Awards 2015-2016

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.\

Staff Awards

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!

Faculty Awards

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