University of North Texas
CSE Alumni Email Newsletter

September 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,

Our CSE Department continues to grow as we now have 33 faculty, over 1,200 undergraduate students, over 200 M.S. students, and over 100 Ph.D. students. We have added five new faculty members—that is the most new faculty members ever for our department! CSE Professor Dr. Yan Huang has been appointed as the College of Engineering’s Associate Dean for Research and Graduate Studies. Dr. Song Fu has been promoted to Associate Professor. Congratulations on their promotions! Since we are growing, our space is expanding and we are adding new research labs and faculty offices. The addition of 11 new faculty offices is complete and some of our new faculty have already moved to these new rooms on the back hallway of the department.

We have just received notice from the Computing Accreditation Commission (CAC) of ABET that our B.S. in Computer Science and B.A. in Information Technology programs have been accredited to September 2022 (the B.S. in Computer Engineering was previously accredited to 2020). ABET accreditation provides the best proof possible of a program’s quality. Thanks to all the students, alumni, faculty and staff members for their efforts to make this happen. The CSE Department is proud to offer programs that are accredited by ABET.

Our CSE Department will celebrate its 45th anniversary this year. We now have more than 4,000 alumni from around the world. Since I became Chair five years ago, I have met with many alumni to share the news in our CSE Department. Please read the article below in the Alumni section about how alumni can still support our students today. Contact me to see you can how you can help our students succeed this year. I hope to see you and other CSE Alumni at the College of Engineering tent at the UNT Homecoming on November 5!

Barrett Bryant
Professor and Chair

Department of Computer Science and
Engineering News

Welcome new CSE faculty

The Department of Computer Science and Engineering welcomes the following new faculty members in Fall 2016!

Fahmida Hamid
Degree: Ph.D. Computer Science and Engineering, University of North Texas, 2016
At UNT: Visiting Lecturer
Research areas: information retrieval and natural language processing
Teaching Fall 2016: CSCE 2610 Assembly Language and Computer Organization and CSCE 3110 Data Structures and Algorithms

Wei Jin
Degree: Ph.D. Computer Science, Buffalo, 2008
Previous position: North Dakota State University
At UNT: Associate Professor
Research areas: data mining and knowledge discovery, text and web mining, information retrieval and extraction
Teaching Fall 2016: CSCE 5380 Data Mining

Stephanie Ludi
Degree: Ph.D. Computer Science, Arizona State University, 2003
Previous position: Professor of Software Engineering at Rochester Institute of Technology
At UNT: Professor
Research areas: software engineering, HCI, SE education
Teaching Fall 2016: CSCE 4444 Software Engineering

Pradhumna Shrestha
Degree:Ph.D. Computer Engineering, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, 2014
Previous position: Pierson Wireless
At UNT: Lecturer
Research areas: wireless communications and networks, sensor networks, network security
Teaching Fall 2016: CSCE 1030 Computer Science I, CSCE 1040 Computer Science II and CSCE 3010 Signals and Systems

Hui Zhao
Degree: Ph.D., Computer Science and Engineering, Penn State, 2014
Previous position: National Institute of Standards and Technology
At UNT: Assistant Professor
Research areas: network on chip, multi-core, QoS/performance/power
Teaching Fall 2016: CSCE 5610 Computer Architecture

Dr. Ram Dantu is CIO/CTO Award Finalist

Dr. Ram Dantu has been nominated as a finalist by DCEO, a publication of D Magazine, in its inaugural CIO/CTO Awards. A partnership between D CEO magazine and the Information Systems Security Association, this program honors chief information officers, chief technology officers, and others in top IT posts in the North Texas region. The award event will take place on September 27, 2016. Congratulations to Dr. Dantu on this prestigious nomination!

Prof. Saraju Mohanty receives Toulouse Scholars Award

Congratulations to Professor Saraju Mohanty for being the first ever member of the College of Engineering to receive the Toulouse Scholars Award! This is presented to a faculty member who has demonstrated exceptional achievement in teaching and/or scholarly and creative activities to enable them to further their contributions in one or both of these areas. This award will be presented at the UNT Salute to Faculty Excellence Awards Dinner and Celebration on September 22, 2016.

More details are in this College of Engineering Press Release. Additional details about this award are at this UNT Faculty Success page. Congratulations to Prof. Mohanty on being the first recipient of this award!

CeCERA nominated for Tech Titan award

Dr. Armin Mikler, CeCERA Director, and Ravi Vaidya,
Supporter of CeCERA, at the Tech Titans Gala.

The Center for Computational Epidemiology and Response Analysis (CeCERA) was nominated for the Tech Titan of the Future – University award by the Tech Titans, The Technology Association for North Texas. This association recognizes outstanding technology companies and individuals in North Texas area who have made significant contributions to their industries at its annual awards gala. This year the awards gala was held the Hotel Intercontinental in Dallas on August 19, 2016. Congratulations to CeCERA on being recognized and nominated for this award!

Dr. Krishna Kavi awarded new patent

Dr. Krishna Kavi, the Director of the NCSS I/UCRC was granted a new patent in July 2016, titled "Method and apparatus for improving computer cache performance and for protecting memory systems against some side channel attacks". The patent was applied for in 2012. The basic innovation stems from how cache memories are addressed. In traditional designs, cache indexing can be viewed as a modulo based hash function, where a given address is "hashed" into one of the cache areas (known as cache sets). The innovation proposed by Kavi changes the hash function so that different address bits, which can be randomized, are used to create the modulo function, and the function can be changed dynamically to make it very difficult to predict which address maps to which cache set. The ability to predict addresses mapping to cache sets have led to some security attacks, leading to the disclosure of cryptographic keys.

This approach can also be used to mitigate cache conflicts among different applications or data sets, by mapping data of different applications to different cache sets. The proposed addressing can be applied to any type of cache (L-1, L-2 or Last Level Cache).

Distinguished Speaker at CSE in Fall 2016

Our first distinguished speaker in Fall 2016 will be Lluís Màrquez. His presentation will be on "Solving Community Question Answering Problems by Combining ‘Old’ and ‘New’ Machine Learning" on Monday, October 31, 2016 at 11:30 am in NTDP F223.

Lluís Màrquez is a Principal Scientist at the Arabic Language Technologies group from the Qatar Computing Research Institute (QCRI) since 2013. Previously, he was Associate Professor at the Technical University of Catalonia (UPC, 2000-2013). He holds a university award winning Ph.D. in Computer Science from UPC (1999). His research focuses on natural language understanding by using statistical machine learning models. A substantial part of his research has addressed natural language structure prediction problems, such as syntactic and semantic parsing. Regarding applications, Dr. Màrquez works on statistical machine translation and its evaluation, and question answering in community forums. He has 140+ papers in Natural Language Processing and Machine Learning journals and conferences. He has been General and Program Co-chair of major conferences in the area (EMNLP, EACL, CoNLL, EAMT, etc.), and held several organizational roles in ACL and EMNLP too.

He was co-organizer of various international evaluation tasks at Senseval/SemEval (2004, 2007, 2010, 2015-2017) and CoNLL shared tasks (2004-2005, 2008-2009). Secretary and President of the ACL SIG on Natural Language Learning (SIGNLL) in the period 2007-2011, he currently serves as President of the European Chapter of the ACL (EACL). Lluís Màrquez has been Guest Editor of special issues at Computational Linguistics, LRE, JNLE, and JAIR in the period (2007-2015). He has participated in 18 national and EU research projects, acting as the principal site researcher in 10 of them.

Social Media being used to promote BAIT

Principal Lecturer David Keathly is currently participating in a small grant that involves research into the efficacy of Social Media as an impact mechanism for new enrollment. Specifically Social Media campaigns are being used to promote the CSE B.A. in Information Technology Program (BAIT) to underrepresented groups and non-transitional students returning to school. You can follow the news about BAIT on these social media platforms:

Linked In UNT CSE BAIT Group
Instagram untbait

CSE hosts Robocamp in Summer 2016

UNT CSE once again hosted a number of STEM camps across the DFW area, with financial support from the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board, the Texas Workforce Commission and the National Science Foundation via the National Convergence Technology Center. Camps were held in Denton, in Frisco at the new UNT Frisco, in Frisco at Collin College, and in Sherman at Texoma Christian School.

Overall the camps reached a total of 140 students from ages 12-18. The camps included a smorgasbord of activities in Robotics, Android App Development, Animation and Game Development with scripted activities for the students to pursue at their own individual and team pace. Students were also able to spend some time working on their own unique creations in these areas.

CSE NACLO student in International Linguistics Olympiad

For the first time ever, a student who competed in NACLO at UNT was selected to be on the U.S. team and traveled to Mysore, India to compete in the 14th International Linguistics Olympiad (IOL) hosted by Infosys on July 25-29, 2016. Wyatt Reeves, a senior from R.L. Paschal High School in Fort Worth at the time, qualified for the competition after scoring high enough in the invitational round of NACLO held in March.

According to this press release, two U.S. teams and one team from Canada, each consisting of four high school students, took home six medals, five honorable mentions, and one team trophy for the highest team average in the competition. Wyatt won a bronze medal in the individual round.

The Human Intelligence and Language Technologies (HiLT Lab has sponsored the North American Computational Linguistics Olympiad for a number of years and they are proud that Wyatt qualified for the national team and won a bronze medal. Dr. Rodney Nielsen is the Director of the HiLT Lab. The next NACLO competition for high school students will be held at UNT on January 26, 2017.

Grad Track offered for CSE Undergraduate Students

The Department of Computer Science and Engineering is proud to offer Grad Track for undergraduate students in Computer Science and Computer Engineering programs. Nine CSE undergraduate students are in the Grad Track program. Students who are admitted to Grad Track can enroll in up to nine credit hours of 5000-level graduate courses which will count toward BOTH the undergraduate degree and Master’s degree. This will allow students to complete both the B.S. and M.S. degrees in five years. If you are a junior or senior with an outstanding academic record, please consider applying for this opportunity. For more information about requirements and an application, please see this Grad Track website.

Top 10 Reasons for CSE Majors to Join Teach North Texas

Teach North Texas (TNT) is a program to prepare teachers in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) disciplines. If you are interested, please contact Phil Sweany, Associate Professor of Computer Science and Engineering with any questions. Now here are the 10 top reasons to join TNT:

1. Two for one—you get both a Bachelor’s degree in a CS subject area and teaching credentials in a four-year, 122 credit-hour curriculum.

2. The first TNT course, Step 1, includes actual classroom teaching which allows you to determine if teaching "is for you" early in your college career.

3. The collaboration and presentation skills you’ll start learning in Step 1 and refine throughout other TNT courses will make you a more valuable employee in non-teaching jobs. (One of the biggest "concerns" we hear from potential employers is that CS graduates don’t have strong presentation and teamwork skills.)

4. While teaching in Texas requires passing a certification exam, TNT graduates have traditionally done very well passing these exams in all STEM fields. (To date 98% of TNT graduates have passed the certification exam for their discipline.)

5. Step 1 is a one-hour course so it can be easily added to most academic schedules with minimal (tuition) cost.

6. You’ll be addressing a significant national need for high school Computer Science teachers. The National Science Foundation (NSF) has started a "CS 10k" project to see to it that we have 10,000 new "well-prepared Computer Science Teachers" as soon as possible. Obviously they (and others) see a significant need.

7. You’ll find multiple job opportunities once you finish your CS degree and TNT courses. (See reason 6 above.)

8. You’ll become a better college student as you’ll learn modern pedagogy (teaching techniques) and recognize it in other classes you take.

9. You’ll be working with other TNT students, a group of interesting people who are passionate about their STEM subjects and teaching as well.

10. You’ll have fun!

CSRL hosts Summer Research Experience for Undergraduates

(L-R) Troy King, Zacharia Poycattle, Mukundan Kuthalam, and Clement Cole. Not pictured: Margarita Sanchez.

The Computer Systems Research Laboratory (CSRL) at the University of North Texas provided five undergraduate research students opportunities to work with graduate students this summer.

For Troy King, a Senior Computer Science major at UNT, working on Dataflow PIM taught him about how to research in general and more about architecture, which had always been a difficult topic for him in the classroom.

Zach Poycattle, a Senior Computer Science major at UNT, focused his research on looking at vulnerabilities in software and hardware to see what types of attacks were possible because of them. After gaining that knowledge, he put everything he learned into an ontology using a program called Protégé. In Protégé, he had to use logic rules make the ontology more efficient and to make sure everything was in the right place.

This summer was the first time Mukundan Kuthalam, a Junior Computer Engineering major at UT Austin, was involved in research. He joined the CSRL lab to get more experience in what grad school would be like and to learn more about the field of software. His research on identifying and analyzing cloud application vulnerabilities really opened his eyes to how vast and complex the field of software engineering is.

The main task in Clement Cole’s research was to build an ALU (Arithmetic Logic Unit) for testing data flow architecture in support of another research project. Clement is a Senior Computer Engineering major at UNT.

Margarita Sanchez (not pictured), a Senior Computer Science major at UNT, spent this summer creating a program that works with the traces generated by the Hopper Application. The application takes an executable, reverse compiles it, and provides her with a trace file that she then uses to generate data flow graphs (DFG). The program takes in this trace and generates the DFG and allows her to compare it with other graphs to see if there are any similarities that she can use to improve performance.

The REU students described their experience working with Dr. Kavi and the CSRL graduate students as rewarding, challenging and inspiring.

News from Dependable Computing Systems Lab

(L-R) Kranthi Tatoju, Song Huang, Zongze Li, Jacob Hochstetler, Dr. Song Fu, Matthew Davidson, Linfei Li,
Shuwen Liang, George Qiao.

Dr. Song Fu, Director of the DCS Lab was recently awarded an NSF research grant. The three-year grant will support Dr. Fu and his lab to investigate storage failures and develop dependable storage systems. Some other projects in the Dependable Computing Systems Lab are funded by DOE Los Alamos National Laboratory. They aim to enhance the resilience of production high-performance computing systems.

Song Huang is a fourth year Ph.D. student in the Dependable Computing Systems Lab (DCSL). He worked as a research intern at Cisco Systems, Inc. from June to August 2016. While at Cisco, Song focused on failure analysis of software-defined networking. Another Ph.D. student of Dr. Fu, Zongze Li, was employed as an intern at Los Alamos National Lab from May to August 2016. He worked with scientists at LANL to automate the detection of anomalies in supercomputers. Linfei Li is a second year TAMS student in DCSL. She was awarded 2016 TAMS Summer Research Scholarship. The scholarship supported her research on disk SMART data analysis and failure characterization under the supervision of Dr. Fu.

The following papers were recently accepted by international conferences.

  • S. Huang, S. Fu, S. Pakin and M. Lang, "Characterizing Power and Energy Efficiency of Legion Runtime and Applications: An Early Experience", accepted by IEEE International Green and Sustainable Computing Conference (IGSC), November 2016.

  • H.-B. Chen and S. Fu, "Parallel Erasure Coding: Exploring Task Parallelism in Erasure Coding for Enhanced Bandwidth", in Proceedings of IEEE International Conference on Networking, Architecture and Storage (NAS), August 2016.

  • H.-B. Chen and S. Fu, "Improving Coding Performance and Energy Efficiency of Erasure Coding Process for Storage Systems", in Proceedings of IEEE International Conference on Cloud Computing (CLOUD), July 2016.

Dr. Song Fu advising Linfei Li on disk performance data analysis. Linfei Li is a TAMS student who was awarded a 2016 TAMS Summer Research Scholarship to work in the Dependable Computer Systems Lab.

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

The next Net-Centric I/UCRC Industrial Advisory Board (IAB) meeting will be held in Denton, TX on October 19-20, 2016. The meeting will be held at the University of North Texas in the Gateway Center located at 801 North Texas Blvd. in Denton, TX. There will be presentations by faculty and graduate students on the research that is currently supported by NCSS I/UCRC. NSF program managers will be on hand to explain the I/UCRC concept.

Krishna Kavi traveled to Jet Propulsion Laboratory to explore collaborations in June. JPL is very interested in pursuing collaborations and providing internship opportunities to his students. He also traveled to Rome, Italy in August to present a paper titled, "Predicting unknown vulnerabilities using software metrics and maturity models" at the International Conference on Software Engineering Advances. This paper was co-authored by Patrick Kamongi, a Ph.D. student and Kavi. In addition, he moderated a panel titled, "Challenges for Building Applications and Services for Smart Devices" at that conference. While in Rome, he experienced the most recent earthquake. He was awakened at 3:30 am by the violent shaking of his hotel room.

Differentiated Levels of Security for IoT Devices

The Internet of Things (IoT) is quickly becoming widely accepted as a standard for smart device communication. Experts estimate that about 50 billion devices will be connected by 2020.

IoT devices are entering every aspect of society including self-driving cars (or cars with safety and driver assistance technologies), smart homes, and smart cities. The one requiring immediate attention is security. An IoT environment consists of devices communicating over a multitude of network protocols. The trouble with uniform security policies throughout the network is the lack of flexibility and control. However, device security should be rooted on the device itself so that different devices will be protected at different levels (such as multiple levels of authentication, different levels of encryption, firewalls etc.). It is also essential that the security approach should not deter users from relying on specific security features because they require a high level of expertise or are too cumbersome (such as requiring complex passwords). UNT’s proposed IoT Security Hub aims to fill this gap by securing connected homes and businesses from malware and hackers.

UNT has designed a novel solution to address these issues. The IoT security hub consists of a single physical device that hosts a secure trusted environment to which the IoT devices connect to communicate with each other Machine-to-Machine (M2M) or to access the internet. The first level of defense in the trusted environment is a set of IDS (Intrusion Detection Systems) and a firewall service running at the point of interaction between the trusted environment and the Internet. Linux containers, each containing a pre-configured snapshot of the security policies for each class of devices, need to be invoked. Once the device has been identified and grouped, the Software Defined Network (SDN) controller then invokes a daemon process that runs in the background. This daemon process is tasked with invoking one of the many device-class specific security function containers that are either suspended or powered down (so in essence, there are as many containers as there are classes of devices). Hardware integrity is ensured by RADIUM (Race-free On-demand Integrity Measurement Architecture) which provides integrity measurements at regular intervals. RADIUM, along with Intel SGX ensures complete trustworthiness of the underlying hardware. The hypervisor then takes control of the platform thereby providing a trusted environment for applications.

Software Engineering Lab (SELL) News

Dr. Hyunsook Do and four Ph.D. students attended the 38th International Conference on Software Engineering (ICSE) in Austin, TX in May 2016. ICSE is the premier conference in software engineering sponsored by ACM and IEEE CS. Left to right in the picture are Kaushik Madala, Maral Azizi, Dr. Hyunsook Do, Dimitriy Nurmuradov and David Adamo.

Also in May 2016, members of SELL and Software Testing Laboratories attended the TEASER (TExAs Software Engineering Research) at the University of Texas at Dallas. This doctoral symposium provided a supportive space for Ph.D. students to present and receive feedback on their research work. The following Ph.D. students and faculty attended from UNT: David Adamo, Maral Azizi, Dr. Barrett Bryant, Dr. Renee Bryce, Dr. Hyunsook Do, Danielle Gaither, Kaushik Madala, Quentin Mayo, Dimitriy Nurmuradov. In the picture, Danielle Gaither presents her poster "Requirements Verification Using Formal Semantics."

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CSE Alumni News

Alumni Focus on Jason Christian

Jason Christian (2005, M.S. Computer Science) has spent more than 25 years working with computers in some way or another. Starting with building networks and network support during his 10 years in the Air Force, to the last 15 years working in commercial industry as a software developer, architect, engineer, and he is now working as a Principal Consultant for TekSystems, Inc. He has worked designing systems for many major companies such as IBM, Nissan Motor Acceptance Corporation, Kuboto Tractors, BMW, BNSF Railway, Lincoln Financial Group, Parker Aerospace, and XTO Energy.

Jason obtained his B.S. in Computer Information Systems from Park University in 1999, while still serving in the Military. With this degree, and the experience he had gained while working for the Air Force, he acquired the necessary skills to succeed in the civilian world. He began working with IBM only 2 days after separating from the Military. His career with IBM began to move fast, and he decided to go back to school after just a few years to complete his Masters studies at UNT, graduating with an M.S. in Computer Science in 2005.

The graduate studies at UNT generated a whole new thought process for Jason when it came to software architecture and design. Having an Information Systems degree prepared him for system design as it related to business needs. The theories, algorithmic design principals, and other engineering applications opened up a different perspective of scope that enabled him to be a better designer and software developer, giving him a critical edge over the other developers.

Completing the Master’s degree provided Jason with many additional opportunities outside of the industry. He has been teaching on-line software development courses for a major university, sits on two Industry Advisory Councils (including at UNT Computer Science and Engineering), and is currently a Program Evaluator for the Accreditation Board for Engineering & Technology (ABET). All these opportunities have afforded him the chance to give back to the academic community, as well as stay in touch with the faculty and staff of UNT.

Jason lives in north Fort Worth with his wife of over 25 years. They have raised two children who are in college and starting their own adventures.

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 can help support and mentor CSE students

The Fall semester once again brings the opportunity for students to become involved in a variety of professional societies, special interest groups and honor societies. These organizations can benefit them in many ways, as our alumni are aware. But how can you assist our student organizations to contribute effectively at UNT? Here are a few suggestions:

1. Volunteer as a guest speaker or recommend someone at your company or in your network that would be interesting and educational. Perhaps you are a member of a society that has a speaker’s bureau!

2. Help organize a field trip to your company for something interesting.

3. Volunteer as a mentor to work with a small group of students to develop their leadership skills and invite them to the DFW area section meetings of the various societies if you are a member.

4. Donate funds or materials to help the organizations provide programming and host special events, or sponsor a scholarship to subsidize the membership fees for students. Many companies have matching funds available for scholarships.

5. Encourage your company to sponsor an event or other funding for these organizations in exchange for advertising and opportunities to recruit potential employees at career fairs and other events.

6. Sponsor a student to attend one of the Student Leadership conferences or a technical conference sponsored by a society. Be a part of our National Engineers Week activities.

7. Visit a student group meeting once a year so the students will begin to understand their importance and potential impact on their immediate and long term career success.

8. Encourage your company to offer internships at UNT so that our students can gain valuable work experience and improve their technical, communications and leadership skills.

9. Suggest and mentor a project for one of our Capstone courses. Get more details on this College of Engineering page about our Senior Design Capstone Experience. We have one year sequences in IT and Computer Engineering and a one semester course in Computer Science. These students work on real projects for clients and follow a full product development lifecycle from requirements to delivery. The results are presented annually at our Design Day event in the College of Engineering in April. Come visit to see what our students are doing!

10. When you order from Amazon, you can support UNT Women in Computing by using this link.

We have a number of honor societies, including Tau Beta Pi and Eta Kappa Nu. These groups also need help from our alumni in a fashion similar to those listed above. Also if you are an honor society member, you can assist with induction ceremonies and other events.

We also currently have student chapters of ACM, ACM-W, IEEE, IEEE Computer Society, SWE, as well as a Robotics Society, Information Security Group, a Linux Users group and a Competitive Programming Team associated with our department. There is also an Eta Kappa Nu honor society (Computer Engineering) and we are trying to revive the Upsilon Pi Epsilon Honor Society Chapter (Computer Science).

Please consider helping us create an active, supportive and vibrant collection of student professional and honor organizations. Contact the department for more information on how you can help.

Student News

Congratulations to CSE graduates

Congratulations to all of our Department of Computer Science and Engineering graduates in Spring 2016!

Ph.D. Graduates in Spring 2016

Shital Joshi

Dissertation: Analysis and Optimization of Graphene FET Based Nanoelectronic Integrated Circuits

Major Professor: Saraju Mohanty

CSE Students defend Dissertations and Theses

Congratulations to these Ph.D. students who successfully defended their dissertations!

Umar Albalawi

Dissertation: New Frameworks for Secure Image Communication in the Internet of Things (IoT)

Major Professor: Dr. Saraju Mohanty

Defense Date: May 11, 2016

Fahmida Hamid

Dissertation: Evaluation Techniques and Graph-Based Algorithms for Automatic Summarization & Keyphrase Extraction

Major Professor: Dr. Paul Tarau

Defense Date: June 23, 2016

Junfei Xie

Dissertation: Data-Driven Decision Making Framework for Large-Scale Dynamical Systems under Uncertainty

Major Professor: Dr. Yan Huang
Co-Major Professor: Dr. Yan Wan

Defense Date: June 28, 2016

Garima Bajwa

Dissertation: Sensing and Decoding Brain States for Predicting and Enhancing Human Behavior, Health, and Security

Major Professor: Dr. Ram Dantu

Defense Date: June 30, 2016

Karen Mazidi

Dissertation: Infusing Automatic Question Generation with Natural Language Understanding

Major Professor: Dr. Paul Tarau

Defense Date: July 25, 2016

Shanti Thiyagaraja

Dissertation: Detection and Classification of Heart Sounds Using a Heart-Mobile Interface

Major Professor: Dr. Ram Dantu

Defense Date: July 27, 2016

Fred McMahan

Dissertation: Real Time Assessment of a Video Game Player’s State of Mind Using Off-the-Shelf Electroencephalography

Major Professor: Dr. Ian Parberry

Defense Date: July 28, 2016

Oleg Kolgushev

Dissertation: Influence of Underlaying Random Walk Types in Population Models on Resulting Social Network Types and Epidemiological Dynamics

Major Professor: Dr. Armin R. Mikler

Defense Date: August 18, 2016

Congratulations to these MS students for successfully defending their theses!

Rahul Shukla

Thesis: Effects of UE speed on MIMO mode channel capacity

Major Professor: Dr. Robert Akl

Defense Date: May 2, 2016

Nagaraju Mukka

Thesis: Simulink® Based Modeling of A Multi Global Navigation Satellite System

Major Professor: Dr. Saraju Mohanty

Defense Date: July 21, 2016

Samir Koppikar

Thesis: Privacy Preserving EEG-based Authentication Using Perceptual Hashing

Major Professor: Dr. Hassan Takabi

Defense Date: August 4, 2016

CSE Student completes internship at SSG Limited

Jacob J. Hanson is a second year undergraduate student pursuing a B.S. in Computer Science with UNT. This summer he got the opportunity to work alongside other developers at SSG Limited on a generic Configure, Price, Quote (CPQ) R&D project. He worked on separating and generalizing code so that SSG could apply the CPQ framework to projects for future clients. In his work, Jacob learned how to use both the Spring and Angular 2 frameworks along with Git, Confluence, Jira and Slack.

Spending the summer with SSG from June to August 2016 gave him valuable career experience in the software development field with lots of hands-on work. Jacob said he had a lot of fun programming and building relationships at SSG. He is grateful to have been given the chance to work alongside the talented people who helped him learn the new skills to further his career.

SSG is a software consulting services company with over 19 years of experience in Oracle BRM. SSG specializes in three critical business areas: Billing and Revenue Management (Oracle BRM), Big Data Solutions and Custom Application Development. SSG is a Gold level member of Oracle Partner Network (OPN), Qlik Partner, and Hortonworks Partner.

Internship at NASA is lifelong dream for this CSE Student

By Jonathan Roosa

My name is Jonathan Roosa, and I am currently starting my third year at UNT in the CSE Department, studying Computer Science. Over this past Summer, I represented UNT at NASA, where I interned with the International Space Station (ISS) Vehicle Office at NASA’s Johnson Space Center. While there, I finished the development of an in-house web application called the Integrated Tracking System (ITS). This web application tracks commitments for the organization that require funding or manpower support that impact the maintenance, payload facility, or general utilization of the ISS. Basically, ITS is used to keep track of any existing and proposed projects with related financial data, and a critical tool for the ISS Vehicle Office management team for making budgetary decisions. A user of the application can search and filter through projects on a multitude of queries, and can then export the data into an Excel format for further usage by the ISS Vehicle Office.

Since August 2012, the ISS Vehicle Office has used a Microsoft SharePoint version of ITS, which lacks the functionality and speed that the users require. In the Summer of 2015, the ISS Vehicle Office hired an intern to plan and design a new in-house ITS web application that functioned similarly to the SharePoint version, but with automation, speed improvements, a better layout, and more. This new ITS application consists of three parts: A SQL Database, an ASP.Net Web API backend programmed in C#, and a frontend in HTML, CSS, JavaScript, and the AngularJS framework. I am the third intern to work on this application, and my job was to complete final features for the application then deploy it for usage.

I spent the initial weeks at NASA becoming familiar with the code and discovered multiple minor issues. I resolved these issues by extensively refactoring the application code, such as the add/edit item system and condensing duplicate views. I then worked on enhancing the application and adding new features based on user input. My major accomplishments and improvements included:

  • Adding user roles and login functionality by integrating with NASA’s Launchpad Authentication System

  • Adding item history tracking that keeps track of any and all changes to an item in ITS

  • Adding workflow / budget process integration functionality that helps automate the process for getting an item from proposal to project

  • Adding custom reports that allow for preset filters and queries

  • Adding user settings and extensive administrative functionality

  • Fixing multiple software issues that appeared during development and testing

  • Performing a final beta test of the web application

  • Deploying the web application with the cooperation of the IT team.

My time at NASA’s Johnson Space Center and working with the ISS Vehicle Office has definitely proven to be a pivotal life experience. Through the opportunity to work alongside NASA employees, I gained an understanding of the professional environment and contributing as a team member. In addition, I learned a multitude of skills and gained invaluable experience with multiple programming languages and concepts, such as SQL and AngularJS, as well as the workings of the ASP.Net Web API and how to develop a web application that interacts with a browser. This internship was also my first major experience developing an application for multiple end users, as well as my first experience working with pre-existing code on a large project. And most importantly, I lived out a lifelong dream of working on something that benefits space exploration, establishing the foundations for a future career with NASA and advancing the human exploration of space.

College of Engineering News

College of Engineering Events       College of Engineering News

CSE Alumni invited to CENG tent for UNT Homecoming on November 5

The Thurman Family came to Homecoming in October 2015. Greg Thurman, B.S. 1998, holding Nathan. Greg’s wife Jenny holding Kendra and Ryan in the middle.

CSE alumni and friends are invited to join the UNT Homecoming celebration on Saturday, November 5. The College of Engineering is planning a tailgating party for alumni from 2:30 to 4:30 pm. Please save the date and look for an email with all the details in October.

Come join us and meet the College of Engineering faculty members and students and find out what is happening at your Department of Computer Science and Engineering. At 4:30 pm, the Homecoming Football game will be your Mean Green vs. Louisiana Tech. For more details, see this UNT Homecoming website.

Showcase of Undergraduate Research in Engineering (SURE) on November 4

CSE Student Jiaxuan Pang participated in SURE in November 2015.

College of Engineering undergraduate students are invited to present their research at the Showcase of Undergraduate Research in Engineering (SURE) on Friday, November 4, 2016. The Showcase for Undergraduate Research in Engineering will provide an opportunity for undergraduate researchers to share the knowledge they have gained through their research as well give them experience in conducting a poster presentation.

The event will consist of a poster presentation for one hour that will be followed by lunch with the College of Engineering Advisory Board. Awards will be presented at the lunch. Students should be prepared to design a poster displaying the research project, present information about the research in a professional manner and stay for the duration of the event. For more information about SURE, contact Kathryn Beasley, Graduate Recruiter for the College of Engineering.

University of North Texas News

UNT hits record enrollment for second consecutive year

The University of North Texas has posted a record high of 37,973 students enrolled in Fall 2016, which is a 2 percent increase over last year. This is the second consecutive year that UNT has experienced an increase in enrollment. This growth includes the larges incoming freshman class of 4,773 students, which is almost a 2.5 percent increase over last year’s freshman class. For more information about UNT enrollment, see this UNT press release.

CSE Professors honored at UNT Salute to Faculty Excellence

UNT Faculty members, including two CSE professors, received University Faculty Awards at the Salute to Faculty Excellence Dinner and Awards on September 22, 2016. From left to right in the picture above are Dr. Song Fu, promoted to Associate Professor; Dr. Barrett Bryant, CSE Chair; Dr. Costas Tsatsoulis, CENG Dean; CSE Professor Ram Dantu, Research Leadership Award presented by the Office of Research and Economic Development; CSE Professor Saraju P. Mohanty, Toulouse Scholar Award presented by the Toulouse Graduate School; and Materials Science and Engineering Professor Thomas W. Scharf, Teacher Scholar Award presented by the Office of Research and Economic Development.

Dr. Ram Dantu received the Research Leadership Award presented by the UNT Office of Research and Economic Development. He was recognized for his leadership of research teams that have secured several NSF research awards with Columbia University, Purdue University, Texas A&M University and Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Professor Saraju P. Mohanty received the Toulouse Scholar Award (noted above in the CSE Department News) presented by the Toulouse Graduate School. His book titled "Nanoelectronic Mixed-Signal System Design" published by McGraw-Hill in 2015 received 2016 PROSE (Professional & Scholarly Excellence) Award for best Textbook in Physical Sciences & Mathematics from the Association of American Publishers (AAP).

Congratulations to Dr. Dantu and Professor Mohanty on their awards! To see all the UNT major award winners, please go to this Faculty Success website.

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 — September 2016