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Seventh Annual Outstanding Achievement and Advocacy Awards Banquet

Seventh Annual Outstanding Achievement and Advocacy Awards Banquet

Friday, May 1, 2015

Marriott Center, 11th Floor Campus Center, UMass Amherst

To recognize the remarkable accomplishments of graduates of the School's degree programs and to acknowledge the support of important friends of the school, the School established the University of Massachusetts Amherst School of Computer Science Outstanding Achievement and Advocacy Award (OAA) program, under which awards are presented annually in various categories.

The 2015 OAA Award Recipients are:

  • Outstanding Achievement in Education: Kevin D. Ashley (UMass Amherst CS PhD '88) Professor, University of Pittsburgh School of Law, Professor, Graduate Program in Intelligent Systems, and Senior Scientist, Learning Research and Development Center
  • Outstanding Achievement in Technology Development: Eric W. Brown (UMass Amherst CS PhD '96) Director of Watson Algorithms for IBM Watson Group Innovations
  • Outstanding Contributions to Society: Janice Cuny (Former UMass Amherst Faculty Member), NSF CISE Program Director for Computing Education; Program Director for NSF's Broadening Participation in Computing Alliance Program 
  • Outstanding Achievement in Management: Peter F. DiGiammarino (UMass Amherst BDIC '75), Chairman of Compusearch and CEO of IntelliVen, LLC
  • Outstanding Achievement in Research: Lixin Gao (UMass Amherst CS PhD '97), Professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Massachusetts - Amherst.
  • Outstanding Achievement in Entrepreneurship: Ziv Gillat (UMass Amherst CS BS '95) Co-founder and Evangelist at Eye-Fi, Inc.
  • Outstanding Achievement by a Young Alum: Meck Khalfan (UMass Amherst CS BS '05), CEO and Co-founder of Puku LLC

         View OAA award recipient biographies.

The Graduate Student Award* Recipients are:

  • Outstanding Doctoral Dissertation Award: John G. Altidor (Ph.D. '14)
  • Outstanding Doctoral Dissertation Award: Marc Maier (Ph.D. '14)
  • Outstanding Synthesis Project Award: Thomas F. Boucher
  • Outstanding Synthesis Project Award: Emma Tosch
  • Outstanding Teaching Assistant Award: Chaniel Chadowitz
  • Outstanding Teaching Assistant Award: Ryan Connell

The Undergraduate Student Award** Recipients are:

  • Overall Outstanding Achievement in Computer Science: Bruce Arthur Spang
  • Outstanding Achievement in Software Engineering: Aleksandr Valeriy Burkatovskiy
  • Outstanding Achievement in Undergraduate Research: Rachel Clare Gordon
  • Outstanding Achievement in Software Systems: Lauren Elizabeth Higgins
  • Outstanding Achievement in Interdisciplinary Studies: Cara Magliozzi
  • Outstanding Achievement in Artificial Intelligence: Tung T. Pham
  • Outstanding Achievement in Artificial Intelligence: Ryan B. Szeto
  • Outstanding Achievement in Theory: Brendan Paul Teich

 *The Graduate Student Awards are sponsored by Yahoo!
**The Undergraduate Student Awards are sponsored by Fiksu


2:30 - 3:00 p.m.- Computer Science Building Tour
3:00 - 4:00 p.m.- Panel Discussion with our award recipients
Computer Science Building, Rooms CS 150/151
5:00 - 9:00 p.m.- Reception and Awards Banquet
Marriott Center, 11th Floor of Campus Center



Register online.  Please contact Donna Falcetti at 413-545-3445 or outreach@cs.umass.edu if you have questions. Banquet Tickets are $40 for each attendee. Please pay online during registration or make checks payable to UMass Amherst Computer Science and mail (by April 25th) to: Donna Falcetti, School of Computer Science, UMass Amherst, 140 Governors Drive, Amherst, MA 01003-9264.


If you require lodging, please make reservations directly with the hotel. We have a room block at the UMass Campus Center Hotel. For the room block rate, reservations must be made by April 3rd. See the accommodations page for more details.


The OAA 2015 banquet will be held in the Marriott Center, located on the 11th floor of the Campus Center (Amherst, MA). Parking is available in the Campus Center Garage, which is at the end of Campus Center Way. 

The afternoon panel session will be in the Computer Science Building; 140 Governors Drive, Amherst, MA.  Free parking is available in Lot 31 directly across from our main entrance.


Nominations for 2016 are now being accepted. Nomination details. 

View list of prior OAA award recipients.