21 SEPTEMBER 2009
Speaker: Richard Ladner, Computer Science & Engineering, University of Washington
Title: New Directions in Accessible Computing
Host School: NCSU
NCSU Host: Matt Stallmann (matt_stallman at ncsu.edu)
Duke Host:
UNC Host: 
Gary Bishop (gb at cs.unc.edu)

Youtube video of talk

Abstract
Accessible computing refers to software and hardware solutions that make computers and other aspects of life more accessible to persons with disabilities.  Many technologies specifically designed for persons with disabilities become mainstream technologies.  Examples include personal texting that was designed for deaf people to communicate over phone lines, optical character recognition that was designed so that blind people could read books, and speech recognition that was designed for people, who are unable to use a keyboard, to speak to a computer instead.  In this talk, new directions in accessible computing will be described.  The new directions assume that persons with disabilities can create or configure their own accessibility solutions.  This non-paternalistic approach respects the ability of persons with disabilities to determine their own destinies.  Accessibility research, done at the University of Washington and elsewhere, that follows this model will be described.  One example is the ASL-STEM Forum, a social networking site where deaf students and scientists can share signs for scientific terms and discuss them. Another example is the MobileAccessibility project where blind people can download applications to their cell phones that provide an accessibility feature such as using the camera to capture a barcode and give the name of the product.

Biography
Richard E. Ladner, Boeing Professor in Computer Science and Engineering at the University of Washington, received a Ph.D. in mathematics from the University of California, Berkeley in 1971, at which time he joined the faculty of the University of Washington. In addition to his primary appointment, he is an Adjunct Professor in the Departments of Electrical Engineering and Linguistics. His current research interests include accessible computing, especially technology for deaf, blind, and deaf-blind people. His prior research career was in theoretical computer science. He is also currently leading education and outreach projects for students with disabilities. He was a Guggenheim Fellow and a Fulbright Scholar. He is an ACM Fellow and IEEE Fellow. He is a recipient of the 2004 Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Mathematics and Engineering Mentoring (PAESMEM). He is the recipient of the 2008 Computing Research Association’s A. Nico Habermann Award. He is a member of the Board of Trustees of Gallaudet University in Washington D.C., the only liberal arts university serving deaf people in the world. For more details, please see http://www.cs.washington.edu/homes/ladner/bio.html

 

28 SEPTEMBER 2009
Speaker: Raj Rajkumar, Dept. Electrical and Computer Engineering, CMU
Title: Cyber-Physical Systems: A Natural Convergence of Engineering and Computer Science
Host School: UNC
UNC Host: Kevin Jeffay (jeffay at cs.unc.edu)
Duke Host: 
Jeff Chase (chase at cs.duke.edu)
NCSU Host:
 Frank Mueller (mueller at cs.ncsu.edu)

Youtube video of talk

Abstract
Cyber-physical systems (CPS) represent a tight integration of computing and communications with the physics and real-time dynamics of engineered systems.  They will revolutionize many sectors including transportation, critical infrastructures, manufacturing, healthcare and medical devices, aerospace and defense.   In this talk, we will present some grand challenges that can be met by advances in cyber-physical systems.   This will be followed by a detailed description of 3 areas of CPS research projects that the speaker is working on: (1) Planetary-scale sensor-actuator networks with applications to the smart grid, (2) Smart Surveillance systems, and (3) Autonomous Driving Systems.   Current status of each project will be complemented by a description of research challenges that need to be addressed.   These systems will hopefully offer insights into why the integration of engineering and computer science into a master discipline that can enrich both domains while yielding significant, perhaps even revolutionary, practical benefits.

Biography
Dr. Raj Rajkumar is a Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering, and Robotics Institute at Carnegie Mellon University.  He also serves as a Co-Director for the General Motors-Carnegie Mellon Vehicular Information Technology Collaborative Research Lab, Co-Director of the General Motors-Carnegie Mellon Autonomous Driving Collaborative Research Lab and as a Director of the Real-Time and Multimedia Systems Laboratory at Carnegie Mellon University.  He has served as General Chair and/or Program Chair of multiple conferences including the IEEE Real-Time Systems Symposium, the IEEE Real-Time Technologies and Applications Symposium, the ACM/SPIE Symposium on Multimedia Computing and Networks, International Symposium on International Symposium on Vehicular Computing Systems and the International Conference on Networked Sensing Systems. He has chaired or co-chaired 5 NSF-sponsored workshops targeting a national research initiative on cyber-physical systems.  He is also currently serving as the Chair of the IEEE Technical Committee on Real-Time Systems. He obtained his M.S. and Ph.D. degrees from Carnegie Mellon University in 1986 and 1989 respectively.   He has given several keynote talks and has 4 Best Paper Awards.  Dr. Rajkumar’s research interests include all aspects of embedded real-time systems.  Some of his current research projects include FireFly wireless networks, resource kernels for guaranteed enforcement of throughput, timeliness and power-consumption in real-time operating systems, vehicular networks, and methodologies for model-based design and development.

 

12 OCTOBER 2009
Speaker: John Q. Walker, Zenph Studios
Title: Building the Music equivalent of Computer Graphics
Host School: UNC
UNC Host: Steve Weiss (weiss at cs.unc.edu)
Duke Host:
NCSU Host:

Youtube video of talk

Abstract
Representing music performances with data and algorithms has a parallel in representing the visual world with computer graphics. This new “phono-realism” is introduced, using the familiar terminology of “photo-realism.” R&D here in the Research Triangle accelerated the rise of computer graphics 25 years ago – with its myriad of uses and the creation of whole industries. A similar prospect awaits the broad application of the symbolic representation of music. This talk compares these two fields, gives insight into the underlying science, and presents examples that point the way forward.

Biography
Dr. John Q. Walker is the president and founder of Zenph Studios, a software company in RTP building advanced software to understand – and recreate – how musicians actually play. Zenph’s first offerings have received GRAMMY nominations as well as numerous “Best of the Year” recognitions.

He was a co-founder of Ganymede Software in RTP, which was acquired by NetIQ in 2000. In his five years as vice president of product development, Ganymede products consistently won “Best Product” and “Product of the Year” awards. For example, only two companies won Network World magazine’s “World Class Award” twice in 1999: Dell Computers and Ganymede Software. Dr. Walker co-authored a pioneering book for Cisco Press on Voice-over-IP. He also co-authored a book on portable network programming for McGraw-Hill. He has written dozens of technical articles, and is frequently an invited speaker on practical networking, software engineering, and music technology topics. He holds four patents.

Dr. Walker has extensive experience in the development and management of emerging technologies. At IBM, he managed teams developing high-speed networking software.  He was influential in the creation of the IEEE 802 LAN and Wi-Fi standards. Dr. Walker holds Bachelor degrees in piano and mathematics, and a Masters degree in computer science from Southern Illinois University.  He received his Ph.D. in computer science from UNC-Chapel Hill, with a focus on natural behavior and software engineering. He was named a Distinguished Graduate Alumnus at the UNC Graduate School’s centennial.

 

2 NOVEMBER 2009
Speaker: Clifford Stein, Dept. of IE and OR, Columbia
Title: Optimization Problems in Internet Advertising
Host School: UNC
UNC Host: Sanjoy Baruah (baruah at cs.unc.edu)
Duke Host: 
Kamesh Munagala (kamesh at gmail.com)
NCSU Host:
 Steffen Heber (sheber at ncsu.edu)

Youtube video of talk

Abstract
The use of the internet has led to the creation of fundamentally new forms of advertising.  In turn, this advertising provides the financial support for many on-line companies and technological breakthroughs.

The development of online advertising has raised many new questions in economics, mathematics, computer science and engineering, particularly around the design of auctions and markets, and in the design of algorithms to efficiently manage them. In this talk, we will survey a few problems in internet advertising and discuss some algorithmic and game-theoretic issues that arise. We will discuss problems both in sponsored search and in display advertising. We will describe the applications, the algorithmic problems that arise, and the solutions obtained. In particular, we will discuss the problem of how an advertiser should allocate its budget among various keywords in a sponsored search auction, and how a publisher should decide which display ads to accept.

Biography
Clifford Stein is Professor and Chair of the Industrial Engineering and Operations Research Department at Columbia University. He also holds an appointment as Professor of Computer Science at Columbia.  He received his B.S.E. from Princeton University in 1987 and his Ph.D. degree from MIT in 1992.  His research interests include the design and analysis of algorithms, combinatorial optimization, operations research, network algorithms, scheduling, algorithm engineering and internet algorithms.  He has published over 60 scientific papers and occupied a variety of editorial positions
including the journals ACM Transactions on Algorithms, Mathematical Programming, Journal of Algorithms, SIAM Journal on Discrete Mathematics and Operations Research Letters. He has been the recipient of an NSF Career Award, an Alfred Sloan Research Fellowship and the Karen Wetterhahn Award for Distinguished Creative or Scholarly
Achievement. He is also the co-author of the two textbook, Introduction to Algorithms, with T. Cormen, C. Leiserson and R. Rivest and Discrete Math for Computer Science, with Ken Bogart and Scot Drysdale.

 

16 NOVEMBER 2009
Speaker:Barbara Liskov, Dept .of EE and CS, MIT
Title: The Power of Abstraction
Host School: Duke
Duke Host: Xiaowei Yang (xwy at cs.duke.edu)
UNC Host: 
Jasleen Kaur (jasleen)
NCSU Host:

Youtube video of talk

Abstract
Abstraction is at the center of much work in Computer Science.  It encompasses finding the right interface for a system as well as finding an effective design for a system implementation.  Furthermore, abstraction is the basis for program construction, allowing programs to be built in a modular fashion.  This talk will discuss how the abstraction mechanisms we use today came to be, how they are supported in programming languages, and some possible areas for future research.

Biography
http://www.pmg.csail.mit.edu/~liskov/

 

25 JANUARY 2010
Speaker: Mary Lou Soffa, Dept. of Computer Science, University of Virginia
Title: Path-Based Fault Correlations
Host School: 
NCSU
NCSU Host:
 Tao Xie (xie at csc.ncsu.edu)
Duke Host:
UNC Host:
 Jan Prins (prins at cs.unc.edu)

Youtube video of talk

Abstract
Although a number of automatic tools have been introduced to detect faults, much of diagnosis is still being done manually. To help with the diagnostic task, we introduce the concept of  fault correlation, which is a causal relationship between faults.  We statically determine correlations based on the expected dynamic behavior of a fault. If the occurrence of one fault causes another fault to occur, we say they are correlated. Finding correlations of faults has a number of advantages. With the identification of the correlated faults, we can better understand fault behaviors and the propagation of faults. If one fault is uniquely correlated with another, fixing the first fault will fix the other. Correlated faults can be grouped, enabling  prioritization of diagnoses of the fault groups.

In this talk, we develop a path-sensitive and scalable algorithm to automatically compute correlated faults in a program. In our approach we first detect faults and determine their error states. By propagating the effects of the error state along a path, we detect the correlation of pairs of faults. We automatically construct a correlation graph which shows how correlations occur among multiple faults and along different paths. Using the correlation graph, the task of diagnosing root causes is guided by the information in the graph.  We implemented our correlation algorithm and found through experimentation  that fault correlations exist in real-world applications, and faults involved in the correlations can be of different types and located in different procedures.  Using the correlation information, we are able to automate diagnostic tasks that previously had to be done  manually.

Biography
Mary Lou Soffa is the Owen T. Cheatham Professor of Sciences and Department Chair of the Computer Science Department at the University of Virginia.  From 1977 to 2004, she was a Professor of Computer Science at the University of Pittsburgh and also served as the Dean of Graduate Studies in the College of Arts and Sciences from 1991 to 1996.

Her research interests include software tools for debugging and testing programs, virtual execution environments, optimizing compilers, and program analysis. She has published over 150 papers in journals and conferences. Her papers have received a number of best paper awards as well a designation of one of the 40 most influential papers in 20 years to appear in the Programming Language Design and Implementation Conference.   She has directed 24 Ph.D. students to completion, half of whom are women. She also directed over 50 M.S. students, with half being women.

Soffa received the Nico Habermann Award in 2006 for outstanding contributions toward increasing the numbers and successes of underrepresented members in the computing research community. In 1999, she received the Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Mathematics and Engineering Mentoring. She was elected an ACM Fellow in 1999 and selected as a Girl Scout Woman of Distinction in 2003. She served for ten years on the Board of the Computing Research Association (CRA) and continues as a member of CRA-W, the committee on the status of women in computer science and engineering of the CRA. She co-founded the CRA-W Graduate Cohort Program and the CRA-W Cohort for Associate Professors. She has served on the Executive Committees of both ACM SIGSOFT and SIGPLAN as well as conference chair, program chair or program committee member of many conferences. Currently, she is an ACM Council Member-at-Large and serves on the ACM Publications Board.

 

22 FEBRUARY 2010
Speaker: Hari Balakrishnan, MIT
Title: Vehicular Cyber-Physical Systems (Or, How to Improve Your Commute)
Host School: 
Duke
Duke Host: 
Bruce Maggs (bmm at cs.duke.edu)
UNC Host: 
Kevin Jeffay (jeffay at cs.unc.edu)
NCSU Host:

Youtube video of talk

Abstract
Road transportation is a “grand challenge” societal problem. With close to a billion vehicles on the road today, and a doubling projected over the next 15-20 years, we face pressing challenges to the efficiency and the safety of this critical infrastructure. This talk discusses how networked computing, mobile and on-board sensing, and wireless networking can combine to meet these challenges, and in so doing:

  • reduce travel travel times with traffic-aware routing; save fuel and reduce carbon emissions by determining green routes and finding the best times to commute; improve safety by detecting road hazards; change driving behavior using smart tolling; enable measurement-based insurance plans that incentivize good driving.

To realize this vision, we need new networked information systems, algorithms, and protocols that can cope with uncertainty and noisy data, protect user location privacy, handle vehicular mobility, and save energy on mobile devices. I will discuss how the CarTel system addresses these issues and outline open questions in the area.

Joint work with the CarTel project team (http://cartel.csail.mit.edu)

Biography
Hari Balakrishnan is a Professor in the EECS Department and CSAIL at MIT. His research is in the area of networked computer systems, with current projects in vehicular and mobile systems, high-performance cross-layer wireless protocols, and distributed data management. Past projects include the RON overlay network, the Chord DHT and DHT-based applications, the Cricket location system, the Infranet anti-censorship system, robust inter-domain routing, and Internet accountabilty and security.  He received a Ph.D. in Computer Science from UC Berkeley in 1998 and a B.Tech. from IIT Madras in 1993.  He is an ACM Fellow (2008) and a Sloan Fellow (2002).  He won ACM’s doctoral dissertation award for TCP over wireless networks in 1998, and has co-authored nine award-winning papers including one that won the IEEE Bennett Prize in 2004.  In 2003, he co-founded StreamBase Systems to commercialize academic work on data stream processing.  He recently graduated his 11th PhD student, giving him a proud average of nearly one per year.

 

12 APRIL 2010
Speaker: Andrew Ng, Stanford
Title: STAIR: The STanford Artificial Intelligence Robot project
Host School: Duke
Duke Host: Ronald Parr (parr at cs.duke.edu)
UNC Host: 
Ron Alterovitz (ron at cs.unc.edu)
NCSU Host:

Youtube video of talk

Abstract
This talk will describe the STAIR home assistant robot project, and the satellite projects that led to key STAIR components such as (i) robotic grasping of previously unknown objects, (ii) depth perception from a single still image, (iii) practical object recognition using multimodal sensors, and (iv) a software architecture for integrative AI.

Since its birth in 1956, the AI dream has been to build systems that exhibit broad-spectrum competence and intelligence.  STAIR revisits this dream, and seeks to integrate onto a single robot platform tools drawn from all areas of AI including learning, vision, navigation, manipulation, planning, and speech/NLP.  This is in distinct contrast to, and also represents an attempt to reverse, the 30 year old trend of working on fragmented AI sub-fields.  STAIR’s goal is a useful home assistant robot, and over the long term, we envision a single robot that can perform tasks such as tidying up a room, using a dishwasher, fetching and delivering items, and preparing meals.

In this talk, I’ll describe our progress on having the STAIR robot fetch items from around the office, and on having STAIR take inventory of office items.  Specifically, I’ll describe: (i) learning to grasp previously unseen objects (including unloading items from a dishwasher); (ii) probabilistic multi-resolution maps, which enable the robot to open/use doors; (iii) a robotic foveal+peripheral vision system for object recognition and tracking.  I’ll also outline some of the main technical ideas—such as learning 3-d reconstructions from a single still image, and algorithms for unsupervised feature learning—that played key roles in enabling these STAIR components.

Biography
Andrew Ng is an Associate Professor of Computer Science at Stanford University. His research interests include machine learning, reinforcement learning/control, and broad-competence AI.  His group has won best paper/best student paper awards at ACL, CEAS, 3DRR and ICML.  He is also a recipient of the Alfred P. Sloan Fellowship, and the IJCAI 2009 Computers and Thought award.

 

19 APRIL 2010
Speaker:Fred Schneider, Dept. of Computer Science, Cornell
Title: Principles and Principals for Authorization in Nexus
Host School: NCSU
NCSU Host: Annie Anton (aianton at ncsu.edu)
Duke Host: 
Landon Cox (lpcox at cs.duke.edu)
UNC Host: 
Ketan Mayer-Patel (kmp at cs.unc.edu)

Youtube video of talk

Abstract
Ultimately, authorization should be based on the extent to which the principal making a request is trusted.  We will describe a language, logic, and mechansims used for implementing this approach to authorization in the Nexus operating system and in some document-managment applications.  The roles of analytic, axiomatic, and constructive bases for trust will be discussed.

Biography
Fred B. Schneider is the Samuel B. Eckert Professor of Computer Science at Cornell, where he has been on the faculty since 1978.  He also serves as Chief Scientist for the NSF “TRUST” Science and Technology Center and has been Professor-at-Large at the University of Tromso (Norway) since 1996.

Schneider’s research concerns trustworthy systems, most recently focusing on computer security.  His early work was in formal methods and fault-tolerant distributed systems.  He is author of the graduate textbook “On Concurrent Programming”, co-author (with David Gries) of the undergraduate text “A Logical Approach to Discrete Math”, and the editor of “Trust in Cyberspace” which reports findings from the US National Research Council’s study committee on information systems trustworthiness Schneider chaired.

A fellow of the AAAS, ACM, and IEEE, Schneider was awarded a D.Sc. honoris causa from the University of Newcastle-upon-Tyne in 2003.  His survey paper on state machine replication received a SIGOPS Hall of Fame Award in 2007.

Schneider is a member of the board for the Computing Research Association and the council of the Computing Community Consortium.  He serves on the US congressionally mandated Information Security and Privacy Advisory Board, and is a member of the Defense Science Board. A frequent consultant to industry, he co-chairs Microsoft’s TCAAB advisory board on trustworthy computing, besides serving on the technical advisory boards for Fortify Software and Cigital Corp.