2021 Graduation Awards


The School of Computing would like to congratulate several 2021 graduates and other individuals with special awards this year.

School of Computing Outstanding Teaching Award
Peter Jensen

School of Computing Outstanding Teaching Assistant Award
Ryan Howell

Computer Science Outstanding Undergraduate Senior Award
Gavin Gray

Gavin graduated with a 4.0 GPA at the U, including a semester with 22 credit hours (12 CS hours). He was excellent TA during his senior year, all while taking 4 CS classes per semester.

Outstanding Undergraduate Researcher Award
Nithin Chalapathi

Nithin is a highly productive students, he is a Finalist in the Computing Research Association (CRA) Outstanding Undergraduate Researcher Awards, 2021. He has published as author/co-author for 4 research papers, including as one of the two lead authors for a journal publication at Computer Graphics Forum, 2021. He will be attending UC Berkeley in the fall for his graduate study.

Cohen appointed Distinguished Professor of Computing

Congratulations to University of Utah School of Computing professor Elaine Cohen, who has been appointed a Distinguished Professor of Computing. The rank of Distinguished Professor is reserved those whose achievements exemplify the highest goals of scholarship and a high dedication to teaching.

Cohen received her bachelor’s in mathematics from Vassar College and master’s and doctorate degrees from Syracuse University, also in mathematics.

Upon earning her Ph.D, she joined the University of Utah in 1974 as a research assistant professor. In 1985, she achieved the rank of Associate Professor, becoming the first tenured female professor in the U’s College of Engineering. In 1991, she was named full professor in the School of Computing.

Cohen is recognized as a pioneer in her field of solid modeling with numerous honors. She co-founded the Alpha_1 research group. For 30 years, Alpha_1 was a testbed research system that enabled modeling and systems research using Non-Uniform Rational Basis Spline (NURBS) for design, graphics and visualization, computer-aided manufacturing (CAM), and analysis, and non-photorealistic rendering research.

Her commitment to teaching and mentorship is also outstanding. She has served as Ph.D. advisor to 21 students and as master’s thesis advisor to 20 students, all of them funded through Cohen’s research grants.

“Through her long and distinguished career in the School of Computing, Elaine Cohen has opened so many doors for women faculty in the School as well as the College of Engineering,” said Mary Hall, Director of the School of Computing. “From the first woman in the College to receive tenure, to the first woman in the College to be honored as a Distinguished Professor, she is an inspiration to students and faculty.”

Cohen was named a Fellow of the Solid Modeling Association in 2019 and has received the Pioneer Award from the Solid Modeling Association (2016); the John Gregory Memorial Award Schloss Dagstuhl “in appreciation for Outstanding Contributions in Geometric Modeling” (2014); and the Bezier Award for Solid, Geometric and Physical Modeling and Applications from the Solid Modeling Association (2009). At the University of Utah, she received the Distinguished Research Award (2001).

She has been a member of a host of associations including the Association for Computing Machinery, the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics, the Solid Modeling Association, the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, and the American Mathematical Society.

Undergraduate Students Recognized by CRA

The Computing Research Association Outstanding Undergraduate Researcher Program recently recognized four School of Computing undergraduate students who demonstrated outstanding potential in computing research.

Finalist – Nithin Chalapathi (top left)
Honorable mention – Oliver Flatt (top right)
Honorable mention – Garrett Moseke (bottom left)
Honorable mention – Austin Watkins (bottom right)

The CRA award program recognizes undergraduate students in North American colleges and universities who show outstanding potential in an area of computing research. Undergraduates in the School of Computing contribute to cutting-edge research in all areas of computer science.

We are incredibly proud that four of our students were recognized by CRA this year, including one that was a Finalist for the Outstanding Undergraduate Researcher Award. This award is extremely competitive, and these honors show that undergraduates here at Utah are actively solving interesting problems in our field.

Rajeev Balasubramonian named IEEE Fellow

School of Computing Professor Rajeev Balasubramonian has been named an IEEE Fellow. He is being recognized for his contributions to in-memory computation and memory interface design. Rajeev will be elevated to IEEE Fellow status starting January 1, 2021.

The IEEE Grade of Fellow is conferred by the IEEE Board of Directors upon a person with an outstanding record of accomplishments in any of the IEEE fields of interest. The total number selected in any one year cannot exceed one-tenth of one- percent of the total voting membership. IEEE Fellow is the highest grade of membership and is recognized by the technical community as a prestigious honor and an important career achievement.

Rajeev Balasubramonian received his Ph.D. in 2003 from the University of Rochester. His primary research interests include memory systems, security, and application-specific architectures. Prof. Balasubramonian is a recipient of an NSF CAREER award, an IBM Faculty Partnership award, an HP IRP award, an Intel Outstanding Research Award, and various teaching awards at the University of Utah. He has co-authored papers that have received three best paper awards and two IEEE Micro Top Picks.

“This recognition is shared by nearly two dozen students from the Utah Arch lab; I’m always amazed by their energy, creativity, and attention to detail,” says Balasubramonian. I’m also very grateful for the support and insight of several colleagues at Utah and beyond,”

The IEEE is the world’s leading professional association for advancing technology for humanity. Through its 400,000 plus members in 160 countries, the association is a leading authority on a wide variety of areas ranging from aerospace systems, computers and telecommunications to biomedical engineering, electric power and consumer electronics.

Dedicated to the advancement of technology, the IEEE publishes 30 percent of the world’s literature in the electrical and electronics engineering and computer science fields, and has developed more than 1300 active industry standards. The association also sponsors or co-sponsors nearly 1700 international technical conferences each year. If you would like to learn more about IEEE or the IEEE Fellow Program, please visit www.ieee.org.