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Welcome and Opening Keynote
(211 Chapman Hall)
Chair: Henry Fuchs
9:15 to 10:15 a.m. What “Mobile-First” Means for the Future of Computer Science

Marc Levoy (1989)
Stanford University

Life Lessons 
(011 Sitterson Hall)
Chair: Leonard McMillan
(014 Sitterson Hall)
Chair: Gary Bishop
Computing and Society
(007 Brooks Building)
Chair: Tessa Joseph-Nicholas
Large-Scale Systems
(009 Brooks Building)
Chair: Jim Anderson
10:30 to 11:00 a.m. Bytes to Bites! My Journey from Computer Science to Veterinary Medicine

Mary Szymkowski (1991)

From Sitterson to Main Street: Lessons Learned Bootstrapping a Company

Kris Jordan (2007)

Internet Connectivity for Drivers: Lethal Computer Science

Joe Capowski (1971)

DevOps at its Core

Ann Marie Fred (2005)

11:00 to 11:30 a.m. What They Don’t Teach You in School

Yen-Ping Shan (1990)

Death, Life, and Zen in High Tech

Rich Holloway (1995)

Beyond Bitcoin: Block Chains and the Future of Trustless Computing

Jameson Lopp (2007)

Anton Management System: Interfacing with and Tracking the Anton 2 Molecular Dynamics Supercomputer

Gennette Gill (2010)

11:30 to 12:00 p.m. Empathy Lessons Learned Through Distributed Computing

Mark Neyer (2009)

Online Dating Entrepreneur and Venture Capitalist: How UNC CS Made it Possible

Sunil Nagaraj (2004)

When Enough is Enough: Location Tracking, Mosaic Theory, and Machine Learning

Steven Bellovin (1982)

Connecting the World: A Look into Facebook’s Networking Infrastructure

Arun Moorthy (1999)

Saturday Lunch Keynote
(211 Chapman Hall)
Chair: Dinesh Manocha
1:30 to 2:15 p.m. Making Invisible Visible

Ramesh Raskar (2002)
MIT Media Lab

Vision and Graphics
(011 Sitterson Hall)
Chair: Mary Whitton
Medical Computing
(014 Sitterson Hall)
Chair: Jan Prins
Business of Computing
(007 Brooks Building)
Chair: Diane Pozefsky
Education and Diversity
(009 Brooks Building)
Chair: Mike Reiter
Interfacing with Data
(141 Brooks Building)
Chair: Ketan Mayer-Patel
2:30 to 3:00 p.m. A Brief History of General-Purpose Computation on GPUs

Mark Harris (2003)

Solving Alzheimer’s Disease:
A Systems Approach

John Walker (1991)

Thoughts from the Front Lines of Implementing Technology—Are There Things We Could Be Doing Better?

L. Annette Foster (1974)

Lean in and Win: Leadership and Diversity in Engineering

Michelleta Razon (1997)

Amplifying Intelligence Through Interactive Data Visualizations

Jeff Terrell (2009)

3:00 to 3:30 p.m. Personalized Photograph Ranking and Selection System Considering Positive and Negative User Feedback

Ming Ouhyoung (1990)

3D Visualization in Medicine

David Banks (1993)

30 Years in 20 Minutes: A Brief Retrospective of Technology in Business

Philip Borneman (1985)

The Impact of Steve Weiss on My Teaching Career

Mark Hutchinson (1981)

How I Helped Invent the Internet: The First Distributed Processing Application

W. Sands Hobgood (1970)

3:30 to 4:00 p.m. Practical Applications of 3D Reconstruction and Computer Vision

Greg Coombe (2006)

Computational Genomics: Selections from the Menu

Lenwood Heath (1985)

The Evolving Protection of Software Innovation

Raymond Van Dyke (1989)

Broadening Participation in Computing: Lessons from the Literature and Observations from the Front Lines

Penny Rheingans (1993)

Making Claims: Questioning “Truths” About Computer Science and User Interfaces

Scott McCrickard (1992)

4:00 to 4:30 p.m. Revealing Patterns in the Injured Brain

Amitabh Varshney (1994)

Experiences With the Adoption of Disruptive Technologies

Craig Mudge (1973)

Improvements to Undergraduate Computer Science Education

Joshua Stough (2008)

Saturday Closing Keynote
(211 Chapman Hall)
Chair: Kevin Jeffay
4:45 to 5:45 p.m. How Quantized Should a Digital System Be?

Ivan Sutherland (1986)
Portland State University

Sunday Closing Keynote
(211 Chapman Hall)
Chair: Kevin Jeffay
12:00 to 12:30 p.m. Virtual Reality and UNC: Sutherland, Brooks and Beyond

Professor Henry Fuchs

10:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.

Life Lessons (011 Sitterson Hall)

“Bytes to Bites! My Journey from Computer Science to Veterinary Medicine”

Mary Szymkowski (M.S. 1991)

Watch this talk on YouTube


Bugs! Figurative to literal, I’ve journeyed from developing assembler language code for network controllers to diagnosing and treating diseases in cats. Dr. Brooks’ Ethics course encouraged me to examine my priorities and look at what truly matters in one’s life goals and work. The problem solving skills I learned in my undergraduate program at Northwestern University and honed in the Computer Science Department at UNC-CH are just as relevant and valuable when diagnosing a problem in a patient as they were in developing software. I made the transition from IBM to veterinary medicine by taking a middle step working on a design team to design and implement the first electronic medical records at the NCSU College of Veterinary Medicine in the mid-1990s. Working under pressure, designing unique solutions to tiny problems (think 12-ounce kitten!), and collaborative team work are all skills that were honed in the UNC Computer Science program and are put to use daily in a feline-only veterinary practice.


Dr. Mary Szymkowski was born and raised in the Chicago suburbs. She earned her Bachelor of Science degree with Highest Honors from Northwestern University in 1985. While employed at IBM, she earned her Master of Science degree from The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1991, under the guidance of Dr. Gyula Mago. She followed her passion to veterinary medicine and earned her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine from North Carolina State’s College of Veterinary Medicine in 2001.

“What They Don’t Teach You in School”

Yen-Ping Shan (Ph.D. 1990)

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After 30 years out of college, having managed thousands of people and created billions of dollars of shareholder value, this is what I wish I had known and what the people who I hired had already known. Originally developed for my son, it has been shared with several universities and companies in multiple countries.


Yen-Ping Shan is CEO of iSource Technologies a management consulting firm focusing on technology policies, M&A, and major strategic changes. Prior to that, he was CIO of Reynolds & Reynolds, Chairman of Reynolds China, VP of Product Development at ADP, and Chief Architect for e-Business Tools at IBM. A pioneer of Cloud and Open-source computing, Shan was named one of the Premier 100 IT Leaders by Computerworld magazine.

“Empathy Lessons Learned Through Distributed Computing”

Mark Xu Neyer (M.S. 2009)

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Steven Jobs compared the computer to a bicycle for your mind. Fred Brooks compared the computer to ‘power tools’ for your mind. For me, the computer played its strongest role as a mirror, in which i saw a reflection not only of my consciousness, but one of human of social interaction. This is a talk about empathy, parallel and distributed computing, and of course, P vs NP.


Mark Neyer graduated with a Master’s in 2009. He has since worked in finance, gaming, and several startups. He has spent time at Microsoft, Uber, and Google. He is now at Facebook. He is happily married to fellow UNC Alum Christine Xu.

Entrepreneurship (014 Sitterson Hall)

“From Sitterson to Main Street: Lessons Learned Bootstrapping a Company”

Kris Jordan (B.S. 2007)

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Kris Jordan and fellow UNC classmates founded a web and mobile application consulting company from the ground floor of Sitterson Hall in 2006. In this talk, he’ll discuss lessons learned bootstrapping a profitable company from founders to 15 employees without raising any outside capital. The UNC Computer Science education influenced the company’s approach to building the company and instilled fundamentals which differentiate it from the competition. The slow, steady growth model of a bootstrapped company will be compared with the venture funded startup model and provide some insight on the good, the bad, and the ugly of both.


Kris Jordan is a founder and partner of NMC, a leading digital consultancy in North Carolina headquartered on Main Street in Carrboro. Before NMC, he studied at Brown University for a Master’s of Computer Science in 2008 and at UNC Chapel Hill for a Bachelor’s with Honors of the same. He loves Carolina barbecue and basketball.

“Death, Life, and Zen in High Tech”

Rich Holloway (M.S. 1987, Ph.D. 1995)

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In this talk I’ll share anecdotes and lessons learned on death (modeling a dead guy, scanning real crime scenes, death of startup companies), birth (new startups, new technologies, new ways of looking at life) and the intersection of work and personal life as influenced by 20 years of meditation/mindfulness practice.


Rich Holloway received a Masters in CS from UNC in 1987, served in Peace Corps in Benin, West Africa, came back to the department in 1990 and received a Ph.D. in 1995. He has worked at Apple, Nvidia, Hewlett Packard, Hifn as well as university startups Division, Volumetrics, 3rdTech, and Morphormics, which was sold to Accuray in 2012; he is currently a senior manager in the Treatment Planning Systems group at Accuray and manages the Chapel Hill site. He is married (27 years), has 4 children (ages 11-21), and recently hiked Mt Kilimanjaro in Tanzania with his wife and some friends, which was really cool (and not as hard is it might sound).

“Online Dating Entrepreneur and Venture Capitalist: How UNC CS Made it Possible”

Sunil Nagaraj (B.S. 2004)


“In this 20-minute talk, Sunil Nagaraj will share how his four years as an undergraduate in Sitterson played a central role in founding an online dating company as well as transitioning to investing as a venture capitalist.

While at his dating company, Triangulate, Sunil and his team used agile practices to rapidly iterate, instrument, and deploy features for their venture-backed dating site. Upon transitioning to venture capital at Bessemer Venture Partners, Sunil found that his time at UNC and in tech at Triangulate provided him with unique insights around developer tools investments. Today’s Bessemer’s portfolio of developer tools companies is one of the strongest in the industry and includes Twilio (telephony), Sendgrid (email), Nitrous.IO (cloud-based dev environments), Intercom (usage metrics and customer communication), and Auth0 (identity as a service).


Sunil is a Vice President with Bessemer Venture Partners, a $4B global venture capital firm, where he invests in space, developer tools, and security. He serves on the board of developer tools companies Nitrous.IO and Auth0 as well as several others. Prior to Bessemer, Sunil was the founder and CEO of Triangulate, a venture-backed online dating startup that used social media behaviors to drive algorithmic matching. Sunil has also worked as a developer at several startups in Raleigh and Atlanta. Sunil holds an MBA from Harvard Business School and a BS in Computer Science from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Computing and Society (007 Brooks Building)

“Internet Connectivity for Drivers: Lethal Computer Science”

Joe Capowski (M.S. 1971)

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I witnessed a distracted-driving accident in which a UNC student drove her car into another student, Krista, a pedestrian. Though visual conditions were ideal, the driver did not see Krista, and drove into her without slowing or swerving. The driver told 911 “I did not see the girl”. Krista suffered brain hemorrages, two years of pain, and a difficult rehab. Her family and I successfully lobbied the Chapel Hill Town Council for a first-in-the-nation ban on cell-phone use by drivers, hand-held and hands-free. In 2014, the NC Supreme Court struck it down, making cell-phone driving legal in NC. The court did not make it safe.

Today, car and telecom companies take driver distraction to a new level, boldly placing computer screens with internet access in front of drivers. They advertise “update your facebook page” and “always remain connected with friends”. They justify this by market demand, and downplay its danger with hands-free, voice-controlled techniques, though the science shows no safety gain from these. A cell-phone driver, hand-held or hands-free, loses visual processing and does not see everything in front of him, a phenomenon called “inattention blindness”.

What should the computer science community do with this issue?


Joe Capowski spent most of his career at UNC designing 3D graphics hardware and software for neuroscience and ophthalmology. He developed a microscope that enables neuroanatomists to see the 3D structure of neurons, which became a common tool in neuroanatomy labs. He authored a textbook “Computer Techniques in Neuroanatomy”. Relevant to his talk today, Joe spent eight years on the Chapel Hill Town Council.

“Beyond Bitcoin: Block Chains and the Future of Trustless Computing”

Jameson Lopp (B.S. 2007)

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Bitcoin is known to many people as a volatile virtual commodity with a tumultuous history, but it is also a transformative addition to Internet communication protocols.

Block chain data structures enable the trustless exchange of digital tokens such as bitcoins, but that is only the beginning. Block chains enable the trustless exchange of any kind of digital asset – these could even be digital titles to physical assets such as cars and houses. It is also possible to attach conditional logic to digital assets stored in a block chain, creating trustless smart contracts and smart property.

We can even consider a block chain as a type of computer shared across many traditional computers that is secured by cryptography and consensus technology. While Bitcoin’s block chain is not Turing complete, efforts are under way to create block chains that are. Once we reach this point, we can even envision running distributed autonomous organizations that can manage any number of tasks such as on-chain elections.

If successful, trustless computing on block chains will have an enormous impact upon the world. This presentation will discuss the long term goals of trustless computing and share the current state of development in these areas.


Jameson Lopp is a software engineer who became interested in cryptocurrency in 2012. He is the creator of Statoshi, a fork of Bitcoin that analyzes statistics of Bitcoin nodes, founder of Mensa’s Bitcoin Special Interest Group, and is a recurring guest on TechCrunch’s Bitcoin podcast. After being a Bitcoin enthusiast for several years, he is now employed by BitGo, an enterprise Bitcoin security service.

“When Enough is Enough: Location Tracking, Mosaic Theory, and Machine Learning”

Steven Bellovin (Ph.D. 1982)

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One open issue in Fourth Amendment law is whether or not law enforcement can track someone’s location without first obtaining a search warrant. One school of thought says “yes, you’re in public”. Another school backs something called the “mosaic theory”: that a large-enough collection of data points yields a far greater picture of someone’s life than just the individual observations; thus, a warrant is needed to collect “too much” location data. The counterargument, of course, is how police should know when they’ve collected too much. We show that when machine learning algorithms can make accurate-enough deductions of things not directly observed, the “mosaic point” has been reached. A review of the scientific literature suggests that this is after one week.


Steven M. Bellovin is the Percy K. and Vidal L. W. Hudson Professor of computer science at Columbia University, where he does research on networks, security, and especially why the two don’t get along, as well as related public policy issues. Before that, he spent many years at Bell Labs and AT&T Labs Research, and has served as Chief Technologist of the Federal Trade Commission. He is a member of the National Academy of Engineering and has served on numerous government advisory committees. Steve is the co-author of the 1994 book “Firewalls and Internet Security: Repelling the Wily Hacker”, the first book on the subject.

Large-Scale Systems (009 Brooks Building)

“DevOps at its Core”

Ann Marie Fred (M.S. 2005)

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Ann Marie Fred helps teams at IBM adopt DevOps principles and practices. She has worked on several DevOps teams and mentored many others as they gradually adopt a new culture and new methods of delivering software. She’ll share how DevOps can be adapted for teams where doing everything “the DevOps way” is not feasible: which principles and practices are fundamental and interdependent, and which can be used piecemeal?


Ann Marie Fred graduated from Duke University with a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science and received a Master’s of Science in Computer Science from UNC. Her favorite subjects were pervasive and mobile computing, web applications, algorithms, distributed systems, and software engineering. She has been a software engineer at IBM since 1998, first in pervasive and mobile computing, then web applications, followed by systems management, and most recently, cloud computing. She is a DevOps evangelist who loves to teach others what she’s learned.

“Anton Management System: Interfacing With and Tracking the Anton 2 Molecular Dynamics Supercomputer”

Gennette Gill (B.A. 2002, M.S. 2009, Ph.D. 2010)


Anton 2 is the second in a series of supercomputers designed specifically for all-atom molecular-dynamics simulations. On Anton 2, bimolecular systems containing millions of atoms can reach speeds of multiple microseconds of physical time per day–a milestone that won it the 2014 Gordon Bell Prize for supercomputing performance.

This talk will first go over the basics of molecular-dynamics simulations, and then describe some techniques that Anton 2 uses to achieve high performance. Then it will describe how Anton Management System (AMS) handles the complex relationships between hardware, software, and chemical systems on Anton 2. A variety of users such as chemists, programmers, and hardware experts all interact with Anton 2 via AMS.

“Connecting the World: A Look into Facebook’s Networking Infrastructure”

Arun Moorthy (M.S. 1999)

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Connecting more than a billion people requires some serious networking. Facebook’s networking infrastructure handles over 10 million requests/second, generating traffic at rates exceeding 1 Tb/s. This talk will explore that infrastructure and discuss how the company uses load-balancers, caches, proxy software, and custom networking hardware. It will discuss the rationale behind the design, lessons learned, and plans for the future. The talk will also explore ways in which industry and research institutions can partner more effectively.


Arun Moorthy graduated from UNC-CH with an MSCS in 1999. While at UNC, he hacked on the FreeBSD kernel to improve scheduling of internal OS services. Since then, he’s had a hand in ruining various networking and security efforts at Intel, Nexsi Systems, Microsoft and Facebook. He is currently an Engineering Manager on Facebook’s Network Team, focusing on load-balancing and security.

2:30 to 4:30 p.m.

Vision and Graphics (011 Sitterson Hall)

“A Brief History of General-Purpose Computation on GPUs”

Mark Harris (Ph.D. 2003)

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The wide availability and commodity market for Graphics Processing Units (GPUs) has resulted in a democratization of parallel computing; programming such massive parallelism was once only available to programmers and scientists with access to expensive, sometimes one-of-a-kind machines. Today, anyone can execute programs with hundreds of thousands of threads on a single GPU processor in their laptop. The efficiency of GPGPU hardware has had a profound effect on the way supercomputers are built, with the top systems in the US, Europe and Asia using accelerators for the majority of their computational horsepower. As a PhD student in 2002, I coined the term “GPGPU” for General-Purpose Computation on Graphics Processing Units, a term that is now widely used to describe this field of GPU Computing. I wasn’t the first to bend graphics hardware to uses for which it wasn’t intended, but I have been a close witness to the development of the now thriving field of GPU Computing, and a nursemaid to the development of CUDA, the most popular programming model for GPU Computing today. In this talk I will share my own perspective on the history, importance, state of the art, and future of GPGPU, from the point of view of a researcher, software developer, and teacher.


Mark Harris is Chief Technologist for GPU Computing Software at NVIDIA, where he works as a developer advocate and helps drive NVIDIA’s GPU computing software strategy. His research interests include parallel computing, general-purpose computation on GPUs, physically based simulation, and real-time rendering. As a Ph.D. student at UNC Chapel Hill, Mark developed real-time cloud simulation and rendering software for GPUs (simulating clouds, not simulation in “the cloud”!). In 2002 Mark recognized a nascent trend in computing and coined a name for it: GPGPU (General-Purpose computing on Graphics Processing Units), and founded to provide a forum for those working in the field to share and discuss their work. Mark lives off-grid (solar power, rain water, and 3G broadband!) with his wife and daughter in the mountains of the north coast of New South Wales, Australia.

“Personalized Photograph Ranking and Selection System Considering Positive and Negative User Feedback”

Ming Ouhyoung (Ph.D. 1990)

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Can aesthetics in images be measured and computed? We show that together with image processing/computer graphics, HCI and machine learning, it is possible to approximate personal flavor in aesthetics. In this talk, we propose a novel personalized ranking system for amateur photographs. The proposed framework treats the photograph assessment as a ranking problem, and we introduce the idea of personalized ranking, which ranks photographs considering both their aesthetic qualities and personal preferences. Photographs are described using three types of features: photo composition, color and intensity distribution, and personalized features. An aesthetic prediction model is learned from labeled photographs by using the proposed image features and RBF-ListNet learning algorithm. To realize personalization in ranking, three approaches are proposed: feature-based approach allows users to select photographs with specific rules; example-based approach takes the positive feedbacks from users to re-rank photograph; list-based approach takes both positive and negative feedbacks from users into consideration. User studies indicate that all three approaches are effective in both aesthetic and personalized ranking.


Ming Ouhyoung received the Ph.D degree in computer science from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in Jan., 1990. He was a member of the technical staff at AT&T Bell Laboratories, Middle-town, during 1990 and 1991. Since August 1991, he moved to Taipei, Taiwan, and was a professor in the Department of Computer Science and Information Engineering, National Taiwan University (NTU). He was the Chairman of the Dept. of CSIE from August 2000 to July 2002, and is currently the deputy dean of College of EECS, NTU (2012-2015).

Practical Applications of 3D Reconstruction and Computer Vision

Greg Coombe (Ph.D. 2006)

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In this talk, I will discuss some of the technical and non-technical challenges that we faced building a business around the 3D reconstruction of indoor spaces. Topics include calibration, software research and development, manufacturing, and product. I will also talk about the near future of mobile 3D scanning.


Greg Coombe is Senior Software Engineer at Matterport, a Mountain View-based startup that is building 3D cameras. He received his PhD from UNC in 2006 for work related to Surface Light Fields. After graduation, he worked for 6 years on Google Earth, include Google Sky, Moon, Mars, and StreetView projects.

Medical Computing (014 Sitterson Hall)

“Solving Alzheimer’s Disease: A Systems Approach”

John Walker (Ph.D. 1991)


We’ve assembled a team of medical experts and software engineers to implement an approach to solving Alzheimer’s disease. Our core algorithms look at input from a person’s genome, their bio-chemistry, images and scans, personal and family medical histories, their diet and lifestyle, and existing medications and allergies to determine what may be leading to memory loss. The output is a set of recommendations for their physician and caregivers, laying out a step-by-step path to the reversal of cognitive decline. The results are quite promising, with the majority of early patients being able to even return to work. I plan to discuss some of the lessons from the architecture and implementation of this system.


John Q. Walker is the Chief Technology Officer (CTO) and a founder of Muses Labs, a software start-up in RTP focused on a systems approach to Alzheimer’s disease. In previous positions at Ganymede Software and IBM, he managed software development efforts in local-area networks (LANs), wireless LANs (“WiFi”), and voice-over-IP (VoIP). In his 2007 TED Talk, he described his vision for a new music industry, enhanced by data and algorithms. His invention of “Walker’s Algorithm” (while at UNC) has been fundamental to data visualization in fields involving hierarchical relationships.

“3D Visualization in Medicine”

David Banks (Ph.D. 1993)


A patient’s primary objective when making a medical decision is whether an intervention will produce a better outcome than no intervention at all. A secondary objective is to decide among various interventions that are available and recommended. 3D visualization can offer the patient helpful insight in making such a decision. This talk outlines ways that 3D visualization can combine with computational simulation and statistical analysis to allow patients to explore the potential outcomes of medical interventions. In particular, I describe a crowd-sourced tool to address questions such as: for individuals like me with a pathology like mine, what are the most likely outcomes of intervention-1 versus intervention-2 or intervention-3? what will the fracture or tumor or scar look like during the next months or years? what will my gait look like? what does the healing process look like, whether at the macroscopic or microscopic level?


David Banks received his PhD in Computer Science from UNC. His postdoctoral training was at NASA Langley Research Center. He directed the Visualization Laboratory at Florida State University and was a Visiting Professor in the Department of Radiology at Harvard Medical School before taking a position with the UT/ORNL Joint Institute for Computational Sciences. His interests include 3D fabrication, simulation, and visualization in medicine.

“Computational Genomics: Selections from the Menu”

Lenwood Heath (Ph.D. 1985)

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Modern DNA sequencing technology has made possible the inexpensive reading of the genomes of numerous organisms. This has led to projects and databases full of genomic sequences that are readily available for research. The primary mode of analysis for such sequences is computational, with the amount of available sequence outstripping the availability of computational resources. Hence, there are significant challenges for computer scientists in the realm of genomes.

We describe some specific computational genomic problems. First, we discuss the regulation of alternative splicing, the mechanism in a cell by which multiple proteins can be specified by a single gene. We describe an algorithm to leverage existing biological data to identify the sites in the genome important for such regulation. Second, we explain the problem of genome alignment, by which two or more genomes are compared. We introduce our framework for representing genome alignments. Third, we present a strategy for naming newly sequenced genomes based on genome similarity. Finally, we introduce some problems in viral genomics, as exemplified by the Ebola virus genome, for future computational research.


Lenwood S. Heath is a professor in the Department of Computer Science at Virginia Tech. His research interests include theoretical computer science, algorithms, graph theory, computational biology, and bioinformatics. Dr. Heath completed a Ph.D. in computer science at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill (1985), an M.S. in mathematics at the University of Chicago (1976), and a B.S. in mathematics at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill (1975). Before joining the faculty at Virginia Tech in 1987, he was an instructor of applied mathematics and member of the Laboratory of Computer Science at MIT.

“Revealing Patterns in the Injured Brain”

Amitabh Varshney (M.S. 1991, Ph.D. 1994)

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I will give an overview of our collaboration with radiologists in developing new visualization tools to detect previously unseen patterns of injuries in the human brain. This allows researchers and clinicians to better identify the extent of neural injuries — whether those injuries are from trauma or other neurological disorders. This better method of visualization allows for more timely therapeutic interventions. And, these same visualization tools can gauge any improvement in someone who has suffered a brain injury.

Diffusion kurtosis imaging (DKI) can reveal subtle changes in both gray and white matter. It has shown promising results in studies on changes in gray matter and mild traumatic brain injuries, where the traditional, Diffusion Tensor Imaging (DTI), is often found to be inadequate. However, the highly detailed spatio-angular fields in DKI datasets present a special challenge for visualization. Traditional techniques that use glyphs are often inadequate for expressing subtle changes in the DKI fields. My talk will outline our approach that addresses the above challenge to reveal micro-structural properties of the brain.


Amitabh Varshney is the Director of the Institute for Advanced Computer Studies (UMIACS) and Professor of Computer Science at the University of Maryland at College Park. His research interests are in interactive 3D graphics and visualization, bioimaging, and virtual environments. He is a Fellow of IEEE and a Director of the IEEE Visualization and Graphics Technical Committee.

Business of Computing (007 Brooks Building)

“Thoughts from the Front Lines of Implementing Technology—Are There Things We Could Be Doing Better?”

L. Annette Foster (M.S. 1974)

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This is the talk you give right before you retire because the ideas presented may be so counter to the prevailing thought you may never get consulting work again. We will discuss:

  • Changes that have occurred over time in how we implement technology and how we view these changes
  • The significance of the request that “technology folks learn the business” and the results from the fact that we don’t
  • The impact on project outcomes of dedicated vs non-dedicated team members, team size, silo’ed roles, and team and individual motivation.
  • Ways to improve on these concerns


Annette Foster is a 40+ year IT professional who has managed Professional Services in several software companies, managed IT departments and projects in businesses, and worked as an outside consultant for companies ranging from startups to Fortune 100 companies in a variety of industries. She is the founder of L. A. Foster & Associates, a consulting company focusing on aligning technology projects with the business needs. She has a MS in Computer Science from UNC-Chapel Hill and an MBA in Finance from UNC-Greensboro. She is a longtime member of the Association for Information Technology Professionals (AITP) and the Triangle Technology Executive Council (TTEC).

“30 Years in 20 Minutes: A Brief Retrospective of Technology in Business”

Philip Borneman (B.S. 1985)


Over the past 30 years, the discipline of technology management has seen many changes in the way businesses are run, both through the adoption of new technologies and the ways in which technology itself is managed. This retrospective will explore some of the forces, both gradual and disruptive, that have shaped the landscape of technology in business today.


Philip Borneman began his career with Philips and DuPont, supporting R&D and production of optical media for eight years. He then moved to an IT Director role with a sales and distribution company headquartered in Charlotte for six years, followed by 13 years of public sector work as Deputy Director of IT for the City of Charlotte. Philip is now a principal consultant with P&L Partners, advising clients on business and IT management best practices. In addition to his B.S. degree from UNC, he has achieved the ITIL Expert designation, is a Certified Government CIO, and completed the Program for Technology Managers at the Kenan-Flagler Business School.

“The Evolving Protection of Software Innovation”

Raymond Van Dyke (M.S. 1989)


The rise of the software industry and the Internet have created companies of immense value, such as Microsoft, Apple, Google and others, and have elevated the importance of the software innovations making those companies possible. Along with the social disruptions caused by these modern technologies, the legal protections employed to protect the code and paradigms for software inventions have been undergoing changes, some imminent.

From the beginning of the software industry in the 1950s to today, the controversies of software patenting have increased, with current Supreme Court cases, such as Alice Bank, and legislative efforts to curb software patenting. The differing players, views and contexts frame the controversy.

From the underlying justifications for intellectual property and patent laws, crafted in the Industrial Age by the Founders of the United States, to the ongoing efforts to shoehorn modern technologies to the legal framework, this presentation will discuss the issues and illustrate with famous inventors.


Ray Van Dyke, an IP practitioner, has taught a course on the basics of IP and the history of technology, law and IP laws for 16 years in the Computer Engineering Department of Southern Methodist University. He is active in various technical and legal associations, including being a Board member for the DC Chapter of ACM. He received his law degree from UNC Chapel Hill in 1990, is a member in the bar of numerous Courts, including the U.S. Supreme Court, is a registered patent attorney, works with the State Department on IP education, and testifies on IP matters.

“Experiences With the Adoption of Disruptive Technologies”

Craig Mudge (Ph.D. 1973)

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Drawing on personal experience as a computer designer from minicomputers to warehouse-sized computers, this talk will discuss the evolution of some important architectural functions, such as caches and signal processing chips. Being an advocate for, and sometimes a developer of, disruptive technologies, e.g., end-user chip design, infrastructure-as-a-service, has given first-hand experience of the complexities of technology adoption. One of the most consistent patterns in the computer business is the failure of leading companies to stay at the top of their industries when confronted with disruptive technologies. IBM dominated the mainframe market but missed by years the emergence of minicomputers. Digital Equipment Corporation dominated the minicomputer market with its PDP-11 and VAX families, but did not dominate the workstation market when it emerged and missed the PC market almost completely. The iPhone with its slick integration of personal music player, Internet applications, and telephony enabled Apple to displace Nokia from its leading position.


Dr Craig Mudge FTSE FAICD, a technologist working on data analytics at massive scale enabled by cloud computing, was a computer designer at DEC (now Hewlett Packard) in Boston, and a founder and CEO of computer chip company Austek Microsystems Ltd, which produced cache and signal processing chips. Its Fast Fourier Transform (FFT) chip formed the basis of CSIRO’s WiFi patent. Currently he is Managing Partner of a strategy consultancy and a Research Fellow at CSIRO. Mudge returned to Australia in 2005 after ten years in Silicon Valley, where he led the legendary Xerox Palo Alto Research Centre (PARC) Computer Science Lab. Mudge was elected a Fellow of Australia’s Academy of Technological Science and Engineering in 1985, holds six patents, and has served on some 30 advisory boards, most recently the new IBM Research Lab in Melbourne.

Education and Diversity (009 Brooks Building)

“Lean In and Win: Leadership and Diversity in Engineering”

Michelleta Razon (B.S. 1997)


Women make up 50 percent of the population, but less than 26 percent of the computing industry. For minority women, the numbers are more dramatic. Minority women make up less than ten percent of the computing workforce. In this talk, we will walk through important lessons learned as a woman and minority leader in the software business. I will also share proven approaches to managing tough situations and the keys finding success.


Michelleta Razon is the Senior Director of Platform Engineering for Teradata Applications, where she is responsible for the development of the Teradata Applications Platform-as-a-Service, which drives the Teradata Marketing SaaS and Enterprise offerings. During her career, Michelleta has led teams and built software for diverse domains such as national defense, artificial intelligence, business intelligence and marketing. She has had the opportunity to experience the software business from engineering, sales and leadership perspectives. Michelleta holds a B. S. in Computer Science from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, NC and a M. S. in Computer Science from the NSA Center of Excellence, Capitol College in Laurel, Maryland.

Improvements to Undergraduate CS Education

Joshua Stough (Ph.D. 2008)

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Given the ubiquity of software and technology in the modern world, undergraduate CS education is critical to the University’s mission of an educated citizenry. Though Computer Science as a field of study sells itself during this boom cycle, there are still areas for improvement, particularly in promoting numerical and statistical literacy and in broadening participation in CS. In this brief session, I will host a discussion on these and other areas of interest to participants. Participants may also share links or resources to be curated and publicly posted.


Joshua Stough received his PhD on medical image analysis under Steve Pizer in 2008. As an undergraduate educator and avowed toolsmith, he has continued to work in image processing and pattern recognition generally, publishing with students and collaborators on thalamic segmentation in MRI and (separately) marine coral ecology. Stough has also focused on pedagogy, presenting at conferences on how to teach parallel computing in the Python programming language in the early undergraduate CS curriculum.

“The Impact of Steve Weiss on My Teaching Career”

Mark Hutchinson (B.S. 1981)

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Steve Weiss taught or led several of my CompSci classes. We maintained a relationship after I had graduated. Steve affected several aspects of my career, most significantly, my software instruction. This potentially powerful talk will highlight this 40-year relationship and Steve’s legacy on my presentations.


Mark Hutchinson is an IT consultant and software instructor in Durham. He has worked in many technical positions, starting as a student programmer for Erwin Danziger at ADP. He gives back to the IT community through user groups, volunteer work, and technical articles. Mark is also a black belt in Aikido, extending his teaching to non-technical topics.

“Broadening Participation in Computing: Lessons from the Literature and Observations from the Front Lines”

Penny Rheingans (B.A. 1985, M.S. 1988, Ph.D. 1993)

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Unlike other STEM fields, computer science has a smaller percentage of women than it did decades ago. Solutions to the problem of lack of diversity in computing have remained elusive. The computing education research literature and stories of departments that have managed to move the diversity needle provide clues to what matters and what works. I survey the national snapshot of diversity in computing, summarize lessons from the research literature, profile some recent success stories, and share successes, frustrations, and observations from my experience as Director of UMBC’s Center for Women in Technology.


Penny Rheingans is a Professor of Computer Science and Electrical Engineering and Director of the Center for Women in Technology (CWIT) at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County. As CWIT Director, she oversees scholarship programs for undergraduates committed to increasing diversity in the computing and engineering fields and develops programs to increase the interest and retention of women in technology programs. She received a Ph.D in Computer Science from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill in 1993 and an AB in Computer Science from Harvard University in 1985. She is an active researcher in the area of data visualization with over 80 published works.

Interfacing With Data (141 Brooks Building)

“Amplifying Intelligence Through Interactive Data Visualizations”

Jeff Terrell (Ph.D. 2009)


In “The Computer Scientist as Toolsmith II”, Fred Brooks proposed an alternative to artificial intelligence (AI) that did not seek to replace human intelligence, but rather to augment and amplify it. He famously argued that such intelligence amplification (IA) systems would beat AI systems, given comparable technology and effort. In other words, IA > AI. The two fundamental problems of IA are input (of data into the mind) and output (of the will into the system). At least for quantitative data, data visualizations can be a high-bandwidth input channel. Furthermore, well-designed interactivity can provide rich channels for the expression of the will. Especially useful is the sort of interactivity that allows the exploration of the data at multiple levels of detail. This talk explores some of the challenges in designing IA systems, as well as some of the problems we have solved in creating VisClay, a data visualization tool created with IA in mind.


Jeff Terrell got his Ph.D. from the Computer Science Department in 2009, researching anomaly detection in large computer networks under the direction of Kevin Jeffay and Don Smith. Since graduating, he founded Altometrics, Inc., initially attempting to commercialize his Ph.D. research but later pivoting to focus on data analytics and visualization. Along the way, he stumbled upon Fred Brooks’ “Toolsmith” essay, which deeply affected his thinking about the entire field of computer science and became the explicit focus of the company. He lives in Durham with his wife and one-but-soon-to-be-two children.

“How I Helped Invent the Internet: The First Distributed Processing Application”

W. Sands Hobgood (M.S. 1974)

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Using concepts developed in his Master’s thesis (q.v., still in the UNC library), Hobgood went on to IBM Research in Yorktown Heights, New York. There he became involved in the Darpanet project at IBM, along with Carnegie-Mellon University, NASA Ames, Bell Laboratories in Naperville, Illinois, and BBN (cf.

The distributed processing operation written by Hobgood, and overseen by Al Weis, involved reading data from one of the gas chromatography devices in the laboratory, converting its output to paper tape code, and transmitting the raw data to the supercomputer site at NASA in Ames, Iowa. Today, that machine could fit in your pocket. Speed of the transmission was 240 baud. The numbers were crunched and returned to IBM, at which point Hobgood displayed the results on a much-refined version of his Master’s project, a three-dimensional graphics display.


Hobgood is grateful to Frederick P. Brooks, Stephen Pizer, and Don Stanat for allowing him to complete the master’s program, despite a lack-luster oral examination.

He was at IBM for 30 years until his retirement. Today he is the Organist & Choirmaster at Amity United Methodist Church in Chapel Hill, and founded and conducts a legitimate orchestra known as The Really Terrible Orchestra Of the Triangle (RTOOT).

“Making Claims: Questioning “Truths” About Computer Science and User Interfaces”

Scott McCrickard (Ph.D. 2009)

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This talk will focus on making claims in computer science and human-computer interaction: the development of knowledge in collaborative situations by groups of people with differing skills and opinions. Claims have appeal because they are simple in many ways, while hiding a rich complexity that can be leveraged to drive design from the perspectives of engineering, science, and creativity. The talk will address the history of knowledge capture and sharing in computer science, including patterns, issues, claims, and other structured rationale. Examples of systems built using claims-centric design will be presented, highlighting how claims can enable crossover design in the creation of user interfaces for health and wellness, assistive technologies, and computing education.


Scott McCrickard is an Associate Professor of Computer Science at Virginia Tech, and a member of Virginia Tech’s Center for Human Computer Interaction. McCrickard seeks to advance research in notification systems–providing improved system interfaces and engineering processes. His work is on both the process and application side in advancing this emerging domain. The process side work focuses on ways to capture, share, and reuse interface design knowledge. The applications, generally developed for mobile devices (tablets, handhelds, mobile phones, smartwatches), focus on fields in which appropriate notifications have great potential value–health and wellness, assistive technologies, work-order systems, and educational situations. McCrickard received his Ph.D. in 2000 from Georgia Tech, his M.S. in 1995 from Georgia Tech, and his B.S. in 1992 from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. He recently completed a book titled “Making Claims: Knowledge Design, Capture, and Sharing in HCI”.


What “Mobile-First” Means for the Future of Computer Science

Marc Levoy

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Marc Levoy is the VMware Founders Professor of Computer Science, Emeritus. Education: B. Architecture and M.S. from Cornell (1976,1978), PhD in Computer Science from University of North Carolina (1989). In previous lives he worked on computer-assisted cartoon animation (1970s), volume rendering (1980s), 3D scanning (1990s), and computational photography (2000s), including light field photography and microscopy. At Stanford he taught computer graphics, digital photography, and the science of art. Outside of academia, Levoy co-designed the Google book scanner, launched Google’s Street View project, and currently leads a team at Google that has worked on Project Glass and the Nexus 6’s HDR+ mode. Awards: Charles Goodwin Sands Medal for best undergraduate thesis (1976), National Science Foundation Presidential Young Investigator (1991), ACM SIGGRAPH Computer Graphics Achievement Award (1996), ACM Fellow (2007).

Making Invisible Visible

Ramesh Raskar

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Ramesh Raskar is an Associate Professor at MIT Media Lab. Ramesh Raskar joined the Media Lab from Mitsubishi Electric Research Laboratories in 2008 as head of the Lab’s Camera Culture research group. His research interests span the fields of computational photography, inverse problems in imaging and human-computer interaction. Recent projects and inventions include transient imaging to look around a corner, a next generation CAT-Scan machine, imperceptible markers for motion capture (Prakash), long distance barcodes (Bokode), touch+hover 3D interaction displays (BiDi screen), low-cost eye care devices (Netra,Catra), new theoretical models to augment light fields (ALF) to represent wave phenomena and algebraic rank constraints for 3D displays (HR3D).

In 2004, Raskar received the TR100 Award from Technology Review, which recognizes top young innovators under the age of 35, and in 2003, the Global Indus Technovator Award, instituted at MIT to recognize the top 20 Indian technology innovators worldwide. In 2009, he was awarded a Sloan Research Fellowship. In 2010, he received the Darpa Young Faculty award. Other awards include Marr Prize honorable mention 2009, LAUNCH Health Innovation Award, presented by NASA, USAID, US State Dept and NIKE, 2010, Vodafone Wireless Innovation Project Award (first place), 2011. He holds over 50 US patents and has received four Mitsubishi Electric Invention Awards. He is currently co-authoring a book on Computational Photography.

How Quantized Should a Digital System Be?

Ivan Sutherland

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Ivan Sutherland received a Ph.D. degree from MIT in 1963 and an honorary D.Sc. degree from UNC in 1986. He is a member of both the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering. He was the 1988 recipient of the Turing award and the 2012 recipient of the Kyoto Prize in Advanced Technology. Dr. Sutherland is author of over 60 patents, as well as numerous papers. He makes his home in Portland where he works at Portland State University (PSU) in the Asynchronous Research Center (ARC) that he founded with his wife, Marly Roncken, in 2008.

Virtual Reality and UNC: Sutherland, Brooks and Beyond

Henry Fuchs

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Henry Fuchs is the Federico Gil Distinguished Professor of Computer Science and Adjunct Professor of Biomedical Engineering at UNC Chapel Hill. He has been active in computer graphics since the early 1970s, with rendering algorithms (BSP Trees), hardware (Pixel-Planes and PixelFlow), virtual environments, tele-immersion systems and medical applications. He received a Ph.D. in 1975 from the University of Utah.

From 1975 to 1978 he was an assistant professor at the University of Texas at Dallas. Since 1978, he’s been on the faculty at UNC Chapel Hill. He is a member of the National Academy of Engineering, a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the recipient of the 1992 ACM-SIGGRAPH Achievement Award, the 1992 Academic Award of the National Computer Graphics Association, the 1997 Satava Award of the Medicine Meets Virtual Reality Conference, and the 2013 IEEE-VGTC Virtual Reality Career Award.