Engineering and Computing Annual Report 2015

School of Computing and Information Sciences

School Overview

The School of Computing and Information Sciences (SCIS) had another successful year in 2014-2015. SCIS is one of the largest computing programs in the country, and enrollments have grown tremendously over the last six years. According to the 2013 edition of American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE) Profiles of Engineering & Engineering Technology Colleges, the School awarded the fourth most Computer Science Degrees (inside Colleges of Engineering) in the United States. In the Florida State University System (SUS), we are the only university that offers both a BS and MS in both CS and IT. We continue to lead the nation in training Hispanic Ph.D. students. We began a collaboration with UCF and USF via a $4.9M Targeted Educational Attainment (TEAm) grant awarded by the Florida Board of Governors. Our students, faculty, and alumni had significant accomplishments in the last year. The School continued the very high level of external funding that was achieved in the previous five years, exceeding four million dollars for the seventh straight year and continued to make significant progress in increasing entrepreneurship and technology transfer activities.

FIU SCIS in the News

FIU SCIS activities were featured in news articles published by The Miami Herald and FIU News:

PG6 Tech Station

The FIU School of Computing and Information Sciences Tech Station, inspired by companies such as Microsoft, Apple, Amazon, Google, and HP, all of which were started in a much smaller garage, is a platform for student innovation, advanced skills training, and computer science and information technology program recruitment and degree completion. The Tech Station is a $3 million, 8,000 sq. ft. facility build out that reflects trends in the industry to provide tech professionals with creative and inspiring workspaces and are expected to attract a wider diversity of students into our program. Industry will play a significant role throughout the facility mentoring our students and providing real-world requirements that students can experience in the laboratory.  The Advanced Systems Training Lab (PG6 105) will house 49 computer training workstations students will use to complete in-class assignments and receive state-of-the-art systems training. Our Software Design and Development lab (PG6 106) will provide 24 developer workstations and laptop supported meeting areas for students creating software to complete our challenging course work. The IT Hardware and Services lab (PG6 102) provides technology students hand-on skills training on a variety of computing equipment/tools to integrate hardware and software systems. The Team Rooms (PG6 101A-D) provides collaboration support for courses where student teams are developing large projects and provide a relaxed environment for peer study group sessions. Our Innovation Showcase (PG6 100) will feature demonstrations of the most outstanding work of our students and will act as the welcoming areas for new and existing students visiting our Student Advising Center. The SCIS Student Advising Center (PG6 100, 101, 101E-J) will provide academic counseling and interventions designed to improve student performance and degree completion.

Faculty Highlights

Research and Scholarly Activities, Faculty Recruitment from Top Schools, & Recognition

Our School has reached a high sustained level of research and scholarly activity, and is now taking the next step towards prominence by competing for and winning very prestigious national and international awards, and in recruiting outstanding faculty. We recruited two new faculty members Mark Finlayson from MIT and Ruogu Fang from Cornell, who joined us in 2014-2015. Christy Charters and Debra Davis joined SCIS as Instructors. SCIS faculty promotions in the Fall of 2014: Tao Li to Professor, Ming Zhao to Associate Professor (with tenure), and Joslyn Smith to Senior Instructor.

FIU SCIS faculty have recently been recognized for excellence

  • Mark A. Weiss received the 2015 SIGCSE Award for Outstanding Contribution to Computer Science Education Presented by ACM SIGCSE, the third largest SIG.  This is our field’s oldest award for CS education scholarship and among the two most prestigious.
  • Shaolei Ren received an NSF CAREER award in 2015, “CAREER: Coordinated Power Management in Colocation Data Centers”
  • S. Iyengar was named a Fellow of the National Academy of Inventors in 2014. Only two people on campus have received this honor.
  • Jason Liu was named an ACM Distinguished Member in 2014.
  • Naphtali Rishe was named a finalist for the Great Miami Chamber of Commerce’s Best University Technology Start-up award
  • Shu-Ching Chen received the SIRI Outstanding Service Award, presented by the Society for Information Reuse and Integration, 2014
  • Carlos Cabrera won an IEEE James Bell award and was named an IEEE Senior Member.
  • Best papers:
  • Bryant Aaron, Dan E. Tamir, Naphtali D. Rishe, Abraham Kandel.  “Dynamic Incremental Fuzzy C-Means Clustering”. Proceedings of The Sixth International Conferences on Pervasive Patterns and Applications (PATTERNS’14). Venice, Italy.  May 25-29, 2014. Best Paper Award. pp.28-37.
  • Kianoosh G Boroojenia, Shekoufeh Mokhtaria, Arif Islam, and  S. S. Iyengar, “A Hybrid Model for Forecasting Power Demand and Generation in Smart Grids”, Best Paper Award for the Eighth International Conference on Communication Networks, July 2014
  • Books co-authored:
  • S. Iyengar and Kianoosh G Boroojenia, Oblivious Network Routing: Algorithms and Applications, MIT Press, 2015
  • S. Iyengar and Kianoosh G Boroojenia, Mathematical Theories of Distributed Sensor Networks, Springer Verlag, 2014

Student Highlights

FIU SCIS students have recently been recognized for excellence

  • Chen’s PhD student, Hsin-Yu Ha, together with other students in the college received the People’s Choice award presented by the US Science and Engineering Festival, USA SEF. The team is developing software and hardware tools to better predict solutions for achieving Carbon Neutral Buildings. Carbon Emission free buildings will help us globally to minimize melting icebergs, sea level rise and flooding. It is a collaboration project among different departments including Construction Management (Dr. Yimin Zhu and his Ph.D. student, Peeraya Inyim), Computer Science (Dr. Shu-Ching Chen and his Ph.D. student, Hsin-Yu Ha), Electrical Engineering (Dr. Nezih Pala and Dr. Ismail Guvenc and their students: Nasidul Islam and Karthik Vasudeva) and Architecture (Professor Thomas Spiegelhalter and his student, Ashwini Tayshetye). The students attended the EPA P3 event (P3: People, Prosperity, and the Planet Student Design Competition for Sustainability) for a three-days exhibition.
  • After reviewing 189 projects from 20+ sites in 5 continents the global judges for the Smart City Challenge Hackathon made two awards to groups that included FIU SCIS students:
  • Best Software: 1st Runner Up to PTTR. Judging Comment: “Good/innovative/very well explained and laid out by developers, solid technical team and very advanced.”
  • Best Data: 1st Runner Up to Walking City. Judging Comment: “An enticing project — it allows the user to have fun while adjusting to more sustainable lifestyle choices.”

A full announcement is available at An article about the event was published at

Excellence in Student Advising – Addressing Graduation Rates

The SCIS Advising Team has implemented a new program to assist students-at-risk, called Academic Success Initiative with 96 students. ASI utilizes the intrusive advising model to improve the academic performance of students, which in turn guarantees increased retention and graduation rates. With appreciative and pro-active advising techniques, ASI builds rapport with students by creating a safe and welcoming environment. At present, ASI works with full-time students who are at-risk of dropping out of the School because they are either on academic warning or probation. After signing a contract to participate actively, students are advised, coached and mentored through various required activities. The following student responsibilities appear on a checklist that is referred to in the contract:

  • Attending informational sessions
  • Engaging in individual and group sessions for gateway and introductory CS/IT courses
  • Enrolling in workshops on time management, stress management, and exam preparation skills
  • Meetings with faculty, advisors and STEM coordinator

ASI evaluates program success by tracking student progress during and at the end of each academic semester. Advisors administer pre and post-assessments to benchmark student attitudes toward the types of interventions. In the summer of 2015, advisors started soliciting student feedback through focus groups and surveys to monitor the success of the program. At the end of each semester, students are invited to a celebration, acknowledging successful completion of the program requirements. Selected students who regain their good academic standing are invited to become Student Ambassadors for the next semester.

Our program was presented at the annual NACADA advising conference, and we have already had inquiries from Morehouse College about replicating our efforts there.

Community Engagement

Community Engagement: Impact in Technology Transfer and Entrepreneurship

The School has continued its efforts to engage the community and to have significant impacts in technology transfer and entrepreneurship. We continue our solid partnership with MDC-EM department through our Business Continuity Information Network led by Shu-Ching Chen and Steve Luis. This partnership was strengthened by an NSF US-Japan Big Data and Disaster Research (BDD) grant awarded to Dr. Tao Li with Co-PIs Shu-Ching Chen and Steve Luis, which will enable a research collaboration to benefit the Business Continuity Information Network. Through the National Science Foundation’s Partnerships for Innovation-Accelerating Innovation Research (PFI-AIR) program, led by Dr. Naphtali Rishe in collaboration with other researchers from the School of Computing and Information Sciences, the College of Engineering and Computing, and the Herbert Wertheim College of Medicine, researchers are developing academic innovations and then translating that research into viable products for industry. Dr. Clarke led the first NSF I-Corps award made to an SCIS professor; this award enabled Dr. Clarke’s group to explore the potential of commercializing technology that was developed with NSF funding. The Cyber Infrastructure Education and Research for Trust and Assurance (CIERTA) consortium is investigating ways to make cyber-infrastructure that is secure, trustworthy, and dependable; see Additional achievements in this area are described below.

Distinguished Lecture Series

We hosted top-level scientists from top universities, industry-leading companies, government agencies, and Federal Labs via our Invited and Industry Lecture Series:

  • Silvio Micali, MIT, “Proofs, Secrets, and Computation”
  • Bob Sedgewick, Princeton, “Taking Education Online: A Unique Opportunity for the New Millennium”
  • Vahid Tarokh, Harvard, “The Future of Cognitive Radio Networks”
  • Zvi Galil, Georgia Tech, “Georgia Tech’s new Online MOOC based Master Program”
  • John Hopcroft, Cornell, “Future Directions in Computer Science Research”
  • Vicki Hanson, ACM, “The Human Side of Computing”
  • Thomas Kailath, Stanford, “The Process of Making Breakthroughs in Engineering”

Other Community Engagement and Training Activities

  • Dr. Masoud Sadjadi is leading FIU SCIS’s effort to bring the Vertically Integrated Projects (VIP) program model to FIU. With funding provided by the Helmsley Trust and under the leadership of Georgia Tech and the co-leadership of the University of Michigan, the Helmsley award will expand VIP to a consortium of other schools, giving the program foothold in a variety of institutions across the U.S., including those that primarily serve underrepresented, minority, or nontraditional students, as well as members of the prestigious Association of American Universities. VIP offers an ideal setting for rethinking STEM education, because it attracts students of various ages, interests and experiences together for ongoing work. VIP projects can last a decade or more, and undergraduates may spend up to three years with their project teams. The first FIU VIP teams are starting this Summer; additional VIP teams will be established in the Fall.
  • Dr. Peter Clarke hosted an NSF funded workshop on Integrating Software Testing Into Programming Courses, which took place June 12th and 13th. The workshop was a collaborative effort between FIU, Alabama A&M, Miami University-Ohio, and North Dakota State University.
    • SCIS collaborated with some of our industry partners on this workshop, including IBM and Ultimate Software to improve STEM education. Many of these company reps are on the advisory board for this project.
    • SCIS also provides infrastructure and support for hosting the Web-Based Repository for Software Testing Tutorials (WReSTT).
  • Dr. Niki Pissinou welcomed 18 local high school teachers to our NSF sponsored Research Experience for High School Teachers (RET) on Monday, June 8th. This Research Experiences for Teachers (RET) Site on Cyber-enabled technologies provides opportunities for teachers of science, math and technology to work with faculty at Florida International University. Through a six (6) week program, teachers participate in technical and educational research as part of a research community. Additional details are available at
  • Dr. Masoud Milani is directing another program supported by NSF-funded Research Experiences for Teachers (RET) program at Florida International University’s College of Engineering and Computing. It is a six-week summer research experience for middle and high school STEM teachers and Community College STEM faculty. During the summer the teachers will be involved in research projects that are advancing knowledge and understanding in nanotechnology while at the same time working on curriculum development advancing understanding of ways to introduce engineering research related ideas and particularly nanotechnology ideas in STEM K-12 education. Follow-up activities are conducted throughout the academic year where the program participants will discuss how they are utilizing the knowledge and experiences from their research, the curricula that were developed during their research programs, and their classroom experiences. Follow-up activities will be carried out throughout the academic year to 1) continue teacher/faculty research collaborations, and 2) ensure that teachers’ summer research experiences are successfully utilized in the classroom.
  • The NSF-funded Research Experience Undergraduates (REU) also continued this summer, 25 May-31 July. This program, under the direction of Dr. Pissinou, hosted 15 students from Columbia/MIT/ UM/UNC and various other universities. Additional details are available at
  • Kip Irvine coordinated a workshop entitled “Teaching Mobile Computer Science Principles” for 10 selected computer teachers from South Florida, June 15-19. This one-week workshop’s intent is to provide guidance to teachers who will offer a new course created by the College Board for Advanced Placement students. This course focuses on the integration of computational thinking, programming, and digital literacy in ways that can be applied to all STEM areas. Follow-up workshops and mentoring will be provided to the workshop participants, who will become mentors and trainers for other teachers in following years. The workshop will be taught by a team of FIU faculty and former students: Giri Narasimhan, Kip Irvine, Debra Davis, Cristy Charters, Leonardo Bobadilla, and Rolando Vicaria. Teacher stipends are provided by the FIU School of Computing and Information Sciences.
  • The new Ultimate Software Academy for Computer Science Education at SCIS sponsored a 5-day App Inventor programming workshop for 35 South Florida STEM Teachers, June 22-26. The workshop will be taught by Jamie Gant, an award-winning teacher from Ronald Regan High School. It will give teachers skill in using a graphical, block-based language for creating Android Mobile applications. This software, created by MIT, has been shown to be an excellent motivator for students who are new to programming.
  • The Hispanic Heritage Foundation (HHF) and the U.S. Army in addition to CVS Caremark Workforce Initiatives, ExxonMobil, Google, OCI Group, and Southwest Airlines partnered with Florida International University’s School of Computing and Information Sciences to host Latinos On Fast Track (LOFT) STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) Symposium in January at the FIU Mitch A. Maidique campus. The symposium is one in a series that took place in 10 regions across America. The leadership and workforce development program hosted 200 Miami and Broward High School students and provides career-path guidance, educational opportunities and connectivity for students and young professionals in the STEM fields.       The program featured:
    • Dynamic, exclusive leadership trainings, led by the Army, designed to help student-leaders define their role within their schools or organizations and encourage them to make an impact on their communities;
    • Insightful panel of STEM professionals showcasing their different careers paths, and the resources and opportunities available for Latinos to enter the STEM fields. FIU CIS Assistant Professor Leonardo Bobadilla participated in the panel to discuss his experiences in obtaining a PhD in Computer Science and his Robotics research interests.
    • Chance to network with professionals and other young Latinos interested in STEM
    • Connectivity to a greater network of other Latinos in the LOFT network, which includes tens of thousands across the country
  • In April, the SCIS-sponsored High School Programming Competition was attended by 90 students from many of Florida’s best computer programming teams. This competition, which began in 2005, has been growing in popularity and is generously supported by a grant from Ultimate Software.
    • First place: Coral Gables High School
    • Second place: Suncoast High School
    • Third place: Timber Creek High School
  • DigiGirlz is one of Microsoft’s signature programs, and started in 2000. This program targets high school girls and is designed to provide them with a better understanding of what a career in technology is like. In May, FIU’s School of Computing and Information Sciences (SCIS) collaborated with Microsoft’s DigiGirlz Day Miami to interact with 40 high school girl participants and provide them with information on college student experiences. By participating in DigiGirlz Day, young women can find out about the variety of opportunities available in the high-tech industry and can explore future career paths.

This one-day event is held at multiple locations worldwide. More than 20 countries around the world and more than 25 U.S. cities will hold events similar to DigiGirz Day Miami before the end of 2015. The event was held at Venture Hive, an entrepreneurial education company in downtown Miami that offers startup and accelerator programs to applicants from around the world (

During the event, the high school girls interacted with Microsoft employees and managers and with a group representing SCIS to gain exposure to careers in business and technology. Two undergraduate students, a student advisor and a SCIS faculty member participated in a panel format sharing experiences on their studies and work at SCIS before opening the session to Q&A. The event provided girls with career planning assistance, information about technology and business roles, hands-on exercises, and interesting Microsoft product demonstrations, such as Project Spark, a platform to build and play interactive worlds, stories and games. For more information on DigiGirlz, visit:

  • The College of Engineering and Computing continues to use a minivan for the Engineers on Wheels program, in which visits are made to high schools to do recruiting. The Engineers on Wheels program visits South Florida schools to provide students with hands-on activities and engineering experiments, as well as expose them to career opportunities in the STEM subjects. During the spring 2015 semester, the Engineers on Wheels program went to Coral Park and Sweetwater Elementary Schools. SCIS students assisted Cristy Charters, SCIS instructor, with implementing the curriculum at the two schools. Ten girls participated at Sweetwater Elementary and 30 boys and girls at Coral Park Elementary, where an afterschool enrichment program was run once per week. Sweetwater Elementary now has shown interest in creating a computer programming track during school time. FIU’s Office of Engagement is working closely with SCIS to implement this off-shoot program in the near future.

Sponsoring Hackathons

SCIS is working with the local tech community to sponsor and host hackathons, engaging the community and our students.

Smart City Challenge

The School of Computing and Information Sciences hosted the 2015 Smart City Challenge on March 6 – 8th. The hackathon ( took place in over 20 locations around the world and challenged participants to improve the lives of people living in cities. Participants including software developers, domain experts, and “urban hackers” worked for 44 hours continuously, with minimal rest, to produce a working software and/or hardware prototype that addressed the challenge. Developers were required to utilize existing regional data sets or create new data sets using sensors of their own design. Teams were awarded points for innovation and completeness of their system. Each team demonstrated the functionality of their system to a panel of industry judges who evaluated the systems on their user friendliness, architecture, security and other aspects.

The Miami event was open to the public, had over 100 registered attendees, judges/mentors from industry and academia, and produced two winners lead by FIU students whose teams will represent Miami in the Global Awards for $9,000 in cash. The winners are:

Pttr (pronounced “pet err”)— Is a “” for animals, shelters and animal lovers

Team Lead: Alastair Paragas

Members: Joel Greenup, Xavier Thomas, Kennet Postigo

Pttr is a software-as-a-service web and mobile app platform that bridges the gap between stray animals, animal shelters and prospective individuals who either would like to adopt an animal or donate to a shelter. It is meant to combat the aging digital infrastructure (use of old desktop-based applications) and poorly integrated systems (lack of cross-platform and cloud infrastructure abilities) of various rescue organizations and animal shelters.

WalkingCity — Encouraging Miami to walk more

Team Lead: Claudio Romano

Members: Augusto Pena, Brian Garbarz, David Levy

WalkingCity is the first reward-based walking community in Miami, FL. You can now improve the city’s sustainability with each walk you make, and get rewarded with redeemable discounts, coupons and gifts that you can exchange in local business. By joining the walking community, you will save a significantly amount of money in gas, support the local environment and economy while getting rewarded for it.

Miami Herald Coverage:

Global sponsors were IBM and Atmel. Local sponsors were Addigy, TerraFly and FIU SCIS. More details about the event are located at

After reviewing 189 projects from 20+ sites in 5 continents the global judges for the Smart City Challenge Hackathon awarded:

Best Software: 1st Runner Up to PTTR

        Judging Comment: “Good/innovative/very well explained and laid out by developers, solid technical team and very advanced.”

Best Data: 1st Runner Up to Walking City

        Judging Comment: “An enticing project — it allows the user to have fun while adjusting to more sustainable lifestyle choices.”


This is an outstanding accomplishment for FIU students as these teams competed in an open worldwide competition with students and professionals representing some of the best Universities and tech incubator communities.

Cloud Hackathon

In collaboration with IBM, the FIU School of Computing and Information Sciences hosted a Cloud Hackathon starting on March 9th, 2015 and ended on Apr 3rd. The event was offered as part of the Introduction to Cloud Computing course (CEN4083) and open to students who are not currently enrolled in the class. CEN4083 is a new course offered as a shared course to FIU, UCF, and USF. IBM supported the hackathon with free trial access to the IBM Bluemix, an industry-leading Platform-as-a-Service. Students were exposed to cutting-edge cloud technologies, architecture, best practices and functional aspects such as security from cloud computing experts and mentors. The teams with the best projects won a Raspberry Pi starter kit (sponsored by IBM).

Each team came up with an idea for a project, created an implementation and demonstrated it in four weeks. With IBM Bluemix, each team recieved a free, 30 day trial of various runtimes (like Java, PHP) and services (like Watson, Mobile) delivered from IBM Softlayer cloud data centers. IBM provided guest lectures and free starter code to help teams start the projects and use a catalog of free services like NoSQL data storage, Internet of Things, telephony, SMS, and email.

Project Winners

  • Smart Move by Luis Castillo (FIU) and Yamel Peraza (FIU) — Developer-oriented job search engine, with CareerBuilder API and Cloudant integration
  • Home Automation by Vladan Lalovic (FIU) and Luis Puche (FIU) — A system that automatically controls home appliances based on Watson Visual Classification and Control4 home automation device

Honorable Mentions

  • Proximity Emergency Notification System by Chris Schwendeman (USF): An app that a user to exchange text messages with people nearby, using Mobile Data and Twilio and written in Node.js
  • Weather Alerts by Olena Tkachenko (FIU) and Danish Waheed (UCF): A Java and RapidApps app that pulls weather alerts from Weather Underground API and sends them to a phone
  • Raspberry House by Benigno Rodriguez (UCF): A system that allows users to change the lights and colors of a dollhouse to express sentiments by tweeting at the dollhouse Twitter account. The dollhouse is wired up with a Raspberry Pi and LED lights is connected to Bluemix via MQTT. The app is written in NodeRED and integrates Twitter
  • Mood Miami by Brittney Ackerman (FIU) and Adam Merille (FIU): A Twitter sentiment analysis app, extracting tweets from Miami using Twitter API and running sentiment analysis on them and displaying the results
  • OverZealder by Oedelin Jean (UCF): A mobile app to read Wikipedia articles streamed from Bluemix
  • KeyNote by Roberto Arciniega (FIU) and Maria E. Presa Reyes (FIU): A web application that allows a user to upload class notes and find key terms for those notes, using Alchemi API key extraction to highlight words that are recognized as important

Research and Funding

SCIS continues to make excellent progress in its research activities maintaining its funding at a very high level. The School’s external research funding (Direct Awards) reached $4M for the seventh year in a row. Our income from Foundation and Auxiliary accounts was $749K (an SCIS record) for a total of $4.7M external funding in addition to the State’s $1.53M Targeted Educational Attainment (TEAm) award. Foundation gifts include donations from Microsoft, Kaseya, Ultimate Software, VMWare, and Intel. Faculty publication activities remained as a high levels were at an all time high in both quantity and quality; SCIS had a record year of research publications, including 5 books, 13 book chapters, 60 journal papers, and 121 conference proceeding papers in top venues.

IP Disclosures and Patent Applications: Our faculty and students have continued translating their research into technologies. Recent patent activity includes:

  • US Patent 8,915,669 “A Cross Street Transit And Multimodal Multi-Level Station And Pedestrian-Oriented Interchange.” Inventors: Thomas F. Gustafson, Naphtali Rishe, Ramon Trias, Ken Stapleton
  • US patent 8,572,290. “System and architecture for robust management of resources in a wide-area network.” Inventors: Supratik Mukhopadhyay, S.S. Iyengar
  • US Provisional Patent Application 61/898,836. “Context Based Algorithmic Framework for Identifying and Classifying Embedded Images of Follicle Units.” Inventors: Rahman, Iyengar, Zeng, Hernandez, Nusbaum, and Rose
  • US Patent Application 62/055,749. “Multi-Touch Machine Framework.” Inventors: Francisco Ortega, Naphtali Rishe, Armando Barreto
  • US Patent Application 14/555-854. “Gesture Discernment and Processing System.” Inventors: Francisco Ortega, Naphtali Rishe, Armando Barreto
  • US Patent Application Publication 14/215,484. “Streaming Representation of Moving Objects and Shapes in a Geographic Information Service.” Inventor: Naphtali Rishe
  • US Patent Application Publication 14/184,399. “Geolocating Social Media.” Inventor: Naphtali Rishe

NSF CAREER award to SCIS Assistant Professor Shaolei Ren: The National Science Foundation awarded a prestigious CAREER award to Dr. Shaolei Ren. This five year award, totaling $443,187, focuses on techniques to enhance energy sustainability in colocation data centers. Since colocation data centers rent physical space to multiple tenants, which individually control their own physical servers and power management, existing power management solutions for owner-operated data centers are not effective. Dr. Ren’s project will focus on methods to coordinate tenants’ power management via market approaches, in concert with optimization of the colocation operator’s own server management and non-IT systems, such as cooling. This represents the seventh NSF CAREER award to a tenure-track active SCIS faculty member.

NSF CRII award to SCIS Assistant Professor Xin Sun: The National Science Foundation made one of its first Computer and Information Science and Engineering (CISE) Research Initiation Initiative (CRII) awards to Dr. Xin Sun. This two year award, totaling $150,384, aims to fundamentally transform our understanding of network complexity and to significantly advance the state of the art in measuring network complexity while modeling the interplay between design objectives, design choices, and the resulting complexity. It will enable “what-if” analysis and complexity-aware top-down design of networks.

Our School partnered with the University of Central Florida and the University of South Florida to win a $4.9M Targeted Educational Attainment (TEAm) grant, funded by the Florida Legislature and approved by Gov. Rick Scott during the last legislative session. Through this program, which includes $1.53M to FIU, consortium partners will share best practices, policies and programs to maximize career-readiness of Computer Science and Information Technology Students, particularly among under-represented and limited-income students. Activities include enhanced predictive analytics to better track students’ degree progress, more targeted support through mentors and advisers, and closer partnerships with local companies to open up more internship or practicum opportunities.

Fall Term Enrollment

FIU School of Computing and Information Science Enrollment Growth

Academically, we have experienced a continued explosion in our undergraduate enrollments, with both the BS in CS and BS in IT programs boasting over 850 majors in Fall 2014. We graduated fifteen PhD students for the first time, over eighty M.S. students, and both faculty and students received accolades from external sources for their scholarship and leadership.

School Statistics (Enrollment, Graduation, Research, etc.)


Table 1: SCIS Student Headcount

Fall 10 Fall 11 Fall 12 Fall 13 Fall 14
Lower Division 200 238 284 389 418
Upper Division 882 965 1049 1237 1340
Total Undergraduate 1082 1203 1333 1626 1758
Masters 85 97 105 127 157
Ph.D. 78 67 75 79 68
Total Graduate 163 164 180 206 225

Note 1: LD CS = 290, LD IT = 128; UD CS = 583, UD IT = 757
Note 2: MS includes MSTN (34), MSCS (61), and MSIT (62)
Note 3: Here, MS is equivalent to GRAD I, Ph.D. is equivalent to GRAD II


Table 2: Student FSCH Generation

10-11 11-12 12-13


Undergraduate FTE 540 629 677 757 873
Graduate FTE 91 97 110 118 127
Total FTE 631 726 784 875 1000


Table 3: SCIS Degrees Awarded

  10-11 11-12 12-13 13-14 14-15
Bachelors 157 196 188 199 255
Masters 42 46 49 71 83
Ph.D. 7 5 9 11 15

Note 1: 2014-15 degree counts are preliminary and to be confirmed once all degrees post.
Note 2: Bachelors includes BS-CS (61), BS-IT (186), BA-IT (8)
Note 3: Masters includes MS-TN (19), MS-CS (33), and MS-IT (31) programs

Table 4: Sponsored Research Funding

  Direct Awards Foundation & Auxilliary Total
2009-2010 $     4,179,197 $325,484 $   4,504,681
2010-2011 $     4,334,155 $337,807 $ 4,671,962
2011-2012 $     4,871,406 $477,003 $   5,348,409
2012-2013 $     6,223,330 $471,609 $   6,694,939
2013-2014 $     5,019,121 $688,434 $   5,707,555
2014-2015 $     3,971,271 $748,969 $   4,720,240

Note 1: 2014-15 amounts are preliminary based on SCIS data as of 6/18/2015

Table 5: SCIS Proposals Submitted


Proposals Submitted Dollars Requested
FY 09-10 74 $73,062,822
FY 10-11 62 $16,796,743
FY 11-12 79 $85,556,971
FY 12-13 79 $52,498,419
FY 13-14 90 $50,895,689
FY 14-15 108 $62,804,600

Note 1: 2014-15 figures are preliminary based on SCIS data as of 6/18/2015
Note 2: Includes proposals led by other units with significant SCIS participation/collaboration

Table 6: SCIS Research Publications

06-07 07-08 08-09 09-10 10-11 11-12 12-13 13-14 14-15
Journal Papers 28 36 58 51 44 31 48 58 60
Proceedings Papers 85 104 85 64 95 75 118 131 121
Books 7 4 5 5 7 8 9 8 5
Book Chapters 8 6 10 7 11 2 0 13 13
Total 128 150 158 127 157 116 175 210 199

Note 1: 2014-15 figures are preliminary based on SCIS data as of 6/18/2015

Table 7: Overall Assessment of Instruction

RATING Fall 2010     Fall 2011 Fall 2012 Fall 2013 Fall 2014
EXCELLENT 58.6% 58.5% 62.3% 62.3% 62.5%
VERY GOOD 17.8% 21.6% 18.8% 20.2% 21.5%
GOOD 12.3% 11.3% 10.2% 10.1% 10.3%
FAIR 6.9% 4.9% 4.6% 4.7% 3.4%
POOR 3.6% 2.4% 2.7% 1.4% 1.3%
(note: totals add to less than 100% due to blank forms)

List of SCIS Current Funded Projects in 2014-2015

SCIS Faculty Title Agency Amount Duration
Bogdan Carbunar (PI) MCloud: Secure Provenance for Mobile Cloud Users ARO $389,593 2013-2016
Bogdan Carbunar (PI), Debra Davis (Co-PI) EAGER: Digital Interventions for Reducing Social Networking Risks in Adolescents NSF $216,540 2014-2016
Shu-Ching Chen (Co-PI) Public Hurricane Loss Projection Model Florida Dept. of Insurance Regulation $10.1M 2001-2015
Shu-Ching Chen (PI), Tao Li, Steve Luis (Co-PIs) A Data Mining Framework for Enhancing Emergency Response Situation Reports with Multi-Agency Multi-Party Multimedia Data Purdue Univ. / US Dept. of Homeland Security $265,000 2010-2015
Shu-Ching Chen (PI), Tao Li, Jinpeng Wei, Zhenyu Yang, and Ming Zhao (Co-PIs) A Research and Educational Framework to Advance Disaster Information Management in Computer Science PhD Programs US Dept. of Homeland Security $400,000 2010-2015
Shu-Ching Chen (Co-PI) Model Operation and Maintenance & Model Upgrades FL Dept. of Insurance Regulation $560,608 2013-2015
Peter Clarke (PI), Debra Davis (Co-PI) Type 2 Collaborative Project: Integrating Testing into Advanced CS/IT Courses Supported by a Cyberlearning Environment NSF $375,340 2012-2016
Peter Clarke (PI) I-Corps: Commercial Software Testing Cyberlearning Environment (WReSTT-Com) NSF $50,000 2014-2015
Mark Finlayson (PI) CI-P: Toward Unified Tool Support for Linguistic Corpus Annotation NSF $31,286 2014-2015
Mark Finlayson (PI) Narratives in the Informational Patient Society and their Association with Health UCLA/NIH $65,000 2014-2017
S. S. Iyengar (PI) Multi University Research and Training in Protection of Critical Information Infrastructures NSF $299,998 2011-2015
Tao Li (PI) Gene Functional Prediction from Protein-Protein Interaction Data NSF $322,632 2009-2015
Tao Li (PI) Collaborative Research: Non-negative Matrix Factorizations for Data Mining: Foundations, Capabilities, and Algorithms NSF $149,981 2009-2014
Tao Li (PI) Unsupervised Learning from Multiple Information Sources Based on Non-negative Matrix Factorization (NMF) Army Research Office $300,000 2010-2014
Tao Li (PI), Shu-Ching Chen, Steve Luis (Co-PIs) BDD: Data-Driven Critical Information Exchange in Disaster Affected Public-Private Networks NSF $315,998 2015-2018
Christine Lisetti (PI) SBIR Phase IIa: SBIR Phase IIa: Building K-5 Mathematical Fluency Through Curriculum-based Puzzle Games within a Collaborative Virtual World Numedeon / NSF $70,000 2013-2014
Christine Lisetti (PI) SBIR Phase IIa: Animating 3D Virtual Characters with Hand, Arm and Facial Gestures/expressions for American Sign Language Institute for Disabilities Research and Training / NSF $70,000 2013-2014
Christine Lisetti (PI) CHS: Small: Advanced Design Principles for Computer Simulated Agents NSF $164,680 2014-2017
Jason Liu (PI) EAGER: SwitchOn – Exploring and Strengthening US-Brazil Collaborations in Future Internet Research NSF $200,000 2014-2016
Jason Liu (PI) PrimoGENI Constellation for Distributed At-Scale Hybrid Network Experimentation BBN Technologies / NSF $285,231 2013-2015
Masoud Milani (PI), Peter Clarke, Xudong He, Christine Lisetti (Co-PIs) GAANN Fellowships in Computer Science at Florida International University US Dept. of Education $525,128 2009-2014
Masoud Milani (PI) RET in Engineering and Computer Science Site: Nanotechnology Research Experiences for Teachers at FIU NSF $479,903 2013-2016
Deng Pan (PI) CSR: Small: A Scalable and Efficient Framework for Switch Virtualization NSF $397,988 2011-2016
Niki Pissinou (PI), S.S. Iyengar (Co-PI) REU SITE: ASSET: Research Experiences for Undergraduates in Advanced Secured Sensor Enabling Technologies NSF $360,000 2013-2016
Niki Pissinou (PI), S.S. Iyengar (Co-PI) RET in Engineering and Computer Science SITE: Research Experience for Teachers on Cyber-Enabled Technologies NSF $498,000 2014-2017
Niki Pissinou (PI) Using Trajectory Sensor Data Stream Cleaning to Ensure the Survivability of Mobile Wireless Sensor Networks in Cyberspace AFOSR $151,086 2014-2017
Raju Rangaswami (PI), Giri Narasimhan (Co-PI) CSR: Small: Energy Proportional Storage Systems NSF $520,163 2010-2015
Raju Rangaswami (PI) CSR: Small: Non-blocking Writes NSF $513,367 2013-2016
Naphtali Rishe (PI), Vagelis Hristidis, Tao Li, Raju Rangaswami (Co-PIs) MRI: Development of a High-Performance Database Appliance for Geospatial Applications NSF $1,316,000 2008-2015
Naphtali Rishe (PI), Xudong He, Shu-Ching Chen (Co-PIs) CREST: Center for Innovative Information Systems Engineering NSF $5,715,513 2008-2015
Naphtali Rishe (PI), Shu-Ching Chen, Vagelis Hristidis, Tao Li (Co-PIs) I/UCRC: Center for Advanced Knowledge Enablement NSF $1,281,000 2008-2015
Naphtali Rishe (PI) MRI-R2: Development of an Instrument for Information Science and Computing in Neuroscience (FIU SCIS Subaward) NSF $752,932 2010-2015
Naphtali Rishe (PI), Shu-Ching Chen, Tao Li, Ming Zhao (Co-PIs) MRI: Development of an Integrated, Geospatial Analytics Research Instrument NSF $742,693 2011-2015
Naphtali Rishe (PI) SBIR Phase IIa: Promoting STEM Education for Students Who are Blind or Print Disabled through the Development of the First Talking Pocket Size Scientific Data Collection Device Independence Science / NSF $70,000 2012-2014
Naphtali Rishe (PI) PFI-AIR: CREST-I/UCRC-Industry Ecosystem to Pipeline Research NSF $822,000 2012-2015
Naphtali Rishe (PI) I/UCRC: Collaborative Research: Data Correlation and Fusion for Medical Monitoring NSF $100,000 2012-2014
Naphtali Rishe (PI), Tao Li (Co-PI) III: Large: Collaborative Research: Moving Objects Databases for Exploration of Virtual and Real Environments NSF $1,315,000 2012-2017
Naphtali Rishe (PI), Scott Graham, S.S. Iyengar, Shaolei Ren (Co-PIs) I/UCRC: Phase II: Center for Advanced Knowledge Enablement NSF $485,500 2013-2018
Naphtali Rishe (PI) – CFO Kenneth Jessell is Institutional Lead UniversityCity Prosperity Project USDOT $11.4M 2014-2017
Naphtali Rishe (PI), Abraham Kandel, S.S. Iyengar, Tao Li, Malek Adjouadi (Co-PIs) MRI: Development of an Instrument for Acquisition, Management, and Analysis of Super-resolution Aerial Imagery NSF $300,000 2014-2017
Naphtali Rishe (PI) RAPID: Big Geospatial Data for Decision Support in Ebola Triage NSF $100,000 2015-2016
S. Masoud Sadjadi (PI), Shu-Ching Chen, (Co-PI) PIRE: A Global Living Laboratory for Cyberinfrastructure Application Enablement NSF $2,279,991 2007-2014
Geoffrey Smith (PI) TC: Small: Theory and Applications of Min-Entropy Leakage NSF $502,236 2011-2015
Ming Zhao (PI) HECURA: Collaborative Research: QoS-driven Storage Management for High-end Computing Systems NSF $456,343 2009-2014
Ming Zhao (PI) Enabling Time-sensitive Applications on Virtualized Computing Systems ARO $642,654 2013-2016
Ming Zhao (PI) Student Travel Support for ACM HPDC 2015 NSF $15,000 2015-2016
Ming Zhao (PI) CAREER: Coordinated QoS-driven Management of Cloud Computing and Storage Resources NSF $233,461 2013-2016