November 23, 2015

Margaret Martonosi, Princeton University

Power-Aware Computing and Heterogeneous Parallelism: Challenges and Opportunities

Margaret Martonosi is the Hugh Trumbull Adams '35 Professor of Computer Science at Princeton University, where she has been on the faculty since 1994. Martonosi's research focuses on computer architecture and mobile computing, particularly power-efficient systems. Past projects include the Wattch power modeling tool and the ZebraNet mobile sensor network, which was deployed for wildlife tracking in Kenya. Martonosi is a Fellow of both IEEE and ACM. Her major awards include Princeton University's 2010 Graduate Mentoring Award, the Anita Borg Institute's 2013 Technical Leadership Award, NCWIT's 2013 Undergraduate Research Mentoring Award, and ISCA?s 2015 Long-Term Influential Paper Award.


Computer systems have faced significant power challenges at many points in their history, but over the past 20 years, these challenges have shifted from mainly being addressed at the devices and circuits level, to their current position as first-order constraints for architects and software developers. Parallelism, heterogeneity, and specialization have been major architecture levers for achieving power efficiency, especially inside smartphones and mobile devices. Unfortunately, they greatly reduce the abstraction value of instruction set architectures, and as a result, they come with increased challenges for software reliability, interoperability, and performance portability My talk will discuss work both by my own group and by the field overall to address power and performance challenges while meeting reliability and portability goals on platforms from smartphones to datacenters.

December 09, 2015

Erik Demaine, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Algorithms Meet Art, Puzzles, and Magic

Erik Demaine is a Professor in Computer Science at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Demaine's research interests range throughout algorithms, from data structures for improving web searches to the geometry of understanding how proteins fold to the computational difficulty of playing games. He received a MacArthur Fellowship as a "computational geometer tackling and solving difficult problems related to folding and bending---moving readily between the theoretical and the playful, with a keen eye to revealing the former in the latter". He appears in the recent origami documentary Between the Folds, cowrote a book about the theory of folding (Geometric Folding Algorithms), and a book about the computational complexity of games (Games, Puzzles, and Computation). Together with his father Martin, his interests span the connections between mathematics and art, including curved-crease sculptures in the permanent collections of the Museum of Modern Art in New York, and the Renwick Gallery in the Smithsonian.


When I was six years old, my father Martin Demaine and I designed and made puzzles as the Erik and Dad Puzzle Company, which distributed to toy stores across Canada. So began our journey into the interactions between algorithms and the arts (here, puzzle design). More and more, we find that our mathematical research and artistic projects converge, with the artistic side inspiring the mathematical side and vice versa. Mathematics itself is an art form, and through other media such as sculpture, puzzles, and magic, the beauty of mathematics can be brought to a wider audience. These artistic endeavors also provide us with deeper insights into the underlying mathematics, by providing physical realizations of objects under consideration, by pointing to interesting special cases and directions to explore, and by suggesting new problems to solve (such as the metapuzzle of how to solve a puzzle). This talk will give several examples in each category, from how our first font design led to building transforming robots, to how studying curved creases in origami led to sculptures at MoMA. The audience will be expected to participate in some live magic demonstrations.

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