What is the Applied Computing Institute?

Since its inception, the GVSU Padnos College of Engineering and Computing (PCEC) has worked closely with industry partners to provide experiential learning within its degree programs. The School of Computing’s mandatory internship and industry sponsored capstone course have attracted participation from some of the largest technology companies in the U.S.A.  Similarly, the School of Engineering has one of the strongest mandatory undergraduate engineering cooperative education (co-op) programs in the nation.  At the graduate level, PCEC has introduced an Industry Sponsored Graduate Fellowship Program that has been instrumental in recruiting a number of talented full-time graduate students into its various graduate degree programs. These high-impact experiential learning opportunities are natural fit for reinforcing concepts, knowledge, and skills in an applied work setting, resulting in tangible benefits to the student, the employer, the faculty and GVSU.

Hosted by the GVSU School of Computing, the Applied Computing Institute is based upon well-established the school's competencies in computing, experiential learning, and industry collaboration with the aim of further enriching learning opportunities for GVSU students, while simultaneously providing key industry partners access to faculty and student expertise in computer science and related disciplines.

Our Team

Jonathan Engelsma Headshot

Jonathan Engelsma, Ph.D. - Director

Jonathan Engelsma is the founding director of GVSU’s Applied Computing Institute (ACI).  ACI provides applied computing services and collaboration opportunities in cybersecurity, apps, data science, health informatics, high-performance computing, and beyond to industry partners  In addition to his leadership of ACI, Jonathan serves as a professor of computer science in the GVSU School of Computing and Information Systems, where he teaches courses in distributed systems, mobile computing, and web development.   Prior to joining the faculty at GVSU, Jonathan spent almost two decades working in the tech industry and has numerous publications and patents in mobile computing-related areas. Jonathan earned his Ph.D. in Computer Science from Michigan State University in 1993.

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Associated Faculty

Robert Adams Headshot

Robert Adams, Ph.D. - Professor

Dr. Adams is a professor in the GVSU School of Computing and Information Systems, where he also serves as the program director of the Masters in Computer Information Systems graduate program. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Kentucky in 1999. His research focus includes the broad range of issues including computer science capstone pedagogy, and global software engineering. He is also interested in how computing can help other disciplines, being involved with projects in such diverse fields such as Latin and musicology.

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Professor Imtiaz Ahmed

Imtiaz Ahmad, Ph.D. - Assistant Professor

Dr. Ahmad is an assistant professor in the School of Computing. His research interests lie in the intersection of Usable Privacy & Security, Human-Computer Interaction, and Machine Learning. His research aims solving real world problems by developing technologies that follow human-centered design techniques. He completed his Ph.D. in Computer Science from Indiana University Bloomington.


Dr. DeBruine Headshot

Zach DeBruine, Ph.D. - Assistant Professor

Dr. Zachary DeBruine is an Assistant Professor of Computing at Grand Valley State University within the Applied Computing Institute. Dr. DeBruine is leading research in collaboration with academic and industry partners to develop high-performance machine learning algorithms to analyze big biological data.

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Hans Dulimarta Headshot

Hans Dulimarta, Ph.D. - Professor

Dr. Dulimarta is currently an associate professor at GVSU’s School of Computing and Information System.  His research interests are in computer graphics and mobile applications.  In recent years, Hans has served as a consultant on a number of industry-sponsored software development projects. He earned his PhD in Computer Science at Michigan State University, thanks to a scholarship provided by the Indonesian government. As a scholarship awardee, he was required to return and work for the Indonesian government after finishing his doctoral studies. After completing the employment requirement as a university professor in Indonesia, he decided to come back to return to USA and chose West Michigan as the home for his family.

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Andrew Kalafut Headshot

Andrew Kalafut, Ph.D. - Associate Professor

Dr. Kalafut’s teaching and research focuses on networking and security.  He completed his Ph.D. in computer science at Indiana University in 2010, where he focused on cyberfraud detection through infrastructure analysis.

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Rajvardhan Patil, Ph.D. - Assistant Professor

Rajvardhan Patil is currently an Assistant Professor in the School of Computing. His research areas include Natural Language Processing, Generative AI, and Applied Machine Learning.

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Rahat Ibn Rafiq Headshot

Rahat Ibn Rafiq, Ph.D. - Assistant Professor

Dr. Rafiq is currently an assistant professor in the School of Computing. His research interests mainly concentrate on social computing, data mining, cyber safety, ubiquitous computing, and distributed systems. Before joining GVSU, Rahat worked at ThoughtSpot, a startup based in Palo Alto, California, for 14 months. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Colorado Boulder, where he was one of the co-founding members of CUCyberSafety Lab. His Ph.D. dissertation is titled “Scalable and Timely Detection of Cyberbullying in Online Social Networks.”

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Grant Alphenaar

Grant Alphenaar - ACI Research

Grant Alphenaar is a research scientist at the ACI, focusing on machine learning projects and assisting with graduate student research and undergraduate capstone projects. He obtained a Master of Science in Applied Computer Science from Grand Valley State University in 2022, focusing on machine learning and cybersecurity. Prior to that, he worked in data science and applied social science research.

Allison Bazaire

Allison Bazaire - Office Coordinator

Allison is the Office Coordinator for ACI, the School of Computing Graduate Programs, and the Regional Math and Science Center. 


Headshot of Mentor in Residence Paul Doyle

Paul Doyle, MBA - ACI Mentor-in-Residence

Paul Doyle is a serial-entrepreneur and current mentor-in-residence at the ACI. Paul has extensive experience in, High Tech start-ups, banking & payments, social networks, social media, training, security, and records & information management. Paul is known for helping organizations with the increasingly regulatory environment. He is familiar with regulations such as GDPR, CCPA, NIST 800-171 CMMC, HIPAA, 21 CFR Part 11, Sarbanes-Oxley, TREAD Act, Graham-Leach-Bliley, etc.


Headshot of Roland Heusser - ACI Mentor

Roland Heusser - ACI Mentor

Roland Heusser is a full-stack software engineer, who also serves as a mentor to students at the ACI. He obtained a Master of Science degree in Computer Information Systems from Grand Valley State University in 2016. Throughout his career, Roland has gained extensive experience in technology transfer, working at organizations such as SRI International, and has recently been involved in improving developer productivity for mobile engineers at Twitter. He is passionate about UI/UX design, mobile application development, and DevOps.


Current Students

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Mustapha Botchway - Graduate Assistant

Mustapha is a full stack developer.  He is a  full-time graduate student working on his MS in Applied Computer Science. 

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Luis Gomez - Graduate Assistant

Luis is a full stack developer.  He is a  full-time graduate student working on his MS in Applied Computer Science. 

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Marcos Diaz Puerta - Graduate Assistant

Fullstack Developer

Usman Qureshi

Usman Tahir Qureshi - Graduate Assistant

Usman Tahir Qureshi is currently a Full-stack Developer and also engaged in research related to conversational AI and Machine Learning. He is currently pursuing a MS in Applied Computer Science at GVSU.

Astha Thapa

Astha Thapa - Graduate Assistant

Astha is a graduate student pursuing a master's degree in Applied Computer Science at GVSU. Before embarking on her current academic journey as a full-time graduate student at GVSU, she worked as a software engineer. Currently, she is engaged in research under the guidance of Dr. Patil, focusing on the implementation of AI in chatbots, as well as other AI-related projects.


Headshot of ACI Resident Skyler Ruiter

Skyler Ruiter - Undergraduate ACI Resident

Skyler is a junior undergraduate student studying Computer Science. He is currently the president of the CIS Computing Club, and loves to interact with other technology focused people from fellow students to professors. He currently is conducting research alongside Dr. DeBruine involving Non-negative matrix functions but is also interested in cloud computing, parallel processing, and full stack development.

Skyler can be found via the following methods:

LinkedIn   GitHub

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Seth Wolfgang - Undergraduate ACI Resident

Seth is a senior undergraduate student studying Computer Science. He is currently working with Dr. DeBruine to study new methods of compressing matrices for use in non-negative matrix functions. Seth loves to teach others about computer science and is interested in high performance computing, distributed systems, and system-level programming.

Former Students

Former Students

Image Name Designation Short Description Social Links
Headshot of Alvaro Ardila Ardila, Alvaro MS in ACS (2020) Developer at Facebook LinkedIn
Headshot of Nicolas Arias Arias, Nicolas MS in CS (2018) Developer at Aha! Github
Headshot of former ACI GA Isaac Beasley Beasley, Isaac MS Cybersecurity (2023) AppSec Engineer at Steelcase LinkedIn
Headshot of Evan Boardway former GA Boardway, Evan BS in CS (2022) Cyber Risk and Regulatory Associate at PwC LinkedIn
Headshot of former ACI GA Griffin Going Going, Griffin MS Applied CS (2023) Biometric Engineer at ROC.ai LinkedIn
Portrait of Andrea Gonzales Gonzales, Andrea MS in ACS (2023) Developer at Monitoreo Inteligente LinkedIn
portrait of meghan harris Harris, Meghan BS in CS (2023) Software Developer at Atomic Object LinkedIn
Headshot of George (JiYí) Hoffmann fromer ACI graduate assistant Hoffmann, George (Jiri) MS in CIS (2022) Developer at Expedition Co. LinkedIn
Headshot of Nathan Hull Hull, Nathan MS in CS (2019) Developer at Amazon LinkedIn
Headshot Esteban Jaramillo, former ACI graduate assistant Jaramillo, Esteban Echeverri MS in ACS (2022) Pursuing PhD at Michigan State Univeristy LinkedIn
Mano, Vishnu Mano, Vishnu Undergraduate ACI Resident Georgia Institute of Technology LinkedIn
Headshot of Santiago Quiroga Quiroga, Santiago BS in CS (2019) Developer at VMware LinkedIn
Headshot of Isaac Rai former ACI GA Rai, Isaac MS DSA (2022) Analytics Engineer at Dematic LinkedIn
Headshot of Jemima Turnbull Turnbull, Jemima BS in CS (2020) Developer at HarperCollins Christian Publishing LinkedIn

Page last modified May 15, 2024