William LeFebvre

Wiliam LeFebvre has been using Unix & Internet technologies since 1983. He is currently the chief architect for ifThen, a web design and development company. William designs and creates scalable and resilient production web environments, DevOps processes, continuous integration and continuous deployment solutions, cloud services, test automation frameworks, performance metrics, and monitoring. He was a founding partner in Digital Valence with Monty Mullig and has worked with many clients including Comcast, Synacor, Coca Cola, and AT&T. Previously, William was a Technology Fellow at Turner Broadcasting where he designed system architectures for many of Turner’s high-volume websites including CNN.com, Money.com, SI.com, NASCAR.com & CartoonNetwork.com. William ran his own consulting business in the late 1990’s, helping companies with Unix systems & Internet technologies, and teaching Cisco classes as a certified Instructor. Previously William worked at Argonne National Laboratory designing and installing classified networks for the US Army in the Pentagon and Seoul, South Korea. He received his bachelor’s degree in 1983 and a Master of Science degree in 1987, both from Rice University.

Waseem Ahmad

Facebook software engineer and Rice CS alumnus Waseem Ahmad.

Waseem Ahmad (B.A. ’14) is a senior software engineer at Facebook. He currently lives in New York City and works on Facebook’s Stories product on Android. In 2012, he orchestrated Rice’s first hackathon with support from the CS Club president, Dennis Qian and HackRice remains a popular annual event.

Read his CS Alumni Profile Interview: https://www.cs.rice.edu/waseem

Check out his personal website: https://waseemahmad.com


Syd Polk

Rice CS alumnus Syd Polk is a software engineer at Indeed.

Syd Polk (BA ’88) is a senior software engineer at Indeed. He specializes in programming languages, with over 20 years of experience in C. He is proficient in Java, Swift, SQL, Objective C, Assembly, and Pascal. He’s also worked in python, C++, perl, bash/shell, and ruby, and spent 12 years working in Tcl/Tk, two of which were as a core developer. He marched with the Rice MOB, is passionate about woodwinds, and plays a mean jazz saxophone.

Stan Hanks

Rice CS alumnus Stan Hanks is the chief architect at RealWear, Inc.

Stan Hanks (BA ’82) is the chief architect at RealWear, Inc. He is an experienced technologist and executive –a “big picture” guy who thinks strategically and long term, but is  willing to go to the mat over obscure technical details. He said, “I have been a user of distributed systems since the 80s, where I had to invent the technology that made it possible to treat networks of CPUs as a single system. I live in the cloud, and have, since way before people called it ‘the cloud’.”

Read his CS Profile: https://www.cs.rice.edu/hanks

Scott Rixner

Scott Rixner is a Professor of Computer Science at Rice University

Scott Rixner (Ph.D. ’01, MIT) is a Professor of Computer Science at Rice University. His research spans virtualization, operating systems, and computer architecture, with a specific focus on memory systems and networking. He is well versed in the internals of the Python programming language, as he has developed Python interpreters for both embedded systems and web browsers. He has been actively involved in curriculum development and oversight at Rice, having actively served on the curriculum committees for the University, School of Engineering, and Department of Computer Science. He has also taught or co-taught many of the introductory computer science courses at Rice, including Computational Thinking, Algorithmic Thinking, Introduction to Program Design, and Introduction to Computer Systems.

He has recently been named the Director for Rice’s Online Masters in Computer Science Program.

Matt Cohen

Entrepreneur, VC investor, and Rice CS alumnus Matt Cohen.

Matt Cohen is a Venture Partner at the Capital Factory Fund – the most active early stage technology venture capital fund in in Texas and the investment arm of Capital Factory, Texas’ largest startup community.  He’s also an independent consultant, focusing on technology and business strategy, product ideation and design, and practical application of machine learning.

Matt has been working with digital technology for over 30 years; Matt founded his own startup, OneSpot, and was previously Partner at G-51 Capital, an Austin-based early-stage venture capital firm.  He started his career at the Houston Chronicle after an internship he found in the Rice Engineering Alumni summer job book, where he co-founded HoustonChronicle.com in 1994, and registered the world’s first newspaper domain (chron.com) in 1988.

He’s is a proud Rice CS alumnus (BA, Honors Program in Computer Science, Baker ’89), and has been a judge at the Rice Business Plan Competition for nearly 15 years. He lives in Austin and visits Houston as often as he can.

Luay Nakhleh

CS Department Chair Luay Nakhleh.

Computer Science professor and department chair Luay Nakhleh‘s passion for educating students was recognized in April 2019. The Brown Prize, Rice’s highest teaching award, is given annually based upon a survey of alumni who graduated within the past two to five years. He is the first professor from the Computer Science Department to win the prize.

Nakhleh became chair of the department in January 2017 and his priorities included growing the graduate student programs and improving their environment, launching an alumni initiative, and increasing the number of faculty members in what had become the largest academic department on campus.

He earned his M.S. in 1998 from Texas A&M University and his Ph.D. from the University of Texas in 2004.

Keith Cooper

Keith Cooper is a Rice University alumnus and the L. John and Ann H. Doerr Chair in Computational Engineering Professor of Computer Science and of Electrical and Computer Engineering.

Keith Cooper is the L. John and Ann H. Doerr Chair in Computational Engineering, professor of computer science and of electrical and computer engineering. His primary research area has been program analysis and optimization. He was one of the founding members of the compiler group at Rice, has published more than 75 articles and advised 18 doctoral students. He is a Fellow of the Association for Computing Machinery, and teaches several courses in compiler construction and was recently named chair of the computational and applied mathematics (CAAM) department at Rice University.

In April 2019, Cooper’s passion for training up the next generation of students was recognized with a George R. Brown Award for Superior Teaching.

Keith Cooper served as chief marshall at Rice University Commencement for over a decade.Fun fact: For over a decade, students and their families also recognized Cooper as the man behind the mace.


Frank Salinas

Rice CS alumnus Frank Salinas is a senior software developer for Tavour.

Frank Salinas, former CS Club President and creator of the CS Club Beer Debates has just signed on to be one of the CS 35 Alumni Beer Debaters!

The CS alumnus (B.S. ’13) spent over three years at Microsoft and then joined Tavour as a senior software developer. He’s handling full-stack web and mobile development using React-Native, Vuejs, Node.js, and Ruby on Rails.

Note: Tavour is an app that delivers the best craft beers from around the world to your door step. How could we NOT invite him back for Beer Debates?

Dan Wallach

Dan Wallach, Rice CS professor.

Dan Wallach (Ph.D. ’99, Princeton) is a Professor of Computer Science at Rice University.

He is a professor in the systems group and manages Rice’s computer security lab. His research interests include mobile code, wireless and smartphone security, and the security of electronic voting systems. He has testified on various aspects of election security in the Texas Senate and the United States Congress and writes about election security for various publications, such as his March 2019 article in the Austin-American Statesman.

In addition to his role in the CS 35th Anniversary, he is presenting a lecture about Election Security in a pre-Homecoming event on Thursday evening, October 31, 2019.

Bob Hearn

Rice CS alumnus and entrepreneur Bob Hearn.

Bob Hearn (BA ’87) currently spends most of his time running very long distances. He has been involved in a number of startups, most successfully when he co-wrote ClarisWorks with Scott Holdaway (BA ’87), and sold it to Claris. Then he headed to MIT for a PhD in Computer Science, studying artificial intelligence and computational complexity. His Nondeterministic Constraint Model of Computation, developed with Erik Demaine, helped launch the popular sub-field of theoretical CS known as Combinatorial Reconfiguration. This work is further expanded in their book “Games, Puzzles, and Computation”.