Special Topics Classes Announced for Fall 2020

4013/5013 - Cloud Computing and Security - Dr. Miaoqing Huang

Cloud computing has entered the mainstream of information technology, providing highly elastic scalability in delivery of enterprise applications and services.  In this course, we will focus on the architecture of today's cloud computing tools, and the security risks and managment in the cloud.  Prerequisites: CSCE 3613 Operating Systems or instructor consent or Graduate Standing

5013 - Deep Learning - Dr. Thi Hoang Ngan Le

This course aims at understanding the fundamentals of Deep Learning and its applicaiton in computer vision, natural language understanding, and game theory.  The course starts with basic multi-layer perception and then moves to other complicated models such as CNN's, RNN's, Attention, and GAN's models.  The course will end with Deep Reinforcement Learning.  The course provides the required steps for building deep learning models.  Students are also encouraged to learn independently with original ideas through group projects.  Teams of 2-3 members per project.

4013/5013 - Electronic Design Automation - Dr. Yarui Peng

This course studies physical design, analysis, and optimization of VLSI circuits and systems with empahsis on computational realizations and optimization.  We start with some related topics such as graph algorithms and discuss various well-known algorithms and methodologies in the design process of VLSI circuits, including design partitioning, logic synthesis, floorplanning, routing, static timing analysis, and performance-driven layout.  It requires a basic knowledge of digital circuit design, data structure, and object-oriented programming.  Prerequisites: CSCE 3953 System Synthesis and Modeling (C or higher) and CSCE 3193 Programming Paradigms ( C or higher)

4013/5013 - Wearable and Ubiquitous Computing - Dr. Alexander Nelson

Technological miniaturization and advances in radio frequency technology have created a computing environment that has enabled growth in the number and variety of non-traditional computing systems.  Machine-to-machine communication and the Internet of Things (IoT) represent a movement of computation away from single-user systems tethered to physical locations.  This course will introduce wearable and ubiquitous computing paradigms with emphasis on the engineering and development.  Three key themes that will be taught during this course; the systems and infrastructures which compose IoT and wearable systems, the devices and techniques for gathering data a communicating with the user, and the applications of these technologies including the user experience.  Prerequisites:  CSCE 3193 Programming Paradigms

NSF CyberCorps Scholarship Applications Now Being Accepted for Spring 2020

Sponsored by the National Science Foundation and managed by the Arkansas Security Research and Education (ASCENT) Institute, the U of A Scholarship for Service (SFS) program is now accepting application from eligible undergraduate and graduate students with the goal of developing a superior cybersecurity workforce.  This program provides gnerous scholarships ($25,000 per year for undergraduate students and $34,000 per year for graduate students, plus up to $6,000 educational allowance per year).  Each scholarship recipient will need to agree to work wit the government post-graduation for a period equal to the duration of the scholarship.  For more information and application submission, please visit https://ascent.uark.edu/sfs/  Deadline for applications is March 30, 2020.

What is Computer Science?

Computer scientists specialize in the software side of computing, focusing on writing new programs that allow computer applications to run faster and more efficiently. You might work for a security company, creating technology that reduces the risks of viruses and hackers, or develop flight simulation exercises that allow airline pilots to practice managing flight problems.

What is Computer Engineering?

Computer engineers deal with both software and hardware. As a computer engineer, you could design entire computer systems and networks, making sure that the hardware, or physical equipment, is capable of running the appropriate software. You might build devices such as retinal scanners that identify people by checking their eyes, or you could design computers that are incorporated into prosthetic devices to aide people with disabilities.

Those who continue onward to obtain a graduate degree in either computer science or computer engineering learn to advance the frontiers of science. With an MS or PhD, you will invent the new technologies that enable the next generation of software and computing devices.

To learn more about Computer Science check out the links below from ComputerScience.org:

Women in Computer Science

Computer Science Programs in Arkansas

Scholarships & Financial Aid

Student News

Computer Science Doctoral Student Wins Best Paper at Cybersecurity Conference

Dr. Brajendra Panda and doctoral student Mohammed Alshehri

From left to right: Brajendra Panda, professor of Computer Science and Computer Engineering, and doctoral student Mohammed Alshehri.

A computer science doctoral student earned a "Best Paper" award at an international cybersecurity conference earlier this year.

Mohammed Alshehri Sr. took home the top honors from the 12th International Conference on Security, Privacy and Anonymity in Computation, Communication and Storage in Atlanta.

His advisor is Brajendra Panda, profesor of computer science and computer engineering.

Alshehri was honored for his research into fog node protection.  Fog computing is the name for multiple cloud systems linked together to reduce the response time for users to retrieve data from the cloud. 

"What I like about fog computing is it will make the communication between end users and the cloud faster," Alshehri said.  "It's in the middle between the cloud and the end users."

The danger with linking multiple cloud storage devices together is if one is infected by malicious software, it could spread to others, potentially compromising huge amounts of data.  Alshehri's research explores a solution to isolate a rogue fog node when it is identified.

The idea is to group the different nodes into smaller groups, which Alshehri calls "fog federations."  Pieces of data with similar attributes would be grouped into the same federation, for example, it could group data based on the city it comes from and the type of institution that created it.

Those federations would still increase the speed for end users, because the computer wouldn't have to search through as many places to retrieve data, but it minimizes the threat of a virus infiltrating an entire network.

The implications of Alshehri's work are far-reaching.

"This research is general," he said.  "you can apply it to hospitals, universities, to a corporation - any organization with sensitive information to protect."

Earning the "Best Paper" award was a gratifying moment for Alshehri.

"Sometimes in Ph.D. life, it can be a lot of ups and downs," he said.  "After working for two years on my research, I'm proving I'm on the right track."

Top Stories

Arkansas Researchers Developing Prediction Models for Coronavirus

Justin Zhan & Governor Hutchinson

From left to right: Gov. Asa Hutchinson, Chancellor Joseph Steinmitz, Professor Justin Zhan, and Jerry Adams, president and CEO of the Arkansas Research Alliance, at the Capitol Building in Little Rock.

Fayetteville, Ark.  - Data Science professor Justin Zhan is collaborating with University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences professors David Ussery and Xuming Zhang to develop accurate predictions of genomic variation trends of coronavirus.

Their work will help public officials monitor the outbreak and adapt to changes.  It could also provide valuable information for the design of vaccines.

"To control and prevent COVID-19, public officials need highly robust models for predicting how and where the virus will spreak," Zhan said. "This project will assist that effort and lead to better detection and prevention strategies.  We think it could have colossal social and economic impacts."

Zhan's research focuses on big data, blockchain technologies, information assurance and biomedical informatics.  For this project, he will use a novel, blockchain-based artificial intelligence system, which integrates information on the relationships of biological systems, to predict trends and changes as the coronavirus spreads.  The system will be evaluated and tested through various coronavirus benchmark datasets.

Ussery and Zhang will provide expertise in the areas of bioinformatics, microbiology and immunology.

A blockchain is a growing list of records, called blocks, that are linked using cryptography.  Each block contains a cryptographic has of the previous block, and timestamp, and transaction data generally represented as a Merkle tree.  By design, a blockchain is resistant to modification of the data.  It is "an open, distributed ledger that can record transactions efficiently and in a verifiable and permanent way."  As the fundamental component and functional element of blockchains, Merkle trees allow for efficient and secure verification of large data structures and potentially boundless data sets.

With a large grant from the Army Research Office, Zhan is building a graphics processing unit at the U of A.  The unit is a computer cluster of big data research and education.

Justin Zhan and David Ussery are Arkansas Research Alliance scholars.

Engineering Professors to Develop Technology Aimed to Fight Breast Cancer

Alex Nelson & Magda O. El-Shenawee

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. - Two University of Arkansas engineering professors received a $19,145 grant from the University of Arkansas Women's Giving Circe to develop technology that could help fight breast cancer.

The award was given to Magda O. El-Shenawee, professor of electrical engineering, and Alexander Nelson, assistant professor of computer science and computer engineering.

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Data Science Professor Is Newest U of A Arkansas Research Alliacne Scholar

From left, Gov. Asa Hutchinson, Chancellor Joe Steinmetz, professor Justin Zhan and Jerry Adams, president and CEO of the Arkansas Research Alliance, at the Capitol Building in Little Rock.

From left, Gov. Asa Hutchinson, Chancellor Joe Steinmetz, professor Justin Zhan and Jerry Adams, president and CEO of the Arkansas Research Alliance, at the Capitol Building in Little Rock.


FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Justin Zhan, professor of data science in the Department of Computer Science and Computer Engineering, was formally inducted today into the Arkansas Research Alliance Academy during a ceremony with Gov. Asa Hutchinson at the Capitol in Little Rock.

Zhan’s research focuses on big data, blockchain technologies, information assurance, social computing and biomedical informatics. He has published more than 230 articles in peer-reviewed journals and conferences and delivered more than 30 keynote speeches and invited talks.

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The U of A is among universities with the highest level of research activity
Engineering was an early focus of the university
Fayetteville, AR is the fourth best place to live


2019 Newsletter

Computer Science Doctoral Student Wins Best Paper at Cybersecurity Conference

Graduate student Mohammed Alshehri Sr. took home the top honors from the 12th International Conference on Security, Privacy and Anonymity in Computation, Communication and Storage in Atlanta over the summer. Read more here.

Peng Recieves Teaching  Commendation

The Teaching and Faculty Support Center presented Faculty Commendations for Teaching Commitment certificates to 48 new and not-so-new faculty members who completed specific activities designed to enhance teaching and learning in 2018-2019. Yauri Peng, assistant professor, was among this select group. Read more here. 

Zhan Receives Grant to Build GPU Cluster

Prof. Justin Zhan, who joined CSCE in August as Arkansas Research Alliance Scholar and professor of data science, has received funding from the Army in order to build a GPU cluster that can process huge data sets more than 100 times faster than previous technology. Read more here.

$4.6 Million Award Creates Program to Train Cybersecurity Professionals

A five-year, $4.63 million award from the National Science Foundation will enable a multi-disciplinary team of researchers at the University of Arkansas to recruit, educate and train the next generation of cybersecurity professionals.  Read more here.



  • Many Funding Opportunities
  • Multiple Program Options
  • Strong Graduate Curriculum and Excellent Research Opportunities
  • Outstanding Career Opportunities

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