Brown CS News

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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Erik Sudderth Wins NSF CAREER Award

Erik Sudderth Wins NSF CAREER Award

Assistant Professor Erik Sudderth of Brown University’s Computer Science Department has just won a National Science Foundation CAREER Award for his work on Bayesian nonparametric learning for large-scale structure discovery. It’s accompanied by a grant in the expected amount of more than $509,000. He joins multiple previous Brown CS faculty winners, including (most recently) James Hays, Ben Raphael, and Chad Jenkins. CAREER Awards are the most prestigious awards given by the National Science Foundation (NSF) in support of outstanding junior faculty teacher-scholars who excel at research, education, and integration of the two within the context of an ...

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Iman Hajirasouliha Receives NSERC Fellowship

Iman Hajirasouliha Receives NSERC Fellowship

Postdoctoral Research Associate Iman Hajirasouliha of Brown University’s Computer Science Department and the Center for Computational Molecular Biology (CCMB) has just received a Postdoctoral Fellowship from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) for his proposal (“Algorithms for constructing ancestral history of deep-sequenced tumors”) on cancer heterogeneity. Iman is the second member of BrownCS to receive the fellowship, joining Glencora Borradaile, who received hers in 2007.

“It’s very exciting and gratifying,” he says. “I knew that this fellowship is competitive, and I was thrilled that my proposal was accepted. It shows the importance of computational ...

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Anna Lysyanskaya Appointed To EPIC Advisory Board

Anna Lysyanskaya Appointed To EPIC Advisory Board

Brown University’s Computer Science Department congratulates Professor Anna Lysyanskaya on her appointment to the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC)’s Advisory Board.  She joins BrownCS alumna danah boyd.  EPIC is a leading privacy organization, and its Advisory Board is a distinguished group of experts that often contribute to “friend of the court” briefs for emerging privacy and civil liberties cases on both the state and federal level.  More information about the EPIC Advisory Board, including biographies of Board members, can be found at http://epic.org/epic/advisory_board.html.

Reached for comment, Professor Lysyanskaya said, “I am delighted to ...

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Tom Doeppner Receives President’s Award for Excellence in Faculty Governance

Tom Doeppner Receives President’s Award for Excellence in Faculty Governance

The themes of collegiality and collaboration were unavoidable as colleagues and friends reflected on the news that Thomas W. Doeppner, Associate Professor (Research) and Vice Chair of the Computer Science Department, had just received Brown University’s President’s Award for Excellence in Faculty Governance. He joins previous winner John Savage of the Department, who was honored in 2009. “Tom is one of the elders of BrownCS,” explains Department Chair Roberto Tamassia, “and this award really celebrates his vision. He has a tremendous understanding of Brown’s educational and research mission, and it’s led him to work individually with ...

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Stefanie Tellex Receives Salomon Award

Stefanie Tellex Receives Salomon Award

Assistant Professor Stefanie Tellex of the Computer Science Department has just received a Richard B. Salomon Faculty Research Award from Brown University’s Office of the Vice-President for Research. She joins multiple previous winners from the Department, including Rodrigo Fonseca, Ugur Cetintemel, and John Jannotti. The award, given annually, was established to support excellence in scholarly work by providing funding for selected faculty research projects of exceptional merit with preference given to junior faculty who are in the process of building their research portfolio.

Stefanie’s scholarly interests include human-robot collaboration, and her Salomon-funded research will continue her study of ...

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Paul Valiant Receives Sloan Research Fellowship

Paul Valiant Receives Sloan Research Fellowship

Assistant Professor Paul Valiant of the Department of Computer Science has been named an Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellow in one of the oldest and most competitive fellowship programs in the country. He joins multiple Sloan Research Fellows in the Department, including recent winners Ben Raphael and Chad Jenkins. The fellowships are awarded to honor and promote the science of outstanding researchers early in their academic careers in physics, chemistry, ocean sciences, computational and evolutionary molecular biology, computer science, economics, mathematics, and neuroscience.

Selection procedures for the Sloan Research Fellowships are designed to identify individuals who show the most outstanding ...

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