September 2009 Edition

Department of Computer Science and Engineering News
Rada Mihalcea wins national award
Another Record Summer for UNT CSE RoboCamp Program
B.S. in Computer Science Accreditation Upcoming
Welcome Dr. Gomathisankaran
Yan Huang and Phil Sweany receive tenure
College and University Establish Career Track for Lecturers — CSE Faculty Members Promoted
Net-Centric I/UCRC Meeting on October 8-9
Dr. Saraju P. Mohanty receives multiple research grants from NSF and SRC for his Low-Power Research
Multimedia Information Group receives NIH grant
News from the Information and Knowledge Management and Discovery Lab
CoVIS Research Group News
LARC News in Fall 2009
News from the Language and Information Technologies group
Convergence Technology Center partnership extended by NSF Grant
Dr. Paul Tarau presents paper in Portugal

Student News
Two Ph.D. Graduates in Computer Science and Engineering
Advisor's Corner - Professional and Honor Societies
ACM Meeting on September 25
Students can get help at the CSE Help Lab
SWE Invites You to Join

College of Engineering News
Meet the Associate Dean for Undergraduate Studies, Dr. Vijay Vaidyanathan
Dr. Kuruvilla John named Associate Dean of Research and Graduate Studies
CENG Career Fair on September 24

Greetings from the CSE Interim Chair

Dr. Ian Parberry, Interim Chairman

Dear CSE Students,

The Dean of the College of Engineering has appointed me Interim Chair for 2009-2010. A search committee for the new Chair has been formed and a national search will begin soon. As Interim Chair, I want to welcome you to the Department of Computer Science and Engineering in Fall 2009. Whether you are a new or returning student, we are glad to have you here.

In this newsletter, I will share with you the following news of our CSE department. First, congratulations to Rada Mihalcea who was the only professor in the DFW area to receive a national award. For the fifth year, Robocamp offered another summer of successful camps for students, teachers and counselors. In early October, we will be visited by ABET evaluators who will review our undergraduate computer science program for accreditation purposes.

In addition, I want to welcome our newest CSE faculty member, Mahadevan Gomathisankaran and congratulate other faculty members on their promotions. Both Yan Huang and Phil Sweany received tenure and Dr. Huang was promoted to Associate Professor. Don Retzlaff, Ryan Garlick and David Keathly received promotions in the new lecturer track system. Finally, you can read below the news of our CSE research groups.

In addition to your classes, there are many activities and groups you can join in our CSE department. In the Advisors' Corner below, you can read about the many ways to get involved. You can attend the ACM student meeting and try out for a programming team this Friday, September 25. There are many organizations sponsored by the department and the College of Engineering that you can take an active part in. I invite your participation so you can enjoy the benefits of being a student at UNT.

I hope you have a good semester and I look forward to serving as your Interim Chair.

Ian Parberry
Professor and Interim Chair

Department of Computer Science and
Engineering News

Rada Mihalcea wins national award

Rada Mihalcea Rada Mihalcea has won the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE), the highest honor a beginning scientist or engineer can receive in the United States. She is among the top 100 researchers nationwide and the only professor in the Dallas/Fort Worth area to achieve this recognition. The recipients will receive their awards in the Fall at a White House ceremony.

The Presidential Award program recognizes outstanding scientists and engineers who are just beginning their careers and show exceptional potential for leadership at the frontiers of science and technology. Dr. Mihalcea received this award for her groundbreaking research on understanding the meaning of text, a critical capability for many important natural language and information processing applications, and for her exemplary commitments to education and community service.

Dr. Mihalcea was recommended for the award by the National Science Foundation, which awarded her a CAREER award in 2008. The most prestigious award offered by the NSF for young investigators, the CAREER award program supports early career development activities of teacher-scholars who effectively integrate research and education within the context of the mission of their organization. UNT has had five CAREER award winners.

Congratulations to Dr. Mihalcea! For more information, see this UNT press release

Another Record Summer for UNT CSE RoboCamp Program

Robocamp This year the CSE department hosted ten weeks of regular and advanced Robotics camps for middle school and high school students, two camps for counselors and teachers, and three brand new Xbox Game Development camps. The curriculum for the Xbox camps was developed by a group of CSE undergraduate students as part of a directed study led by Dr Robert Akl. Over 250 students attended the various camps held at UNT Discovery Park, UNT Dallas, Carrollton ISD and the Stewpot in downtown Dallas. UNT CSE students joined Camp Directors Dr. Robert Akl and David Keathly in hosting the camps for the fifth straight year.

Funds for the 2009 camps were provided by the Texas Workforce Commission, the Motorola Foundation, Dallas Women's Foundation and the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board through their joint efforts with area businesses via the TETC. Plans are being made for Summer 2010 with funding already received from a third year of funding from the Motorola Foundation. The Texas Workforce Commission funding has also provided for a number of technology scholarships to be made available to students who have attended a CSE summer program and subsequently enroll in a UNT engineering program.

Details on all of these programs can be found at the Robocamp website -

B.S. in Computer Science Accreditation Upcoming

ABET Logo Within the next few weeks, our Department of Computer Science and Engineering will be visited by a team of evaluators from ABET (Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology) to evaluate the Computer Science undergraduate program. During the last academic year, members of the Undergraduate Committee led by Dr. Robert Akl, Undergraduate Coordinator, prepared a Self-Study of the B.S. in Computer Science degree program. The ABET evaluators received this Self-Study during the Summer and have been reviewing it in preparation for their visit in early October.

During the Spring 2009 semester, faculty members collected graded samples of students' work for every undergraduate class which the ABET team will review during their visit. They will also meet with CSE students, faculty members, the administration of the College of Engineering as well as the top administrators at UNT. Before their visit concludes, the evaluators will tell us if there are any concerns, weaknesses or deficiencies in our degree program.

The B.S. in Computer Science has been accredited since 1986 and was most recently reaccredited in 2003. Accreditation means that students, parents and prospective employers can rest assured that the program adheres to a set of well-established guidelines, evaluation and assessment procedures, and that the faculty, courses and support services are of the highest quality. It also means that accredited programs across the nation can be compared on a standardized basis. 

Welcome Dr. Gomathisankaran

Dr. Gomathisankaran Mahadevan Gomathisankaran joins our CSE Department as an assistant professor. Dr. Gomathisankaran holds a B.E. in Electronics and Communication Engineering from Regional Engineering College, Trichy, India, and a Ph.D. in Computer Engineering from Iowa State University where his research concentrated in secure computer systems architecture.

Dr. Gomathisankaran did his post-doctoral research at Princeton University where he researched on developing a testing framework using virtualization technology. Dr. Gomathisankaran has worked as software engineer at Philips and Texas Instruments and as a Research Scientist at Intel.

This semester Dr. Gomathisankaran is teaching CSCE 4550/5550. Dr. Gomathisankaran's website is located at

Yan Huang and Phil Sweany receive tenure

Two faculty members have received tenure and one was promoted to Associate Professor beginning in Fall 2009.

Dr. Phil Sweany Associate Professor Phil Sweany was granted tenure. Dr. Sweany has focused his research on compiler optimization for architectures with instruction-level parallelism (ILP). Currently, while continuing work in scheduling and register assignment for ILP architecture, he has been addressing compiler optimization issues for fine-grained multi-threaded architectures and hybrid architectures that include both fixed-processor cores and reconfigurable logic.

Dr. Sweany has more than 35 refereed publications in these and related research areas. During his academic career, he has been either PI or co-PI on more than $3.2 million in funded grants. Dr. Sweany, a member of the CSE Undergraduate Studies Committee, has been active in computer science education for K-12 students and is a member of the Teach North Texas (TNT) steering committee. This semester, he is teaching a section each of CSCE 2050 and CSCE 3110. More information about Dr. Sweany can be found on his website

Dr. Yan Huang Dr. Yan Huang was promoted to Associate Professor and also received tenure in Fall 2009. Dr. Huang received her B.S. degree in Computer Science in July 1997 from Beijing University, Beijing, China. and her Ph.D. degree in Computer Science in July 2003 from the University of Minnesota, Twin-cities, MN. In Fall 2003, she joined the UNT Department of Computer Science and Engineering. Her research interests include spatio-temporal databases and mining, geo-stream data processing, spatial data integration, and geographic information systems (GIS). She is a recipient of a Ralph E. Powe Junior Faculty Enhancement Award from Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Oak Ridge, TN. Her research was/is supported by Texas Advanced Research Program (ARP), Oak Ridge National Lab, National Science Foundation, and Texas Department of Transportation. She has been the technical assistant panel member for Texas Department of Transportation for the past 4 years.

Dr. Huang directs the Information Management and Knowledge Discovery Lab (IMKD), which has its own article in this newsletter. This semester Dr. Huang is teaching two graduate classes, CSCE 5350, Database Systems I, and CSCE 5380, Data Mining. More information about Dr. Huang and her research is available at her website

College and University Establish Career Track for Lecturers —
CSE Faculty Members Promoted

David Keathly, Ryan Garlick, Don Retzlaff
David Keathly, Ryan Garlick, Don Retzlaff

During the 2008-2009 academic year, UNT and the College of Engineering adopted a progressive career track program for non tenure-track faculty previously classified only as lecturers. Three CSE faculty members received promotions for the 2009-2010 academic year under this new policy. David Keathly was promoted to Senior Lecturer, while Ryan Garlick and Don Retzlaff were elevated to the Principal Lecturer rank.

According to College of Engineering guidelines, the classifications are outlined as follows:

Lecturer: To be eligible for the classification of lecturer, the faculty member must demonstrate effectiveness in teaching or, in the case of a new appointment, show promise of effectiveness if the candidate has no prior teaching experience. Appointment contracts may be for one to three years, renewable annually.

Senior Lecturer: To be eligible for the classification of senior lecturer, the faculty member must have a record of substantial and continued effectiveness in teaching and have the equivalent of three years of college-level teaching and/or equivalent professional experience. Full-time senior lecturers may be eligible to apply for development leave and certain travel funds and grants if they meet university, college, and department requirements. Faculty promoted from lecturer to senior lecturer will receive a standard increase in base salary at the time the new rank appointment begins. Senior lecturers may hold up to three-year appointment contracts, which are renewed annually.

Principal Lecturer: To be eligible for the classification of principal lecturer, the faculty member must have a record of sustained excellence in teaching and have the equivalent of five years of college-level teaching, including at least two years qualified at the senior lecturer rank and/or the equivalent professional experience. Full-time principal lecturers may be eligible to apply for development leave and certain travel funds and grants if they meet university, college, and department requirements. Faculty promoted from senior lecturer to principal lecturer will receive a standard increase in base salary at the time the new rank appointment begins. Principal lecturers may hold up to five-year appointment contracts, which are renewed annually.

Congratulations to all of our outstanding lecturers! 

Net-Centric I/UCRC Meeting on October 8-9

NetCentric The Net-Centric Industry/University Cooperative Research Center administration has announced that its next Industrial Advisory Board meeting will be held October 8-9, 2009. The meeting will be held at the Courtyard by Marriott at Legacy, 6840 North Dallas Parkway, Plano, TX 75024.

Industry/University Cooperative Center concept, meet current members, hear about current research projects undertaken by the center, and meet students and faculty researchers working on these projects. There is no registration fee to attend the meeting, but registration is required. Please register at

Dr. Krishna Kavi, Professor in the Department of Computer Science and Engineering, is one of the founders of this NSF supported center. More information is available at

Dr. Saraju P. Mohanty receives multiple research grants from NSF and SRC for his Low-Power Research

Saraju Mohanty

Dr. Saraju P. Mohanty, received a NSF (National Science Foundation) research grant to support his research in nanoscale CMOS device and architecture modeling. The project titled "Infrastructure Acquisition for Statistical Power, Leakage, and Timing Modeling Towards Realization of Robust Complex Nanoelectronic Circuits" received funding of $249,265 and will span over 2009-2012. Accurate modeling of power, leakage, and timing while accounting for process variations is crucial for the manufacturable design of nanoscale CMOS integrated circuits. Thus, there is a pressing need for statistical models that allow design engineers to make fast architectural or system level design space exploration without resorting to a complete design iteration, from system to physical level.

The research is applicable in everything from mobile phones to laptop computers to PDAs to automobiles in which battery life or energy cost is critical. While the new NSF grant deals with "nano-CMOS modeling," the other active NSF grant of Dr. Mohanty (titled "A Comprehensive Methodology for Early Power-Performance Estimation of Nano-CMOS Digital Systems") deals with "nano-CMOS estimation". In addition, Dr. Mohanty internationally collaborates with the University of Bristol in a closely related project titled "Process Variation Aware Synthesis of Nano-CMOS Circuits", funded by Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), UK which deals with "nano-CMOS synthesis".

The educational impact of the project is three-fold: impact on curricula at UNT, impact on curricula of other researchers who will use this infrastructure, and impact on the community colleges around the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex. To conduct research on nanoscale CMOS modeling that can be used for realization of robust circuits, and to make the deliverables available to the VLSI and educational communities, the project utilizes the following infrastructure:

  1. Specialized equipment: mixed-signal analyzer, probing station and arbitrary waveform generator for sample data collection, probing and analysis for model validation.

  2. Computing resources: a high-end, 4 processor server with 16-GB local memory and 4-TB RAID5 storage to be used by two faculty members and 10 students for nanoscale data acquisition, control, analysis, and storage.

  3. Research and development personnel to develop the models and libraries, to validate the methodology, and to maintain the infrastructure.

For further natural progression of his research from power to thermal aspects, Dr. Mohanty received a SRC (Semiconductor Research Corporation) research grant. The project titled "Fast PVT-Tolerant Physical Design of RF IC Components" received funding of $105,000 and will span over 2009-2012. In this project, Dr. Mohanty will study the effect of temperature on Radio Frequency (RF) circuits which are present in all consumer appliances, such as mobile phones and remote controls.

For more information on VDCL, go to

Multimedia Information Group receives NIH grant

Multimedia Information Group
Multimedia Information Group
(L-R) Jayantha Kumara, Praveen Karri, Dr. Junghwan Oh, Ruwan Nawarathna
Dr. JungHwan Oh is one of five PIs (from Mayo Clinic, Indiana University Hospital, Iowa State University and University of North Texas) to be awarded a National Institutes of Health (NIH) grant for a research project entitled "Improving Colonoscopy Quality Through Automated Monitoring." Dr. Oh's Multimedia Information Group will receive $190,000 of a $700,000 grant. Colorectal cancer is the second leading cause of cancer-related deaths in the United States, claiming more than 50,000 lives in 2006. Colonoscopy is currently the preferred screening modality for colorectal cancer. However, recent data suggest that there is a significant (4 to 12 percent) miss-rate associated with colonoscopy for the detection of even large polyps and cancers.

This project hypothesizes that computer algorithms can generate quality-related metrics from video files obtained during colonoscopy, that metrics are different for beginning versus experienced endoscopists, and that awareness of monitoring alters endoscopist behavior. Using novel computer algorithms developed specifically for generation of quality-related metrics, the research will test whether computer-derived metrics reflect quality of colonoscopy, whether computer-derived metrics reflecting quality differ among beginning and experienced endoscopists, and whether awareness of automated quality monitoring alters endoscopic behavior towards best possible adherence to recommended American College of Gastroenterology and American Society of Gastroenerology guidelines.

Successful evaluation and implementation of the proposed, automated system has the potential to improve the quality of care for over 14 million US citizens—the approximate number of people undergoing colonoscopy—on an annual basis. In addition, the technology lends itself for rapid adaptation to other endoscopic medical procedures such as upper gastrointestinal endoscopy, cystoscopy, arthroscopy and bronchoscopy.

For more information on this grant and CSE's Multimedia Information Group, please go to

News from the Information and Knowledge Management and Discovery Lab

Information and Knowledge Management and Discovery Lab
Information and Knowledge Management and Discovery Lab
(L-R) Shu Chen, Dr. Yan Huang, Chengyang Zhang, Roopa Vishwanathan
Drs. Yan Huang and Bill Buckles received a $138,178 grant from the Texas Department of Transportation to investigate using low-cost wireless network camera sensors for data collection and traffic monitoring.

The paper titled "A Two-level Protocol to Answer Private Location-based Queries" authored by Ph.D. student Roopa Vishwanathan and Dr. Yan Huang received the "Best Paper Honorable Mention" award at the IEEE International Conference on Intelligence and Security Informatics (ISI), 2009.

Ph.D. student Chengyang Zhang will present a paper titled "Map-Matching for Low-Sampling-Rate GPS Trajectories" at the ACM SIGSPATIAL International Conference on Advances in Geographic Information Systems in Seattle in November. This is a joint work among UNT, Microsoft Research Asia, and Fudan University of China. The paper is authored by Yin Lou, Chengyang Zhang, Yu Zheng, Xing Xie, Wei Wang, and Yan Huang.

Chengyang will also present a demo paper titled "Querying Geospatial Stream in SECONDO" at the same conference authored by Chengyang Zhang and Yan Huang.

As part of the outreach program of one of the NSF projects led by Dr. Huang, the IMKD lab will co-host the TechFest 2009@Discovery Park program through the Elm Fork Education center of UNT. The program will be a one day event scheduled on Oct. 24. Kids in strollers to K-12 will come with their families to participate in dozens of fun activities such as hide-and-seek using sensors. Students and faculties from Computer Science, Electrical Engineering, Biology, and Environmental Science will be organizing this event. 

CoVIS Research Group News

CoVIS Research Group.
Computer Vision and Intelligent Systems (CoVIS) group:
(L-R) Balathasan Giritharan, Mohamed Abouelenien, Jarvie Samuel, Vaibhav Sarma, Sandeep Panchakarla, Dr. Xiaohui Yuan

Dr. Xiaohui Yuan is co-principal investigator on the NSF grant entitled "Infusing Advanced Sensor Network Research into Cross-disciplinary Undergraduate Education," in collaboration with colleagues at the University of Houston. The project is integrating current technological advances of smart sensor networks into the undergraduate engineering and technology curriculum. It is developing instructional materials and project-oriented laboratories to provide students with extensive hands-on experiences on smart sensor networks in order to enhance their knowledge and understanding of the design principles in next generation data acquisition systems using off-the-shelf components, modern testing equipment, and software tools. This project-driven curriculum is guiding students through the process of designing, implementing, evaluating, and maintaining sensor networks while applying this process to real world problems.

In other news from CoVIS, Vaibhav Sarma successfully defended his M.S. thesis and Balathasan Giritharan received an award to present his research work in the SACNAS National Conference in Dallas in October 2009. The award covers his registration and transportation to the conference. For more information about CoVIS, see

LARC News in Fall 2009

Dr. Ian Parberry

Dr. Ian Parberry, Director of the Laboratory for Recreational Computing (LARC), has been named Interim Chair of the Department of Computer Science and Engineering by the Dean of the College of Engineering, Costas Tsatsoulis. He has been appointed to serve in this position from September 1, 2009 to August 31, 2010.

In August 2009, Dr. Parberry gave a one-hour and 15 minute invited talk entitled "Education and Research in Game Programming at UNT's Laboratory for Recreational Computing" at IEEE MetroCon 2009 in Arlington, Texas.

Dr. Parberry will serve on the Editorial Board of the journal Computer Game Education Review, published by A.K. Peters. CGER will be a peer-reviewed academic publication addressing issues that concern the teaching of game design and development that are of interest to faculty and institutions involved in the education and training of future game developers.

LARC is pleased to announce that it has placed its 51st student in the game industry. Congratulations to Katina Ferguson on her new position as content designer at Red Indigo in California. To find out more about LARC alumni in the game industry, see our LARC alumni list

LARC alumnus Cesar Stastny is featured in an Intel advertisement in Game Developer Magazine.

If you are interested in Game Programming, you can get a Game Programming Certificate by taking the following courses: CSCE 4210, Game Programming I, CSCE 4215, Game Math and Physics; CSCE 4220, Game Programming II; and CSCE 4250, Topics in Game Development. This program is designed to prepare CSE students for careers as programmers in the video game industry. For more information about LARC, visit

News from the Language and Information Technologies group

LIT Group
LIT group gathering: (L-R) Joshua Taylor, Tze-I (Elisa) Yang, Ravi Sinha, Carmen Banea, Chris Loza, Rada Mihalcea, Samer Hassan, Ben Leong, Erwin Fernandez-Ordonez, Megan and Michael  Mohler

Rada Mihalcea has recently received a new grant from the National Science Foundation for a project on "Word Sense and Multilingual Subjectivity Analysis." The three-year project is a collaboration with Prof. Janyce Wiebe from the University of Pittsburgh, for a total of $450,000.

Additionally, several publications by the members of the LIT group have been recently accepted for publication in international venues:

  • Samer Hassan and Rada Mihalcea's paper on "Cross-lingual Semantic Relatedness Using Encyclopedic Knowledge" was published in the Proceedings of the conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing (EMNLP), held in Singapore in August. Samer attended the conference to present this work.

  • In joint work with Yaw Gyamfi and Janyce Wiebe (U. Pittsburgh), Rada Mihalcea's paper on "Subjectivity Word Sense Disambiguation" was also published in the Proceedings of EMNLP.

  • Hakan Ceylan's paper on "Language Identification of Search Engine Queries" (joint work with Yookyung Kim) was published in the Association for Computational Linguistics conference (ACL), also held in Singapore. The paper was presented by Hakan.

  • Ben Leong and Rada Mihalcea's work on "Explorations in Automatic Image Annotation using Textual Features" was published in the Proceedings of the ACL workshop on Linguistic Annotations. Ben attended the workshop to present the paper.

  • Ravi Sinha and Rada Mihalcea's work on "Combining Lexical Resources for Contextual Synonym Expansion" was accepted for presentation at the conference on Recent Advances in Natural Language Processing (RANLP), to be held in Bulgaria in September. Ravi will travel to Bulgaria to present the paper.

  • Samer Hassan and Rada Mihalcea's paper on "Learning to Identify Educational Materials" will also be published in the RANLP proceedings.

Finally, Rada Mihalcea was the keynote speaker of the ACL Workshop on The People's Web Meets NLP: Collaboratively Constructed Semantic Resources, held in Singapore in August, where she delivered a presentation on "Large Scale Semantic Annotations Using Encyclopedic Knowledge." 

Convergence Technology Center partnership extended by NSF Grant

David Keathly

UNT CSE's partnership was extended for three years as part of a recent NSF ATE Grant. The grant totaled $994,000 of which UNT will receive approximately $60,000 in direct funding during the new three year period, and benefit from almost $300,000 in programming, curriculum development and conference opportunities available to member entities, including UNT CSE faculty and students. Co-PI David Keathly has been involved with the center under a previous supplemental award totaling about $20,000.

The CTC promotes the development of careers paths and education in convergence technologies - technologies that bring together voice, data, video and other media in a single network or delivery medium - throughout the community college systems in the US via curriculum development and a unique mentoring program.

UNT joined the center to promote "convergence" of these programs with four year degrees such as the new BA in Information Technology. During the next three year period, the center will be promoting Green IT through a number of initiatives. UNT faculty will take the lead in developing curriculum for mobile device applications development, as well as their use in educational settings. 

Dr. Paul Tarau presents paper in Portugal

Dr. Paul Tarau

Dr. Paul Tarau has presented on September 7, 2009 in Coimbra, Portugal the paper "An Embedded Declarative Data Transformation Language" to appear in the "Proceedings of 11th International ACM SIGPLAN Symposium, PPDP 2009". This is part of a new research direction combining declarative programming languages and computational mathematics, that has resulted in two other recent paper presentations in July at the "Intelligent Computer Mathematics, 16th Symposium, Calculemus 2009" in Grand Bend, Canada and a paper at the "ACM Symposium on Applied Computing, SAC 2009" in Honolulu, Hawaii. 

Student News

Two Ph.D. Graduates in Computer Science and Engineering

Dhruva Ghai PhD Defense
(L-R) Dr. Kougianos, Dr. Dhruva Ghai and Dr. Mohanty
Dhruva Ghai received his Ph.D. in Computer Science and Engineering at the Spring 2009 UNT graduation. Dr. Saraju Mohanty and Dr. Elias Kougianos were his major professors and advised his dissertation: "Variability-Aware Low-Power Techniques for Nanoscale Mixed-Signal Circuits." He was the first Ph.D. graduate with VLSI specialization. Dr. Ghai is now working as an adjunct instructor for the Department of Computer Science and Engineering.

Dr. Armin Mikler with Courtney Corley
Dr. Armin Mikler with Courtney Corley

Courtney Corley received his Ph.D. in Computer Science and Engineering in August 2009 at the UNT Summer graduation. Dr. Armin R. Mikler was his major professor. The title of his dissertation was "Social Network Simulation and Mining Social Media to Advance Epidemiology." Courtney is currently working as a research associate in the Knowledge Systems Group at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory located in Richland, WA. He is grateful for the opportunities that UNT provided. He added many people he has met in Washington are familiar with UNT's research in various domains. 

Advisor's Corner - Professional and Honor Societies

David Keathly and Ryan Garlick
CSE Advisors David Keathly and Ryan Garlick
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 you in a number of ways.

  • Provide an opportunity to meet students with similar interests to form study groups, project teams and friendships
  • Gain experience as a leader which will benefit you in your future career
  • Network with faculty and industry professionals in your own areas of interest
  • Exposure to new ideas from speakers, field trips, and professional publications
  • Access to online resources such as books and self-paced training courses, as well as student-focused services such as resume reviews, job search and scholarship opportunities
  • Exposure to students, faculty and programs in other departments across campus as you work with other student groups during activities such as Homecoming, National Engineers Week and others

Many of our Engineering faculty at UNT are extremely active in various professional organizations at the local, regional, and national levels which provides you as the student with exposure to new ideas and a very diverse experience as you learn and become more engaged in your profession.

Within the Computer Science and Engineering Department we have a number of existing organizations that you should consider:

  • IEEE Computer Society
  • UNT Robotics Society
  • Association for Computing Machinery
  • Linux User's Group
  • Information Defense Society
  • Computer Information Systems Organization

There are also a number of College-wide organizations:

  • Society of Women Engineering
  • National Society of Black Engineers
  • Society of Hispanic Engineers
  • And many others

Soon we will also have a number of honor societies, including Tau Beta Pi, Eta Kappa Nu, and Upsilon Pi Epsilon. These will require you to be nominated for membership. Honor Societies are important not only to prospective employers, but also as a conduit for social networking and interaction with faculty and outstanding fellow students who may be future business colleagues and collaborators. All of these organizations are part of an umbrella group in the College of Engineering called the Council of Engineering Organizations (CEO). Working together, these groups put on a number of activities including the homecoming float, the Spring Engineering Banquet, the Fall Engineering Festival and the activities for National Engineering Week.

Please consider joining one of these organizations as an active member of a local chapter and also as a national member. Student membership fees are very low, and come with many outstanding benefits. Contact David Keathly for more information on these organizations at or visit

ACM Meeting on September 25


Want to get involved with other students in our department? Want to try out for a programming team? You can do both of these things if you attend the first ACM meeting of 2009-2010 at noon on Friday, September 25, in the CSE Help Lab, F205, in the Department of Computer Science and Engineering. Students at the meeting will elect officers and plan events for the semester.

Following the meeting in the same room, we will have our annual ACM programming team tryout. Students, faculty, and staff who are interested will have 3 hours to solve up to 5 programming problems. Available programming languages are C, C++, and Java. We will be looking for students to compete at the ACM Regional Programming Competition. We typically take about three teams to the competition. Each team is composed of three members, who also receive complimentary one year student memberships in ACM, as well as an all-expense paid trip to the regional contest. Students who compete are also eligible to compete on teams for other competitions. In the past, UNT teams have qualified for the Challenge24 contest in Budapest, Hungary. We have also attended the SMU contest and several other online contests.

The local student ACM chapter typically hosts a contest for high school teams, as well as hosting the UIL regional competition. All of these competitive programming activities are great opportunities to develop better programming, problem-solving and teamwork skills, as well as bringing recognition to yourself, your department and the university. Plus you get to take some great trips! Come on by F205 on Friday to the ACM meeting and try out for the team!

If you can't make it to the meeting, email Prof. Garlick at to be added to the mailing list. 

Students can get help at the CSE Help Lab

Help Labs
Mzee Dillon, Computer Engineering student, gets help from Jorge Reyes-Silveyra, TA and Help Lab Assistant
Students in Computer Science and Engineering have a valuable tool available to them just down the hall—the CSE Help Lab. Located in Room F205 at the Discovery Park and open typically from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., you will find a number of CSE Graduate and upper division students able to help you with a variety of problems and subjects. The Teaching Assistant or Grader for your CSE class will hold office hours in this lab at posted times to assist you with specific course assignments.

Other help lab staff can assist you in learning how to access and use the various computing resources available in the CSE department. A variety of different computer systems and a printer are also available for your use. Be sure to make the Help Lab a regular stop throughout the semester whether you need help with a particular class or just want to make the best use of the resources available to you. 

SWE Invites You to Join

Society of Women Engineers The Society of Women Engineers invites you to join. SWE educates young adults about the many professions related to engineering and the importance of engineers in society. The group at UNT has worked for the past five years to gain recognition as an official SWE collegiate section.

Britney Caldwell is the UNT SWE president and she can be reached at Leticia Anaya, Lecturer in the Department of Engineering Technology, is the faculty advisor to SWE and may be reached at Carol Bachman, Project Engineer for Peterbilt, is the UNT SWE professional advisor and she may be reached at

The goal for UNT SWE is to get more students involved with the College of Engineering. Engineering students, both female and male, in good academic standing can join SWE. More information can be found at Student membership fees are $20 per year. 

Meet our Fall 2009 Teaching Fellows and Assistants

College of Engineering News

Meet the Associate Dean for Undergraduate Studies,
Dr. Vijay Vaidyanathan

Dr. Vaidyanathan Dr. Vijay Vaidyanathan became the Associate Dean for Undergraduate Studies in the UNT College of Engineering September 1, 2009. "I am looking forward to working with the Dean and the entire faculty in the College of Engineering to take our College to the next level of achievement," Dr. Vaidyanathan said.

As a faculty member, Dr. Vaidyanathan has involved undergraduate students in his research projects in addition to supervising numerous capstone projects. He has published papers in refereed journals with undergraduate students as co-authors and has helped them land internships and jobs.

Dr. Vaidyanathan has a joint appointment in the departments of Electrical Engineering and Engineering Technology. He earned his M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Biomedical Engineering from Texas A&M University in College Station, Texas. He earned his Bachelor's degrees in Physics and Electronics Engineering Technology from University of Mumbai, India. 

Dr. Kuruvilla John named Associate Dean of Research and Graduate Studies

Dr. Kuruvilla John Dr. Kuruvilla John joined UNT's College of Engineering as the new Associate Dean of Research and Graduate Studies. Prior to coming to UNT, Dr. John served as the Interim Dean of the Frank H. Dotterweich College of Engineering at Texas A&M University – Kingsville. He is joining a revamped leadership team for the College of Engineering at UNT under the guidance of Dean Costas Tsatsoulis and he will primarily be responsible for strategic growth in externally sponsored research and graduate student enrollment within each of the departments in the college. In this capacity, he will work closely with faculty in the college, as well as with the Toulouse School of Graduate Studies and the Office of the Vice President for Research and Economic Development, to develop new graduate programs and secure additional external research funding streams.

Dr. John started his academic career at Texas A&M University – Kingsville (TAMUK). As the interim dean of the College of Engineering, he was responsible for significant growth in both undergraduate and graduate student enrollment as well as in research. He was involved in the development and growth of a doctoral program in environmental engineering. Under his leadership, the department of environmental engineering recruited highly accomplished faculty and students and very recently the graduate program was ranked in the top 50 as per US News and World Report. He mentored several junior faculty members while at TAMUK and three faculty members in his department received the prestigious NSF-CAREER award.

Dr. John was responsible in securing over 30 externally sponsored research contracts, grants and projects worth over $18 million since 1996. He served as the principal investigator and project director of a National Science Foundation funded center for research excellence in science and technology. The multi-disciplinary collaborative center was focused on coastal environmental sustainability and it was funded at $ 1 million per year. His research interests are in the area of air pollution and air quality modeling and monitoring. He has supervised over 40 MS students and 3 PhD students at TAMUK. He has published quite extensively and very recently co-edited a book titled "The Changing Climate of South Texas 1900-2100: Problems and Prospects, Impacts and Implications".

Dr. John will hold an academic appointment as a Professor in the Department of Mechanical and Energy Engineering. He is a chemical engineer by training and obtained his B. Tech degree from Anna University in India in 1986. He earned his M.S. and Ph.D. degrees also in chemical engineering from the University of Iowa in 1989 and 1996, respectively. He worked as a visiting scientist at IBM's Bergen Scientific Centre in Norway and as a research associate with the State University of New York at Albany prior to moving to Texas in 1995.

For more information on Dr. John, please visit his website at

CENG Career Fair on September 24

Career Fair The College of Engineering will host an Engineering and Computer Science career fair on Thursday, September 24, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the Discovery Park Commons. This is a great opportunity for senior students to find a job, and the rest of the student body to get exposed to employer recruiting activities, and the interview process.

Following the Career Fair, the Career Center will host a Technology Interviewing Day on Friday, October 16, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Career Center. Computer Science, Technology and Engineering firms will participate. Students are invited to self schedule for these interviews in the eagle network account: Employers will begin adding interview schedules to the technology day schedule in the next week or two up to the career day, and just after. The employers will set the desired criteria for each interview schedule. These include but are not limited to major, graduation date, GPA, residency, experience and student availability. 

The CSE Student 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 UNT Computer Science and Engineering Department — September 2009