2016 computer science and engineering Spring Banquet and Awards Ceremony

Banquet16 1The Department of Computer Science and Engineering at Texas A&M University recently held its annual Spring Banquet and Awards Ceremony in the Bethancourt Ballroom located at the Memorial Student Center on campus. The event provides a way for the department to recognize those who work diligently to push the department to new heights.

The banquet, hosted by the department’s student organizations and funded by the Industrial Affiliates Program, began with a reception and dinner, followed by the presentation of awards, certificates and recognition. The night ended with a dance and brief lesson for students to enjoy.

To begin the night, Dr. Dilma Da Silva, department head, Ppofessor and holder of the Ford Motor Company Design Professor II, recognized the 2016 Distinguished Former Student, Dr. Armando Solar-Lezama.

In 2004, the Department of Computer Science created the Distinguished Former Student Award to recognize the exceptional contributions of its former students in the fields of computer science and computer engineering. Solar-Lezama, associate professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, graduated from the department in 2003.

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At MIT, Solar-Lezama leads the computer aided programming group. His work focuses on developing new technologies for program synthesis as well as developing new applications of this technology. His work has been published at major venues in a variety of fields, including programming languages (PLDI, POPL), formal methods (CAV), computer systems (SOSP), software engineering (ICSE, FSE), databases (SIGMOD), high-performance computing (SC) and machine learning (NIPS).

Da Silva then recognized the first, second and third place IAP research poster winners. Guoyo Fu received third place, Sampath Jayarathna received second place, and Swarna Keshavabhotla received first place. Scott Kolodziej, president of the Computer Science and Engineering Graduate Student Association (CSEGSA), presented the student, faculty and staff excellence awards.

Engineering Honors-Computer Science and Computer Engineering (EH-CSCE) Program Co-directors, Dr. Nancy Amato and Dr. Jennifer Welch, followed with the recognition of the EH-CSCE scholar graduates. Concluding the ceremony, Peer Teacher Advisor, Dr. Teresa Leyk and Associate Head for Academics, Dr. John Keyser recognized the Upsilon Pi Epsilon (UPE) Spring 2016 inductees.

“The spring banquet and awards ceremony is a great tradition to come together and give much-deserved recognition to those in our department that make it so great,” Kolodziej said. “It’s also a great way to meet new people associated with the computer science department and community.”Banquet16 3Peer Teaching Excellence Awards

  • Katherine Click
  • Timothy Foster

Teaching Assistant Excellence Awards

  • Ryan Vraecenar
  • Tanzir Ahmed

Undergraduate Faculty Teaching Excellence Award

  • Dr. Dilma Da Silva

Graduate Faculty Teaching Excellence Award

  • Dr. Tracy Hammond

Undergraduate Leadership Award

  • Rafael Moreno Cesar

Graduate Leadership Award

  • Scott Kolodziej

Undergraduate Research Excellence Award

  • Andrew Nemec

Graduate Research Excellence Award

  • Zain Shamsi

Mentoring Excellence Award

  • Robert Timm

Staff Excellence Award

  • Taffie Behringer