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Computer Science Graduate Joins NASCAR Firm

May 24, 2011

donourDonour Sizemore will put the pedal the metal next week when he combines his passion for sports car racing with his technical expertise in computer science and start work at Michael Waltrip Racing, a professional racing team focused on the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. Sizemore received a Ph.D. in computer science from UNM on May 14. (In photo at left, Sizemore competes at the Sports Car Club of America championship.)

Sizemore will be in the pit at the track, managing computer systems, data acquisition, and performance analysis. “The race track is a very harsh environment,” says Sizemore. “It’s a bowl with 200,000 people who have cell phones that create lots of interference. Part of my job will involve reducing the effects of that noise and analyzing car and driver performance data.” 
While at UNM, Sizemore was a technical advisor and driving instructor for the UNM Formula SAE team, a three-semester class where students design, build, test, and race a formula race car and get hands-on experience in manufacturing and materials.

Seven years ago, Sizemore started racing cars as an amateur.  Since then he has won multiple regional and divisional Sports Car Club of America (SCCA) championships in New Mexico. He met a lot of people who shared his passion for cars, speed, and the joy of racing in Albuquerque’s vibrant racing community.  He became a driving instructor for SCCA and the Southwest Motorsports Club. He also created and led automotive engineering projects for SCCA and UNM.

Award Winner in the UNM CS Department

“Donour is a truly outstanding student with whom it has been a real joy to work, and a real asset to the department as well,” says Bridges. “His research is on a truly novel, innovative approach to building computer networking software for modern architectures, and his work as an officer in the CS Grad Student Association (CSDSA) and in helping to organize the annual CS grad student research conference has been a real service to the department and his fellow students.”

Sizemore’s B.S. is in Mathematics from the University of Chicago, and he would have been welcomed at any university.   “I chose UNM because of the department’s expertise in computer systems research. Very few places do this type of work, and I’ve learned a lot about networking and communications from Professor Bridges.”   Which is a good thing because his skills are about to be tested in a 200 mph environment.