University of North Texas
CSE Alumni Email Newsletter

February 2014  

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,

At the beginning of our Spring 2014 semester, I want to share with you the retirement of Don Retzlaff and Gary Goodman. Don was the longest serving faculty member and has now retired after 35 years. Many of you have had his classes and will fondly remember him. Dr. Goodman has been an adjunct professor since 2007 and has now retired as well. We thank both of them for their service to the CSE Department and wish them well in their future endeavors.

Congratulations to our CSE Cyber Defense Team on qualifying for the Southwest Regional Collegiate Cyber Defense Competition! The CSE Department was a Sponsor of the ACM Richard Tapia Celebration of Diversity in Computing in Seattle, February 5-8. The Distinguished Speaker series continues this semester with Dr. Cyrus Shahabi’s talk "GeoCrowd: Harnessing the Power of Crowd for On-Demand Geographical Data Collection." Please read all the news of our faculty members below to see what is going on in our department. Coming up later this semester, our CSE Department will host the SoMiC Workshop: Security on the Move and in the Clouds.

Lettie Haynes is our Alumni Focus in this issue. Lettie graduated with a BS in 1982 from our CSE Department. Now she is BNSF’s assistant vice president of technology services and she also serves on the College of Engineering’s Advisory Board. Since the last newsletter I have also visited with CSE alumni in Seattle and Georgia. If you are in the Denton area, you are invited to stop by and visit with me too. I would enjoy talking with you about how your support can benefit your CSE Department.

Barrett Bryant
Professor and Chair

Department of Computer Science and
Engineering News

Don Retzlaff retires from CSE Department after 35 years

1978                                           2013

Don Retzlaff, Principal Lecturer in the Computer Science Department, has retired after teaching Computer Science for thirty-five years.

Don joined the Computer Science Department as a Lecturer after receiving his Master’s Degree in Computer Science from North Texas State University (now UNT) back in 1978. Since that time, Don has taught a large variety of the undergraduate courses in the department. He is best known for developing several key courses in the department, including CSCE 4410 and 4420, the Software Development sequence where students write large-scale applications. He has also produced other courses, including the Computer Programming for Non-Majors (1020), Assembly Language Programming (2010), and most recently the Internet Programming Course (3420). His interest has always been in teaching programming languages, and throughout his tenure he has taught programming languages including COBOL, Fortran, Pascal, C, C++, Java, and the most recent and his favorite, PHP. In recent years he authored the textbooks used in the 1020, 1030 and 3420 courses.

Don is also known in the department for developing many software-related tools to help with teaching courses, as well as other applications to assist the department itself. These include the WebCompiler environment and the ABET Course Assessment Management System. Don has been the department’s webmaster since the department first had a web presence, also being one of the first departments in the university that had a website.

With his retirement, Don plans to continue developing code and writing books, something he’s been interested in for many years. Don will still be the department’s webmaster, as well as produce the various student and alumni newsletters and maintain the department’s software tools. He is in the process of publishing on the web all of his course-related material that he has put together during his thirty-five years in the department. He also plans to travel extensively with his wife Elisa between doctor visits.

Dr. Gary Goodman retires from CSE

Dr. Gary Goodman began at the University of North Texas in 2007 as an Adjunct Professor and retired in 2013. He taught a variety of subjects, from beginning programming and data structures to graduate courses in automata theory, advanced algorithms, and software development. Dr. Goodman had previously taught as a TA at Stanford University and Carnegie-Mellon University; he was also an Assistant Professor at the University of Nebraska.

He has always enjoyed teaching and wanted to return to the classroom after retiring from the corporate world. He retired from Motorola and was delighted to find a position at UNT. Dr. Goodman said "While I hope that I have had an impact on the students, the students have helped me to become a better instructor and to understand what it means to be a student in today’s world. I wish to thank the faculty, staff, and students for making my wishes come true."

CSE Cyber Defense team qualifies for Southwest Regional CCDC

Back row (L-R): Alex Breinig, Chad Saye, Philip Becker, Jimi Mills; Front row (L-R): Tawfiq Shah, Junkai Sun, Dr. Mahadevan Gomathisankaran, Srujan Kotikela, Kevin Ray. Two members
missing are Patrick Kamongi and Tim Page.

The Cyber Defense Team from the Department of Computer Science and Engineering passed the qualifying round on February 1 and will compete in the Southwest Regional Collegiate Cyber Defense Competition (CCDC) on March 8 and 9 in San Antonio, TX. Eight teams will compete in the Regional Competition. Eleven teams competed in the Session 1 qualifying round and only four teams from the following universities qualified to participate in the Regional Competition:

  • Southern Methodist University
  • Trinity University
  • University of North Texas
  • University of Texas San Antonio

Dr. Mahadevan Gomathisankaran is the faculty mentor for the team. For more information see this Trusted Secure Systems Lab page. Congratulations to the team on passing the qualifying round and good luck in the competition in March!

Dr. Armin Mikler’s NIH grant announced in Dallas News

Dr. Armin Mikler and his Computational Epidemiology Laboratory (CERL) were recognized in the Dallas News for their grant of nearly $800,000 from the National Institutes of Health. Dr. Mikler and his research team are working with Tarrant County Public Health and several other UNT professors on a project to help identify and notify vulnerable populations in case of a widespread emergency such as the outbreak of an infectious disease or a biochemical attack. Read more about Dr. Mikler and this project in this Dallas News article.

Distinguished Speakers in Spring 2014

The Department of Computer Science and Engineering will continue to host our Distinguished Speaker series in Spring 2014. Dr. Cyrus Shahabi will be our next Distinguished Speaker on Friday, February 21, at 11:30 am in F223. His presentation will be "GeoCrowd: Harnessing the Power of Crowd for On-Demand Geographical Data Collection."

Dr. Shahabi is a Professor of Computer Science and Electrical Engineering and the Director of the Information Laboratory (InfoLAB) at the Computer Science Department and also the Director of the NSF’s Integrated Media Systems Center (IMSC) at the University of Southern California.

On Friday, March 7, at 11:30 am, Dr. Hongyang Chao will present “Research on Key Technologies for Scalable Video Coding and Massive Video Data Analysis” in F223. Dr. Chao is a Professor and Associate Dean at the School of Software at Sun Yet-sun University in Guangzhou, China. She was a visiting professor in the UNT Department of Computer Science from 1996 to 2003 when she worked at Infinop Holdings, Inc (later acquired by Vianet/ESPRE) in Denton.

More Distinguished Speakers will be announced on our CSE website and Facebook page. Everyone is invited to attend!

Dr. Bryant and CSE Students attend Diversity in Computing Conference

Dr. Barrett Bryant, Chair, and CSE Students Tailyr Mack and Mayaria Johnson attended the ACM Richard Tapia Celebration of Diversity in Computing held February 5-8, 2014 in Seattle, WA. The CSE Department was a bronze sponsor of the conference. The department awarded Mayaria and Tailyr travel awards to attend.

The goal of the Tapia Conferences is to bring together undergraduate and graduate students, faculty, researchers, and professionals in computing from all backgrounds and ethnicities to:

  • Celebrate the diversity that exists in computing;
  • Connect with others with common backgrounds, ethnicities, disabilities, and gender so as to create communities that extend beyond the conference;
  • Obtain advice from and make contacts with computing leaders in academia and industry;
  • Be inspired by great presentations and conversations with leaders with common backgrounds.

This year’s conference theme is "The Strength of Diversity" as the Tapia Conference celebrates the contributions to computing by members of broad and diverse communities. Further, the Tapia Conference uniquely supports and mentors diverse communities of students and professionals.

CSE receives grant to support recruitment of women to technology

The National Center for Women & Information Technology (NCWIT) has awarded the UNT Department of Computer Science and Engineering a Student Seed Fund grant of $1,000 to host a book club based on "Lean in: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead" by Sheryl Sandberg and a Software Testing Competition using a web app called "Bug Catcher." Congratulations to CSE graduate student Mallory Smith and Dr. Renee Bryce on their successful application.

UNT ACM-W, a student organization dedicated to increasing the participation of women in computing, invites students to join a book club that will meet monthly throughout the semester. This is a great opportunity to make friends and support other female students in our CSE Department. Copies of the book are provided by UNT ACM-W. Food will be provided at the meetings. Email to sign up!

The National Center for Women & Information Technology is a non-profit community of more than 500 universities, companies, non-profits, and government organizations nationwide working to increase women’s participation in computing and technology. NCWIT helps organizations more effectively recruit, retain, and advance girls and women in K-12 through college education, and from academic to corporate and startup careers.

CSE hosts NACLO 2014

The North American Computational Linguistics Olympiad (NACLO) was hosted on January 30, 2014 by the Human Language Technologies lab (HiLT) in the Department of Computer Science and Engineering. Forty-two high school students from the DFW area participated in this competition.

NACLO is an educational competition in Computational Linguistics, the science of designing computer algorithms to solve linguistic problems. It challenges students to develop strategies for tackling problems in fascinating real languages and formal symbolic systems.

Dr. Rodney Nielsen, Associate Professor, and Genene Murphy, CSE Staff, supervised this event, along with HiLT graduate students Jim Glenn, Natalie Parde, and Wes Solomon. For more information about this competition, see this HiLT website. Pictures of the event are HERE.

Applications for Bug Wars REU due February 21

The Bug Wars Research Experience for Undergraduates Site is now accepting applications for 8 positions to start in Summer 2014. More information is available HERE.

Bug Wars is an REU site project that exposes students to research on software testing and AI planning through both competition and collaboration. The intellectual merit of this project includes creating new knowledge about user-session-based testing, model-based testing with AI planning, and the combination of these two techniques as applied to web applications. A novel feature of this REU is that it encourages both competition and collaboration. The students initially split into two teams that strive to find the most faults in web application systems under test. One team collects, reduces, and prioritizes user-session-based test suites. A second team uses machine learning to build models of the software and AI planning to generate test suites. Students compete to show the merits of their approach on the same systems by considering the sizes and fault detection effectiveness (FDE) of their test suites. The students then critically discuss their work and propose combining the different approaches to further improve effectiveness.

No prior research experience is necessary. We hope that this paid summer internship encourages participants to pursue graduate studies. One outcome of the success of this program is the number of Bug Wars students that decide to pursue graduate studies after the program.

Security Workshop coming to CSE

The Department of Computer Science and Engineering, in collaboration with the National Convergence Technology Center at Collin College, will host the 3rd SoMiC Workshop: Security on the Move and in the Clouds later this Spring. Speakers from area Faculty, Graduate Students, and Industry Professionals are all welcome and encouraged to attend. Suggested general topic areas include:

  • Mobile Security
  • Cloud Security
  • Physical Security
  • Network Security Issues
  • Social Network Security
  • Watermarking
  • Social and Economic Implications of Security
  • Other related topics are also encouraged

Proposed session or poster titles and abstracts should be submitted to or When more details are available, they will be posted on the CSE website.

CSE celebrates Data Privacy Day

UNT’s CICS is a proud champion of Data Privacy Day which is held every year on January 28. DPD is an effort to empower and educate people to protect their privacy and control their digital footprint and encourages everyone to make protecting privacy and data a greater priority. Learn more about DPD at HERE.

Curious to find out if you know how to protect your personal information online? Take the My Privacy IQ Quiz at

Hefei University of Technology Scholars collaborate with Vision Researchers

Front row: Dr. Ye Yu, Dr. Bill Buckles, and Prof. Wentao Wu;
Back row: Qi Chen, Xiangjin Wang, Yi Jun, Sen Zhang, and Guangchun Chen (from UNT)

For five weeks in November and December, four students and two faculty members from Hefei (China) University of Technology (HFUT) gained experience and shared their research with Dr. Buckles and the members of his lab. During the interval, the students participated in research by attending weekly meetings, participating in discussions, giving presentations, and creating a visualization of data obtained from a local public transit system. Their advisors, Dr. Yu and Prof. Wu, were present during the latter part of the visit to assess the students’ progress and to share information on projects underway at HFUT.

The students learned basic GIS skills and several new aspects of image processing. The lab gained a tool for visualizing ingress/egress data obtainable from bus-mounted cameras. The travel costs were borne by a new national program in China to support opportunities for multi-cultural interactions for Chinese students. At the conclusion of the visit, both parties believed the outcomes were beneficial to each and would be repeated when additional opportunities occur.

Prof. Mohanty delivers Keynote Address at International Conference

In a significant boost to UNT international visibility, Professor Saraju Mohanty delivered a keynote address at the IEEE Sponsored International Conference on Control, Automation, Robotics and Embedded Systems (CARE 2013). The conference was held December 16-18, 2013 at the Indian Institute of Information Technology in Jabalpur, India. The talk titled "DfX for Nanoelectronic Embedded Systems" highlighted the growth of VLSI to nanoelectronic systems, the issue faced by the designers, and solutions available to address them.

Prof. Mohanty also presented an invited talk titled "DfX for Nanoelectronic Circuits and Systems" at Bhopal, India at the invitation of Oriental Group of Institutes and Oriental University. The talk was well attended by students and faculty from the above institutes as well as nearby institutes. Oriental University has shown significant interest for collaboration with UNT in terms of research and student exchange. Both Dr. Dhruva Ghai, Dean of Postgraduate Engineering and Research and Dr. Garima Thakral, the Dean of Undergraduate Engineering at the Oriental University are UNT alumni and did their PhD under the supervision of Dr. Mohanty at NanoSystem Design Laboratory (NSDL). In fact, Dr. Ghai was the first PhD from NSDL.

The NSDL members published 15 papers in the last year. This included 7 journal and 8 conference papers. Selected journal publication includes the following:

  • S. P. Mohanty, "Memristor: From Basics to Deployment", IEEE Potentials, Volume 32, No. 3, May/June 2013, pp. 34--39.

  • O. Okobiah, S. P. Mohanty, and E. Kougianos, "Geostatistical-Inspired Fast Layout Optimization of a Nano-CMOS Thermal Sensor", IET Circuits, Devices & Systems (CDS), Volume 7, No. 5, September 2013, pp. 253--262.

NSDL student members and postdoctoral researchers traveled to ISQED 2013 as well as MWSCAS 2013 for various conference paper presentations. The papers presented by Karo Okobiah include the following:

  • O. Okobiah, S. P. Mohanty, and E. Kougianos, "Geostatistics Inspired Fast Layout Optimization of Nanoscale CMOS Phase Locked Loop", in Proceedings of the 14th IEEE International Symposium on Quality Electronic Design (ISQED), 2013, pp. 562--567.

The papers presented by postdoctoral researcher Dr. Prasun Ghosal include the following:

  • M. Sarkar, P. Ghosal, and S. P. Mohanty, "Reversible Circuit Synthesis Using ACO and SA based Quinne-McCluskey Method", in Proceedings of the 56th IEEE International Midwest Symposium on Circuits & Systems (MWSCAS), 2013, pp. 416--419.

Dr. Takabi moderates panel at Computer Security Conference

Dr. Hassan Takabi served as panels chair of the 29th Annual Computer Security Applications Conference (ACSAC 2013), which was held in New Orleans, December 9-13, 2013.

He also moderated a panel on "Cybersecurity and Cyber-Physical Systems: A Government Perspective" with panelists from NSF, DHS, and NIST, gave a tutorial on "Authentication & Authorization Standards for the Cloud" and chaired a session on "Mobile Systems Security".

News from Dependable Computing Systems Laboratory (DCSL)

(L-R): Xiajun Wang, Siddhartha Katragadda, Ramureddy Venumuddala, Song Huang, Dr. Fu,
Qiang Guan and Xiaoyi Fang

Dr. Song Fu Director of the DCS Lab, served as the General Vice-Chair of the 32nd IEEE International Performance Computing and Communications Conference (IPCCC 2013), which was held at San Diego, December 6-8, 2013.

Graduate student Qiang Guan passed the PhD dissertation defense on January 17, 2014, presenting his dissertation research on "Autonomic Failure Identification and Diagnosis for Building Dependable Cloud Computing Systems," to his PhD Committee, consisting of Drs. Song Fu (advisor and committee chair), Yan Huang, Krishna Kavi, and Xiaohui Yuan. Congratulations to Dr. Guan! Qiang will join Los Alamos National Laboratory as an Associate Researcher.

We presented research papers on dependable cloud computing at IEEE SRDS, PRDC and GLOBECOM conferences in Fall 2013. Another paper on soft error injection was recently accepted by IEEE/ACM IPDPS 2014 conference.

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

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

  • Q. Guan and S. Fu, "Wavelet-Based Multi-Scale Anomaly Identification in Cloud Computing Systems", presented in IEEE Global Communications Conference (GLOBECOM), 6 pages, December 2013.

  • Q. Guan, N. DeBardeleben, S. Blanchard and S. Fu, "F-SEFI: A Fine-grained Soft Error Fault Injection Tool for Profiling Application Vulnerability", accepted by the 28th IEEE/ACM International Parallel & Distributed Processing Symposium (IPDPS), 10 pages, May 2014.

CoVIS hosts Visiting Scholars

(L-R) Mohamed El-hoseny, Dr. Xiaohui Yuan, Eslam Hamouda

The Computer Vision and Intelligent Systems Lab (CoVIS) is hosting two visiting scholars, Mohamed El-hoseny and Eslam Hamouda, in 2014. Both are faculty members in the Department of Computer and Information Sciences, Mansoura University, Mansoura, Egypt. The expertise of Mohamed El-hoseny is security routing in wireless sensor networks, and that of Eslam Hamouda is biometric and encoding. They will be working on two research projects in the fields of security and pattern recognition during their stay at CoVIS lab, and will be collaborating with other faculty members and students in the department. They are funded by an Egyptian government scholarship for one year and joined the lab in mid-January of 2014.

Mohamed Abouelenien was the second PhD recipient of Dr. Xiaohui Yuan. He defended his dissertation "Boosting for Learning from Imbalanced, Multiclass Data Sets" in October 2013. Dr. Abouelenien holds a post-doctoral position at the University of Michigan.

In December 2013, Dr. Yuan was invited to present his work at Hefei University of Technology. Dr. Yuan is a Technical Committee member for the 5th International Conference on Computing, Communication and Networking Technologies (ICCCNT) which will meet in July 2014 in Hefei, China.

News from Human Language Technologies Lab (HiLT)

Natalie Parde and Karen Mazidi, Ph.D. students in the Human Language Technologies (HiLT) Lab, have both been selected to participate in the 2014 CRA-Women Grad Cohort Workshop this April in Santa Clara, California. CRA-W is awarding both women the full cost of attending this workshop, including travel expenses, meals, and lodging. In addition to this award, Karen Mazidi also recently received a Graduate Assistantship Tuition Scholarship.

New HiLT Lab Members:

The Human Language Technologies (HiLT) Lab, directed by Dr. Rodney Nielsen, welcomes three new members. Learn more about the HiLT Lab at their website,, or for up-to-date information, follow them on twitter @hiltlab.

Tailyr Mack is a Junior at the University of North Texas pursuing a BS in Computer Engineering. She was presented with the opportunity to help do research with Dr. Neilsen last semester and was very excited to be able to work on the current projects in the HiLT. Tailyr said, "I think this will be a great learning experience and a great way to meet other students/people in my major field."

Milad Pejmanrad is a Computer Science Master’s student at the University of North Texas. He joined the HiLT Lab in January 2014 as a Research Assistant. He is working on Human Language Technologies under supervision of Dr. Rodney Nielsen. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering and believes that the combination of CS and engineering skills will put him in the right direction toward his goals. He joined UNT in August 2013 for EE Master’s program, but discovered that his interests were more in line with CS. He is very excited for this big change and is always up for the challenges.

John "Wes" Solomon is a PhD student that joined the HiLT lab in December of 2013. He is working on developing techniques to better recognize mentions of diseases and disorders in clinical text. Wes completed his bachelor’s degree in economics in 2010. After graduating, he worked in industry for one and a half years as a programmer and took undergraduate computer science courses to get him up to speed. While working in industry, he developed techniques for mapping textual descriptions of payment statuses for health insurance claims to system codes. During his free time, Wes wrote a program that recognizes line, column, and word separations in images of documents. He is thrilled to be a part of the HiLT lab and at UNT.

Information Management and Knowledge Discovery Lab News

Dr. Yan Huang is the General Chair and Dr. Bill Buckles is the Local Arrangement Chair of The ACM SIGSPATIAL International Conference on Advances in Geographic Information Systems 2014 (ACM SIGSPATIAL GIS 2014). The conference will be held in Dallas in November 2014.

Victor Yang and Anish Reddy are juniors at the Texas Academy of Math and Science at University of North Texas campus. They are both interested in and will be working on the event detection from social media project in IMKD lab. They are excited to learn new skills when working together with graduate students in the lab.

PhD student Zhi Liu is a CUP master for ACM SIGSPATIAL GIS CUP 2014. The competition this year is on map generalization, which is commonly used in creating maps of different scales.

News from Software Engineering Language Laboratory (SELL)

Dr. Paul Tarau has presented the paper "A Declarative Specification of Giant Number Arithmetic" and chaired a session at the "Sixteenth International Symposium on Practical Aspects of Declarative Languages" (PADL’14) in San Diego, CA.

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

CSE Alumni News

Alumni Focus - Lettie Haynes

Every day, BNSF Railway train cars travel across 32,500 miles of tracks, delivering goods through the U.S. and Canada. Employees at the company’s Fort Worth headquarters use the latest technology to monitor operations, market their services and keep the trains running safely and efficiently. One of the leaders behind that technology is UNT alumna Lettie Haynes (’82).

When Haynes was a student studying computer science, she gained hands-on experience in the university’s microcomputer lab working with Texas Instruments-990s, which were among the most innovative technologies of the early ’80s.

Today, Haynes is BNSF’s assistant vice president of technology services, overseeing IT initiatives involving everything from the company’s customer web and mobility software and intermodal hub logistics systems to future cloud computing applications that will help streamline business processes.

"When I arrived at North Texas, I was certain I wanted to work with technology or computers," she says. "At the time, I wasn’t sure whether it would be software programming or the actual computer hardware configurations, but I knew computer science was the right field for me."

In her 20-year career at BNSF, Haynes has worked on a range of technology initiatives, covering areas such as application development, infrastructure, budgeting, marketing and strategic planning.

Currently, she also leads teams who are creating mobile applications for the company and its clients and are researching how large amounts of data from transactions, events and other sources can be leveraged to gain insights and help predict trends for the company.

"’Big data’ has become somewhat of a buzz word in the IT industry, and corporations mostly use large amounts of data to look backward and evaluate past performance," Haynes says. "But we’re creating an environment for our data that will enable us to explore patterns of information so we can identify opportunities and take action focused on preventative measures."

And Haynes is investigating how cloud computing can improve BNSF’s technology offerings.

"It’s exciting to see how we can leverage the cloud for certain services," she says. "We’re looking at quicker information delivery speeds for our business partners and faster, better software and application upgrades, which are all appealing, all while having strong security processes in place."

And while in her current role Haynes focuses on the latest industry trends, she credits UNT with giving her an opportunity to build a strong knowledge base around computer science, programming techniques, basic logic and database design.

"Once you really know the fundamentals of software and development, you can learn anything," she says. "Today, information technology is everywhere. It’s a large part of every industry. When students leave UNT, they will be able to apply those skills to any business function."

This story originally appeared in the Winter 2013 edition of UNT’s alumni magazine, The North Texan. To read more news about UNT alumni, friends and supporters, please access The North Texan online at:

Dr. Bryant visits CSE alumni in Seattle

While in Seattle for the ACM Richard Tapia Celebration of Diversity in Computing Conference, Dr. Bryant and Reginald Grant (left) visited with Larry Sullivan (BS ’92) and his wife, Reko. Larry has been with Microsoft for over 20 years and was featured in the Spring 2013 CSE Alumni Newsletter.

Dr. Bryant also met with Anurag Arepally (MS in Computer Science, ’06) who is the IT Director at REI-Recreational Equipment Inc, headquartered in the Seattle area. Both the Sullivans and Anurag financially support the Computer Science and Engineering department. Both are working with Reginald to arrange internships with their respective employers.

Dr. Courtney Corley visits CERL

Courtney Corley, PhD ’09, visited the Computational Epidemiology Research Lab on Monday, February 3rd. Dr. Armin R. Mikler, Director of CERL, was Dr. Corley’s major professor. From left to right in the picture is Saratchandra Indrakanti, Angel Bravo-Salgado, Court Corley, Dr. Armin Mikler, Jorge Reyes-Silveyra, and Yiheng Liang.

Dr. Corley is now a Senior Research Scientist at Pacific Northwest Laboratory in Richland, WA.

Dr. Bryant visits alumni in Georgia

Dr. Bryant is with Brenda Longoria, ’83 BBA Business Computer and Information Systems and her husband Joseph Longoria, ’85 BS Computer Science. They hosted a dozen alumni and friends at their home in Milton, GA.

You are invited to be a "Professor for a Day"

Greg Thurman, BS ’98, was a "Professor for a Day" in February 2013. More pictures at this media gallery page.

The Department of Computer Science and Engineering will celebrate Engineers Week February 16-22, 2014. CSE Alumni are invited to come back to UNT to be a "Professor for a Day." All you need is a desire to share your knowledge and experience with our current CSE students.

We welcome the opportunity to have you talk about your career experiences in Computer Science or Computer Engineering fields. If you can’t come during Engineers Week, you are invited to come when it is convenient for you. Check out the Spring 2014 schedule and contact Genene Murphy if you would like to be a "Professor for a Day" in our CSE Department.

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 Fall 2013!

PhD Graduates in Fall 2013

Eric Ayeh

Dissertation: "Statistical Strategies for Efficient Signal Detection and Parameter Estimation in Wireless Sensor Networks"

Major Professor: Bill Buckles

Iris Nelly Gomez-Lopez

Dissertation: "Simulating the Spread of Infectious Diseases in Heterogeneous Populations with Diverse Interactions Characteristics"

Major Professor: Armin R. Mikler

CSE Students defend Dissertations

Congratulations to these PhD students for successfully defending their dissertations!

Mohamed Abouelenien

Dissertation: "Boosting for Learning from Imbalanced, Multiclass Data Sets"

Major Professor: Dr. Xiaohui Yuan

Defense Date: October 14, 2013

Jedsada Chartree

Dissertation: "Monitoring Dengue Outbreaks Using Online Data"

Major Professor: Dr. Armin R. Mikler

Defense Date: December 4, 2013

Qiang Guan

Dissertation: "Autonomic Failure Identification and Diagnosis for Building Dependable Cloud Computing Systems"

Major Professor: Dr. Song Fu

Defense Date: January 17, 2014

CSE Student awarded $10,000 scholarship

Congratulations to Joshua Urbanovsky, a UNT student in the College of Engineering and the College of Business, on winning a $10,000 scholarship for being one of state’s top business students at the Texas Business Hall of Fame 31st Annual Induction Dinner in November in San Antonio.

Urbanovsky is pursuing his undergraduate degree in computer science and business administration. He plans to graduate in Spring 2014 and use his scholarship to help pay for his doctoral degree in computer science at UNT. More information about this award in this UNT press release

IT Capstone Students mining the Litecoin Crypto-currency

Students in Dr. Ryan Garlick’s IT Capstone course are building several machines to mine the Litecoin crypto-currency. Litecoin differs from Bitcoin in that Litecoin is mined through using powerful video cards to create new coins. Since solving the problem requires significant computational power, the problem is distributed across the Internet, with our machines solving part of the problem and sharing in the rewards.

These coins are shared in a pool with the students, and can then be spent or converted into other currencies. The current US dollar price for Litecoin is around $17. Students are tasked with cooling the machines, configuring the hardware and software, and tweaking performance for maximum output. Others are involved in testing, reporting on performance, and documenting the project online and in reports. Students are learning about how crypto-currencies work, the economics involved, and maintaining the security of digital wallets

Graduate Exhibition on March 1

Get ready for the Graduate Exhibition on Saturday, March 1, 2014! The Graduate Exhibition celebrates research in all its aspects as an essential and exciting part of graduate education at the University of North Texas. The Graduate Exhibition places special emphasis on communicating research and creative endeavor to a general audience and offers an unusual opportunity for professional development by challenging graduate students to present their work in clear, comprehensible terms to people outside their fields.

The Graduate Exhibition is also an opportunity for graduate students to see themselves as part of the larger University community, to share their creativity, and to appreciate the breadth of quality research being done at the University of North Texas.

The Graduate Exhibition includes music performances, visual arts and digital display, and poster exhibits by students about their research and scholarship. All events are free and open to the public.

College of Engineering News

National Engineers Week and Career Fair

The Council of Engineering Organizations and the Center for Student Affairs are hosting the annual celebration for National Engineers Week February 16-22 to promote and educate others about the field of engineering as a profession. Please check the schedule at the Council of Engineering Organizations website for all the plans for Engineering Week.

On Thursday, February 20, the Career Center is hosting an Engineering Career and Internship Fair in the hallway of Discovery Park. This is a great opportunity for upper class students to find a job and the rest of the students to learn about employer recruiting activities and the interview process.

College of Engineering receives approval for Biomedical Engineering Program

The College of Engineering is pleased to announce that the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board has approved the creation of a sixth department in the College for Biomedical Engineering. The new department will offer bachelor’s and master’s degrees, and focus areas will include biomedical instrumentation, bio mechanics and bioinformatics. The College of Engineering will begin to accept freshman for the Fall 2014 semester. For more information, see this UNT press release.

University of North Texas News

Neal Smatresk begins tenure as UNT’s 16th president

On Monday, February 3, 2014, Neal Smatresk began his tenure as the 16th president of the University of North Texas. UNT marks his second university presidency. As UNT president, Smatresk will lead the university to strengthen its research, scholarship and artistic endeavors while continuing to expand the quality of its student body and faculty. He plans to hold meetings with all major academic and administrative units to get to know the campus community and better understand UNT’s challenges and opportunities.

Please read his letter to UNT alumni HERE in the North Texan. More media coverage about our new president is HERE.

Emerald Eagle Honors on March 5

The UNT Foundation will host the second annual Emerald Eagle Honors: Recognizing a Lifetime of Contributions to the American Landscape on March 5, 2014 at the Morton H. Meyerson Symphony Center in Dallas. This Kennedy Center Honors-type stage production allows the University to annually celebrate three UNT alumni who have profoundly impacted our culture and society. Honorees for this year include actor and Academy Award nominee Peter Weller; actress, former sportscaster and 1971 Miss America Phyllis George; and Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist and Academy Award-winning screenwriter Larry McMurtry.

The show will also spotlight the wonderful stories of the evening’s beneficiary, UNT’s award-winning Emerald Eagle Scholars program. The Emerald Eagle Scholars program helps high-achieving but financially challenged students pursue their college dreams. The program provides students with financial and academic support and campus connections to help them succeed in college and earn their degrees. It has allowed nearly 3,500 students — most of whom are first-generation college students — to attend UNT. Approximately 120 Emerald Eagle seniors will be recognized during the proceedings and will be seated behind the stage in the Meyerson’s choral terrace.

Tickets and sponsorships are being sold through an event committee comprised of UNT alumni and civic leaders dedicated to the cause of the Emerald Eagle Scholars program. All proceeds go to this worthy cause. For ticket purchases or more information about the Emerald Eagle Honors, contact Molly Morgan or go to this UNT website.

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

Alumni gifts to the department make it possible to provide students with scholarships and travel to competitions and conferences. To give to CSE, please visit and select "Computer Science and Engineering" as the designation for your gift. UNT Computer Science and Engineering Department — February 2014