Computer Science News

NDSU welcomes students back to campus

Today NDSU kicked off the fall semester with a variety of Welcome Week special events. This weekend hundreds of students moved into the residence halls, and today many experienced their first official college events on campus. Led by chair Simone Ludwig, students were greeted by members of the computer science department this morning and introduced to the faculty and staff. Students learned about what the department has to offer new students, and what to expect in the coming years. With the onset of COVID last year, this is the first time many have been in a classroom setting for quite some time. We wish all students a productive and healthy new school year, and we look forward to getting to know all of you.

Department welcomes three new members

The Department of Computer Science is happy to announce three recent additions our faculty and staff.

Dr. Zahid Anwar joins the department as an associate professor and will also serve as a faculty scholar in the Challey Institute for Global Innovation & Growth. Zahid’s research focuses on cybersecurity policy and innovative cyber defense, and he has authored over 80 publications in peer-reviewed conferences, journals, and magazines. He is a CompTIA Certified Penetration Tester, Network Vulnerability Assessment Professional, Security+ Professional, and an AWS Certified Cloud Solutions Architect. Prior to working in Academia, he worked as a software engineer and researcher at IBM T.J. Watson, Intel, Motorola, the National Center for Supercomputing Applications, xFlow research, and CERN. He arrives from Fontbonne University in St. Louis, where he worked as an associate professor. He received his MS and PhD in Computer Science from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and his BS in Computer Systems Engineering from GIK Institute of Engineering Sciences and Technology, Pakistan. You can learn more about Zahid at his website.

Dave Froslie joins the faculty with a half-time appointment as a lecturer leading the senior capstone program. Froslie states “ I am excited to join the NDSU faculty and lead the computer science capstone program. My previous employer was Microsoft where I had a variety of Dynamics related product development roles for almost 20 years.  My most recent role was working as a principal AI architect.  I was the Microsoft capstone mentor for many years so am familiar with the program from the company perspective.”  He spent the last 20 years at Microsoft after 13 years at MTS Systems, received his BS in electrical engineering from NDSU, his MBA from the University of Saint Thomas, and his MS in Data Science from the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse. Froslie and his wife live in the Pelican Rapids lakes area and enjoy a variety of outdoor activities. Their daughter recently graduated from NDSU with an MA in English and now works in the area. You can learn more about him at his website.

Melissa Bethard joins the department as an administrative assistant after recently relocating back to Fargo. Bethard worked at Citibank for 16 years in San Antonio, Texas and more recently in the accounting office at John T. Jones Construction in Fargo. She is enjoying working at NDSU and especially enjoys the opportunity to interact with faculty and students.

Salem and Latimer recently honored

We would like to congratulate Dr. Saeed Salem on his promotion to full professor. Salem received his Ph.D in Computer Science from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, New York in 2009  and joined in the department shortly thereafter. His research interests include bioinformatics and data mining, and he serves as graduate coordinator for the department.

A big congratulations also goes to Joseph Latimer, the 2021 College of Engineering winner for the Excellence in Teaching award. This award is based on the quality of teaching, student mentoring and advising, as well as teaching innovation and excellence. In addition to this award, Latimer was also recently promoted to senior lecturer. He received his MBA from California Polytechnic State University in 1988 and teaches courses on topics such as UNIX, Java, and operating systems. Read the NDSU News Article.

NDSU computer science alum awarded outstanding teacher

Former NDSU computer science student and lecturer, Otto Borchert has been awarded the 2021 Outstanding Teacher Award by his current university, Missouri Southern State (MSSU) in Joplin, MO. Students make the nominations for the annual award, which honor the instructors who have made a positive impact in front of the classroom and in an advising capacity.

“I am truly humbled by the award. I just make sure I am available when students have questions, try to keep my content and delivery methods current in a rapidly evolving field, and stay responsive to student educational needs. It’s incredibly satisfying to see students learn and grow. The students are why I do what I do. I’m always thankful for the education I got at NDSU from both Computer Science and STEM Education that led me down this path, and to both Gonzaga and NDSU for letting me practice my craft as a Lecturer.”

Borchert has been an assistant professor at MSSU since the fall of 2018. He graduated from NDSU with a BS, MS, and PhD in computer science and served as a lecturer in the department. He received the Ambassadors Excellence Award at NDSU in the spring of 2018.

Department hosts CyberBison camp for high schoolers this summer

In July the NDSU computer science department hosted BisonCyber, a two-day, on-campus summer camp for high school students in grades 9-12. Topics of the free camp included programming, networking, cybersecurity and robotics. All high school students were welcome, including those who are entering freshman year and recent spring high school graduates. Approximately 50 campers attended each day. 

NDSU computer science students take third place in Digi-Key's 2020 collegiate computing competition

The NDSU team, “Team Clever Team Name”, with Erick Bickler, Jack Hance, Alex Leska, and Trent Yetzer placed 3rd in last Fall’s Digi-Key Collegiate Computing Competition. The event consisted of a variety of programming challenges of various lengths, including word problems and short and long programming challenges. While the competition is normally held at the Digi-Key headquarters in Thief River Falls, Minnesota, this year’s event was run in a distributed fashion at the participating universities. It is the fourth year in a row that one or more teams from the NDSU Computer Science Department have placed among the top three winning teams. Each year, Digi-Key Electronics invites two 4-person teams from each of 13 regional universities to participate in the competition. In addition to prizes for the participants, the department of the 3rd-placed team is awarded $1,000, that benefits our ACM student organization.

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