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Alumni News

M.S. and Ph.D. Alumni

David McAllister (Ph.D. 1972) and his wife Nancy recently sold their Raleigh-based e-book publishing business, Boson Books, to startup company Bitingduck Press. The press publishes fiction, narrative nonfiction, and technical books using the latest e-book formats. Boson Books was established in 1994.

Craig Mudge (Ph.D. 1973) was recently inducted into the Pearcey Hall of Fame 2012 for “Distinguished lifetime achievement and contribution to the development and growth of the Australian Information and Communications Technology industry.” The award is named after Trevor Pearcey, the CSIRO scientist who designed Australia’s first digital computer, CSIRAC. The fourth stored program computer in the world, CSIRAC ran its first program in 1949. Following work in industry and academia in the U.S. and Australia, Craig has rejoined CSIRO where he leads the charge in Big Data, building on his several years’ work in cloud computing. Craig’s Ph.D. advisor was Fred Brooks.

Steve Bellovin (M.S. 1977, Ph.D. 1982) was appointed Chief Technologist of the Federal Trade Commission for the 2012-2013 academic year. Steve will advise the agency on evolving technology and policy issues.

Mark Surles (Ph.D. 1992) is running a company, ScienceMedia (www.sciencemedia.com), that 20 years ago was started to use computational chemistry to teach college biochemistry. Today the company focuses on scientific training for pharmaceutical scientists and Mark is developing an online video library.

Ronald Azuma (Ph.D. 1995) joined Intel’s Interaction and Experience Research Lab, a division of Intel Labs, in June 2012. He now works at the Intel HQ building in Santa Clara, Calif., and has relocated to Silicon Valley. In addition, his paper, “A Survey of Augmented Reality,” was selected as one of 50 influential journal articles by MIT Press. These were selected from over 80 MIT Press journals from 1969-2011, covering all academic fields. A link to the paper can be found at: www.mitpressjournals.org/page/50articles.

Noel Llopis (M.S. 1997) recently sold his most recent game, Casey’s Contraptions, to Rovio, the makers of Angry Birds. The game was re-released this summer as Amazing Alex (www.rovio.com/en/our-work/games/view/45/amazing-alex) for several platforms. Expect to see Alex alongside Angry Birds everywhere you go. Noel remains an independent game developer and is already working on his next title.

Alex Blate (B.S.M.Sci. 1999, M.S. 2000) says he is moving back to Chapel Hill to complete his Ph.D. and is elated to be headed back to the Department. Alex will be making a presentation at an upcoming Systems Tea, likely in November 2012.

Tom Lassanske (M.S. 2002) has a new job as Principal Software Engineer at IPKeys Technologies, a defense contractor in the New York City area. He serves as Lead Programmer of the team that makes video game simulations for the purpose of training soldiers to find and react to Improvised Explosive Devices (IED), using various counter-IED devices and techniques.

Michele Weigle (Ph.D. 2003) was approved for promotion and tenure at Old Dominion University in April 2012.

Tom Hudson (M.S. 1997, Ph.D. 2004) says he is excited to be in London for a year with his family, working with Google’s Chrome-on-Android team to make the mobile web’s graphics faster. Drop him a line if you’re in England!

Michael Rosenthal, M.D. (Ph.D. 2005) writes that he has finally finished his medical training and has joined the faculty of Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Harvard Medical School in Boston as a radiologist. He says that he misses all of his friends back in Chapel Hill.

Jason McC. Smith (Ph.D. 2005) authored a book, Elemental Design Patterns, which was published in April 2012 by Addison-Wesley Professional Publishing. The book was named a finalist in the Jolt Awards: The Best Books from drdobbs.com.

Chad Spensky (M.S. 2010) is living in Cambridge, Mass., working for MIT Lincoln Laboratory in Group 69 (Cyber System Assessments) as a computer security researcher on the low-level systems team.

Undergraduate Alumni

Joseph Barnes (B.S. 2002) completed his Ph.D. in Philosophy at UC Berkeley. He has an ongoing teaching post for fall semesters, but is open to suggestions for employment near Berkeley the other eight months of the year.

Shayne Miel (formerly O’Neill) (B.S. 2002) runs the AI Scoring Department for Measurement Incorporated, located in Durham, N.C. They have built a product, Project Essay Grade (PEG), that automatically assigns grades to student essays for use in both practice writing and end-of-year testing. Earlier this year, the company took part in a competition, funded by the Hewlett Foundation, in which nine of the top vendors in essay scoring competed to see whose automated scoring engines produced the most accurate scores (as judged by their proximity to human scores). Measurement, Inc.’s scoring engine outperformed all of the other vendors, including Pearson, Vantage and ETS, on both the essay scoring and the more challenging short answer scoring competitions.

On February 28, 2012, the email marketing company iContact, founded by Aaron Houghton (B.S. 2003) while he was a junior at UNC, was sold to Vocus, a publicly traded software company on the NASDAQ. You can read more about the deal at techcrunch.com/2012/02/28/vocus-buys-email-marketing-company-icontact-for-169-million/. Since the acquisition, Aaron has begun building a new startup, BoostSuite.com, in downtown Durham. They launched the BoostSuite product in beta version on June 5, 2012, and began selling the full version on August 15, 2012.

Friends of the Department

Dan Pitt, adjunct professor from 1986-1990, is executive director of the Open Networking Foundation, the year-old non-profit industry consortium that is standardizing the OpenFlow protocol and promoting Software-Defined Networking in all its aspects. Dan and ONF are based in Palo Alto, Calif.

Comp Sci Gmail Accounts Available for Alumni

The Computer Science department provides alumnus accounts, including accounts in the department’s Google Apps domain, to graduates of this department who either received a Masters or PhD degree from this department, or received a Bachelor’s degree from this department and have worked for the department for at least two semesters.

Having an alumnus account allows you to log in and see how things are going on our systems and to maintain a small web page, perhaps with pointers to another site. These accounts are limited to 400 MB of home directory space. The accounts do not include cvs, playpen, or ftp space. Optionally, they can include an account on the department’s Google Apps domain, including an email account. These include a 25 GB email quota and the ability to control your email forwarding.

Graduate alumni from previous years who are interested in setting up an alumnus account or adding Google to their existing alumnus account should send email to help at cs.unc.edu. Graduate alumni from the current year will simply keep their Google mail account, with no changes.

Undergraduate alumni from previous years who are interested in setting up an alumnus account or adding a department Google account, including Google mail, to their existing alumnus account, should send email to help at cs.unc.edu. Undergraduate alumni from the current year who wish to have Google mail enabled for their account should send email to help at cs.unc.edu.