Brown CS News

Archives 2006

Evolution, Software, and Microinversions

Biologists will be able to reconstruct the process of evolution, determine relationships between species and build phylogenetic trees with greater accuracy thanks to a new method for identifying “microinversions,” which are extremely short strings of inverted nucleotides. This new work from researchers at UC San Diego and Brown University appeared in the online edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS).

"Three years ago, we didn't know microinversions existed," explained Pavel Pevzner, the senior author on the paper, a computer science and engineering professor at UCSD's Jacobs School of Engineering, and director of ...

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Roberto Tamassia Receives IEEE-Computer Society's Technical Achievement Award

Professor Roberto Tamassia has been named the 2006 Technical Achievement Award winner by IEEE’s Computer Society for his pioneering research in the field of graph drawing and for outstanding contributions to the design of graph and geometric algorithms.

The Technical Achievement Award is presented for outstanding and innovative contributions to the fields of computer and information science, engineering, or computer technology within the past ten to fifteen years.

A list of previous award winners can be located at Congratulations Roberto!

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Ph.D. Candidate Danfeng Yao Receives Best Student Paper Award at ICICS

Ph.D. candidate Danfeng Yao received the Best Student Paper Award at the Eighth International Conference on Information and Communications Security (ICICS '06) for her paper titled, "Point-Based Trust: Define How Much Privacy Is Worth." The work was in collaboration with her advisor Roberto Tamassia, Keith Frikken at Miami University, and Mikhail Atallah at Purdue University. The authors were also given a cash prize for their contributions. The paper was presented as the first talk on the second day of the conference.

The paper by Danfeng and her colleagues addresses the privacy protection problem on the web and ...

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Sea Urchin Genome Is a Biology Boon and a Computational Feat

After identifying 23,300 genes made from 814 million letters of DNA code taken from Strongylocentrotus purpuratus, the California purple urchin, an international science team has found that humans share 7,077 genes with urchins. Results from the sequencing project are published in a special six-article section of Science.

Sorin Istrail, professor of computer science and director of the University’s Center for Computational Molecular Biology, served as a member of the sea urchin sequencing team. A former research director at Celera Genomics, the private company that sequenced the human genome, Istrail was one of eight scientists in the urchin ...

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Herlihy Awarded Microsoft Gift for Research in Software Transactional Memory

Professor Maurice Herlihy was awarded a $75,000 Microsoft gift for research in Software Transactional Memory. Herlihy will use the gift to continue development of SXM, a C# software transactional memory package he developed while on sabbatical at Microsoft Research Cambridge. Transactional memory is an alternative computational model in which threads synchronize by optimistic transactions, which promise to alleviate many of the problems associated with locking. SXM currently supports atomic object factories that allow users their own run-time synchronization mechanisms. Herlihy plans to revisit this design to make it more accessible (users will define new factories in C# instead of ...

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Daniel Leventhal and Leo Meyerovich Receive Honorable Mentions in CRA's 2007 Outstanding Undergraduate Awards

Undergraduate students Daniel Leventhal and Leo Meyerovich have received Honorable Mention awards from the Computing Research Association (CRA). CRA's Outstanding Undergraduate Awards program recognizes undergraduate students who show outstanding research potential in an area of computing research. The award committee looks for demonstrated excellence of computing research ability and also considers the student’s academic record and service to the community. The awards, supported by Microsoft Research and Mitsubishi Electric Research Labs (MERL), are presented at one of the major computing research conferences sponsored by CRA, ACM, the IEEE Computer Society, SIAM, AAAI, or USENIX. For every year since ...

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Eli Upfal Receives Yahoo! Research Alliance Gift

Professor Eli Upfal and Michael Mitzenmacher, professor of computer science at Harvard, have been awarded a $100,000 Yahoo! Research Alliance gift for their research in “Algorithms and Modeling for Large-Scale Web Applications.”

The funding will assist in the development of a theoretically well-founded framework for the design and analysis of algorithms for large-scale Web-related applications including: efficient sampling and analysis for content matching; and modeling and analyzing the dynamic structure of Internet-based social networks and communication within these networks.

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Krishnamurthi's Flapjax Receives Press in eWeek, InfoWorld

Associate Professor Shriram Krishnamurthi and his team of developers have created a new programming language for developing Web applications. Known as Flapjax, the technology was released under the BSD open-source license this week. Designed as an AJAX (Asynchronous JavaScript and XML) offshoot, Flapjax runs on traditional Web browsers and requires no plug-ins or additional downloads.

Krishnamurthi hopes that Flapjax's key attributes will appeal to developers: It is event-driven and reactive; its template system reduces unnecessary code; it enables sharing of data and provides a persistent store that automatically updates all clients sharing data; it implements access control to channel ...

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Excursions in Algorithmics: A Late Festschrift for Franco P. Preparata

"Excursions in Algorithmics: A Late Festschrift for Franco P. Preparata" aka FrancoFest, is a two-day workshop to honor and celebrate the career of Franco P. Preparata on the occasion of his 70th birthday (which was in December 2005). The event will be held October 27-28, 2006 on the Brown campus. Please visit FrancoFest for details.

All the members of the Brown computer science community are invited to attend the technical presentations (CIT 368) on each of the two days and the reception at 5:30pm on October 27 (CIT, third-floor atrium). An open-door policy will be in effect ...

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Philip Klein Awarded NSF Theoretical Foundations Research Grant

Philip Klein has been awarded a $300,000 grant from the National Science Foundation. The funding will support Klein's research on algorithms for solving optimization problems on planar graphs - graphs that can be drawn on the plane with no crossings. Such graphs are necessary in image processing and road map logistics.

Possible uses for planar graphs research are illustrated by the following scenario - imagine a truck driver who must develop the shortest possible route to supply vending machines at numerous locations. This scenario is a version of the infamous Traveling Salesman Problem; and finding the shortest route that visits ...

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