Greetings from the CSE Chairman
Dear CSE Alumni and Friends,
At the beginning of 2008, I want to share with you the many
activities happening this semester. The Net Centric Software and
Systems Consortium will sponsor a NSF Industry University
Cooperative Research Center (I/UCRC) Planning Meeting on February
20-22 in Plano, TX. If you would like to attend or know other
colleagues who might be interested in attending, see the article
about the meeting below and register as soon as possible. In
this newsletter, you can read our other news about Dr. Yan Huang
leading a new NSF grant, Dr. Liangmei Hu visiting as a scholar
from China, and Dr. Ian Parberry being named a Microsoft MVP
Our CSE department will take part in National Engineers Week by
hosting a forum on our new degree program, the B.A. in
Information Technology, on February 19. Craig Berry is on our
CSE Advisory Board and he will speak at the forum about
Professions in IT. If you are thinking about graduate school,
then you are invited to attend our Graduate Studies Open House on
February 21. Dr. Armin Mikler, Graduate Studies Coordinator, has
invited his first Ph.D. graduate, Naveen Kakani, back to UNT to
speak about the importance of graduate education. Other CSE
alumni and Advisory Board members are coming back to be a
"Professor for a Day." On February 20, the College of
Engineering will host a banquet, which you can read about below
along with the other activities the College of Engineering is
planning for E-Week.
RoboCamp has received new funding from both corporate and state
sources to allow that program to grow in 2008. If you or your
company would like to sponsor RoboCamp activities and programs,
please contact us. There are many ways for you to get involved
with us. We invite you to support our department and help us
improve our program so we can reach our goal of being the best in
Krishna M. Kavi
Professor and Chair
Department of Computer Science and Engineering News
Graduate Studies Open House Announced
Naveen Kakani received his Ph.D. in Computer Science in 2000. He
joined Nokia Research Center as Senior Research Engineer and now
he is a "Specialist for WLAN," responsible for WLAN evolution
research and industry activities. He is coming back to UNT to
speak about the importance of graduate education at the Graduate
Studies Open House hosted by the Graduate Program of the Computer
Science and Engineering Department on Thursday, February 21, 2008
at 11:00 a.m. in Research Park room F223.
The CSE Department offers M.S. degrees in Computer Science and
Computer Engineering and a Ph.D. degree in Computer Science and
Engineering. Take advantage of this opportunity to find out more
about getting your graduate degree in Computer Science and
Engineering here at UNT.
If you cannot attend, but would like more information about our
graduate degree programs, check our website
HERE. If you have
further questions, contact Dr. Armin R. Mikler, Graduate Studies
Coordinator, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Engineering Week Forum on the New B.A. in Information Technology
The Computer Science and Engineering Department will host a forum on
the new B.A. in Information Technology on February 19, 2008 from 12:30
to 1:30 in Research Park room B155. Craig Berry, Senior Vice President
and Chief Information Officer for Siemens PLM Software will give a
talk about Professions in IT.
Following this presentation, undergraduate advisors David Keathly and
Ryan Garlick will provide an overview of the requirements for the new
degree and will answer questions. Following the program they will be
available to discuss specific degree requirements with individuals and
process change of major requests. This program will be presented via
Video Conference at the UNT Dallas Campus in room 222.
CSE Sponsors Guitar Hero 3 Tournament
As part of National Engineers Week, the CSE department will sponsor a
Guitar Hero 3 Tournament on Friday, February 22, 2008, beginning at 11
a.m. in Research Park room F204. Certificates and prizes will be
awarded and pizza will be served to all participants. Dr. Robert Akl,
faculty sponsor of the tournament, says we have guitars or bring your
own. To register, contact Dr. Akl at email@example.com.
The first 50 registrants and the first five alternates will be notified.
NSF Grant Expands Environmental Sensor Program
Dr. Yan Huang is leading a new $250,000 grant from the National
Science Foundation that expands the ECOPLEX system of environmental
sensors which will allow researchers to monitor conditions in soil,
air and water, as well as model future environmental conditions.
The team for the project includes researchers from the Departments of
Computer Science and Engineering, Xinrong Lie and Shengli Fu from
Electrical Engineering, and Ruthann Thompson from Biological Sciences.
Also included are Miguel Acevedo from the Biological and Environmental
Engineering program and the City of Denton, Texas Parks and Wildlife
Department, and the National Weather Service.
Developed in 1999 by UNT and the city of Denton, the 18 ECOPLEX
stations monitor a number of environmental factors on a real-time
basis, including exposure to ultraviolet rays, ozone levels, water
quality, soil moisture and weather conditions. The grant expands the
ECOPLEX system to a large Texas Environmental Observatory, or TEO,
through the development and addition of seven wireless sensor networks
and 110 nodes. Those nodes will measure environmental data about soil
moisture, air and water.
"This is yet another example of our faculty working collaboratively
with faculty from other disciplines and creating shared research
facilities," says Krishna Kavi, Chair of UNT's Department of Computer
Science and Engineering. For more information on this research group,
RoboCamp Enters Its Fourth Year
This summer will see another round of the increasingly popular
RoboCamp summer programs thanks to the efforts of CSE Faculty members
Robert Akl, David Keathly and Chair Krishna Kavi. The summer program
has once again received a number of grants including one from the
Motorola Foundation ($30,000) and another from the Texas Workforce
Commission ($102,000) for a two-year period. "This year, the program
will include some mobile camps where we will actually take the robots
and our student workers to schools in various districts as part of the
Motorola Foundation grant," according to Robert Akl, the principal
Plans also include offering the CSExperience programming camp and the
Eng-inuity! engineering design camp started in 2007 as part of an
expanded program. 2008 will also see the addition of a camp for high
school and middle school counselors and teachers that will educate
them about science, technology and engineering degrees and careers and
expose them to elements of the different camp settings. "This camp
will better equip the teachers and counselors to work with students
who have the interest and aptitude to pursue engineering and
technology degrees and careers," according to Akl. The camp will
utilize paid student assistants to help with the program.
Details of the camp dates and locations will be published in March,
and applications will be taken beginning at that time for participants
as well as for student workers. For more information contact Robert Akl at
or David Keathly at
watch the department web page (http://www.cse.unt.edu) for future announcements.
Net Centric Software and Systems Consortium to
Sponsor Planning Meeting
The Net Centric Software and Systems Consortium will sponsor a NSF
Industry University Cooperative Research Center (I/UCRC) Planning
Meeting on February 20-22, 2008 at Southfork Hotel in Plano, TX.
These research centers aim to promote cooperative research between
industry and universities. The main objectives of the centers are:
- To pursue fundamental engineering and scientific research having
- To produce graduates who have a broad, industry-oriented perspective
of their research and practice.
- To accelerate and promote the transfer of knowledge and technology
between university and industry.
The consortium is a joint venture involving academic, federal and
state government, and commercial institutions to collectively promote
and undertake research, education, technology development, technology
transfer, and technological workforce development to enable the nation
to transition into the new net-centric operation paradigm.
Currently the University of North Texas, Southern Methodist
University, University of Texas at Dallas, and University of Texas at
Arlington as well as Raytheon, Lockheed Martin Aero, and several other
companies are in the consortium. For more information about this
consortium, go to http://netcentric.cse.unt.edu/index.php.
CSEagle Ambassador Funding Renewed
The CSE department has received funds to again support the CSEagle
Ambassador and Mentor program for a two year period. This program
provides a $500 scholarship per semester for female students with at
least 30 credit hours. These students serve as ambassadors for the
department at recruiting events around the DFW area, as well as
mentoring 2-3 freshman students during the academic year.
The current grant requires students to be 21 years of age or younger,
although students up to and including 22 years of age are encouraged
to apply. For more information, contact David Keathly at
or find the information forms at:
Dr. Parberry Named Microsoft MVP for 5th Consecutive Year
For the fifth consecutive year, Microsoft has awarded its Most
Valuable Professional (MVP) Award to Dr. Ian Parberry in the
Windows-XNA/DirectX category. Microsoft presents the MVP Award to thank
individuals for their exceptional contributions to technical
communities worldwide. Microsoft also benefits from engaging with
MVPs through conferences, user groups, code camps, the MVP Global
Summit, and other events. MVPs share their independent, real-world
feedback with Microsoft, thereby helping Microsoft better understand
users' needs, improve current products, and develop future technology.
Dr. Parberry was on the Program Committee for the Microsoft Academic
Days on Game Development in Computer Science Education (GDCSE'08) to
be held February 28 to March 3, 2008. This conference is a focal point
for academic efforts using computer and console games within the
Computer Science curriculum. Jointly sponsored by Microsoft Research
and Electronic Arts and held in cooperation with ACM SIGCSE, the
conference is targeted at both computer science educators and
researchers, promoting new efforts in the creation and management of
courses and curriculum using game development.
The conference, now in its third year, will be held aboard the
Celebrity Century cruise ship, departing from and returning to Miami,
FL with port calls in Key West and Cozumel, Mexico. GDCSE '08 will
include talks by invited speakers, presentation of peer-reviewed
papers, hands-on tutorials and birds-of-a-feather meetings focusing on
a range of topics related to the use of games in computer science
education. Researchers and educators are invited to share insights and
cutting-edge results relating to the use of games and game
technologies in both formal and informal educational contexts.
For more on the Adventures of Dr. Parberry, please see
Dr. Hu is a Visiting Scholar in CSE Department
Dr. Liangmei Hu, an Associate Professor at the Hefei (China)
University of Technology (HFUT) arrived at UNT at the end of November
2007. For the next 12 months she will serve as a Visiting Scholar in
the Department of Computer Science and Engineering which is sponsored
by the China Scholarship Council. UNT has a joint project with HFUT
sponsored by the US National Science Foundation and the China National
Natural Science Foundation to study terrain and structural features in
urban areas that impact storm-related events such as flooding and wind
Using airborne LiDAR (a terrain mapping instrument) and infrared
photography, Dr. Hu will assist the team (led by Dr. Bill Buckles and
Dr. Xiaohui Yuan at UNT and Dr. Xiaoping Liu at HFUT) in fusing LiDAR
data with infrared in order to predict the flow path of flood waters
following, say, a levee breach and to characterize the roof surface
areas exposed to wind in each direction. She also plans to give a few
lectures in the courses of image processing and pattern recognition.
UNT Wins Computer Security Contest
(L-R) Enkh-Amgalan Baatarjav,
Prudhvi Krishna Surapaneni, Dr. Ebru Celikel,
On December 8, 2007, the UNT computer security team composed of
Enkh-Amgalan Baatarjav, Prudhvi Krishna Surapaneni,
and Chris Gathright won the Capture the Flag (CTF) computer
security contest against the University of Texas at Arlingon and the University
of North Carolina at Greensboro. Dr. Ebru Celikel served as the faculty sponsor
for the team. These three students attacked and defended code and network
resources over a VPN among three universities (UTA, UNCG and UNT) for
six hours. Congratulations to this successful team!
Dr. Kavi Named SMU Distinguished Alumnus
In the last newsletter, we told you about Dr. Krishna Kavi
being 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. This picture was sent
later and we wanted to include it in this newsletter. Dr. Kavi
received his Master's degree in 1977 and his Ph.D. in 1980 from SMU.
Dr. Kavi in the center receiving his
award with (L) Dr. Hesham El-Rewini, SMU's Chair of CSE and (R)
Dr. Geoffrey Orsak, Dean of Engineering of SMU.
Sandeep Nijsure (R) visited with Dr. Armin R. Mikler (L) during Fall 2007.
Sandeep Nijsure, originally from Mumbai, India, graduated from
UNT with a Masters in Computer Science in 2003. While at UNT,
Sandeep worked as a Research Assistant for Dr. Armin Mikler for a
year. He also worked as a tutor in UNT's Math Lab for several
After graduation, Sandeep worked as a Research Aide in Argonne
National Laboratory's Computer Science division for some time.
After that, he joined Microsoft Corp. as a software engineer,
working on their Windows Presentation Foundation technology. He
continues to work for Microsoft, currently for the Office Live
group, which develops Web-based services for small businesses and
In his spare time, Sandeep loves to read and travel. Along with
his wife, he has traveled extensively across the United States.
Recently he traveled to Dallas to visit some of his friends from
UNT. He also visited UNT and the CSE department at that time, and
shared some nostalgic moments with Dr. Mikler.
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
December 2007 Ph.D. Graduates
College of Engineering Dean Oscar N. Garcia (L) shakes the hand of
Prakash Kolan (R) who received his Ph.D. in Computer Science at the
December 2007 graduation. His major professor, Dr. Ram Dantu, is in
the center. Prakash defended his dissertation "System and Methods for
Detecting Unwanted Voice Calls" in July 2007.
Prakash now works as a researcher in VoIP solutions for Niksun, Inc.
in New Jersey. His work responsibilities include research and
development of media decoding applications for measuring
content/service quality and experience. The applications will be
integrated into Niksun network monitoring and surveillance solutions.
Currently, he is working on designing IPTV decoding architectures for
Niksun's video clients. In addition to research and development, he
supports and troubleshoots client issues, performs hardware and
software evaluations, and recommends architectural changes where
necessary in existing VoIP products.
Wentong Li also received his Ph.D. at the December 2007 graduation.
He is shown to the right with Dr. Kavi, who was his major professor.
Wentong defended his dissertation, "High Performance Architecture using
Speculative Threads and Dynamic Memory Management Hardware" in Fall
Krishna Kavi and Wentong Li
Wentong is currently a senior staff software Engineer of ad targeting
for Turn, Inc. He is responsible for developing algorithms to
automatically optimize the online advertising network to achieve the
best result for online advertisers and online publishers. This
involves several areas in computer science like information retrieval,
machine learning, data compression, and numerical computation.
Programming Team Recognized at CSE Advisory Board Meeting
(L-R) John Rizzo,
Robbie Mitchell Burke, Hector Cuellar
As reported in the previous newsletter, UNT's top programming team
consisting of John Rizzo, Robbie Mitchell Burke,
and Hector Cuellar
placed first at the ACM South Central Regional Programming Competition
at Texas A&M in November 2007. The students were recognized at the
CSE Advisory Board meeting on December 7, 2007. This is the first
time a UNT team has advanced to the World Finals in the ACM
Programming Contest sponsored by IBM. Good luck at the World Finals
which will be held in April 2008 in Banff Springs, Alberta, Canada.
College of Engineering News
National Engineers Week to be held February 17-23, 2008
In addition to the CSE department's activities for National Engineers
Week listed above, the UNT College of Engineering has announced plans
for its annual National Engineers Week to recruit students and promote
the college. There are many exciting events taking place including
guest speakers, festivals, food, and much more.
On Monday, February 18, from 11:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., the Center for
Student Development Office at Research Park and Student Activities
Office will host a Kickoff Engineering Festival to raise awareness
about the events during Engineers Week and the student organizations
at Research Park. The event will take place at Research Park Commons,
area near Jazzman's café. Students, faculty, and alumni are invited
to attend the event but the refreshments are for students only.
On Tuesday, February 19, from 11:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m., the College of
Engineering will have a keynote speaker, Kurt Novak, from Texas
Instruments. He will speak to students in Research Park room B155.
On Wednesday, February 20, from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m., students can
participate in a Paper Airplane Contest in the Research Park Commons.
On Wednesday evening at 6:00 p.m., the College of Engineering will
host a banquet for faculty, staff, and students. There will be only
100 tickets available at $5.00 each. Contact the Dean's Office for
On Thursday, February 21, from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., the College of
Engineering will host an Engineering Career Fair in the corridors of
Research Park. In the evening from 7:00 to 10:00 p.m., the Center for
Student Development office will sponsor a "Texas Hold 'Em Poker Night"
in the Research Park Commons with prizes and pizza provided.
Other activities are being planned. Please see more information on
the posters that will be around the College of Engineering. In
addition, you may have a guest speaker serving as a "Professor for a
Day" in one of your classes during that week. For an updated schedule
of events, please check the CSE Engineering Week information page at
More details will be added daily.
University of North Texas News
UNT Event Calendar
Emerald Eagle Ball to be held March 1st
UNT is hosting the Emerald Eagle Ball, a gala event featuring
Grammy-winning group, Asleep at the Wheel, to benefit the Emerald Eagle
Scholars program, which helps students attend college. The Ball will be
held in the University Union on Saturday, March 1, with cocktails beginning
at 6:45 p.m. and dinner at 7:45 p.m. The concert and dance will
follow at 9 p.m.
This year's event is the Emerald Ball Goes Texan with a Western-
themed black-tie-and-boots ball. Tickets cost $150 per person.
Call (940) 565-2900 or visit http://www.unt.edu/emeraldball/.
RSVP deadline is Friday, Febuary 15.
"One of the most important initiatives UNT launched in the last
year was our Emerald Eagle Scholars program, which is designed to
provide an opportunity for a college education to students who
may believe a college education is out of reach for them even
though they're academically talented," said UNT President
Gretchen M. Bataille.
The Emerald Eagle Scholars program, one of only about 30 similar
programs in the nation, began in Fall 2007 with about 400
freshmen in its inaugural class. The program was launched with a
$350,000 endowment raised by activities surrounding President
Bataille's inauguration in 2007.
The Emerald Eagle Scholars program provides selected students
with free tuition and fees for four years in exchange for a
commitment to maintain a 2.5 grade point average, complete 30
semester credit hours each year and engage in university life by
working on campus and participating in mentoring and other
programs to ensure student success. The program is open to
talented students who are Texas residents with adjusted household
incomes of less than $40,000 and is funded by donations and
federal, state and institutional funds.
For more information on the Emerald Eagle Scholars program,
please go to http://essc.unt.edu/finaid/scholarships_emeraldscholars.htm.
UNT Music Faculty Members Earn Grammy Nominations
Joseph Banowetz, a UNT Professor of music and a renowned pianist, and
Steve Wiest, a UNT alumnus and Assistant Professor of Jazz Studies,
were nominated for Grammy awards. Banowetz, along with pianist and
UNT alumnus, Alton Chung Ming Chan, received the nomination for Best
Chamber Music Performance for "30 Songs of the Russian People" on the
album, Balakirev and Russian Folksong. Wiest received the nomination
in the Best Instrumental Arrangement category for his arrangement of
"Besame Mucho" from the CD, The One and Only Maynard Ferguson.
Wiest was appointed assistant professor of jazz studies in Fall 2007
at UNT, where he teaches jazz composition, jazz arranging and jazz
trombone. He also directs the new UNT jazz trombone band "The U-
Tubes," an ensemble that consists of five to eight trombones and a
full rhythm section. Wiest, who earned a master's degree from UNT, has
performed extensively in the United States, South America, Australia,
Japan and Europe. His new solo CD, Excalibur: The Steve Wiest Big
Band, was released in August 2006 by Arabesque Jazz to wide critical
Banowetz has been heard as recitalist and orchestral soloist on five
continents and has performed with such orchestras as the St.
Petersburg (formerly Leningrad) Philharmonic, the Moscow State
Symphony, the Prague and Bratislava Radio Orchestras, the Budapest
Symphony, the New Zealand Symphony (on a 12-concert national tour),
the Beijing Central Philharmonic, Barcelona Concert Society Orchestra,
the Shanghai Symphony and the Hong Kong Philharmonic. In 1992,
Banowetz was awarded the Liszt Medal by the Hungarian Liszt Society in
Budapest, in recognition of his outstanding performances of Liszt and
the Romantic literature. He is a graduate with a First Prize from the
Vienna Academy for Music and Dramatic Arts.
Nominees of the 50th Annual Grammy Awards were announced December 6, and
the awards ceremony took place on February 10 in Los Angeles.
Unfortunately, Wiest and Banowetz were not among the winners, but it's
a great honor nonetheless. "It's obviously one of the most prestigious
international awards that I think any musician could get," Banowetz
said. "It's equivalent to the Academy Awards. Just a nomination alone
is an extremely high honor. I've had e-mails from friends and
musicians around the world already, so it's a very high honor."
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 — February 2008