Fall 2003 - Texas Tech University Departments

The Computer Science Alumni Newsletter
Volume 14 Issue 1
Fall 2003
Inside this issue:
Faculty Feature
Mike Sobolewski
Alumni Updates
Catching up with the
Missing Persons
Keep in touch!
We always look forward to hearing
from our alumni—so drop by the
CS website and let us know what
you’ve been up to! You can email
Mysti or visit the Alumni Website at
and fill out the Alumni Update
form, or check out the CS Alumni
Directory to locate former classmates!
Is the biannual Alumni
News letter of the Computer Science Department at Texas Tech University. Please direct
comments about this issue to:
Mysti Digby
Computer Science
Box 43104
Texas Tech University
Lubbock, TX 79409-3104
[email protected]
(806) 742-3527
Faculty Feature: A Q&A with
Mike Sobolewski
What made you decide to
switch to academia after
8 years with GE?
I spent most of my 33 years
as a computer scientist in
an academic environment.
I have to admit that I have
had a great time working
with cutting edge technologies in a boundaryless,
team-oriented environment, with the flat managerial structure at GE
GRC. It felt as if everyone
was trying to help me in
my research efforts, causing me to learn a lot there,
how to do complex research
and development in synergy with others. In 2001
at GE GRC, one of the
trainings for all scientists
was “Four Stages Model”
with the focus on: support
to others, individual capability, team or group leadership, organization’s resources. I have realized
that after 33 years of
studying CS it is time to
move on to the fourth
stage, and share my experiences in the field with
others. There is not better
place to achieve this fourth
step, then in an academic
Tell us what SORCER
stands for - and what
it's all about?
The Laboratory for Service
-ORiented Computing EnviRonment is an interdisciplinary laboratory here at
TTU. Our principal goal is
research in network, service, and object-centric
programming. We apply
object-oriented techniques
directly to the network,
and everything on the network we treat as a service.
SORCER brings together
faculty and students in
research, development and
experimentation with network objects. Our members
(currently 16 grad stu-
dents) pursue innovations
in distributed computing
that will yield substantive
long-term improvements in
the ways that people collaborate and share network resources. SORCER
is the next generation
FIPER (Federated Intelligent Product EnviRonment), the four-year,
$21.5M program, sponsored by the National Institute of Standards and
Technology (NIST) from
1999 to 2003. While at GE
GRC I was a FIPER chief
architect and lead software
developer. After my arrival
at TTU, from Fall 2002 till
the end of 2003 FIPER was
subcontracted to the SORCER laboratory to continue
FIPER enhancements.
When did you discover
your interest in Computer Science?
Not really sure. After
Faculty Bytes
gust and is a Program Chair
of CE2004: The 11th ISPE
International Conference on
Concurrent Engineering to
be held in Beijing, P. R.
China at the end of July. The
conference website can be
found at www.ce2004.org
and three other CS faculty
members serve on the International Program Committed for CE2004.
Brett Moore, Eric
Sinzinger, Larry Pyeatt
and Todd Quasny were co
-author’s on “Intelligent
Control of Closed-Loop
Sedation in Simulated ICU
Patients,” which has been
accepted for FLAIRS-2004
to be held May 17-19, 2004
in Miami Beach, FL.
The programming team,
coached once again by Dr.
Pyeatt, competed in the
Rocky Mountain regional
competition in Colorado
(cont. on pg. 3)
Mike Sobolewski has
been busy this fall, having
served on the International
Program Committee for the
2003 IASTED CNIS 2003.
He was also was invited by
Beijing Jiaotong University
to give three lectures on
SORCER and Concurrent
Engineering in the form a
one day workshop last Au-
(cont. on pg 2…..)
Sobolewski cont.
graduating High School in Morag,
Poland, as Valedictorian, I asked my
teacher what is the most difficult
department at the Gdansk Polytechnic Institute where I was planning to
apply. His answer was Computer
Science. That was enough for me. I
like a challenge that keeps me ticking then and now. I think it still is a
very challenging domain in fact I
would say that it is even more now
that in the past.
What do you feel you bring to the
CS Dept at TTU?
Expertise and a mix of theoretical,
practical and managerial approach.
While in Europe I was a theoretician
and while with GRC I gained research focus with practical and
managerial approach. Here at TTU, I
have developed 7 new courses, some
of them, like peer-to-peer computing
and mobile computing, are not
taught in other universities in the
What do you enjoy most about
working at Tech?
Two things: the university campus
and its Hispanic Renaissance architecture, and a lot of space to breathe
and the climate, hot but not humid.
If you could be any computer
language in the world, which one
would you be? And why?
Definitely Polish – it is a very flexible language; you can say the same
idea in hundreds of different ways. A
subject of the sentence can be, in the
beginning of the sentence or at the
end or in between. From time to time
I may put; the subject at the end of
an English sentence, when I do this I
am grammatically in trouble, but not
in Polish. Most computer scientists
are familiar with the Polish notation;
I think the idea comes from the flexibility of the Polish language. I suppose that, in the future we will be
using visual programming languages
and talking to computers in our native languages, weather it is English
or Polish, makes no difference to me.
I wonder if a computer would be able
to understand both languages at the
same time, in the typical speech of
my daughter, (both Polish and English mixed in together), I have no
problems understanding her.
Catching Up With
The Weiners
As most of you know, Len &
Marilyn Weiner were integral members of Computer Science as it
transformed from a program within
Mathematics, to a program within
Electrical Engineering to breaking
off to become a department in it’s
own right. Len & Marilyn retired in
1991, and recently wrote to let us
what they have been up to since
Since we retired from CS in January, 1991, we have led a very busy
and rewarding life. We spent the
first three years of retirement cruising, traveling, relaxing, and playing
pool (Len bought a nine foot used
Brunswick pool table.) and then at
the end of 1993, we volunteered to
establish a program to teach older
citizens how to use computers to
enrich their lives. We started
LSCEP, the Lubbock Senior Computer Education Program, at the
19th Street Senior Citizens Center.
We started with ten donated, obsolete IBM Dos 2.0 computers, Microsoft Works 2.1, and ten senior citizens from the center. Word spread,
and by the end of the first month we
had a waiting list of over 200 seniors who wanted to learn to use
computers. Over the next ten
years, the waiting list grew at times
to as many as 600 with a 3-year
wait to get into a class. We updated
and expanded the hardware and
software twice (through grants and
support from the City of Lubbock),
increased the number of classes
being taught, the number of people
in each class, and the number of
people involved in administering
and teaching in the program. Currently, six classes are being taught
each 10 week term at two sites.
(We opened a second site, sponsored
by UMC, at its HealthPoint facility
on 82nd Street two years ago.) The
classes accommodate a total of 91
“students” each of the three terms
each year and the waiting list is
now back down to about 200. From
the two of us, the staff has grown
to over 50 volunteers, all of whom
have gone through our courses and
been trained to teach classes or
maintain the labs when classes are
not in session. If we sound proud
of what we have been doing for the
last ten years, we are, but it has
required a great deal of time and
effort and we are ready to retire,
again. Fortunately, we have been
able to talk three of our staff members into taking over the program.
We spent several months training
them, and as of January 20, Leonard’s 80th birthday, we are retirees again and are looking forward
to relaxing, communicating with
old friends, doing genealogy research, etc.
Jan Eubanks Hudson secretly
sent email messages to those ex-CS
faculty and ex-students for whom
she had good addresses announcing Len’s birthday. Unfortunately,
many of the email addresses were
out of date, but he thoroughly enjoyed the dozen or so responses he
received, either directly or through
Jan. This was “a great birthday
Our personal lives have been very
good. We are both in relatively
good health, independent, able to
get around at will, and able and
willing to take care of ourselves
and each other; we are still a team.
Both of our sons are now living in
Lubbock, which is a joy for us, and
both work for the City of Lubbock.
Larry is Lead Programmer Analyst
in IT, and Robert is a Reference
Librarian at the Mahon Library in
downtown Lubbock.
For the most part, we have been
out-of-touch with our Tech excolleagues and ex-students for the
past ten years, but we have
thought about many of you and
hope that you are doing well. We
would be very happy to hear from
you, or if you ever make it to Lubbock, to see you.
From the Chair...
Yours truly,
Len and Marilyn Weiner
More Faculty Bytes
Thank You !!
We’d like to extend our thanks to all the alumni, corporations, and friends
that have contributed to the Computer Science Department in the last few
months. All of you make a huge difference in what we’re able to accomplish!
$1000 & Up
Exxon Corporation
The Pattikonda Foundation
$20 & Up
Dale Sanders
James Archer
Malcolm Donohoo
Tom Leavitt
Qiquan Xu
David Stevens
Kim-You Mau
Hisu-Ching Yang
Debra McClure
Bobby Cude
William Prusha
Tyson Stephenson
$100 – 999
Christopher Smith
David Seese
Sharon Prude
James Monroe
Lawrence Peck
Greg Storm
Alumni Updates
Peter & Shelley (Botard) Barnes
(BSCS96) Shelley received a job offer
from Orbital Sciences Corporation in
Phoenix, Arizona and they (and little
Wendy) moved to Arizona in November
of 2003. Another bonus is that there
are several race tracks close by for Peter to push his Porsche to it's limits.)
Bharani Ellore (MSCS02) tells us he
is now working for Texas Instruments
in the Houston, TX area.
Tom Harper (PhDCS95) has moved
on from his previous position running
the Cyber program for the Department
of Energy Office of Counterintelligence
in DC. Now that he’s back in the contractor ranks, he can actually talk
David Tannen
about most of what he’s been doing for
the past three years. Hopefully we’ll
have a full write up from Tom in the
next newsletter!
Stan Hudson (MSCS93) tells us
that he married in 2001, no kids yet!
Working at Texas Instruments in Dallas (Forest Lane) and working on digital still camera reference board operating systems design. Still tinkering
with electronics and inventions at
Tom Payton (BSCS89) and his
wife just welcomed their 3rd child last
September. Elizabeth Anne Payton, 5
lbs. 10 oz., 18.5 inches, was born Sept.
18 at 11:50 pm.
Jason Reeves (MSCS98) and his
wife are living happily in Plano, TX.
Jason went to work for Raytheon as a
The competition was fierce and they
did not place. Most of the team
members will be back again next
Fall, with more experience and determination to win. Wish them well!
Abilene now has 25 students, split
between the CS and SE programs.
This fall Todd Quasny joined the
campus, teaching a graduate course
on Robotics and helping to develop
research initiatives. We are currently
seeking a senior level faculty member with a speciality in formal methods or system verification in Abilene.
The KR group published four papers, and gave two invited talks.
Two of the papers, by Veena Mellarkod and Marcello Balduccini,
were presented at conferences in
Italy and India. Also "Modeling Hybrid Systems in Action Languages"
by Richard Watson and Sandeep
Chintabathina won the best paper
award in the applications category of
the 2nd International Answer Set
Programming 2003(ASP03) Workshop.
Software Engineer after graduation,
and have been there ever since.
Vikrant Ruttala (MSCS98) is
working as a Staff Software Engineer
at IBM in Austin. He is working on
transitioning into project management for I/P series of eServers.
David Wilhite (BSCS86) writes to
tell us that he’s now Team Lead for
the End-User Technical Solutions
group at TLR Technical Services in
Carrollton, TX .
NASA Comes to TTU
Texas Tech University’s Computer
Science Department hosted a twoday NASA Controls Architecture
Workshop in October. Faculty and
students heard about the research
that has supported the automation
of the two '03 landers currently exploring Mars, the '09 lander currently under review, and the 3T
architecture used at JSC. The principal architects for these systems
traveled to Lubbock from NASA
Ames , the Jet Propulsion Lab, and
Johnson Space Center to present
their work. The NASA representatives, in turn, got a much better
insight into the work being done at TTU.
This was the first meeting that has drawn
the NASA group together to compare notes
and identify areas for collaboration among
NASA Visitors and CS Faculty
its members, let alone meeting and
comparing notes with the TTU research team. Program managers from
Ames and JPL who fund this research
were also present. Both of these managers are advocating collaborations
and research with the TTU team, and
TTU CS researchers are developing
deeper ties with NASA.
In addition, Scott Hamilton, the Sr.
Acquisitions Editor for IEEE COMPUTER was present. He will be developing articles about the work presented at the meeting, in order to expose it to a much larger C S community.
Dept. of Computer Science
Box 43104
Texas Tech University
Lubbock, TX 79409-3104
Missing Persons
We’ve found a few, but these are still missing! If you know where to find anyone on this list, please let us know! We’d
hate for anyone to miss getting his or her newsletter!
Mikyeong Ahn
MS CS 95
Vasundhara Andolu
MS CS 98
Ajoy Asok
MS CS 97
Edwin Aybar
MS CS 02
Sailendra Banda
MS CS 97
Sunil Bhat
MS CS 94
Greg Camp
BS CS 93
Benjamin Curfmann
BS CS 91
John Conner
BS CS 97
Swamidas Dalvi
MS CS 98
Sunitha Dammalipati
MS CS 02
Bo Ding
MS CS 98
Shyam Doddavula
MS CS 97
Deba Prasad Dutt
MS CS 88
Andrew Eggleston
BS CS 91
Sriprasad Godbole
MS CS 01
Richard Holzmann
BS CS 97
MD Zakir Hossain
MS CS 95
Yinping Jiao
MS CS 01
Rajaiah Karanam
MS CS 96
Ramachandra Katragadda
MS CS 92
Sajini Katta
MS CS 96
Veera Khaja
MS CS 94
Kulin Kothari
MS CS 00
Sukir Kumaresan
MS CS 94
Muralidhar Kundeti
MS CS 94
James Ledbetter
Like Liu
MS CS 94
Shakeel Lodi
MS CS 89
Aaron Lott
BS CS 98
Yun Lu
BS CS 97
Sundeep Makker
MS CS 00
Vamsi Mellacheruvu
MS CS 95
Xiao-Hui Meng
MS CS 94
Mohammed Mubeen
MS CS 96
Ahmed Mustafa
MS CS 99
Neelakanth Nadgir
MS CS 98
Sharath Pallemoni
MS CS 98
Srinivas Pogiri
MS CS 98
Rupesh Rao
MS CS 00
Eric Schuele
BS CS 99
Radhakrishnan Sethuramn
MS CS 02
Vishwajit Singh
MS CS 00
Vijaykrishna Somanchi
MS CS 98
Balmiki Sur
MS CS 89
Kavitha Srinivas
MS CS 02
Begonia Tai
MS CS 86
Palanikumar Tamilmoni
MS CS 99
James Taylor
BS CS 83
Chih-Wei Tseng
MS CS 97
Srinivas Vajhala
MS CS 97
Vijay Venkataraman
MS CS 95
Martin Wen-Chieh Wu
BS CS 88
Qing Xia
MS CS 00
Zhongme Xue
MS CS 98
Chris Yancy
BS CS 87
Yi Yang
MS CS 00
Rama Yanegalla
MS CS 96