Awards 2014-2015

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 code.org 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!