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Computer science assistant professor earns IBM Faculty Award

By Alec Jennings
University News Service
October 3, 2008

Apan Qasem

Apan Qasem

Facing international competition from many of the world's leading educational institutions and their personnel, an assistant professor of computer science at Texas State University-San Marcos has been granted an IBM Faculty Award.V

Apan Qasem earned the $10,500 award working alongside Texas State master's student Michael Jason Cade on a project that looks to improve program performance on multi-core systems. The honor is typically reserved for faculty members of universities offering Ph.D.s in their respective fields. In Qasem's case, the guideline was overlooked--a rare occurrence only granted to individuals exhibiting an unusual level of promise.

"It's very competitive," Qasem said. "I'm very fortunate to get this since we don't yet have a Ph.D. program in place here for computer science."

The award is granted to researchers world-wide and awardees are nominated by an IBM employee. Criteria for recipients state that nominees must be full-time faculty who promote curriculum innovation in disciplines strategic to IBM.

After earning the prize, the goal for both the university and IBM is to open up future communication between Texas State faculty and the company, introducing students to internship, career and resource possibilities, while the university is recognized as an institution that represents a top pool of talent in the computer sciences.

"It gives us more exposure and it's recognition for our department. There's definitely going to be future collaboration."
The monetary value of the award is provided by IBM with a no strings attached approach. Researchers are able to further education and resources within their department however they feel is the best use of those resources.