GTISC Security Summit Bigger and Better Than Ever
than 300 people attended the 2008 GTISC Security Summit on Emerging
Cyber Security Threats, the sixth security summit hosted at Georgia
Tech since 2004. The annual summit has evolved into one of the most
forward-looking cyber security events with a focus on emerging threats
and brings together thought leaders in the information technology and
security fields to explore key cyber security threats and ways for
countering them. The Oct. 15 summit also marked the second issuance of the annual GTISC Emerging Cyber Threats Report for the year ahead. The summit proceedings can be viewed online here.
MAGIC Lab Working on Modeling Aquatic Propulsion
Rossignac is hosting two international visitors in the MAGIC lab this
semester who will be contributing to the National Science Foundation
Aquatic Propulsion Lab (APL) project.
• Hyunpung Park, senior research engineer from Samsung Electronics in
Korea, arrived Oct. 16 for a sabbatical year or perhaps longer. Park is
interested in meshing and has authored papers on model acquisition,
animation and control.
• Àlvar Vinacua is visiting from the Universitat Politècnica de
Catalunya in Barcelona, Spain. Vinacua has a deep math background and
interests in a broad variety of modeling and rendering topics.
The Aquatic Propulsion Lab is an NSF-funded collaboration led by
Rossignac between Georgia Tech and the University of Southern California.
The objective of APL is to model the variety of aquatic propulsion
techniques (i.e., swimming styles of marine creatures) found in nature,
to compare their efficiency in different environments (fluid models)
and to devise control strategies that optimize them. APL researchers
hope to develop interactive design paradigms for the creation of
autonomous swimmers capable of using a combination of propulsion
techniques and of adapting to their environment. In addition to the
international participants, Assistant Professor Thorsten Stoesser of
the School of Civil Engineering has joined the APL effort. Stoesser offered help in using his fluid solver and validating the GPU-accelerated particle-based fluid simulator. Finally, George Biros (CSE) has provided consulting on the fluid simulation and has offered his fluid solver to APL for testing the lab’s swimmers.
Bader Gives Plenary Talk at Los Alamos Symposium
(CSE) gave an invited plenary talk titled “Accelerators, Cell Broadband
Engine, Graphics Processors and FPGAs” at a symposium Oct. 14-15
sponsored by Los Alamos National Laboratory, which earlier this year
broke the world record by achieving one petaflop of computational
performance on the Roadrunner supercomputer. The conference was
organized to cover internationally recognized computer science and
computational science research and development efforts relevant to the
goals of Los Alamos National Laboratory and of the HPC community in general. This year the Los Alamos Computer
Science Symposium (LACSS) focused on hybrid and heterogeneous systems,
including architecture and programming environments. Other plenary
speakers included Dan Reed (Microsoft), Josep Torellas (Illinois) and
Steve Wallach (Convey).
CoC Women Celebrate Themselves and Peers at Grace Hopper
Women@CC organization sent 25 students and two staff members (see photo above) to the
Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing conference, held Oct.
1-4 in Keystone, Colo. The conference, whose theme was “We Build a
Better World,” drew participants from all over the globe and allowed
them to network and exchange ideas about women working in technology.
The programs focused on celebrating the ways that women in technology
improve the world through groundbreaking research and by becoming
industry pioneers and leaders in academia. In a post-conference survey, 88 percent of CoC attendees said they believe participating
in the event increased their commitment to a career in computing and
made them feel more connected to the computing community at Georgia
First Foley Scholars Named
The Foley Scholars Endowment has named Kelly Caine, a Ph.D. student in the School of Psychology, and Christopher Le Dantec,
a Ph.D. student specializing in human-centered computing from the
School of Interactive Computing, the 2008-2009 Foley Scholars. The
Foley Scholars Endowment, established a year ago during the 15th anniversary of the GVU Center, provides each year direct
financial gifts of $5,000 to two outstanding graduate students active
in research at GVU. The award was established by colleagues of Jim Foley
and GVU alumni to honor Foley’s significant contributions in the field
of computing, his influence on the work of others and his dedication to
the development of new research directions. This year's Foley Scholars
were selected by an advisory board comprised of GVU alumni, current
faculty and industry partners. Caine and LeDantec were selected from
a group of eight finalists: Ben Davison, Nick Diakopoulos, Marshini Chetty, Matt Flagg, Erika Poole and Thomas Smyth,
all Ph.D. students in computing. All finalists were honored at a dinner co-hosted by
long-time GVU industrial partner Motorola on Oct. 22.
GVU Researchers Show Their Stuff
than 200 visitors from industry, media and other Georgia
Tech colleges came to see this year’s GVU Research Demo Showcase on Oct. 23. GVU
faculty and students put together a record 97 research projects in the center’s traditionally strong areas of expertise: animation and graphics;
augmented reality; brain computer interfaces and assistive technology;
collaborative work; domestic computing; digital media; gaming; health
and wellness; human-computer interaction; human-robot interaction;
learning; music technology; social computing; tangible media; and
wearable computing. The full list of GVU research demos and their
descriptions can be found here.
Reaching Out to Bring More Girls Into Computing
The Institute for Computing Education (ICE), which is offering four workshops in November, has been working with the Girl Scouts since 2005 to offer computing workshops that challenge negative stereotypes about computer science. Barb Ericson, director of computer science outreach for the College, says the number of young women majoring in computer science nationwide is at an all-time low. In two of the upcoming workshops, the girls will learn to program robots to navigate a simple course or do a simple dance. In the other two workshops, participants will create 2D or 3D animations with Scratch or Alice. Participation in these workshops has gone from 190 girls in 2005-06 to 1,595 in 2007-08, and Ericson says surveys before and after each four-hour workshop show statistically significant changes in attitudes among the girls. In addition to its work with Girl Scouts, ICE also works with the YWCA Teen Girls in Technology program, Cool Girls and the Boys and Girls Clubs.
New Industry Partnership Announced
and Georgia Tech announced a campus-wide initiative for research and
educational activities including student competitions in “End-to-End
User Experience of Home Media Mobility.” GVU Director Beth Mynatt
is the lead PI for the partnership with Motorola that also includes
OIT, CERCS and the Georgia Tech Broadcast Institute. The partnership received an initial $300,000 gift
Foley Formally Inducted into National Academy of Engineers
Foley was in Washington the weekend of Oct. 4-5 to be inducted into the
National Academy of Engineering (NAE) in recognition of his
contributions to the fields of computer graphics and human-computer
interaction. Election to the NAE is among the highest professional
distinctions accorded to an engineer. Academy membership honors those
who have made outstanding contributions to “engineering research,
practice or education, including, where appropriate, significant
contributions to the engineering literature,” and to the “pioneering of
new and developing fields of technology, making major advancements in
traditional fields of engineering, or developing and/or implementing
innovative approaches to engineering education.”
CoC Team Wins Intramural Championship
The College of Computing's Ultimate Frisbee team won the school intramural championship Oct. 14. Team CoC & Co.—made up of faculty, undergraduates and graduate students from both the College of Computing and the Department of Biomedical Engineering—finished the season undefeated with a perfect record of 9-0. Take a look at our winning team here.
Nersessian Releases New Book with MIT Press
MIT Press has released a new book by Nancy Nersessian
(IC) titled Creating Scientific Concepts, in which Nersessian seeks to
answer a central but virtually unasked question in the problem of
conceptual change: How do novel scientific concepts arise? Nersessian
argues that the popular image of novel concepts and profound insight
bursting forth in a blinding flash of inspiration is mistaken. Instead,
novel concepts are shown to arise out of the interplay of three
factors: an attempt to solve specific problems; the use of conceptual,
analytical and material resources provided by the
cognitive-social-cultural context of the problem; and dynamic processes
of reasoning that extend ordinary cognition.
Ahamad and Traynor Participate in Embedded Systems Week Workshop
Mustaque Ahamad (GTISC) served as keynote speaker and Patrick Traynor (CS) organized one of the panels at an Oct. 23 workshop
in Atlanta as part of Embedded Systems Week. The workshop addressed the
range of problems related to embedded system security, particularly
security topics that are unique to embedded systems. Ahamad’s talk was
titled “Embedded Systems Security: From Threats to Mitigation
Strategies.” The panel organized and moderated by Traynor focused on
embedded systems and their increasing impact on infrastructure security
and featured Jon Giffin (CS) and Tom Cross and Gunter Ollman of IBM-ISS.
GTISC Faculty and Students Present on Web Information Credibility
Mustaque Ahamad, Mike Hunter (both of GTISC) and doctoral students Jeff King (CS) and Jennifer Stoll
(IC) presented a paper, “ALPACA: A Lightweight Platform for
Analyzing Claim Acceptability,” at the Second Workshop on Information
Credibility on the Web (WICOW 2008), Oct. 26-30 in Napa Valley, Calif.
The purpose of the conference was to identify challenging problems
facing the development of future knowledge and information systems, as well as
to shape future research directions through the publication of high-quality, applied and theoretical research findings. The paper is
available online here.
Webinar Highlights the Integration of Multicore in CS Curriculum
Matt Wolf and Ada Gavrilovski
(CERCS) conducted a webinar Oct. 30 for Intel about work they have been
doing on multi-core education, especially Gavrilovski’s work in
coordinating curriculum innovation on a single web portal. Gavrilovski’s work was based on a trend-setting approach for curriculum led by Karsten Schwan
(CERCS), which was funded by and has been held up by Intel as an
example of their “multicore university” program. The webinar, titled
“Parallelism in the Classroom: The View from Georgia Tech,” focused on
strategies the College has developed to break students out of the
traditional view of problem solving—to break a problem down into pieces
and find a logical progression to solve each individual piece
sequentially—and move them toward newer methods of concurrent
Riedl to Present Papers in Three Countries This Month
Mark Riedl (IC) presented a paper on story generation at the 5th International
Joint Workshop on Computational Creativity, Sept. 17-19, in Madrid,
Spain. The workshop brought together researchers from artificial
intelligence, cognitive science and related areas such as psychology,
philosophy and the arts. Together they addressed issues like how to assess creativity
in computers, how computers can model creative thought, how computers
can be used to enhance human creativity and how to implement creative
software systems. The paper, titled “Vignette-Based Story Planning:
Creativity Through Exploration and Retrieval,” will be published in the
Proceedings of the 5th International Joint Workshop on Computational
Creativity. Riedl also has the following events coming up in November:
• Giving an invited talk at the 3rd International Colloquium on Creativity, Cognition and Computers, Nov. 6-7 in Mexico City.
• Giving an invited talk at the IT University of Copenhagen on Nov. 24 in Copenhagen.
• Presenting with CS graduate student Neha Sugandh their paper, “Story Planning with Vignettes: Toward Overcoming the Content Production Bottleneck,” at the 1st Joint International Conference on Interactive Digital Storytelling to be held in Erfurt, Germany, Nov. 26-29.
Bader Talks About Computational Science and Evolution
(CSE) was a featured speaker at the Oct. 23 Symposium on Biomedical
High Performance Computing sponsored by the CDC Biotechnology Core
Facility. Together with Joel Saltz, MD, Ph.D. and Tahin Kurc,
Ph.D.—both of Emory University—Bader spoke about the grand challenge
to reconstruct the tree of life using computational science. The
abstract reads: “Phylogenies derived from gene order data may prove
crucial in answering some fundamental questions in biomolecular
evolution. Yet very few techniques are available for phylogenetic
reconstruction based upon gene order and content, and these are (for
the most part) computationally expensive. High-performance algorithm
engineering offers a battery of tools that can reduce, sometimes
spectacularly, the running time of existing approaches.”
Ram, Ontanon, Jain and Mehta Present at Storytelling Conference
A paper by Ashwin Ram (IC) and graduate students Santiago Ontanon, Abhishek Jain and Manish Mehta has been accepted at the 1st Joint International Conference on Interactive Digital Storytelling
to be held in Erfurt, Germany, Nov. 26-29. The paper, titled “A Drama
Management Architecture for Interactive Fiction Games,” discusses the
drama management components in interactive, story-based games that
gently guide the story toward a narrative arc that improves the
player's experience. The authors present their drama management (DM)
architecture for real-time interactive story games that have been
connected to a real graphical interactive story based on the game
“Anchorhead.” They also report on the natural-language-understanding
system that has been incorporated into the system and into a user study
with an implementation of their DM architecture.
Alex Hill has joined CoC as a Post-Doc in IC effective Oct. 13. His email address is alexhill@cc, and he is located in TSRB 333. Welcome Alex!
Ashwin Lall has re-joined CoC as a Tech Temp in CS working with Jim Xu effective Oct. 6. Welcome back Ashwin!
Matthew “Harper” Langston has joined CoC as a Research Scientist I in CSE working with George Biros effective Nov. 8. His email address is hlangsto@cc, and he is located in KACB 1343. Welcome Harper!
Xiapu “Daniel” Luo has joined CoC as a Post-Doc in CS working with Wenke Lee effective Aug. 15. Welcome Daniel!
Derek Reilly has joined CoC as a Temporary Research Scientist I in IC effective Oct. 8. His email address is reilly@cc, and he is located in TSRB 346. Welcome Derek!
James Fedd’s last day at CoC was 10/1/08.