2016 Distinguished Service Award

The CS @ ILLINOIS Distinguished Service Award honors alumni or faculty members who have demonstrated an outstanding level of commitment to the department and its students, faculty, and alumni through their support and service. 

Nominations for the Distinguished Service Award are solicited annually from alumni, faculty, and advisory board members. Nominate a fellow alumnus or faculty member today at my.cs.illinois.edu/submit.


Michael Hughes
BS CS '89
Software architect, Intel Security Group

Michael Hughes has spent the majority of his career (22 years) with McAfee Associates, a global anti-virus and software security company that was acquired by Intel in 2010.  Today, Hughes is a software architect who conducts research, creates prototypes, and develops proof-of-concept technologies that will be deployed in a three- to five-year timeframe.

Specifically, he leverages advanced hardware capabilities to protect against zero-day attacks and advanced persistent threats. He has recently contributed to projects that include secure disk storage, memory scanning for malware detection, and malware monitoring from outside the operating system.

Hughes started his career working for Andersen Consulting in Chicago, where he developed client-server CASE tools, which generated customized programs for the consultants to deploy on their engagements. As a student, Hughes created an employee payroll deduction software system for the University of Illinois Foundation, where he worked for three years.

A loyal alumnus, Hughes has deep ties to the U of I—his parents and step father all earned degrees from the Urbana campus, and his grandfather was one of the founding faculty members in the Aerospace Engineering department.

He has generously supported his alma mater. He created the Michael S. Hughes Award in Software Engineering to attract, retain, and incentivize students in this workforce critical area. The award is given each year to CS undergraduates who have created the best software engineering project in the CS 428 course. Hughes has also supported LGBT student programs and the arts at Illinois.

Last updated 2016


Daniel Kaufman
BS CS '11
Product manager, Affirm

In 2013, Dan Kaufman began his career at Affirm, the San Francisco-based consumer finance company, with the customer operations team. More interested in using his problem-solving talents, Kaufman soon transitioned from the operations team to recruiting, identifying and hiring new talent for the startup firm, which delivers honest financial products to consumers. In an 18-month span, he helped grow the number of employees from 20 to 80.

Today, Kaufman is a product manager with Affirm, where he addresses back-end services and customer-facing communications. A loyal and energetic alumnus, Kaufman initiated and helped plan Affirm’s first-ever CS @ ILLINOIS alumni event in the summer of 2015, which drew more than 70 Bay Area Illinois alumni, including Affirm’s co-founder and CEO Max Levchin (BS 1997). This event enabled alumni to engage and network with each other and with CS faculty and administration.

As a student, Kaufman was active with the college’s Engineering Council, where he planned and executed various corporate-student events, including the Engineering Expo career fair.

Last updated 2016