachary Morgan in the center, and Jason He on the right.

The first Showcase for Undergraduate Research in Engineering (SURE) was held on Friday, September 20th at UNT’s Discovery Park. There were five divisions for prizes and CSE students won three of the five divisions.

Congratulations to James Glenn and Mingyu Lin on winning the top prize in the Software Technology category. Their presentation was on their "Comprehensive SEEDING Project." Dr. Rodney Nielsen, Associate Professor in the CSE Department, was their faculty advisor.

Congratulations to Zachary Morgan on winning the top prize in the Healthcare and Medical Technology division. Zachary's project was "Adaptive Blood Pressure Measurement on Android." His faculty advisor for this project was Dr. Ram Dantu, Professor in the CSE Department.

Congratulations to Jason He on winning the top prize in the Energy Engineering division. Jason’s project, "Characterizing Power and Energy Usage with Resource Auto-Configuration in Cloud Computing, was supervised by Dr. Song Fu, Assistant Professor in the CSE Department.

The Showcase for Undergraduate Research in Engineering will become an annual event celebrating the outstanding work of the undergraduate researchers in the College of Engineering at the University of North Texas.

CENG students have new UNT Career Center at Discovery Park

(L-R): Jodi Foster, College of Engineering Career Advisor; Arthur Lumzy, Assistant Director; Amy Ferman, Employer Services; and Corey Davidson, Engineering Internship Coordinator

The new UNT Career Center at Discovery Park is now open for College of Engineering students. If you have employment opportunities for our students, please contact the UNT Career Center.

Their Vision Statement is to be a premier and comprehensive career center that encourages the overall development of UNT students and alumni through personal and career exploration, while equipping them with lifelong job search skills, and providing them opportunities to reach their career goals and dreams.

University of North Texas News

Campaign for UNT continues

The Campaign for UNT continues. When President V. Lane Rawlins announced this campaign last April, he said it has three main goals:

  • Raise money to support the university and its people.

  • Engage more alumni and supporters in the life and progress of the university.

  • Develop a stronger culture of philanthropy at UNT.

The College of Engineering has raised nearly $10 million of its $15 million goal or 65%. The CENG Action Team is led by Chris Pearce, BS 1990, Distinguished Engineer with Cisco Systems, Inc. in Richardson. Other Computer Science alumni in this campaign are Etta Clark, BS 1980, Senior Director at PepsiCo Inc. in Plano; Steve Eaton, BS 1986, Senior Systems Developer, WebSphere Division, IBM in Austin; Maurice Steward, BS 1982, Manager at Deloitte in Houston; Larry Sullivan, BS 1992, Director of Engineering, Developer Division for Microsoft Corp. in Renton, WA; Chris Watts, BS 1983; Attorney in Denton and Denton City Council member; and Michael R. Webb, BS 1997, Chief Technology Officer for SmartVault in Houston.

To support The Campaign for UNT and make a gift to the College of Engineering, please go here.

UNT to get new University Union

A groundbreaking ceremony was held in August for the new UNT University Union. The union will be under construction for two years and will open in Fall 2015. During construction, the UNT bookstore, now Barnes & Noble at UNT, will be located at the corner of Avenue C and Chestnut Street. Food options from the Campus Chat have moved to a modular food pavilion on the Campus Green between Sage and Sycamore Halls. For dining updates please go here. For a full listing of information on the relocation of Union services and offices, please visit here.

The transformation of the University Union will embrace and enhance the architectural character of Central Campus, be sustainable and efficient in operations, symbolize the UNT Brand, and feature bright, daylight filled spaces throughout its open and airy interior. As the bustling hub of campus activity and the place to see and be seen at UNT, the revitalized University Union will serve as an anchor for the educational journey and destined greatness of UNT students for generations to come.

Top Ten Accomplishments of UNT for the past year are here.

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 2013