Celebrating December 2023 Graduates

In December 2023, a total of 460 students graduated from the School of Computer, Data & Information Sciences (CDIS). Our newest alumni will make their mark in their respective fields, connecting technology and humanity and leading the next generation of technology leaders.

Our departments celebrated the following number of graduates:

Established in 2019 to meet the rising need for computer, data, and information science professionals, CDIS has witnessed exceptional growth. Surpassing 5,700 students, we have experienced a remarkable 60% increase since our inception in 2019.

Below, we meet a few of our newest alumni.

Dakota Dotson (BS ’23 Information Science)

Dakota Dotson earned his bachelor’s degree in Information Science, the rapidly growing major designed to meet increasing demand for students seeking career paths at the intersection of technology and human values. Dotson, who completed an IT Solutions internship at Schneider this past summer, is actively interviewing for roles in software and data.


Rachael Lang (BS ’23 Computer Sciences, Data Science Certificate)

With a major in Computer Sciences and certificates in Data Science and Chicano and Latino Studies, Rachael Lang is particularly interested in the human side of computing. Data, she says, is a common language. Soon Lang will return to campus for the Plus One Pathway in Computer Sciences (POP) to earn a professional master’s degree. Until then, she’s gaining valuable hands-on experience at Intel as a software engineer intern.



Iffat Nafisa (MS ’23 Computer Sciences)

Her primary focus has been in edge computing, an emerging paradigm that keeps data and computation close to the user to save time and increase bandwidth. Now that her thesis and graduation are behind her, Nafisa will be joining IBM as a backend software engineer. She’s excited and ready to hit the ground running in a familiar place—Nafisa spent the last two summers interning with their software security and backend software engineering teams.



Harrison Phillis (MA ’23 Library & Information Studies)

While completing his degree, Phillis worked as a special collections assistant in the library at Augustana College in Rock Island. He completed his practicum at Davenport Public Library in Iowa and is now pursuing a career in public libraries outside his lifelong home of Rock Island.



Moniek Smink (BS ’23 Computer Sciences, Data Science)

A top-ranked research institution in America’s Dairyland, UW-Madison was the natural birthplace for ReadMyCow, a video-based cattle ear tag reading system Moniek Smink ‘23 developed for her senior thesis. Smink’s technology is innovative for its ability to identify and track the individual cow causing an alert. With this work, farmers will be able to provide targeted healthcare to the cows in need. Smink will present the paper, ‘Computer Vision on the Edge: Individual Cattle Identification in Real-time with ReadMyCow System,’ co-authored with Dorte Döpfer, Yong Jae Lee, and Haotian Liu,  at the IEEE/CVF Winter Conference on Applications of Computer Vision. Beyond that, she has a spring internship lined up in the Netherlands, a trip planned to visit potential ReadMyCow partners in the UK, and applications out to graduate programs in Europe and the US.



Congratulations to all CDIS winter graduates!