April 2014 Edition
Department of Computer Science and Engineering News
CSE Projects to be presented on Senior Design Day on April 25
Final Distinguished Speaker in Spring 2014
UNT Computer Science Degree ranked 7th nationally in return on investment
CSE Graduate Student Natalie Parde wins NSF Graduate Research Fellowship
CSE Cyber Defense team places third in Southwest CCDC
Robocamp and Grandparents University
Dr. Bryant attends Consortium for Computing Sciences in Colleges
Dr. Krishna Kavi in the news about an Alternative to Black Box in Airplanes
Prof. Mohanty appointed to the editorial board of multiple international journals and NSDL news
News from the AI and Human Language Technologies (HiLT) Lab
CSRL and Net-Centric IUCRC News
Laboratory for Recreational Computing News
News from Software Engineering Language Laboratory (SELL)
CSE appreciates Graduate Students

Student News
Outstanding Doctoral Student in Computer Science and Engineering – Oghenekarho Okobiah
Outstanding Master’s Student in Computer Engineering – Sunitha Karlaputi
Outstanding Master’s Student in Computer Science – Siyuan Liu
Outstanding Undergraduate Student in Computer Engineering – Jose Barcenas
Outstanding Undergraduate Student in Computer Science – Dillon Fisher
Outstanding Undergraduate Student in Computer Science – Hudson Jameson
Outstanding Undergraduate Student in Information Technology – Nathan Thurmond
Outstanding Computer Science and Engineering Sophomore Student Award – Christopher Wolfe
Outstanding Computer Science and Engineering Freshman Student Award – Mindy Nguyen
PepsiCo Scholarship Award
Outstanding Graduate Instructional Assistants
CSE Students defend Dissertation and Thesis
CSE Students recognized at UNT Graduate Exhibition

College of Engineering News

Greetings from the CSE Chair
Dr. Barrett Bryant, Chairman

Dear CSE Students,

On Friday, many of our senior undergraduate students will make presentations at the College of Engineering’s Design Day. Students in capstone classes will be presenting their posters in front of our department between 9 and 11 am. Following that, each group will give presentations. Right now these groups are only Computer Engineering and Information Technology, but we are changing the curriculum for Computer Science students to have a capstone experience beginning in Fall 2015.

Congratulations to our CSE Outstanding Students who were recognized at UNT Honors Day on April 4. Congratulations to first-year CSE graduate student Natalie Parde on winning an NSF Graduate Research Fellowship. Congratulations to our Outstanding Graduate Instructional Assistants and PepsiCo Scholars for Spring 2014. We held a party on April 16 to thank our PhD students and MS students who work for the department. Please scroll down to read all the news in our CSE Department.

Congratulations to our CSE students who will be graduating in May. Best wishes to you in your future career. After you graduate, I hope you will continue to support our Department of Computer Science and Engineering. Please keep in touch us by registering on the alumni page of our website. We are proud of our alumni and hope will stay in touch with us and come back to visit us in the future.

Barrett Bryant
Professor and Chair

Department of Computer Science and
Engineering News

CSE Projects to be presented on Senior Design Day on April 25

Undergraduate students from the Department of Computer Science and Engineering will present their research projects at the UNT College of Engineering’s Senior Design Day on Friday, April 25, 2014. The Senior Design Day program will begin with poster presentations in the Discovery Park Foyer from 9 to 11 am. Following the poster presentations, each department will have project presentations.

The following projects will be presented by CSE students in CSCE 4915 Computer Engineering Senior Design beginning at 11:30 am in D215:

Team Name: Int Elligence
Sponsor: Bill Buckles
Program/Department: Computer Engineering Department
Team Members: Matthew Wiegmann, Shaun Hairelson, Ryan Cerrato, Tim Scrivner

Our team’s assignment is to create a Blind Spot Detection System designed for an automobile. The objective is to create a comprehensive solution that will allow a driver to get visual and audio feedback any time an object enters a blind spot of the vehicle. The system will have two small monitors which will present a live camera feed of the left and right side of the car in an effort to replace the need for utilizing side view mirrors. Any time an object enters the blind spot on the vehicle the system will provide the user with helpful feedback to ensure that changing lanes is safe. The first feedback comes in the form of a live feed showing the blind spot of the car. The second indicator is represented by a graphical interface on the screen that lights to warn when the blind spot is occupied. Last, the vehicle will provide an audible tone any time the driver activates a turn signal in the direction of an occupied blind spot. Utilizing cost effective technology, our project will improve upon the safety and experience of driving a vehicle.


Team Name: MediumWare
Sponsor: Bill Buckles
Program/Department: Computer Engineering
Team Members: Pedro Torres, Brian Bergman, Jose Barcenas, William Ngu

Our project is to design and implement a frequency shifting device similar to a hearing aid. However, some users are deficient within a certain frequency range that a standard hearing aid will not help them. The device will shift the frequency range users can’t hear into a range where they can hear. We are naming the device VFEAD which stands for Variable Frequency Electro-Acoustic Device.

The illustration above is a quick and simple overview of what we’re planning to accomplish. On the left is all the input such as incoming sounds picked up from microphones and user button pressed on the device. On the right will be our output which will be adjusted sounds played through headphones and display on the LCD screen for the user.


Team Name: UNT Pioneers
Sponsor: Dr. Kamesh Namuduri; Dr. Bill Buckles
Program/Department: Computer Science and Engineering
Team Members: Amber Mitchell, David Lowery, Desmond Hines, Jamal Gillis

Currently, quadcopter systems are programmed in a way that requires a large amount of human interaction to accomplish simple tasks. There is no platform available that allows quadcopters to collectively work together to accomplish tasks determined by a user. Our plan is implement a quadcopter system in which each quadcopter will operate in conjunction with other quadcopters to accomplish a certain task.

The goal of this project is to create the framework for, and a working prototype of, and autonomous swarm, consisting of multiple quadcopters, which is to perform a set of given tasks. The tasks will be selected by the user from a base station and communicated to the quadcopters over a wireless network. This network will allow the quadcopters and base station to send, receive, or update task information, maintain communication while performing the task, and to feed sensor and camera information back to the user. The project will use a minimum of two quadcopters to carry out the task of flying a specified route from Google Maps avoiding the risk of endangering lives and flying into random objects.


Team name: Team CASA
Sponsor: Dr. Buckles
Program/Department: Computer Engineering
Team Members: Shoaib M. Ali, Armand Silva, Anibal Deloen, Caleb Cheatham

The objective of our project is to create an automatous delivery system through a car that understands the sound waves coming out from a sound generated device. The sound generating device creates tones which the car will translate as directions to follow through the use of a microphone. The sound generating device will be a speaker mounted on the car with the microphone right next to it. The speakers are programmed with specific tones to cover a range of commands for the car. The delivery system is preprogrammed with a predefined path to deliver an object at each specific destination. Objects will be laid out in chronological order of the delivery path. Once the delivery path is completed the car will return to its owner and it will turn off automatically or wait for new commands.


CSE students in CSCE 4925 Information Technology Capstone II will present their Senior Design project in D208A beginning at 11:30 am.

Team name: CSCE 4925 IT Capstone II
Program/Department: IT major / Department of Computer Science and Engineering
Advisor: Dr. Ryan Garlick
Team Members: Sami Aljabr, Ahmed Alotaibi, Saeed Babaker, Philip Becker, Blake Deberry, Henri Hernandez, Christian Lopez, Brittany Nelms, Ruben Rico, Charles Saye Jr., Taylor Spencer, Marcos Zepeda

The IT Capstone class is building several machines to mine the Litecoin crypto-currency. Similar to Bitcoin, Litecoin is mined through using high end video cards to create new coins. Since solving the problem requires significant computational power, the problem is distributed across the Internet, with our machines solving part of the problem and sharing in the rewards. These coins are shared in a pool with the students, and can then be spent or converted into other currencies. The current US dollar price for Litecoin is around $11. Cooling the machines, configuring the hardware and software, and tweaking performance for maximum output, testing, reporting on performance, and report writing are all considered in the project. Students are also learning about how crypto-currencies work, the economics involved, and maintaining security of digital wallets. For more information about this project, go to the course website.


Everyone is invited to attend these presentations on Senior Design Day! 

Final Distinguished Speaker in Spring 2014

The Department of Computer Science and Engineering announces that Sriram Chellappan will be the final Distinguished Speaker of Spring 2014. Dr. Chellappan is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Computer Science at Missouri University of Science and Technology where he directs the Social Computing Research Group (SCoRe).

He will speak at UNT on "Assessing Human Behavior from Internet Usage Recent Results and Applications" on Friday, May 2 at 1:30 PM in F223, the main CSE conference room. Everyone is invited to attend! 

UNT Computer Science Degree ranked 7th nationally in return on investment

ITWorld has named the Computer Science degree at the University of North Texas as the 7th best return on investment in the article "For the best ROI, get your computer science degree at a state school". ITWorld used data from PayScale’s "2014 PayScale College ROI Report" to calculate the return on investment for computer science.

ITWorld said computer science is a solid choice for a college major since demand for software developers keeps increasing. ITWorld asked which college computer science degrees give students the best value for the tuition dollar. Based on the data collected by PayScale, students should get their degree from a state university. The University of North Texas ranked ahead of all other universities in Texas as the best return on investment in the state. 

CSE Graduate Student Natalie Parde wins NSF Graduate Research Fellowship

Congratulations to first-year CSE graduate student Natalie Parde on winning an NSF Graduate Research Fellowship. Natalie is the first student to win this award in the Department of Computer Science and Engineering. The National Science Foundation’s Graduate Research Fellowship Program (GRFP) is the nation’s flagship program directly supporting graduate students in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields.

The NSF Graduate Research Fellowship is $32,000 per year for up to three years, as well as a $12,000 per year cost of education allowance including travel funding and equipment. Natalie’s research "Building a Better Agent: The Next Generation of Teachable-Agent Technology" is under the guidance of Dr. Rodney Nielsen, Associate Professor in the Department of Computer Science and Engineering.

As the oldest graduate fellowship of its kind, the GRFP has a long history of selecting recipients who achieve high levels of success in their future academic and professional careers. The reputation of the GRFP follows recipients and often helps them become life-long leaders that contribute significantly to both scientific innovation and teaching. Past fellows include numerous Nobel Prize winners, U.S. Secretary of Energy, Steven Chu, Google founder, Sergey Brin and Freakonomics co-author, Steven Levitt. 

CSE Cyber Defense team places third in Southwest CCDC

Back row (L-R): Alex Breinig, Chad Saye, Philip Becker, Jimi Mills; Front row (L-R): Tawfiq Shah, Junkai Sun, Dr. Mahadevan Gomathisankaran, Srujan Kotikela, Kevin Ray. Two members missing are Patrick Kamongi and Tim Page.

Congratulations to the CSE Cyber Defense Team on their third place finish in the Southwest Regional Collegiate Cyber Defense Competition (SWCCDC), on March 8 and 9 in San Antonio, TX. Twenty-two teams entered into the qualifying round in February and only eight teams, including UNT, advanced to the Regional Competition. The CSE Cyber Defense team was featured in this KSAT.com news video about the competition.

Dr. Mahadevan Gomathisankaran is the faculty mentor for the team. For more information, see this Trusted Secure Systems Lab

Robocamp and Grandparents University

The UNT Department of Computer Science and Engineering is hosting summer programs to introduce young men and women entering the 8th thru 12th grades to Robotics, Game Development, Mobile Apps, and Computer Science and Engineering. Registration is now open at http://capstone.cse.unt.edu/robocamp/. The new CSE SuperCamp incorporates elements from many of our previous summer programs into a two-week Grand Experience. Students will experience modules on Robotics, Video Game Development, Animation and Mobile App Development as part of this program.

Grandparents University® gives multi-generational families the opportunity to experience college life together during the summer. The Department of Computer Science and Engineering will offer two topics this summer: Robotics and Computer Animation. Students can major in Robotics and learn how to program a Robot. Computer Animation will teach the basic concepts of computer programming, animation and game control. For more information, see this website

Dr. Bryant attends Consortium for Computing Sciences in Colleges

(L-R) Richard Simpson from the Computer Science Department at Midwestern State University, Dr. Barrett Bryant, Dr. Catherine Stringfellow also from CS at MSU, Shawn Seals, Dr. Tina Johnson, PhD from UNT and Assistant Professor of CS at MSU; and Dr. Ranette Halverson, PhD from UNT and Chair of CS at MSU.

Dr. Barrett Bryant attended the conferences of the Midsouth Region of the Consortium for Computing Sciences in Colleges April 4-5, 2014, at LeMoyne-Owen College in Memphis, TN, and the South Central Region of the Consortium for Computing Sciences in Colleges April 11-12, 2014, at St. Edward’s University in Austin, TX. The Consortium for Computing Sciences in Colleges is a non-profit organization focused on promoting quality computer-oriented curricula as well as effective use of computing in smaller institutions of higher learning which are typically non-research in orientation.

Dr. Bryant attended these conferences to recruit graduate students in Computer Science and Engineering and introduce the UNT CSE graduate programs to faculty from the regions four-year colleges. In Austin, Dr. Bryant teamed up with UNT CSE PhD alumnae Dr. Ranette Halverson and Dr. Tina Johnson and other faculty from Midwestern State University to win the conference competition on building the tallest tower made of spaghetti noodles which was capable of supporting a marshmallow. Go Mean Green! 

Dr. Krishna Kavi in the news about an Alternative to Black Box in Airplanes

Following the recent crash of Malaysian Airlines flight 370, NBC Channel 5 interviewed Dr. Krishna Kavi, Professor in the Department of Computer Science and Engineering and Director of the NSF Net-Centric Software & Systems Center about his "glass box" technology. The news article "Professor Thinks His Creation Could Have Saved Plane from Going Missing" focused on Kavi’s solution to stream the flight information in real time to the ground rather than storing it in a "black box." The article also includes a link to a video that was aired on NBC Channel 5.

Dr. Kavi has been advocating for a technology upgrade for several years now. He was first quoted by the New York Times in "Airlines Study Alternatives to Jets’ Black Boxes" in 2009 after Air France Flight 447 crashed into the Atlantic Ocean. Following that crash, he wrote "Beyond the Black Box" in IEEE Spectrum in August 2010.

Since the recent Malaysian Airlines crash, Dr. Kavi has been quoted in the following articles: "Black Boxes, Air Safety and the Need to Know What Happened to MH370" in Aljazeera America, "The $100,000 Device That Could Have Solved Missing Plane Mystery" on Medium.com, "Why Are We Still Looking for a Black Box?" in Discovery News, and again in the New York Times, "The Technology is Out There, but Satellites Don’t Track Jets".

Dr. Kavi was also interviewed by Brian Naylor, for "All Things Considered" on NPR for a story that aired on March 27 called "Why Don’t Planes Stream Their Flight Data In Real Time". Also, on March 27, Dr. Kavi’s article "We shouldn’t rely on black boxes to investigate air crashes" was in the Dallas Morning News. On April 1, Dr. Kavi was quoted in Newsweek for Why the Black Box on Airplanes Needs to Go Away.

In international news, The Guardian from the UK quoted Dr. Kavi in "Secrets of the black box: How does MH370’s flight data recorder work?". It said "He was inspired by the thought that EgyptAir flight 990, which crashed off New England in 1999, killing 217 people, might have been avoided if flight data had been transmitted to monitors on the ground rather than being archived for later study on the airliner’s black box." Dr. Kavi said his idea of "glass box technology" is discussed every time a plane crashes. 

Prof. Mohanty appointed to the editorial board of multiple international journals and NSDL news

Professor Saraju Mohanty has been appointed to the editorial board of two international journals recently. The IET Circuits, Devices & Systems (IET-CDS) journal publishes VLSI and CAD for VLSI research focusing both traditional and emerging technologies including nanoelectronics and MEMs. The Elsevier Integration Journal has the scope of various areas of VLSI including specification methods and languages for both analog/digital ICs and Systems.

In other NSDL news, the NSDL members have published many journal papers including the following:

  • S. P. Mohanty and E. Kougianos, "Incorporating Manufacturing Process Variation Awareness in Fast Design Optimization of Nanoscale CMOS VCOs", IEEE Transactions on Semiconductor Manufacturing (TSM), Volume 27, Issue 1, February 2014, pp. 22-31.

  • O. Okobiah, S. P. Mohanty, and E. Kougianos, "Fast Layout Optimization through Simple Kriging Metamodeling: A Sense Amplifier Case Study", IEEE Transactions on Very Large Scale Integration Systems (TVLSI), Volume 22, Issue 4, April 2014, pp. 932-937.

In addition, multiple conference papers have been either accepted or published. NSDL PhD Karo Okobiah travelled to the International Symposium on Quality Electronic Design (ISQED) 2014, Santa Clara, CA. His presentation at ISQED 2014 included the following:

  • O. Okobiah, S. P. Mohanty, and E. Kougianos, "Kriging Bootstrapped Neural Network Training for Fast and Accurate Process Variation Analysis", in Proceedings of the 15th IEEE International Symposium on Quality Electronic Design (ISQED), 2014, pp. 365-372 (blind review).

NSDL postdoctoral scholar Dr. Prasun Ghosal as well as PhD candidate Karo Okobiah made presentations at IEEE Texas Workshop on Integrated System Exploration (TexasWISE) during March 21, 2014 which was held in University of Texas at Austin. The following two presentations were made:

  • Exploring Kriging for Fast and Accurate Design Optimization of Nanoscale Analog Circuits

  • Architectural and Layout Level Optimization of Performance Centric 3D Nanosystem Design

PhD candidate Karo Okobiah successfully defended his PhD dissertation on February 13, 2014. The CSE Faculty selected Karo as the Outstanding Doctoral Student in Computer Science and Engineering and he was recognized at the 2014 UNT Honors Day. 

News from the AI and Human Language Technologies (HiLT) Lab

HiLT Lab members have won two awards. Natalie Parde, on the left, won an NSF Graduate Research Fellowship and Karen Mazidi, on the right, won first prize for her poster presentation in the Computer Science and Information Technology category at the UNT Graduate Exhibition. Congratulations to Natalie and Karen!

The HiLT Lab had six papers accepted to top Natural Language Processing (NLP) and learning sciences conferences, including the 52nd Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics, the 12th International Conference on Intelligent Tutoring Systems (17% acceptance rate), and the 11th International Conference of the Learning Sciences.

Karen Mazidi and Natalie Parde presented posters on their research at CRA-W Graduate Cohort Workshop at the conference Committee on the Status of Women in Computing.

Tailyr Mack attended the ACM Richard Tapia Celebration of Diversity in Computing along with another CSE student Mayaria Johnson and Dr. Barrett Bryant, Chair of the Department of Computer Science and Engineering.

Dr. Rodney Nielsen is the Director of HiLT. For more information, go to their website

CSRL and Net-Centric IUCRC News

Dr. Kavi in front of the Holsten Gate in Lübeck, Germany.

Dr. Krishna Kavi traveled to Lübeck, Germany in February to attend the 2014 International Conference on the Architecture of Computer Systems (ARCS-2014), where he presented the following paper:

"3D DRAM and PCMs in Processor Memory Hierarchy," co-authored by Kavi with S. Pianelli, G. Pisano, G. Regina and M. Ignatowski. Three of the co-authors visited UNT during Spring 2013 to conduct their MS Thesis work in the CSRL lab. These students subsequently graduated from the University of Pisa in Italy.

During this trip, Kavi also visited the University of Copenhagen, Denmark. His unexpected experience is seeing the train from Copenhagen to Lübeck carried by a barge across the Baltic Sea.

Doctoral student Charles Shelor traveled to Las Vegas, Nevada in March to attend the 29th International Conference on Computers and their Applications (CATA-2014) and present the following paper:

"Quantifying Wasted Write Energy in the Memory Hierarchy" which was co-authored by Charles Shelor, James Buchanan and Krishna Kavi.

The semi-annual Industrial Advisory Board meeting of the NSF Net-Centric Industry/University Cooperative Research Center was held at Arizona State University in Tempe, Arizona, April 2-3, 2014. Dr. Kavi is the director of the center, which includes the University of North Texas, the University of Texas at Dallas, Southern Methodist University, Arizona State University and the Missouri University of Science and Technology. More than 20 industrial members support the research of the center. In addition to Kavi, Professor Mahadevan Gomathisankaran, post-doctoral researcher Dr. Chen-Yu Lee and CSE doctoral students Marko Scrbak and Srujan Kotikela attended the meeting. 

Laboratory for Recreational Computing News

PhD student Jonathon Doran has accepted a position as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Computer Science and Information Systems at Bradley University in Peoria, IL. Jonathon and Ian Parberry’s paper "Emergent Economies for Role Playing Games" was accepted to appear in the International Journal of Intelligent Games and Simulation.

Dr. Ian Parberry is the Director of the Laboratory for Recreational Computing. For more information about LARC, please go to the LARC website 

News from Software Engineering Language Laboratory (SELL)

Dr. Bryant at Bekal Fort on the Arabian Sea south of Surathkal, India

Dr. Barrett Bryant was a presenter at the International Summer School on Leading Edge Software Engineering, held at the National Institute of Technology in Surathkal, Karnataka, India, March 3-8, 2014. Dr. Bryant talked about "Grammar Inference Technology Applications in Software Engineering" and "Formalizing the Semantics of Modeling Languages." While in India, Dr. Bryant also visited the Indian Institute of Science, People’s Education Society Institute of Technology, and Rashtreeya Vidyalaya College of Engineering in Bengaluru, Sri Jayachamarajendra College of Engineering in Mysore, and the Madras Institute of Technology in Chennai.

Dr. Paul Tarau chaired a session and presented the paper "Computing with Catalan Families" at the 8th International Conference on Language and Automata Theory and Applications (LATA 2014) in Madrid, Spain. The slides of Dr. Tarau’s talk "Computing with Catalan Families" are available here. After the conference, his paper has been invited for a special issue of the journal "Information and Computation".


Dr. Bryant at Imhaejioen Palace, Gyeongju, Korea

Dr. Barrett Bryant co-chaired the Programming Languages Track at the ACM Symposium on Applied Computing (SAC), held March 24-28, in Gyeongju, Korea. Dr. Bill Buckles presented a paper co-authored with Dr. Paul Tarau at the track. This is the 21st year this track has been held at SAC, since being organized by Dr. Bryant in 1994. Dr. Tarau was a presenter at very first SAC Programming Languages Track. Dr. Bryant also serves on the SAC Steering Committee. 

CSE appreciates Graduate Students

Dr. Bryant thanks our CSE graduate students.

The Department of Computer Science and Engineering and the UNT Toulouse Graduate School joined forces to show their appreciation of our PhD students and MS students who work for the CSE Department. A party was held on April 16, 2014 to thank all of our graduate students for helping in our department. The Toulouse Graduate School provided a goody bag of gifts for students and the Department offered students a cake with the printing "Thank You." Dr. Bryant gave a short speech and thanked all the graduate students in our CSE Department. See more pictures from Graduate Student Appreciation Day


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Student News

CSE faculty members selected the following outstanding students in the Department of Computer Science and Engineering who were recognized at the UNT Honors Day on April 4, 2014.

Outstanding Doctoral Student in Computer Science and Engineering – Oghenekarho Okobiah

Oghenekarho (Karo) Okobiah received his B.S in Electrical Engineering from South Dakota State University, Brookings in 2008. His interest in chip and processor design led him to pursue his Masters in Computer Engineering. He joined UNT and received his MS in Computer Science in 2010 and immediately continued as a PhD student under supervision from Dr. Saraju Mohanty and co-supervisor Dr. Elias Kougianos. His area of interest is Nanoscale VLSI Systems Design with emphasis on Mixed-Signal Circuit Design and Optimization.

Karo received the Graduate Academic Tuition Scholarship for the year 2011. He was also awarded fellowship to attend the ACM A.M. Turing Centenary Celebration in San Francisco, CA, in the summer of 2012, and a fellowship to attend the ACM SIGDA Design Automation Summer School (DASS) in San Diego, CA, in the summer of 2011. He was awarded the Outstanding Masters Student in Computer Engineering.

Karo has more than 15 peer-reviewed IEEE/ACM publications. He serves as a Program Committee Member of IEEE IEDEC, IEEE ISQED and IEEE ASQED, and a reviewer for over 15 technical conferences/Journals. He defended his PhD dissertation titled "Geostatistical Inspired Metamodeling and Optimization of Nanoscale Analog Circuits" on February 13, 2014. 

Outstanding Master’s Student in Computer Engineering – Sunitha Karlaputi

Sunitha Karlaputi received her Electronics and Communications Bachelor’s degree from J.N.T University, Hyderabad, India in 2011 and later worked as a Systems Engineer at Hewlett Packard Company, Chennai, India. She started her Computer Engineering Graduate program at UNT in Fall 2012 with VLSI as a specialization. In addition to VLSI, she has also shown interest in Networking and Systems Virtualization research.

Outside of school, Sunitha enjoys other activities like cooking, dancing and shopping. She thanks her major professor Dr. Saraju P. Mohanty for his support and advice. Sunitha feels fortunate to have a wonderful family, especially her father Mr. Venkata S. Karlaputi who was/is always been behind his daughter’s success and her husband Mr. Pavan for his encouragement. She also thanks everyone in the CSE department, friends and her past mentors for supporting her to complete her Master’s in May 2014. 

Outstanding Master’s Student in Computer Science – Siyuan Liu

Siyuan Liu received his BS in Electronic Information from Kunming University of Science and Technology in China in July 2007. After that, he found a job in a real estate company. After 3 years of work there, he realized that he preferred a creative job, like being a programmer or computer engineer. Therefore, he quit his job and came to UNT.

Siyuan started his graduate program in Computer Science in the Fall semester of 2011. His area of interest is computer vision. His major professor Dr. Xiaohui Yuan gave him great support in his research. Siyuan will defend his thesis titled "Simulation of Micro Mirror Array and Far Field Diffraction Pattern" during the summer semester. He is co-author on a conference paper which was selected to be presented at SPIE Defense Security Sensing (SPIE.DSS) 2014.

Finally, Siyuan thanks his major professor, Dr. Xiaohui Yuan, for his patience and guidance. Siyuan also thanks his wife for her support and his 6 month old baby for the pleasure of being a father. During his free time, Siyuan likes to read fiction and listen to pop music. 

Outstanding Undergraduate Student in Computer Engineering – Jose Barcenas

Jose Barcenas transferred to UNT in Fall 2010 from Weatherford College. He will graduate this coming May with a Bachelors of Science in Computer Engineering and a minor in Mathematics. His primary interest is in VLSI and Electronics. His current projects include a Directed Study in Nanoelectronics with Dr. Saraju Mohanty and a senior design project. The directed study involves taking a previously designed "Hybrid Memristor-CMOS Based Programmable Oscillator" and formulating a process variation on the design. His senior design project includes a hearing aid device that is able to enhance high frequency audio for people with hearing disabilities.

In summer 2013, Jose worked at Texas Instruments as a Software Engineering Intern. He worked on the display sub-system architecture of a System on a Chip developed by Texas Instruments.

Jose will continue his education at the University of Michigan, pursuing a Master’s in Electrical Engineering with a concentration on Solid State Devices and Nanotechnology. He was also awarded the Michigan Engineering Master’s Fellowship. He plans to have a career in nanofabrication and semiconductors. 

Outstanding Undergraduate Student in Computer Science – Dillon Fisher

Dillon Fisher is a 4th year student who plans to graduate in May of 2014 with a bachelor’s degree in Computer Science. His current projects include a published and active Android application called ‘MineButler’ as well as motion tracking software for digital video. Dillon has been on both the Dean’s and President’s Academic honor rolls and was named an Outstanding Student for the Computer Science department for the 2013-2014 year.

After graduation, Dillon will start working for Franklin American Mortgage Company as a Java developer. He plans to continue pursuing software development as a longterm career path.

Outside of classes, Dillon enjoys programming, playing video games, reading, cooking, and spending time with his girlfriend. 

Outstanding Undergraduate Student in Computer Science – Hudson Jameson

Hudson Jameson is a senior working towards a Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science. His interests include analog to digital video conversion, Bitcoin, and Settlers of Catan. He will also soon be starting a VHS to DVD conversion business at easyvhstransfer.com.

He currently is employed with The Local Circuit Computer Repair in Denton as the lead technician. After graduating in May 2014, he will begin working at USAA in Plano as a software developer.

He would like to thank his fiancée Laura, his parents, Dr. Garlick, his "Nerd City" group, and his spirit animal ("a filing cabinet") for their love and support. 

Outstanding Undergraduate Student in Information Technology – Nathan Thurmond

Nathan Thurmond is currently a senior level student in the IT program at the University of North Texas. Originally from Waco TX, he transferred into the IT degree program because of the reputation that UNT has received in regards to their CS programs. He received his associates degree in Computer Maintenance from Texas State Technical College. He still enjoys working with hardware, but has most recently been working in software development and programming.

His current projects include a point of sales application intended to streamline customer ordering and a hardware based streaming art service that utilizes the Raspberry Pi miniature computer. He currently is doing data entry work with the Department of Sociology.

With an expected Graduation date of Spring 2015, he hopes to enter the workforce in the field of software development. Nathan would like to thank all the staff within the computer science and engineering department for their attention to the students and the focus placed on preparing them for the workforce. When not working on school projects, Nathan enjoys reading, exercising, and also network gaming with his old crew of veteran gamers. 

Outstanding Computer Science and Engineering Sophomore Student Award – Christopher Wolfe

Christopher Wolfe is pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science with a Minor in Business Foundations. Before attending UNT, he received an Associate’s Degree in Arts from Tarrant County College in 2004. He spent his next years working in information technology and raising three children. Wanting more from life and for his children, Chris made the decision to go back to school in 2013.

As a father, his pastimes include playing dolls with his two youngest daughters and video games with his son. When he is not bandaging scraped knees or making after-school snacks for his children, he is working toward his degree. In addition to parental and academic duties, he is a peer mentor for CSCE 1030 and, at some point, finds time to sleep.

Chris would like to thank David Keathly and UNT faculty for allowing him the opportunity to achieve something greater. He initially returned to school to pursue a career in game development, but his interests have since veered toward security and application development for business customers. 

Outstanding Computer Science and Engineering Freshman Student Award – Mindy Nguyen

Mindy Nguyen graduated in the top ten percent of her class from a small town along the coast called Palacios, also known as the shrimp capital of Texas. She came in the Fall of 2013 as an Emerald Eagle scholar and her plan is to major in Computer Science and minor in Japanese. In the next few years she hopes to become more involved around campus. Currently she is a sophomore and plans to graduate by 2017. In her free time, she listens to music and is learning to play the guitar. 

PepsiCo Scholarship Award

(L-R) Jeremy Gonzales, Mayaria Johnson, Nathan Thurmond

Undergraduate students were invited to apply for the PepsiCo Scholarship. This award was offered to Juniors and Seniors (with at least 24 credit hours at UNT, no pre-majors) who are majoring in Computer Science, Computer Engineering or Information Technology with a cumulative 3.25 GPA. Congratulations to Jeremy Gonzales, Mayaria Johnson and Nathan Thurmond on being selected for the PepsiCo Scholarship!

Jeremy Gonzales is an Honors College student from Fentress, Texas, majoring in the Communication and Networks specialization in Computer Engineering and minoring in Mathematics. He has served as an Ambassador for the UNT College of Engineering, a Senator for the Student Government Association, and participated in Alternative Spring Break. For the past two years, Jeremy has been a member of the Student Service Fee Committee and the University Scholarship Committee.

Mayaria Johnson is an Honors College student majoring in Computer Science. She has been the President of the UNT Society of Women Engineers for the past year. At the end of March, the UNT Society of Women Engineers co-hosted the Design Your World STEM Conference for Girls at UNT Discovery Park. There were over 100 6-12th grade girls participating in this conference. As the President of the UNT Society of Women Engineers, Mayaria led the Computer Science/Technology activity.

Nathan Thurmond is currently a senior level student in the IT program. While taking CSCE 4010 "Social Issues in Computing," Nathan volunteered to provide help lab assistance for students in the CSCE 1040 class. He was recently named Outstanding Undergraduate Student in Information Technology by the CSE Faculty on UNT Honors Day. 

Outstanding Graduate Instructional Assistants

(L-R) Ian Brooks, Jorge Reyes-Silveyra, Sai Kalluri

Three outstanding graduate instructional assistants have been recognized by the CSE faculty. Outstanding Teaching Fellow is Ian Brooks. He is a Teaching Fellow for CSCE 4011 "Engineering Ethics." Ian is a graduate student seeking his PhD in Computer Science and Engineering. His major professor is Dr. Kathleen Swigger.

Outstanding Teaching Assistant is Jorge Reyes-Silveyra. Jorge is a PhD student in Computer Science and Engineering. He is a Teaching Assistant for CSCE 4110 "Algorithms" and CSCE 4820 "Computational Epidemiology." His major professor is Dr. Armin R. Mikler.

Outstanding Grader is Sai Kalluri. Sai is a Grader for CSCE 4410 "Software Development I" and CSCE 4444 "Software Engineering." Sai is an MS student in Computer Science. His major professor is Dr. Bill Buckles. 

CSE Students defend Dissertation and Thesis

Congratulations to this PhD student for successfully defending his dissertation!

Oghenekarho Okobiah

Dissertation: "Geostatistical Inspired Metamodeling and Optimization of Nanoscale Analog Circuits"

Major Professor: Dr. Saraju P. Mohanty

Defense Date: February 13, 2014


Congratulations to this MS student for successfully defending his thesis!

David Jensen

Thesis: "DDoS Defense Against Botnets in the Mobile Cloud"

Major Professor: Dr. Ram Dantu

Defense Date: March 24, 2014 

CSE Students recognized at UNT Graduate Exhibition

Our CSE graduate students participated in the UNT Toulouse Graduate School Graduate Exhibition in March 2014. This event celebrates research in all its aspects as an essential and exciting part of graduate education at the University of North Texas. The Graduate Exhibition places special emphasis on communicating research and creative endeavor to a general audience and offers an unusual opportunity for professional development by challenging graduate students to present their work in clear, comprehensible terms to people outside their fields.

The CSE Department had the following winners in the Computer Science and Information Technology category:

1st - Karen Mazidi (in picture above)
2nd - Mohamed Fazeen Mohamed Issadeen
3rd - Sultanah Mohammed Alshammari

Congratulations to all of our CSE Graduate Students who participated in the Graduate Exhibition! Pictures of the event are at this media gallery page

College of Engineering News

Students from Thailand visiting CENG for SUPER

(L-R) Jatuporn Passanakraisorn, Taweekiat Trongwongsa,
and Tayida Tapjinda

Seventeen students from Thailand are visiting the departments in the College of Engineering for the Summer Undergraduate Program in Engineering Research. SUPER is an internship program where students from universities are able to participate in the research being conducted in the College of Engineering. These students are from Chulalongkorn and Mahidol Universities in Thailand. They are working with faculty members in the College of Engineering for 8 weeks from March 31 to May 23. At the end of their internship, the College will hold a poster competition for the students.

The Department of Computer Science is hosting three of these students: Taweekiat Trongwongsa is working with Dr. Hassan Takabi; Jatuporn Passanakraisorn is working with Dr. Mahadevan Gomathisankaran; and Tayida Tapjinda is working with Dr. JungHwan Oh.

Aside from the program being an internship, students have opportunities to become familiar with UNT and the DFW area. The students will attend the Real Texas Festival in Mesquite, TX where they will get to attend a rodeo, country music concerts, and a carnival. The College is also scheduling informational sessions where students can learn about how to become better writers, how to give poster presentations, and about graduate school at UNT. 

College of Engineering opens new laboratory and gets a sixth department

In March 2014, UNT’s College of Engineering celebrated the opening of 30,000 square feet of state-of-the-art research laboratory and teaching space which will benefit several of the college’s departments. More information about this space is available in this UNT press release.

"The new, advanced laboratory space gives our faculty and students an opportunity to conduct research and learn using the most cutting-edge equipment available," says Miguel Garcia-Rubio, associate dean for outreach and international relations in UNT’s College of Engineering. "The new lab space also will help us better work with business partners to solve industry problems."

This new space will also benefit the newest of the College of Engineering’s departments, The Department of Biomedical Engineering. This is the sixth department opened in the College of Engineering. It will have focus areas in biomedical instrumentation, biomechanics, and bioinformatics. Read more about this new program in this UNT press release

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 csenewsletter@unt.edu.

http://www.cse.unt.edu UNT Computer Science and Engineering Department April 2014