Happenings around the department: PhD symposium


The Department’s annual PhD symposium took place Monday, giving seven computer science PhD candidates and their advisors the opportunity to celebrate the candidate’s successful completion of the PhD thesis (or, as in a couple of cases, the almost-completion).

The relaxed event, held at restaurant, began with the chair of the CS department, Julia Hirschberg, initiating proceedings by inviting each advisor to talk a few minutes about the candidate, with fairness dictating the candidate be given equal time to respond.

Family and friends looked on.


Daniel Bauer

Area: Natural language processing

Thesis: Grammar-Based Semantic Parsing into Graph Representations

Advisor: Owen Rambow

Next up. In January, Daniel joined the CS faculty as a lecturer; he will teach two classes a semester, including Artificial Intelligence in the fall.

Clément Canonne

Seemingly the only one to have thought to actually bring his thesis.

Area: Theory

Thesis: To be determined (but will be about property testing)

Advisor: Rocco Servedio

Next up: Postdoc position in the CS department of Stanford (Motwani Fellowship) in November.

Robert Coyne

Area: Natural language processing

Thesis: Painting Pictures with Words – From Theory to System

Advisor: Julia Hirschberg

Next up: Working on WordsEye, a startup that translates words into rendered 3D scenes. Daniel Bauer is a co-founder. Will also teach Lisp Fall 2017.


Jill Jermyn

Area: Network systems / Security.

Thesis: Discovering Network Control Vulnerabilities and Policies in Evolving Networks

Advisor: Salvatore Stolfo (represented this day by Steven Bellovin)

Before becoming interested in computing, Jermyn spent her life as a concert violinist.

Next up: Joins Google in NYC this summer.


Paolo Mantovani

Area: Computer Engineering

Thesis: Scalable System-on-Chip Design

Advisor: Luca Carloni

Next up: Remains at Columbia as officer of research to help students develop new skills as hardware designers.



Avner May

Area: Machine learning, natural language processing

Thesis: Kernel Approximation Methods for Speech Recognition (tentative)

Advisor: Michael Collins

Next up: Postdoc in Statistical Machine Learning Group at Stanford


Sebastian Zimmeck

Area: Machine learning, privacy. Previously received law degrees in California and Germany.

Thesis: Using Machine Learning to Improve Internet Privacy

Advisor: Steven Bellovin

Next up: Already taken up a postdoc position at the Institute for Software Research at Carnegie Mellon University.


Posted 5/19/2017