Brown CS News

Archives 2009

PhD program in Computational Molecular Biology

The Center for Computational Molecular Biology and the Department of Computer Science are delighted to announce the new PhD program in Computational Molecular Biology. Applications for admission into this program are being accepted now. Current courses supporting the degree are in Computer Science, Applied Mathematics, Mathematics, Biological Sciences, and Chemistry.

The Center for Computational Molecular Biology (CCMB) at Brown is a world-class center for research and scholarship in this new discipline. CCMB’s central mission is to make breakthrough discoveries in the life sciences at the molecular and cellular level through the creative application of existing data-analytic methods, and to ...

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Ugur Cetintemel and Stan Zdonik Awarded NSF Grant for Automatic Database Design

The National Science Foundation awarded a research grant to Ugur Cetintemel and Stan Zdonik, in the anticipated amount of $500,000, for the automatic design of next-generation database systems. Advanced database systems are being designed to support complex processing of big data, integrate novel hardware such as solid-state storage, and operate on highly distributed, often virtualized computing clouds. The project aims to develop novel, sophisticated automatic design tools for database system configuration and management, addressing the growing complexity and diversity of these newly-emerging systems that render manual solutions ineffective and unscalable. The project will specifically focus on incremental approaches to ...

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Amy Greenwald Awarded NSF Grant for the Artemis Project

The Artemis Project, an outreach program designed to encourage young women from local public schools to pursue careers in computer science, recently received funding from the National Science Foundation.

Founded in 1995, Artemis is a five-week summer program in which its participants - female rising ninth graders - are exposed to the breadth of applications of computer science and are introduced to a variety of the technologies underlying computing. The learning process includes a range of both educational and confidence-building activities.

Participants attend lectures from women scientists and other potential role models from both academia and industry. Artemis is provided at no ...

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John Savage Named Jefferson Science Fellow

John Savage has been selected to serve as a 2009 Jefferson Science Fellow for the U.S. State Department, where he will work on cyber related issues for one year. Fellows remain on call as science advisers to the State Department for an additional five years. The prestigious Jefferson Science Fellows program was established in 2003 as a way of elevating the role of science and technology in the formulation of U.S. foreign policy. Funding is provided by the State Department, but participants are chosen by independent panels of experts at the National Academies of Science, based on the ...

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James Hays, Roberto Tamassia and Andy van Dam Receive Faculty Research Awards from Google

James Hays and Alexei Efros (Asst. Professor of Computer Science, Carnegie Mellon University) received an award to investigate the use of Internet imagery for image understanding tasks. Computer vision and computer graphics algorithms benefit from large amounts of training data, and websites such as Flickr and Picasa offer several orders of magnitude more training data than current data sets. However, the annotations and labels that accompany these images are sparse, noisy, and in some cases novel to the research community. James and Alexei are researching robust search and learning methods to address the challenges of this data -- massive scale and ...

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David Laidlaw and Andy van Dam Awarded NSF Grant for Next-Generation Cave

Principal Investigator David Laidlaw along with co-Principal Investigators Andy van Dam (Computer Science), Jan Hesthaven (Applied Mathematics) and George Karniadakis (Applied Mathematics) were awarded a National Science Foundation MRI (Major Research Infrastructure) research grant, in the expected amount of $2 million, to develop a next-generation interactive virtual-reality display environment for collaborative research and education.

The new system is expected to support more natural and effective interaction with data than the current 3D point-and-click wand driven Cave by maximally utilizing as appropriate full-body, motion-captured user interactions and gestures. More display information will be made accessible to the human visual system with ...

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Ugur Cetintemel, Eli Upfal and Stan Zdonik Receive NSF Grant to develop Predictive Databases

The National Science Foundation awarded a research grant in the anticipated amount of $1.2M to Ugur Cetintemel, Eli Upfaland Stan Zdonik to develop database technology that would simplify building predictive analytics applications over large-scale data. Predictive analytics involves analyzing historical and current data to make predictions about future data values, events, and trends, and has a wide range of applications in security, marketing, economics, sociology, genetics and computing. The generic predictive database technology to be developed will make computing with predictions easier to express and far more efficient than the prevalent application-level solutions that are known to be ...

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Chad Jenkins Featured in NewScientist

According to Chad, “Robotics is at the stage where personal computing was about 30 years ago. Like the home-brew computers of the late 70s and early 80s, robots used for research today often have a unique operating system. But at some point we have to come together to use the same resources." Find out more by visiting NewScientist. Be sure to check out the video featuring Chad.

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Roberto Tamassia Honored with Named Professorship

The department is thrilled to announce that Department Chair Roberto Tamassia was recently appointed Plastech Professor of Computer Science by the University.

“It is only fitting that Roberto's scientific achievements have been recognized through such an honor,” said Dean of the Faculty Rajiv Vohra.

Roberto’s research interests include information security, applied cryptography, analysis, design, and implementation of algorithms, graph drawing and computational geometry. He has published more than 220 peer-reviewed research articles and has given more than 75 invited lectures worldwide. He has coauthored four books, including a widely adopted textbook on data structures and algorithms, now in ...

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Chad Jenkins Awarded NSF CAREER Grant

Chad Jenkins is our latest faculty recipient of an NSF CAREER award, a highly selective grant that the National Science Foundation awards to junior faculty members who are likely to become academic leaders of the future.

The project funded by Chad’s CAREER grant aims to enable autonomous robots to learn decision making policies from multivalued demonstrations. Activities to be performed include:

* Creating standardized, accessible, and reproducible robot platforms (such as the $700 Brown SmURV platform);

* Developing transferable undergraduate autonomous robotics courses that build on the “control loop” as a unifying concept (similar to the “rendering pipeline” in graphics); and ...

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