Winter 2009

J Moore

We want to keep you informed of news, events and life in the Department of Computer Sciences at The University of Texas at Austin. We are excited to share with you updates about our new Computer Science Complex, events, alumni program news, recent accomplishments, partner and donor activity, and a retrospective on department happenings.

Because it is important to us to stay in touch with you, we have launched a new web site and now offer RSS feed subscriptions to help you stay abreast of UTCS news. We hope you like these changes and, as always, send your thoughts and comments to We want to hear from you!

J Strother Moore Chair, UTCS


In the Winter 2009 issue:

Capital Campaign: Computer Science Complex

A state-of-the-art computer science complex is proposed to house UTCS. The complex will integrate our research and educational missions and offer the flexible space necessary to allow our faculty, students and visiting researchers from diverse backgrounds to pursue innovative, high-risk research. The facility, along with attendant faculty and student support are crucial in our strategy to maintain the vibrancy, innovation and relevance of our research and educational missions.

If you are interested in more information about the capital campaign, contact UTCS Chair, J Strother Moore or Glenn West.

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Major Department Awards and Honors

UTCS and Dr. E. Allen Emerson, recipient of the prestigious ACM Turing Award, will celebrate Dr. Emerson's honor at the annual Visions Lecture on March 2, 2009. The event will honor Dr. Emerson’s work and accomplishments developing a quality assurance process known as Model Checking.

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UTCS Events

UTCS hosts events throughout the year with the goal of honoring achievements, assisting students, engaging the community, solidifying industrial and economic relationships and thanking our donors.

Spring and summer 08 events
The UTCS Scholarship Luncheon brings scholarship donors, FoCS members and student recipients together for fellowship and appreciation.

GradFestGradFest, UTCS’s graduate student recruiting event, is a weekend of activities illustrating the depth and breadth of our graduate curriculum, faculty and research as well as presenting an inside peek at what life in Austin is like.

The CNS Research Forum is held each spring to highlight student research and presentation of their work to industry and academic judges.

The UTCS “C2” (Commencement Celebration) wishes departing UTCS grads success and encourages them and their families to stay connected to the department.

Fall 08 events
The 2008 College of Natural Sciences Career Expo and exclusive FoCS Career Brunch were held on Monday, September 22nd. These events bring students and employers together for an energetic recruiting kickoff to the academic year.

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Be a Part of the Digital Future!

Did you know that only l8% of the university’s funding comes from state funding? To continue to rank in the top-10 computer science departments nationally, UTCS needs your support to continue to innovate, educate and develop the people who will change the future through technology and science. Contact Nancy P. Hatchett at 512.471.9793 or to discuss ways to get involved or visit to learn more about getting involved with UTCS.

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Danny Toole Memorial Turing Scholarship Fund Update

Danny Toole, a talented CS student and Turing Scholar, died unexpectedly in October of 2007. UTCS, the Toole family, and many generous donors have worked for the past year to create and endow the Danny Toole Memorial Turing Scholarship Fund so that other Turing Scholars may pursue educational excellence in computing. Continuous updates may be found at

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Academic Outreach and Initiatives

First Bytes 6.0

First Bytes LogoFor the sixth year, the department successfully hosted the First Bytes program, an educational outreach initiative to enhance gender equity in technology and computing fields.

Diversity Outreach Efforts

The department is dedicated to increasing the number of women and underrepresented populations through internal and external outreach initiatives. The department is sending students to the 2008 Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing Conference in Keystone, Colorado and to the 2009 Richard Tapia Celebration of Diversity in Computing Conference in Portland, Oregon.


Breakfast Bytes LogoThis fall the department inaugurated Breakfast Bytes, a Saturday morning outreach program for middle school and high school students interested in learning more about computer science.


UTCS RoadshowThroughout the school year twelve undergraduate and graduate students take a CS Roadshow to middle school and high school classrooms to teach students about the exciting world of computer science.


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UTCS Alumni Reconnect: Mark Moriconi, (Ph.D., 1977)

If you are a UTCS alumni who would like to contribute an article to Alumni Reconnect, please send your 250 word article for consideration to

Mark Moriconi received a Ph.D. degree in Computer Sciences from The University of Texas at Austin in 1977 and later graduated from the High-Tech Executive Program of the Stanford University Graduate School of Business. His main interests are in practical formal methods for complex software systems. He presently is a member of the UTCS advisory committee.

While a graduate student at UT, Moriconi participated in a joint project between the Department of Computer Sciences and the University of Southern California’s Information Sciences Institute aimed at scaling formal methods from algorithms to systems. His doctoral research on automated support for integrating formal methods into a highly incremental development process spanned both efforts. Despite complex logistics, technical challenges, and demanding sponsors, the project was successful in no small measure because of the supportive UTCS culture that values excellence, innovation, and teamwork.

In 1978 Moriconi joined the Computer Science Laboratory at Stanford Research Institute (now SRI International) in Menlo Park, California and eventually served as its director for 10 years. In 1997 he founded a venture-financed company, called CrossLogix, and was its Chairman and CEO. CrossLogix was acquired in 2003 by BEA Systems, a world leader in enterprise infrastructure software, where he served as Vice President of Strategy and Technology.

Soon after joining SRI, Moriconi began investigating formal methods for software architecture. Architectures were becoming so varied and complex that designers and developers needed better ways to describe, organize, and analyze them. Through a series of projects, the SRI team developed a formal basis for the visual specification, stepwise refinement, and composition of software architectures. Analytic tools were built for proving properties of architectures. Ideas from this research presaged key features in modern software design tools.

After leaving SRI in 1997, Moriconi raised venture capital to start CrossLogix, which developed the first effective product for controlling access to the sensitive applications, transactions, and data in distributed heterogeneous computing environments. Its decisions on who has access to what are made by a real time decision procedure. Over one thousand instances of the procedure are in use worldwide. CrossLogix has over one hundred customers, large and small, including leading financial services firms. It was the cornerstone of a successful BEA Systems product line. After Oracle’s recent acquisition of BEA, CrossLogix became Oracle Entitlements Server, a differentiating component of Oracle’s industry-leading security suite.

Moriconi has been an invited speaker, panelist, technical reviewer, program chair, and general chair at dozens of ACM/IEEE conferences and workshops; served on the editorial board of IEEE Transactions on Software Engineering; and received several ACM Distinguished Service Awards. He served on advisory committees for the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) and the National Science Foundation (NSF). He has published over 20 technical papers and received an ACM/IEEE Best Paper Award. He holds 3 patents and has 10 patents pending.

Having strong experience in both research and technology commercialization, Mark has shifted his attention in recent years to advising startups and investors on products and strategy.

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Alumni Reconnect Program

Update your information, link from UTCS to your web page, and get lifetime a lifetime UTCS email address at

UTCS has a new “Alumni News” bulletin board in Taylor Hall. Please send UTCS alumni news for inclusion on the bulletin board to Nancy Hatchett.

If you are a UTCS alumni who would like to contribute an article to Alumni Reconnect, please send your 250 word article for consideration to

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Announcing a 5-Year Combined Bachelors and Masters Program

In Fall 2008, the Department of Computer Sciences began offering an integrated program to enable highly motivated students with strong intellectual capacities and character to earn a Bachelor of Science in Computer Sciences and a Master of Science in Computer Sciences (BS CS/MS CS) within a five-year period. The integrated program prepares students for competitive Ph.D. programs and provides strong leadership skills and technical depth to students entering professional positions.

If you have any questions regarding this program, please contact Elaine Cox.

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Friends of Computer Sciences (FoCS) Welcomes New Members

FoCS LogoAmazon, Facebook, Get Page One, LifeSize Communications, Overwatch Systems, Sandia National Labs, Southwest Research Institute, Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, Vertive and Yahoo! are new FoCS members.

The Friends of Computer Sciences (FoCS) program connects industry, government and UTCS for mutual benefit in the areas of research, collaborations, outreach and recruiting. Our longstanding members have made much of the department’s progress possible so we gratefully thank our loyal members for their support and interest in our endeavors (

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UTCS Faculty Update

UTCS is proud of our faculty. We welcome incoming new professors for Spring 2009 Michael Walfish and Brent Waters as we wish a fond farewell to departing faculty James C. Browne (1/15/09), Robert S. Boyer (8/31/08) and Benjamin J. Kuipers (12/31/08). Harrick M. Vin will become an adjunct professor in the 2009 Spring semester.

Please join us in congratulating faculty who have been promoted to Professor, effective Fall 2008: Doug Burger and Steve Keckler. Effective Fall 2009, Inderjit Dhillon will be promoted to Professor and Vitaly Shmatikov will be promoted to Associate Professor.

For more information about our faculty, please see the research page of the UTCS website.

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UTCS Staff News

UTCS welcomes new employees:

Staff Awards:


  • Winner of a UTCS Staff Excellence Award:
    Matt Larson - Senior Network Analyst
  • Winner of the Natural Sciences Council Props for Profs Advising Award for CNS:
    Judith Quinney - Academic Advisor III


  • Winner of a UTCS Staff Excellence Award:
    Katherine Utz- Graduate Program Coordinator
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Major Events & Deadlines

Every Wednesday: Faculty Forum Lunch, 12-1 & Grad Tea Time every afternoon

Check out the Newsletter Archives for past newsletters

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