Points of Pride

Awards and Accomplishments
SCIS awarded most Computer Science degrees in the U.S.
Computing professionals graduating each year
Surpassing funding for the 8th straight year



The School of Computing and Information Sciences (SCIS) had another successful year in 2017-2018. SCIS is a leading research School and the largest producer of computing talent in the State of Florida. According to the 2017 edition of The American Society for Engineering Education, SCIS awards the fifth most computer science degrees in the United States. Our School has ranked in the top ten in the United States for the past five years. Over the last five years, we have built a highly engaged and focused multidisciplinary research community. Our Faculty and Students have had significant accomplishments, including prestigious national awards, such as IEEE Fellow MAS Fellow, NAI Fellow, ACM Taylor Booth Award and research funding from NSF, DoD, OHS and other national agencies, as well as industry. This year we added three new Faculty members to our strong program. Two of the new professors have NSF CAREER Awards and other funding.

More importantly, we are a leader in the United States in training Hispanic Ph.D. Students. Our Faculty mentoring goes a long way in this regard motivating our students and challenging them to greater success. SCIS Faculty has published more than 200 papers, including journals, conference proceedings, book chapters, etc. The funding of SCIS has been more than $5 million dollars.

The student success in the context of outreach programs, placement of students has been excellent. Research growth is equally outstanding in terms of grants, faculty recruitment, and Ph.D. graduation rates. During this year, we also initiated collaboration with many prestigious universities around the world, for example, Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad, and University Technical in Poland among many others.

Faculty Highlights

Shu Ching Chen Portrait

Shu-Ching Chen, IEEE International Conference Best Paper Award, on Information Reuse and Integration



Photo of Mark Finlayson

Mark Finlayson, NSF CAREER Award & FIU Top Scholar


S. S. Iyengar PortraitS. S. Iyengar

Distinguished Engineering Award & Awarded Fellow of the National Academy of Inventors

Awarded the NRI Mahatma Gandhi Pradvasi Medal at the House of Lords in London


Mark Allen Weiss PortraitMark Allen Weiss

IEEE Fellow, AAAS Fellow & FIU Top Scholar

ACM SIGCSE Award for Outstanding Contribution to Computer Science Education



Student Highlights


  • SCIS Ph.D. Student Mozhgan Azimpourkiki, co-advised by Dr. Umut Tokara, Bloomberg LP, and SCIS Associate Professor, Dr.Bogdan Carbunar have created a custom two-factor authentication (2FA) system called Pixie tl1at relies on users taking a photo of a personal object. The act of taking the photo comes to replace the cumbersome process of using crypto-based hardware security keys or entering verification codes received via SMS or voice call.
  • Mohsen Taherr has been awarded the UGS Provost Award for Graduate Student Engagement at the Provost Awards. Recognition Reception, which took place during the Graduate Student Appreciation Week. The UGS Provost Award for Graduate Student Engagement recognizes nominees who have demonstrated significant local, regional, or global community engagement through a community partnership that has led to demonstrable university and community impacts.
  • Leandro Gonzalez and Luis Miguel Herrnsdorf showcased their project in the CEC SeniorDesign Project, on building a web app to help cities track and analyze data captured by wireless sensors. Stop Ocean Pollution (SOP} Technologies’ Smart Stormwater system is an Internet of Things (loT) solution that uses sensors and web interfaces to prevent water pollution, prevent floods due to clogged stormwater pipes, and help communities save money in stormwater pollution maintenance/removal.
  • Upsilon Pi Epsilon has received the award for Top National Chapter from the UPE Association! This award is given to the most outstanding chapter out of over 300 chapters nationwide, including many of the nation’s top universities. Additionally, the chapter was awarded the Outstanding Service Award from FIU’s Division of Student Affairs! This award is given to the student organization that has made the most impact on campus through its programs and activities.


Witherspoon Sisters holding TJBot and BlueHack TrophySCIS students, Shonda, and Shalisha Witherspoon graduated with master’s in information technology with a 1 concentration in software engineering. Just two years ago, the twins received their bachelor’s degree becoming the first members of their family to graduate college.

Last July, the Witherspoon sisters won at BlueHack. Shonda and Shalisha Witherspoon were members of Team NASAS, which consisted of 5 women, the only all-female team to compete in the hackathon, and chose to compete in the loT + T JBot challenge…

These experiences and hard work helped prepare them for their new jobs as software engineers at IBM’s T.J. Watson Research Center in New York in May to work on Distributed Al projects. Their goal is to move to Japan and start their own software engineering business.



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) have reached $4.78M as of early June. Our income from Foundation and Auxiliary accounts has reached $486K for a total of $5.27M external. Foundation gifts include donations from Farelogix, IBM, Verizon, State Farm, and the JM Family Corp. Faculty publication activities remained at high levels in both quantity and quality. Faculty publication activities remained at high levels in both quantity and quality; SCIS research publications included 196 research publications (papers+proceedings), 2 books, and 21 technology disclosures.


Our School partnered with Departments and Centers across FIU to win a $5M NSF Center for Research Excellence in Science and Technology (CREST) grant. The CREST Center for Aquatic Chemistry & the Environment (CAChE) at FIU will transform the institution by integrating discrete campus-wide programs across 10 departments and 4 colleges in fields from environmental chemistry through computer-intensive data analysis and visualization, in order to tackle one of the region’s most complex challenges: environmental contamination.


Our School is leading the effort to create the Informed Traveler Program and Applications, part of the US DOT’s $11.4M TIGER award to FIU. The Informed Traveler Program and Applications (ITPA) is an advanced consumer-oriented, predictive, and multimodal transportation management software and technology systems to be developed by Florida International University’s High Performance Database Research Center (HPDRC) and partners under the umbrella of National Science Foundation’s Industry-University Cooperative Research Center for Advanced Knowledge Enablement at FIU (NSF I/UCRC CAKE, http://CAKE.FIU.edu).


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.

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