Award Ceremony 2014

Special Recognition Awards

Director’s National Visibility Award | BitCoin Team

This next award is a very important award. It is in recognition of their outstanding contributions to the success and national visibility of the School of Computing and Information Sciences Discovery Lab


Director’s Special Recognition Award | Women in Computer Science (WICS)

This award is for organizing the enormously popular Soldering Workshops held at FIU and at the Miami Mini Maker Faire.

Director’s Special Recogniton Award | STARS

For their commitment to helping our students and developing workshops to teach web and other computing technologies.

Eminent Professorships:

Naphtali Rishe
Niki Pissinou
Mark Weiss
Shu-Ching Chen
Distinguished Service | Jainendra Navlakha

Student Awards

Overall Outstanding Graduate Student | Francisco Ortega

In November 2014 Francisco Ortega has defended his Dissertation “3D NAVIGATION WITH SIX DEGREES-OF-FREEDOM USING A MULTI-TOUCH DISPLAY under the mentorship of Dr. Naphtali Rishe and Dr. Armando Barreto.

1 first author of the accepted CRC Press book “3D User Input Interfaces”
1 patent-pending application for his multi-touch modeling system
16 published papers
TA-ed in 6 Programming I Labs, 1 Intro Micro Computer, and 1 AI graduate course
Was the Instructor in a I Summer 2012 Website Construction Class
Francisco has served the school, FIU, and the community as a whole. In Fall 2012, he gave a Java Workshop for graduate students in the CATE and DSPLAB. Francisco helped for one semester the programming competition team of FIU. Francisco also helped the graduate students to organized between 2009 and 2011. In 2010, he served as a student member for the Carnegie Style Review Program Doctoral Review Committee for the School of Computing and Information Sciences. He has served as reviewer for IEEE Transactions on Affective Computing, IEEE Journal of Biomedical and Health Information, IEEE Sensors Journal, and the ACM TAPIA 2015 scholarship award.


Best Graduate Student Research | Chunqiu Zeng

In addition to maintaining a nearly perfect GPA, Chunqiu has an excellent publication record. Chunqiu has published 8 papers for the current year (after August 2013) including 1 journal paper, 2 book chapters, and 5 conference papers and he is the primary author for 4 of them. These papers have appeared in top venues such as IEEE Transactions on Human-Machine Systems, ACM International Conference on Knowledge Discovery and Data Mining (ACM SIGKDD), ACM International Conference on Information and Knowledge Management (ACM CIKM 2014), and International Conference on Network and Service Management (CNSM).

Besides his outstanding research and analytical skills, Chunqiu is the main architect and lead developer for FIU-Miner: A Fast, Integrated, and User-Friendly System for Data Mining in Distributed Environment and PDP-Miner: Plasma Display Panel Data Mining Platform. Both systems have been successfully deployed into real production.

Chunqiu also had very successful summer internships at IBM research in 2013 and at Google in 2014. He will spend summer 2015 at Google.


Outstanding Undergraduate IT Student | Raquel Corona

Raquel Corona will be graduating with a Bachelor of Science in Information Technology in April 2015. She has a 3.9 GPA, having earned an A or A-minus in every one of her computer courses. She also has a strong background in art and graphic design, and is a Kaseya-Certified System Administrator. She has impressed her professors with a strong work ethic, attention to detail, and has the makings of an outstanding professional in Information Technology.


Outstanding Undergraduate CS Student Steven Lyons

Steven has been an active member of the FIU programming team for the last two years. He has helped teach many of the team sessions for beginners, and has now become one of the top three members of the team. He is gifted with an excellent intuition for problem solving, and has consistently dedicated to improving himself in the time I have known him. Over the past year, Steven has been working in the Systems Research Laboratory run by Prof. Rangaswami on “caching”, one of the pillars of high performance computing. Steven’s works shows that under specific workload conditions (which can be detected with good confidence) the cache replacement operation is not optimal since it can hurt hit-ratios as well as cache traffic. This discovery challenges the current state-of-the-art.


Excellence in Tutoring | Trung Ngo

FIU STARS is pleased to nominate Trung Ngo for the SCIS Outstanding Tutor award. He has been the STARS tutor for Cristy Charter’s COP 1000 course this semester. Cristy reports that Trung goes above and beyond in his assistance. In addition to helping with the lab sessions, Trung also meets with students during Cristy’s office hours to ensure that all students receive help during that limited time period. Trung also does volunteer tutoring through STARS, in which he meets with students individually outside of class as well. We are proud to call Trung one of our best FIU STARS!


Staff Awards

Best Office Staff | Lian Zhang

Lian is the School’s Budget Manager. She is very diligent and hard working. She is prompt in delivering on her assignments and also works well with our faculty and staff here at SCIS as well as at the University. Lian is an exceptional budget coordinator with an MS from Texas A&M. She has been a great asset to team-SCIS and she is extremely reliable, friendly, and knowledgeable.

Lian’s responsibilities have increased significantly since she joined SCIS 2 years back. In 2010-2011, 2011-2012, the School averaged $4.5M in C&G, and in the last two years, it has averaged about $5.6M. This is an increase of almost 25% in the C&G budget. In the year she was hired, we had about a $6M E&G budget. Ignoring increases in the budget due to salary increases, etc. With IT Performance, it is $8.7M. Currently, with TEAm it is over $10M.

Best Technical Staff | Steven Luis

Steve is the Schools’ Director of IT and Business Relations. He has done amazing work, especially in creating the new undergraduate labs on the second floor, in providing amazing technical support for our faculty and students, etc. etc. etc. Steve has also done significant work on the design/concept of the SCIS spaces in the upcoming “beautiful” PG6.

Faculty Awards

Excellence in Teaching | Patricia McDermott-Wells

Pat’s record of teaching over the past year has been exceptional, according to her annual evaluation by our school’s former director. She earned an average student evaluation score of 4.60 on a scale of 1 to 5. Pat taught a total of eleven sections of six courses. In all, she taught a total of 871 students and eight different courses. In addition to classroom teaching, Pat also leads the STARS tutoring project, which provides invaluable help to many of our undergraduate students. All of this and the incredible diversity of courses that Pat has taught makes her an outstanding teacher!


Excellence in Research | Ming Zhao

Prof. Ming Zhao conducts excellent research at the VISA lab. During the previous year, he published one book chapter accepted for publication and ten papers published/accepted in high-impact conference proceedings. Dr. Zhao procured excellent funding from NSF including the Career Award and an award from the Department of Defense. Dr. Zhao has also been a Co-PI on many successful research grants in the past from various federal agencies. His research is outstanding!

Excellence in Service | Shu-Ching Chen

Dr. Shu-Ching Chen is one of our stars in our school and in the college. He was the Graduate Program Director and made many changes including graduate student recruitment, raising the standard of the PhD program, revising and starting new PhD candidacy examination, continuing graduate seminars, etc. During the last academic year, our school graduated 11 PhD students which is the highest number ever. His service is outstanding!


Excellence in Student Mentoring | Tao Li

Dr. Tao Li works in the area of Data Mining and Information Management. He is currently supervising 12 Ph.D. students some of which are working on IBM labs, Bosch Research, etc. Many of his students have won SCIS awards. His mentoring is outstanding!


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