Board Members

Board President:

Aaron Liao


Position: Head of Worldwide Developer Marketing, Amazon Web Services
City of Residence: Newport Beach, CA
Education: BS Computer Engineering, UC San Diego 2005

Aaron Liao received his Bachelor of Science in Computer Engineering from UCSD and went to Microsoft shortly afterwards, where he spent 6 years working across various product and business units. Prior to that, Aaron’s experience included teaching summer session computer science at UC Berkeley and serving as an intelligence officer for the US government. He has also worked at a number of smaller startup companies including BitTorrent, IndoorAtlas, and Connectifier (acquired by LinkedIn in 2016). Most recently, Aaron was Director of Developer Evangelism at DocuSign through it’s IPO in 2018 (NASDAQ: DOCU). Outside of work, Aaron is a competitive marksman and enjoys tinkering with cars and technology.

General Members:

Justin Allen

Justin Allen.jpg

Position: Senior Field Engineer, Stirmm Inc.
City of Residence: San Diego, CA
Education: BS Computer Science, UC San Diego 2010

Justin received his bachelors of Computer Science from UC San Diego in 2010 and is now forging ahead in the world of technology startups by joining an early stage Silicon Valley startup in 2014 called Striim. Justin is shaping Striim’s future and the Big Data landscape by creating opportunities within the emerging Streaming Real-Time Analytics market, leading execution on technical projects, defining the architecture for next generation streaming platforms, managing acquisition of Fortune 500 customers, and forming strategic Technology Partners in the Big Data and Cloud infrastructure space.
Prior to joining Striim, Justin was a Software Engineer at Teradata Labs for 5 years in critical enterprises products, developing code on infrastructure level server software, web applications, and security features of these products in Java, C/C++, Java Script, and SQL. Justin was also the leader in creating Teradata’s University Coding Competition, which he inaugurated at UCSD in 2013 and expanded in 2014 to UCSD and Stanford.

Outside of startup life, Justin contributes to the development of the San Diego startup culture, spending time with his wife of 4 years – Jennifer and french bulldog Piper. He also loves outdoor activities like hiking, camping, and scuba diving.

Erik Buchanan


Position: Manager of Software Engineering, LinkedIn (VP Engineering, Connectifier acquired by LinkedIn)
City of Residence: Sunnyvale, CA
Education: BS & MS Computer Science, UC San Diego

Erik Buchanan received his Bachelor of Science in Computer Science from UC San Diego in 2007, and continued at UCSD in the 5-Year Masters program. He specialized in security research in the Systems and Networking group of the Computer Science and Engineering Department. Erik has worked at tech companies including Google, Microsoft, Intuit, and Websense.  He built the engineering team at a recruiting startup company called Connectifier, which was acquired by LinkedIn in 2016.

Neha Chachra

Neha Chachra

Position: Research Scientist, Facebook
City of Residence: Redwood City, CA
Education: MS and PhD Computer Science, UC San Diego; BS Computer Science from Nanyang Technological University, Singapore

Neha received her doctorate from the Systems and Networking security group in 2015. During her time as a grad student, she was involved with many CSE organizations including the CSE Graduate Student Association and the Graduate Women in Computing group. After leaving UCSD, she has been working on protecting Facebook users from spam and malware. Her interests include hiking, camping, dancing, painting, traveling, meeting people, and coffee.

Alvin Chen

Alvin Chen

Position:Data Scientist II, Microsoft Research
City of Residence: Seattle, WA
Education: BS Computer Engineering, UC San Diego 2013

Upon receiving his Bachelor of Science in Computer Science from UCSD in 2013, Alvin joined Microsoft to work on Excel as a software engineer. After shipping the first version of Excel Universal App on Android, iOS, and Windows, Alvin transferred to Microsoft Research as the youngest research engineer and worked under the Applied Artificial Intelligence group. In the beginning of 2016, Alvin switched roles to become a data scientist and focused his effort on building Microsoft Academic Graph, the data source for Cortana Scholar and Academic Search. Outside of work, Alvin is a competitive basketball player and snowboarder.

Nik Devereaux


Position: Engineering Program Manager, ViaSat
City of Residence: San Diego, CA
Education: BS Computer Science and Master of Advanced Study, Architecture-based Enterprise Systems Engineering, UC San Diego

Nik Devereaux is an engineering manager for ViaSat in Carlsbad, CA. He spent about 9 years as a software engineer before moving into a role working on strategic engineering initiatives. He is very involved with university recruiting and ViaSat's summer intern program, and enjoys opportunities to meet and talk with UCSD students throughout the school year.

Anu DiCarlo (Mupparthi)

Anu Mupparthi

Position: Photos Team on Google+, Google
City of Residence: Sunnyvale, CA
Education: MS Computer Science, UC San Diego 2011; BS Computer Science, UC San Diego 2008

Upon completion of her Bachelor of Science and Master of Science in Computer Science from the University of California, San Diego in December 2008 and August 2011 respectively, Anu joined Google to work on its social team, Google+. Currently, Anu is an engineer on the Photos team for Google+ at Google. She is passionate about UX and UI in Google's photos sphere. When she is not an engineer, she is a mother of two incredible children, ages 10 and 7. She enjoys spending time with them, and taking their pictures. On the rare occasion that she finds a little time for herself, she enjoys reading and dancing.

Lindsey Fowler (DeSalvo)

Lindsey Fowler

Founding CSE Alumni Board President

Position: Software Development Manager, Amazon
City of Residence: Seattle, WA
Education: BS Computer Science, UC San Diego 2005

Lindsey started at Amazon in 2005 Software Development Engineer the week after graduating UCSD. At Amazon she found her true passion: building highly scalable services and new experiences for customers.  She has worked  in three different positions in four teams, including personalization and Amazon Prime.  Lindsey now manages an organization within the Sports, Toys, and Outdoors category, and has both business and technical responsibilities.  Her team is building a new platform to help Amazon compete with niche retailers in these categories, along with helping customers break into new markets of online shopping.

Alex Gantman

Position: Vice President of Engineering for Qualcomm Technologies Inc.
City of Residence: Solana Beach, CA
Education: BS Computer Science, UC San Diego 1998, and MS in Computer Science UC San Diego 2001

Alex joined Qualcomm in 1996 as a software engineer. After he received his Master’s degree specializing in Cryptography and Network Security in 2001, Alex transitioned to a product security role where he focused on architectural risk assessments, secure system design, and secure protocol analysis and design. Today, Alex Gantman serves as Vice President of Engineering for Qualcomm Technologies Inc. He is responsible for leading the Qualcomm Product Security Initiative (QPSI), and was one of the founding members of QPSI in 2006. Alex's technical expertise spans a wide domain of computer security, including silicon-level hardware security, web application and protocol security. In his current role, he oversees product security support across all business units and market segments, including Mobile Computing, Networking, Automotive, Healthcare, Smart Home, Wearables, and Internet of Things.

Leilani Gilpin

Leilani Gilpin

Position: PhD Student
City of Residence: Cambridge, MA (Boston area)
Education: MS Computational Mathematics, Stanford University 2013; BS Computer Science, BS Mathematics UC San Diego 2011

Leilani is currently a PhD student at MIT in the Decentralized Information Group, working on algorithms for cybersecurity and de-identification of data. Before returning to academia, she was a research engineer at Palo Alto Research Center (PARC), where she worked on network analysis and anomaly detection in healthcare. After graduating with her BS in computer science and mathematics, Leilani continued onto Stanford University and received a MS in Computational Mathematics. While at Stanford, she worked in the Computational Geometry group developing mapping algorithms for 3D brain models. Outside of school, she enjoys swimming, traveling, hiking, playing piano, and Polynesian dance.

Taner Halicioglu

Taner Halicioglu

Position: Lecturer, UC San Diego; Founding partner, Seed San Diego; Founder, Keshif Ventures
City of Residence: San Diego, CA
Education: BS Computer Science, UC San Diego 1996

After graduating UCSD, Taner moved back to the Bay Area and was an early-hire at a web hosting start-up (called "Internet Systems, Inc", at the time) doing system and network administration, as well as tools engineering. Following ISI, he was an early-hire at another startup, Loudcloud and is now part of HP. In 2002, he started work at eBay, concentrating on monitoring and tools. In October 2004, he decided to leave eBay for an unknown startup called "TheFacebook" - which at the time appeared to be "just another social network, but only for college students". In December 2009, he left the Bay Area (and Facebook) to move down to Orange County to work for Blizzard Entertainment (the game company) as the Lead Reliability Engineer for the new-and-improved service. In December of 2011, he left Blizzard and moved to San Diego in 2012.  Since early 2013, he has been lecturing in the CSE department at UCSD.  He also is an active angel investor and advisor to startups, through Seed San Diego and Keshif Ventures.

Kylie Taitiano


Position: Software Engineer, Intuit ProConnect Group
City of Residence: San Diego, CA
Education: BS Computer Science, UC San Diego 2014

Kylie received her Bachelor of Science in Computer Science from UC San Diego in 2014. During her time as a student, she tutored for a multitude of classes taught by Gary Gillespie, and served on the inaugural board of Women in Computing, devoting her senior year as the 2013-2014 President. Kylie currently works for Intuit as a Software Engineer in the ProConnect Group. An advocate for women in tech, Kylie is a member of the Tech Women of Intuit core team. Her primary role is to drive the partnership with Girl Scouts San Diego, creating opportunities for girls to explore coding, technology, and entrepreneurship. As a result of her work, Kylie has introduced the world of technology to hundreds of Girl Scouts through programs such as the You Can Be in Tech day conference, Hour of Code, and the Technovation Challenge. Outside of tech, she enjoys traveling and Tahitian dance.

Past Members:

Garo Bournoutian

Position: Senior Software Engineer, YouTube Core Infrastructure, Google
City of Residence: Bay Area
Education: PhD Computer Engineering, UC San Diego 2014; MS Computer Engineering, UC San Diego 2007; BS Computer Engineering, UC San Diego 2005; BS Cognitive Neuroscience, UC San Diego 2005

Garo Bournoutian received his Bachelor of Science in Computer Engineering from UC San Diego in 2005, and continued at UCSD in the PhD program where he specialized in computer architecture and mobile smartphone processor design. During his time at UCSD, Garo worked at Scripps Institute of Oceanography developing embedded underwater robotics software, and at Qualcomm architecting custom processor models. After graduating, he continued working at Qualcomm and additionally was a lecturer in the UCSD CSE department, teaching the compilers course. After working over 9 years at Qualcomm in a mainly hardware domain, he decided to shift gears and move to the Bay Area to work as a software engineer at YouTube in the core infrastructure team. Outside of work, he enjoys hiking, coding, reading, and recreational flying.

Taurin Tan-atichat

Position: Software Engineer, Google
City of Residence: New York, NY
Education: MS Computer Science, UC San Diego 2008; BS Computer Engineering, UC San Diego 2006

Taurin Tan-atichat joined Google as a software engineer in 2008 at their Mountain View, CA headquarters. After 3 years of working on their Platforms team, which designs Google’s energy efficient data centers, he transitioned to New York for a role in Site Reliability Engineering. His responsibilities now include scaling highly consistent distributed systems that are the skeleton of the vast majority of Google's services. While an undergraduate at UCSD, Taurin was involved with Teams in Engineering Service (TIES) from its inaugural Fall 2004 quarter. He worked on a team that produced a custom-made digital log system for use at a senior home center, complete with wireless touchscreen devices mounted on nursing carts. As a graduate student, Taurin’s research focused on improving the usability and performance of thin-client computing over wide-area networks. He also enjoyed the teaching aspect of academia, serving as a CSE undergraduate tutor for several quarters and as a TA for upper-division courses.

Chris Schulte

Position: Senior Tech Advisor, Kapor Center for Social Impact
City of Residence: San diego, CA
Education: MS Computer Science, UC San Diego 2005

Jennifer Argüello

Position: Senior Tech Advisor, Kapor Center for Social Impact
City of Residence: Oakland, CA
Education: BS Computer Science, UC San Diego 2000

Jennifer Argüello, a Silicon Valley native and dual citizen of Costa Rica and the United States, is a speaker and thought leader on women in technology and Latinos in STEM. She has over a decade of experience in technology companies creating products from mobile apps to the first Xbox Kinect device. Jennifer is not only active on the alumni advisory board but also in Latinas in Computing, an affinity group for the Anita Borg Institute; and the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers. Jennifer has won much industry recognition, recently being named a 2013 Silicon Valley Latino 40 under 40 Latinos2Watch in Science and Technology, 2011 Femmeonomics Top 50 Women to Watch in Tech; and 2010 National Association of Professional Women: Professional Woman of the Year.  Currently she is the resident geek at the Kapor Center for Social Impact, The Kapor Center is relentlessly pursuing creative strategies to leverage tech for positive, progressive change, especially for underrepresented communities, focusing on gap-closing endeavors. She is also a computer science instructor in the summer for the Level Playing Field Institute's SMASH Academy at Stanford University. In her free time you can find Jennifer out in nature or on a sports field. Follow Jennifer at @engijen on Twitter.

Eric Tune

Position: Staff Software Engineer, Google
City of Residence: Saratoga, CA
Education: PhD Computer Science, UC San Diego 2004, BS Computer Engineering, UC San Diego 1996

After receiving his BS from UC San Diego in 1996, Eric worked at NIS in San Diego on machine vision applications. He then returned to UC San Diego in 1998 as an MS student, hoping to pursue a long-time interest in computer architecture. A great experience as a Research Assistant in the Computer Architecture Lab convinced him to stay for a PhD, with a focus on computer architecture. After receiving his PhD in 2004, Eric took a leap of faith and joined Google, with little idea what he would be working on. He is now a Tech Lead on Google's cluster scheduling system, where his interest in computer architecture is put to good use. He lives with his wife in Saratoga, California. He enjoys surfing and woodworking in his spare time.

David Zhang

Position: Software Development Engineer in Test, Microsoft (Windows Azure)
City of Residence: Seattle, WA
Education: BS Computer Science, UC San Diego 2008

After graduating from UCSD, David accepted a position with Microsoft as a Software Engineer in Test in the Identity and Security Division. After contributing and leading the testing efforts for several projects, he moved to the Cloud Networking Team in Windows Azure to pursue his passions in networking and virtualization. Outside of work, he participates in a competitive skydiving team, enjoys paragliding & skiing, and works on finding the perfect cup of coffee.

Khawja Shams

Position: Software Engineer at NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory 

City of Residence: Pasadena, CA
Graduation Year: BS Computer Science, UC San Diego 2006; MS Cornell University; PhD, Robotics, University of Southern California

Khawaja Shams is a Software Engineer at NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, where he leads the development of server side applications for Mars Science Laboratory’s Activity Planning and Sequencing Subsystem. He serves on the CIO Technology Advisory Board at JPL, and he is also a co-chair of Cloud Computing Working Group at JPL. Khawaja is on the NIST board to define an architecture for cloud computing for the federal government. He is leading numerous cloud computing efforts across NASA. Khawaja is an prolific speaker, and he gives dozens of highly rated and attended talks each year. Khawaja works with multiple NASA centers as well as numerous federal agencies. Prior to joining JPL, Khawaja worked at Nokia Mobile Phones in the Internet Protocol team and Malin Space Science Systems. Khawaja earned a B.S. in Computer Science from UCSD, a Masters from Cornell University, and he is currently pursuing a PhD in robotics at University of Southern California under Dr. Maja Mataric. Khawaja’s research interests include robotics, distributed systems, cyber security, and immersive visualization.

Tiffany Liu

Position: Engineer SPAWAR
City of Residence: San Diego, CA
Education: BS Computer Science, UC San Diego 2007

After graduating from UCSD, Tiffany joined the SPAWAR System Center New Professionals program, a two year professional development program for scientist and engineers, in San Diego. During the program, she toured with a user design group and a data strategy group, taking a permanent assignment as a SOA software engineer with the data strategy group. She is also the New Professionals Steering Committee member, New Professionals Web Chairperson and a SPAWAR recruiter. Outside of work, she is working on running a full marathon, having already finished two half marathons. She also does yoga, bhangra and ceramics. She loves trying new activities with an open mind and heart!

Nilofer Motiwala

Position: Software Engineer, Google (Video/YouTube)
City of Residence: San Francisco
Education: MS Computer Science, Univ. of Wisconsin, Madison 2002; BS Computer Science, UC San Diego 2000

Nilofer joined UCSD's Eleanor Roosevelt College as an International student in the major in Third World Studies. After taking CSE 9A,B & 12, she decided to switch her major to Computer Science. She went on to get her Masters at University of Wisconsin, Madison and enjoyed research in Kernel optimizations and Database Systems. She has held positions with Siebel, Qualcomm and is currently at Google. In her current project with the Video team, she is leading the frontend team; driving decisions in technology, design and implementation.

Nilofer lives in San Francisco and in her spare time enjoys writing restaurant reviews (after she is done with reading email :)

Michele Strout

Position: Assistant Professor, Colorado State University
City of Residence: Boulder, CO
Education: PhD Computer Science UC San Diego 2003; MS Computer Science UC San Diego 1999; BS Computer Science UC San Diego 1997

Michelle has been an assistant professor in the computer science department at Colorado State University since August 2005. From August 2003 through June 2003, she was an Enrico Fermi Postdoctoral Scholar at Argonne National Laboratory and a Research Associate at the University of Chicago. Her main research area is high performance computing and her research interests include compilers and run-time systems, scientific computing, and software engineering.

In 2008, Michelle received a CAREER Award from the National Science Foundation for her research in parallelization techniques for irregular applications, such as molecular dynamics simulations. In 2010, she received a DOE Early Career award to fund her research in separating the specification of scientific computing applications from the specification of implementation details such as how to parallelize such computations. Michelle lives with her husband and two boys ages 5 and 9 in beautiful Fort Collins, Colorado. She enjoys her main "hobbies" who are two boys ages 5 and 9. =)

Haytham Allos

Position: Software Architect, Independent Consultant
City of Residence: San Diego
Education: MS Rady School, UC San Diego 2006; BS Computer Science, UC San Diego 1996

Haytham is a visionary and experienced executive with deep knowledge in the enterprise software application development and architecture. He has over 15 years of business and technology experience. He is highly regarded as a key resource, critical thinker and out-of-the-box problem solver by senior executive customers. Haytham has successfully partnered with many global customers such as Pfizer Inc., Sony, Hewlett-Packard Company, General Motors Corporation and various government agencies. Working closely with customers, he led many strategic transformations of technology and business management while keeping a financial management mindset. Haytham is known for his ability to create and articulate corporate vision while working closely with cross-functional teams to embrace it.

Deborah Vieira

Position: Software Consultant
City of Residence: Bay Area
Education: BS Computer Science, UC San Diego

Deborah consults with companies in technology strategy, both for consumer products and enterprise solutions. After working as a software engineer for a few years, she transitioned into a consulting role for consumer and enterprise product companies in Australia and the Philippines, in both product development and operations roles. After returning to the US, she consulted domestically with F500 companies on product design and user experience, liaising between business and technology groups. Most recently, she built and managed the technology team for frog design in San Francisco, and consulted with clients on technology decisions.

Matt Shea

Matt Shea has been with WildTangent since April 2002 and is responsible for the company’s technology and product development. Shea is the co-creator of WildTangent’s WildCoins digital currency and the WildTangent ORB game console. Prior to WildTangent, he was the games group engineering manager at InfoSpace, Inc., leading development across various platforms and devices. Prior to InfoSpace, Shea held the position of engineering director for games at Go2Net, Inc., overseeing large-scale online game sites including PlaySite, Lycos Games, and Hasbro’s He got his start in the games industry at Sony Interactive Studios, working on 3D graphics and massively multiplayer games while earning a BS degree in computer science from the University of California at San Diego.