Awards 2013-2014

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.