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UTSA computer science professor Jeffery Von Ronne wins $425,000 NSF CAREER award

Von Ronne is fourth CAREER award recipient in UTSAs Department of Computer Science

Jeffery von Ronne, a UTSA assistant professor of computer science, has received a five-year, $425,000 Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) award from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to research new techniques that will result in the development of faster and safer computer programs. The CAREER award is presented by the NSF to junior faculty members who embody the role of teacher and scholar by integrating teaching excellence with outstanding research at their institutions.

This is the fourth consecutive year that a faculty member in our Department of Computer Science has received a CAREER award, said George Perry, dean of the UTSA College of Sciences. We have worked very hard to recruit highly-talented junior faculty to the UTSA College of Sciences and having them here has already proven to be a tremendous benefit to our students and our progress as an emerging research institution.

Von Ronne joined UTSAs faculty in 2005 and specializes in programming languages, compilers, security and software engineering. He holds one U.S. patent: Safe computer code formats and methods for generating safe computer code (2006).

The NSFs funding will help my students and me to develop new techniques in static analysiswhere one computer program examines a second program in its static or non-running state, said von Ronne. Using static analysis, we can discover properties about that second program that can be used to rearrange the program so that it runs faster. We can also discover properties that provide assurances about the program’s security and reliability, such as the program’s correct handling of confidential information.

Von Ronne expects the new techniques developed in this project will enhance the effectiveness of static analysis for dynamic programs, which adopt new capabilities while they are running, as is the case when a web browser like Mozilla Firefox downloads plug-ins to handle new types of data such as Flash animation or PDF documents, or with Microsoft Office Add-Ins and Eclipse plug-ins.

Past recipients of NSF CAREER awards include UTSA computer science professors Qing Yi (2008), Carola Wenk (2007)and Daniel Jimenez (2006). The CAREER awards epitomize the progress UTSA is making in its push to become a Tier I Research University. With the new award, computer science faculty are now the principal or co-principal investigators on 19 current NSF grants.

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About the University of Texas at San Antonio

The University of Texas at San Antonio is one of the fastest growing higher education institutions in Texas and the second largest of nine academic universities and six health institutions in the UT System. As a multicultural research and teaching institution of access and excellence, UTSA aims to be a premier public research university, providing access to educational excellence and preparing citizen leaders for the global environment.

UTSA serves more than 28,400 students in 64 bachelors, 47 masters and 21 doctoral degree programs in the colleges of Architecture, Business, Education and Human Development, Engineering, Honors, Liberal and Fine Arts, Public Policy, Sciences and Graduate School. Founded in 1969, UTSA is an intellectual and creative resource center and a socioeconomic development catalyst for Texas and beyond.

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