The Department of Computer Science Commemorates Accomplishments of the Class of 2023

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The University of Maryland’s Department of Computer Science recently held a graduation commencement ceremony that celebrated the success and achievements of its outstanding student body. This year the department handed out degrees to its undergraduate and graduate students in programs that include cybersecurity, data science, machine learning and quantum information.

With such a complex mix of contemporary fields, it shouldn’t be a surprise that the University of Maryland is ranked among the top schools in the nation in computer science. In addition, the students were among the best in the nation and exemplars of excellence, inspiring their fellow graduates and setting a high standard for future classes.

In a joyful celebration of these achievements, the Department of Computer Science held a morning brunch ceremony on May 23 to honor the graduating class of 2023. The elegant event brought together faculty, staff, family, and friends to recognize the hard work and dedication of the graduating students.

Held on the innovative first floor of the Brendan Iribe Center, the ceremony commenced with a breakfast reception, where attendees mingled and shared stories of their college experiences. As the guests proceeded to the social area, they were greeted by an impressive display of decorations adorned with the university's colors and emblems. The ambiance exuded an air of accomplishment and pride, reflecting the spirit of the graduating class.

The Department Chair Matthias Zwicker, who holds the Elizabeth Iribe Chair for Innovation and the Phillip H. and Catherine C. Horvitz Professorship, shared his thoughts on the ceremony and what the year meant to him. He congratulated the graduates and emphasized the significance of their accomplishments. He commended the students' perseverance and highlighted the transformative power of UMD’s immersive education and how it will shape their future.  

“We couldn't be more proud of our student's achievements," said Zwicker. "We will always strive to create even better opportunities for them to engage with us in research projects and experiential learning, and to support them in getting a foothold in the labor market."  

Zwicker also expressed that the core objective is to support the faculty as much as possible to fulfill the department's mission and assist them in being the leader of each new phenomenon. He says this will ultimately trickle down to the most critical sector of the department - the students.

“We want to be at the very forefront of the critical topics of computer science and its role in society,” shared Zwicker. “We will continue to press forward and work on Artificial Intelligence, quantum computing, cyber security and many other areas where computer science will be contributing fundamentally new ideas and technologies that will have a huge impact on our lives.”

The lively atmosphere was filled with laughter, nostalgia and closure, marking the graduation festivities' conclusion. As his educational journey ends, Rithik Sebastian, who received his bachelor’s in computer science, says his graduation ceremony is a bittersweet moment. 

“I loved my time here because I met some of the best people I have ever known,” shared Sebastian. “I met exceptional classmates who became friends and numerous inspirational instructors through my classes here. It's sad to say goodbye to most of those people. I am sitting here in all my regalia, and I am grateful for having the opportunity to be here for these four years.”

Moving forward Sebastian believes the knowledge and skills he acquired from his time at the Department of Computer Science will be an invaluable asset to his future endeavors.

“The critical thinking skills that are instilled in you with all of the courses of the department are immense,” said Sebastian. “It happened over the course of so many years that I didn’t even notice it, but when I compare how I confront problems now versus how I did it four years ago, I realize that there are so many things that I have learned that allows me to tackle issues and problems in a better way. Such traits are precious to me, and I will use them for the rest of my life.”

As the ceremony drew to a close, the atmosphere brimmed with a mix of emotions—pride, longing and anticipation for the future. The ceremony served as a bridge between the academic accomplishments of the graduating class and their transition into the professional world. It symbolized a new chapter in their lives and the beginning of a lifelong connection with their alma mater.

When concluding his remarks, Zwicker shared that students should always strive for something more significant and use the tools they gained from their time at UMD to unlock and take charge of the prospects that will arise. 

“I hope that the students feel that they received the basis that allows them to learn new things as they start working for companies, doing research or continuing their education,” he expressed.  “I hope that they feel confident to continue growing and I would like to encourage them to work hard and take chances, which is incredibly important to explore the endless opportunities that are out there. 

The ceremony provided a poignant opportunity for the university community to unite and honor the graduating class of 2023. It embodied the transformative power of education and the collective efforts of students, faculty and staff. As the graduates embark on their individual journeys, they carry with them the memories of this celebratory evening—a testament to their hard work, dedication and the unwavering support of UMD. 

—Story by Samuel Malede Zewdu, CS Communications 

The Department welcomes comments, suggestions and corrections.  Send email to editor [-at-] cs [dot] umd [dot] edu.