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Press Release for Friday, September 21, 2018

UNF Students Awarded International Computing Honor Society Scholarships

Media Contact: Amanda Dawson, PR Specialist

Department of Public Relations

(904) 620-2192


Upsilon Pi Epsilon, the international honor society for the computing and information disciplines, awarded two scholarships for academic excellence in the field of computing totaling $1,500 to students in the School of Computing at the University of North Florida.


Graduate student Ahmed Moussa, a southside resident, was awarded the UPE Scholarship Award for $1,000, while senior Thorn Ellis Prescott, a Jacksonville Beach resident, was awarded a $500 honorable mention.


“Ahmed and Thorn were selected for these competitive and prestigious awards based on their outstanding student performance,” said Dr. Sanjay Ahuja, UNF computing professor and UPE Faculty Advisor. “Receiving these international awards affirms the quality and strength of the programs as well as faculty in UNF’s School of Computing and shows that we are preparing our students for successful careers.”


Moussa, who holds a perfect 4.0 GPA, is earning his master’s degree in computer science and currently working to finish his thesis on preferences and recommender systems in machine learning to model people preferences. He excels at problem-solving, mathematics and computer programming. As an undergraduate at The American University in Cairo, he was an active Association for Computing Machinery member and participated in multiple ACM competitions.


His passion for developing innovative software solutions led him to be the sole inventor and recipient of a patent for an enhancement for an enterprise medical software to allow it to automatically infer patient gender and translate names to a second language, which helps reduce patient waiting time and resolve and reduce duplicate medical records. He has also developed a novel search engine, allowing users to search inside spoken contents of videos.


Prescott is studying in the School of Computing as well as Hick’s Honors College and is majoring in computer science with a 3.9 GPA. He’s an active member in his on-campus Living-Learning Community group called LEAD (Leadership, Enrichment, Achievement, Development), most recently serving as the president of its Leadership Council. For two summers, he interned at Black Knight Financial Services, where he worked with open source technology as well as understanding new and upcoming trends in software development.


Each year, the Executive Council of Upsilon Pi Epsilon evaluates numerous scholarship applications from undergraduate and graduate students. All applicants are required to complete a comprehensive application, including a statement on their long-term plans in the profession, a summary of their contributions to their respective UPE chapters and related student activities at their college or university as well as a faculty recommendation.


UNF’s School of Computing is dedicated to the promotion of an academically exciting and progressive intellectual climate, characterized by a superior program of instruction, peer-recognized scholarship, effective support services and productive professional community involvement.


UNF, a nationally ranked university located on an environmentally beautiful campus, offers students who are dedicated to enriching the lives of others the opportunity to build their own futures through a well-rounded education.