University of North Texas
CSE Alumni Email Newsletter

July 2015  

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 end of our Spring 2015 semester, I want to share some news from our CSE Department.

We have hired a new faculty member this year with an active NSF Career Award. According to the NSF website, the Career Award is one of the "most prestigious awards in support of junior faculty who exemplify the role of teacher-scholars through outstanding research, excellent education and the integration of education and research." Dr. Hyunsook Do will join us in Fall 2015. You may read more about her below.

We are proud to announce that Dr. Renee Bryce has received the Undergraduate Research Mentoring Award from the National Center for Women & Information Technology. Dr. Bryce has been very involved with our undergraduates, including undergraduate women, to achieve student accomplishment and professional success. Dr. Bryce and her students regularly attend the Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing, which we have been a Bronze Sponsor of the past two years. This year the Grace Hopper Conference will be held in October 2015 in Houston. We are again a Bronze Sponsor and want to have a major presence at this conference in our home state. We need your help to accomplish this goal. If you or your company can contribute to help our women students attend, please contact me as soon as possible in order for us to make plans now.

Please read all the news below about our undergraduate students presenting their projects at CSE Design Day; Robocamp is in full swing; and our Workshop on Hot Topics in Networking and Security. In Alumni News, Michelle Biggs is featured in our Alumni Focus below. Read about the work being done in the research labs here in our Department of Computer Science and Engineering. I was pleased to see CSE PhD graduate Tommy Janjusic when he visited us a few weeks ago. You are welcome to come back to UNT to visit us too!

Have a great summer! Please contact me to support our students at the Grace Hopper Conference!

Barrett Bryant
Professor and Chair

Department of Computer Science and
Engineering News

New faculty to join in Fall 2015

Dr. Hyunsook Do joins the CSE faculty as an Associate Professor this Fall. She received her Ph.D. in Computer Science from University of Nebraska-Lincoln in 2007. Dr. Do is an Associate Professor at North Dakota State University. She was previously employed as a senior research staff in Electronics and Telecommunication Research Institute (ETRI), South Korea. She was also a visiting professor at Ewha Women’s University in South Korea.

Her research interests lie in software engineering, particularly software testing, maintenance, and empirical methodologies. She has been working on problems on evolution-aware testing techniques including test case prioritization, test selection, test case generation, requirements-based regression testing, and regression testing using data mining approaches.

She received a National Science Foundation CAREER Award in 2012 for her research on software maintenance and testing.

We welcome Dr. Do to our CSE Department!

Dr. Renee Bryce receives NCWIT Undergraduate Research Mentoring Award

Left to right: Renee Bryce, Margaret Burnett, Mayim Bialik, Colleen Lewis, and Patricia Morreale (accepting award for Lorie Loeb). Dr. Mayim Bialik is an actress and activist that supports STEM. She plays Dr. Amy Farrah Fawler on CBS’s The Big Bang Theory.

CSE Associate Professor Dr. Renee Bryce received the Undergraduate Research Mentoring Award from the National Center for Women & Information Technology (NCWIT) in May 2015. This award is presented to faculty members who conduct research with undergraduate students which embody the objectives of NCWIT: individual or team research experiences, including undergraduate women, leading to student accomplishment and professional success.

Dr. Bryce encourages students to develop research skills and enthusiasm to pursue graduate school. Bryce co-chaired the poster session for the Grace Hopper Conference in which there were over 150 posters. Thirteen of her students have been funded CRA-W CREU grants, including the USU Best Honors Thesis Award. In addition, 97% of the undergraduates she has mentored have earned a CS degree, and 37% have gone onto graduate school. Of her undergraduate protégés, 62% are female and 27% are members of underrepresented groups.

Congratulations to Dr. Bryce on receiving this award!

Shijun Tang receives 2015 Toulouse Dissertation Award

CSE PhD graduate Shijun Tang has received the Toulouse Dissertation Award in Physical Sciences, Mathematics and Engineering category. Dr. Tang presented his dissertation "Investigation on Segmentation, Recognition and 3D Reconstruction of Objects Based on LiDAR Data or MRI" in Fall 2014 and received his PhD at the Spring 2015 UNT Commencement. Dr. Bill Buckles was his Major Professor.

The Toulouse Dissertation Award is presented annually in four categories of competition and recognizes individuals who have completed dissertations representing original work that makes an unusually significant contribution to a discipline. Read more about the Toulouse Dissertation Award here. Congratulations to Dr. Tang!

CSE Students present projects on Design Day

Team Firecode (L-R) Peter Awori, Tyler Watson, Landry Nda, Ruby Lo, Jordan Salinas

The UNT College of Engineering hosted Design Day on April 24, 2015. Five teams of Computer Engineering students and four teams of Information Technology students presented their projects. The Computer Engineering students presented as part of CSCE 4915, Computer Engineering Design II. The Information Technology students presented as part of CSCE 4925, Information Technology Capstone II.

In the morning, the teams participated in a poster presentation in the hallway in front of the Department of Computer Science and Engineering. Advisory Council members, people from industry, CSE faculty, students and even high school students viewed the poster presentations. Following the poster presentations, the teams made presentations about their design projects. See more pictures and learn more about these presentations at this Media Gallery page.

Robocamp has first M.S. Graduate

Lisa Reynolds, on the right, was a student at Robocamp in 2007 and 2008. She received one of the Robocamp scholarships. After her experience at Robocamp, she enrolled in our CSE program and received her BS in Computer Science in 2013. During her time at UNT, Lisa worked as a Camp Counselor at Robocamp and continued in our graduate program. On June 23, 2015, she defended her thesis "An Empirical Study of Software Debugging Games with Introductory Students." We are proud that she started in Robocamp and finished with her M.S. degree in Computer Science! Congratulations Lisa!

The UNT Department of Computer Science and Engineering is hosting summer programs to introduce young men and women entering the 7th thru 12th grades to Robotics, Game Development, Mobile Apps, and Computer Science and Engineering. Registration is now open at Depending on the camp they choose, students will experience modules on Mobile App Development and either Robotics or Video Game Development as part of this program. Each camp is Monday through Friday from 9 am – 4 pm and will cover two disciplines. Discovery Park camps will be June 15-19 and July 6-10. The Ericsson camp in Plano is June 15-19 and the Collin College camp in Frisco is July 6-10. These are App/Robo and App/Game respectively.

UNT Center for Information and Computer Security hosts Workshop on Hot Topics in Networking and Security (HoNeST)

Program Chair Dr. Ram Dantu welcomed everyone to the workshop.

On March 27, the UNT Center for Information and Computer Security hosted a Workshop on Hot Topics in Networking and Security (HoNeST) at Ericsson, Inc. in Plano, TX. Several experts in the field of cybersecurity talked to an audience of more than 220 people. Seventy percent of the audience was from industry, which included managers, directors, and software developers. More than 50 companies were represented at the event. Other attendees included faculty from community colleges (more than 10 represented), faculty from universities and students.

UNT CSE Chair Dr. Barrett Bryant introduced the morning Keynote Speaker Jeremy Epstein, Program Director at the National Science Foundation, who spoke on "Voting Security and Risk Management." During lunch, UNT Graduate Students shared their research with attendees with their poster presentations. Following lunch, Dr. Dantu introduced the afternoon Keynote Speaker Dr. Henning Schulzrinne, Professor at Columbia University and Chief Technical Officer at the FCC. Dr. Schulzrinne’s speech was "Insanity Is—Or How Can We Finally Make Progress on Securing our Computing Infrastructure?"

CSE Professor Dr. Dantu is the Director of the Center for Information and Computer Security and the UNT Network Security Lab. He was the Conference and Program Chair. CSE Principal Lecturer David Keathly was the Proceedings and Publicity Chair. Both Dr. Dantu and Mr. Keathly were on the Steering Committee, along with CSE Lecturer Dr. Mark Thompson. This event was sponsored by the UNT Department of Computer Science and Engineering; the National Convergence Technology Center, an NSF National Center hosted at Collin College; Ericsson; and Master Computing in Denton. A media gallery page with pictures of the conference is here.

NCSS I/UCRC Spring 2015 meeting

CSE Doctoral Students at the meeting. (L-R): Patrick Kamongi, Srujan Kotikela, Mahzabeen Islam and Marko Scrbak

The semi-annual Industrial Advisory Board meeting of the NSF Net-Centric Industry/University Cooperative Research Center (NCSS I/UCRC) was held at the Great Wolf Lodge in Grapevine, Texas, April 8, 2015, Dr. Krishna Kavi is the director of the center, which includes the University of North Texas, University of Texas at Dallas, Southern Methodist University, Arizona State University and Missouri University of Science and Technology.

There were over 50 attendees including current IAB members, potential industrial members, students, faculty and a National Science Foundation (NSF) evaluator. There were a dozen formal presentations, with more than 20 poster presentations included in the program. Photos from the event can be found on our CSE Facebook page. In addition to Dr. Kavi, post-doctoral researcher Dr. Chen-Yu Lee and CSE doctoral students Mahzabeen Islam, Patrick Kamongi, Srujan Kotikela, and Marko Scrbak attended the meeting.

Dr. Bryant and CSE Students attend Diversity in Computing Conference

(L-R) Quentin Mayo, PhD student; Daniel Akintitan, undergraduate student; Taylor Terry, GradTrack student; Viivi Raina, undergraduate student; and Dr. Barrett Bryant.

Dr. Barrett Bryant, Chair of the Department of Computer Science and Engineering, and four CSE Students attended the ACM Richard Tapia Celebration of Diversity in Computing held February 18-21, 2015 in Boston, MA. The CSE Department was a bronze sponsor of the conference. Students received travel awards to attend from the CSE Department, CSE Advisory Board member and CSE Graduate Kathy Foster and her company Texas Instruments, and Nokia.

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 was "Diversity at Scale" as the Tapia Conference celebrates efforts to move diversity in all aspects of computing beyond conversation and study into full practice and implementation. As a community, Tapia recognizes that we must scale our diversity efforts to fully utilize computing to address the larger problems faced by today’s society.

Computational Epidemiology Research Laboratory News

Members of the UNT Computational Epidemiology Research Lab (CeCERA) were selected to hold a 90 Minute Interactive Demo entitled "It’s Finally Here: Easy-to-Use, Data-Driven Methods for Response Planning" at the 10th Annual Preparedness Summit, April 14-17, 2015, in Atlanta, GA. Dr. Armin R. Mikler (CSE Professor and CeCERA Director), Terry LaFon (Community Preparedness Manager, Texas Department of State Health Services); and Dr. Martin O’Neill (CeCERA Research Analyst), conducted the 90-minute session with the assistance of Joshua Urbanovsky (CSE Ph.D. Student) and Saratchandra Indrakanti (CSE Doctoral Candidate); and Dr. Chetan Tiwari (UNT Department of Geography Assistant Professor).

Until now, the lack of geographic information system (GIS) or computer programming expertise among preparedness planners has served as a barrier to data-driven response planning. In this session, participants learned how to bridge this gap using NIH-funded RE-PLAN software (developed by CeCERA researchers). Participants were introduced to the software and guided through the construction and analysis of their own response plans. No special technical expertise was required to participate in these exercises.

News from Computer Systems Research Laboratory

Douro River passing through Porto, Portugal. Port wine has its roots in Porto and grapes for Port
come from Douro river valley.

Krishna Kavi traveled to Porto, Portugal to present the following paper at the 28th International Conference on Architecture of Computer Systems (ARCS-2015), held on March 24-27, 2015: "Processing-in-Memory: Exploring the design Space" by Marko Scrbak, Mahzabeen Islam, Krishna Kavi, Mike Ignatowski, Nuwan Jayasena. The paper was the result of research supported by AMD and the Net-centric and Cloud Software and Systems Industry/University Cooperative Research Center.

Charles Shelor, a PhD student working with Dr. Kavi traveled to Honolulu, HI to present the following paper at the 30th International Conference on Computers and Their Applications (CATA-2015), held on March 9-11, 2015:"Moola: Multicore Cache Simulator" by Charles Shelor and Krishna Kavi.

Chen Yu Lee, a post-doctoral researcher working with Dr. Kavi traveled to Daytona Beach, FL to present the following paper at the 16th International Symposium on High Assurance Systems Engineering (HASE-2015), held on January 8-10, 2015: "Ontology of secure service level agreement", by Chen-Yu Lee, K.M. Kavi, R.A. Paul and M. Gomathisankaran.

Patrick Kamongi, a PhD student working with Dr. Kavi traveled to Boston, MA to present the following paper at the 6th ASE International Conference on Privacy, Security, Risk and Trust (PASSAT-2014) held on December 13-16, 2014: "Nemesis: Automated architecture for threat modeling and risk assessment for cloud computing" by P. Kamongi, M. Gomathisankaran, K. Kavi. Patrick also received the Outstanding Doctoral Student in Computer Science and Engineering recognition.

Dr. Kavi is looking for PhD and MS students to work on his research projects. Only students with strong programming, systems and architecture background should contact him.

Laboratory for Recreational Computing News

Joshua Taylor and Ian Parberry

Laboratory of Recreational Computing (LARC) member Joshua Taylor completed the requirements for the PhD in Computer Science and Engineering by successfully defending his dissertation "The Procedural Generation of Interesting Sokoban Levels" on March 23, 2015. Dr. Taylor’s dissertation committee was chaired by Dr. Ian Parberry and the other members of his committee were Dr. Robert Akl, Dr. Armin Mikler and Dr. Robert Renka.

Modeling Real-World Terrain with Exponentially Distributed Noise by Ian Parberry has been accepted for publication in Journal of Computer Graphics Techniques in March 2015.

"Modality Specific Assessment of Video Game Player’s Experience Using the Emotiv" by Timothy McMahan, Thomas De. Parsons, and Ian Parberry has appeared in Entertainment Computing, Vol. 7. Pp. 1-6, March 2015. This marks PhD student Timothy McMahan’s first refereed journal publication, and LARC Director Ian Parberry’s first collaboration with Dr. Parsons, who is a member of UNT’s Department of Psychology. A preliminary version of this paper was published as LARC Technical Report LARC-2014-03 in 2014.

LARC Technical Report LARC-2015-04 is "Neurogaming-based Classification of Player Experience Using Consumer-Grade Electroencephalography", by Thomas D. Parsons, Timothy McMahan and Ian Parberry. LARC Technical Reports are preliminary versions of papers to be submitted or in review in refereed journals, conferences, and workshops. They are published online for fast dissemination and citation.

"Evaluating Electroencephalography Engagement Indices During Video Game Play" by Timothy McMahan, Ian Parberry and Thomas D. Parson has been accepted to appear in FDG 2015, the Foundations of Digital Games Conference Pacific Grove, CA, June 22-25, 2015.

"Comparing Player Attention on Procedurally Generated vs. Hand Crafted Sokoban Levels with an Auditory Stroop Test" by Joshua Taylor, Thomas D. Parsons and Ian Parberry has been accepted to appear in FDG 2015, the Foundations of Digital Games Conference, Pacific Grove, CA, June 22-25, 2015.

Evaluating Player Task Engagement and Arousal using Electroencephalography by Timothy McMahan, Ian Parberry and Thomas D. Parsons has been accepted by the 3rd International Conference on Affective and Pleasurable Design (affiliated with the 6th International Conference on Applied Human Factors and Ergonomics), Las Vegas, NV, July 26-30, 2015.

News from Software Engineering Language Laboratory

Barrett Bryant at the main gate of the University of Salamanca, Spain.

Barrett Bryant attended the 30th ACM Symposium on Applied Computing (SAC 2015) at the University of Salamanca, Spain. The university was founded in 1134 and is the fourth oldest university in Europe. Dr. Bryant is a member of the SAC Steering Committee and Co-Chair of the Programming Languages Track at SAC.

Prof. Mohanty publishes a Major Textbook with McGraw-Hill and initiates a New Letter for IEEE-CS

Professor Saraju Mohanty has published a comprehensive textbook on Nanoelectronic Nanoelectronic Mixed-Signal System Design was published by McGraw-Hill under the ISBN: 978-0071825719 and 0071825711 in 2015. This is 800-page text with 700 illustrations comprehensively covers all aspects of Nanoelectronic VLSI Circuits and Systems.

The book discusses mixed-signal circuit and system design based on both existing nanoscale CMOS and emerging nanoelectronic technologies. The book presents the important issues, challenges, and solutions for digital, analog, and mixed-signal designs which have significant usage in daily applications like smart mobile phones. The key techniques which are required for design for excellence, power, variability, and manufacturability are discussed in this practice-driven text. It discusses design flow as well as simulation methods needed for Nanoelectronic VLSI Circuits and Systems.

The book is adopted by CSCE 4730/5470 as well as CSCE 6731 courses in the Department of Computer Science and Engineering at the UNT College of Engineering. The book will provide nanoelectronic system learning opportunities for hundreds of students at the College of Engineering at UNT. Professor Mohanty has plans to make companion lecture slides available after approval from publisher in the future. Based on the feedback Professor Mohanty has received from various conferences that he has attended, the book will be widely adopted at other universities in the USA, Europe and India.

Professor Mohanty has initiated a new letter for the Technical Committee on Very Large Scale Integration (TCVLSI), IEEE Computer Society (IEEE-CS). The letter called "VLSI Circuits and Systems Letter" is meant for fast dissemination of finding new research, presenting opinions of leading researchers, publicizing various conferences, and engaging in education and outreach. The inaugural issues are available HERE. Professor Mohanty who chairs TCVLSI invites students and faculty to join TCVLSI. There is no fee to join. Click HERE to join TCVLSI.

In other news from NanoSystem Design Laboratory (NSDL), PhD student Umar Albalawi has cleared the qualifier examination and now becomes a PhD candidate. PhD student Shital Joshi is in the process of taking his qualifier examination. PhD student V. Prasanth Yanambaka traveled Santa Clara, CA to present the following paper: S. P. Mohanty, E. Kougianos, and V. P. Yanambaka, "Ultra-Fast Process-Aware Design Optimization of PLL using Bootstrapped Kriging and PSO", in Proceedings of the 16th International Symposium on Quality Electronic Design, pp. 239–242, 2015.

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CSE Alumni News

Alumni Focus - Michelle Biggs (B.S. 1992)

When my Junior High offered its first computer math class, I signed up right away and began learning how to program in Basic. I was immediately hooked and knew right then that I wanted to study Computer Science in college. When UNT offered me a scholarship after high school, I jumped at the chance to study at one of the best Computer Science programs in the area!

During my first year at UNT, one of my Computer Science instructors mentioned the Cooperative Education Program that UNT offered in conjunction with many businesses in the area. As part of the Co-op program, I was hired by IBM as a Functional Tester to validate code prior to deploy, and spent a couple of years alternating semesters between working at IBM and attending classes at UNT. As I progressed with my studies at UNT and became more proficient at designing and developing code, I let my IBM manager know that I was looking for opportunities to use the skills I was learning at UNT as a Software Engineer, and soon found myself programming in APL (a powerful mainframe interpreted programming language that used special symbols [which required a special keyboard] to represent the operators).

Although my studies at UNT used languages ranging from Pascal to Java, I was well-prepared with an understanding of the skills necessary as a software developer to program in any language I was presented with. Although I had hoped to use the (at the time) "cutting edge" languages I was learning at UNT in the business environment, all of the skill I had gained at UNT allowed me to quickly excel at the entirely different language that was APL.

I was hired as a full-time regular employee at IBM a couple of semesters prior to graduating from UNT, with the understanding that I would complete my degree. I graduated from UNT in December 1992 and spent almost 25 years at IBM in various roles ... developer, release manager, project manager, project financial analyst. I traveled around the world both physically and electronically during my years at IBM, and worked with a wonderful team of people in many locations on the globe, many with whom I still keep in contact.

As my career with IBM came to an end, I decided to make a major career shift and became an entrepreneur in a completely different field ... fashion!! I am now the owner of Mainstream Boutique in Frisco, TX and still rely on technology to run my business efficiently. (See what we’re all about here.)

Although I’ve moved in a completely different direction than I expected at the beginning of my career, my time at UNT prepared me with the necessary skills and presented me with opportunities I don’t believe I would have otherwise had. And I still keep my UNT family close after all these years as I continue my friendship with my favorite Computer Science lecturer and his wife, who was also an IBM co-worker!

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

Alumni Help needed to send students to Grace Hopper

CSE Faculty and Students at Grace Hopper in October 2014: Back row (L-R): Fahmida Hamid, Yuan Li, Andrea Godea, Cornelia Caragea, Danielle Gaither, Lisa Reynolds. Front row: Stephanie Shu, Renee Bryce.

In October 2015, the Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing will be held at the George R. Brown Convention Center in Houston. This conference is the largest gathering of women technologists and it is produced by the Anita Borg Institute and presented in partnership with the ACM. Since it is in Texas and we will not have to pay for airfare this year, we want to send 20 women and 4 faculty members to this conference. Although we do not have airfare, we still have to pay for registration, hotel and transportation to Houston. A gift of $800 will send one student to the conference, with car pooling for the travel and sharing hotel rooms, so we hope to raise $16,000. Can you or your company help us send our students? If so, please contact me at Thanks for your consideration and we hope you will support our efforts to have a major presence at Grace Hopper in 2015!

CSE PhD graduate Tommy Janjusic visits UNT

Tommy Janjusic received his PhD in Summer 2013 and came back to visit on June 9. He is pictured here with Dr. Krishna Kavi, his major professor at UNT. Tommy is now a Postdoctoral Research Associate Associate at Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Oak Ridge, Tennessee. We were glad to have Tommy visit our department!

Student News

Congratulations to CSE graduates

Congratulations to all of our Department of Computer Science and Engineering graduates in Spring 2015!

PhD Graduates in Spring 2015

Bayaner Arigong

Dissertation: Space and Spectrum Engineered High Frequency Components and Circuits

Major Professor: Song Fu
Co-Major Professors: Hualiang Zhang and Hyoung Soo Kim

Ian Brooks

Dissertation: SEM Predicting Success of Student Global Software Development Teams

Major Professor: Kathleen Swigger

Guangchun Cheng

Dissertation: Video Analytics with Spatio-Temporal Characteristics of Activities

Major Professor: Bill Buckles

Jason Powell

Dissertation: Predictive Modeling for Persuasive Ambient Technology

Major Professor: Kathleen Swigger

Wasana Santiteerakul

Dissertation: Trajectory Analytics

Major Professor: Bill Buckles

Shijun Tang

Dissertation: Investigation on Segmentation, Recognition and 3D Reconstruction of Objects Based on LiDAR Data or MRI

Major Professor: Bill Buckles

Joshua Ray Taylor

Dissertation: The Procedural Generation of Interesting Sokoban Levels

Major Professor: Ian Parberry

Yiwen Wan

Dissertation: Trajectories as a Unifying Cross Domain Feature for Surveillance Systems

Major Professor: Bill Buckles

To see all of our PhD graduates from past years, please see this PhD page.

Outstanding CSE Students recognized

CSE faculty members selected the following outstanding students in the Department of Computer Science and Engineering who were recognized at the UNT Honors Day on April 10, 2015.

Outstanding Doctoral Student in Computer Science and Engineering — Patrick Kamongi

Patrick Kamongi received his BS in Computer Science, with minors in Mathematics and Information Assurance from University of Arkansas at Little Rock in 2012. He joined UNT as a Computer Science and Engineering PhD student in Fall 2012 under the supervision of Dr. Krishna Kavi and Dr. Mahadevan Gomathisankaran. His research interests are in Cyber Security, Cryptography, and Information Assurance with a focus on leveraging the power of Big Data and Cloud Computing. His PhD research is on Vulnerability Analysis and Assessment for Cloud Computing.

Patrick is currently a Research Assistant within the Computer Systems Research Laboratory (UNT), and had served as a Lab and Teaching Assistant for Introduction to C programming course. He has recently served as a graduate student mentor to two undergraduate students (Summer 2014).

Patrick has been awarded various travel grants in support of his research work contribution presentations and learning experiences. He presented his recent research publication on "Nemesis: Automated Architecture for Threat Modeling and Risk Assessment for Cloud Computing" at Harvard University during the sixth ASE International Conference on Privacy, Security, Risk and Trust (PASSAT) 2014. He had attended the 10th LASER Summer School on Software Engineering in Elba — Italy in 2013, where he learned more on Software for the Cloud and Big Data.

His other extra curricula activities are his memberships in the ACM UNT chapter and Club for Cyber Security & Intelligence. He also participates regularly in cyber security competitions such as Collegiate Cyber Defense Competition (CCDC) and National Cyber League (NCL).

Outstanding Master’s Student in Computer Engineering — Ajith Loka

Ajith received his Bachelors in Electronics and Communication Engineering from JNTU, Hyderabad in 2011. He worked for two years as Software Engineer for HCL Technologies in New Delhi, India. He received the ’Problem Solver’ award from an HCSC client.

Ajith is interested in pursuing his career in Systems Engineering and Systems Architecture. He joined UNT in Spring 2014 and started his graduate program in Computer Engineering. His area of interest is Real Time Systems. He enjoys programming and scheduling processes in Real Time Operating Systems. His other interest include Design Patterns and Database Design.

Ajith would like to thank his major professor Dr. Song Fu for his guidance and his parents and his brother for their support and love.

Outstanding Master’s Student in Computer Science — Deepankar Mohapatra

Deepankar graduated first class with distinction and received his Bachelor of Engineering degree in 2010 from Maharashtra Academy of Engineering in Pune, India. Before coming to Texas, he worked as a Senior Software Developer for Compumatrice Multimedia Pvt Ltd in Pune.

Deepankar began his education at UNT in August 2013. He worked as a Research Assistant for the UNT Net-Centric Laboratory. Now he is a Teaching Assistant in the CSE Department and a member in the Computer Vision Laboratory. He is currently working on shadow removal from videos as his thesis problem under Dr. Xiaohui Yuan.

Deepankar will graduate in Summer 2015.

Outstanding Teaching Fellow in Computer Science and Engineering — David Adamo, Jr.

David Adamo Jr. received his Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science from Babcock University, Nigeria in 2010. He started his Computer Science PhD program at UNT in Fall 2012 under the supervision of Dr. Barrett Bryant and received a pass-through MS in Computer Science in 2014. His specific interests include automated software testing, requirements engineering and model-driven software engineering.

David received the Graduate Assistant Tuition Scholarship for the year 2012. He was also awarded the College of Engineering Annual Scholarship in 2014 and served as a student volunteer at the 2013 International Conference on Software Engineering (ICSE).

Outside of teaching and research, David spends a lot of his time converting simple ideas into usable web and mobile applications. He also enjoys reading biographies and books about human psychology.

Outstanding Teaching Assistant in Computer Science and Engineering — Longbo Kong

Longbo Kong began his Doctoral study in Spring 2014 with his research field in image processing. He is working on his first project which is real-time human pose tracking and detection. Before his Doctoral study, he studied game programming and obtained his Master’s degree at UNT.

Spring 2015 was his first semester to work as a Teaching Assistant. Previously, he worked as a grader for game programming courses. He also worked as an intern twice for NVIDIA.

Longbo would like to thank his professor, Dr. Yuan for helping him in his work and research. He plans to pursue a PhD degree in Computer Science under the supervision of Dr. Yuan.

Outstanding Undergraduate Student in Computer Engineering — Kevin James

Kevin James expects to graduate in May 2015 with a Bachelor’s of Science in Computer Engineering with a minor in Mathematics. Since Summer 2014, he has been working as a research assistant in the Human Intelligence and Language Technologies (HiLT) Lab at Discovery Park where he picked up on natural language processing and machine learning concepts.

During the Fall semester, he worked in a Directed Study with Dr. Saraju Mohanty. Additionally, Kevin also has been working on his Senior Capstone project: an autonomous vehicle to serve as an indoor taxi service for visitors of Discovery Park.

Outstanding Undergraduate Student in Computer Science — Logan Widick

Logan Widick is an undergraduate research assistant in the Network Security Laboratory (NSL) at the University of North Texas. At the NSL, Logan has designed, developed, and tested vital sign monitoring applications for Android smartphones. He participated in a webcast at the National Science Foundation and presented the vital sign monitoring applications, and helped conduct field trials of these applications in Boston, MA. Logan plans to begin his PhD in Computer Science and Engineering at UNT in the Fall after completing his BS in Computer Science this summer.

Outstanding Undergraduate Student in Information Technology — Garren Wilson

Garren Wilson is currently a senior level student pursuing a Bachelor of Arts in Information Technology. He attained his Associate’s Degree of Arts from Tarrant County College in 2012. In the Spring of 2014, he joined the Teach North Texas program which aims to prepare highly qualified STEM teachers for grades 7 through 12. He currently is the first IT major in the history of UNT to pursue and add a minor in Math & Science Secondary Teaching. After graduation, he plans to begin teaching High School Computer Science in the Fall.

Garren would like to thank Dr. Philip H. Sweany and UNT faculty for creating the opportunity for him to make a difference in future students. He started out at UNT as a Computer Science major with interest in software engineering but switched to IT when Dr. Sweany introduced TNT to pursue a career in education. When he’s not doing projects and homework, Garren enjoys watching TV shows, online gaming, and playing board games with friends.

Outstanding Computer Science and Engineering Sophomore Student Award — Kathryn Malone-Miller

Katie Malone-Miller received her first B.A in History with a minor in Jewish Studies before returning to pursue her B.S in Computer Science. She is the president of the UNT ACM-W chapter, has conducted Android mobile application software testing research, is a multiple semester STARS recipient, and will be traveling to New York this summer to improve implicit association tests and to collect data related to educators’ impressions of the field of Computer Science. In her free time, she enjoys studying Buddhist and Jewish texts.

Outstanding Computer Science and Engineering Freshman Student Award — Tanner Van De Walle

Tanner Van De Walle is pursuing a Bachelor’s of Science in Computer Science. Since coming to UNT, he has joined Dr. Nielsen’s HiLT lab and is working on the SEEDING project while also working on some software projects of his own. His most recent project has been working with some friends to develop, an online repository for "homebrewed content" for tabletop games. Some of his other interests include reading, being outdoors, church, playing dungeons and dragons, spending time with friends and learning new things.

After completing his undergraduate degree, Tanner intends to continue his education at graduate school and focus on machine learning. He hopes to eventually teach at the university level while doing research of his own.

CSE Faculty recognized by Outstanding Students

On Honors Day, the following CSE faculty members were recognized by the Outstanding Students as a positive influence in their college career:

Dr. Barrett Bryant
Dr. Renee Brice
Dr. Ram Dantu
Dr. Song Fu
Dr. Krishna Kavi
Dr. Armin Mikler
Dr. Rodney Nielsen
Dr. Xiaohui Yuan

CSE Students defend Dissertations and Theses

Congratulations to these PhD students for successfully defending their dissertations!

Ian Brooks

Dissertation: SEM Predicting Success of Student Global Software Development Teams

Major Professor: Dr. Kathleen Swigger

Defense Date: March 17, 2015

Joshua Taylor

Dissertation: The Procedural Generation of Interesting Sokoban Levels

Major Professor: Dr. Ian Parberry

Defense Date: March 23, 2015

Guangchun Cheng

Dissertation: Video Analytics with Spatio-temporal Characteristics of Activities

Major Professor: Dr. Bill Buckles

Defense Date: March 24, 2015

Bayaner Arigong

Dissertation: Space and Spectrum Engineering High Frequency Components and Circuits

Major Professor: Dr. Song Fu

Defense Date: March 26, 2015

Ziming Zhang

Dissertation: Adaptive Power Management for Autonomic Resource Configuration in Large-Scale Computer Systems

Major Professor: Dr. Song Fu

Defense Date: April 22, 2015

Jin Shao

Dissertation: Design of Advanced High Efficiency Power Amplifiers

Major Professor: Dr. Song Fu

Defense Date: April 28, 2015

Jason Powell

Dissertation: Predictive Modeling for Persuasive Ambient Technology

Major Professor: Dr. Kathleen Swigger

Defense Date: May 4, 2015

Saratchandra Indrakanti

Dissertation: Computational Methods for Vulnerability Analysis and Resource Allocation in Public Health Emergencies

Major Professor: Dr. Armin R. Mikler

Defense Date: June 4, 2015

Yiheng Liang

Dissertation: Computational Methods of Discovering and Analyzing Causal Relationships in Health Data

Major Professor: Dr. Armin R. Mikler

Defense Date: June 25, 2015

Congratulations to these MS students for successfully defending their theses!

Bandita Sarma

Thesis: Towards Resistance Detection in Health Behavior Change Dialogue Systems

Major Professor: Dr. Rodney Nielsen

Defense Date: March 24, 2015

Ramu Reddy Venumuddala

Thesis: A Distributed Framework towards Building an Open Data Architecture

Major Professor: Dr. Song Fu

Defense Date: March 26, 2015

Milko Balakchiev

Thesis: Unique Channel Email System

Major Professor: Dr. Song Fu

Defense Date: April 3, 2015

Tawfiq Shah

Thesis: Radium: Secure Policy Engine in Hypervisor

Major Professor: Dr. Bill Buckles

Defense Date: April 21, 2015

Deepankar Mohapatra

Thesis: Automatic Removal of Complex Shadows from Indoor Videos

Major Professor: Dr. Xiaohui Yuan

Defense Date: April 30, 2015

Kelly H. Bristow

Thesis: Freeform Cursive Handwriting Recognition using a Clustered Neural Network

Major Professor: Dr. Kathleen Swigger

Defense Date: April 30, 2015

Wasi Ur-Rehman

Thesis: Web Application Integrity on Radium

Major Professor: Dr. Bill Buckles

Defense Date: May 7, 2015

Lisa Reynolds

Thesis: An Empirical Study of Software Debugging Games with Introductory Students

Major Professor: Dr. Renee Bryce

Defense Date: June 23, 2015

Jacob Danks

Thesis: Algorithm Optimizations in Genomic Analysis using Entropic Dissection

Major Professor: Dr. Kathleen Swigger

Defense Date: June 23, 2015

Junfei Xie wins Wanda J. Shafer Graduate Scholarship

Congratulations to Junfei Xie, a PhD student in the Department of Computer Science and Engineering, on receiving the 2015 Wanda J. Shafer Graduate Scholarship awarded by the Dallas/Fort Worth Chapter of the Women’s Transportation Seminar to encourage women to pursue careers in transportation.

The Wanda J. Shafer Graduate Scholarship was instituted in 2002 in honor of the first chapter president of the Dallas/Fort Worth WTS. It is issued to one awardee per year in the North Texas-Oklahoma area. The scholarship is open to women who:

  • have a GPA of 3.0 or higher,
  • are currently enrolled in a graduate degree program in a transportation-related field in certain universities in Texas and Oklahoma, and
  • are planning to pursue a career in a transportation-related field.

Xie’s research aim is to provide automation solution to improve the safety and efficiency of next-generation air transportation systems. Xie received a bachelor’s degree from the University of Electronic Science and Technology of China, Chendu, China in 2012 and her master’s degree from the University of North Texas in 2013. She said that she plans to pursue a career path in academia, and continue to make contributions to the transportation field. For more information about Xie and this award, see this College of Engineering news release.

CSE Graduate Students participate in 3rd Annual Graduate Exhibition

CSE Graduate Student Shanti Thiyagaraja

Congratulations to our CSE Graduate Students in the 3rd Annual Graduate Exhibition hosted by the UNT Toulouse Graduate School on March 7, 2015. Wes Solomon received first place for "Predicting Changes in Systolic Blood Pressure Using Longitudinal Patient Records" in the Computer Science and Information Technology Category. Eric Bengfort received second place for "True Security for Private Cloud Data" and Shanti Thiyagaraja received third place for "Smart Phone Monitoring of Second Heart Sound Split" in the Engineering Category. We are proud of all of our CSE students who participated!

CSE Graduate Students place in top 25% at HackDFW

Deepankar Mohapatra                             Longbo Kong    

Congratulations to CSE Graduate Students Deepankar Mohapatra, and Longbo Kong on placing in the top 25% at the HackDFW competition held February 28-March 1, 2015 at The Women’s Museum in Dallas. HackDFW is Dallas’s first major student hackathon hosted by students at UTD, SMU, and UNT. For more information about this event, see this website. Check out Deepankar and Longbo’s project here.

Undergraduate Students participate in NASA’s Texas Space Grant Consortium Design Challenge

Sitting (L-R): Hollie King, Alexandra Woods. Standing (L-R): Zikra Toure, Houston Chapman, Jeremy Tinker.

Five CSE Undergraduate Students participated in NASA’s Texas Space Grant Consortium (TSGC) Design Challenge during the Spring 2015 semester. The team consisted of Hollie King, Zikra Toure, Alexandra Woods, Jeremy Tinker, and Houston Chapman. The team, and their faculty advisor, Dr. Mark A. Thompson, traveled down to Houston on April 26, 2015, where they attended a meet-and-greet with NASA astronaut Fred Haise, one of only 24 humans have flown to the moon. The following day, the team presented their poster and model presentation for their Multi-Modal Human Interfaces Habitat System. For their efforts, the team was awarded $600 in scholarship funds for placing in several categories, including 3rd Overall Design Team, 3rd Best Model and 3rd Best Poster. Congratulations to these students!

College of Engineering News

New PhD in Electrical Engineering announced

The College of Engineering now offers a Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering, which will allow students the opportunity to gain in-depth knowledge in research areas such as communication, signal processing, analog and digital circuit design, RF and microwave, and control system design.

"This is a major milestone for Electrical Engineering, for Engineering, and for the University of North Texas," said Costas Tsatsoulis, dean of the College of Engineering. "In less than two years, we have added four degrees and one department to our young College: Biomedical Engineering B.S. and M.S., and doctoral degrees in Mechanical and Energy Engineering and Electrical Engineering."

The degree program’s first students will begin their studies in Fall 2015. For more information, see this College of Engineering article.

Electrical Engineering Researcher receives Prestigious NSF CAREER Award

Dr. Yan Wan, an assistant professor in the Department of Electrical Engineering, has received a National Science Foundation (NSF) Early Career Development (CAREER) award for 2015.

The NSF CAREER Award is the NSF’s most prestigious award for junior faculty members who demonstrate outstanding research, excellent education, and the integration of education and research within the context of the mission of their organizations.

Over the next five years, Wan will receive $442,000 from NSF to develop an innovative theoretical framework for cyber-physical systems (CPS) to enable airborne networking, which utilizes direct flight-to-flight communication for flexible information sharing, safe maneuvering, and coordination of time-critical missions.

"I am excited to receive this award from the NSF CPS program," Wan said. "CPS is a broad name for systems of integrated cyber- and physical- components. Many modern systems such as smart power grids, traffic systems, smart health systems, and smart manufacturing systems fall in this category. I am excited about developing the fundamental theory that contributes to the core science of managing CPSs."

Congratulations to Dr. Wan on receiving this prestigious NSF award! For more information about Dr. Wan’s award, please see this College of Engineering release.

University of North Texas News

UNT named a Center for Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense Research

CSE Professor Dr. Ram Dantu is the Director of the UNT Center for Information and Computer Security. The National Security Agency and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security have designated the University of North Texas a National Center for Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense Research, making UNT one of about 60 such research centers in the U.S. UNT is also one of only a few Texas universities to be named both a Center for Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense Research as well as a Center for Academic Excellence in Information Assurance Education.

UNT also is the only institution in the U.S. to receive National Science Foundation funding of nearly $1 million for a Scholarship for Service program exclusive to Ph.D. students studying cybersecurity. To find out more about big data, law enforcement and information privacy at UNT, read this UNT press release.

UNT researchers awarded millions to study effects of oil on Gulf of Mexico species

From left, UNT Assistant Professor of Biology Aaron Roberts, Professor of Biology Warren Burggren
and Assistant Professor of Biology Dane Crossley.

Three University of North Texas biology researchers were awarded $2.7 million from the Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative to study the effects of oil on different animal species and water in the Gulf of Mexico.

UNT Assistant Professor of Biology Dane Crossley, Professor of Biology Warren Burggren and Assistant Professor of Biology Aaron Roberts will receive $2.7 million over three years for the research.

To see what each professor will research, go to this UNT press release.

Read all the UNT News 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

Alumni gifts to the department make it possible to provide students with scholarships and travel to competitions and conferences. To support your CSE Department with a gift, please visit and select "Computer Science and Engineering" as the designation for your gift. UNT Computer Science and Engineering Department — July 2015