The 4th Annual Faculty of Color Awards winners were announced by the Committee for Project for New Mexico Graduates of Color (PNMGC) on May 13 2010. Faculty of Color Awards honor UNM faculty and staff who contribute their time and support to underrepresented graduate students. Prof. Moses won the award for her contributions in mentoring research. Professor Moses's research interests are in biological networks, agent-based models of biological systems including the immune system and ant colonies, and other research in complex systems and computational biology.Congratulations Professor Moses!
Three UNM PhD students, George Bezerra (Computer Science), Paul Hooper (Anthropology), and Wenyun Zuo (Biology) spent the Spring 2010 semester developing and teaching the first interdisciplinary course on Complex Networks Science at UNM. This unique teaching experience was provided through the auspices of UNM's Program of Interdisciplinary Biological and Biomedical Sciences (PiBBs), where the three students are fellows. The course had 17 registered students from more than 7 different departments, plus several researchers and professors who regularly joined the lectures and discussions. The course covered topics such as random graphs, small-world networks, scale-free networks, fractal networks, network scaling, and community structure. It also included case studies of human and animal social networks, biological food webs, metabolic networks, road systems, neural networks, and computational networks. The material used in the course are available online at PiBBs .
The computer science department, in cooperation with the UNM Center for Science, Technology and Policy, hosted a talk by Herb Lin on Cyberattack as an Instrument of U.S. Policy, followed by a panel discussion. The panelists, from left to right, were Andrew Ross (Director, UNM Center for Science, Technology and Policy and Professor, UNM Department of Political Science), Daniel Dennett (Austin B. Fletcher Professor of Philosophy, Tufts University and Miller scholar, Santa Fe Institute), David Ackley (Associate Professor, UNM Department of Computer Science and external professor, Santa Fe Institute), Robert Hutchison (Senior Manager for Computer Science and Information Operations, Sandia National Laboratories), and Herb Lin (Chief Scientist for the National Research Council's Computer Science). The panel was moderated by Stephanie Forrest (Professor and Chairman of UNM Department of Computer Science, Research Professor, Santa Fe Institute), far right. A podcast and article of the talk and panel discussion is available at UNM Live and UNM Today.
In a paper that will appear at the 30th International Conference on
Distributed Computing Systems in Italy this summer, graduate student
Jong Park and his advisor, Jed Crandall, describe their results from
testing Internet censorship performed by routers in a nation's
backbone. These results can help us understand the technical aspects
of how global Internet censorship is coming into form. Their study
focused on China's filtering of HTML responses on a national scale,
implemented in the backbone of the country's Internet. In this form
of censorship, the censors inject special reset packets to interrupt
connections where banned keywords are transferred. Park and Crandall
found that this centralized form of filtering web pages is not very
effective, and that the censors abandoned their efforts to do this
some time between August 2008 and January 2009. Within the context of
many governments around the world implementing filtering systems that
are on local networks and not centrally controlled, such as Australia
and now China (in light of their failed efforts to perform censorship
in a centralized fashion), the story of a failed attempt at a
national-scale filtering system that Park and Crandall's data shows
provides a valuable data point for making predictions about what
global Internet censorship will look like in the coming years and
decades. For further details, see the ICDCS paper or a recent article at newscientist.com. An article is
available at UNM Today.
CS Department PhD student Soumya Banerjee has been awarded the 2010 UNM Student Award for Innovation in Informatics. The award is given to a UNM graduate or undergraduate student for the best paper describing innovation or research in the field of biomedical informatics. He will present his work at the Biocomputing@UNM Workshop on April 16th, 2:30 PM.
His research interest is in computational immunology- a field that uses techniques from computer science to solve problems in immunology and which also takes inspiration from immunology to solve problems in computer science. He is advised by Prof. Melanie Moses and collaborates with Prof. Alan Perelson at Los Alamos National Laboratories. One of his current research projects uses mathematical models to predict the rate at which pathogens will replicate within organisms and the rate at which the immune system will neutralize pathogens (paper).
He also looks at how a modular decentralized detection network of biological "detectors" called lymph nodes can help the immune system conduct very efficient detection and response. Taking inspiration from the immune system, he and his collaborators were able to show that such a modular strategy can be used to decrease search times in distributed systems like peer-to-peer resource location systems and wireless sensor networks (paper). The broad goal of his research will be to investigate how the seemingly disparate fields of immunology and computer science can learn from one another.
On April 8th, the Computer Science Graduate Student Association hosted the 6th annual student conference highlighting active research areas within the department. 12 student talks were delivered in the areas of security, imm\ une system strategies for distibuted systems, causal learning, Bayesian network structure search, network learning methods, agent-based modeling inspired by ant colony optimization, and expansion of OpenSolaris networking features to support large scale virtual machine networks. Additionally, Nicholas Pattengale and Jun Zhang, two PhD students graduating this Spring, presented their respective doctoral achievements in the areas of phylogenetic consensus techniques which handle rogue taxa and Gibbs random field modeling of cell membrane proteins. Dr. Melanie Mitchell delivered a spirited and interactive keynote address outlining her new research on bridging the gap between low-level perception and higher-level image understanding. Conference proceedings are available at the conference website.
CS Department student Ronnie Garduno has been accepted into the 2009-10 cohort of the Ronald E. McNair Post-baccalaureate Achievement Program. The program is part of the Federally-funded and mandated TRIO program for assisting under-represented minorities and first-generation\
college students in their academic undertakings. Ronnie is among the 26 undergraduate students to get the opportunity to participate in an intense research and graduate preparation program.
Ronnie had been working since last summer on ConceptDoppler project with Prof. Jedidiah Crandall, Assistant Professor of the Computer Science Department at UNM. In the future he wants to pursue a Ph.D. in Computer Science. His research interest lies in the fields of AI, ALife, Machine Learning, and Cognitive Science.
Qforma, an advanced analytics and predictive modeling company, has awarded its first-ever Qforma Lectureship Award, in the amount of $5,000, to Professor Shuang Luan, assistant professor of computer science and assistant joint professor of radiology at the University of New Mexico.
"We are delighted that Dr. Luan has been chosen to receive the first Qforma Lectureship" said Stephanie Forrest, professor and chairman of computer science at the University of New Mexico and research professor at the Santa Fe Institute. "Dr. Luan's research on computational methods for therapeutic radiation oncology is exciting and promises to improve the clinical care of patients."
Professor Luan's current research emphasizes on the design and development of efficient and effective computer algorithms and software for radiation oncology and interventional radiology. His research interests include computational medicine and biomedical engineering, algorithms design, analysis and implementation, and computational geometry. Professor Luan's research has been sponsored by the National Science Foundation and National Cancer Insititute. He has received an NSF award earlier this year for his research on "Computer-Aided Treatment Planning for Antiproton Therapy"
Congratulations Professor Luan!
On Wednesday, October 21st, the Computer Science Graduate Student Association (CSGSA) sponsored this year's first faculty vs graduate student athletic event, a basketball match, which the graduate students' won. Wednesday's basketball game was a great success, strengthening the relationship between CS faculty \ and graduate students. Afterwards both teams participated in a dinner sponsored by the faculty team. The CSGSA had organized so far several social hours like dinners, sport events, games nights and will be organizing more such events in upcoming months. The events will be announced through the mailing lists and CSGSA website.
Related links: Computer Science Graduate Student Association;
The National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering (NIBIB), part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), has awarded PiBBs a Phase II interdisciplinary research training grant totaling $2 million over five years. This training grant will provide sustained support for interdisciplinary research training that integrates the biomedical sciences with the physical sciences and engineering. The award represents the second phase of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI)-NIBIB Interfaces Initiative for Interdisciplinary Graduate Research Training, a collaborative training program that was developed jointly by both institutions with the goal of increasing interdisciplinary training opportunities.
From the department of Computer Science, Professor Stephanie Forrest, Associate Professor Terran Lane and Assistant Professor Melanie Moses and PhD candidates Sushmita Roy, George Bezerra, and Drew Levin have been contributing to this research initiative. This renewed funding will create more opportunity for interdisciplinary students and researchers in upcoming years.
Related links: Program in Interdisciplinary Biological and Biomedical Science (PiBBs); National Institutes of Health (NIH); The National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering (NIBIB); Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI); Professor Stephanie Forrest; Assistant Professor Terran Lane; Assistant Professor Melanie Moses; Sushmita Roy
PhD candidate, Amitabh Trehan, received the Dean's Dissertation Fellowship for the year 2009-2010 for his dissertation proposal "Self-Healing networks". The fellowship will provide one year financial assistance for the completion of his PhD degree. Earlier Trehan was nominated for this fellowship by the Computer Science department.
Trehan's recent research focuses on developing distributed algorithms for self-healing and stability in dynamic networks such as computer networks. His last two papers in this area have been accepted at the prestigious conference, Principles of Distributed Computing (PODC), in both the year 2008 and 2009. His advisor Prof. Jared Saia's guidance has been helping him mature as a researcher. In future Trehan wants to become an academician and continue research, learning and teaching computer science
In an article on Wired News' GadgetLab blog\ , Associate Professor David Ackley talked about programming the 'Illuminato X Machina', a motherboard prototype, that uses separate modules each of which has its own processor, memory, storage and communications. The article was quickly picked up by tech hub Slashdot and sparked discussions among it's tech savvy users. Prof. Ackley was also featured in popular gadget blog Gizmodo.
Each square cell of 'Illuminato X Machina' serves as a mini-motherboard and network node; the cells can route power among themselves and decide to accept or reject incoming transmissions and programs independently. By varying the count, connections, and programming of a set of modules, aggregate computers can be created with properties tuned to the task at hand.
PhD student Sushmita Roy received a Computing Innovation Fellowship for her proposal to develop 'A machine learning framework for learning networks across multiple species'. The fellowship was awarded by The Computing Community Consortium (CCC) and the Computing Research Association (CRA) with funding from the National Science Foundation. The fellowship grants her a year's funding for doing post-doctoral research at the labs of Dr. Aviv Regev and Dr. Manolis Kellis at The Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard. Roy was among the 60 grantees who received this fellowship from more than 500 applicants.
Roy's research focuses on machine learning approaches to solve problems in computational biology. For her PhD dissertation she is developing statistical approaches for learning condition-specific networks, which are gene networks describing how living cells behave in different environmental conditions. Her advisers, Dr. Terran Lane (Computer Science) and Dr. Margaret Werner-Washburne (Biology) are guiding her efforts in making algorithmic advances for understanding environmental condition-specific response in simple biological systems such as yeast. In the future she would like to extend her approach to understand various disease conditions, which has implications in human health.
Professor Darko Stefanovic's research on molecular computing was featured in an article at the June 2009 issue of Nature Phyiscs (Vol 5, No. 6). The article, "Attack of the cyberspider", (subscription required) emphasizes his joint research with Prof. Milan Stojanovic of the Department of Medicine at Columbia University on molecular computing and control.
Prof. Stefanovic and his colleagues used single-stranded DNA to design a number of simple logic gates based on chemical activity. Their implementation works in solution and can be used to carry out information processing in biological fluids. The article predicts that future molecular control systems will be able to detect specific DNA sequences, for example, and to release specific drugs or molecules in response. Their recent development, molecular spiders - biomolecular systems having two to six extended deoxyribozymes attached to a protein - is also discussed in the article.
Prof. Stefanovic's work in biomolecular computation has earned him a number of NSF grants and he was also named the School of Engineering's Regents' Lecturer, based on his outstanding research, teaching and service accomplishments.
Professor Jedidiah Crandall is the recipient of a 2009 National Science Foundation (NSF) CAREER award for his project titled, "Internet Measurement in the Cat's Cradle of Global Internet Censorship". According to the NSF, the CAREER award offers "the National Science Foundation's most prestigious awards in support of junior faculty who exemplify the role of teacher-scholars through outstanding research, excellent education and the integration of education and research." The award amount is $400,000 and will support the research project for five years.
Prof. Crandall's research is laying a foundation for the study of Internet censorship by developing measurement techniques that are not biased by the inherently computational issues that Internet censorship entails. For example, Internet routing and protocol dynamics can cause measurements, of both what is censored and how it is censored, to give inaccurate results that are difficult to reproduce. This hinders the development of effective technologies and policies to address this global phenomenon. Already, Prof. Crandall's research has appeared in news outlets such as the BBC, EWeek, Slashdot, and Ars Technica, and was mentioned in the Atlantic Monthly.
Congratulations, Prof. Crandall!
Distinguished Professor Deepak Kapur will receive the prestigious Herbrand award at the 22nd International Conference on Automated Deduction (CADE) in Montreal in August. The award is in recognition of Professor Kapur's seminal contributions to several areas of automated deduction including inductive theorem proving, geometry theorem proving, term rewriting, unification theory, integration and combination of decision procedures, lemma and loop invariant generation, as well as his work in computer algebra, which helped to bridge the gap between the two areas.
Named after the French mathematician Jacques Herbrand, the award was established in 1992 by CADE to honor an individual or a group of individuals for exceptional contributions to the field of automated deduction. The Herbrand Award, the most prestigious award in this field, is decided by the CADE trustees, former recipients, and the current program committee of CADE.
Professor Kapur's research in the field of automated deduction includes mechanization of logical, algebraic and geometric reasoning and their applications to formal methods such as program analysis and hardware verification, as well as image understanding.
Professor Kapur served as the editor-in-chief of the Journal of Automated Reasoning, the premier journal in the area of automated deduction, from 1993-2007.
Palacios 1.1 and Kitten 1.1.0 were recently released. These operating systems are part of the V3VEE project worked on jointly by Northwestern University, UNM, and Sandia National Laboratories. Palacios is a virtual machine monitor, while Kitten is a lightweight kernel for high performance computing. They allow better use of the Red Storm supercomputer, among other uses. The UNM team consists of Prof. Patrick Bridges, graduate student Zheng Cui, undergraduate Philip Soltero, and Research Professor Patrick Widener.
PhD student Diane Oyen won a School of Engineering Regents Graduate Fellowship, of which three are awarded each year. The award carries with it a $2000 stipend.
Diane researches machine learning with her advisor Prof. Terran Lane. She has been analyzing neuroimaging data by modeling the brain as a network of activity, especially to find how mental illness affects this network.
The students in Joel Castellanos' CS 351 class (The Design of Large Programs) worked on a traffic simulation of the Raynolds Addition / Barelas Stop Sign Reconfiguration Proposal. This is a current reconfiguration proposal in the area of Albuquerque near the zoo, the bio park, and Tingley Park.
The class met with various people including Albuquerque City Councilor Benton as well as members of traffic safety department, from whom they obtained accuRate accident rates and traffic volumes at and between each intersection at various times of day. They created a simulation of the intersection using that data. The city is planning to include an applet version of our student’s simulation on their website for citizen view of the proposal.
The students involved are: Jonathan Baca, Omar Garcia, Basak Gocmen, Thomas Gonzales, Annette Hatch, Patrick Mahoney, Jonathan Mandeville, Santiago Montalvo Fernandez, and Trent Yocom.
Related Links: Traffic Simulation Plan (PDF)
Dr. Rob Abbott's dissertation "Automated Tactics Modeling: Techniques and Applications" recently won the Tom L. Popejoy Dissertation Prize. The award was created as a memorial to the late Tom L. Popejoy, UNM President from 1948 to 1968. The dissertation discusses the use of intelligent agents with realistic tactics gleaned from subject matter experts in a computer simulation program used for training.
Rob currently works at the Cognitive and Optical Military Systems department at Sandia National Laboratories, which works to understand and facilitate interactions between humans and automated systems, especially high consequence decision-making under stress.
Way to go, Rob!
CS Dept. Graduate student ThanhVu Nguyen and his advisor Prof. Stephanie Forrest (in collaboration with Univ. of Virginia Prof. Westley Weimer and graduate student Clair Le Goues) won the the IFIP TC2 Manfred Paul Award for Excellence in Software: Theory and Practice for a paper they worked on for the International Conference on Software Engineering (ICSE).
The award is 1024 Euros and the award ceremony will take place at ICSE in May. In addition, the paper was also named one of only five ACM SIGSOFT Distinguished Papers as well.
The article, "UK is ideal home for electronic Big Brother", discusses which countries transmit the most Internet traffic and is a based on a paper, "Nation-State Routing: Censorship, Wiretapping, and BGP", which is a collaboration of graduate student Josh Karlin with Prof. Jennifer Rexford of Princeton and Prof. Stephanie Forrest of the CS Dept.
The UK is the second highest on the "country centrality" score (after the US) with Germany taking up the third place. It builds on Josh's work with Autonomous Systems and BGP that Josh focused on for his recent dissertation. It shows that, counterintuitively, the nations who are known to censor the Internet such as China have relatively little impact on international routing, while these top three nations could potentially have a much greater impact.
Applicants for Spring 2010 should use the new graduate application server. The new server allows secure uploading of unofficial PDF transcripts, letters of recommendation, and creation of an account that allows editing of your application with the CS department. If you still need to apply for Fall 2009, you should apply using the Pre-admission Graduate Information Form.
Related links: Graduate Application Server
Edgar Leon, a PhD student working with Barney Maccabe, was recently accepted to the NSF-Sponsored Academic Workshop for Underrepresented Assistant Professors, Associate Professors, and Senior Doctoral Students. The workshop will be held April 4th and 5th, 2009 in Portland Oregon.
Prof. Melanie Moses of the UNM CS Dept. recently had an essay (subscription needed) published in Nature discussing the Metabolic Theory of Ecology. Biologists use this theory to explain why elephants have many fewer children than mice, but also live much longer. The theory states that that both are related to the length of the circulatory network needed to provide nutrients to the cells of each animal: in fact, the longer the network, the slower the metabolism, and the fewer the offspring.
How do humans stack up on this scale? This theory shows that "...North Americans consume energy at a rate sufficient to sustain a 30,000-kilogram primate....". This takes into account the power we consume through electrical, oil, gas and other networks. The theory also explains why humans with the most resources tend to reproduce the least: each child in a developed nation takes a great deal of resources, and parents react by having fewer children.
Cleve Moler, co-creator of the MatLab software used worldwide by scientists and engineers, was recently featured in an article in the New Mexico Business Weekly. Moler served as Chair of the Computer Science department in the 1980s and later became Chief Scientist at The Mathworks™, developers of MatLab. The article also features a quote from current chair Stephanie Forrest.
James Horey will speak at the SOE convocation to be held 10:00 a.m., December 20, 2008. This marks the fifth time in a row a computer science student has been selected to be a speaker—the others were Dennis Paiz-Ramirez, Rory McGuire, Monique Morin and Aaron Clauset. James is graduating with his PhD, and his research interests include programming interfaces, runtime systems, and privacy algorithms for sensor networks. He works with Prof. Arthur (Barney) Maccabe.
UNM CS Professor Melanie Moses was a co-author on a paper in the prestigious Science magazine called "Energy Uptake and Allocation During Ontogeny" (subscription required). The article was featured on UNM Today. The paper shows that the food young use to grow always stays proportional to how fast they are growing.
The Office of Advanced Scientific Computing Research, a Department of Energy program, published an article discussing the work that CS graduate student Kurt Ferreira, his professor Patrick Bridges and Sandia team leader Ron Brightwell. The work involves "decomposing periodic services into smaller pieces that run more often" to reduce the impact of noise on application performance in large-scale, parallel systems.
ThanhVu Nguyen is the recipient of the New Mexico Space Grant Consortium research scholarship for the Spring 2009 semester. ThanhVu is no stranger to awards: last year he won the NASA New Mexico Space Grant Fellowship. ThanhVu received M.S. and B.S. degrees from Pennsylvania State, and is a PhD student in the department. Department Chair Stephanie Forrest is his advisor.
Thomas Hayes, who joined the Computer Science department this fall, will discuss "Phase Transitions in Computer Science, Statistics, and Physics" this Friday, October, 24th, 2008 at 2 pm, in Mechanical Engineering (ME) room 218. Refreshments will be provided.
The computer science department has hired three new professors to join the department. Here they are (in alphabetical order):
Dorian Arnold (pictured left) focuses his research on reliability and scalability for large scale parallel and distributed systems. He worked on creating a prototype tree-based overlay network, and is receiving his PhD from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He will officially join the department in Spring 2009.
Tom Hayes (shown to to the right) studies randomized algorithms for decision-making in complex systems. Hayes received his PhD from the University of Chicago, and subsequently completed postdoctoral studies at U.C. Berkeley and the Toyota Technological Institute at Chicago. Tom joins the department in Fall 2008.
Wenbo He (pictured left) has such varied research interests as pervasive and ubiquitous computing, cyber trust & security, and disruption tolerant networking.
She received her PhD and Masters degrees from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She also worked at Cisco Systems, Inc, for five years. Wenbo joins the department in Fall 2008.
Please join us in welcoming all our new faculty. We look forward to working with them!
The computer science undergraduate and graduate curriculum has been revised for the 2008-2009 academic year, and so has the Degrees section on the computer science website. The graduate curriculum in particular has been streamlined to make it easier for professionals to earn their degree. Here are some useful PDFs related to these updates:
Albuquerque's ABC affiliate, KOAT 7, interviewed Prof. Jed Crandall on August 3rd, 2008 about the ConceptDoppler project, a kind of automated weather report tool for censorship. Then the August 6th issue of the Albuquerque Journal published a story about Jed Crandall's work, which is available on the website (subscription or free trial pass required). Next, Jed Crandall was interviewed August 7th on Santa Fe Public Radio (KSFR). Listen to the interview. (MP3). And last, and certainly not least, Jed was interviewed by KOAT 7 again on August 27th, 2008, to see what he found about Internet censorship during the Olympics held in Beijing.
ConceptDoppler has shown that the Chinese Internet censorship is not a true firewall. It tests keywords from the Chinese wikipedia and has discovered that on 28% of the tested network paths, the data made it through. During the Olympics, the filtering seemed lighter than normal, but was still present. In addition to sensitive topics such as Falun Gong and Tibet, many keywords on the blacklist are aimed at preventing rallies and protests. Thus, there is no way to know for sure what demonstrations might have occurred that were prevented by the censorship remaining in place.
Video of both interviews are available:
New graduate students in the computer science department had a chance to attend the graduate student orientation on Friday, August 22nd. They learned all about the department, the logistics of living in Albuquerque, had an opportunity to talk with professors—not to mention enjoying some free food.
Welcome to all the new graduate students!
Related links: Larger version of picture of attendees
The graduate student orientation (which is required of all new students) will take place Friday, August 22nd, from 12 noon - 5 pm at Farris Engineering Center, room 141. The full orientation announcement (PDF) contains more details. New grad students may find the Google map showing the location of Farris handy. Also check out the no-appointment-necessary advisement times schedule (PDF).
Welcome new grad students!
Albuquerque's ABC affiliate, KOAT 7, interviewed Prof. Jed Crandall on August 3rd, 2008 about his ConceptDoppler project, a kind of automated weather report tool for censorship. With the Olympics in Beijing starting August 8th, 2008, the media has taken a renewed interest in Chinese Internet censorship.
ConceptDoppler has shown that the Chinese Internet censorship is not a true firewall. It tests keywords from the Chinese wikipedia and has discovered that on 28% of the tested network paths, the data made it through. They also noted that filtering in general was most erratic when traffic was busy. Those curious about which keywords are blacklisted can take a look at them on the ConceptDoppler site.
Update: The August 6th issue of the Albuquerque Journal has a story about Jed Crandall's work. The article is available on the website (subscription or free trial pass required).
Update 2: Jed Crandall was interviewed August 7th on Santa Fe Public Radio (KSFR). Listen to the interview. (MP3)
In an article on NetworkWorld, the CS Dept's Associate Chair George Luger is quoted, discussing the real-world uses of artificial intelligence (AI) and where the field is headed. The article was picked up by tech hub Slashdot not long after. George literally wrote the book on AI—the sixth edition of Artificial Intelligence was recently released.
The CS Department's Jonathan Baca won the 2008 Fellowship for Minority Undergraduate Summer Research Experience in Medical Physics. The American Association of Physicists in Medicine (AAPM) awarded the fellowship. Jonathan will conduct research with Prof. Shuang Luan on developing parallel simulated annealing solvers in the context of radiation therapy treatment planning.
Simulated annealing optimization is crucial to modern radiation therapy—most commercial radiotherapy planning systems use it. The research will develop parallel simulated annealing solvers on the latest multi-core architecture to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of current systems.
Derek J. Smith, who received his PhD in computer science from the CS Dept, is now mapping influenza mutations at Cambridge University, where he is a full professor in the Zoology Department. His work is a continuation of the PhD and postdoc he did with Department Chair Stephanie Forrest.
He was called "Mapmaker for the World of Influenza" in a recent biographical piece in Science. His work on antigenic cartography is so highly regarded that he was invited to join the World Health Organization group that selects which strain of influenza will be used for the annual flu vaccine used worldwide by 300 million people.
Derek Smith and other CS Dept Alumni, Terry Jones, were authors on a paper published recently in Science magazine called "The Global Circulation of Seasonal Influenza A (H3N2) Viruses", which described the cycle of influenza mutations first appearing in East/Southeast Asia and later propagating to the the world. This work could help improve the vaccine millions depend on each flu season.
Aaron Clauset (a recent CS Dept. alumnus now at the Santa Fe Institute), Prof. Cris Moore, and Mark Newman (Univ. of Michigan) published "Hierarchical structure and the prediction of missing links in networks" (subscription required) in Nature. The paper in the prestigious journal offers a general technique to divide network vertices into groups and sub-groups, and argues that "...hierarchy is a central organizing principle of complex networks, capable of offering insight into many network phenomena." The Nature article was also featured on Slashdot.
Senior Lecturer for the CS Dept. Andree Jacobson won the UNM 2007-2008 Outstanding Adjunct Teacher/Lecturer of the Year Award this May. The award is the highest teaching honor among adjunct faculty/lecturers and recognizes valuable contributions as a classroom instructor. Andree is one of only three recipients at UNM this year. The awards ceremony took place on Wednesday, May 7th, 2008.
Dennis Paiz-Ramirez is no stranger to awards and honors, having been valedictorian at Rio Grande high school here in Albuquerque, and earning the Outstanding Junior student for the CS Dept. at this year's SOE Awards Banquet. Now he has an additional honor to add: he will be one of the School of Engineering Convocation speakers at this year's convocation, which takes place Saturday, May 17th, at 1pm. This marks the fourth time a computer science student has been selected to be a speaker in a row--the others were Rory McGuire, Monique Morin and Aaron Clauset. Dennis will receive his Bachelor's degree, and plans to become a graduate student at Stanford.
Congratulations to UNM PhD students Navin Rustagi and Amitabh Trehan whose paper, "The Forgiving Tree: A Self-Healing Distributed Data Structure" was accepted at the Principles of Distributed Computing (PODC 2008) conference. PODC is the preeminent conference in distributed computing, with an acceptance rate around 15%. This paper, which was joint work with Thomas Hayes and Jared Saia, describes algorithms to ensure that a network keeps a small diameter, even if an adversary continually deletes nodes in the network.
Congratulations also to former UNM student, Maxwell Young (now at U. Waterloo) whose paper "Sleeping on the Job: Energy-Efficient Broadcast for Radio Networks" was also accepted at this conference. This paper, which was joint work with Jared Saia, Cynthia Phillips (from Sandia Labs), and Valerie King, describes algorithms to enable robust and energy efficient broadcast in a radio network.
Related links: PODC 2008; "The Forgiving Tree: A Self-Healing Distributed Data Structure"; "Sleeping on the Job: Energy-Efficient Broadcast for Radio Networks"; Jared Saia; Navin Rustagi; Amitabh Trehan; Thomas Hayes; Cynthia Phillips
The CS Department's Nate Swanson received the UNM Innovations in Informatics Award at the Biocomputing @ UNM Conference on March 28, 2008. Nate, a PhD Research Assistant in the department, won for his work on the invention of dynamic gamma knife radiosurgery.
Gamma knife radiosurgery procedures are often used to treat brain tumors,and this new technique greatly speeds the delivery of this life-saving technique. Nate's advisor is Prof. Shuang Luan: the work was funded in part by the NSF.
Josh Karlin, a PhD student in the CS Dept, has a website hosted here at the CS Dept. called the Internet Alert Registry (IAR) which monitors Border Gateway Protocol (BGP) updates for suspicious routes. BGP is the routing protocol used to discover routes between the Internet's various networks.
The IAR was recently highlighted when an ISP in Pakistan, attempting to implement a government-ordered censoring of YouTube, inadvertently broadcast information that prevented users worldwide from accessing the wildly popular home of viral videos.
The incident, which lasted around 2 hours on February 24, 2008, was mentioned in InformationWeek as well as CNET, and the IAR was mentioned as a site helping to highlight the problem by listing dozens of potentially suspicious changes to BGP per day. A paper with co-authors Jennifer Rexford and Dept. Chair Stephanie Forrest, offers a way to greatly mitigate the security issues with BGP using an approach called Pretty Good BGP.
Join us Wednesday, Febuary 20th at 4pm in Farris Engineering Center (FEC) 141 for barbeque as faculty discuss their research and current graduate students demo their work. Find out more about it with this flyer (PDF).
This upcoming School of Engineering Convocation (taking place 10:00 am, Saturday, December 15th at Popejoy Hall) will feature a strong presence from the Computer Science Department. Graduate student Monique Morin will be a speaker at the Convocation, and undergraduate student Laura Glendenning will receive the George F. Breece Award, which is awarded to the undergraduate in the School of Engineering with the highest GPA.
At the convocation, Monique will receive her PhD. Her dissertation deals with the development of new algorithms and tools for the reconstruction and characterization of phylogenetic networks. Monique, whose adviser is Prof. Bernard Moret, previously won an undergraduate Associated Western Universities Honorary Fellowship to Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. Laura will receive her Bachelor's degree at the convocation. Laura is no stranger to awards—she was also recipient of the Computer Science Departments's 2006 Outstanding Junior award and the Outstanding Senior award in 2007. Not content to wait for her graduate career to work on research, has worked on machine learning with Prof. Terran Lane in the Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) program.
Congratulations to both!
PhD student ThanhVu Nguyen won the NASA New Mexico Space Grant Fellowship for Spring and Fall 2008. ThanhVu's previous work with Unmanned Aerial Vehicles motivated him to apply for the fellowship. The fellowship will allow him to study computer security, specifically detecting abnormalities in desktop environments. ThanhVu has also researched evolutionary computing, more specifically genetic algorithm and programming, as well as agent-based optimizations. ThanhVu received an M.S. and B.S. degrees from Pennsylvania State, and is a first-year PhD student in the department. Department Chair Stephanie Forrest is his advisor.
Computer Science graduate student Sushmita Roy contributed to a paper published in the journal Nature, an accomplishment that also landed her as the lead headline on UNM's home page. Sushmita worked on a summer internship with Prof. Manolis Kellis and his team at MIT. The team used comparative genomics to analyze the genomes of 12 fly species. Sushmita is one of the authors on the paper discussing that work, "Discovery of Functional Elements in 12 Drosophila Genomes Using Evolutionary Signatures."
Her internship was sponsored by the Program in Interdisciplinary Biological and Biomedical Sciences (PIBBS) at UNM and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) Interfaces program, and arranged by Microbial Sequencing Center Director Bruce Birren (MIT) and Professor Margaret Werner-Washburne (UNM Biology).
Sushmita earned her Master's from the department in 2005 and is currently working on her PhD with Professor Werner-Washburne and Computer Science Professor Terran Lane. Sushmita is also President of the Computer Science Graduate Students Association (CSGSA).
The Computer Science department is working on a number of intriguing grants, ranging from sensors keeping a virtual eye on volcanoes to human and avian influenzas to attack-resistant peer-to-peer systems.
Also being studied are self-regenerative enterprise systems, visualizing uncertainly, as well as working on new cancer treatments and models of animal behavior. Take a look at the grants overview for more information. Sponsors of these grants include the Air Force Office of Scientific Research, the NIH, the NSF, and National Cancer Institute.
CS has a new FAQ, geared to answering questions prospective students might have about the Computer Science Department. Check out the CS FAQ (PDF, 120K).
Related links: CS FAQ (PDF, 120K
New CS professor Jed Crandall and a research team at UC Davis have been studying the Chinese firewall, and getting noticed in places like Slashdot and on the BBC web site for their surprising findings. They found that contrary to expectations, the firewall did not always stop censored traffic at the border of the network.
Using ConceptDoppler, a kind of automated weather report tool for censorship, they tested various censored keywords from the Chinese wikipedia and discovered that on 28% of the tested network paths, the data made it through. They also noted that that filtering in general was most erratic when traffic was busy, and uncovered 122 blacklisted keywords.
We're excited to announce that we are hiring for three tenure track or tenured faculty positions. See our Jobs page for more.
The Computer Science department is working on a number of intriguing grants, ranging from sensors keeping a virtual eye on volcanoes to human and avian influenzas to attack-resistant peer-to-peer systems.
Also being studied are self-regenerative enterprise systems, visualizing uncertainly, as well as working on new cancer treatments and models of animal behavior. Take a look at the grants overview for more information. Sponsors of these grants include the Air Force Office of Scientific Research, the NIH, the NSF, and National Cancer Institute.
Jed Crandall started in August at the department as an Assistant Professor. Prof. Crandall's research area is computer security and computer architecture, ranging from architectural support for systems security to the capturing and analyzing of Internet worms. More recent work includes behavior-based analysis of malicious code—using a new technique called temporal search to detect timebombs within computer viruses based on their use of hardware timers—as well as work on semantic models of government censorship.
He received his Ph.D. from the University of California at Davis
and his B.S. from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Prescott, Arizona.
Related links: Jed Crandall
UNM CS graduate Dino Dai Zovi was highlighted on SearchSecurity.com as a security researcher worth watching. Dino, who received his Bachelor's (with departmental honors) in 2002, discovered a Java-based vulnerability in QuickTime to win a $10,000 prize in the CanSecWest MacBook Pro hacking contest. The vulnerability, which affects both Windows and Mac Quicktime, was disclosed responsibly to Apple and has been patched.
Our congratulations to Dino!
Rory McGuire spoke recently at the School of Engineering Convocation. Rory received his Master of Science in Computer Science, with distinction. His research interests include computational medicine, focusing on radiological image processing, as well as networking and data security. Rory will work for Apple after graduation.
This marks the second time in a row that a convocation speaker was from the Computer Science department: Aaron Clauset spoke in Fall 2006.
Related links: Rory McGuire
Dr. Joe Kniss has been hired as an assistant professor. Dr. Kniss received his PhD and Masters of Science from the University of Utah, and a Bachelors of Science from Idaho State University. Dr. Kniss conducts research in computer graphics areas such as scientific visualization, medical imaging, parallel and stream computing, as well as sensitivity and uncertainty analysis. He recently co-authored a book, Realtime Volume Graphics, which covers foundational and advanced methods for volume rendering.
Related links: Joe Kniss's home page
Professor Jared Saia received a prestigious National Science Foundation CAREER Award for his research on "Foundations for Attack-Resistant Collaborative Peer-to-Peer Systems." This research aims to create algorithms to enable a group of hundreds of millions of people — a group the size of the entire population of the U.S. — to accomplish a collaborative task even if up to a one-third fraction of the group members are completely untrustworthy.
This research uses powerful new mathematical techniques such as extractor and expander graphs and the probabilistic method. It has the somewhat surprising property that it can guarantee security without the need for private communication, and can guarantee correctness without the need for a trusted third party. Applications of this research include: collaborative spam detection, collaborative worm and virus detection, data warehousing, running auctions, collaborative filtering, web search, mechanism enforcement, and running elections.
The second colloquia in the ongoing series of the faculty candidate colloquia took place on Thursday, February 1st from 11am to 12:15 in ECE 118. (Joel Kniss discussing "Multivariate Volume Visualization" was the first). It featured Jed Crandall discussing "Tools and techniques for understanding and defending real systems." See the colloquia page for more information.
These are two problems that require an engineering approach to complex systems, and which Aaron Clauset, the graduate speaker at the recent School of Engineering convocation, pointed to as central to the future of engineering. After graduating, Dr. Clauset will continue his research on complex systems as a postdoc at the prestigious Santa Fe Institute. A complete copy of his convocation remarks are available. Take a look!
CS Dept. Professor Barney Maccabe has been appointed interim Chief Information Officer of the University of New Mexico, effective February 1, 2007. In addition to the strategic leadership that Prof. Maccabe will provide, his expertise in the supercomputing area will prove useful as the Gov. Bill Richardson $25 million supercomputing initiative comes into play.
Related links: Barney Maccabe's Home Page
KOB TV Channel 4 news recently interviewed Ed Angel about the ARTS Lab, which uses an interdisciplinary approach to bringing science and art together to catalyze the development of New Mexico's media industry. It features prominently in Gov. Bill Richardson's Media Industries Strategic Plan. Download the video clip (31 Meg, MPEG format).
Melanie Moses earned her Bachelor's degree in Symbolic Systems from Stanford and recently earned her Doctorate from the Biology department at UNM. The hire accentuates the CS Department's ongoing move toward interdisciplinary work.
Prof. Moses' research focuses on complex systems and computational biology, more specifically on general principles that govern social organization, particularly how the size of a social system influences its efficiency in acquiring energy and information. Her research often uses scaling theory as a modeling tool.
Related links: Melanie Moses' Home Page
Aaron Clauset will speak at the School of Engineering Convocation, taking place this Saturday, December 16th at 10:00 am in the UNM SUB. He was often featured on this page for his research, which focuses on complex systems, statistical learning and social networks, and which has appeared in Physical Review Letters, the ACM Symposium on Theory of Computing (STOC), and the International Conference on Machine Learning (ICML). He was named Outstanding Graduate Student in Spring 2006, and is now a postdoctoral fellow at the Santa Fe Institute.
CS Dept. alumnus Derek Smith recently had his article "Predictability and Preparedness in Influenza Control" published in prestigious Science magazine. In the timely paper, Derek argues that mathematical models "...can derive estimates for the levels of drug stockpiles needed to buy time, how and when to modify vaccines, whom to target with vaccines and drugs, and when to enforce quarantine measures." This marks Derek's second Science appearance: his paper "Mapping the Antigenic and Genetic Evolution of Influenza Virus", a continuation of the work in his UNM PhD thesis, graced its pages previously.
Congratulations to Derek!
Related link: Science Magazine
Good news for CS grads looking for a job: MONEY Magazine lists software engineers as having the best job in America, followed by college professors. The ranking weighted salary data and projected growth most strongly, but also considered creativity, stress levels, number of positions and openings, and flexibility in hours and working environments, among other factors.
Related link: Best Jobs in America
Effective July 1st, 2006, Professor Stephanie Forrest will become the CS Dept. chair. Prof. Forrest is widely known for her interdisciplinary research in adaptive systems, focusing on immunology and security. Educated at the University of Michigan, she has been a member of the CS Dept. faculty for 16 years, is currently a part-time researcher at the Santa Fe Institute, and served one year as its Interim Vice President. She received an NSF Presidential Young Investigator Award early in her career, is a Senior Member of IEEE, a Senior Fellow of the International Society for Genetic and Evolutionary Computation, and a patent holder, among many other accomplishments.
Related link: Stephanie Forrest's home page
Aaron Clauset attended the unclassified part of the Community Wide Predictive Analysis Workshop, held December 5th at the MITRE Corporation, (a sponsor along with the Joint Chiefs of Staff, DOD, and the Defense Intelligence Agency). Clauset presented "Scale Invariance in Global Terrorism" (PDF, 263Kb), which he wrote with Maxwell Young. The report, mentioned in The Economist and Nature, finds that the relationship between the frequency and severity of terrorist attacks is scale-free.
As the fall semester gets underway, a freshly updated course textbook list might well prove handy, as should a link to the CS Schedule of Classes over at the Master Scheduler site for Fall 2005. In other news, undergrads should come on down to the the ice cream social on Friday, August 26, 2005 from 12:30 - 2:00 p.m. in FEC 141.
Any graduate student in CS for the 2005-2006 academic year who plans on working in New Mexico after graduation should consider applying for the fellowship, which pays tuition, health benefits, and a stipend. Applicants are now being accepted for the fellowship, funded by the McCune Foundation, for the '05-'06 academic year, and the grant is eligible for renewal as well.
Related links: NM IT Fellowship page
Congratulations to CS grad student Sushmita Roy, who won the UNM Student Award for Innovation in Informatics for "Cell Population Deconvolution from Microarray Data using Particle Filters". She recently presented the paper at the Biocomputing @ UNM event. The award recognizes the degree of innovation or quality of the research, the application of informatics techniques, and the clarity of the proposal.
CS Professor Darko Stefanovic was named the School of Engineering's Regents' Lecturer, based on his outstanding research, teaching and service accomplishments. Specifically, Prof. Stefanovic's work in biomolecular computation continues to break new ground, and he's received a number of NSF grants.
Undergrads, is a class or a subject giving you fits? Take advantage of the tutoring happening in FEC 309—the 3rd-floor computer lab. The undergraduate tutoring schedule shows when CS student tutors Peter Lu, Breanna Ammons, and Rory McGuire show up.
Other resources include tutoring from the Math Department (including some CS course) and CAPS for more general courses.
It'll take place from 9am to 5pm in Student Union Building, Lobo Rooms A & B. Orran Krieger from IBM will give the keynote at the conference, which features works from CS students.
See the conference web site for more details.
CSGSA President Aaron Clauset, Prof. Cristopher Moore, and co-authors David Kempe and Dimitris Achlioptas had their paper "On the Bias of Traceroute Sampling—or: Why almost every network looks like it has a power law" accepted to the ACM Symposium on Theory of Computing (STOC), a top CS theory conference. Clauset will present the paper in May at the conference.
The recently updated course textbook list may interest some, while others may want to submit to the CSGSA's 1st Annual CS UNM Student Conference. Poster and talk submission deadlines are January 21st, so get busy.
Speaking of posters, the CS Dept recently acquired an HP DesignJet 800ps, which prints 42 inch wide posters at 2400x1200 dpi. Before you print, stop by Farris room 307 and talk to those systems folks about the right settings.
The Anita Borg Scholarship deadline is January 14, 2005. This Google-sponsored scholarship is for both undergraduate and graduate women in the computer sciences.
In mentoring news, MentorNet, the E-Mentoring Network for Women in Engineering and Science, has immediately available mentors. While MentorNet's programs and missions focus on women, men may participate and are treated equally within the program. Contact Deborah Chavez-Kennedy for more information.
CS Dept. Undergraduate Rory McGuire has won an Honorable Mention from the Computer Research Association's Outstanding Undergraduate Awards. Congratulations!
Rory's no stranger to awards: he snagged the 2004 School of Engineering Department of Computer Science Outstanding Junior Award.
The paper "Accuracy and Scaling Phenomena in Internet Mapping", by Aaron Clauset and Prof. Cristopher Moore, will be published in the prestigious Physics Review Letters (PRL). It explores the inherent sampling bias in using traceroutes to map the Internet's topology, and discusses how many additional sources are needed to make better maps.
A preprint of the article is available.
Eugene ("Spaf") Spafford will discuss current research trends and how they relate to the four grand challenges in Trustworthy Computing. The colloquium happens Monday, November 15, 2004, from 2:30pm to 4:30 in Woodward 149—note the changed time.
Prof. Spafford teaches at Purdue University. He is a major figure in the computer security/infosec area, having built the first open scanner, widely-available intrusion detection tool, and the first formal bounds on intrusion detection, among many other accomplishments.
Ken Perlin will discuss contingent narratives and effective virtual actors as they relate to computer-mediated interactive media. Prof. Perlin won an Academy Award in 1997 for his work with noise and turbulence procedural texturing techniques, which are now widely used in films and television.
The colloquium happens Tuesday, October 26th, 2004, from 11am to 12:15pm in Woodward 149.
David Cohn, a senior research scientist at Google, will give a colloquium on "Inference of, for and by the Web - Machine Learning Challenges at Google", Tuesday, October 19th, 2004, from 11am to 12:15pm in Woodward 149.
David will discuss what it's like to be "...in the heart of a company searching terabytes of data to serve over 200 million queries a day."
The UNM Engineering Magazine recently featured Prof. Paul Helman and Robert Veroff for their interdisciplinary work with Cheryl L. Willman, director of the UNM Cancer Research and Treatment Center, in finding a gene which may save the lives of children with leukemia. The professors used a Bayesian net to find the Outcome Predictor for Acute Leukemia 1 (OPAL1) gene, which is "...extremely predictive of whether or not someone would survive their leukemia", said Prof. Helman.
The International Test and Evaluation Association Scholarship:
Harry and Mabel Leonard Scholarship:
Scott Griffin & Debra Morris
Edward J. Kobiela Memorial Scholarship:
Radhika Jujjavarapu, Justin Becker, Keith Wiley & Tharun Allu
We'd like to extend a big welcome to Prof. Shuang (Sean) Luan, Ph.D., who just joined the department this fall as an assistant professor. Dr. Luan earned his Ph.D. and M.S. in computer science from the University of Notre Dame, Notre Dame, IN and his B.S. in Computer Science and Engineering from the Harbin Institute of Technology, Harbin, China.
Dr. Luan's research interests include computational medicine and biomedical engineering, algorithm design, analysis and implementation, and computational geometry. He will collaborate with the Department of Radiology and Radiation Oncology in the UNM medical school on developing treatment planning algorithms/software for radiotherapy.
Undergraduate advisors (UAs) will be available in the CS Computer Lab, Farris 309 for tutoring. See the Tutoring page for details.
A PhD graduate from the Computer Science Department, Derek Smith, had a research article published in the highly-regarded Science magazine (July 16, 2004, pp. 371-376). The paper, titled "Mapping the antigenic and genetic evolution of influenza virus" is a significant extension of the work begun in his 1997 dissertation, The cross-reactive immune response.
The Department of Computer Science is offering three scholarships for the 2004-2005 Academic Year. The Deadline for all three scholarships will be September 10, 2004.
The scholarships are:
Interested students may pick up the applications in the main office from Sarah Dilmore. Contact her at 277-3112 or email her at email@example.com for more info.
We'd like to extend a warm welcome to Dr. Wenzhong Zhao, who is joining Prof. Terran Lane's group as a postdoctoral researcher working on machine learning and bioinformatics. He comes to the CS Dept from the University of Kentucky.
In other news, Chad Lundgren has been made webmaster for the CS Dept. on a permanent basis. I'm working hard to get CS Dept news and the most current information about classes on the web site. Please email with any additions, updates, corrections, or suggestions you might have.
CS Dept. senior Clint Morgan was one of twenty students nationwide selected for an Honorable Mention in the Computing Research Association's Outstanding Undergraduate Award for 2004. The program recognizes undergraduate students who show outstanding research potential in an area of computing research. Congratulations to Clint!