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UT Dallas CS Ph.D. Graduates Land Jobs at Major Tech Companies, Universities, and Research Facilities

From the Fall of 2016 to Summer of 2017, the UT Dallas Computer Science Department has graduated 23 Ph.D. students, four of whom have been women. These graduates have gone on to find jobs in prestigious universities, top tier research facilities, government, and high-tech companies.

The UT Dallas Computer Science Department has graduated a total of 292 Ph.D. students, including 27 women, since 2001. The UT Dallas Computer Science Ph.D. program has been in existence since the mid-70s. In fact, when the Computer Science program first started in the 70s, it granted only Ph.D. degrees.

UT Dallas CS Professors Drs. Ovidiu Daescu, Eric Wong, Hal Sudborough, D.T. Huynh, Jason Jue, Andrea Fumagalli, Balakrishnan Prabhakaran, Neeraj Mittal, Ravi Prakash, Lawrence Chung, Gopal Gupta, Vincent Ng, Vibhav Gogate, Zygmunt Haas, I-Ling Yen, Xiaohu Guo, Kamil Sarac, Weili Wu, Lakshman Tamil, and Alvaro Cardenas, served as faculty supervisors to these 14 UT Dallas Computer Science and Software Engineering doctoral graduates of the 2016-17 academic year.

Graduates of the UT Dallas Computer Science Doctoral Program have accepted jobs at top companies, research facilities, government, such as Adobe, Amazon, Apple, Cisco, Expedia, Fujitsu Labs of America, Facebook, Google, Intel, IBM T.J. Watson, Microsoft, Tableau Software, East China University, University of Tampa, Colorado State University, and more.

Dr. Yiqi Cai, who obtained his Ph.D. last fall under the supervision of Dr. Xiaohu Guo, currently works as a software engineer at Google Geo Imagery Team. His team utilizes the latest computer vision/graphics algorithms to build tools for 3D textured model generation from Google Street view images, Lidar devices, and drones. Dr. Cai notes, “Through widely used products like Google Maps and Google Earth, our results assist billions of users in their real life,” Dr. Cai explains that this role relies heavily on computer graphics knowledge. “My Ph.D. research on QEM mesh simplification, Poisson reconstruction, and other related topics makes me well suited for the algorithm development in daily work. From my personal experience, Ph.D. training is a strong boost for the career development of a software engineer.”

The following includes a recent list of some of the recent Ph.D. graduates, the title of their dissertation, faculty supervisor, accomplishments, and where they are currently working.

  • David I. Urbina Fuentes obtained his Ph.D. in the fall of 2016 under the supervision of Dr. Alvaro Cardenas. His dissertation, “Deep Packet Inspection for Physics-Based Anomaly Detection In Industrial Control Systems” focused on Industrial Control Systems’ Security. Dr. Fuentes currently works as a Security Researcher at Intel, where he is responsible for the secure design, development, and operation of hardware and software products, and services in the area of Internet of things (IoT).
  • Somdeb Sarkhel obtained his Ph.D. in the fall of 2016 under the supervision of Dr. Vibhav Gogate. His dissertation, “Scalable, Lifted Maximum a Posteriori Inference,” focused on Markov logic networks (MLNs). His research with Dr. Vibhav Gogate has been published in numerous conference publications including the 27th AAAI Conference on Artificial Intelligence (AAAI’13), Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems 27 (NIPS’14), 17th International Conference on Artificial Intelligence and Statistics (AISTATS’14), and the 29th AAAI Conference on Artificial Intelligence (AAAI’15). Dr. Sarkhel is currently employed as a research scientist at Adobe in San Jose, California.
  • Tahirima Rahman received her Ph.D. in the fall of 2016 under the supervision of Dr. Vibhav Gogate. Dr. Rahman’s research interests lie in artificial intelligence and machine learning. She is particularly interested in developing efficient algorithms for learning tractable probabilistic models from real-world data. In her dissertation titled, “Scalable Learning Approaches for Sum-Product-Cutset Networks,” Dr. Rahman proposes several tractable models and efficient algorithms for learning their structure and parameters from data. Her research with Dr. Vibhav Gogate has been published in numerous conference publications including the European Conference on Machine Learning 2014 (ECML’14), the 13th AAAI Conference on Artificial Intelligence (AAAI’16), and the Conference on Uncertainty in Artificial Intelligence (UAI’16). Currently, Dr. Rahman is a Postdoctoral Research Associate at UT Dallas in Dr. Gogate’s Machine Learning lab.
  • Mohammad Ali Ghaderi obtained his Ph.D. in Software Engineering in the fall of 2016 under the supervision of Drs. Gopal Gupta and Lakshman Tamil. In his dissertation titled, “A Flexible Comprehensive Software Platform for Disease Management,” Dr. Ghaderi proposed a novel and flexible software platform for the development of disease management research applications. Currently, Dr. Gharderi is employed as a software engineer at Cyber Group Inc.
  • Lei Cui obtained his Ph.D. in Software Engineering under the supervision of Dr. Weili Wu during the fall of 2016. Dr. Cui specialized in computational social network and machine learning while studying at UT Dallas. In his dissertation titled, “Community Detection in Social Networks,” Dr. Cui studied community detection problems related to social networks. Dr. Cui’s research with Dr. Wu has been published in various conference publications including the 35th Annual IEEE International Conference on Computer Communications (INFOCOM’16), the 10th International Conference on Mobile Ad-hoc and Sensor Networks (MSN’14), and the IEEE Transactions on Computational Social Systems. Dr. Cui’s research interests include Software Architecture Design and Mobile System Development, social network analysis, statistical analysis in big data, and design and analysis of algorithms. Currently, Dr. Cui is employed as a machine learning engineer at Suning Commerce Group in Palo Alto, California.
  • Emrah Cem received his Ph.D. under the supervision of Dr. Kamil Sarac during the fall of 2016. Dr. Cem’s Ph.D. work focused broadly on large-scale network analysis with an emphasis on statistical network analysis, analysis of online social network data, and evaluating network sampling techniques under different application constraints. In his dissertation titled, “Sampling and Estimation on Large Online Social Networks,” Dr. Cem explored various sampling schemes in estimating structural properties of Online Social Networks (OSNs). Dr. Cem’s research with Dr. Sarac has been published in numerous conference publications including 2015 IEEE International Conference on Communications (ICC’15), IEEE International Performance Computing and Communications Conference (IPCCC’16 and IPCCC’13), and the 8th IEEE International Workshop on Network Science for Communication Networks (NetSciCom’16). Currently, Dr. Cem is working as a software engineer at imo messenger, a global messaging platform based in Palo Alto, California.
  • Yiqi Cai obtained his Ph.D. under the supervision of Dr. Xiaohu Guo during the fall of 2016. In his dissertation titled, “Variational Tesselations Optimization for Graphics Applications,” Dr. Cai proposed an efficient merging-swapping framework for variational tessellation optimization and adopts it for three graphics applications: superpixel generation, surface remeshing, and deformable image registration. Dr. Cai is currently working as a software engineer at Google Geo Imagery Team. His team utilizes the latest computer vision/graphics algorithms to build tools for 3D textured model generation from Google Street view images, Lidar devices, and drones. Dr. Cai notes, “From different data sources, they ingest the generated models together as a unified mesh to achieve an accurate representation of the whole earth. Through widely used products like Google Maps and Google Earth, our results assist billions of users in their real life,” Dr. Cai explains that this role relies heavily on computer graphics knowledge. “My Ph.D. research on QEM mesh simplification, Poisson reconstruction, and other related topics makes me well suited for the algorithm development in daily work. From my personal experience, Ph.D. training is a strong boost for the career development of a software engineer.”
  • Wei Zhu received his Ph.D. during the spring of 2016 under the supervision of Dr. I-Ling Yen. In his dissertation titled “Enhancing Planning Based Automated Service Composition Models and Techniques,” Dr. Zhu explained how his work significantly enhances the state-of-the-art technologies in automated service composition, making it more efficient and more applicable to a wider variety of application domains. While obtaining his Ph.D. at UT Dallas, he published numerous research papers with Drs. I-Ling Yen and Farokh Bastani in top conferences such as the IEEE International Conference on Web Services (ICWS’15 and ICWS’13), the International Conference on Semantic Computing (ICSC’15), the International Conference on Computational Science and Engineering (CSE’12), and the International Conference on Service Science and Innovation (ICSSI’13). Dr. Zhu is currently working as a software engineer at Facebook in Seattle, Washington.
  • Juliette Ugirumurera obtained her Ph.D. under the supervision of Dr. Zygmunt Haas during the spring of 2017. During her time studying at UT Dallas, her research focused on resource scheduling in Microgrids, which are small scale power systems with the ability to self-supply and islanding. While studying at UT Dallas, Dr. Ugirumurera designed and implemented an efficient algorithm for optimal power scheduling in Microgrids, utilizing appliances scheduling in smart homes. She also developed a Monte Carlo Simulation based algorithm for the stochastic optimal planning of a completely green Microgrid; exploiting appliance scheduling to minimize Microgrid investment costs further. While at UT Dallas, Dr. Ugirumurera was a part of the Women Who Compute Club and was recognized for her for her academic excellence by maintaining a perfect 4.0 GPA. She is currently a postdoctoral research fellow at Berkeley Lab in California, where she is developing high-performance algorithms to solve large-scale traffic engineering problems.
  • David Brodie Smith obtained his Ph.D. under the subversion of Dr. Vibhav Gogate during the spring of 2017. While studying at UT Dallas, Dr. Smith was a part of the Statistical Relational Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning (StaR AI/ML) Lab. His research focused on compilation techniques for performing exact and approximate inference on probabilistic graphical models as well as statistical relational models, which he defended in his dissertation titled, “Advances in Message-Passing Algorithms in Propositional and Lifted Graphical Models.” During the Spring ’17 UT Dallas Computer Science Graduation Luncheon, Dr. Smith was recognized for his academic achievements and was also awarded the Doctor Family Prize for being the top graduate student with a perfect 4.0 GPA.
  • Suraj Raghuraman received his Ph.D. under the supervision of Dr. Prabhakaran during the spring of 2017. In his dissertation titled, “I3DTI: Interactive 3D Tele-Immersion” presented a set of novel approaches, that improve the quality and performance of all of the stages of an i3DTI application. During his time at UT Dallas, he was a research assistant in Dr. Prabhakaran’s Multimedia Systems Lab. He is currently working as a VR Researcher at his own company, MobiWeb, Inc., where he is working on creating water tight 3D mesh reconstructions of humans, that he captures using multiple RGBD cameras in real time.
  • Isaac Thomas Persing obtained his Ph.D. under the supervision of Dr. Vincent Ng during the spring of 2017. In his dissertation titled, “Automated Essay Analysis,” Dr. Persing focused on advancing the state-of-the-art in automated essay analysis. Specifically, Dr. Persing defines new computational approaches to different essay analysis tasks. During his time at UT Dallas, Dr. Persing was a research assistant specializing in Natural Language Processing (NLP) in in the UT Dallas Human Language Technology Research Institute (HLTRI). While obtaining his Ph.D., Dr. Persing designed, programmed, and evaluated state-of-the-art systems for nine NLP tasks, Served on the program committee for NLP workshops, and served as a teaching assistant in machine learning. Dr. Persing has had numerous research papers published in various conferences including the Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing (EMNLP’14), 26th IEEE/ACM International Conference on Automated Software Engineering (ASE’11), and the Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing (EMNLP’10). Dr. Persing is currently enjoying a long vacation at his home in Arizona and will be seeking employment shortly.
  • Grace “Eunjung” Park obtained her Ph.D. in Software Engineering under the supervision of Dr. Lawrence Chung during the spring of 2017. In her dissertation titled, “IRIS: A Goal-Oriented Big Data Business Analytics Framework,” Dr. Park introduced IRIS – a goal-oriented big data analytics framework for better business decisions. During her time at UT Dallas, Dr. Park worked as a research assistant and teaching assistant to Dr. Chung. Dr. Park’s research with Dr. Chung has been published in numerous conferences including the IEEE 11th International Conference on Research Challenges in Information Science (RCIS’17), the IEEE International Conference On Big Data Computing Service And Applications (IEEE BigData Service’17), the International Conference on Big Data and Smart Computing (BigComp’17), and the ACM SIGAPP Symposium On Applied Computing (SAC’17). Dr. Park’s research interests include Goal-Oriented Big Data Business Analytics, Cloud Computing, Software Architecture, and Business-IT Alignment.
  • Joseph Beshay obtained his Ph.D. during the spring of 2017 under the supervision of Dr. Ravi Prakash. His research interests include transport protocols, wireless networks, and distributed systems. His dissertation was titled, “Transport Protocols for Next-Generation Networks and Applications.” During his time working with Dr. Prakash, Dr. Beshay says that the moment of which he is most proud was the collaborative work with Dr. Andrea Francini from Nokia Bell Labs. Their work on the performance of TCP in 5G Networks was well-received both inside and outside of Nokia. Their work has resulted in several (pending) patent applications. Dr. Beshay notes, “During my last semester at UT Dallas [Spring’17], I had the opportunity to be the instructor of record for a section of the undergrad discrete mathematics course CS2305. It was a great experience. Even though I decided to go into the industry, I am looking forward to taking that experience back to the classroom through industry collaboration opportunities.” Currently, Dr. Beshay is employed at Cisco Tetration Analytics in Palo Alto, California where he is a Software/Data Engineer working on a system for data center monitoring and security. “My team has several other UT Dallas alumni, so it’s a great place to be,” says Dr. Beshay. You can read more about Dr. Beshay through his blog.
  • Arvind Balasubramanian received his Ph.D. under the supervision of Dr. Balakrishnan Prabhakaran during the spring of 2017. In his dissertation titled, “Mining Patterns in Sensor Data for Personalized Healthcare,” Dr. Balasubramanian addresses a variety of problems associated with the mining of patterns from sensor generated time series data and proposes efficient solutions for application in personalized healthcare. Dr. Balasubramanian’s research interests include data mining, data analytics, machine learning and pattern discovery, with a special focus on biomedical and healthcare domain applications. Currently, Dr. Balasubramanian is employed as a Data Scientist in Pricing and Revenue Optimization at Expedia.
  • Xue Wang obtained her Ph.D. during the Summer of 2017 under the supervision of Dr. Andrea Fumagalli. During her time at UT Dallas, Dr. Wang developed an event-driven simulator to evaluate routing algorithms in optical networks and designed and implemented online resource allocation strategies for data center selection in cloud computing. Dr. Wang also worked to develop and implement network-wide signal power control strategies in WDM networks. Her dissertation was titled “Cross-Layer Design Approaches Accounting for Optical Physical, Network, and Application Layers.” Dr. Wang is currently employed as a software development engineer at Amazon in Seattle, Washington.
  • Nannan “Nathan” Wang obtained his Ph.D. under the supervision of Dr. Jason Jue during the summer of 2017. In his dissertation titled “Dynamic Resource Scheduling and Optimization in Elastic Optical Networks,” Dr. Wang studied the problem of routing, modulation and spectrum assignment (RMSA) in elastic optical networks. During his time at UT Dallas, Dr. Wang was a member of the Advanced Networks Research Lab, under the supervision of Dr. Jason Jue. His main research interest lies within Network Design and Planning. Within this area of research, Dr. Wang is specifically interested in vehicular networking for autonomous driving, SDN, NFV, and Optical network. His research with Dr. Jue has been published in numerous conference publications including the IEEE International Conference on Communications (ICC’15) and the IEEE Global Communications Conference (Globecom’14). Dr. Wang will be joining Fujitsu Laboratories of America as a full-time employee in the fall of 2017.
  • Tien Xuan Tran obtained his Ph.D. under the supervision of Dr. D.T. Huynh during the summer of 2017. Dr. Tran’s dissertation was titled, “Connectivity Problems in Wireless Sensor Networks with Directional Antennas.” While working towards his Ph.D., Dr. Tran performed research on connectivity problems in wireless sensor networks focusing on networks equipped with directional antennas. In 2015, Dr. Tran’s team won third place at the ACM UT Dallas Hackathon with their app FunVoyage. Dr. Tran is currently working as a software engineer at imo messenger.
  • Luis Mojica De La Vega received his Ph.D. under the supervision of Dr. Hal Sudborough during the summer of 2017. In Dr. De La Vega’s dissertation titled “Permutation Arrays with Large Hamming Distance,” focused on the permutation arrays of large Hamming Distance as error correcting codes and the design of techniques to create better permutation arrays and improve existing lower bounds for any number of symbols n and Hamming distance d. While working towards his Ph.D., Dr. De La Vega worked in Dr. Sudborough’s research team and had two papers published in well-respected conferences. Dr. De La Vega is currently preparing journal versions of these papers with significant extensions. In addition to the publications, Dr. De La Vega and the team altogether have produced state of the art results in his research. Many of the techniques have produced hundreds of new results, which are now a benchmark in this research area. Dr. De La Vega’s research interests include Discrete Mathematics, coding theory, and combinatorics. Dr. De La Vega is currently working at Bank of America in Plano, Texas, where he will be specializing in Research and development of conversational agents, “chatbots” and other related NLP tasks.
  • Kenneth Mills obtained his Ph.D. during the summer of 2017 while under the supervision of Dr. Neeraj Mittal. Dr. Mills dissertation was titled, “Algorithms For Optimal Replica Placement In Data Centers.” His research with Dr. Neeraj Mittal has been published in various conference publications and refereed journals including the International Conference on Combinatorial Optimization and Applications (COCOA’15) and the Journal of Parallel and Distributed Computing.
  • Yihao Li obtained his Ph.D. under the supervision of Dr. Eric Wong during the summer of 2017. In his dissertation titled “Applying Social Network Analysis to Software Fault-Proneness Prediction,” Dr. Li presented the Tri-Relation Network (TRN), a weighted social network that integrates three types of relations (1) modules, (2) developers, or (3) modules and developers. His research interests include software fault-proneness prediction, software fault localization, and program debugging. He will be an assistant professor at East China University of Technology starting September 2017.
  • Ruizhi Gao received his Ph.D. under the supervision of Dr. Eric Wong during the summer of 2017. His research interests include software fault localization, test generation, and program debugging which he explores in his dissertation titled, “Advanced Software Fault Localization For Programs With Multiple Bugs.” He has published more than 15 papers during the course of his Ph.D. study including six transactions/journal papers. He has also received IEEE Reliability Society Distinguished Service Award in 2017.
  • Bogdan Armaselu received his Ph.D. under the supervision of Dr. Ovidiu Daescu during the summer of 2017. While working towards his Ph.D., Dr. Armaselu notes that he acquired some valuable skills such as posing new problems, solving challenging problems, discovering new solutions to improve upon the existing ones, performing literature review and documentation, working under pressure, and collaborating with teams of researchers. “What I am most proud of are my results and publications in geometric separability, especially the journal paper on dynamically computing the minimum separating circle among two sets of points. I am also proud of my results on a CPRIT-funded Osteosarcoma detection project, where I came up with new techniques for histological image stitching and tumor detection/classification,” notes Dr. Armaselu, when asked of which moment during his time at UT Dallas he is most proud. The title of Dr. Armaselu’s dissertation was “On the Geometric Separability of Bichromatic Point Sets.” Dr. Armaselu is currently working as a Software Engineer Intern at Spectral MD where he is working on medical imaging software that allows multi-spectral analysis of wounds (such as burns) for the purpose of wound biopsy, annotation, and classification without touching the patient. Currently, he is also working on an image stitching tool that will allow stitching a set of small images of a wounded body part into an image of the whole body part, in order to allow a better overview of the lesion. Dr. Armaselu will become a full-time employee at Spectral MD in the fall.

Click here to read about the 2015-2016 Ph.D. Graduates

If you would like to learn more about obtaining a Doctor of Philosophy in Computer Science or Software Engineering through the UT Dallas Computer Science Department, please click here for more information about the Computer Science Ph.D. program or click here for more information about the Software Engineering Ph.D. program.


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 2,400 bachelor’s-degree students, more than 1,000 MS master’s students, 150 Ph.D. students, 53 tenure-track faculty members and 38 full-time senior lecturers, as of Fall 2017. 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.

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