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CS Department Institutes the Research Excellence Scholarship Program for top 1st year PhD students

This year the UT Dallas Computer Science Department established the Research Excellence Scholarship for 1st year Computer Science and Software Engineering PhD students. The PhD Admissions Committee selected five students from the fall 2015 incoming applicant pool to the PhD program in Computer Science and Software Engineering. “A goal of the program is to recognize the many excellent students who are accepted to the PhD program. We anticipate that the recipients of these scholarships, upon graduation, will be leaders in their respective research field,” said Dr. Balakrishnan (Prabha) Prabhakaran, Director of PhD studies in the Computer Science Department.

This newly initiated $5k Research Excellence Scholarship is over and above the Graduate Assistantship that is normally afforded to PhD students in the CS department. Next year, the UT Dallas CS department is planning to expand the number of scholarship recipients from five to a total of ten CS/SE PhD applicants/students. All students who apply to the CS or SE PhD program are automatically considered.

This year’s Research Excellence Scholarship recipients are:


Research Excellence Scholar group Students oct 1Meysam Mohajer

Aravind Ramachandran

Yuanzhen Guo

 Aref Asvadishirehjin

Qingchuan Zhao



With graduation several years away, the new PhD students are still exploring their academic options, but some already know where they will focus their research interest. Maysam Mohajer is interested in human-computer interactions with a focus on mobile applications and services. He is interested in the user experience and believes the quality of the user experience contributes to the success of any application. Upon graduation, he hopes to enter the industry field. Aravind Ramachandran, who is interested in data mining and data warehousing, would like to pursue a career in academia. His mentor graduated from UT Dallas, which strongly influenced his decision to come to UT Dallas. Yuanzhen Guo has already found his advisor and will be working with Professor Eric Wong on software testing. He is interested in program repair where software programs with bugs are repaired automatically. He notes, “One of the reasons I chose to pursue my education at the UT Dallas CS department is the ranking of the program in the US News and World Report. Ranking is one of the most important factors that most international students value greatly when choosing where to attend school. This scholarship was key in making me choosing UT Dallas as my final academic destination.”

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.

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