Awards 2017-2018

Undergraduate & Graduate Student Awards 

(Galileo Circle Scholars, the University of Arizona's finest undergraduate and graduate science students, represent the tremendous breadth of research interests in the College of Science)

Galileo Circle Scholar: Hang Chen

Hang Chen has been a student in University of Arizona since spring 2016. He is double major in Mathematics and Computer Science with honors. His honors thesis is about the relations between statistics in graph mining.

Galileo Circle Scholar: Anh Dao

Anh is a senior undergraduate majoring in Computer Science and Mathematics. During his undergraduate career, he worked on multiple research projects and has been a math tutor for the Arizona's Science Engineering and Mathematics Scholars Program.

 Galileo Circle Scholar: Sabin Devkota

Sabin Devkota is a PhD student in Department of Computer Science. He works on Information Visualization with Prof. Kate Isaacs where he visualizes control flow graphs and execution traces of computer programs. He likes hiking, running, writing poetry, and reading all kinds of books.

Galileo Circle Scholar: Eric Evans

Eric is graduating with a BS in Computer Science, with minors in Math and Information Science. He has recently completed an undergraduate honors thesis, titled "Provenance Analysis within ANTARES", concluding his research over the past year with the National Optical Astronomy Observatory. Eric will begin his software development career in Madison, Wisconsin in the healthcare software industry.

Galileo Circle Scholar: Rebecca Faust

Becca is a 2nd year PhD student working with Dr. Carlos Scheidegger. She received two Bachelor's degrees from the University of Montana in Computer Science and Mathematics. Her current research is in data visualization and she was recently granted an NIST Fellowship.

Galileo Circle Scholar: Jewell Finder

Jewell is a Phoenix native who had never touched a piece of code before beginning the CS program her freshman year. She is a graduating senior who loves science and the arts. Jewell is currently working on an art installation focused on artificial intelligence using Processing and projectors to create a volumetric display.

Galileo Circle Scholar: Alexandra Gilliland

Ali is a senior graduating in May with degrees in Computer Science and Neuroscience. During her time at the UofA she has served as a research assistant, section leader, VP of Philanthropy for Pi Beta Phi, and is currently Panhellenic President.

Galileo Circle Scholar: Brandon Neth

Originally from Cleveland, Ohio, Brandon Neth is a junior studying Computer Science and Mathematics, with minors in Anthropology and Linguistics. When not working on parallelism research with Dr. Strout, Brandon can be found a few buildings over at Haury, studying ancient Greek potter's wheels with Dr. Hasaki. Volunteering has been his passion since high school, realized now with the Southern Arizona AIDS Foundation. Outside of school, Brandon loves music, reading, and spending time with his fraternity brothers.

Undergraduate Senior Award & University Senior Award: Jesse Bartels

Jesse is an accelerated master's student involved with undergraduate research, Section Leading, TA'ing, and the computer science website. He is interested in program analysis, software security, long hikes, and lots of running! Good food is another particular interest of his, which you know if you have had any conversation with him!

Undergraduate Research: Eric Newberry

Since February 2015, Eric has worked as an Undergraduate Research Assistant with Prof. Beichuan Zhang on the Named Data Networking project. He will be graduating with a Bachelor's in Computer Science with honors in May 2018. After this, he will enter the Ph.D. program in Computer Science and Engineering at the University of Michigan, where he has received a first year departmental fellowship. He has co-authored multiple papers, two technical reports, and one conference poster during his undergraduate career.

Undergraduate Service Award: Emily Luu

Emily is a senior undergraduate student graduating in May. She has been involved in the department in various positions and is most fond of her role as a tutor. During her time at the U of A she enjoyed doing outreach, with and without the department, and hopes to continue then when she joins Microsoft after graduation.

Undergraduate Teaching Award: Brian Zimmerman

Brain is originally from Phoenix, AZ and has enjoyed hiking his way through many of the state's scenic trails. During his time at U of A, he double majored in Computer Science and Computer Engineering and helped to manage the tutoring center as Tutor Coordinator. After graduation, he will be headed up to Seattle, WA to work at Microsoft--he'll have to remember to pack a rain jacket for his hikes up there!

Graduate Student Teaching Award: Mai Moua

Mai is a second-year MS student graduating in May. During her tenure she has served as a TA all four semesters. She has proven invaluable to the faculty she works with and has been an outstanding resource for the undergraduate students in her classes.

Graduate Student Research Award: Jon Stephens

Jon is a second-year MS student under the supervision of Dr. Debray. Not only is Jon an outstanding researcher, he is also a great mentor to the undergraduate and graduate students he works with. He will be going on to a PhD at UT Austin in the fall.

Graduate Student Service Award: Shravan Aras

Shravan is a sixth year PhD student working on energy conservation for smartphones and portable devices. In his tenure in the Department he has worked with countless partners around campus. All of this while serving on Department and College committees, attending prospective graduate student visits, and always having a smile!

Staff Awards

College of Science Staff Excellence Award: Nicole Soley

Nicole has been responsible for developing department outreach to local schools - through events like career fairs, science days, coding demos at schools, and mini-hackathons on campus. She also manages the Ambassador and Mentor programs and is the creativity behind the new look of all department marketing materials. This is above and beyond her day-to-day work meeting with students as an advisor.

Faculty Awards

Outstanding Faculty Teaching Award: Ben Dicken

Ben is a first-year lecturer and former student in the Department - earning both is BS and MS degrees here. Ben has done an outstanding job developing CSC 101, a course for majors with no CS experience and for non-majors. It has been very well received from the students as demonstrated by these comments:

"Ben is starting off as a great Professor, always excited to answer questions, and I can see him becoming one of the best CSC instructors the UoA can have."

"This was a really great course! Many of the upper level students were saying they wished they had taken CSC 101 before CSC 110."

Outstanding Faculty Research Award: Mihai Surdeanu

Dr. Surdeanu is the top-funded researcher in the department. His research involves systems that process and extract meaning from natural language texts. Mihai co-authored 7 papers, 5 of which were at A/A* conferences and journals! Mihai has multiple grants, including several very large ones and he still applied for more funding in 2017. Mihai supervises a large and productive group of graduate students, postdocs, and programmers. He also mentors several students, undergraduates to PhDs, including students in Linguistics, MIS, and the School of Information. Dr. Surdeanu sets the research bar high.

Outstanding Faculty Service Award: Ravi Sethi

Dr. Sethi has been with the department since 2014 and we are much better for it. His service has been extraordinary.  He has been responsible for the "big picture" of the pre-major, and more importantly, its translation into actual change in 101, 110, 120, and 210.  He works tirelessly to influence/cajole change through persuasion and first principles towards the goal of making the pre-major an effective, coherent experience for students.  Remarkably, he's not just deeply involved in the fun stuff like high-level curricular issues, but he's also invested in the mundane details of course outcomes and how they might be assessed. Ravi's contribution is extraordinary in terms of quantity and quality.

Outstanding Faculty Service Award: David Lowenthal

Dr. Lowenthal has served as associate head for many years and tirelessly devotes to ensure the department is fulfilling its mission to provide quality education with quality instruction. He leads faculty recruiting efforts and spends countless hours contributing to graduate student recruiting and admissions as well. Not only does he devote his time to the department, he serves on college, university, and conference committees as well. His peers have noted:

"Dave has been bending over backwards for graduate recruiting/admissions. He kept everything progressing extremely efficiently, organized multiple new initiatives, and did a tremendous job contacting individual students over skype."

"Dave is his own special category of committee work. I think the rating scheme must go "Meets Expectations --> Exceeds Expectations --> Truly Exceptional --> Dave."