The University of Arizona

Events & News

Departmental Awards

Each year the Computer Science Department awards a number of students, staff, and faculty who have done notable things in the previous year.



Undergraduate & Graduate Student Awards

Galileo Circle Scholar:  Wei He

Wei is a second year PhD student. In her tenure in the Department she has worked with Drs. Debray and Snodgrass on their research in micro specialization and she has made great contributions.

Galileo Circle Scholar:  Lee Savoie

Lee is a third year PhD student working with Dr. Lowenthal. Lee has developed a strong independent research agenda, focusing on exascale computing and inter-job optimization.

Galileo Circle Scholar:  Junxiao Shi

Junxiao is a fifth year PhD student under the supervision of Dr. Zhang. Junxiao’s  research focuses in the area of named data networks.

Galileo Circle Scholar:  Bijan Anjavi

Bijan is a sophomore in the computer science major. He is an outstanding student and was a core team member of the initial Hack Arizona event in 2015.

Galileo Circle Scholar:  Jesse Bartels

Jesse is a junior in the computer science major. He is a positive influence in the Department and always looking for ways to contribute and assist his fellow students.

Galileo Circle Scholar:  Daniel Dicken

Daniel is a junior transfer student in the computer science major and a legacy in the Department. He serves as a tutor and a teaching assistant for undergraduate classes.

Galileo Circle Scholar:  Charlie Fractal

Charlie is a junior computer science major and has served as a teaching assistant for our introductory courses.

Galileo Circle Scholar:  Eric Newberry

Eric is a junior computer science major and is active in ACM and IEEE-Eta Kappa Nu Honor Society.

Galileo Circle Scholar:  Savannah Perno

Savannah is a sophomore pre-computer science major with a double major in molecular and cellular biology and is active in summer research and community service.

Outstanding Senior (Spring 2016):  Benjamin Gaska

Ben has served as a section leader for two years, worked as a research assistant on multiple projects, and maintains a strong academic record as a member of the accelerated master’s program. He does all of this with modesty and deep concern for his fellow students. When students were contacted to apply for outstanding senior, some of his peers declined, providing endorsement, instead, for Ben.

Outstanding Undergraduate Research Award:  David Porfirio

David is pursuing a double degree in Computer Science and Physiology. His multidisciplinary educational background fuels his passion for research in both computation and the life sciences. David has been an undergraduate researcher in the Dr. Keceioglu’s lab for the past year. He plans to attend graduate school and continue exploring Computer Science as a tool to analyze real world data.

Undergraduate Service Award:  Jesse Bartels

Jesse serves as a section leader and volunteered to help develop the new (and forthcoming) CS website - a herculean task! Jesse utilized the knowledge and experience he gained working with UITS to lay the foundation and transfer content from the old site to the development site and was able to trouble-shoot issues that would have taken staff months to understand. Thanks to his work we will have a new site launching soon!

Undergraduate Teaching Awaard:  Jeremy Mowery

Jeremy has served as a section leader for years and is currently serving as lead section leader for 335. His experience has helped train many classes of section leaders and he maintains an active presence in the weekly section meeting. Jeremy is an outstanding programmer and has assisted countless students as they have progressed through the pre-major. Jeremy is headed to Google, where he is sure to make an impact!

Graduate Student Teaching Award:  Nathan Sema

Nathan has served as a TA his entire master’s career. He has served as TA for a different class each semester and in this, his final semester, is TAing for two different courses. Not only does Nathan take on this responsibility with seriousness, he does he it with a smile. When told he would be TAing for two distinct courses in his final semester, he responded, “No worries.” Nathan also takes the time to help his fellow TAs troubleshoot student issues, grading issues, and shares scripts he has created to make utilizing D2L easier. Nathan will be missed!

Graduate Student Research Award:  Daniel Deblasio

Dan’s research has focused on parameter advising for multiple sequence alignment. He has been an active publisher, presenter, and software developer. Dr. Kececioglu, Dan’s advisor, shared this, “Dan has pioneered this problem of parameter advising, and has discovered strong results that are both theoretically rigorous and have made significant practical advances. In all of this work, Dan has been a driving force, and has given excellent talks presenting his research papers at top conferences. Dan is very amiable and articulate, and enjoys interacting with others and communicating his research ideas in informal settings.” Dan will continue on with his research in a post-doc and we look forward to seeing he future contributions.

Graduate Student Service Award:  Shravan Aras

Shravan has been selfless in his contributions to the department when it comes to graduate student recruitment and admissions. For two years he has served as the graduate student representative on the admissions committee providing valuable feedback on applicants and international schools. He has also volunteered to participate in multi-day recruitment visits, sacrificing entire days of his time to talk with students, take them on tours of Biosphere 2, and even tours of housing options. Shravan has been an outstanding ambassador of our PhD program.

College of Science Staff Excellence Award:  Chelsea Skotnicki

Chelsea is currently the senior member of the undergraduate advising team. She joined the Department in January 2015 and has made outstanding contributions from her first day. Chelsea has taken the lead this semester on implementing the free Department tutoring center. She supervises 14 undergraduate students and has built a wildly successful program - receiving outstanding student feedback. Chelsea has also worked with Pima Community College to improve advising for transfer students and offers office hours at Pima campuses to make it easier for students to receive advising. Chelsea is an invaluable member of the Academic Services Team!

Galileo Circle Fellow:  Richard Snodgrass

Dr. Richard Snodgrass was named a 2016 Galileo Circle Fellow, the first in the Department of Computer Science to receive this honor. Galileo Circle Fellows are the epitome of the academic scholar, with a deep understanding over a broad range of science, a willingness to think in a truly interdisciplinary way, and an ability to inspire colleagues and students alike. Professor Snodgrass is renowned for his scientific contributions and has a distinguished record of creative scholarship. He pioneered an entire sub-area of database systems, called temporal databases, that integrates the fundamental notions of information and time. His work has since turned out to be of tremendous practical significance and has been incorporated into commercial database software by vendors including IBM and Oracle. On the strength of these scholarly contributions, Rick was elected as a Fellow of the Association of Computing Machinery. Rick is active in interdisciplinary research, currently working on the ANTARES project with astronomers at NOAO to build cutting-edge software systems to efficiently analyze the huge mountains of data that the LSST telescope will produce. More recently, Rick has been focusing on predictive causal models in computer science, following Galileo's lead.

Faculty Teaching Award:  Lester McCann

Dr. McCann is well-known in the Department for his rigorous academic requirements and clear, yet high, expectations. He typically teaches the pre-major courses and it can be difficult to assist students that are just being exposed to the material. Students regularly remark on the usefulness of his in-class activities and the effectiveness of the curriculum organization.

Faculty Research Award:  Saumya Debray

Dr. Debray has been active in publishing and seeking grants in the past year. He published one journal paper (in Theoretical Computer Science) and three conference papers (in ACM Conference on Computer and Communication Security, IEEE Symposium on Security and Privacy, and ACM Conference on Data and Application Security and Privacy), of which two of these conferences are top venues in the field. Saumya also received the Award for Most Influential Paper from the IEEE Conference on Reverse Engineering.

Faculty Research Award:  David Lowenthal

Dr. Lowenthal has has an outstanding year of research with a new grant award, two publications in Supercomputing 2015, and a publication in High Performance Computing, ISC High Performance. He has done all of this while working with four PhD students, 2 MS students, and serving on the committees of other PhD students, in addition to his duties as Associate Department Head.

Faculty Service Award:  Saumya Debray

Dr. Debray has had a busy year serving on multiple Departmental committees as chair and member, multiple external committees both at the University of Arizona and other institutions, multiple conference planning committees, and search committees. In all of these services he has been a dedicated and thoughtful leader and received high praise from his peers.



Undergraduate & Graduate Student Awards

Galileo Circle Scholar: Shravan Aras
Shravan Aras focuses his research in the area of green computing, specifically trying to increase the battery life of mobile devices - something we could all use! He has been a TA in our courses, served on the graduate admissions committee, and served as a mentor on a research project. Shravan is always thoughtful, collaborative, and provides great insight to the work he is doing.

Galileo Circle Scholar: Russell Lewis
Russell Lewis seems to have an endless supply of idea. Russ has been a student in the Department as an undergraduate, master’s, and now doctoral student. He has a passion for building systems and focuses his research in this area. Russ is also an outstanding teacher and will be joining the Department as a lecturer in the Fall 2015 semester.

Galileo Circle Scholar: David Porfirio
David Porfirio has a passion for learning. He is a National Hispanic Scholar and has excelled at the University of Arizona. He has been a research assistant in the Undergraduate Biology Research Program, served as a section leader and resident assistant, and is working on an honors thesis. He plans to pursue graduate school in computer science.

Galileo Circle Scholar: Samuel Rasch
Samuel Rasch is pursuing a double degree in Computer Science and Finance with a minor in Math. Samuel has a passion for data analysis and is interested in pursuing quantitative finance. He is an active member of the Honors College and the Association for Computing Machinery.

Galileo Circle Scholar: Sean Stephens
Sean Stephens is a sophomore in the Department, something that shocks everyone who realizes this. Sean has already made a strong impact in our Department, setting himself apart as an outstanding TA, strong student, engaging member of community as an ambassador, and generally wonderful person. Sean will no doubt contribute positively to the field.

Galileo Circle Scholar: Jennifer Tran
Jennifer Tran is an exceptional student and has excelled since beginning at the University of Arizona. She has engaged in actives through WiCS, Hack Arizona, and serving as a section leader. Jennifer strives to contribute to her community and is interested in determining how to do that through computer science.

Galileo Circle Scholar: Karyn Vo
Karyn Vo is one of the top students in our program. She was a pre-med major for a few years before switching to Computer Science and is excelling. She is in the Honors College and has chosen to do a thesis in the area of mobile health. Specifically, she is developing an app to help people after they have had surgery.

Galileo Circle Scholar: Babak Yadegari
Babak Yadegari has developed simple, elegant, and powerful techniques to deal with a wide variety of malware. Over the last year he has had several research papers accepted or published in very prestigious and highly selective venues. This speaks to the outstanding quality of his research. He was recognized as Outstanding Graduate Researcher this year by the Graduate and Professional Student Council.

Norman Burton Ball Galileo Scholarship for Women in Science: Emily Luu
Emily Luu, a freshmen, has been awarded the inaugural Norman Burton Ball Galileo Scholarship for Women in Science. In just her first year at UA, Emily has already made a strong, positive impression. She is excelling in her courses and is is planning to add Math as a second major. She has worked with Tucson High to motivate women to study computer science by pointing them to resources such as as well as ways to improve their logical reasoning skills (which are critical in Computer Science).

Outstanding Senior (Fall): Staci Smith
Staci Smith won our Outstanding Senior award for the Fall 2014 semester. Staci has excelled in all of our classes as well as in Math; she is a double major and also won their Outstanding Senior award. She is currently doing research in power-constrained, high-performance computing, with Prof. Lowenthal. Previously, she worked on research projects in the Math department, and she has also served as a tutor for introductory Math and a teaching assistant for Real Analysis.

Outstanding Senior Honorable Mention (Spring): Jimmy Fagan
Jimmy Fagan is receiving a double degree in Engineering Management with a Math minor and Computer Science. He has done all of this with a perfect GPA. He has served as Section Leader Coordinator, a Resident Assistant, participated in a NSF REU at Auburn University. Jimmy will be a software engineer at IBM in Tucson.

Outstanding Senior Honorable Mention (Spring): Matt Gautreau
Matt Gautreau is a double major in Computer Science and Math with minors in Physics and Spanish. He has served as President of the Association for Computing Machinery and as a researcher in the Departments of Astronomy, Math, Aero and Mechanical Engineering, and Computer Science. He has also worked at Amazon and Raytheon while a student. He has accepted an offer at Zillow in Seattle.

Outstanding Senior Honorable Mention (Spring): Christian Montoya
Christian Montoya is a National Merit Scholar with a double-degree in Chemical Engineering and Computer Science. He has served as a Section Leader Coordinator, Resident Assistant, and Executive Vice President of Tau Beta Pi. He will be going to work at Microsoft as a Program Manager and hopes to pursue a Master’s degree at the University of Washington.

Outstanding Senior (Spring): Shloka Desai
Shloka Desai is an outstanding student, both as an academic and researcher. She will complete a double major in math and computer science while engaging in dynamic research for the last few years, including receiving several publications. She’s self-motivated, hard-working, keen to move on the next aspect of a project, and on top of all this has a very friendly and warm personality. She will be pursuing a Master’s degree in computer science at Princeton, Stanford, Berkeley, Columbia, USC, Utah, or University of Illinois at Chicago.

Outstanding Undergraduate Research Award: Brian Johanesmeyer
Brian Johanesmeyer is an outstanding student with a passion for research. He started getting involved in Prof. Saumya Debray’s research at the end of his freshman year, and since has achieved great results and publications. His interest is in software security and low-level malware analysis. He has been admitted to the PhD programs at UCSan Diego, UT Austin, Illinois at Urbana -Champaign, Columbia, and Duke. He is clearly heading to a stellar research career.

Undergraduate Service Award: Ian Tracey
Ian Tracey has accomplished much in his time at the University. Most notably, Ian is the Founder and Chief Organizer of Hack Arizona. This was the first large-scale hackathon to be held on the University of Arizona campus in March 2015 and it was an incredible success! With over 67 project submissions, Hack Arizona experienced one of the highest submission rates among the major collegiate hackathon circuit.

Graduate Student Teaching Award: Kristle Schulz
Kristle Schulz came up through our program first as a Section Leader, and her performance in that capacity was outstanding. Having Kristle’s technical expertise and easy manner surely kept qualified students in our major. Kristle went from being a Section Leader directly to serving as a summer instructor for CSC 127A. Her interaction with the students was excellent; they clearly felt comfortable asking her questions, and she provided clear and concise answers. Kristle has served as a graduate TA for several courses and faculty know they can count on Kristle to get the work done with little guidance while also mentoring the other TAs in the course.

Graduate Student Research Award: Babak Yadegari
Babak Yadegari’s research interests are centered around the analysis of malicious code, focusing in particular on the development of algorithms and tools to automate the process of penetrating various anti-analysis defenses erected by malware. What is especially noteworthy about Babak’s approach is that it is semantics-based (i.e., not based on superficial syntactic characteristics that can be easily changed by the malware author) and generic (i.e., not specific to any particular techniques used by the malware authors). Babak has published multiple papers in highly selective conferences, which is a very strong statement about the outstanding quality of his research.

Graduate Student Service Award: Isabel Kishi
Isabel Kishi has been a contributing member of our student population for many years, as an undergraduate and graduate student. Isabel has performed exemplary service to our department as co-chair of our Graduate Student Council. In this position, she has really revamped several activities that are essential to the cohesiveness of our department. During this recruiting season, Isabel discussed the importance of graduate students attending the talks and meetings, even personally lobbying students who were hesitant to go.

Staff Awards

CoSSAC UA Award of Excellence: Bridget Radcliff
Bridget Radcliff strives and succeeds at making the Academic Services Office a friendly and cohesive environment where all are encouraged to learn and grow personally and professionally for the continued betterment of the community that the ASO serves. Her seemingly limitless breath of knowledge whether it be University policies and practices or student inquiries regarding current and future course work and planning makes Bridget and invaluable contributor to the continued success and growth of the Department of Computer Science.

Faculty Awards

Faculty Mentor Award: Saumya Debray
Dr. Saumya Debray serves as an advisor or co-advisor to several students in the Department. He actively works with doctorate, master’s and undergraduate students and strives to help them improve as academics. He also serves to increase diversity in the department, whether through his own individual efforts or supporting department efforts.

Faculty Teaching Award: John Hartman
Dr. John Hartman designed and taught our cloud computing course for the first time last year, which was well-received by students, especially for a course taught for the first time with 80 attending students. His networking course was also well-received, as indicated by his TCEs.

Faculty Research Award: Stephen Kobourov
Dr. Kobourov continues to be a prolific researcher, with 20 refereed publications in 2014 alone (3 journal, plus 17 conference and workshop papers). He also produces software artifacts, brings in a significant amount of research funding, and advises a large number of both graduate and undergraduate students. He is active in his research community (serving on six program committees this last year), and is a highly valued member of the department. He was also awarded a Fulbright Distinguished Chair at the Department of State for AY 2015-2-16.

Faculty Research Award: Beichuan Zhang
Dr. Beichuan Zhang continues to maintain a steady research pace, with several papers in 2014: INFOCOM, ICNC, ACM SIGCOMM Computer Communication Review, and a new conference on Information-centric networking. He received the Best Paper Award, IEEE/ACM International Symposium on Quality of Service (IWQoS), 2014. He also works with several PhD and MS students and post-docs. He received two grants in 2014.

Faculty Service Award: David Lowenthal
As Associate Department Head, Dr. David Lowenthal, does a great deal of internal service, which goes well beyond the typical workload. In particular, he is to be commended for the amount of work he put into faculty recruiting. He also served on two program committees, including the highly visible Supercomputing conference.

Faculty Outstanding Achievement Award: David Lowenthal
Dr. David Lowenthal does many things well. He’s a great teacher, an outstanding mentor, strong researcher, and spends countless hours working to make the Department of Computer Science a great department. He published two conference papers, graduated one PhD student, and is working with additional PhD and MS students. He received excellent TCE scores. He works tirelessly with faculty, students, and staff to ensure that everything is running as it should. For all his hard work, we thank him!


Undergraduate & Graduate Student Awards

Excellence in Undergraduate Research & Outstanding Senior Award (Spring): Daniel Fried

Daniel Fried has worked on a variety of projects across multiple departments.  In Computer Science, he has worked with Prof. Stephen Kobourov to create maps of computer science research.  This allows easy perusal of the topics researchers work on over time and are much easier to use than inspecting DBLP pages, for example.  This work was published in PacificVis.  Daniel has also worked with joint faculty member Kobus Barnard on modeling indoor scenes, and this work was published in the top conference on computer vision, Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition.  Daniel has accepted a fellowship at Cambridge starting in Fall 2014 and will start a Ph.D at either MIT, CMU, Stanford, Washington, or UC Berkeley in Fall 2015.

Outstanding Senior Award (Fall): Zewei Jiang

Zewei Jiang graduated in Fall 2013.  In addition to excelling in our courses, he did research with Prof. Kobus Barnard in Bayesian 3D tracking and scene understanding. Zewei developed software for our University Library and also integrated parallel algorithms in the KJB library to improve performance for a code base used for many vision projects.  Zewei is starting a Masters degree in Computer Science at Columbia in Fall 2014. 

Galileo Circle Scholar: Jean-Pierre Briede

Jean-Pierre Briede is a top-notch student in our program while working a full-time job with UITS on campus.  He is an active participant in any class he takes and takes pride in the quality of his work. He is generous with his time and always willing to help his fellow students, which led Professor Saumya Debray to hire him as the TA for the compilers course.  He has also represented UA at Kuali Days, a large annual conference and user community event related to the enterprise software system he supports at UA;  Jean Pierre will join Microsoft in the Fall of 2014 after graduating in May.

Galileo Circle Scholar: Michelle Yung

Michelle Yung is currently a sophomore and excelling in our classes. She started as an Engineering major before seeing the light and switching to Computer Science.   Her instructors place her in the elite of our majors.  Michelle will be a College of Science ambassador for our department in AY 14-15 and is also a National Merit Scholar.

Galileo Circle Scholar: Ricky Gorowsky

Ricky Gorowsky is best known in our department as the student who finishes programming assignments almost before they are assigned. He is an exceptionally hard worker who does not stop until he has perfected his programming assignments. Ricky has an unsurpassed passion for computer science projects and serves as a catalyst when working on team projects.   Ricky is a previous winner of the Ralph Griswold Scholarship. 

Galileo Circle Scholar: Robert Drier

Robert Drier was originally a Biomedical Engineering major, but developed a passion for Computer Science while doing research on soft tissue biomechanics in 2013.  He switched his major to Computer Science and immediately has become one of our top majors.   He has served as a Section Leader for our second programming course.  Robert’s interests are in computer animation, operating systems, and in software development for biomechanical devices.

Galileo Circle Scholar: Zuoming Shi

In addition to being an excellent student, Zuoming Shi has been involved in the Software Reproducibility project in the department, led by Profs. Christian Collberg and Todd Proebsting.  This project studies the state of software used in various research projects around the world and how well others can use this software for their own work.  It has created a lot of buzz, including several mentions from various researchers on Facebook.  Zuoming was also the President of the Video Game Developers Club.

Galileo Circle Scholar & Lund-Wolfe Scholarship Award: Laura Vonessen

Laura Vonessen is a rising star in our program.  Just a sophomore, she is taking math courses at the senior (and even graduate) level and excelling in all of our courses.   She is fluent in three languages and will study abroad at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology in AY 2014-2015.  She eventually plans to go to graduate school in either Math or Computer Science (and we hope she chooses the latter!).

Outstanding Undergraduate Service Award: Katherine Maroney

Kate Maroney has been involved in departmental activities for years.  She is the co-president of the Women in Computer Science student organization and has succeeded in increasing the number of events sponsored by the group.  She also has served as a Section Leader.  Finally, she has been involved in the ACM Hackathon the last two years.  The department is a better place for both undergraduate and graduate students due to Kate’s efforts.

Ralph Griswold Scholarship Award: Emily Leones

Emily Leones is one of our very top undergraduate students.  She is not only excelling in our courses, but also has expertise in mathematics, engineering, and biology.   In addition to her excellent coursework, she has been an intern at IBM, tutored students at the University of Arizona, and volunteered in middle and high schools to promote higher education in science.  Emily is the very definition of the well-rounded, outstanding students we hope to have in our department. Emily will serve as a Computer Science Ambassador in AY 14-15.

Graduate Student Teaching Award & Outstanding Graduate Service Award: Qiyam Tung

Qiyam Tung is an exceptional teacher and departmental citizen.  He has been a graduate TA for many years and is incredibly broad, having handled courses ranging from Theory of Computing to Systems Programming, drawing rave reviews from both the instructor and the students for any course he TAs.  In addition, he serves the department by helping train our new TAs each semester and helping other TAs with problems they encounter.  Qiyam plans to graduate with his Ph.D in Fall 2014.

Exellence in Graduate Research: Aniruddha Marathe

Aniruddha Marathe works in the intersection of high-performance computing and cloud computing.  In the last year, he has published papers on his work in back-to-back ACM HPDC (High-Performance Distributed Computing), which is the top venue in the area.  His work focuses on executing applications in a cost-effective manner in the cloud, and he has borrowed techniques from the fault-tolerant community and applied them in a novel way to execute applications in the cloud auction market.  His work allows users to achieve large savings in cost compared to running on the standard, on-demand market.


Staff Awards

CoSSAC Star Award & UA Award for Excellence: Bridget Radcliff

Bridget Radcliff has been with our department for only 9 months, but her impact should be measured in years.  Among other things, since starting as the Graduate Program Coordinator, she has led or greatly assisted the efforts for a new model for advising, the BA degree, general education courses, course assignment and scheduling, and an improved experience for majors via program fees.   Bridget also patiently advises any student who asks for help and has had an extremely positive impact on many of our students. 

CoS Staff Award for Excellence: Patricia Waters

Pat Waters excels at anything that she is asked to do and does so with an exceptionally positive attitude.   It’s not actually true that requests of Pat are answered even before they are made, but it does seem that way.  Pat handles a little bit of everything in the business office, including reimbursements and budget issues.  The jobs of students, academic staff, and faculty have been made much easier since Pat started working in our department.


Faculty Awards

Faculty Mentor Award: Patrick Homer

Dr. Patrick Homer contributes heavily to our education mission each year by volunteering to mentor any graduate student who teaches in the summer.  In addition, students commonly mention his patience and assistance.  He serves as advisor to the ACM student organization and works closely with the students leading sections or TAing his course. Patrick is an outstanding resource for students at all levels.

Faculty Research Award: Richard Snodgrass

Prof. Rick Snodgrass had an outstanding year in research.  He published in top venues such as ACM SIGMOD and ACM Transactions on Database Systems.  In addition, he received two new grants, both from NSF.  One of these grants was for the Antares project, in which he collaborates with Prof. John Kececioglu as well as researchers from the National Optical Astronomy Observatory.  He also is working on spinning off the work from the other awarded grant, on database specialization, into a company (joint with Prof. Saumya Debray).

Faculty Research & Teaching Awards: Stephen Kobourov

Prof. Stephen Kobourov has excelled in both teaching and research.  In teaching, he consistently receives excellent feedback from students in our Undergraduate Theory of Computing course.  In fact, students flock to this class despite its renowned difficulty.  In addition, Stephen works with and trains numerous undergraduates in research, many of whom go on to do graduate work at top-ten Universities. 


In research, Prof. Kobourov published over 10 papers in the last year, including in top conference such as ACM SODA.  He is advising multiple Ph.D students and multiple postdocs and his research funding is among the best in the department.  Stephen also publishes several papers with undergraduates, including Daniel Fried, who will complete a one-year fellowship at Cambridge before returning to complete a Ph.D.

Faculty Service Award: John Hartman

Prof. John Hartman worked tirelessly to get our new BA degree through all the channels.  While this was a one-year endeavor, John has been advocating and planning for the BA degree for approximately fifteen years!  John also chaired the curriculum committee and in that capacity assisted in the creation of several new courses, including our first general education course.



Excellence in Undergraduate Research Award: Alex Henniges

Alex Henniges has worked on two projects, both of which represent significant accomplishments in undergraduate research. For an independent study he realized a complex approach for performing operations on temporally-indeterminate data, such as figuring out whether an event that happened sometime between Monday and Thursday with a normal distribution occurred before another event that happened sometime between Tuesday and Sunday with a uniform distribution, to a plausibility of 60%. This required a sophisticated partitioning of the algorithm. Alex also worked on the tXSchema project for his Honors Thesis. He refactored the extensive code for the tXMLLint validator to handle multiple representations of time-varying documents, even when the schema, as well as schemas that were included, were also time-varying.

Outstanding Senior Award (Fall): Loren Chea

Loren Chea started as a political science major, but discovered that he enjoyed computer science even more. A member of the Honors College since his admission to the U of A, Loren volunteered with several youth groups and also worked at IBM as a co-op student. Loren enjoyed his time in the CS department so much that he's decided to stay: he started in the graduate degree program in CS in the spring of 2010.

Outstanding Senior Award (Spring): Jonathan Nation

Jonathan Nation is an outstanding senior who excels at more than just academics. Beyond his nearly-flawless work in the classroom, Jonathan has accumulated a variety of experiences, including an internship in X-ray optics at Lawrence Berkeley National Labs and the development of software and hardware for multiple research projects in the UA College of Optical Sciences that led to co-authorship of a conference paper. He also found time to compete on a three-student team in the regional ACM programming contest that earned fourth place.

Graduate Student Research Award: Barry Routree

Barry Rountreewas, in the words of Prof. Dave Lowenthal, "the top graduate student in the country" in the area of high-performance, power-aware computing. One of Barry's more noteworthy achievements is the Adagio runtime system for determining bounds on energy savings.

Graduate Teaching Assistant Award: Rui Zhang

In the fall of 2009, Rui Zhang served at the teaching assistant for the CSc 460 (Database Design) class. In this role, Rui was responsible for grading all of the class assignments for the nearly 40 students. He took it upon himself to design and write the capstone team project, and also served as the back-up camera operator for the on-line students.

Graduate Student Outstanding Service Award: Wesley Kerr

Wesley Kerr organized the department's inaugural Graduate Student Research Symposium. A common event in many departments, Wes led our first symposium in the Fall of 2009. He solicited the submissions, organized the reviewers, arranged the presentation of the ten submissions, and coordinated the awards ceremony. Wes' nominator deemed his service to be "indefatigable."

COSSAC Outstanding Service Award: Tom Lowry

Tom Lowry has been a one-man show in the last year. He has weathered not one, but two significant staffing loses in Lab: John C and Shanna L. In both cases he has exerted himself to temporarily pick up duties that those folks' vacancies left behind. All this and he has maintained his old job functions as well! Tom's knowledge of networking is essential to the department's research functions and productivity.

Tom presently mentors our newest staff member, Eneida Lima. Without such mentoring, Eneida would never have considered taking on Shanna's old position. Tom is truly a Renaissance man when it comes to CS IT.

Tom is always incredibly responsive to requests from faculty, staff, and students. He often provides extra information in his answers that help educate us. He's extremely friendly, personable, positive, and cooperative.

Faculty Outstanding Impact Award: Chris Gniady

Chris Gniady had an amazing year: he received a CAREER award, had six conference papers accepted or submitted (all with his students), submitted four grant proposals, and worked with seven graduate students include Igor Crk, who graduated this spring and who was awarded the Departmental Graduate Galileo Circle Award.

Faculty Outstanding Service Award: David Lowenthal

David Lowenthal joined our department only last January (2009), but has been actively involved from the very start. Over the past year he chaired the Graduate Affairs committee which included revamping the PhD course requirements and instituting the portfolio system, as well running graduate admissions. Dave also chaired the Faculty Advisory Committee.


Faculty Teaching Award: Lester McCann

Lester McCann has consistently been rated by students well above his peers in the university, over many dimensions, including course effectiveness, course quality, amount learned, and effectiveness of the instructor. it is clear that students respect Lester as a teacher and appreciate the care taken with and quality of his instruction. Lester is innovative in his courses, pioneering implementation of podcast and video lectures and the use of a tablet PC to mark up slides that he later distributes. The department and its students are both fortunate to have Lester as a role model.

Faculty Outstanding Service Award: Saumya Debray

Saumya Debray has, in all of his numerous service roles, stepped up to the plate when leadership was needed, and in each case provided calm, insightful, responsive direction and guidance. While on the P&T committee, he created the scripts to produce the html pages presenting data on course evaluations in a very useful format, thereby regularizing this part of the evaluation. As chair of the advisory committee last year, during a tumultuous time, his was a calm yet knowledgeable and thoughtful voice. While as chair of the department head committee, he played a central role in ensuring that we attracted the best possible next department head.

COSSAC Outstanding Service Award: Gregg Townsend

Gregg Townsend has applied valued technical leadership in reorganizing the department's web site and in adapting it to the stylistic conventions developed by the Web Committee. Gregg developed a novel and highly effective technical approach that involved sophisticated software that would produce, from the existing web site files and several configuration files, a test web site every night for further refinement and improvement. Everyone and every aspect of the department benefits from our new web presence. As but one example, a recent survey of graduate applicants to our department indicated that our web site is our most prominent recruiting tool.

STAR Outstanding Service Award: Rhonda Leiva

This year, Rhonda Levia took over management of Academic Services. She had very big shoes to fill and Rhonda stepped in and indeed has doing a wonderful job. Rhonda had to learn about the undergraduate program while continuing to handle graduate advising. She also had to assume management responsibilities. In all respects, Rhonda has done a superb job with a seamless transition. The Academic Services group has been functioning as a thoroughly integrated team under Rhonda's leadership. Throughout this transition, Rhonda has kept in clear focus the needs of students, while also making due with fewer resources. This group remains strong and effective.

Graduate Student Research Award: Igor Crk

Igor Crk had five publications in the past year, two of which he presented at the top conferences in his area of research. He was also the assistant guest editor of the Journal of Information Technology Research. One of Igor's papers "Leveraging Knowledge Reuse and System Agility in the Outsourcing Era" was one of the top 10 downloaded papers on Social Science Research Network (SSRN).

Graduate Teaching Assistant Award: Jordan Marshall

Jordan Marshall was recognized as being thorough and fair with his grading. He returned each assignment back in a timely fashion, prepared detailed answer sheets to homework assignments that included explanations of common mistakes. Jordan answered many student questions by email and newsgroup postings (in addition to office hours), often during evenings and weekends when the students are actually working on programs. His communications struck just the right balance of being helpful without giving too much help. In the words of his nominator, “Jordan is one of the best TAs I have worked with in the past 35 years”.

Excellence in Undergraduate Research Award: Justin Samuel

Justin Samuel worked with Professor John Hartman on the Stork research project for two years. Justin contributed to Stork in numerous ways, mostly related to its security aspects. Justin was second author of a paper published in the highly competitive ACM Computer and Communications Security Conference. Justin also worked with John on a distributed resource management project called Backs. Justin was instrumental in the design of the system and wrote a prototype of several of its components.

Outstanding Senior Award (Fall): Tasneem Kaochar

Tasneem Kaochar is truly an outstanding senior in scholarship, research, and outreach. She has been a Science Ambassador, she participated in the department's Women in Computer Science (WISC) group, she served as a mentor to middle school students, and she was the leader of a computer science outreach group. Tasneem worked with Professor Saumya Debray for two years on the implementation of pointer alias analysis, with the ultimate goals of reducing the code size of the Linux operating system and of assisting in the analysis of computer malware.

Outstanding Senior Award (Spring): Justin Samuel

Justin Samuel is simply an outstanding student in his courses, an exceptional researcher (see above), and a wonderfully helpful person in the department (see below).

Spring 2009 Undergraduate Student Outstanding Service Award: Justin Samuel

With five years industry experience, Justin Samuel taught Secure Web Application Development with PHP and MySQL. The lab filled to the maximum capacity of 31. Using a great deal of preparation and enthusiasm, Justin provided our students the opportunity to learn about Web Development and security issues. Justin also started and led two student clubs: 1) Security Club and 2) Software Development Club providing students with opportunities to consider important issues in our field.

Graduate Student Outstanding Service Award: Ranjini Swaminathan

Ranjini Swaminathan has made a significant impact on the outreach and mentoring activities of the Computer Vision group, as well as the Computer Science department as a whole. She has played an important role in the Integration of Science and Computing ISC summer camp for middle school students, and has lead a related "notebook exchange" outreach activity where Computing Science students maintain a connection with camp graduates and other students. In the 08/09 academic year, Ranjini has also organized a seminar for undergraduates interested in research. On a department level, Ranjini has mentored incoming grad students and has contributed to the goals of the Women in Computing Science (WICS) group.

Fall Undergraduate Student Outstanding Service Award: Tasneem Kaochar

Tasneem Kaochar graduated with honors with a BS in Computer Science and a BA in Spanish and Portuguese in fall 2008. She has won numerous awards and recognition during her time here and has been working on research with Professor Saumya Debray over the last 2 1/2 years. Tasneem represented the department as a College of Science Ambassador and has volunteered her time to outreach efforts. As a result of her research involvement and accomplishments, Tasneem was selected as one of the Undergraduate Scholars in Integrated Sciences and as a Galileo Circle Scholar by the College of Science. Tasneem plans to continue her studies by pursuing a doctoral degree in Computer Science.


Excellence in Undergraduate Research Award: Juhani Torkkola

Juhani (Jay) Torkkola has made excellent research contributions as an undergraduate researcher. He has been instrumental in the SLIC (Semantic Linking of Instructional Content) project that improves access to educational video. Here Jay contributed substantively to three aspects of the project: 1) the web interface; 2) a method for accurately inserting high resolution slide images into the educational videos; and 3) correcting the color of the inserted slides to match the camera used for capturing the presentation.

Student Outstanding Service Award: Drew Davidson

Drew Davidson has provided exemplary service to the Computer Science Department over the past three years. He served as president of our student chapter of the ACM. He helped organize programming contests held by our department including two competitions this year. Drew served as the student representative for our current external department head search and on the faculty recruitment committee where he organized the many undergraduate meetings with candidates while providing written feedback to the department.

Outstanding Senior Award (Fall): Andrew Winslow

The Outstanding Senior Award recognizes Service, Research, and Scholarship. Andrew Winslow was an excellent student who made a great impression in many courses, but he really excelled in his contribution to the SLIC (Semantically Linked Instructional Content) project. Andrew's role in the project was to develop and implement algorithms for automatically identify areas that could be emphasized in slides appearing in videos of lectures, as a means to enhance user's understandability of the lecture. In order of taking advantage of the spectrum of clues given by the lecturer, Andrew has developed an algorithm with solid mathematical foundations, analyzing differences and correlations between different frames of the video. In addition, Andrew has demonstrated excellent programming abilities in handling some of the more challenging implementation tasks of this project.

Outstanding Senior Award (Spring): Drew Davidson

As an undergraduate, Drew Davidson performed research with graduate students and graduate faculty. For service, see above. Drew has "... no parallel to him in the department as a student. He is diligent, responsible, and he cares about his alma mater and the department." He is the "hardest working undergraduate student I have ever met."

Graduate Student Award for Service: Justin Cappos

Justin Cappos always had a very active interest in the general environment of the department. He was active in the graduate student committee for several years and started the mentor program to help new grad students adapt. Justin worked to get undergraduates involved in computer science research, which is service to not only our students but also to our research faculty.

Graduate Student Research Award: Joseph Schlecht

Joseph Schlecht was lead author of "Inferring Grammar-based Structure Models in 3D Microscopy Data," in the IEEE Computer Society Conference on Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition. He presented it as a talk at that conference. The acceptance rate for talks at one of the key vision venues is very low; in 2007 the acceptance rate was 5%. Joseph developed the complex inference software that solves this problem and wrote most of the paper.

Graduate Teaching Assistant Award: Alex Balderrama

Alex Balderrama has been the Graduate Student Council chair as he helped grad students get acclimated to the department, making life at the department better.

Staff Outstanding Service Award: Ana Rodriguez

Ana Rodriguez represents the Computer Science Department on many university committees such as the Staff Advisory Council (SAC), the College of Science Staff Advisory Council (CoSSAC), and currently Strategic Planning and Budget Advisory Committee (SPBAC). She planned and organized meetings to further enhance the functionality of UMS, a new financial reporting system being tested. Ana does handles many different requests, getting them all done on time and with a cheerful attitude. Ana tackles each challenge with passion as she while setting an example for all to follow.

Faculty Impact Award: Kobus Barnard

Kobus Barnard satisfies at least two of the criteria listed for the award: (1) he had two papers published in CVPR, one of the top conferences in computer vision, and (2) he had an NSF CAREER Award funded and contributed to the recently funded iPlant grant.

Faculty Outstanding Service Award: Greg Andrews

Just when he planned to wind down into retirement, Greg Andrews stepped in as interim department head during a challenging period, providing strong leadership to help move the department in a positive direction of growth and research activity.

Faculty Teaching Award: John Hartman

John Hartman meets two of the stated criteria for the award: (1) he achieved a TCE1 score in C Sc 552 in Fall 2007 of 5.0, which is stellar, and (2) he has had major positive impact on the Department's education mission by directing undergraduate research and supervising multiple independent study students in 2007.


Undergraduate Student Research Award: Ekaterina Spriggs

Ekaterina Spriggs graduated in spring 2007 with outstanding records in academics, research, and service. In addition to these departmental and College of Science awards, she was a finalist in the nation wide Computing Research Association (CRA) Outstanding Undergraduate Awards Program. Throughout her undergraduate degree, Kate contributed greatly to the activities of the computer vision lab. Her research accomplishments include creating a modeling tool for filamentous fungus in the genus Alternaria, contributing to the departmental 3D visualization lab, and modeling the statistics of psychophysiological data in emotional conversions. As a result Kate is author on three scientific abstracts and a computer vision paper in a prestigious venue. Kate also initiated a number of outreach activities focused on encouraging students to go to college, study math and computer science, and become involved in research.

Outstanding Senior Award (Spring): Ekaterina Spriggs

See above.

Student Outstanding Service Award: Scott Baker

Scott Baker volunteered to teach the department's first workshop course C Sc 397A: Advanced C++. He prepared the syllabus, all lecture material, and the programming projects in addition to presenting lecture each week. Despite his lack of pay, he came to each lecture fully prepared and ready to teach. His lectures are well planned and he has plenty of code examples. His main goal seems to be that we understand C++, and he makes sure that happens with his lectures, quick e-mail contact, and helpful attitude.

Graduate Student Research Award: Sriraman Tallam

Sriraman Tallam developed a novel system for efficiently monitoring the execution of long running multithreaded server applications. Through an innovative integration of fine-grained tracing with a logging and replay system, Sriraman enabled the scaling of monitoring so that it could be applied to long running multithreaded applications. He then demonstrated the usefulness of the system for automating debugging and fault avoidance in multithreaded applications. Sriraman published his research results in premier venues including SIGPLAN PLDI, SIGPLAN-SIGACT POPL, SIGSOFT FSE, and SIGSOFT ISSTA conferences as well as ACM Transactions on Architecture and Code Optimization (TACO).

Graduate Student Research Award: Praveen R. Rao

Praveen R. Rao did groundbreaking work on the PRIX system, introducing the idea of tree sequencing for the purpose of XML indexing and query processing. This idea was truly novel and innovative, given that most of the existing work on XML indexing and query processing had relied on a form of labeling scheme and shredding XML data. This work was published in the ACM Transactions on Database Systems (TODS). He is currently an assistant professor at the University of Missouri, Kansas City.

Graduate Teaching Assistant Award: Joe Fowler

Joe Fowler did an outstanding job as a TA for CSc 473 (Introduction to Automata, Grammars, and Languages), and as a grader for CSc 573 (Theory of Computation).

Staff Outstanding Service Award: John Cropper

John Cropper is the behind-the-scenes guy who is always making contributions to the department by providing his service, knowledge, and expertise on everything from computer accounts, disk quota for class projects, printer problems, help with the project turnin, copy machines, and architecting existing space for maximum efficiency.

Staff Outstanding Service Award: John Luiten

John Luiten provides critical leadership of the Lab staff, ensuring that the systems run smoothly in sometimes-challenging circumstances. In leading the lab staff, he selflessly works in a very principled way, always trying to find a way to meet departmental needs while following often vague guidelines from the University. He has shown great creativity during these times of tight budgets. He serves on several University-level committees, bringing substantial expertise and insight to important enterprise decisions. John is, perhaps more than anyone else, responsible for the department moving towards its configuration of specialized servers for critical services in the department, significantly increasing reliability while simultaneously decreasing maintenance overhead.

Faculty Impact Award: Rajiv Gupta

Rajiv Gupta was appointed to the Technical Advisory Group, a national-level appointment, as general chair of PLDI 2008, as steering committee chair for LCTES 2007, and program co-chair of HiPEAC 2008. In additional, he published 11 papers in top journal and conference venues last calendar year, received three new grants, and graduated three doctoral students.

Faculty Impact Award: Stephen Kobourov

Stephen Kobourov received a highly-selective NSF CAREER grant and a prestigious Fulbright award. In addition, he published five papers in top journal and conference venues last calendar year.

Faculty Outstanding Service Award: John Hartman

John Hartman served as an elected member of the new advisory committee and contributed to the self-study document. John took the initiative for coming up with the By-laws and then worked tirelessly to prepare them. He held meetings to get feedback from the faculty and spent a great deal of effort incorporating the feedback from the faculty into this document. Two years in the making, these bylaws were recently approved unanimously.

Faculty Teaching Award: Saumya Debray

Saumya Debray received stellar student evaluations, including an astounding 4.9 in CSc 553 (the historical mean is 4.2 and the standard deviation is 0.4). Additionally, three of Saumya's undergraduate students received awards last year.


Outstanding Senior Award (Fall): Jonathon Trimble

Jonathon Trimble served three semesters as an undergraduate teaching assistant (section leader), contributed to two research projects (JMusic and SOLAR), and developed a lecture series as part of his participation in Voices Against War, Racism and Oppression.

Graduate Student Research Award: Xiangyu Zhang

Xiangyu Zhang has an outstanding record of research while a graduate student, with notable papers appearing in top venues: the journal Transactions on Programming Languages and Systems (TOPLAS), and the Proceeding of the Programming Language Design and Implementation (PLDI) Conference.

Faculty Impact Award: Rajiv Gupta

Rajiv Gupta, in recognition of outstanding research and professional service at a level that brings recognition and honor to the Department.

Faculty Teaching Award: John Hartman

John Hartman, in recognition of his innovations in teaching, and for the highest student evaluations among all faculty.

Outstanding Service Award: Rick Snodgrass

Rick Snodgrass, for leadership and vision in guiding the growth of the Department strategic plan, as well as for outstanding service to the profession.