Awards 2007-2008

Undergraduate & Graduate Student Awards

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 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 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.

raduate 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 Awards

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 Awards

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.