University of North Texas
CSE Alumni Email Newsletter

February 2006  

CSE News
Alumni News
College of Engineering News
UNT News

Greetings from the CSE Chairman

Dear Alumni and Friends,

Spring 2006 has brought more students to our department. In addition to our Computer Science majors, the number of Computer Engineering students has more than doubled from one year ago. In just one year, our first class of Computer Engineering students will graduate. David Keathly is designing the capstone senior design course sequence for those students. As you will read below, he is looking for design project ideas, mentors and evaluators in this connection.

Our department will again take part in National Engineers Week. We are bringing TopCoder to UNT on February 21. You are invited to attend a free lunch for faculty, students, and alumni that the College of Engineering is hosting in the lobby of the College on Wednesday, February 22, at noon. We invite you to participate in our activities during National Engineers Week. The website below will give you all the details.

When you were a student at UNT, your contributions helped make our department better. You still have an opportunity to make an impact on our program today. Alumni support is vital for our continued progress. Please continue to show your support for UNT and your CSE department.


Krishna M. Kavi

Department of Computer Science and Engineering News

TopCoder Comes to Research Park

Top Coder

As part of National Engineers Week, TopCoder (, the recognized leader in identifying, evaluating, and mobilizing effective software development resources, will be on campus in February as part of its 2006 National College Tour program.

On February 21, UNT and other area students are invited to participate in an exclusive programming and problem-solving event. The event will take place in the North Texas Research Park, Room F218 from 9:30 a.m. through approximately 12:30 p.m. A pizza lunch is included.

Prior registration for the event is necessary. A variety of prizes will be awarded. See all the details and learn more about TopCoder here:

CSEagles Selection Announced

Back row L to R: Brittany Bruno, Cheryl-Annette Kincaid, Srivamsi Tarigopula, Xiaohui Li, Prasanti Kolan
Front Row: Mitra Mahdavian, Maria Ascencio, Lisette Zounon, Kavya Katam

The CSE department is pleased to announce the first class of CSEagles who will act as ambassadors for the department and mentors for incoming freshmen. The CSEagles program includes a $500 per semester scholarship and is funded by a grant from the Technology Workforce Development program.

The first group will serve for the Spring 2006 semester and then new applications will be accepted for the Fall 2006-Spring 2007 academic year. The first group includes Cheryl-Annette Kincaid, Maria Asencio, Xaohui Li, Srivamsi Tarigopula, Brittany Bruno, Lisette Zounon, Mitra Mahdavian, Kavya Katam, and Prasanti Kolan. Please congratulate these young women on their selection.

Dr. Parberry Gives Presentations at Purdue University and on Microsoft's "Nerd Boat"

Dr Ian Parberry In January 2006, Dr. Ian Parberry made back-to-back trips to give presentations on his computer game programming research. First he was at Purdue University from January 11-14 where he gave two talks. The first was a research presentation: "Three Research Topics in Entertainment Computing." Dr. Parberry's second talk, "Experience With an Industry-Driven Capstone Course on Game Programming," was from SIGCSE 2005.

After he returned from Purdue, Dr. Parberry attended a Microsoft Academic Days conference from January 18-23 on Enhancing Computer Science with Gaming Concepts & Technologies. He was invited to give a talk on "SAGE: A Simple Academic Game Engine". More information about SAGE can be found on the LARC website at You can read about "The Nerd Boat" in THIS article published in Forbes on January 31, 2006.

The conference was attended by approximately 200 academics and industry representatives and explored the use of computer games to teach and conduct basic research. The conference was held on a cruise ship to Cozumel. Since he was an invited presenter, Dr. Parberry's trip was paid for by Microsoft. With public conference sessions during the day and private meetings with Microsoft people during the evenings, Dr. Parberry came home completely exhausted but energized to teach his students here at UNT.

CSE Faculty and Staff Recognized for Service

Tom Irby In December 2005, four members of the Computer Science and Engineering department were recognized for their years of service to the University of North Texas. Dr. Tom Irby was the first faculty member hired by Dan Scott, founding department chairman of the Department of Computer Sciences. Dr. Irby received a set of crystal bookends marking his 30th anniversary at UNT. He has seen the department grow from a Masters in Computer Science program with fewer than 20 students to a comprehensive program with almost 800 majors. Dr. Irby has seen many changes to the department, including the creation of the Bachelor of Arts in Computer Science, Bachelor of Science in both Computer Science and Engineering, the Masters of Computer Engineering, and the Ph.D. in Computer Science. He serves as the Undergraduate Coordinator and teaches many of the beginning courses for the department. He has taught over 10,000 students during his career.

Dr. Kathleen Swigger was recognized for her 25 years of service in the CSE department. In 2003, Dr. Swigger was appointed Associate Dean of Research for the newly formed College of Engineering. She still teaches at least one course each semester in her area of research. This semester she is teaching a graduate class in Computer Human Interfaces.

Dr. Tom Jacob received a plaque recognizing his 20 years at UNT. Dr. Jacob came to the department in 1985 and served as Chair from 1997 to 2001. He is currently teaching an undergraduate course in Program Development and an Operating System Design course for graduate students.

Pam Vincent is the undergraduate secretary for the department. She received a glass plaque commemorating her 15 years of loyal service to UNT. Pam handles all undergraduate student affairs and coordinates the activities of the front office.

Please congratulate these faculty and staff members and thank them for their service to our department!

Other Faculty News

Robert Akl, Assistant Professor, presented the paper entitled "Capacity Allocation in Multi-cell UMTS Networks for Different Spreading Factors with Perfect and Imperfect Power Control" at the IEEE CCNC 2006: Consumer Communications and Networking Conference, in Las Vegas, NV, in January.

David Keathly, CSE Lecturer, presented a paper entitled "Setting Student Expectations with a Majors-Only Programming Course" at the TWD Best Practices Conference sponsored by the TETC and the Texas Coordinating Board for Higher Education at SMU in January 2006.

Keathly was also recently selected as the Region 5 Chapter Activities Board Coordinator for the IEEE Computer Society. Region 5 included student and professional Computer Society chapters in Texas, Oklahoma, Louisiana, Arkansas, Colorado, Kansas, Missouri and portions of New Mexico, Wyoming, Nebraska, and South Dakota.

Saraju P. Mohanty, Ph. D., Assistant Professor, presented his latest research finding as two papers recently at the 19th IEEE international conference on VLSI Design in Hyderabad, India in January 3-7, 2006. The two papers are titled, "Modeling and Reduction of Gate Leakage during Behavioral Synthesis of NanoCMOS Circuits" and "A High-Performance VLSI Architecture for Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) Algorithm."

Dr. Mohanty chaired a session at the 8th International Conference on Information Technology (ICIT) 2005, held at Bhubaneshwar, Orissa, December 20-23, 2005 hosted by Orissa Information Technology Society (OITS). He will be the program chair of the next year CIT conference (CIT 2006) to be held December 18-21, 2006 in Bhubaneswar. Dr. Mohanty is a donor member of OITS, which is aggressively engaged in various activities for the growth of IT (Information Technology) in Orissa.

Alumni News

Computer Engineering Senior Design Courses to Begin

The Computer Engineering program has matured to the point that we will have our first class of Seniors in the Fall of 2006. This means that several courses will be offered for the first time, including the two Senior Design Capstone Courses for Computer Engineering. David Keathly, a lecturer and advisor in the department, will be responsible for these courses.

Over a two semester period, students in these capstone courses will take a project or product from the Inception Phase through Analysis, Design, Development, and Testing. They will be responsible for not only the technical aspects of the project, but also the documentation, customer and user interaction, and project management processes as well.

In order to create an environment that is as realistic as possible, Mr. Keathly is looking for businesses and individuals that might have projects or products that students could help develop, as well as electrical and computer engineers who would be willing to help mentor teams. Projects should be of a scope that could reasonably be accomplished in a seven to eight month period by a team of four to six students.

The department will provide a variety of laboratory resources and basic supplies. Any projects that require specialized equipment or parts may require assistance from the project sponsor in terms of providing parts and permitting access at various times to use more specialized equipment. It is also possible that a team could do a part of a larger project, as long as their portion will include the full life cycle of activities.

If you or your company have project ideas, are willing to mentor, or have parts or equipment that might prove useful to students in these courses, please contact David Keathly at or by phone at 940-565-4801.

Alumni Focus

James Hayes

James A. Hayes received a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Science from UNT in 1999. While still a student, James began his professional career working for Marconi Communications in Bedford as a Software Engineer in their Engineering IS department. James has since applied his skills with such companies as IBM, Enron, and DuPont.

Presently, he is a Senior Programmer and Business Analyst with The Boeing Company in Richardson and operates his own information technology consulting company. He is also a member of the CSE Department's Advisory Council and is currently pursuing his MBA at UNT.

James really enjoyed his years at UNT. The best part of the CS program for him was the intense immersion into programming languages, which helped him to become a technology generalist and gave him the ability to complete varied projects, including web applications or embedded processing. When he isn't working or studying, he can probably be found out on the lake fishing!

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

College of Engineering News

National Engineers Week 2006 to be held at Research Park February 20-24

Please help get the word out about Engineering Week to recruit students and promote the college. There are many exciting events taking place including guest speakers, contests, open houses, free food, and much more.

On Tuesday, February 21, TopCoder will be hosted by the Department of Computer Science and Engineering at Research Park. On Wednesday, February 22, the College of Engineering will host a free buffet lunch for students, faculty, and alumni in the lobby of the College.

The College of Engineering will sponsor a career fair on Thursday, February 23. Companies that are scheduled to attend include Dal-Tile Corporation, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), Frito Lay, Raytheon and many more. For more details on the career fair, please see

Industry, government, and educational institutions, along with invited faculty and students, will participate in an Environmental Scan of Technology on Friday, February 24. The purpose will be to discuss how the requirements for engineering education have changed and how the College of Engineering must proceed in the future to meet the needs of business and industry.

The ACM and IEEE Computer Society are planning to sponsor contests and other activities. For an updated schedule of events, please check the E-week information page at More details will be added daily.

UNT College of Engineering and Texas Woman's University to Offer Dual Degree

In January 2006, the University of North Texas and Texas Woman's University signed an agreement to offer a five-year dual degree program in math and electrical engineering. In 2004, UNT received a $1 million grant from the National Science Foundation for an innovative electrical engineering program that includes funding for scholarships to attract women and minorities to the College of Engineering.

According to the agreement, students will attend TWU for the first two years. In the third year, students will take courses at both UNT and TWU. The last two years will be spent at UNT. Students who complete the program will receive two bachelor's degrees-one in mathematics from TWU and one in electrical engineering from UNT.

Dr. Reza Mirshams, Associate Dean for the College of Engineering, said, "This is a very exciting program to increase the number of minority and female students in engineering. That's our goal, especially with our innovative approach to electrical engineering." You can read more about this new program HERE.

University of North Texas News

UNT Event Calendar

Spring Enrollment Surpasses 30,000 Students

The University of North Texas has announced that for the first time spring enrollment is over 30,000 students. In Spring 2006, there are 30,790 students enrolled-an additional 1,163 students over the 29,627 enrolled in Spring 2005.

UNT has also announced there was a double digit increase in the numbers of enrolled Hispanic students, African American students, and Asian students. Hispanic students showed an increase of 12.8 percent. The number of African-American students increased 12.4 percent and Asian students increased by 10.6 percent.

Enrollment at the UNT Dallas campus for Spring 2006 is 1,487, an 18.2 percent increase. This brings UNT System closer to establishing the University of North Texas at Dallas, an accredited, fully-fledged, freestanding university. You can read more about Spring 2006 enrollment HERE.

B.D. Wong and Yolanda King Featured at UNT Diversity Conference

Yolanda King B.D. Wong UNT's Division of Equity and Diversity will present the 9th Annual Equity and Diversity Conference February 22-24, 2006. Tony Award winning actor and "Law and Order" TV star, B.D. Wong, and actress and civil rights advocate, Yolanda King, will speak during the conference.

On Thursday, February 23, B.D. Wong will speak about "Change, Hope and Equality for Asian-Americans." Everyone is invited to this free program. On Friday, February 24, B.D. Wong will present "All the World's a Stage: From Exclusion to Inclusion."

Yolanda King, the eldest daughter of Coretta Scott King and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., will give the keynote speech of the conference "Open My Eyes, Open My Soul: Discovering the Power of Diversity" on Friday, February 24, at 7 p.m. in the Lyceum of the UNT University Union. Please click HERE to learn more about the conference and for ticket information.

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 UNT Computer Science and Engineering Department