Greetings from the CSE Chairman
Dear CSE Alumni and Friends,
As I announced at the beginning of this semester, our Computer
Engineering program was evaluated by ABET during October. I am
pleased to share with you that we received a favorable report at
the end of the team's visit, but we will not have the final word
until next summer. I want to thank the alumni and members of our
CSE Industrial Advisory Board who were interviewed by the
evaluators. When this program is accredited, then our students
can be proud of receiving their degree from an ABET-accredited
There are many other good things to share with you about our
department. Planning has begun for our new B.A. in Information
Technology that will begin in Fall 2008. We are proud of our UNT
programming teams. Congratulations to the first place team on
winning the ACM South Central Regional Programming Competition.
Congratulations to Santi Phithakkitnukoon for winning one of the
Robert Toulouse Doctoral Scholarships and to Samer Hassan and
Carmen Banea for winning the best student paper award at the IEEE
International Conference on Semantic Computing. Two doctoral
students successfully defended their dissertations this Fall and
will graduate soon. You can read more about these and other
success stories in this newsletter.
You can continue to support us in a number of ways. Volunteer as
a guest speaker or recommend someone at your company that would
be interesting and educational. Encourage your company to
sponsor an event or other funding for student organizations. You
are invited to come back to UNT to be a "Professor for a Day"
during National Engineers Week in February 2008 to share your
professional experiences with our current students. We invite
you to get involved with our program at UNT. With your support,
we will continue to improve our CSE program.
Krishna M. Kavi
Professor and Chair
Department of Computer Science and Engineering News
UNT Programming Team Qualifies for ACM World Finals
UNT took two teams to the ACM South Central Regional Programming
Competition at Texas A&M on Saturday, November 3rd. After 5 hours
of continuous programming, Team 1 solved 8 out of 9 problems (the
only team to solve 8 problems). The problem set included guiding
a laser beam through a maze of objects with reflectors and
splitters. UNT teams placed first and eleventh out of 76 teams
throughout the South Central United States. This is the first
time a UNT team has advanced to the World Finals in the ACM
Programming Contest sponsored by IBM. The World Finals will be
held in April 2008 in Banff Springs, Alberta, Canada.
Team coach Ryan Garlick said, "We were very pleased with the
results, in terms of the first team qualifying for the finals and
for future events, as our second team did very well also and was
composed of all first-time competitors."
Through a haze of caffeine, first team captain John Rizzo said,
"The problem set was diverse and challenging but we had a good
day." Rizzo added the he and his teammates had been practicing
individually and as a team every week for the past few months.
The first place team was composed of:
Robbie Mitchell Burke
For more information, see this UNT press release.
The CSE Department was recently visited by ABET (Accreditation
Board for Engineering and Technology) to consider the
accreditation of the Computer Engineering program. Thanks to all
the faculty and students who participated in the discussions. The
visit went very well and we anticipate receiving accreditation
for the program. The entire process leading to the final approval
will occupy the remainder of the academic year. We will have the
formal approval during Summer 2008.
The visitors had only three minor concerns for the program that
are already being addressed. In ABET terminology there are three
levels of issues: 1) Deficiencies-these prevent accreditation 2)
Weaknesses-these would generally cause a shortened accreditation
period or other interim requirements to be met; 3) Concerns-
these are usually items that simply need to be addressed before
the next visit which can be 2, 3, 4 or 6 years. It is very
unusual for a new program to have no weaknesses and only a small
number of concerns, so we should be very proud. We need to be
aware that ABET board may change a concern to a weakness if they
feel that concern is serious enough. So, let us hope that that
this will not happen and that we will receive full (6 year)
Future announcements will keep you informed of the final outcome
of this process.
UNT Hosts Workshop on Algorithms, Combinatorics and Geometry
Dr. Farhad Shahrokhi organized a workshop on Algorithms,
Combinatorics and Geometry (ACG) which was held November 29-
December 1, 2007 at the University of North Texas. The workshop
promoted interaction between the discrete mathematics and the
computer science communities and fostered collaboration between
junior researchers, graduate students, and senior researchers.
More than 60 people participated in this workshop, which is
supported by a grant that Dr. Shahrokhi received from the
National Science Foundation. Matching funds have been provided by
the University of North Texas. Olivia Loza and Cameron Palmer,
two outstanding CSE graduate students, were the workshop
assistants. For more information, please see the details at
CSE Receives Grant from Motorola Foundation
Dr. Robert Akl and David Keathly received a $30,000 grant from
the Motorola Foundation to take the popular RoboCamp summer
program "on the road" to area schools and community centers
during the summer of 2008. The RoboCamp program was started in
the summer of 2005 with a 2004 grant from the Technology
Workforce Development program. Two camps were held in the summers
of 2005 and 2006 in Denton and Dallas.
In 2007 an Advanced Robocamp Program joined the other two, along
with an engineering design camp called Eng-inuity! and a
programming camp known as CSExperience. They hope to continue the
Dallas and Denton campus camps to complement the mobile camps,
and will be recruiting students during the spring semester to
assist with all of the camps. The student workers will receive a
salary for the program, which is provided free to participants.
For more information, read this NT Daily article.
Dr. Mikler and Courtney Corley at EpiGrid 2007
Dr. Armin Mikler gave a keynote address on November 5, 2007 at
EpiGrid 2007, an international workshop held to find innovative
strategies to combat epidemics. The conference was held at Fern
University in Hagen, Germany. The workshop helped scientists of
different disciplines to cooperate on developing intelligent
Dr. Mikler and his father with Courtney
Corley at the train station in Frankfurt, Germany.
Ph.D. student Courtney Corley presented "Social epidemiology and
intimate social networks" at the conference. It was co-authored
by Prof. Suhasini Ramisetty-Mikler, PhD, MPH, University of Texas
School of Public Health, Dallas Regional Campus. In this
presentation, Corley discussed how public health risk behavior
surveys provide operational insight into forming contacts between
individuals in an intimate social network. He also introduced a
computational simulator created to embody the intimate social
networks related to the disease transmission which can be used as
a tool by public health professionals in developing strategies
for targeted interventions.
Courtney also presented "Generating social networks of intimate
contacts for the study of public health intervention strategies"
at the IEEE 7th International Symposiums on Bioinformatics and
Bioengineering (BIBE07) held at Harvard Medical School Conference
Center in Boston, MA on October 14, 2007. Co-authors included
Lindsey Brown, Armin R.Mikler, Diane J. Cook and Karan Singh.
Dr. Kavi Named SMU Distinguished Alumnus
Dr. Krishna Kavi was honored as a Distinguished Alumnus at
Southern Methodist University's School of Engineering for the
40th Anniversary Celebration of the Department of Computer
Science and Engineering on November 9 during the 2007 Homecoming
Weekend. Dr. Kavi received his Master's degree in 1977 and his
Ph.D. in 1980 from SMU.
Dr. Kavi also participated in a Distinguished Alumni Symposium
hosted by the Department of Computer Science and Engineering and
the Dean of the School of Engineering of SMU. The symposium
featured six distinguished SMU alumni discussing the main
milestones of computing in the last four decades and sharing
their outlook for the future.
Congratulations, Dr. Kavi, on receiving this award from SMU!
Dr. Celikel Organizes a Track at ITNG 2008 Conference
Dr. Ebru Celikel is organizing a track titled: "Risk Management
in Information Systems" at the 5th International Conference on
Information Technology: New Generations to be held in April 2008
in Las Vegas, NV. The Risk Management in Information Systems
Track at ITNG 2008 seeks to gather researchers and their work in
this multidisciplinary area. For more information about this
conference please go to http://www.itng.info.
Parasoft CEO Presents Software Engineering Forum
Dr. Adam Kowala, CEO of Parasoft, Inc., discussed "Putting the
engineering in software engineering: technology infrastructure in
process improvement" on November 8, 2007 at the UNT Research Park
Department of Computer Science and Engineering. The event was sponsored by
the Department and the IEEE Computer Society Student Branch.
David Keathly presents Dr. Kowala
CSE department shirt.
Jeff Hatfield graduated from the University of North Texas with a
B.A. in Computer Science in 1996. While pursuing his degree, Jeff
worked part time at Motorola in Fort Worth developing software
tools. Upon graduation, he joined Motorola full time as a
software engineer developing embedded software controlling RF
diagnostic hardware for their Cellular Infrastructure Group.
Approaching 15 years of service with Motorola, Jeff currently
manages several teams of firmware engineers that develop the
embedded software for CDMA transceiver and power amplifier
devices. He has been a member of the UNT Computer Science and
Engineering Industrial Council since 2003 and currently serves as
You're Invited to be a "Professor for a Day"
The UNT College of Engineering and the Department of Computer
Science and Engineering will celebrate National Engineers Week
during February 17-23, 2008. Once again we would like to invite
our alumni to participate in the festivities. One of the programs
well suited to our alumni is the "Professor for a Day" program in
which you have the opportunity to share your knowledge and
experience with an undergraduate or graduate class of students
during the week.
We would welcome the opportunity to have you discuss your career
experiences in Computer Science and Computer Engineering related
fields with our current students. There are many class times available
in the morning, afternoon and evening. Please contact Robert Akl at
you would like to participate in this "Professor for a Day" program.
We want to hear from you! What have you been doing since graduating from UNT?
Please send a few paragraphs and a picture to AlumniFocus@cse.unt.edu
Santi Phithakkitnukoon Receives Toulouse Scholarship Award
Santi Phithakkitnukoon, a CSE doctoral student, received
one of two Toulouse Scholarship Awards at the 30th Annual Seminar
sponsored by the Federation of North Texas Area Universities held
at Texas A&M University in Commerce, TX in October 2007. The
Federation of North Texas Area Universities is a consortium of
three universities-Texas A&M University-Commerce, Texas Woman's
University, and the University of North Texas-that coordinates
various graduate programs and activities among the institutions.
Santi Phithakkitnukoon with UNT President,
Dr. Gretchen Bataille, after receiving his award.
The Federation Council awards the Robert Toulouse Doctoral and
Master's Scholarships annually to graduate students in one of the
Federation program areas. Each recipient of these awards must be
admitted to a graduate school at one of the three member
universities and be actively pursuing a graduate degree in one of
the Federation program areas.
A graduate student entering a Federated program has access to the
combined academic resources of all three universities, including
their libraries and laboratories. Benefits to the student include
the flexibility of cross-registration at member universities and
the option to select major professors, advisors, and thesis or
dissertation supervisors and/or directors from any of the schools
involved in a particular program area. The student also has
opportunities to interact with other advanced students in a broad
range of classes, seminars, conferences, and special programs.
Congratulations to Santi on receiving this scholarship.
Samer Hassan and Carmen Banea Win
IEEE Best Student Paper Award
Samer Hassan and Carmen Banea won the best student paper award at
the IEEE International Conference on Semantic Computing in Irvine,
CA, in September 2007. "Random-Walk Term Weighting for Improved Text
Classification," also co-authored by Rada Mihalcea, describes a
new approach for estimating term weights in a document, and shows
how the new weighting scheme can be used to improve the accuracy
of a text classifier.
Carmen Banea, Samer Hassan,
and Rada Mihalcea
The method uses term co-occurrence as a measure of dependency
between word features. A random-walk model is applied on a graph
encoding words and co-occurrence dependencies, resulting in
scores that represent a quantification of how a particular word
feature contributes to a given context. Experiments performed on
three standard classification datasets showed that the new
random-walk based approach significantly outperforms the
traditional term frequency approach of feature weighting.
Samer and Carmen are members of the Language and Information
Dissertation Defenses During Fall 2007
Vandana Gunupudi defended her dissertation on November 12, 2007.
The title of her dissertation is: Trusted Platform Module
Capabilities: A Theoretical and Experimental Study. Vandana's
major professor is Dr. Steve Tate. Her dissertation committee
also included Dr. Armin Mikler, Dr. Ram Dantu and Dr. Tom Jacob.
(L-R) Dr. Ram Dantu, Dr. Armin Mikler, Dr. Tom Jacob,
Vandana Gunupudi and Dr. Steve Tate
Wentong Li defended his dissertation on October 24, 2007.
The title of his dissertation is: High Performance Architecture using
Speculative threads and dynamic memory management hardware. Dr.
Kavi is Wentong's major professor and his dissertation committee also
included Dr. Phil Sweany, Dr. Robert Brazile, and Dr. Saraju Mohanty.
Krishna Kavi and Wentong Li
UNT Robotics Society Competes in RoboRama
The inaugural semester of the University of North Texas Robotics
Society has officially begun. The Society entered their first
batch of robots in the Dallas Personal Robotics Group's RoboRama
contest which included events such as line following and mini-
After the contest, the members of the Robotics Society plan to
embark on a project of larger scale for the benefit of the
College of Engineering and to advance their experience in this
subject. Potential projects for the group include a traveling
robotic jazz band or a robotic tour guide for Research Park.
For more information about the Robotics Society, please contact
the faculty advisor, David Keathly at firstname.lastname@example.org or
Corey Rosemurgy, chapter President, at email@example.com.
College of Engineering News
Homecoming Tent Hosted by College of Engineering
The College of Engineering hosted a tent during UNT's Homecoming
Weekend in the Mean Green Village on October 27, 2007. Several
departments hosted displays and activities for alumni, students
and other visitors to the tent. For the second year in a row,
the Department of Engineering Technology had its Nitrogen-fueled
car on display. In the picture on the right, Dr. Wendy K. Wilkins,
UNT's new Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, takes
the car for a spin.
DC Best Sponsored by College of Engineering
UNT hosted the Denton County Engineering Science and Technology
annual competition held at the NT Coliseum on October 27, 2007.
More than 20 area middle and high schools competed in the
"Mission to Mars," the theme for this year's contest. The
playing field was set up to simulate the harsh conditions found
on Mars by robots preparing for the arrival of the first
astronauts on the planet's surface. The first robotics
competition gauged how well the robot performed in the field
which had a platform shaped like a square.
The teams competed four at a time. The robots navigated up a ramp
and onto a platform. From there, they picked up a number of
bottles and a variety of colored boxes which were set to
represent fuel cells and other important supplies. The items were
then dropped into a storage container on the edge of the playing
field. Points were awarded based on the number of items picked up
within a specific time. Denton High School won the title. The
runner-up was the team from Marcus ISD.
Miguel Garcia-Rubio, Associate Director of the College of
Engineering, emphasized the importance of the contest to the
future of our nation and announced that next year UNT will host
Texas BEST, the state competition, which will bring students in
from Texas, Arkansas, New Mexico and Oklahoma.
University of North Texas News
UNT Event Calendar
Texas Instruments Researcher to Direct UNT Center for Advanced
Research and Technology
J.D. Luttmer, who spent 28 years establishing and leading
Texas Instruments' internal research on seven generations of advanced
microelectronic devices, has been named the first director of the
University of North Texas' Center for Advanced Research and
Technology, or CART.
The multidisciplinary center, housed at UNT's Research Park
campus in Denton, is supported by more than $15 million in
federal funding and is home to a rare collection of high-powered
microscopes that are key to nanotechnology research. Established
in 2004, CART features a variety of high tech microscopes that
can explore substances at atomic and molecular levels, where the
nanometer - one-billionth of a meter - is a standard unit for
measuring length. The center has an emphasis on the science and
engineering disciplines and a concentration in materials
At Texas Instruments, Luttmer worked in several departments,
including silicon semiconductor technology development, the
infrared devices laboratory and the company's solar cell program.
He holds 22 U.S. patents and has received four patent incentive
Dr. Art Goven, UNT interim vice president for research and
technology, says Luttmer is an outstanding addition to the
university. "We are very fortunate to have hired someone with the
technical background that he brings to UNT. He will help this
university maximize the great assets we have in the areas of
materials science and nanotechnology," Goven says.
UNT Has 25 Percent Increase in International Students
The NT Daily recently reported a 25 percent increase in the
number of international students enrolled at UNT for the Fall
semester. This information comes from the Open Doors Summary, a
document that includes the international student populations of
the Denton campus, UNT's Intensive English Language Institute and
the UNT Health Science Center.
The program with the highest number of international students is
the business, management and marketing program with 383 total
students. Most of the students in the program are
undergraduates, but 155 are doing graduate work. The second most
successful program in international student population is the
Intensive English Language Institute, which has nearly 300
students. According to the Institute's website, this is one of
the first English language programs in the United States to be
accredited for ten years by the Commission on English Language
Other successful UNT programs include the visual and performing
arts program with 277 international students, optional practical
training with 238 international students, and computer and
information sciences with 150 international students.
The CSE Email Newsletter was assembled and produced by Genene Murphy and
Don Retzlaff. It is a publication of the UNT Computer Science and
Engineering Department. Contact the department at
If you would like to receive this newsletter as text rather than
formatted in HTML, please contact Don Retzlaff at firstname.lastname@example.org.
http://www.cse.unt.edu UNT Computer Science and
Engineering Department — December 2007