University of North Texas
CSE Alumni Email Newsletter

February 2016  

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 Spring 2016 semester is underway and I wanted to share with you the news of our Department of Computer Science and Engineering. Congratulations to Dr. Saraju Mohanty on receiving the 2016 PROSE (Professional & Scholarly Excellence) Award for the best textbook in Physical Sciences & Mathematics from the Association of American Publishers (AAP)! We are very proud when our faculty members receive national recognition for the CSE Department. As our numbers continue to grow, we are searching for several new faculty members to join us in Fall 2016.

As you may have heard, UNT has opened the New College at Frisco. We will offer a M.S. in Computer Science with certificates in cybersecurity, data science and game programming beginning in Fall 2016. We are working to plan this program and provide the very best that CSE has to offer in Frisco!

Also, we are expanding our department by building new labs and faculty offices in new space at the end of our hallway on the second floor at Discovery Park. If you have not been back to CSE, we invite you to come back for a visit. We appreciate when our alumni help support our CSE program. In the spirit of UNT’s 125th anniversary, please consider contributing $125 at this webpage. Your support is important to us!

Barrett Bryant
Professor and Chair

Department of Computer Science and
Engineering News

Distinguished Speakers in Spring 2016

The Department of Computer Science and Engineering is proud to announce the following CSE Distinguished Speakers for Spring 2016:

On Friday, March 4, Calvin Lin, Professor in Computer Science from the University of Texas at Austin, will present "Smarter Prediction Mechanisms in Computer Architecture.". Dr. Lin’s research interests are compilers, parallel computing and microarchitecture. This presentation will take place at 11:30 am in F223.

On Friday, April 1, Noah Smith from the Department of Computer Science and Engineering at the University of Washington, will be here to make his presentation. The title will be announced later in the semester. Dr. Smith is widely regarded as a leading researcher in natural language processing and known for his contributions in both core algorithms and innovative applications. This presentation will take place at 11:30 am in F223.

On Friday, April 22, Jun Yung, Professor in the Department of Computer Science at Duke University, will be our Distinguished Speaker. His presentation will be on "Cumulon: Simplifying Matrix-Based Data Analytics in the Cloud." Dr. Yung’s primary research interest is in the area of database and data-intensive computing. This presentation will take place at 11:30 am in F223.

The first Distinguished Speaker for Spring 2016 was Dr. Lori Pollock, Professor in Computer and Information Sciences at University of Delaware, on January 22, 2016. Dr. Pollock’s presentation was "Building Power Tools for Software Engineering through Natural Language Analysis of Software and Related Artifacts."

ACM Chapter meetings announced for Spring 2016

This semester UNT’s ACM chapter will focus on offering information and activities not offered in our courses. These meetings will be tailored for computer science students or just students desiring to learn something new. A tentative schedule is listed below. Anyone that would like to suggest an activity that they think would help the student body should post these suggestions on this page. Meetings are held at Discovery Park F223 at 1 pm and refreshments are always provided. Please contact ACM President Quentin Mayo with any questions, suggestions, or comments at

February 22, F219 1 pm - (Coding) Advance Python Coding ( Big Data | Web Scrapping | w/ Machine Learning - Beautiful-soup, Sklearn, Panda )

March 7, F219, 1 pm - Statefarm Coding Interview Prep Guide!!!

March 21, F223, 1 pm - (Debugging Analysis) Reverse- Engineering

April 4, F223, 1 pm - (Development) Web Development in minutes using AngularJS, Laravel, and MySQL

April 18, F223, 1 pm - (Hacking) Forgot your password? No Problem

April 25, F223, 1 pm - (Ubuntu) Basic to Advance Terminal Commands

Cybersecurity at UNT CSE featured in the North Texan

Cybersecurity at UNT is featured in the cover story of the Winter 2015 edition of the North Texan. UNT alumnus Tawfiq Shah (’13, ’15 M.S.) is a computer science and engineering graduate who is a senior research engineer at a Richardson-based company called Armor developing innovative solutions to protect companies. Shah creates cloud solutions for healthcare, financial, retail, and other industries. Read more about Shah in the "Arming Industry" section of the North Texan.

Valmiki Mukherjee (’06 M.S.), Dr. Saraju Mohanty’s first UNT Computer Engineering graduate with VLSI specialization, was also featured in The Winter 2015 edition of the North Texan in "Cyber Security Tips". Mukherjee is the chief security architect of Cognizant’s Security Products business for North America. He is a globally recognized expert in cyber and cloud security domains. In 2014, Mukherjee established the Cyber Future Foundation, a global think tank of cybersecurity and policy experts.

News from the Center for Information and Computer Security

The Center for Information and Computer Security (CICS) is an interdisciplinary center, bringing together individuals and organizations with an interest in the areas of information security, computer security, information assurance, and cybercrime. CICS has been recognized by the National Security Agency and Department of Homeland Security as a "Center of Academic Excellence in Information Assurance Education."

Dr. Ram Dantu, Director of the Center for Information and Computer Security, was noted in a speech by the National Science Foundation Director Dr. France A. Córdova at the Texas Research Summit. Dr. Córdova talked about Dr. Dantu’s research in Voice over IP (VoIP) security as an example of how cybersecurity research like his has led to products, services, startups and innovative solutions in the marketplace.

The HiLT Lab hosts NACLO 2016

Students from R.L. Paschal High School participated in their fifth NACLO Competition at UNT. NACLO Club Director Ian Connally is on the far right.

The North American Computational Linguistics Olympiad (NACLO) was hosted on January 28, 2016 by the Human Intelligence and Language Technologies lab (HiLT) in the Department of Computer Science and Engineering. UNT’s NACLO enrollment is in the top five in North America, along with Stanford University, Carnegie Mellon University, Columbia University, and the University of Washington.

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 PhD students Nishitha Guntakandla and Natalie Parde and undergraduate lab assistant Erin Eversoll. A special thanks to Dr. Ian Parberry for allowing his lab to be used for the competition. For more information, see this NACLO page on the HiLT website.

HiLT Lab News

HiLT Lab member Natalie Parde traveled to Buenos Aires, Argentina, to present at the 2015 International Joint Conference on Artificial Intelligence, one of the top two conferences for artificial intelligence research.

  • Natalie Parde, Adam Hair, Michalis Papakostas, Konstantinos Tsiakas, Maria Dagioglou, Vangelis Karkaletsis, and Rodney D. Nielsen. (2015). Grounding the meaning of words through vision and interactive gameplay. In Proceedings of the Twenty Fourth International Joint Conference on Artificial Intelligence (IJCAI 2015), pp 1895-1901. Buenos Aires, Argentina, July 25-31, 2015.

HiLT Lab members also presented at AIED, a top-tier conference for research in intelligent systems and cognitive science for learning technology.

  • Janice Mazidi, and Rodney D. Nielsen. (2015). Leveraging multiple views of text for automatic question generation. In Proceedings of the Seventeenth International Conference on Artificial Intelligence in Education (AIED 2015), pp 257-266. Madrid, Spain, June 22–26, 2015.

News from LARC

Congratulations to Dr. Ian Parberry on being named an ACM Distinguished Scientist in November 2015. The ACM Distinguished Member program, initiated in 2006, recognizes those members with at least 15 years of professional experience who have made significant accomplishments or achieved a significant impact on the computing field.

CSE Ph.D. Graduate Jonathan Doran and Professor Ian Parberry received the Best Paper Award for "A Server-Side Framework for the Execution of Procedurally Generated Quests in an MMORPG" at the 16th Annual European Conference on Simulation and AI in Computer Games (GAMEON 2015) in Amsterdam, The Netherlands, on December 3, 2015.

LARC Alumni Stephen Kenney and Zachary Corley became game programmers at From the Future in January 2016. To see where all the LARC Alumni are working, see this LARC page.

Dr. Parberry’s Game Programming I class experienced record enrollment in Fall 2015. Enrollment increased to 88 students. This is the largest class size since its inception in 1993. For comparison, Fall 2014 enrollment was 56 students and Fall 2013 enrollment was 38 students.

The LARC received funding from the Department of Computer Science and Engineering and the College of Engineering for the purchase of 12 workstations, bringing the total to 24. All workstations now have an Intel Core i7-3930K CPU @ 3.2GHz (6-core, hyperthreaded) with 32GB of RAM, dual monitors, and NVidia GeForce GTX 660 video cards.

Game Programming I in Fall 2015 now features Active Learning. Students are divided into 4 weekly 1-hour lab sessions in which they get hands-on experience working with code under the expert eye of TA Curtis Chambers to reinforce the material covered in the weekly 2-hour lectures. Active Learning has been shown to increase retention and improve performance in STEM courses.

For the most recent news about LARC, see this page.

Professor Mohanty receives 2016 PROSE Award

Professor Mohanty at the IEEE iNIS conference.

Professor Saraju Mohanty received the 2016 PROSE (Professional & Scholarly Excellence) Award for the best textbook in Physical Sciences & Mathematics from the Association of American Publishers (AAP). Dr. Mohanty’s book, Nanoelectronic Mixed-Signal System Design, was published in February 2015 by McGraw-Hill Education. See all the award PROSE Award winners here. Congratulations to Dr. Mohanty!

Professor Mohanty was the founding general chair for IEEE International Symposium on Nanoelectronic and Information Systems (IEEE-iNIS 2015) which was held during December 21-23, 2015 at Indore, India. iNIS has been initiated as a sponsored meeting of IEEE-CS Technical Committee on VLSI that endorses a league of successful meetings such as ASAP, ISVLSI, and ARITH. The conference had four keynote speakers from various U.S. universities and research institutes in France. The conference proceedings were published by IEEE-CS conference publication services (CPS). Prof. Mohanty discussed IEEE scholarship and outreach activities. IEEE Circuits and System Society outreach initiative sponsored this meeting, along with UNT Computer Science and Engineering Department.

In other news from NanoSystem Design Laboratory (NSDL), several more students have recently joined. NSDL now has 7 Ph.D. students and 3 M.S. thesis students engaged in various area of Nanoelectronic system design targeted for Internet of Things (IoT) and Smart City components. For example, Abu Sayeed joined NSDL from Lamar University in Spring 2016. NSDL student Manoj Kumar Mukka defended his masters thesis titled "Simulink based Design and Implementation of a Solar Power based Mobile Charger" in Fall 2015. In the last year, members of NSDL published a total of 10 journal/conference articles. A selected example includes the following:

  • D. Roy, P. Ghosal, and S. P. Mohanty, "FuzzRoute: A Thermally Efficient Congestion-Free Global Routing Method for Three-Dimensional Integrated Circuits", ACM Transactions on Design Automation of Electronic Systems (TODAES), Volume 21, Issue 1, November 2015, pp. 1:1–1:38.

  • E. Kougianos and S. P. Mohanty, "A Nature-Inspired Firefly Algorithm Based Approach for Nanoscale Leakage Optimal RTL Structure", Elsevier The VLSI Integration Journal, Volume 51, September 2015, pp. 46–60.

  • 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 (ISQED), pp. 239–242, 2015. (Blind Review)

  • S. Joshi, E. Kougianos, and S. P. Mohanty, "Simscape based Ultra-Fast Design Exploration of Graphene-Nanoelectronic Systems", in Proceedings of the 14th IEEE Computer Society Annual Symposium on VLSI (ISVLSI), 2015, pp. 292–296.

  • U. Albalawi, S. P. Mohanty, and E. Kougianos, "A Hardware Architecture for Better Portable Graphics (BPG) Compression Encoder", in Proceedings of the 1st IEEE International Symposium on Nanoelectronic and Information Systems, 2015, pp. 291–296. (Blind Review)

  • Z. Zhao, A. Srivastava, S. Chen, and S. P. Mohanty, "An Algorithm Used in a Power Monitor to Mitigate Dark Silicon on VLSI Chip", in Proceedings of the 14th IEEE Computer Society Annual Symposium on VLSI (ISVLSI), 2015, pp. 191–194. (Ph.D. Forum) (Awarded Best Ph.D. Forum Paper).

NSF Net-Centric & Cloud Software & Systems (NCSS) Industry & University Cooperative Research Center (I/UCRC) News

Dr. Janjusic came back to UNT to visit with Dr. Kavi in 2015.

Dr. Krishna Kavi’s former student Tomislav "Tommy" Janjusic (Ph.D. 2013) developed Gleipnir while at UNT. Following his graduation from UNT, Janjusic received a postdoctoral fellowship at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory. He continued his work on Gleipnir which is featured in "Finding New Ways to Optimize Code" at the Oak Ridge Leadership Computing Facility.

Another student in Dr. Kavi’s lab is Patrick Kamongi. He is a computer science and engineering Ph.D. student at the University of North Texas, who is being supported by I/UCRC NCSS projects. His research work focuses on cloud computing security. Under the advising of Dr. Krishna Kavi, he has gained invaluable research experience working on I/UCRC projects and his ongoing work has resulted into some preliminarily novel published works.

This past summer 2015, Patrick was offered and completed a competitive internship with a cyber threat intelligence security firm ’iSIGHT Partners’ where he worked as a cyber threat researcher intern. His responsibility duties were in lieu of supporting department activities such as conducting malware research, collecting cyber threat data, and many other tasks. While working independently or through collaboration with global researchers, he enjoyed the learning experience and applied proven research techniques in an industry setting.

I/UCRC projects and internship experiences have enabled him to put his ongoing education on a fast track. In addition, he has been able to make great professional connections and this has opened up to him, various opportunities at both academic and industry levels. Read other internship stories below in the Student News section.

Software Engineering Laboratory (SELL) News

Dr. Paul Tarau presented the papers "Computing with Catalan Families, Generically" and "A Size-proportionate Bijective Encoding of Lambda Terms as Catalan Objects endowed with Arithmetic Operations" at the "Eighteenth International Symposium on Practical Aspects of Declarative Languages (PADL ’16) in St. Petersburg, Florida, where he also chaired the session on Logic Programming.

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CSE Alumni News

Alumni Focus on Cheryl Miller

Cheryl Miller (1983, B. S. Computer Science) says that her career has allowed her to do what she loves, which inspires her to be a lifelong learner of her profession.

Miller has worked for more than 23 years at AT&T (formerly Southwestern Bell Corporation), where her current job title is Principal-Technical Architect. Her work involves automation development, architecture, and Oracle Database Administration, and she said she enjoys being able to develop solutions that help simplify tasks people do during their workday. "I love what I am doing, being able to build things in my mind," she said.

Her career achievements include a U.S. Patent (#8,620,871) for a process to automatically discover and determine database component usage for midrange and windows servers. Miller’s work at AT&T includes co-development of the AT&T Database of Databases repository, participation in development and oversight of AT&T Oracle security standards and processes, and development and support of enterprise-focused Oracle Enterprise Manager infrastructure.

She said that she is grateful for the Computer Science education she received from the University of North Texas (UNT) and the career paths opened for her. Although Miller was more focused on obtaining her degree while at UNT, she said she has come to appreciate continued personal development beyond the classroom. "You have to stay relevant; it is more important now than ever."

Miller credits her father, who worked at IBM from the 1960s to 1980s, for sparking her interest in computer science. After he transferred from Chicago to Dallas, he encouraged her to move as well, and she enrolled at UNT. Miller said she liked programming classes at UNT in which she learned how to code and learned about programming languages like Pascal.

Since then, Miller has continued to develop her skills and to obtain certifications, and now she is working towards a Masters in Computer Science as a member of the initial pilot cohort of Georgia Tech’s new Online Master’s of Computer Science program. She is specializing in Machine Learning with a focus on Data Science/Analytics with a target graduation date of May 2016. "I find it fascinating these days how much more integrated math concepts are with algorithm design and Machine Learning," she said.

This year, Miller attended the Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing conference. She said that the conference provided her with ideas that she could take back to AT&T, which has an organization for women in tech, that along with AT&T is committed to STEM education and careers for women.

In summary of her professional experience, she said, "I would stress how important it is to be a lifelong learner. Don’t let age be an impediment to continuing your education."

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

CSE Alumnus designs app for college students

Trey Tartt (M.S. in Computer Engineering, 2010) worked with another UNT alumnus Adam Selby to create an app called Mochila: Campus in Your Pocket. Mochila means "backpack" in Spanish. Launched on January 25, this new app offers maps of campus buildings, university events calendar, campus news and bus schedules. The app has been launched at six universities: University of North Texas, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, University of South Carolina, University of Southern California, Texas Tech and Cornell. This app was recently featured in this article in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.

Retired Faculty Return for a Visit

Retired CSE Faculty Member Tom Irby returned to the Department of Computer Science and Engineering on Friday, February 12, with his grandson Will Irby who will be a Freshman next year in our department. Great to see Dr. Irby again and Welcome to UNT CSE, Will!

Student News

Congratulations to CSE graduates

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

Ph.D. Graduates in Fall 2015

Ashok Dahal

Dissertation: Detection of Ulcerative Colitis Severity and Enhancement of Informative Frame Filtering using Texture Analysis in Colonoscopy Videos

Major Professor: Junghwan Oh

Saratchandra Indrakanti*

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

Major Professor: Armin Mikler

Yiheng Liang*

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

Major Professor: Armin Mikler

Jason William Powell*

Dissertation: Predictive Modeling for Persuasive Ambient Technology

Major Professor: Kathleen Swigger

Jin Shao*

Dissertation: Advanced Power Amplifiers Design for Modern Wireless Communication

Major Professor: Song Fu

Ziming Zhang*

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

Major Professor: Song Fu

*Summer 2015 Graduate

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

CSE Students defend Theses

Congratulations to these M.S. students who successfully defended their theses!

Manoj Kumar Mukka

Thesis: Simulink® Based Design and Implementation of a Solar Power Based Mobile Charger

Major Professor: Dr. Saraju P. Mohanty

Defense Date: November 24, 2015

Siyuan Liu

Thesis: Learning From Small Data Set for Object Recognition in Mobile Platforms

Major Professor: Dr. Xiaohui Yuan

Defense Date: December 12, 2015

CSE Students gain valuable experience from internships at AMD Research

Mahzabeen Islam is a fourth year Ph.D. student in the Computer Systems Research Lab (CSRL) at the Department of Computer Science and Engineering working under the supervision of Dr. Krishna Kavi. Currently she is working at AMD Research in Austin, TX as a co-op engineer in the Advanced Development Exascale area. Her academic research interest includes different areas of Computer Memory Systems, spanning from memory systems optimization, processing in memory to emerging memory technologies.

AMD is a semiconductor company that develops different kinds of microprocessors, motherboards and other chipsets for different computing systems. They are leading many interesting projects on cutting edge computer memory technologies to aid their products as well as advance the general field of memory research. Therefore, being an academic researcher in the same field, it opens a wide area for her career development, and gaining knowledge from the pioneers of memory research.

Islam’s area of research is heterogeneous memory systems, which focuses on how to integrate different existing and future memory technologies together in a single memory system to meet the need of large-scale, power and performance optimized memories. She has gathered valuable and motivating experience as a co-op in AMD.

Another Ph.D. student of Dr. Kavi, Marko Scrbak, was employed as a co-op/intern at Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. (AMD) from September to December 2015. His research explored use of processing in memory (PIM) and next generation high performance computing to understand how such systems can be optimized to deliver peak performance within a specified power budget. This included expanding the existing simulation infrastructure and collecting data for analysis.

The internship provided Scrbak with insights into how large companies perform research in areas that are typically explored only within the academic community. He also gained engineering practices and new programming languages. The experiences gained during the course of the internship will be valuable to his future career and his doctoral dissertation since it directly involves heterogeneous systems and processing in memory.

David Hashe is a second year TAMS student in the Computer Systems Research Lab with Dr. Krishna Kavi. He worked at AMD Research in Austin from June to August 2015. While at AMD, David focused on extending the gem5 computer architecture simulator to improve the accuracy of large-scale simulations. His research interests include processing in memory and dataflow.

David’s internship gave him experience with research outside of UNT. He learned how to collaborate more effectively with a large team on a single software system and gained experience with the project workflow used in industry. He hopes to use the skills he developed at AMD to become a more efficient programmer, student, and researcher as he continues his education.

CSE Senior on UNT Design Team in SpaceX Hyperloop Pod Design Competition

Team members and their majors are: (front row left to right) Jonathan Thibodeaux (Mechanical and Energy Engineering), Cassidi Mercereau (Mechanical and Energy Engineering), Amirah Suleiman (Mechanical Engineering Technology), Hannah Wilcox (Mechanical and Energy Engineering), and William Eiland (Materials Science and Engineering); and (back row left to right) Sam Shelton (Mechanical Engineering Technology), Dakota Bower (Mechanical and Energy Engineering), Jacob Donnelly (Computer Science and Engineering), Ian Morrow (Mechanical and Energy Engineering), Carlos Corral (Mechanical Engineering Technology), Robert Myers (Mechanical and Energy Engineering), and Mohammed Aljoaib (Mechanical and Energy Engineering).

CSE senior Jacob Donnelly participated in a group of UNT engineering students in the SpaceX Hyperloop Pod Competition Design Weekend at Texas A& M University on January 29-30, 2016. The team, which was featured in this NBC news report, was selected to compete by SpaceX Founder Elon Musk as part of this Hyperloop Pod Competition to design a pod that can travel at more than 700 miles an hour inside a Hyperloop, which is a high speed ground transport system. The College of Engineering originally published this article here.

CSE Students part of winning team at NASA Design Challenge

The illuminUNTis team (back row from L-R): Paul-Marie Yapobi-Attie, Alex Moore, Jackson Tyler Brown.
Front row is Marina Nishimura and Maria del Mar Moreno.

Three CSE students were part of the IlluminUNTis team that participated in the Spring 2015 Texas Space Grant Consortium Design Challenge in League City, Texas. This Design Challenge was sponsored by NASA and administered by the Texas Space Grant Consortium. Jackson Tyler Brown graduated in May 2015 with a B.S. in Computer Science. Maria del Mar Moreno is a senior in Computer Engineering and Paul-Marie Yapobi-Attie is a senior in Computer Science.

Four teams from UNT’s College of Engineering participated, but the illuminUNTis team received several awards. To read more about our students at this competition, read this College of Engineering article.

College of Engineering News

College of Engineering Events       College of Engineering News

College of Engineering seeks Student Ambassadors

The College of Engineering is hiring Student Ambassadors who represent UNT Engineering and serve an invaluable recruiting tool. Several students from the Department of Computer Science and Engineering are already serving as Student Ambassadors. Maria Moreno is a Computer Engineering student and she has been a Student Ambassador since August 2013. Casey Carroll is an Information Technology student and he has been a Student Ambassador since May 2015. Read about these CSE students and other current College of Engineering Student Ambassadors here.

College celebrates Engineers Week including Career Fair on February 25

The Council of Engineering Organizations and the Center for Student Affairs at Discovery Park are planning the annual celebration for Engineers Week February 22-26 to promote and educate about the field of engineering as a profession. Please check this to see all the events for Engineering Week.

On Thursday, February 25, the Career Center is hosting the Engineering Career and Internship Fair at Discovery Park. This is a great opportunity for upper class students to find a job and other students to learn about employer recruiting activities and the interview process.


DESIGN DAY — April 29, 2016

Poster and Project Presentations by CENG Students

University of North Texas News

UNT reaches Tier One classification

In the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education report released on February 1, the University of North Texas is ranked among the nation’s 115 top-tier research universities. This achievement is a key milestone in the UNT’s commitment toward national prominence, according to this article in the UNT news.

UNT President Neal Smatresk said, "We moved up in the Carnegie classifications by staying true to our roots as an institution focused on creativity as expressed through our research, scholarship and educational activities. All along, we’ve paid attention to what matters most, providing our students a great education and helping to build tomorrow’s workforce and the next generation of globally relevant scholars."

Smatresk stressed that while reaching Tier One status is a big milestone, there is still work ahead to help UNT increase its national reputation. "This achievement reflects our commitment to excellence in our education and research mission and the quality of our students and graduates," Smatresk said. "Today’s recognition is an important step in our journey — but it’s not the end."

UNT Alumni win Grammy Awards

Alumni from the UNT College of Music won two awards at the 58th annual Grammy Awards on February 15, 2016. Snarky Puppy won their second Grammy Award in the Best Contemporary Instrumental Album category for "Sylva" with Metropole Orkest. Michael League, UNT jazz studies alumnus, is the bassist, composer and founder of the band. Other UNT alumni in Snarky Puppy are Nate Werth, percussion; Justin Stanton, trumpet and keyboards; Bob Lanzetti, guitar; Mike Maher, trumpet; Chris Bullock, tenor saxophone; Chris McQueen, electric guitar; and Jay Jennings, trumpet.

Another College of Music alumnus Dave Pietro plays saxophone for the Maria Schneider Orchestra that won the Grammy Award for the Best Large Jazz Ensemble Album. Pietro received his degree in music education from UNT and has been playing on the New York music scene since 1987. Congratulations to these UNT Alumni on their Grammy awards and read more in this UNT news article .

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 — February 2016