Brown CS News

Philip Klein Wins NSF Grant For Optimization In Planar Graphs And Beyond

Philip Klein Wins NSF Grant For Optimization In Planar Graphs And Beyond

Klein’s recent project (“Fast and accurate optimization in planar graphs and beyond”) has won a grant in the expected amount of $1.2M from the National Science Foundation (NSF), shared with Professor Jeff G. Erickson of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Klein’s research involves discovering and analyzing algorithms for optimization problems in graphs, problems such as traveling salesman, shortest paths, network design, clustering, graph decomposition, and facility location.

The grant supports work aimed at discovering algorithms that are designed specifically for planar graphs---graphs that can be drawn on a plane so that no edges cross. When the ...

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John Savage Appointed An EastWest Institute Professorial Fellow

John Savage Appointed An EastWest Institute Professorial Fellow

Professor John Savage of Brown University’s Computer Science Department (Brown CS) has just been appointed a Professorial Fellow of the EastWest Institute (EWI), an international, non-partisan organization with a three-decade history of addressing problems that threaten regional and global stability. The appointment is testament to Savage’s pioneering achievements in the field of cyberspace, particularly the policy and technology dimensions of cybersecurity, and it follows multi-year collaborations with EWI Chief Technology Officer Karl-Fredrick Rauscher and Senior Vice-President Bruce W. McConnell.   

“This is going to be very interesting,” John comments. “EastWest Institute has one of the highest levels of visibility ...

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Chad Jenkins And His Team Help Develop NASA Software

Chad Jenkins And His Team Help Develop NASA Software

by Kevin Stacey (Science News Officer, Physical Sciences)

A group of computer scientists from Brown were at the Johnson Space Center in Houston recently for a week-long marathon of intensive coding to build new software for the Robonaut 2 and other NASA robots.

The coding marathon, known in the computer science vernacular as a hackathon, was a partnership between NASA, Brown, and the University of Texas–Austin. The work was part of a NASA grant awarded recently to Chad Jenkins, associate professor of computer science and engineering at Brown.

Jenkins’ lab builds user interfaces that can control robots of all ...

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Google’s SVP Of Advertising And Commerce, Sridhar Ramaswamy PhD ‘95, To Inaugurate Brown CS’s IT Leaders Lecture Series

Google’s SVP Of Advertising And Commerce, Sridhar Ramaswamy PhD ‘95, To Inaugurate Brown CS’s IT Leaders Lecture Series

Seen in the light of their achievements, Brown CS alumni strongly exhibit the values of the university as a whole. As committed and motivated architects of ideas, they contribute in the widest scope possible to science, learning, culture, and their community. Some make their careers in academia, and others in industry and research, but a few are so independent in their thought and innovative in their accomplishments that their work serves as a touchstone and a landmark for computer scientists of any kind.  

Sridhar Ramaswamy PhD ‘95 is one of these.

An honored guest, he’s returning to Brown to ...

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Stefanie Tellex Wins Best Paper Award (Video Of Her Talk Below)

Stefanie Tellex Wins Best Paper Award (Video Of Her Talk Below)

Professor Stefanie Tellex of Brown University’s Computer Science Department (Brown CS) has just won the Best Paper Award at the Robotics: Science and Systems (RSS) Conference, widely considered the top single-track conference in robotics. Her paper, “Asking for Help using Inverse Semantics, was co-authored with Ross Knepper of MIT, Adrian Li, Daniela Rus, and Nicholas Roy.

The paper focused on a team of robots that autonomously assemble IKEA furniture. Despite their advanced design and careful programming, the robots encountered failure every few minutes. For the average person, using robots for this task would be extremely difficult.

“We wanted to ...

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ACM Honors Maurice Herlihy On His 60th Birthday

ACM Honors Maurice Herlihy On His 60th Birthday

It’s not the number of years, it’s what Brown Computer Science Professor Maurice Herlihy has accomplished during them.

“Transactional memory and combinatorial topology are really, really far apart!” comments his colleague, Professor Shriram Krishnamurthi. “Maurice has had accomplishments that can safely be called career-making in three or four different fields. Someone who had achieved even just one of them would be considered a master of the area.

On July 15, the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) celebrated those accomplishments and honored Herlihy with a 60th Birthday Celebration in Paris at the ACM Symposium on Principles of Distributed ...

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BrownCS Celebrates 35 Years

BrownCS Celebrates 35 Years

by Kevin Stacey (Science News Officer, Physical Sciences)

As the Brown community came together to celebrate Commencement in the University’s 250th year, computer science alumni reunited this weekend to celebrate another anniversary. This year marks the 35th year of Brown’s Department of Computer Science , which was founded in 1979.

Much has changed in computer science in those 35 years. The department started with one general-purpose computer: a lone Digital VAX-11/780. It was joined shortly thereafter, in 1981, by another of the same model. The two were affectionately dubbed Nancy and Sluggo after the cartoon characters. Nancy, which ...

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Roberto Tamassia Prepares To Step Down As Department Chair

Roberto Tamassia Prepares To Step Down As Department Chair

Roberto Tamassia is stepping down. At the end of his seven-year tenure as Brown University Computer Science (BrownCS) Department Chair (two terms, plus a transitional year as Professor Ugur Cetintemel prepares to take on the role), he takes a moment to look back on the years past from his office on the fourth floor of the Center for Information Technology.

A look around Roberto’s habitat reveals little: a vintage Macintosh, orderly shelves displaying copies of his books and translations, an uncluttered desk, an ergonomic computer cart with a large display, a whiteboard filled with formulas and diagrams, the sparseness ...

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Six BrownCS Faculty Members Win OVPR Seed Awards

Brown University’s Department of Computer Science has exceeded its own record for the largest number of Seed Awards in a single year, with six faculty members sharing five awards in 2014. Ugur Cetintemel, Sorin Istrail, Chad Jenkins, Tim Kraska, Michael Littman, and Ben Raphael received the awards from Brown University’s Office of the Vice President for Research (OVPR) to help them compete more successfully for large-scale, interdisciplinary, multi-investigator grants.

The five projects receiving awards are:

  • "Creating a Providence-Based Working Group inPrecision Medicine to Identify the Genetic Determinants of MarijuanaSensitivity” (Fairbrother, Knopik, McGeary, and Raphael)
  • "Enabling Autonomous Flight of ...

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Pedro Felzenszwalb Wins ACM's Grace Murray Hopper Award

Pedro Felzenszwalb Wins ACM's Grace Murray Hopper Award

Pedro Felzenszwalb, Associate Professor of Engineering and Computer Science at Brown University, has just won the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM)’s Grace Murray Hopper Award for his contributions to object recognition in pictures and video. It’s accompanied by a prize in the expected amount of $35,000.

Pedro is the first Brown faculty recipient of the award, and he joins Don Knuth, Stephen Wozniak, and other notable previous winners. The Grace Murray Hopper Award is given yearly to an outstanding computer professional who makes a major technical or service contribution while age thirty-five or younger.

“Most of my ...

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