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PPOHA Sponsored Seminar: 

The Computational Aspects of Digital Forensics.

Friday November 7 we will be having a seminar by Dr. Quweider. The event will take place in SET B 1.508 from 2 PM to 3 PM. Topics to be discussed includes malware, anti-forensics, memory forensics, and more.

Quweider Mahmoud Talk on Digita FOrensics Abstract.jpg

PPOHA Grant "In the News" archive.

UTB Engineering Teams accepted to the TSGC Design Challenge.

Two UTB engineering student design teams applied to NASA TSGC Design Challenge last week. They both have been selected, as follows. NASA will contribute $1000 for each team project in two semesters. Each team will have a UTB advisor and a NASA mentor.



​Student Name ​Track ​Standing
Manuel Aguilar Alonso​ ​ME ​Sophmore
Martin Galicia​ ​EE ​Sophmore
Erik Juarez Lira​ ​ME ​Sophmore
​Raul Alberto Espinosa
Yeznith Gutierrez​ ​ME ​Sophmore
Aldo Lara​ ​ET
Design Topic-: TDC-23 Olfactory Delivery System (ODS) Development. Your NASA mentor is George Salazar
​Student Name ​Track ​Standing
​Marymar Garcia ​EE ​Senior
Fernando Cavazos​ ​CE ​Senior
Gabriel Chavez​ ​EE ​Senior
Albino Salazar​ ​EE ​Senior
Diana Mendoza​ ​ME ​Junior
Alenxander O'Connar​ ​CS

Computer Science Student Named Blackboard MVP

Eric Silva, a sophomore computer science major at The University of Texas at Brownsville, was recently named aBlackboard MVP by Blackboard Inc.

Silva, 18, of Brownsville was the only student selected for the second class of Blackboard MVPs who exhibit expert knowledge and give feedback about the technology platform used by businesses, companies, governmental entities, schools and universities worldwide for online training, retention, talent and recruiting, mass notifications and other actions. UTB students and faculty members use Blackboard.

“It was shocking,” Silva said about his selection. “It is one of those ‘wow’ moments.”

People selected as Blackboard MVPs keep the designation as long as they stay in good standing with the company. They maintain Blackboard and personal blogs, have professional development trainings, are given product briefings and use social media to interact with users.

UT Brownsville student Eric Silva on Tuesday, Jul. 1, 2014 at the University Library. Silva is the only student selected in the second class of Blackboard MVPs for his knowledge of the technology platform.UT Brownsville student Eric Silva on Tuesday, Jul. 1, 2014 at the University Library. Silva is the only student selected in the second class of Blackboard MVPs for his knowledge of the technology platform.

“This program is incredibly powerful as it provides a platform not only for users to collaborate and learn from each other, but also for our company leaders to hear directly from the people who use our solutions in the field, every day,” said Jay Bhatt, Chief Executive Officer of Blackboard. “Blackboard MVPs are truly helping improve the learning experience and address important challenges in education.”

Silva keeps up with what is going on in educational technology by reading blogs and journals in his spare time. He said he is intrigued right now with devices used in classrooms, whether they are iPads and iPhones students bring from home to use or they are assigned an iPad by the school to use.

To read the full story please visit: Here

UTB Group Finishes in Top 20 in Worldwide Computer Programming Contest in Russia

BROWNSVILLE, TEXAS – JUNE 26, 2014 – The University of Texas at Brownsville finished 19th out of 122 teams at the 38th Association for Computing Machinery – International Collegiate Programming Contest on Wednesday, June 25 at Ural Federal University in Ekaterinburg, Russia.

The university also placed second among 21 American and Canadian universities, finishing behind 13th place New York University and ahead of the likes of the University of Central Florida and the University of Southern California.


“This is great success to be second among all U.S. teams, including Stanford University, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the University of California, Berkeley, etc. that participated in the World Computer Science Competition,” said Dr. Mikhail Bouniaev, Dean of the College of Science, Mathematics and Technology. “We’ll celebrate this success when the team returns home.”

UTB was the only higher education institution in Texas taking part in the contest.

“Even though we didn’t get a medal, I feel that our team has done an outstanding job considering that we’re competing against some of the brightest minds around the world,” said Dr. Liyu Zhang, an Associate Professor in the School of Engineering and Computational Sciences in the College of Science, Mathematics and Technology. “It is also an incomparable experience for our students just to participate in such a unique event and meet all fellow students with similar interests and talents to boost their self-esteem, as well as provide career opportunities by the sponsoring entities.”

To read the full story visit:​

To view the final ranking chart visit:​​

Research and Fun at the Sun.

Dr. Quweider and two students (undergraduate Anthony Quiroga and graduate student Hector Guzman) from the SEC—School of Engineering and Computational Sciences will be heading this summer to Miami, Florida to conduct state-of-the-art research with Dr. Shu-Ching Chen from Florida International University (FIU) at the DHS (Department of Homeland Security) Visual Analytics for Command, Control, and Interoperability Environments Center of Excellence (DHS-VACCINE). 

As part of the DHS  Summer Research program, the team will be working in the area of Digital Image Processing (DIP), devising, improving, and implementing algorithms for image segmentation, image feature extraction, and content-based image retrieval. To prepare for the summer internship, Tony and Hector Guzman are currently enrolled in the Digital Image Processing that Dr. Quweider is teaching. They have been programming DIP algorithms in the Java programming language for the entire semester.

The team will stay at FIU from 5/12/2014 to 07/18/2014. Dr. Quweider and the students will receive stipends and travel reimbursement for their stay, with a chance for further grant funding upon their return to their home campus (UTB). After returning to UTB, Dr. Quweider will implement a plan with Dr. Juan Iglesias, SEC Chair, to integrate many of the algorithms and their underlying principles in the computer science curriculum in general, and in the digital image processing and computer vision courses that the department offers as technical electives. Congratulations and best of luck for the team!​

Federal Grant to Help Engineering Physics Program Attract More Students.

BROWNSVILLE, TEXAS – NOVEMBER 14, 2013 – The Engineering Physics Program in the School of Engineering and Computational Science in the College of Science, Mathematics and Technology has received a $654,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Education’s Minority Science and Engineering Improvement Program.

The purpose of the three-year grant is to boost retention and graduation rates for Hispanic engineering students and  increase the number of female Hispanic engineering majors and graduate students. The grant period is from October 2013 to December 2016.

“The School of Engineering and Computational Sciences is excited about this new grant as it will foster the opportunities for students in our region to complete an engineering degree,” said Dr. Juan R. Iglesias, the school’s Chair and a Professor of Computer and Information Sciences. “The activities supported by the grant are expected to reduce the existing gap in the number of minorities graduating with an engineering degree. This grant represents a unique opportunity for all the students we serve and it is particularly important for our female students.”

*Complete and original article at:

First NSF Grant for Newly Created School Focuses on Bioengineering Research

BROWNSVILLE, TEXAS – SEPTEMBER 13, 2013 – The National Science Foundation has awarded its first grant to a faculty member in the newly created School of Engineering and Computational Science at The University of Texas at Brownsville.
Dr. Nazmul Islam, an Assistant Professor in the Engineering Physics Program under the school in the College of Science, Mathematics and Technology, has received a two-year grant from the NSF’s Chemical, Bioengineering, Environmental and Transport Systems Division for $173,274 with funding available from Sept. 1 to Aug. 31, 2015.

*Complete and original article at:​

Banner carrier for Spring Commencement

Student Christopher Ray Cantu has been selected to be the banner carrier for Spring Commencement on May 10. His dedication and high GPA has awarded him this honor. Christopher will be receiving his Bachelors of Applied Technology in Computer Information Systems. We wish him the best on his professional career.

​The Summer Bridge Program starts July 7th-August 8th.

Engineering Summer Bridge-poster 2.png
 *Click on the image to apply now.

School of Engineering and Computational Sciences + Google Plus

Student leader of the Society of Manufacturing Engineers, Iram Lerma, presented the innovative device Google Glass to Dr. Juan Iglesias and Dr. Immanuel Edinbarough​. Together they discussed the possible ways this technology could be integrated to the academic fields of Engineering and Computer Science.

[Students discusses the advantages of Google Glass with Dr. Iglesias and Dr. Edinbarough.]

Forbes publishes the 10 Specialized College Degrees That Pay the Most.

O​n January 21, 2014 the renowned​ web portal Forbes published the 10 specialized College degrees that pay the most. From which 9 out of 10 are Engineering and Computer Science related careers as shown in the table. You can find the complete article in the link:

[Table of the 10 Sepcialized College Degrees that Pay the Most by Forbes​]

SCUSA Regional Programming Contest

On Nov 1-2, 2013, a UTB team (Ocelot) consisting of three CSMT undergraduate students and a faculty coach travelled to Baylor University and competed in the South Central USA regional finals for the International Collegiate Programming Contest (ICPC) 2014. 

The UTB team performed extraordinarily well by being the only team that solved all the contest problems more than one hour ahead of permitted finishing time. Consequently, the UTB team was ranked first in the contest among 57 participating teams including those from UT Austin, UT Dallas and Rice University ( 

Being the winner of the ICPC regional finals the UTB team will now be eligible to compete in the world finals of ICPC 2014 to be held June 22-26, 2014 at Yekaterinburg, Russia. The student members of UTB team were selected based on interested students' credentials and the result of an internal tryout held earlier on UTB campus. 

Serving the Local Community: Children's Museum of Brownsville

Children's Museum of Brownsville: 

"Thank you to the University of Texas at Brownsville for all your help [fixing] the CMB Bubbler. We are so grateful for your help and the kids are too!

"The students did an excellent job and our bubbler is really putting on a great display."

[Image of UTB Engineering​ program students at the museum.]

Learning energy conservation UTB students install solar panels at Veterans Memorial High School

By Magaly Rosales



Students in adjunct faculty member Alex Peña’s solar energy class have installed more than 250 solar panels on the roof of the Veterans Memorial High School, located at 4550 U.S. Military Hwy. 281. About 20 students in UT-Brownsville’s engineering technology program participated in placing the panels on the roof of the school Oct. 3. Solar panels work by taking solar radiation and converting it into electrons that flow from one cell in the panel to others, creating an electric current. Peña said the objective of the class is to “teach students how solar cells work both practically and theoretically.” Students had the opportunity to learn firsthand what it is like to install solar panels.


UT-Brownsville engineering technology majors Jesus Perales (from left), Eleazar Rodriguez, Arturo Rodriguez and Andres Lopez drill and connect 250 solar panels on the roof of Veterans Memorial High School.


Peña said the purpose of the project was for students “to learn the practice of how to put the panels on a roof, with the sun on your back,” Peña said. “It was pretty intense; after two hours, the students were shaking,” he said. “It was a good experience.” Among the students who participated

in the project was senior engineering technology major Eleazar Rodriguez. “I learned that actually installing the solar panels is a different [experience] than … being in the class and just knowing the theory,” Rodriguez said.

Junior engineering technology major Jesus Perales said: “We learned how to connect everything … and how many [panels] we need, depending on the watts we are supposed to produce. It’s not the same to listen in the classroom than doing it.” Peña said the students installed the solar panels, while workers connected the panels to the inverter and the building. “We were lucky enough to have somebody to let us inside the project and … have our students practice there,” Peña said. The Brownsville Independent School District received a $240,000 Innovative Energy Demonstration grant from the State Energy Conservation Office. “Veterans Memorial was a candidate because of its qualifications and we were honored by the federal government as an Energy Star building that was awarded about a year ago,” said Santiago Otero, the BISD’s energy manager. Another factor that qualified the school was that it has a Science, Technology, Engineering and Math program, where students learn about renewal energy and sustainable buildings. Peña said the high school will spend about 30 percent less on its monthly electricity bill. It would take an additional 1,500 panels for the school to rely solely on solar energy. “If we could install more solar panels it could take care of 100 percent of their bills, but it’s not happening right now,” Peña said. “It’s just an educational grant, 250 panels--that’s it.” Asked if there would be more panels installed in the future, Otero replied that the school is always looking for grants. “We apply for them when we know they are out there,” he said. “We try to grab as much money as we can to upgrade … our schools.” Peña’s class will work next on a solar energy project with the City of Brownsville, where they will place solar panels on a carport.​

PPOHA Seminar

"A Summary of Progress in the Multiple Sequence Alignment Problem"

By Andrew Hill

Friday, November 1, 2013 4:00-5:00 pm MAIN 1.220

Finding the longest common subsequence (LCS) of many sequences is of vital importance in many fields, and has such diverse uses as optimal scheduling and DNA analysis. Unfortunately, the problem of finding the LCS of more than two sequences is NP-complete. As such, there have been many attempts to improve performance with different heuristic schemes, iterative, statistical, and approximation algorithms. We will give an overview of the problem, and discuss the state of various approaches to the problem, including a few theoretical results.

Andrew Hill is an online graduate student in Computer Science. He is originally from Houston, attended college at Baylor University, and received​ a MS in Applied Math from Clemson. He currently works at the Navy Nuclear Power School.

Faculty Advisor: Dr Quweider

UTB College Fair at Raymondville ISD - Oct 23, 2013

On October 23rd, 2013, The School of Engineering and Computational Sciences Department participated in the UTB College Fair at Raymondville ISD. There were approximately 200 students in attendance who  were exposed to a “taste of UTB”.​

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