CISE Faculty, Staff Selected as College Award Winners

The Herbert Wertheim College Awards recognize faculty, staff, and students receiving UF and/or college awards in the 2020-2021 academic year and celebrate the excellence of Gator Engineering and the fundamental values of our college.

The International Educator of the Year recognizes the outstanding contributions of faculty and staff to the internationalization of the University of Florida. The Doctoral Dissertation Advisor/Mentoring Award recognizes excellence, innovation and effectiveness in doctoral student advising and mentoring.

All award recipients were formally acknowledged at the Spring Herbert Wertheim College of Engineering Awards Luncheon.


Adrienne CookAdrienne Cook
HWCOE Staff International Educator of the Year, 2021

Adrienne Cook, the graduate advisor in the Department of Computer & Information Science & Engineering (CISE), has been selected as a 2021-2022 Herbert Wertheim College of Engineering Staff International Educator of the Year.

Cook has been an academic advisor for about 23 years. Previously, she spent 15 years as an undergraduate advisor in the UF Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering and has been with CISE for 8 years. Currently, Cook advises more than 115 master’s students and 170 Ph.D. students.

Cook is a double Gator, receiving her bachelor’s degree from the College of Health & Human Performance and her master’s degree from the Department of Family, Youth and Community Sciences at the Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (IFAS).


Christina Boucher, Ph.D. Christina Boucher, Ph.D.
HWCOE Junior Faculty International Educator of the Year, 2021

Christina Boucher, Ph.D., a CISE associate professor, has been selected as a 2021-2022 Herbert Wertheim College of Engineering Junior Faculty International Educator of the Year.

Dr. Boucher’s research is on developing algorithms and data structures that allow for large-scale biological sequence analysis. She incorporates the latest sequencing technologies and biological analyses into her work. In her research, two major biological themes recur: alignment to pan-genomes (usually human) and understanding how microbial species move and evolve.

She has over 100 publications in bioinformatics, with over two dozen of them in succinct data structures and/or alignment. Considering this, she was a keynote speaker for SPIRE 2021, IABD 2019, FAB 2018, RECOMB-SEQ 2016 and the ECCB 2016 Workshop on Pan-Genomics. She is a recipient of an ESA 2016 Best Paper Award. She is a standing member of the National Institutes of Health’s Biodata Management and Analysis Study Section.


IEEE Fellow Ahmed Helmy, Ph.D.Ahmed Helmy, Ph.D.
HWCOE Senior Faculty International Educator of the Year, 2021

Ahmed Helmy, Ph.D., a professor and CISE graduate coordinator, has been selected as a 2021-2022 Herbert Wertheim College of Engineering Senior Faculty International Educator of the Year.

Dr. Helmy’s research interests include design, measurements, analytics and applied machine learning of the Internet of Things (IoT), smart transportation, sensor and mobile social networks, mobility modeling, multicast protocols and network simulation. He has published over 250 journal articles, conference papers and posters, and book chapters, and has over 19,000 citations for these publications.

He is an Honorary Fellow, at the Institute for Advanced Study, Technical Univ. of Munich (TUM). In the past 10 years, he was a visiting professor at the Technical University of Munich, U. Pierre & Marie Curie (UPMC) – Sorbonne (Paris, France), Bogazici University (Istanbul, Turkey), and Aalto University (Helsinki University of Technology), Finland. He is a winner of the ACM SIGCOMM Networking Systems Award 2020. With his group, in the past 15 years, he received over 12 awards from the top Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) and Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) conferences, including IEEE INFOCOM, ACM MobiCom, and ACM SigSpatial, including best paper awards, and best poster, innovation, demo, and app, among others.

Since 2015 he has been the graduate director and chair of the CISE Graduate Affairs Committee. Before joining UF in 2006, Dr. Helmy was a faculty member at the USC Viterbi Ming Hsieh Department of Electrical Engineering, where he founded and directed the Wireless & Sensor Networks Lab. In 2002, he received the National Science Foundation CAREER Award for his research on resource discovery and mobility modeling in large-scale wireless networks. He is a Distinguished Scientist of the ACM and an IEEE Fellow.


ACM Fellow Juan E. Gilbert, Ph.D.Juan Gilbert, Ph.D.
HWCOE Doctoral Dissertation Mentoring Award

Juan E. Gilbert, Ph.D., the Banks Family Preeminence Endowed Professor and CISE chair, has been selected as a 2021-2022 Herbert Wertheim College of Engineering Doctoral Dissertation Advisor/Mentoring Awardee.

Dr. Gilbert leads the Human Experience Research Lab, which is focused on designing, building, and evaluating computational technologies as they relate to the human condition and reflecting on how these technologies affect society. Gilbert is a leader in mentoring and graduating Black Ph.D. students in computing. Since 2006, he has mentored and helped graduate numerous Black computer science Ph.D. recipients. Under his leadership, CISE has the largest number of Black computer science Ph.D. students in the nation, according to the American Society for Engineering Education.

He is an ACM Fellow, a Fellow of the American Association of the Advancement of Science (AAAS) and a Fellow of the National Academy of Inventors. In 2012, Dr. Gilbert received the Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Mathematics, and Engineering Mentoring from President Barack Obama.


Allison Logan
Marketing & Communications Specialist
Herbert Wertheim College of Engineering