Purdue CS Honors Students at the Annual Awards Banquet - Department of Computer Science - Purdue University Skip to main content

Purdue CS Honors Students at the Annual Awards Banquet


The Computer Science faculty, staff, and students celebrated the fellowships, awards, and scholarships of the department at the annual Computer Science Awards Banquet. The banquet was held in the Purdue Memorial Union, South Ballroom on April 8, 2019. Interim Department Head, Professor Susanne Hambrusch welcomed the attendees and introduced the special guests of the department, including the members of the Computer Science Corporate Partners program in attendance, Boeing, Fact Set, Harris, Northrop Grumman, Qualcomm, Raytheon, Salesforce, Sandia National Labs. Master of Ceremonies, Professor Eugene “Spaf” Spafford, announced the winners of the awards, scholarships, and fellowships.

Click here for photos of the event.

  • Sarah Mi, who will begin her studies as a computer science student in the fall, was the recipient of the prestigious Purdue Presidential Scholarship.

  • The United States Department of Energy awarded a four-year Computational Science Graduate Fellowship to a PhD student, Caitlin Whittier. She is one of 25 graduate students in the US to be awarded this fellowship in 2018-19. She is only the fourth in all of Purdue history dating back to when the fellowship began in the 1990s.

  • The Raymond Boyce Graduate Teaching Award was established in 1975 by Sandy Boyce and friends in memory of Raymond Boyce who received his CS PhD degree in 1972 with high honors. Raymond passed away unexpectedly on June 18, 1974. This year the Boyce Graduate Teacher Award was given to two recipients, Andrew Groenewold (for fall 2018), and Alina Nesen (for spring 2019). They received an award of $200 and their names were inscribed on a permanent plaque in the display case by Room 3102 in Lawson Computer Science Building.

  • Hasini Gunasinghe won the Emil Stefanov Memorial Partial Fellowship. The award is given to a graduate student specializing in security and shows originality and creative thinking in research. The fellowship was created in memory of Emil Stefanov, who earned his BS from Purdue in 2009 and passed away in 2014.

  • The John R. Rice Partial Fellowship in Scientific Computing was awarded to graduate student, Rania Ibrahim. John R. Rice, the W. Brooks Fortune Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Computer Science at Purdue, was one of the earliest faculty members of Purdue’s first-in-the-nation computer science program.

  • The Undergraduate Teaching Assistant Award honors an undergraduate student for their work as a teaching assistant. This year’s recipient was Sean Flannery, he was nominated by Professor Dunsmore. Flannery served as a TA in five separate CS classes and also as a TA for the Bridge to Computer Science Class. “Sean constantly worked to develop rapport with students and made assignments understandable to those with no programming background at all,” said Professor Dunsmore. Flannery also received the Outstanding Service to the Department by a Student.

  • The Outstanding Research Effort by an Undergraduate Student went to Michael Cinkoske. He nominated by Professor Jeremiah Blocki, for his cryptography work on the construction of depth-robust graphs. “It is rare for an undergraduate student to be able to learn and master complex concepts such as these,” said Professor Blocki.


Outstanding Student Awards

Outstanding Student Awards for each year in computer science were given to Marie Oberlin (Outstanding Freshman), Lakshmi Galla (Outstanding Sophomore), Kavya Nagalakunta (Outstanding Junior), and Paula Toth (Outstanding Senior). Christopher Lehman was the recipient of a new award for Outstanding First Year Data Science Student.  


Maurice H. Halstead Memorial Award

Professor Maurice H. Halstead joined the Purdue CS faculty in 1967. He was a pioneer in software engineering, and wrote some of the first books on compiling and decompiling of software. He is generally considered as the "father" of code decompilation.   Professor Halstead is perhaps best known as the founder of the approach to defining and measuring software products and processes known as Software Science.   Many people believe that his work, and that of former Professor Samuel Conte, was the true foundation for software metrics and software engineering. Following Dr. Halstead's death, a memorial fund was established in 1979 by his students, family, and colleagues to recognize a Purdue student who has made exemplary contributions to software engineering research. The winner is selected by the CS Awards Committee based on nominations submitted by the faculty and presented with an engraved plaque and a cash prize of $4,000.

This year, Gowtham Kaki was the recipient of the 2019 Halstead Award. Gowtham was nominated by Professor Suresh Jagannathan, who states that, “Gowtham is one of the brightest and most industrious students with whom I have ever worked. He has an outstanding publication record, with papers in the best and most selective conferences of our field. As a testament to his achievements, he is a recent recipient of a Google fellowship, a highly competitive award given to only the most promising senior graduate students in computer science throughout the world.” Professor Jagannathan also said, “Beyond his formidable technical acumen, he is a pleasure to work with - soft-spoken, eager to collaborate with others, an outstanding mentor to my junior students, and a consummate gentleman.”


Purdue's Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) Student Chapter Awards:



ACM Graduate Teaching Assistant Award

Sutheekshan Mohan

Pedro Da Costa Abreu

ACM Faculty Award

Gustavo Rodriguez-Rivera

ACM Undergraduate Teaching Assistant Award

Aayush Dubey


Graduate Student Board Awards:



Top Graduate Teaching Assistant

Young-San Lin

Most Influential Professor

Jeremiah Blocki



Scholarship Name



Grace Hopper Scholarship

Sponsored by: David Spellmeyer


Kai Hoffman

Sruthi Pillai

Boeing Student Organization Scholarship


Iris Yuan

Shotobhisha Sinha Ray

Indhu Ramanathan

Ramya Anandampullai

Haleigh Gronwold

Study Abroad Scholarship

Sponsored by: Julius Westmoreland



Kevin Taha

Jay Rixie

Collins Aerospace Scholarship


Donald Adams

Harris Scholarship


Nikhil D’Souza  

Richard Hansen

Noah Alderton

Salesforce Scholarship


Man To “Tiger” Tang

Corporate Partner Scholarship


Beichen Lyu

Shaurya Sinha

Avinash Singh

Viswajeet Balaji      

Prakit Duangsutha

Connor McMillin

Nathan Ashta

Benjamin Morris

Benjamin Hardin

Luke Lavin

Collins Aerospace Scholarship


Will Tyler


CS Endowed Scholarship

Sponsored by: CS Alumna


Trisha Zalani

Briana Crowe

Harjas Monga

Aditya Subramanian

Ayushi Gupta

Pranjali Raturi

Joseph Veltri

Linnea Lindstrom

Raytheon Endowment Scholarship


Krithik Rao

Cisco Scholarship



Ryan Sullivan

Kunze Scholarship

Sponsored by: Aaron and Morgan Kunze


Nikhil Iyer

Anuraag Yachamaneni

Rosen Endowment Scholarship

In memory of Saul Rosen


Cody Perdue

Arianna Smith

David and Darla Dodson Scholarship


Kavya Nagalakunta

Chris Corragio

Grub Scholarship

Sponsored by: Randy Reece


Vishnu Vijayan

Gene & Marguerite Kim Scholarship


Samantha Coe

Michael and Jerralie Petersen Scholarship



Alexander Engels

Nylin Scholarship

Sponsored by: William C. Nylin Jr.



Megan Walsh

Boeing Scholarship


Laila Kassar

Sasha Kipnis

Domenic Conversa

Lucas Tao


The Department of Computer Science congratulates all winners and thanks our corporate and scholarship sponsors.


Writer: Emily Kinsell, 765-494-0669, emily@purdue.edu, @emilykinsell

Last Updated: Mar 7, 2023 9:23 AM

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