University of North Texas
CSE Alumni Email Newsletter

February 2009  

CSE News
Alumni News
Student News
College of Engineering News
UNT News

Greetings from the CSE Chairman

Chairman Krisha Kavi

Dear CSE Alumni and Friends,

At the end of February, the Net Centric Software and Systems Consortium will host a kickoff meeting of its NSF Industry University Cooperative Research Center (IUCRC) in Plano. I invite you and your colleagues to attend to get more information about this center. The first day will be an open meeting with project presentations. NSF program managers will be available to answer questions. For more information about the meeting and registration, please see the article about this kickoff meeting below in this newsletter.

In 2008, the CSE department's research funding was more than $1.8 million. In January 2009, we received a new $152,000 from the Texas Workforce Commission's Texas Youth in Technology program. For the IUCRC, the CSE department will get $60,000 per year from the NSF and $150,000 each year from industrial memberships beginning in 2009.

This semester we will be preparing for our ABET reaccreditation for our B.S. in Computer Science program. We were last visited by ABET evaluators in 2003. As Chair of the Undergraduate Studies Committee, Dr. Robert Akl is leading a faculty committee to write a Self-Study of our program. All faculty members will have a role in this process. In Fall 2009, a team of ABET evaluators will visit our campus to meet with faculty, staff, students, and alumni. We will keep you informed to let you know how you can help us in this process.

There is still time to come back to UNT to be a “Professor for a Day” during Engineers Week, March 2-6, 2009. You don't have to give a class lecture—you simply have to share your experience in a field related to that class. It's a great opportunity for our current students to hear about your experiences in the real world. We invite you to get involved again with our program by coming back to UNT to be a “Professor for a Day.”

Krishna M. Kavi
Professor and Chair

Department of Computer Science and
Engineering News

Kickoff of NSF Industry University Cooperative Research Center set for February 26 and 27

NetCentric

The Net Centric Software and Systems Consortium will host a kickoff meeting of its NSF Industry University Cooperative Research Center (I/UCRC) on February 26-27, 2009 at the Marriott at Legacy, 7120 Dallas Parkway, in Plano, TX. NSF program managers will be available to address questions regarding the concept of Industry/University Cooperative Research Centers.

NSF

These research centers aim to promote cooperative research between industry and universities and are funded primarily through industrial memberships. The main objectives of the centers are:

  • To pursue fundamental engineering and scientific research having industrial relevance.

  • 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 research focus of this center is the design, implementation and deployment of highly dependable software and systems in a Net-Centric environment.

Current industrial members of the Net-Centric Software and Systems IUCRC are Boeing, Cisco, Codekko, EDS/HP, Fujitsu, GlobeRanger, Hall Financials, Lockheed Martin Aero, Raytheon, Texas Instruments and T-System.

Current academic members of the Net-Centric Software and Systems IUCRC are the University of North Texas, the University of Texas at Dallas, and Southern Methodist University.

The first day, February 26, is an open meeting with testimonials from current members and project presentations. The second day, February 27, is open to current members only. There is no fee to attend; however, registration is required. Please register at http://www.netcentric.cse.unt.edu/IUCRC/.


UNT CSE receives $152,000 grant from Texas Workforce Commission

Work in Texas

Dr. Robert Akl, Dr. Krishna Kavi and David Keathly have received a grant from the Texas Workforce Commission's Texas Youth in Technology Program. The approximately $152,000 two-year grant will be used to fund three initiatives. The first is an extension of the existing CSEagle Ambassador and Mentor program, which provides scholarships to students who serve as departmental ambassadors for recruiting and outreach events and mentor incoming freshman students. The grant will provide funding for additional scholarships over the two year period.

The second portion of the grant will fund new freshman scholarships for students entering UNT as CSE students who have previously participated in one of the Robocamp summer programs that began in 2005. The final portion of the grant will inaugurate a series of workshops for High School and Middle School teachers and counselors to introduce them to engineering and computer science and provide them with ideas and materials to motivate students and encourage them to pursue education and careers in math, science, technology and engineering.


UNT Research features three CSE faculty members

UNT Research

The research of Dr. Ram Dantu, Associate Professor, is featured on the cover of the Spring 2009 edition of UNT Research. "Computer Scientists Overhaul 911 System to keep up with new Technology" is about Dr. Dantu's work with a multi-university team experimenting on the next generation of 911 services which will address the challenges presented by Internet-based phones and other emerging technology. Dr. Dantu's research lab was also featured in the November 2008 student newsletter.

Dr. Xiaohui Yuan, Assistant Professor, was one of two UNT faculty members who received the 2008 Ralph E. Powe Junior Faculty Enhancement Award from Oak Ridge Associated Universities. Dr. Yuan was one of only 30 faculty members nationwide to receive this award, which is aimed at enriching the research and professional growth of young faculty. Read more about Dr. Yuan's award in this article in UNT Research.

Assistant Professor Dr. Saraju Mohanty's three-year NSF grant for "A Comprehensive Methodology for Early Power-Performance Estimation of Nano-CMOS Digital Systems" will study the power and performance of digital systems through computer-aided design modeling. Read more about his project in the News Briefs section of UNT Research.


CSE hosts NACLO — North American Computational Linguistics Olympiad

NACLO
Students prepare for the competition. See more pictures HERE

The regional competition for the 2009 North American Computational Linguistics Olympiad was hosted on February 4 by the Computer Science and Engineering Department. Twenty-nine high school students from North Texas participated in the competition at the UNT location. NACLO is an educational competition in Computational Linguistics, the science of designing computer algorithms to solve linguistic problems. It challenges students to develop strategies for tackling problems in fascinating real languages and formal symbolic systems. Rada Mihalcea, Associate Professor, supervised this event, along with Genene Murphy, Carmen Banea, Courtney Corley, Samer Hassan, and Michael Mohler. For more information about this competition, see http://lit.csci.unt.edu/index.php/NACLO_2009.


Global Software Development Team meets in Istanbul

Global Software Development Team meets in Istanbul

The Global Software Development International team recently met in Istanbul to review last year's projects and set up a schedule for the coming year's activities. The group members identified in the picture to the right are (from left to right): Dr. Cemile Serce from Atilim University, Ankara Turkey; Dr. Ferda Nur Alpaslan from Middle East Technical University in Ankara, Turkey; Dr. Robert Brazile from UNT, Dr. Kathleen Swigger from UNT, and Dr. George Dafoulas, from Middlesex University in England.

Dr. Victor Lopez (former student, not pictured) is also participating in the grant activities. Dr. Lopez now teaches at the Technological University of Panama. The researchers currently plan to run several projects this semester with students from the participating universities. Dr. Alpaslan received her Ph.D. in Computer Science at UNT in 1993. For more information about this project, go to http://cory.csci.unt.edu/testSite1. The building in the background of the picture is the Hagia Sophia in Istanbul.


Dr. Mohanty presents an Invited Talk at International Conference

Dhruva Ghai and Dr. Mohanty outside the VDCL
Dhruva Ghai and Dr. Mohanty
outside the VDCL

Dr. Saraju Mohanty presented an invited talk titled "Unified Challenges in Nano-CMOS High-Level Synthesis" at the 22nd IEEE International Conference on VLSI Design held in New Delhi, India, January 5-9, 2009. This International Conference on VLSI Design is one of top conferences in VLSI design with a very selective paper blind review acceptance process. In addition, he presented a paper titled "Single Ended Static Random Access Memory for Low-Vdd, High-Speed Embedded Systems" in the same conference.

VLSI Design and CAD Laboratory (VDCL) also had two presentations at the 27th IEEE International Conference on Consumer Electronics held during January 12-14, 2009 in Las Vegas. Ph.D. student, Dhruva Ghai, presented these two papers.


Dr. Ian Parberry named Microsoft MVP for 6th Consecutive Year

Ian Parberry

For the sixth 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.

In April 2009, Dr. Parberry will attend FDG '09, the International Conference on the Foundations of Digital Games. This conference is targeted at researchers making contributions that promote new game capabilities, designs, applications and modes of play. For more information on this conference, go to http://www.foundationsofdigitalgames.org/.

Dr. Parberry is also on the editorial boards of two new journals: Entertainment Computing and IEEE Transactions on Computational Intelligence and AI in Games.


Dr. Ryan Garlick featured in the National Geographic program "Code Breakers"

Dr. Ryan Garlick in 'Code Breakers'

The CSE Department's own Dr. Ryan Garlick is featured in the National Geographic program “Code Breakers” that airs on the National Geographic channel on Sunday, March 1st, at 7 p.m. CST. The program is about the science behind secrecy: how codes work, why we need them, and how they changed the course of history. Dr. Garlick is featured because of his research into the famous Zodiac "340 Cipher" that has never been solved since the Zodiac killer confounded investigators back in 1969.

In Fall 2007, Dr. Garlick's Symbolic Processing class attempted to decode the unsolved 340-character cipher sent by the infamous Zodiac killer to the San Francisco Chronicle on November 8, 1969. The 2007 David Fincher movie, “Zodiac” stirred new interest in the case, and the students used modern techniques on this nearly 40 year old mystery. The bay area serial killer sent an earlier message to newspapers that was successfully decoded, but the text of this message has never been revealed. Students in Dr. Garlick's class worked to develop methods to reduce the number of keys that must be evaluated and to effectively score potential solutions to the cipher.

You can view more information about the show on the National Geographic website HERE, as well as watch a brief preview clip of the show.


Robocamp 2009 Registration opening soon

Robocamp

The Robocamp program will start another ambitious year of summer programs for area secondary school students in June of 2009. Current plans are for approximately 10-12 camps over the summer in Denton, Dallas, Lewisville and Carrollton. The schedules for the camp, as well as application forms, are available on the website at http://www.cse.unt.edu/robocamp.

Registration will begin March 15, 2009. The camps are offered at no cost to the participants and registration is on a first come – first served basis. If you live in the DFW area, please be sure to tell young women and men ages 14 to 18 to register for this exciting program. Thanks for helping us spread the word about Robocamp!


News from the Language and Information Technologies group

Back row (L-R): Ravi Sinha, Hakan Ceylan, Samer Hassan, Ben Leong, Naveen Kovelamudi, Michael Mohler<br />
Middle row: Carmen Banea, Rada Mihalcea, Tze-I Yang<br />
Front row: Miguel Ruiz, Kino Coursey, Paul Tarau
Back row (L-R): Ravi Sinha, Hakan Ceylan, Samer Hassan, Ben Leong, Naveen Kovelamudi, Michael Mohler
Middle row: Carmen Banea, Rada Mihalcea, Tze-I Yang
Front row: Miguel Ruiz, Kino Coursey, Paul Tarau

This Spring, the Language and Information Technology (LIT) group was involved in the organization and supervision of the local site for the North American Computational Linguistics Olympiad. In addition, the members of the LIT group had several recent achievements:

  • Ravi Sinha and Rada Mihalcea's work on "Unsupervised graph-based word sense disambiguation" will appear as a book chapter in a volume on "Current Issues in Linguistic Theory: Recent Advances in Natural Language Processing", to be published by Johns Benjamins in 2009.

  • Hakan Ceylan and Rada Mihalcea's work on "The Decomposition of Human-Written Book Summaries" will appear in the Proceedings of the Conference on Computational Linguistics and Intelligent Text Processing. Hakan will present the paper at the conference in Mexico City, in March.

  • Michael Mohler and Rada Mihalcea's work on "Text-to-text Semantic Similarity for Automatic Short Answer Grading," will appear in the Proceedings of the European Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics. The paper will be presented by Michael, who will attend the conference in Athens, Greece, in March.

  • In a collaboration with Stephen Pulman, Rada Mihalcea's work on "Linguistic Ethnography: Identifying Dominant Word Classes in Text" will appear in the Proceedings of the Conference on Computational Linguistics and Intelligent Text Processing, to be held in Mexico City in March.



Pam Vincent retires

Pam Vincent

Pam Vincent has been the Front Office Manager and Student Worker Supervisor for the Department since June 1990. She has worked with four chairs, Drs. Fisher, Godwin, Jacob, and Kavi. Pam has been a continuing force in the department through all these years.

Outside of UNT, Pam loves spending time working in her yard. In retirement, Pam will help her two older sisters, work on family history, travel to visit relatives, and perform volunteer work with the Humane Society and Habitat for Humanity. She also plans to go hiking and swimming with her nieces and nephews.

Thank you, Pam, for your service to our Department of Computer Science and Engineering! To see pictures of Pam's retirement party, go HERE.

News for Alumni

Alumni Focus

Warren Moseley

Warren Moseley is from Chase City, VA. He is the only son of George and Bernice Moseley. He attended Bluestone High School in Skipwith, VA and Fork Union Military Academy. He received his B.S. in Chemistry and Math in 1968 from St. Andrews College in Laurinburg, NC. Following his graduation, Warren went to work for IBM working on the Space Program. In 1972 he won an outstanding Achievement Award from the Director of Space Operation at NASA for his contributions to the Safe Return of Apollo 13. In 1973, he left IBM and went to be the Personal Secretary for the Governor of Tennessee. From 1976 to 1982, he was program manager for the Sabre Reservation System at American Airlines.

In 1982, Warren began working for Texas Instruments and started attending UNT. He received his M.S. in 1984 and his Ph.D. in Computer Science in 1987 while keeping a full time job at Texas Instruments. He spent most of his TI career working on Space and Military Applications. In 1997, TI split and he took early retirement.

Since retiring, Warren has been teaching and doing research. He is an associate professor in the Department of Entrepreneurship & Computer Systems at Southwestern Oklahoma State University in Weatherford, OK. Warren loves his work and has been married to Jan Beck for almost 30 years.

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..



It’s not too late to be a "Professor for a Day" at UNT

The UNT College of Engineering and the Department of Computer Science and Engineering will celebrate Engineers Week during March 2-6, 2009. We invite you to come back to UNT and be a "Professor for a Day." This program gives you an 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. Check our class schedule HERE. Please contact Genene Murphy at genene@unt.edu if you would like to participate in this "Professor for a Day" program.


NorthTexas CSalumni on Facebook

Facebook

The UNT Computer Science Department now has a presence on Facebook (http://www.facebook.com). You can visit our Facebook page and become an alumni friend by visiting HERE. The department doesn't have a lot out there yet, but we're trying to grow. Let us know what you think we should add to the site.

Facebook has several other UNT Alumni pages, including the UNT Alumni Association. You can visit their page HERE.

Meet old old friends, make new old friends, make new young friends. Aw heck, just be friendly! Join the CSE Alumni Facebook now!

Student News

Ping Yu receives Ph.D. in December 2008

Ping Yu with Dr. Tate at graduation
Ping Yu with Dr. Tate at graduation

Ping Yu received her Ph.D. in Computer Science at the Fall 2008 UNT graduation. Dr. Stephen R. Tate was her major professor and advised her dissertation “Direct Online/Offline Digital Signature Schemes.” She defended on Monday, October 20, 2008. In addition to Dr. Tate, other members of her dissertation committee were Dr. Ram Dantu, Dr. Armin R. Mikler, and Dr. Ian Parberry.


CSEagles Program expanding – Applications Available

CSEagles
CSEagles during Fall 2008 semester.
Front row L-R: Nitya Kandukuri, Jonathan Holman, Kaci Irvin.
Back row: Laura Gonzalez, Brittany Bruno, Gary Tartt, Russell Yermal, Alan White, and Daniel Piers

The CSEagles Ambassador/Mentor program is expanding and looking for more students to fill positions. Each participant receives a $1,000 scholarship in return for their participation as a mentor for incoming freshmen students, and for assisting with a variety of recruiting and outreach events throughout the semester. Visit http://www.cse.unt.edu/~dkeathly and click on the CSEagles link on the left for more information.

College of Engineering News

National Engineers Week to be held March 2-6

National Engineers Week

The UNT College of Engineering will host its annual celebration of National Engineers Week during the first week in March to promote the college and engineering as a profession. On Thursday, March 5, the College of Engineering and the UNT Career Center will sponsor a Career Fair at Discovery Park. Other activities are being planned by the student engineering organizations


Jana Dean retires from the College of Engineering

Jana Dean

Jana Dean retired from the College of Engineering on January 30, 2009. She served the University of North Texas for 33 years. When the College of Engineering was founded in 2003, Jana Dean was the Assistant to the Founding Dean, Dr. Oscar Garcia. When Dr. Garcia stepped down last year, she became the Assistant to Dr. Costas Tsatsoulis, the new Dean for the College of Engineering.

Jana started full-time with UNT in June 1977. After serving the University in a variety of capacities, she was elected Secretary of the Board of Regents in January, 1995, a position she has held since that time in addition to the other positions she has worked at UNT. We wish Jana all the best in her retirement.

University of North Texas News

Alumni Association increases in size

UNT Alumni Association

The North Texas Alumni Association has seen an increase in membership during the last year. The association, formerly known as The North Texas Exes, has seen numbers in increase from 5,800 members to more than 6,549 in the last year. One of the more recent benefits is a complimentary one-year subscription to Texas Monthly. Other benefits include access to the NT alumni network, discounts at the bookstore, and access to the NT library.

Derrick Morgan, Executive Director, said, "Many people don't know this, but giving to the alumni association and UNT also increases the university's alumni giving rate percentage. Higher alumni giving rates help our standing in U.S. News & World Report's Best Colleges ranking. Alumni association membership is also a great way to remain connected to UNT after you graduate."

For more information about the alumni association, visit http://untalumni.com or email the association at alumni@unt.edu..


UNT Dallas Campus reaches enrollment milestone

UNT Dallas Campus

The University of North Texas Dallas Campus has achieved a critical enrollment goal in its quest to become the first public university in the City of Dallas. Administrators at the campus have announced that enrollment has reached 2,333 students, according to unofficial census figures for spring 2009 (taken on the semester's 12th day of classes).

Most important for the campus, however, is the fact that full-time equivalent student enrollment has risen to 1,032. Under current legislation, the UNT Dallas Campus can begin the process of forming an independent university once enrollment has reached 1,000 FTE.

To read more about this achievement, see this Dallas News article. For more information about the UNT Dallas Campus, visit their website: http://www.unt.edu/unt-dallas/.

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 csenewsletter@unt.edu.

If you would like to receive this newsletter as text rather than formatted in HTML, please contact Don Retzlaff at donr@unt.edu.

http://www.cse.unt.edu UNT Computer Science and Engineering Department — February 2009