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News about Faculty, Researchers, Students, and Staff - Fall 2011

Tue December 20, 2011

Faculty News

This fall, Professor David Mix Barrington took over Robbie's Moll’s position as Associate Chair for Academic Affairs.  Professor Rod Grupen took on Barrington’s former role as Chief Undergraduate Advisor. Professor Sridhar Mahadevan replaced Professor James Allan as Graduate Program Director, and Lecturer Timothy Richards stepped in as the Honors Program Director.

Associate Professor Kevin Fu and graduate student Ben Ransford, along with collaborators from MIT, received the SIGCOMM Best Paper Award for “They Can Hear Your Heartbeats: Non-Invasive Security for Implantable Medical Devices.”

Associate Professor Emery Berger gave an invited talk at USENIX WOOT 2011 (Workshop on Offensive Technologies). In March, he will chair the 2012 Workshop on Determinism and Correctness in Parallel Programming (WoDET 2012). Berger also started a new graduate course in Systems that will become a core class in the curriculum. In December, he received a Google Research Award for his proposal “Causal Profiling: Low-Overhead, High Precision Profiling.”

Berger and Fu were each elevated to the level of ACM Senior Member.

In October, Distinguished Professor Bruce Croft gave the talk “Social Search: Information Retrieval with Ephemeral Data” as part of the 2011 Samuel D. Conte Distinguished Lecture Series at Purdue University Department of Computer Science.

In December, Professor Leon Osterweil gave a  keynote address, “What I Have Learned From Defining, Analyzing, and Executing Processes,” at the 2011 Asia-Pacific Software Engineering Conference (APSEC 2011).

Professor Andrew McCallum will be the General Chair of 2012 International Conference on Machine Learning in Edinburgh, Scotland.  He received new research awards from Google and Oracle for work on information extraction, probabilistic programming and probabilistic databases. He also designed and taught a new graduate-level course on Graphical Models last spring.

Assistant Professor Hanna Wallach was a co-organizer of the Second Workshop on Computational Social Science and the Wisdom of Crowds, held at the Neural Information Processing Systems Foundation Conference (NIPS 2011) in December. She was also one of four invited participants in two video interviews for The Science Network on the history and future of the Neural Information Processing Systems (NIPS) Conference.

Associate Professor Hava Siegelmann was named a Senior Member of IEEE and also a Senior Member of the International Neural Networks Society. She was also the Program Chair of the 2011 International Joint Conference on Neural Networks held in San Jose, California.

Professor Brian Levine was the Program co-Chair of the 2011 ACM MobiCom Conference, and the Technical Program Vice Chair of the 2011 DFRWS Digital Forensics Research Conference.

In November, Distinguished Professor Emeritus Victor Lesser gave a lecture, “A Practical Application of Cooperative Multi-Agent Technology: The DCAS Severe Weather Radar Detection and Tracking System,” at North Carolina State University as part of the Triangle Computer Science Distinguished Lecturer Series that includes Duke University, University of North Carolina and North Carolina State University.

Professor Eliot Moss, alum Antony Hosking (Ph.D. ‘95), and Richard Jones recently published the book “The Garbage Collection Handbook: The Art of Automatic Memory Management.”

Assistant Professor Rui Wang received funding from Robert Bosch Research for a project on “High-Definition 4D Rendering for Future Navigation Systems.”

With National Science Foundation (NSF) funding, Professor Emeritus Rick Adrion and MIT geoscientist Christopher Hill are leading the effort to use new technology to teach middle school science students in Springfield and Holyoke.

Professor Emeritus Allen Hanson, CS graduate student Adam Williams, along with colleagues from Chemistry, Microbiology, and Computer Science, are working on a project that displays large-scale interactive molecules to prod individuals to personally explore a vast array of molecular structures. The “Molecular Playground”, supported by a Camille and Henry Dreyfuss Foundation grant, is now on display at the Springfield Science Museum.

Professor Edwina Rissland has returned to the NSF for a second term as a Program Director in the Robust Intelligence cluster in the Division of Information and Intelligent Systems within the Directorate for Computer & Information Science & Engineering (CISE). She is also on the management team for the CISE Computing Research Infrastructure program.

Adjunct Professor Jane Fountain gave a keynote address at GovCamp Singapore. The event focuses on positioning government as a platform to engage key sectors of a country to come together in one conference and to jointly collaborate on how to improve citizen engagement and services using technology.

Adjunct Professor Lee Spector is a co-PI on the Four Colleges BioMathematics Consortium NSF grant and PI on an NSF grant titled “Evolution of Robustly Intelligent Computational Systems.” He co-directs a Hampshire College “Design, Art, and Technology” program, supported by the Sherman Fairchild Foundation grant, and is involved in launching Hampshire’s new Creativity Center, supported by funding form Eileen Fisher.  Spector is also Editor-in-Chief of the Springer journal Genetic Programming and Evolvable Machines.

Associate Professor Gerome Miklau and his wife Johanna Callard are the proud parents of Owen Callard Miklau, born on September 2nd.

Samuel Dunn, Zachary Dunn, and Timothy Richards joined the department as Lecturers this fall.

Researcher News

Jianqing Ma joined the Networks group as a Visiting Professor from Fudan University, and Liyuan Sun joined the group as a Visiting Scholar from Tsinghua University.

David Soergel joined the Information Extraction and Synthesis Lab (IESL) as a Postdoctoral Research Associate.

Chongjie Zhangjoined the Multi-Agent Systems Lab as a Postdoctoral Research Assistant.

Student News

Vinay Shah was selected for Honorable Mention in the Computing Research Association's Outstanding Undergraduate Researcher Award competition for 2012. 

Undergrad Evan Shelhamer is one of four to receive the 2010-2011 Upsilon Pi Epsilon ACM Student Chapter Scholarship Award.

At the 2011 ACM Mobicom Student Workshop held in Las Vegas, Nevada in September, Yung-Chih Chen received an award for the Best Theory Session Talk for his paper, “A Simple Queueing Network Model of Mobility in a Campus Wireless Network,” and Anand Seetharam won the “Best Startup Idea” competition. 

The UMass CS ACM Student Chapter and Yahoo! hosted a Hackathon in September. The Kinect Hacking winner was Paul Edwards and the Rom Hacking winner was Nathan Deren.

CS graduate students Scott Kuindersma and George Konidaris were presented with the Best Student Video award during the Twenty-Fifth Conference on Artificial Intelligence (AAAI-11) held in San Francisco, California in August. Their video, “Autonomous Robot Skill Acquisition,” summarized an experiment that they conducted with the uBot in which the robot learned how to solve a sequential mobile manipulation task, and then it extracted component manipulation skills that it used to solve a second, related task faster.

CIIR grad students Marc Cartright and Henry Field received the Best Paper Award at the BooksOnline'11 Workshop for their paper “Evidence Finding using a Collection of Books.”

Staff News

Debora Comeau joined the Computer Science Computing Facility as their Administrative Assistant/Bookkeeping Staff.

Matthew Cornell (M.S. ’91) returned to the department as a Research Fellow in the Knowledge Discovery Lab. Previously, he contributed to the recently published Wiley book, Mindhacker: 60 Tips, Tricks, and Games to Take Your Mind to the Next Level.

Rachel Leach joined the Commonwealth Alliance for Information Technology Education as a Communications Assistant.

Brian Martin joined the Information Extraction and Synthesis Lab as an Associate Software Engineer.

Susan Overstreet joined the department as an Accountant, replacing Gwyn Mitchell who retired this fall.