Five CS @ ILLINOIS Graduate Students Among the Class of 2014 Siebel Scholars

9/8/2013 2:30:00 PM By Tom Moone, CS @ILLINOIS

Five CS @ ILLINOIS students have been named 2014 Siebel Scholars.

Written by By Tom Moone, CS @ILLINOIS

Five CS @ ILLINOIS students have been named 2014 Siebel Scholars: Dongjing He, Gaurav Lahoti, Arun Mallya, Stephen Mayhew, and Thomas Zhang.

CS grad students (from left) Arun Mallya, Stephen Mayhew, Thomas Zhang, Gaurav Lahoti, and Dongjing He were named to the 2014 class of Siebel Scholars.
CS grad students (from left) Arun Mallya, Stephen Mayhew, Thomas Zhang, Gaurav Lahoti, and Dongjing He were named to the 2014 class of Siebel Scholars.
CS grad students (from left) Arun Mallya, Stephen Mayhew, Thomas Zhang, Gaurav Lahoti, and Dongjing He were named to the 2014 class of Siebel Scholars.

“The Siebel Scholars Program gives recognition to some of the top students in the top graduate programs in the world,” said Illinois College of Engineering Dean Andreas Cangellaris. “We salute these students whose hard work, dedication, and creativity have brought distinction upon themselves and the University of Illinois.”

Dongjing He is a CS master’s student and is a research assistant in both the Illinois Security Lab and the Multimedia Operating System and Networking Group, advised by CS Professors Carl Gunter and Klara Nahrstedt. Her research focuses on improving security and protecting privacy in healthcare systems, with emphasis on Android mobile sensing. She is a recipient of the 2013 Microsoft Research Graduate Women’s Scholarship, one of only ten recipients in North America.

She received her bachelor’s degree in information security engineering from Shanghai Jiao Tong University in 2011. While an undergraduate, she was an exchange student at the Lund University, Sweden, and she worked as an SRE intern for eBay Inc., Shanghai. She worked as a full-time SDE for Marvell Technology Group, Shanghai in 2012, and worked at Google Inc. as an SDE intern in the summer of 2013.

Gaurav Lahoti is a master’s student working with CS Professor Carl Gunter. His interests lie in the field of computer security and privacy, and he is currently researching a secure and privacy-preserving Vehicle Miles Travelled tax mechanism for battery vehicles. He is a CS graduate ambassador and a board member of the Indian Graduate Student Association. This summer he was an intern at Fujitsu Laboratories of America.

Lahoti has bachelor’s and master’s degrees in civil engineering from Indian Institute of Technology Bombay. While there, he worked on machine learning algorithms and researched how to extract building footprint area from satellite imagery to assess seismic risk of various parts of India. As an undergraduate, he was actively involved in theatre and short film making.

Arun Mallya is a master’s student working on the application of machine learning techniques to object recognition and detection. He is currently working with CS Professor Svetlana Lazebnik on creating scalable and robust object detectors from an indefinite number of training examples. His previous work includes research in data mining, human mobility models, and complex networks.

Prior to joining Illinois, Mallya graduated with honors from the Indian Institute of Technology at Kharagpur with a bachelor’s degree in computer science and engineering. As an undergraduate, he interned at the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne in Switzerland where he worked on privacy of mobile phone users under Dr. Murtuza Jadliwala.

Stephen Mayhew is a master’s student studying natural language processing and machine learning under Professor Dan Roth. His research is on the use of trustworthiness algorithms for improving information extraction.

Mayhew holds an undergraduate degree in computer science, with a minor in music, from Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology. He has worked at MIT Lincoln Laboratories and has participated in the SCALE2013 workshop at Johns Hopkins University's Human Language Technology Center of Excellence. He also has a great aptitude for music. An accomplished violinist, he was a member of the Indiana University pre-college string program during high school, and playing with the Violin Virtuosi. Throughout high school and college, he was a violinist in the Terre Haute Symphony Orchestra. He has performed with the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra as a part of their Side-by-Side program.

Thomas Zhang recently completed his fourth year in the 5-year BS/MS program in CS @ ILLINOIS. His research focuses on the exploitation of textual information in social networking contexts. With Professor ChengXiang Zhai, he is working on developing a novel software system to enable users to flexibly navigate a multiple forum landscape. Previously, he worked on designing and modeling a scheduler to solve the problem of congestion on servers with temporal dependent workloads.

Zhang has helped teach several CS classes, held internship positions in both the finance and technology industries, and was named a Jump Trading Scholar. As a senior, he was awarded the Michael S. Hughes Award for Software Engineering for SnapMeds, an Android application that simplifies the tracking of prescription medications. In his spare time, Zhang engages in local community service initiatives and maintains an active role as a member in the Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society.

About Siebel Scholars

The Siebel Scholars program was established by the Siebel Foundation in 2000 to recognize the most talented students at the world’s leading graduate schools of business, computer science, and bioengineering. Each year, 85 exceptional students receive a $35,000 award during their final year of studies based on outstanding academic performance and leadership. Today, an active community of nearly 800 Siebel Scholars serves as advisors to the Siebel Foundation and works collaboratively to find solutions to society’s most pressing problems.

This exceptional group has the unique opportunity to directly influence the technologies, policies, and economic and social decisions that shape the future. Siebel Scholars serve as key advisors to the Siebel Foundation, guiding the development of innovative programs the Foundation initiates. The Siebel Scholars community is also integral to a highly outcome-driven Siebel Scholars conference held each year to explore critical social issues.

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This story was published September 8, 2013.