GT Computing Adds to Spirit of Giving with 2013 Holiday Gift Guide

December 18, 2013

ATLANTA – Dec. 18, 2013 – Georgia Tech’s College of Computing makes holiday shopping for that computing aficionado in the family that much easier with the third annual edition of its Holiday Gift Guide. No more worries about what to get the chips-, algorithms- and robotics-obsessed brother, sister, aunt or uncle as this definitive guide lists the most inspired, ambitious and digital “gifts” ever placed under the virtual tree.

Launched in 2011 to international acclaim, the Holiday Gift Guide has become a yuletide tradition around the College’s halls, as faculty and students spend the year busily hammering together dark silicon and mobile apps in anticipation of the Big Day (i.e., the day of this press release). Now, with the days growing shorter and the sound of jingle bells in the air, all the gifts are wrapped and peer-reviewed.

"This is the third year we've commemorated the holidays with a light-hearted, informative guide to some of our newest and best research," said Dean Zvi Galil. "What better way to wake up on that special morning than, say, to find hundreds of new Twitter followers virtually sitting in your living room, drinking your egg nog? Perhaps you can read them my favorite holiday story, How the Grinch Solved for P=NP."

Projects include:

FIDO: A wearable computer designed to help assistance dogs communicate with their handlers. By activating sensors on a high-tech vest, these pooches can send handlers audible clues or text notifications. From the labs of Melody Jackson, Thad Starner and Clint Zeagler.

OMS CS: The first fully “massive-online” degree program on Earth, offered in collaboration with Udacity and AT&T. Brought to you by Dean Zvi Galil and Udacity founder and CEO Sebastian Thrun.

Dark Silicon: The ominous name for the latest innovation in computer architecture to address power issues and chip efficiencies. Assistant professor Hadi Esmaeilzadeh guides this effort to regulate power limits on chips.

Mactans Charger: A mobile charger designed to test security vulnerabilities of smartphones. Thanks to research scientists Tielei Wang and Billy Lau, Apple created an iOS fix that helps prevent hackers from placing malicious apps on your phone through chargers.

FLAMEL: As Georgia Tech’s newest NSF-sponsored Integrative Graduate Education and Research Traineeship Program (IGERT), FLAMEL offers graduate students the opportunity to use big data to accelerate the design of new materials. Straight from the workshop of the Institute for Data & High Performance Computing (IDH) and Professor Richard Fujimoto.

The Golden Ticket: An engaging book from Lance Fortnow, chair of the School of Computer Science, that puts some of the most intriguing questions of computer science into the language of the non-scientist and fans of Wonka bars.

Smart Sign: A digital assistant created for Google Glass to help parents of deaf or hard-of-hearing children learn American Sign Language. From the workshop of Thad Starner, Harley Hamilton, Kimberly Xu and Helene Brashear.

Twitter Followers: A guide to building an enormous Twitter following, complete with extensive research from Eric Gilbert, C.J. Hutto and Sarita Yardi to back it up.

Robot Baseball Cards: A full set of robotics trading cards highlighting some of the Institute for Robotics and Intelligent Machine’s most sophisticated automatons. New for the 2014 season: The Curi rookie card. Collect them all!

Emerging Cyber Threats Report: A survival manual for the world’s cyber security forces, this annual Georgia Tech guide will keep every IT security professional on their toes. Offered by the researchers in the Georgia Tech Information Security Center and the Cyber Technology and Information Security Laboratory of the Georgia Tech Research Institute.

Asthma/SMS:  With the power of texting, this innovation keeps asthmatic patients, particularly children, informed about their symptoms and even reminds them to take their medications. Created by Tae-Jung Yun of Samsung Electronics and research scientist Rosa Arriaga.

XScala: An open source tool designed to enable developers to use hardware accelerators more productively and efficiently. That means faster and better computing for you and your family. From the Center for High Performance Computing (HPC), including David Bader, Rich Vuduc and Jason Riedy.

Click here for the 2013 Holiday Gift Guide!

DISCLAIMER: The 2013 Holiday Gift Guide is a lighthearted way to call attention to the College’s research. Though some of the items described in the Gift Guide are indeed available for purchase or free download, it is not intended as a practical reference for consumers.

About the Georgia Tech College of Computing

The Georgia Tech College of Computing is a national leader in the creation of real-world computing breakthroughs that drive social and scientific progress. With its graduate program ranked 10th nationally by U.S. News and World Report, the College’s unconventional approach to education is defining the new face of computing by expanding the horizons of traditional computer science students through interdisciplinary collaboration and a focus on human-centered solutions. For more information about the Georgia Tech College of Computing, its academic divisions and research centers, please visit