This spring a total of 446 computer science and software engineering graduate and undergraduate students graduated from the UT Dallas Computer Science department. To recognize the dedication and hard work of the spring 2016 graduating class, the UT Dallas Computer Science Department hosted their biannual graduation luncheon after the commencement ceremonies with guest speaker Graham Glass, founder, and CEO of Cypher Learning, as well as a past graduate from UT Dallas Computer Science department. The luncheon included the presentation of the Undergraduate Award for Academic Excellence, presented to 17 graduating undergraduate students whose GPA was 3.8 or higher, as well as to 15 graduate students who had a perfect GPA of 4.0. The annual Kurt Holmes Prize and the Doctor Family Prize, both including certificates and cash prizes, were also presented. (Read about the Kurt Holmes and Doctor Family Prizes here)
At the start of the luncheon Dr. Gopal Gupta, UT Dallas Computer Science Department head and CS professor, in his opening remarks congratulated the graduating students and urging them to never stop learning. “The technology world around us will change rapidly, and to adapt to these changes we need to keep learning constantly” he said. “Our curriculum that is focused on the foundations of computer science has prepared you well to continue to learn,” he added. Dr. Gupta finished his opening remarks by providing the graduating students with a few tips to remember as they embark upon their new path by saying, “In order to succeed in anything you need to have a lot of grit—perseverance, endurance, tenacity. I hope that you all will persevere in everything you do. Congratulations!”
Dr. Gopal Gupta next introduced Mr. Graham Glass, the guest of honor. Mr. Glass is the founder and CEO of multiple companies that include Cypher Learning, Matrix LMS, NEO LMS. Graham graduated with highest honors from the UT Dallas in 1985 with an MS in computer science. After graduating from UT Dallas, he was employed for two years as a senior lecturer in the UT Dallas CS department where he taught courses in Assembly language, UNIX, C, C++, and Smalltalk. During his keynote speech, Glass shared his story on how he became a successful entrepreneur in the technology field, and provided tips for success. “In passing, I really do think that when looking back at my own experiences, I think doing something you are passionate about is key. There will always be ups and downs but if you really love what you do and believe in yourself then you can overcome lots of obstacles.” He continued on by saying, “The second key factor is persistence. Many times, there will be roadblocks and instances where you think you are just going to give up. But, if you really believe in your talent and you persist, then eventually you will succeed.” He ended his talk saying, “Last but not least, making your own luck is important. If you take chances, you never know what will happen! Many of my accomplishments happened by taking a chance. So I advise you all to take a chance!”
Awards for academic excellence were next distributed by Professor Shyam Karrah, director of graduate studies, and Dr. Gopal Gupta. The Kurt Holmes prize for the top performing undergraduate student went to Shaurya Arora. The Doctor Family prize for the top MS student went to Alec Moore. The following graduate students were recognized for their academic achievements (perfect GPA of 4.0): Amelia Basile, Ahsanul Haque, Ketan Joshi, Hui Li, Alec Moore, Swetha Prasad, Jayakarthigayan Sridharan, Asha Mary Thomas, Xiaoyu Wang, Xue Wang, Bin Zhang, Fenil Shah, Mahabubul Alam, Gerard Matthew, and Abdullah Moyeen. The following undergraduate students were recognized for their academic achievements (GPA of 3.8 or above): Shaurya Arora, Joel Seida, Joshua Cai, Sihui Huang, Kelvin Mai, Jiayang Wang, Bontavy Vorng, Matthew Coley, Bradford Kupka, Verneil Mesecher, Lalu John, Colin Haney, Dominic Joseph, Fazeel Tola, Dang Nguyen, Henry Dinh, and Matthew Bachelder.
ABOUT THE UT DALLAS COMPUTER SCIENCE DEPARTMENT
The UT Dallas Computer Science program is one of the largest Computer Science departments in the United States with over 1,600 bachelor’s-degree students, more than 1,100 master’s students, 160 PhD students, and 80 faculty members, as of Fall 2015. With The University of Texas at Dallas’ unique history of starting as a graduate institution first, the CS Department is built on a legacy of valuing innovative research and providing advanced training for software engineers and computer scientists.
Header photo credit – UT Dallas