Spotlight on student organizations: Upsilon Pi Epsilon

Photo of Texas A&M UPE members

Upsilon Pi Epsilon (UPE), the first and only existing international honor society in the computing and information disciplines, is a uniquely Aggie tradition.

The society was first organized at Texas A&M University Jan. 10, 1967. Dr. Dan Drew, head of the computer science division, was the principal adviser to the six computer science students who are credited with its founding.

Today UPE is an international organization consisting of approximately 240 chapters in various colleges and universities worldwide. It is a member of the Association of College Honor Societies and is endorsed by the two largest computer organizations in the world, the Association for Computing Machinery and the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Computer Society.

The Texas A&M UPE chapter is made up of outstanding undergraduate and graduate students in computing fields who meet the credit hour and GPA requirements. Each year UPE hosts talks by Texas A&M faculty and professors from other universities, as well as meetings with industry representatives. Raniero Lara-Garduño is chapter president and faculty adivsers are Dr. Nancy Amato and Dr. Dezhen Song.

UPE members participate in service events for its members to give back to the community, including The Big Event, Texas A&M's annual service event; Replant, helping replant trees burned by wildfires in the area; and ongoing member participation on FreeRice.com, a website where users can answer quiz questions to donate rice to the World Food Program.

UPE has a large involvement with the ACM International Collegiate Programming Contest (ICPC). In fact, the first ICPC took place at Texas A&M in 1970 and was hosted by the Alpha Chapter of the UPE Computer Science Honor Society. In 2004 Texas A&M's Maroon Team, composed of undergraduate computer engineering students, won the 2004 ACM South Central USA Programming Contest. The competition consisted of 75 teams from 38 schools, covering Texas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, and part of New Mexico. The regional win allowed the team to progress to the international ICPC finals in Shanghai, China.

Logo of UPE