Award Ceremony 2016

Special Recognition Awards

Director’s Special Recognition Award:  Shu-Ching Chen

Dr. Chen has been awarded the grade of Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) for 2017.  This is an incredible honor for Dr. Chen and FIU. Earlier this year Dr. Chen was also named an Institute of Electrical & Electronics Engineers (IEEE) Fellow as well as Eminent Chair Professor.


Army High School Apprentice Program Awards:  

This year we ran the High School Apprenticeship Program sponsored by the Dept. of the Army to provide a research experience for local High School students. We had a parallel program for Undergrad students, Undergrad Research Apprenticeship Program.

The following two high school students participated:

Sean Quiles

Rebecca Chery

And one undergraduate from FIU:

Sheila Blanco

We also had one volunteer high school student we would like to thank:

Alex Pissinou


Student Awards

Overall Outstanding Graduate Student:  Valentina Espinoza

Valentina Espinoza is currently a Master of Science student at Telecommunications and Networking at FIU where she was the recipient of the LAC (Latin-American and the Caribbean) fellowship and received an invitation to be a member of the Golden Key international honor society. She has a graduate GPA of 3.96 at FIU.


Best Graduate Student Research:  Kianoush Gholamiboroujeni

Kianoosh Boroojeni is a PhD candidate of CS. He is the author/coauthor of three books published by MIT Press and Springer. During his PhD years, he has published 23 publications in the form of book chapters, peer-reviewed journal papers and conference papers. He is currently collaborating with Dr. S. S. Iyengar to study different privacy and security issues in smart grids. He is a winner of the Dissertation Year Fellowship award.


Outstanding Undergraduate Student Research: Franklin Abodo

Besides graduating with honors and his outstanding community service in the STARS program, Franklin Abodo has been active as an undergraduate researcher. He has submitted publications to major robotics conferences such as IEEE ICRA and IEEE ICRC where he proposed algorithms, implemented simulations, and conducted hardware experiments for robot networks in challenged environments. Franklin plans to continue his graduate studies during Spring 2017.


Outstanding Undergraduate Student Service: Cesar Villa Garcia

Cesar Villa-Garcia has served as the President of FIU Upsilon Pi Epsilon (UPE) chapter for the past 2 years. During his time as President he coordinated all the UPE activities including: SCIS town hall meetings, learning activities for FIU students, and various outreach programs. Cesar exhibits leadership qualities that are very rare among his peers!


Outstanding Undergraduate Student Teaching: Pierre Jimenez

‘A natural leader’, ‘approachable’, ‘always there and willing to help’, ‘very organized’, ‘able to erase confusion and help me learn’, and ‘really inspiring’. These are all words from students and fellow LAs. Pierre is one of Dr. Davis’ Lead LAs, where, as part of a two-person team, he helped supervise and run one of Dr. Davis’ COP 2210 Labs. Pierre is always available to help, not limiting work to only student one-on-one sessions. He has also organized and lead multiple, very successful exam review sessions each semester he has worked for Dr. Davis. Pierre is a shining example of the perfect LA and inspirational leader for his fellow students.


Staff Awards

Best Technical Staff: Karell Muller

Karell works for both SCIS and HPDRC technical support. He has made significant technical impact on Dr. Rishe’ ITPA project as well as worked with our group to provide excellent service. He has both desktop and server administration knowledge allowing him to understand the complexities of operation distributed applications, databases, OSes, and client apps.


Best Administrative Staff: Sharlene Weston

Sharlene started working at SCIS in Dec 2015 and during that short time she has made an enormous impact on the school’s financial management
She is very self-motivated and dedicated to her job. She is eager to help and determined to finish her work tasks, even if it means work over time and follow up unsolved issues again and again. She has a strong background and understanding in accounting which ensures the good quality of her work.  She gets along very well with faculty and office staff.


Faculty Awards

Excellence in Teaching: Rick Blazek

Students in Professor Blazek’s classes say he is patient, friendly, caring, and is good at simplifying complex topics. He connects well with his students, and shows a great deal of sensitivity to their learning needs. He created many online courses for our department, and his average student evaluation score for the past year was 4.84.


Excellence in Fundamental Research:  Geoffrey Smith

Dr. Geoffrey Smith has published fundamental research that quantifies the information leakage in computer systems. His paper titled “Additive and multiplicative notions of leakage, and their capacities”, that appeared in the IEEE CSF Symposium, has been recognized by the National Security Agency (NSA) with its prestigious annual Best Scientific Cybersecurity Paper Award.


Excellence in Applied Research:  Naphtali Rishe

Dr. Naphtali Rishe has published more than 300 papers, and has received more than $55 million in research grants, including a recent Department of Transportation grant of $11.4 million. This year, for the second time, the work in the TerraFly Center lead by Dr. Rishe has been showcased in NSF’s Compendium of Technology Breakthroughs, including on its cover.


Excellence in Service: Mark Finlayson

Dr. Mark Finlayson has been responsible for organizing the SCIS department seminar for the past 2 years, where he has been active in bringing and hosting prestigious speakers to our department. He has also been active in several other committees.


Excellence in Mentoring: Niki Pissinou

This year, Dr. Niki Pissinou has simultaneously organized Research Experiences for Undergrads (REU) and Research Experiences for Teachers (RET) programs at FIU. Dr. Pissinou has also advised 9 PhD students, 9 independent studies, and several MS students.


Photo Gallery