Alumni Relations  

The Faculty of Computing and Information Science was pleased to welcome the involvement of business leader and educational visionary Narayana Murthy this year as an advisor for Cornell’s efforts in computing and information science. Mr. Murthy recently joined the Cornell University Board of Trustees, and is the CEO and founder of Infosys,
a worldwide leader in software development. A campus talk by Murthy is planned for the CIS Distinguished Lecture Series in fall 2004.

Carl Bass ’78, Executive Vice President at Autodesk, has arranged for a generous academic site license for several top design and graphics software packages at Cornell. Autodesk is the leading mechanical and architectural design
software developer in the world and in recent years has come out with a line of high-end digital content creation tools for game and film animation design.

CS alumni, John Belizaire’94 M.Eng. ’95 and Guilherme Hoefel ’02 have been actively reaching out to minority high school students on behalf of Cornell. Belizaire, a partner in NEXT STAGE, LLC, who resides in Manhattan, has
an interest in establishing programs and scholarships for talented students from the northeast. Guilherme works for Qualcomm in San Diego (Irwin Jacobs ’54 is the founder and CEO of Qualcomm) and has been working with Cornell to connect with minority students in his area.In January 2002, Belizaire also participated as an industry panelist at an annual Cornell Silicon Valley event celebrating entrepreneurship. Belizaire and fellow CS classmate Julian Pelenur ’94 M.Eng.’95 made a huge splash when they sold their start-up company, The Theory Center Inc., to BEA Systems for $100 million in 1999.

“An Evening with the Faculty” was the theme of a large gathering of alumni and friends on May 12, 2003 at the Plaza in New York City. More than eighty people came to hear professors Robert Constable, Dan Huttenlocher, and Ramin
Zabih brief some of Cornell’s most active alumni on the progress of computing and information science. Topics included the new Information Science majors in the colleges of Engineering, Arts and Sciences, and Agriculture and Life Sciences; the expansion of the digital arts and graphics program; the growing success of the digital libraries initiative; collaborative efforts in biology and medicine; and the establishment of several key security institutes.

CS/Fine Arts alum Rama Hoetzlein ’01 joined forces with Professors David Schwartz (CS) and David Borden (Music) to establish a ground-breaking educational project in computer game design. The project involved more than 45 students from a variety of fields working collaboratively to develop alternative game formats in a multidisciplinary setting. The main purpose of the project, beyond teaching game design principles, was to encourage technical
and liberal arts students to develop interesting alternatives to the glut of violent games in the market place.

In December of 2002 a panel of women leaders addressed a crowd of more than 75 students, faculty, and alumni at an event called “Perspectives on Women in Computer Science”. Ph.D. student and Cornell alumna Vicky Weissmann ’96 M.Eng. ’99 served effectively as panel moderator. Association of Computer Science Undergraduates President, Priyanka Nishar ‘03 was one of five panelists discussing issues ranging from myths about women in computing-related fields to effective programs for mentorship and outreach. Other alumni attending this event were: Jordan Erenrich ’02 M.Eng. ’03, Professor Daisy Fan, Ph.D.’03, Dan Jenkins ’82, Professor Dexter Kozen, Ph.D. ’77, and Professor Lillian Lee ’93.

Cornell had another successful year competing in the ACM Programming Championships thanks to Nikola Valerjev ’96 who once again secured generous sponsorship from Green Hills Software. A Cornell team won first place in the northeast regional competition and moved on to Beverly Hills, California to compete in the world finals. Green Hills
has sponsored Cornell teams for several years.

This year’s Degenfelder Family Scholarship was split three ways in 2002. New honoree Craig Lowe’04 joined previous winners Ben Mathew ’03 and Vlad Muste ’04 to split the $5,000 award which was created to recognize
students who are working at the boundary between computer science and biology. Joseph R. Degenfelder ’60 and his
wife Dr. Pauline Degenfelder ’61 worked with Professor Ron Elber to establish an endowment for this special award.
Stephan Paternot ’96, who made boom/bust history taking a dot com public in the late 1990s, is now the star of his own movie. Stephan teamed up with Linda Hamilton (of Terminator movie fame) and super model Shannyn Sossamon, to create a short film called “Wholey Moses”.

The film has been selected as a finalist in the 2003 USA Film Festival. This year’s Jonathan E. Marx Senior Prizes were presented to Robin Ghi- Hao Lim ’03 and Praveen Sethupathy ’03 as part of the Computer Science Graduation Ceremony on Hoy Field on May 25, 2002.

Jonathan E. Marx ’85 was a CS major who died in a skiing accident shortly after his graduation in 1985. The Marx family established the Marx Senior Prizes to recognize students who have most demonstrated a positive spirit among their classmates, held significant leadership roles, and have been of service in the community. The Marx family also established a teaching award in the name of Jonathan’s father, the late Alan S. Marx, J.D. ’61. The Alan Marx Memorial Prize for Excellence Supporting Undergraduate Education was awarded to Benjamin T. Mathew ’03, recognizing his efforts as a consultant and teaching assistant for CS 100.

The Computer Science Prize for academic excellence, given by the CS faculty, was awarded to Omar Habib Khan ’03, in recognition of his academic and research achievements.

For more information about alumni or external relations in CIS or the Department of Computer Science, please contact Dan Jenkins at