News

Steve Feiner receives IEEE VGTC 2014 Virtual Reality Career Award
Published: April 8, 2014
At IEEE Virtual Reality 2014, Steve Feiner received the 2014 Virtual Reality Career Award of the IEEE Computer Society Visualization and Graphics Technical Committee. The citation reads, "In recognition of his lifetime contributions to augmented reality and virtual reality, including seminal research on mobile augmented reality, automated design and layout, and applications to task assistance and navigation." More information about the award can be found at IEEE VR 2014 awards or IEEE Transactions on Visualization and Computer Graphics, April 2014, 20(4), p. xiii.
Roxana Geambasu receives Honorable Mention for Dennis M. Ritchie Doctoral Dissertation Award
Published: April 8, 2014
The SIGOPS Dennis M. Ritchie Doctoral Dissertation Award recognizes research in software systems and to encourage the creativity that Dennis Ritchie embodied, providing a reminder of Ritchie's legacy and what a difference one person can make in the field of software systems research.

Roxana Geambasu received the first honorable mention for the inaugural Ritchie Award competition!

Read more at http://www.sigops.org/award-ritchie.html
Vishal Misra receives U. Mass Amherst Outstanding Alumni Award
Published: March 29, 2014
During Homecoming Weekend 2014, the College of Engineering at the University of Massachusetts Amherst will host its annual Alumni Awards program, where the University will honor extraordinary members of its alumni community with awards of distinction.

In celebration of his significant achievements and inspiring successes in his early career, Vishal Misra will be awarded the 2014 College of Engineering Outstanding Junior Alumni Award. The award is given to a graduate in the early stages of their career, and the citation reads: "for exemplary accomplishments, epitomizing the potential of a U. Mass Amherst College of Engineering education."

The award will be presented on September 26, 2014 at UMass Amherst.
Prof. Junfeng Yang wins Google Faculty Research Award
Published: March 4, 2014
Associate Professor Junfeng Yang and his team will build AppDoctor, a novel system for making mobile/wearable devices reliable and secure.

Mobile and wearable devices offer unprecedented convenience to our lives, yet they also bring new threads. Studies have shown that the apps running on these devices are often plagued with programming errors that degrade user experience. Worse, apps are sometimes infected with malware, which can steal users' private information, install key loggers, fake mobile payments, etc. Prof. Yang and his team will use the funding received from Google to build AppDoctor, a new system for detecting programming errors and malware in Android apps, benefiting every Android user.
Evangelia Sitaridi Awarded IBM PhD Fellowship
Published: February 26, 2014
The IBM Ph.D. Fellowship Awards Program is an intensely competitive worldwide program, which honors exceptional Ph.D. students who have an interest in solving problems that are important to IBM and fundamental to innovation in many academic disciplines and areas of study. Fellows are awarded a stipend for one academic year, and can apply for renewals for a total of up to three years. More details can be found at http://www.research.ibm.com/university/phdfellowship/

Eva Sitaridi is working with her advisor Kenneth Ross on database query processing algorithms using graphics processors.
Roxana Geambasu wins NSF CAREER Award
Published: January 30, 2014
Assistant Professor Roxana Geambasu receives NSF CAREER Award to create new data protection abstractions for modern operating systems. Her proposal is entitled "New Abstractions for Responsible Sensitive Data Management in Modern Operating Systems."

The evolution of data storage in modern operating systems (OSes) brings both challenges and opportunities for fine-grained data protection. While traditional OSes offer simple, relatively low-level data abstractions -- files and directories -- modern OSes, including Android and iOS, embed much higher-level abstractions, such as relational databases and object-relational models. On the one hand, the new abstractions complicate file structures and access patterns, greatly challenging existing protection systems -- such as encrypted file systems, deniable file systems, antiviruses, and anomaly detectors -- which, fallen behind the times, continue to operate at the old file level. On the other hand, the higher-level abstractions incorporate valuable semantics about the structure of application data, which can be leveraged to improve the effectiveness of future protection systems.

Prof. Geambasu is investigating new data protection abstractions that are better attuned to modern OSes. One example is a logical data object (LDO). An LDO corresponds to an application-specific resource -- such as an email, a document, or a bank account -- and includes all the data related to it, no matter how or where it is persisted (e.g., rows in databases, objects in object-relational models, files in the file system, etc.). Protection systems use LDOs to acquire rich semantics about the data to refine their effectiveness. One example application is a fine-grained object hiding system that lets users select, through the familiar UIs of their unmodified applications, arbitrary objects –- such as individual emails, documents, bank accounts –- and hide or unhide them. By creating new, convenient protection abstractions, and teaching students and the broader community about them, Prof. Geambasu hopes to promote a responsible approach to data management, in which users manage their data carefully, minimizing its exposure to attacks.
"Navigating Big Data" by Wu, Barker, Kim, & Ross named IEEE Micro "Top Pick"
Published: January 22, 2014
The paper will be re-published in a special issue of IEEE MICRO. The citation reads:

IEEE Micro will publish its yearly "Micro's Top Picks from the Computer Architecture Conferences" as its May / June 2014 issue. This issue collects some of this year's most significant research papers in computer architecture based on novelty and long-term impact. Any computer architecture paper (not a combination of papers) published in the top conferences of 2013 (including MICRO-46) is eligible. Top Picks will attempt to recognize those significant and insightful papers that have the potential to influence the work of computer architects for years to come.

The paper that was recognized appeared in the International Symposium on Computer Architecture (ISCA '13) and is entitled

"Navigating Big Data with High-Throughput, Energy-Efficient Data Partitioning"
Lisa Wu, Raymond J Barker, Martha A Kim, Kenneth A Ross.
Karen Sparck Jones Award awarded to Eugene Agichtein
Published: January 20, 2014
This award recognizes advances in our understanding of Information Retrieval and Natural Language Processing with significant experimental contributions; a list of previous winners is at http://irsg.bcs.org/ksjaward.php. Eugene received his Ph.D. in Computer Science from Columbia University in 2005. He is a Sloan Research Fellow.
Team wins first place in Juniper/Comcast Software-Defined Network (SDN) Competition
Published: November 24, 2013
Computer Science graduate students Kyung Hwa Kim, Hyunwoo Nam, and Jong Yul Kim won first place in the Juniper/Comcast Software-Defined Network (SDN) workshop and competition recently held at the Juniper Networks OpenLab facility in Bridgewater, NJ. Students were challenged to develop solutions using Juniper’s Junos Space Platform to improve network utilization and quality of user experience under dynamic network conditions. The Columbia team, whose faculty advisor is Computer Science Professor Henning Schulzrinne, presented an application-aware SDN solution. They won for an excellent visualization tool to monitor network status, a differentiated routing algorithm that takes application needs into account, and a compelling business model for service providers.
Vladimir Vapnik awarded the NEC Foundation's C&C Prize
Published: November 24, 2013
Computer Science Professor Vladimir Vapnik has been awarded the 2013 C&C Prize bestowed by NEC Foundation, the foundation arm of IT and networking giant NEC Corp. Vapnik also is a senior research scientist at the Center for Computational Learning Systems (CCLS) and a member of Columbia’s Institute for Data Sciences and Engineering. He is recognized “for contributions to establishing Statistical Learning Theory and for the invention of high-performance and practical learning algorithms.” His breakthroughs were significant, and he has made valuable contributions to the development of machine learning technology and the expansion of its application field, cited NEC C&C. Established in 1985, the C&C Prize is awarded to distinguished individuals for their pioneering contributions related to the integration of computers and communications technologies and the social impact of developments in these fields.
Adam Waksman and Matthew Suozzo win Best Student Paper Award at ACM SIGSAC
Published: November 9, 2013
CS PhD Student Adam Waksman and CS Junior Matthew Suozzo have been recognized with a “Best Student Paper Award” at the 20th ACM SIGSAC Conference on Computer and Communications Security held at Berlin, Germany between November 4-8, 2013.

The paper "FANCI: Identification of Stealthy Malicious Logic Using Boolean Functional Analysis" was co-authored with their advisor Prof. Simha Sethumadhavan.

The paper describes a method for detecting backdoors in hardware circuits before the design is taped-out and sent to the market. This is the first purely static analysis technique for detecting backdoors in hardware.

Papers with more than 50% student co-authors were eligible for the best student paper award, and only three of 530 submissions received this honor.
Augustin Chaintreau and co-authors win Best Paper at ACM/USENIX IMC
Published: November 7, 2013
Congratulations to Philippa, Vijay, Bala, Dina an Pablo, from Stony Brook, AT&T and Telefonica, and to Augustin who were together awarded the Best Paper at the ACM/USENIX IMC conference in Barcelona this week. The conference is about Internet measurement and although their contribution was submitted as a short paper, it received the highest rank among 178 submissions.

In their paper, the authors propose to explore the hidden side of the web: the one where the money is made!

Large-scale tracking and exploitation of personal information is what makes Facebook, Google, Admob and Bing earning massive advertisment profit through targeting. Here they study for the first time the relation between *how much* information is collected and *how valuable* it is, through very large traces of webbrowsing and models of profiling and advertisment. They show that even a crude model highlights important contrasts: while Google is omnipresent on the web, far more than any other aggregator, our estimation suggests Facebook is the most profitable. The role of high value publishers and the possibility of disabling tracking also reveal potential tensions and a rich space for deployment of various revenue sharing schemes.

Follow the Money: Understanding Economics of Online Aggregation and Advertising
P. Gill,, V. Erramilli, A. Chaintreau, B. Krishnamurthy, K. Papagiannaki, and P. Rodriguez.
Proceedings of the 10th ACM/USENIX IMC'13 Internet Measurement Conference

While the web quickly evolves to accomodate new ad-based revenues and social services, the mobile social lab work with various groups on making the economics of Internet content and your data more transparent.
Venkat Venkatasubramanian and coauthors win Best Poster award
Published: September 23, 2013
The 23rd Annual Meeting of the European Symposium on Computer Aided Process Engineering (ESCAPE 23), held in Lappeenranta, Finland, is a prestigious gathering of process systems engineers in the world, held annually at some European city. A committee of the conference organizers evaluate all the poster papers and annouce the best poster paper award at the concluding session of the conference. This time, there were more than 100 posters presented from all over the world.

A. Gupta, A. Giridhar, G.V. Reklaitis, and V. Venkatasubramanian, "Intelligent Alarm Systems applied to Continuous Pharmaceutical Manufacturing", in the Proceedings of the 23rd European Symposium on Computer Aided Process Engineering (ESCAPE-23), Lappeenranta, Finland, Computer Aided Chemical Engineering, Volume 32, pp. 499-504, 2013.

One of the important challenges in running a complex process system, such as a pharmaceutical manufacturing plant, safely and optimally is in developing and implementing automated systems that can assist human operators with supervisory control decisions for managing exceptional events. Exceptional events are those where a process has drifted to an abnormal state (due to some failure) which, if left uncorrected, can lead to losses in product quality, production capacity, equipment integrity, and/or human lives. In this paper, we discuss the development of a model-based intelligent control system that addresses this challenge by effectively integrating different models of process knowledge -- the TOPS ontology for pharmaceutical concepts, signed directed graph models of cause-and-effect relationships between critical variables, qualitative trends analysis of process trends and principal component analysis for fault detection. This approach is demonstrated for the operation of a continuous dry granulation line which is a part of a tablet production line. This system provides timely guidance to the operator regarding the detection and diagnosis of exceptional events along with relevant mitigation strategies, with the goal of avoiding emergency shutdowns.
Anargyros Papageorgiou and Joseph Traub's publication designated as Editors' Suggestion in Physical Review A
Published: August 14, 2013
Anargyros Papageorgiou and Joseph Traub recently published "Measures of quantum computing speedup" in Physical Review A.

The journal also publishes a list of a small number of Physical Review A papers that the editors and referees find of particular interest, importance, or clarity. These Editors' Suggestion papers are listed prominently on http://pra.aps.org/ and marked with a special icon in the print and online Tables of Contents and in online searches.

"Measures of quantum computing speedup" introduces the concept of strong quantum speedup. It is shown that approximating the ground-state energy of an instance of the time-independent Schrodinger equation with d degrees of freedom and d large enjoys strong exponential quantum speedup. It can be easily solved on a quantum computer. Some researchers in QMA theory believe that quantum computation is not effective for eigenvalue problems. One of the goals of this paper is to explain this dissonance.
Published: August 6, 2013
Bigshot DIY camera aims to teach kids tech basics Read more.
IEEE Micro selects two Columbia publications as "Top Picks in Computer Architecture"
Published: August 6, 2013
In its July/August 2013 issue, IEEE Micro published its yearly "Top Picks from the Computer Architecture Conferences". The issue features eleven of the year's most significant research papers in computer architecture based on novelty and long-term impact, two of which are from Columbia.

The first is entitled "Collection, Analysis, and Uses of Parallel Block Vectors." Authored by PhD student Melanie Kambadur, undergraduate Kui Tang, and Assistant Professor Martha Kim, this research establishes a novel perspective from which to reason about the correctness and performance of parallel software. In addition, it describes the design and implementation of an open source tool that automatically instruments an program to gather the necessary runtime information.

The second paper is titled "A Quantitative, Experimental Approach to Measuring Processor Side-Channel Security." The authors are John Demme, Robert Martin, Adam Waksman and Simha Sethumadhavan. This paper describes quantitative method to identify bad hardware design decisions that weaken security. The methodology can be used in the early processor design stages when security vulnerabilities can be easily fixed. The paper marks the beginning of a quantitative approach to securing computer architectures.
Rocco Servedio awarded NSF grant to study learning and testing probability distributions
Published: June 4, 2013
Prof. Rocco Servedio has been awarded a three-year NSF grant on
"Learning and Testing Classes of Distributions" as part of the
Algorithmic Foundations program.

A long and successful line of work in theoretical computer science has
focused on understanding the ability of computationally efficient
algorithms to learn and test membership in various classes of Boolean
functions. This proposal advocates an analogous focus on developing
efficient algorithms for learning and testing natural and important
classes of probability distributions over extremely large domains. The
research is motivated by the ever-increasing availability of large
amounts of raw unlabeled data from a wide range of problem domains
across the natural and social sciences. Efficient algorithms for these
learning and testing problems can provide useful modelling tools in
data-rich environments and may serve as a theoretically grounded
"computational substrate" on which large-scale machine learning applications
for real-world unsupervised learning problems can be developed.

One specific goal of the project is to develop efficient algorithms to
learn and test univariate probability distributions that satisfy
different natural kinds of "shape constraints" on the underlying
probability density function. Preliminary results suggest that dramatic
improvements in efficiency may be possible for algorithms that are
designed to exploit this type of structure. Another goal is to develop
efficient algorithms for learning and testing complex distributions that
result from the aggregation of many independent simple sources of
randomness.
Published: May 18, 2013
PhD Students Bob Coyne and Daniel Bauer, along with team advisor Prof Julia Hirschberg and Neelam Brar from the Columbia-London EMBA-Global program, have won the $100,000 grand prize for the New York State Business Plan Competition. The Columbia team was chosen from among 430 teams from nearly 60 colleges and universities across the state. The team won for WordsEye, a natural language processing system that creates 3D scenes from simple textual descriptions. WordsEye, based on research done at Columbia's CS Department and Center for Computational Learning Systems, works by parsing the input text, performing semantic analysis, and automatically loading and positioning 3D objects in order to construct and render a 3D scene. The technology makes it easy for anyone to create and share rendered 3D scenes online. The prize money will be used to launch the business in the social media market. Read more.
Published: May 18, 2013
recognizing exceptional career accomplishments and impact by alumni Read more.
Published: May 18, 2013
top teaching honor given by the University at Commencement Read more.
Steve Feiner receives IEEE VGTC 2014 Virtual Reality Career Award
Published: April 8, 2014
At IEEE Virtual Reality 2014, Steve Feiner received the 2014 Virtual Reality Career Award of the IEEE Computer Society Visualization and Graphics Technical Committee. The citation reads, "In recognition of his lifetime contributions to augmented reality and virtual reality, including seminal research on mobile augmented reality, automated design and layout, and applications to task assistance and navigation." More information about the award can be found at IEEE VR 2014 awards or IEEE Transactions on Visualization and Computer Graphics, April 2014, 20(4), p. xiii.
Roxana Geambasu receives Honorable Mention for Dennis M. Ritchie Doctoral Dissertation Award
Published: April 8, 2014
The SIGOPS Dennis M. Ritchie Doctoral Dissertation Award recognizes research in software systems and to encourage the creativity that Dennis Ritchie embodied, providing a reminder of Ritchie's legacy and what a difference one person can make in the field of software systems research.

Roxana Geambasu received the first honorable mention for the inaugural Ritchie Award competition!

Read more at http://www.sigops.org/award-ritchie.html
Vishal Misra receives U. Mass Amherst Outstanding Alumni Award
Published: March 29, 2014
During Homecoming Weekend 2014, the College of Engineering at the University of Massachusetts Amherst will host its annual Alumni Awards program, where the University will honor extraordinary members of its alumni community with awards of distinction.

In celebration of his significant achievements and inspiring successes in his early career, Vishal Misra will be awarded the 2014 College of Engineering Outstanding Junior Alumni Award. The award is given to a graduate in the early stages of their career, and the citation reads: "for exemplary accomplishments, epitomizing the potential of a U. Mass Amherst College of Engineering education."

The award will be presented on September 26, 2014 at UMass Amherst.
Prof. Junfeng Yang wins Google Faculty Research Award
Published: March 4, 2014
Associate Professor Junfeng Yang and his team will build AppDoctor, a novel system for making mobile/wearable devices reliable and secure.

Mobile and wearable devices offer unprecedented convenience to our lives, yet they also bring new threads. Studies have shown that the apps running on these devices are often plagued with programming errors that degrade user experience. Worse, apps are sometimes infected with malware, which can steal users' private information, install key loggers, fake mobile payments, etc. Prof. Yang and his team will use the funding received from Google to build AppDoctor, a new system for detecting programming errors and malware in Android apps, benefiting every Android user.
Evangelia Sitaridi Awarded IBM PhD Fellowship
Published: February 26, 2014
The IBM Ph.D. Fellowship Awards Program is an intensely competitive worldwide program, which honors exceptional Ph.D. students who have an interest in solving problems that are important to IBM and fundamental to innovation in many academic disciplines and areas of study. Fellows are awarded a stipend for one academic year, and can apply for renewals for a total of up to three years. More details can be found at http://www.research.ibm.com/university/phdfellowship/

Eva Sitaridi is working with her advisor Kenneth Ross on database query processing algorithms using graphics processors.
Roxana Geambasu wins NSF CAREER Award
Published: January 30, 2014
Assistant Professor Roxana Geambasu receives NSF CAREER Award to create new data protection abstractions for modern operating systems. Her proposal is entitled "New Abstractions for Responsible Sensitive Data Management in Modern Operating Systems."

The evolution of data storage in modern operating systems (OSes) brings both challenges and opportunities for fine-grained data protection. While traditional OSes offer simple, relatively low-level data abstractions -- files and directories -- modern OSes, including Android and iOS, embed much higher-level abstractions, such as relational databases and object-relational models. On the one hand, the new abstractions complicate file structures and access patterns, greatly challenging existing protection systems -- such as encrypted file systems, deniable file systems, antiviruses, and anomaly detectors -- which, fallen behind the times, continue to operate at the old file level. On the other hand, the higher-level abstractions incorporate valuable semantics about the structure of application data, which can be leveraged to improve the effectiveness of future protection systems.

Prof. Geambasu is investigating new data protection abstractions that are better attuned to modern OSes. One example is a logical data object (LDO). An LDO corresponds to an application-specific resource -- such as an email, a document, or a bank account -- and includes all the data related to it, no matter how or where it is persisted (e.g., rows in databases, objects in object-relational models, files in the file system, etc.). Protection systems use LDOs to acquire rich semantics about the data to refine their effectiveness. One example application is a fine-grained object hiding system that lets users select, through the familiar UIs of their unmodified applications, arbitrary objects –- such as individual emails, documents, bank accounts –- and hide or unhide them. By creating new, convenient protection abstractions, and teaching students and the broader community about them, Prof. Geambasu hopes to promote a responsible approach to data management, in which users manage their data carefully, minimizing its exposure to attacks.
"Navigating Big Data" by Wu, Barker, Kim, & Ross named IEEE Micro "Top Pick"
Published: January 22, 2014
The paper will be re-published in a special issue of IEEE MICRO. The citation reads:

IEEE Micro will publish its yearly "Micro's Top Picks from the Computer Architecture Conferences" as its May / June 2014 issue. This issue collects some of this year's most significant research papers in computer architecture based on novelty and long-term impact. Any computer architecture paper (not a combination of papers) published in the top conferences of 2013 (including MICRO-46) is eligible. Top Picks will attempt to recognize those significant and insightful papers that have the potential to influence the work of computer architects for years to come.

The paper that was recognized appeared in the International Symposium on Computer Architecture (ISCA '13) and is entitled

"Navigating Big Data with High-Throughput, Energy-Efficient Data Partitioning"
Lisa Wu, Raymond J Barker, Martha A Kim, Kenneth A Ross.
Karen Sparck Jones Award awarded to Eugene Agichtein
Published: January 20, 2014
This award recognizes advances in our understanding of Information Retrieval and Natural Language Processing with significant experimental contributions; a list of previous winners is at http://irsg.bcs.org/ksjaward.php. Eugene received his Ph.D. in Computer Science from Columbia University in 2005. He is a Sloan Research Fellow.
Team wins first place in Juniper/Comcast Software-Defined Network (SDN) Competition
Published: November 24, 2013
Computer Science graduate students Kyung Hwa Kim, Hyunwoo Nam, and Jong Yul Kim won first place in the Juniper/Comcast Software-Defined Network (SDN) workshop and competition recently held at the Juniper Networks OpenLab facility in Bridgewater, NJ. Students were challenged to develop solutions using Juniper’s Junos Space Platform to improve network utilization and quality of user experience under dynamic network conditions. The Columbia team, whose faculty advisor is Computer Science Professor Henning Schulzrinne, presented an application-aware SDN solution. They won for an excellent visualization tool to monitor network status, a differentiated routing algorithm that takes application needs into account, and a compelling business model for service providers.
Vladimir Vapnik awarded the NEC Foundation's C&C Prize
Published: November 24, 2013
Computer Science Professor Vladimir Vapnik has been awarded the 2013 C&C Prize bestowed by NEC Foundation, the foundation arm of IT and networking giant NEC Corp. Vapnik also is a senior research scientist at the Center for Computational Learning Systems (CCLS) and a member of Columbia’s Institute for Data Sciences and Engineering. He is recognized “for contributions to establishing Statistical Learning Theory and for the invention of high-performance and practical learning algorithms.” His breakthroughs were significant, and he has made valuable contributions to the development of machine learning technology and the expansion of its application field, cited NEC C&C. Established in 1985, the C&C Prize is awarded to distinguished individuals for their pioneering contributions related to the integration of computers and communications technologies and the social impact of developments in these fields.
Adam Waksman and Matthew Suozzo win Best Student Paper Award at ACM SIGSAC
Published: November 9, 2013
CS PhD Student Adam Waksman and CS Junior Matthew Suozzo have been recognized with a “Best Student Paper Award” at the 20th ACM SIGSAC Conference on Computer and Communications Security held at Berlin, Germany between November 4-8, 2013.

The paper "FANCI: Identification of Stealthy Malicious Logic Using Boolean Functional Analysis" was co-authored with their advisor Prof. Simha Sethumadhavan.

The paper describes a method for detecting backdoors in hardware circuits before the design is taped-out and sent to the market. This is the first purely static analysis technique for detecting backdoors in hardware.

Papers with more than 50% student co-authors were eligible for the best student paper award, and only three of 530 submissions received this honor.
Augustin Chaintreau and co-authors win Best Paper at ACM/USENIX IMC
Published: November 7, 2013
Congratulations to Philippa, Vijay, Bala, Dina an Pablo, from Stony Brook, AT&T and Telefonica, and to Augustin who were together awarded the Best Paper at the ACM/USENIX IMC conference in Barcelona this week. The conference is about Internet measurement and although their contribution was submitted as a short paper, it received the highest rank among 178 submissions.

In their paper, the authors propose to explore the hidden side of the web: the one where the money is made!

Large-scale tracking and exploitation of personal information is what makes Facebook, Google, Admob and Bing earning massive advertisment profit through targeting. Here they study for the first time the relation between *how much* information is collected and *how valuable* it is, through very large traces of webbrowsing and models of profiling and advertisment. They show that even a crude model highlights important contrasts: while Google is omnipresent on the web, far more than any other aggregator, our estimation suggests Facebook is the most profitable. The role of high value publishers and the possibility of disabling tracking also reveal potential tensions and a rich space for deployment of various revenue sharing schemes.

Follow the Money: Understanding Economics of Online Aggregation and Advertising
P. Gill,, V. Erramilli, A. Chaintreau, B. Krishnamurthy, K. Papagiannaki, and P. Rodriguez.
Proceedings of the 10th ACM/USENIX IMC'13 Internet Measurement Conference

While the web quickly evolves to accomodate new ad-based revenues and social services, the mobile social lab work with various groups on making the economics of Internet content and your data more transparent.
Venkat Venkatasubramanian and coauthors win Best Poster award
Published: September 23, 2013
The 23rd Annual Meeting of the European Symposium on Computer Aided Process Engineering (ESCAPE 23), held in Lappeenranta, Finland, is a prestigious gathering of process systems engineers in the world, held annually at some European city. A committee of the conference organizers evaluate all the poster papers and annouce the best poster paper award at the concluding session of the conference. This time, there were more than 100 posters presented from all over the world.

A. Gupta, A. Giridhar, G.V. Reklaitis, and V. Venkatasubramanian, "Intelligent Alarm Systems applied to Continuous Pharmaceutical Manufacturing", in the Proceedings of the 23rd European Symposium on Computer Aided Process Engineering (ESCAPE-23), Lappeenranta, Finland, Computer Aided Chemical Engineering, Volume 32, pp. 499-504, 2013.

One of the important challenges in running a complex process system, such as a pharmaceutical manufacturing plant, safely and optimally is in developing and implementing automated systems that can assist human operators with supervisory control decisions for managing exceptional events. Exceptional events are those where a process has drifted to an abnormal state (due to some failure) which, if left uncorrected, can lead to losses in product quality, production capacity, equipment integrity, and/or human lives. In this paper, we discuss the development of a model-based intelligent control system that addresses this challenge by effectively integrating different models of process knowledge -- the TOPS ontology for pharmaceutical concepts, signed directed graph models of cause-and-effect relationships between critical variables, qualitative trends analysis of process trends and principal component analysis for fault detection. This approach is demonstrated for the operation of a continuous dry granulation line which is a part of a tablet production line. This system provides timely guidance to the operator regarding the detection and diagnosis of exceptional events along with relevant mitigation strategies, with the goal of avoiding emergency shutdowns.
Anargyros Papageorgiou and Joseph Traub's publication designated as Editors' Suggestion in Physical Review A
Published: August 14, 2013
Anargyros Papageorgiou and Joseph Traub recently published "Measures of quantum computing speedup" in Physical Review A.

The journal also publishes a list of a small number of Physical Review A papers that the editors and referees find of particular interest, importance, or clarity. These Editors' Suggestion papers are listed prominently on http://pra.aps.org/ and marked with a special icon in the print and online Tables of Contents and in online searches.

"Measures of quantum computing speedup" introduces the concept of strong quantum speedup. It is shown that approximating the ground-state energy of an instance of the time-independent Schrodinger equation with d degrees of freedom and d large enjoys strong exponential quantum speedup. It can be easily solved on a quantum computer. Some researchers in QMA theory believe that quantum computation is not effective for eigenvalue problems. One of the goals of this paper is to explain this dissonance.
Published: August 6, 2013
Bigshot DIY camera aims to teach kids tech basics Read more.
IEEE Micro selects two Columbia publications as "Top Picks in Computer Architecture"
Published: August 6, 2013
In its July/August 2013 issue, IEEE Micro published its yearly "Top Picks from the Computer Architecture Conferences". The issue features eleven of the year's most significant research papers in computer architecture based on novelty and long-term impact, two of which are from Columbia.

The first is entitled "Collection, Analysis, and Uses of Parallel Block Vectors." Authored by PhD student Melanie Kambadur, undergraduate Kui Tang, and Assistant Professor Martha Kim, this research establishes a novel perspective from which to reason about the correctness and performance of parallel software. In addition, it describes the design and implementation of an open source tool that automatically instruments an program to gather the necessary runtime information.

The second paper is titled "A Quantitative, Experimental Approach to Measuring Processor Side-Channel Security." The authors are John Demme, Robert Martin, Adam Waksman and Simha Sethumadhavan. This paper describes quantitative method to identify bad hardware design decisions that weaken security. The methodology can be used in the early processor design stages when security vulnerabilities can be easily fixed. The paper marks the beginning of a quantitative approach to securing computer architectures.
Rocco Servedio awarded NSF grant to study learning and testing probability distributions
Published: June 4, 2013
Prof. Rocco Servedio has been awarded a three-year NSF grant on
"Learning and Testing Classes of Distributions" as part of the
Algorithmic Foundations program.

A long and successful line of work in theoretical computer science has
focused on understanding the ability of computationally efficient
algorithms to learn and test membership in various classes of Boolean
functions. This proposal advocates an analogous focus on developing
efficient algorithms for learning and testing natural and important
classes of probability distributions over extremely large domains. The
research is motivated by the ever-increasing availability of large
amounts of raw unlabeled data from a wide range of problem domains
across the natural and social sciences. Efficient algorithms for these
learning and testing problems can provide useful modelling tools in
data-rich environments and may serve as a theoretically grounded
"computational substrate" on which large-scale machine learning applications
for real-world unsupervised learning problems can be developed.

One specific goal of the project is to develop efficient algorithms to
learn and test univariate probability distributions that satisfy
different natural kinds of "shape constraints" on the underlying
probability density function. Preliminary results suggest that dramatic
improvements in efficiency may be possible for algorithms that are
designed to exploit this type of structure. Another goal is to develop
efficient algorithms for learning and testing complex distributions that
result from the aggregation of many independent simple sources of
randomness.
Published: May 18, 2013
PhD Students Bob Coyne and Daniel Bauer, along with team advisor Prof Julia Hirschberg and Neelam Brar from the Columbia-London EMBA-Global program, have won the $100,000 grand prize for the New York State Business Plan Competition. The Columbia team was chosen from among 430 teams from nearly 60 colleges and universities across the state. The team won for WordsEye, a natural language processing system that creates 3D scenes from simple textual descriptions. WordsEye, based on research done at Columbia's CS Department and Center for Computational Learning Systems, works by parsing the input text, performing semantic analysis, and automatically loading and positioning 3D objects in order to construct and render a 3D scene. The technology makes it easy for anyone to create and share rendered 3D scenes online. The prize money will be used to launch the business in the social media market. Read more.
Published: May 18, 2013
recognizing exceptional career accomplishments and impact by alumni Read more.
Published: May 18, 2013
top teaching honor given by the University at Commencement Read more.
Alicia Abella awarded University Medal for Excellence
Published: May 18, 2013
Alicia Abella has been awarded the University Medal of Excellence, given annually to an outstanding Columbia graduate under the age of 45.

Abella is currently the executive director of the Innovative Devices and Services Research Department at AT&T Labs, managing a multi-disciplinary technical staff specializing in human-computer interaction, Abella is an award-winning advocate for encouraging minorities and women to pursue careers in science and engineering. She earned her Ph.D. and master’s degree from Columbia, graduating in 1995, under the guidance of Prof. John Kender.
Augustin Chaintreau wins 2013 ACM SIGMETRICS Rising Star Award
Published: May 14, 2013
Augustin Chaintreau will receive the 2013 ACM SIGMETRICS Rising Star Award for "Contributions to the analysis of emerging distributed digital and social networking systems." The award is given annually to recognize a rising star in the ACM Sigmetrics community who demonstrates outstanding potential for research in the field of computer and communication performance. The selection is based on the impact of the candidate's work in the field in creating promising new ideas, paradigms and tools related to the performance analysis of computer and communication systems, which may be analytical or empirical in nature.
Timothy Sun receives Honorable Mention in the Computing Research Association's (CRA) Outstanding Undergraduate Researcher Award
Published: May 14, 2013
Timothy Sun has been selected Honorable Mention in the Computing Research Association's (CRA) Outstanding Undergraduate Researcher Award (Male) 2013.

Timothy Sun is being recognized for his complete set of undergraduate research projects, which include his paper
On Milgram's construction and the Duke embedding conjectures.

Timothy was advised by Prof. Jonathan Gross.
CU Undergrads receive Distinguished Recognition at the Intel/Cornell Cup
Published: May 14, 2013
A team of SEAS undergraduates advised by Prof Peter Allen received a Distinguished Recognition award at the Intel/Cornell Cup embedded design competition held at Disney World. The Columbia ARM team (Assistive Robotic Manipulator) built a lightweight, inexpensive, wheelchair mounted robotic arm that is controlled by a novel Brain Computer Interface (BCI) that allows disabled people to control the arm using only facial muscles. The team members were Robert Ying '16 Computer Science, Brendan Chamberlain Simon '15 Mechanical Engineering , Haris Durrani '15 Applied Physics and Angel Say '13 Mechanical Engineering .

For a video of the ARM see Engadget.
Kui Tang receives Honorable Mention in the Computing Research Association's (CRA) Outstanding Undergraduate Researcher Award
Published: May 14, 2013
Kui Tang worked with Prof. Martha Kim on Parallel Computer Architecture and Compilers and published the paper Uncovering New Parallel Scaling Properties with a Basic Block View. ACM SIGMETRICS. 2013.

Kui Tang also worked with Prof. Tony Jebara on Tractable Inference in Graphical Models and published the paper Bethe Bounds and Approximating the Global Optimum. Sixteenth International Conference on Artificial Intelligence and Statistics, 2013.

Congratulations to Kui Tang, Martha Kim, and Tony Jebara!
Augustin Chaintreau wins NSF CAREER Award
Published: May 4, 2013
Assistant Professor Augustin Chaintreau won the NSF CAREER Award to investigate analytics for data regained by users. His proposal is entitled "Banalytics: Behavioral Network Analytics for Data Transparency."

Today, data on customers is what makes a company profitable. Tomorrow, data about citizens can make our society successful. But how to reconcile this progress with privacy? Analytics - the science of identifying individual types and collective trends - runs now behind closed doors on your data and outside your control. Prof. Chaintreau aims at showing that an alternative exists that is more socially efficient; managing personal data should be made transparent and easy for each of us. In his NSF Career award, he will develop algorithms that run analytics on data regained by users, while leveraging information on their social context. Moreover, mechanisms will be designed for incentive to make privacy not only a choice, but one that leads to a socially efficient outcome. Demonstrating this concept will start in the classroom. Not only the engineers but also the future journalists informing our citizens will be involved in a new program on the management of personal data, as enabling privacy raises technical, economic and societal challenges. The ultimate goal of this work is to improve how the web treats information about our life without the high cost of a top-down regulation.
Aaron Bernstein wins Best Student Paper at STOC 2013
Published: April 18, 2013
Aaron Bernstein received the Best Student Paper Award at STOC 2013,
the 45th ACM Symposium on the Theory of Computing, for his
single-authored paper titled "Maintaining Shortest Paths Under
Deletions in Weighted Directed Graphs." The work is on maintaining
distance information in a network that is changing over time.

STOC is one of the most prestigious conferences in theoretical
computer science. Two papers shared the award at STOC 2013. Before
this, Aaron was also the sole winner of the Best Student Paper Award
at SODA (ACM-SIAM Symposium on Discrete Algorithms) 2012. As a
third-year PhD student, Aaron's research interest lies in the design
and analysis of efficient algorithms. He has made significant
contribution to this area, and has already published seven papers in
STOC, FOCS and SODA.
Sal Stolfo appointed to National Academies National Research Council Panel on Information Science
Published: April 17, 2013
Prof Salvatore J Stolfo has been appointed to the National Academies National Research Council (NRC) Panel on Information Science at the Army Research Laboratory. This panel reviews the scientific and technical quality of the Army Research Laboratory’s (ARL) programs of research and development related to its information science technical area. The information science areas to be assessed include autonomous systems, network sciences (communication networks, defense of networks, information networks, social-cognitive networks), atmospheric sciences and high-performance computing.
Hung-Yi Liu, Michele Petracca, and Luca Carloni win Best Paper Award at DATE Conference
Published: April 11, 2013
CS PhD student Hung-Yi Liu and post-doctoral researcher Michele Petracca, along with their advisor Luca Carloni, have received the Best Paper Award for their work "Compositional System-Level Design Exploration with Planning of High-Level Synthesis", which they published at the 2012 edition of the Design, Automation, and Test in Europe (DATE). DATE is one of the premier conferences dedicated to electronic and embedded systems.

The work presents novel algorithms to cope with the growing complexity of designing Systems-on-Chip by simplifying heterogeneous component integration and enabling reuse of predesigned components. It was the only best paper assigned for DATE 2012, which received some 950 paper submissions, more than 50% from outside Europe. The best-paper selection was performed by an award committee, based on the results of the reviewing process, the quality of the final paper, and the quality of the presentation, which was given by Hung-Yi.

The award was announced at the 2013 edition of the conference, which was held in March 2012 in Grenoble, France.
Columbia Team Leads $7.2M Contract for Embedded Computing Research
Published: March 8, 2013
Luca Carloni, Associate Professor of Computer Science; Martha Kim, Assistant Professor of Computer Science; Ken Shepard, Professor of Electrical Engineering and Biomedical Engineering; and Mingoo Seok, Assistant Professor of Electrical Engineering have been awarded a new $7.2 million contract from the Defense Advanced Research Project Agency (DARPA) as part of the Power Efficiency Revolution for Embedded Computing Technologies (PERFECT) program to develop embedded scalable platforms (ESP), a novel generation of platform architectures that yield optimal energy-performance operations while supporting a diversity of embedded application workloads. The ESP project also includes additional co-principal investigators Margaret Martonosi, Hugh Trumbull Adams '35 Professor of Computer Science at Princeton, Alberto Sangiovanni-Vincentelli, The Edgar L. and Harold H. Buttner Chair of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at the University of California at Berkeley, and Dr. William Gallagher, Senior Manager of Exploratory Magnetic Memories and Quantum Computing at the IBM T.J. Watson Research Center.

''Computer engineering research is intrinsically an interdisciplinary effort and the complex challenges of developing future embedded systems require a vertically integrated approach to innovation that spans from circuit design to application software,'' says Professor Carloni, Principal Investigator on the program. ''We are excited with this award which recognizes the continuous progress of Columbia Engineering faculty in leading interdisciplinary and multi-institution research programs.''

In the framework of the PERFECT program, the ESP Team will investigate a variety of scalable innovations in circuits, architecture, software, and computer-aided design (CAD) methods, including: scalable 3D-stacked voltage regulators for integrated fine-grain power management; highly-resilient near-threshold-voltage circuit operation; seamless integration of programmable cores and specialized accelerators into a scalable system-on-chip (SoC) architecture; efficient network-on-chip infrastructure for both message-passing communications and distributed power control; static and dynamic scheduling of on-chip resources driven by performance profiling; and an integrated CAD environment for full-system simulation and application-driven optimization.
Published: March 1, 2013
Identifying the genetic makeup of the founding Ashkenazi Jews Read more.
Published: February 28, 2013
Embedded "symbiotes" detect unanticipated (zero-day) attacks Read more.
Published: January 14, 2013
for pioneering contributions to signal processing for multimedia content analysis and retrieval Read more.
Programming team wins regionals, advances to ACM ICPC World Finals
Published: January 12, 2013
The CS@CU team has won first place at the ACM ICPC Greater New York Region programming competition, and is advancing to the ACM ICPC World Finals, to be held in St. Petersburg in June next year.

On October 28 at the Stony Brook University, team members Long Chen, Gang Hu, Xinhao Yuan participated in a grueling five-hour competition, winning first place. The team is coached by Xiaorui Sun.

ACM ICPC is an annual competitive programming competition among the universities of the world. The contest helps students enhance their programming skills, and enables contestants to test their ability to perform under pressure. ACM ICPC is the oldest, largest, and most prestigious programming contest in the world. Each year, more than 5,000 teams from about 2,000 universities all over the world compete at the regional level, and about 100 teams participate the World Finals.

Congratulations, team!
Ang Cui and Sal Stolfo demonstrate VoIP phone hack
Published: January 11, 2013
The Internet Will Literally Kill You By 2014, Predicts Security Firm
SecurityWatch
Dec 20, 2012
http://securitywatch.pcmag.com/none/306223-the-internet-will-literally-kill-you-by-2014-predicts-security-firm

Can Your Cisco VoIP Phone Spy On You?
SecurityWatch
Dec 19, 2012
http://securitywatch.pcmag.com/none/306172-can-your-cisco-voip-phone-spy-on-you

Security researchers find vulnerability in Cisco VoIP phones
PhysOrg
Dec 19, 2012
http://phys.org/news/2012-12-vulnerability-cisco-voip.html

Cisco phone exploit allows attackers to listen in on phone calls
The Verge
Jan 10, 2013
http://www.theverge.com/2013/1/10/3861316/cisco-phone-exploit-discretely-enables-microphone

Your worst office nightmare: Hack makes Cisco phone spy on you
ExtremeTech
Jan 10, 2013
http://www.extremetech.com/computing/145371-your-worst-office-nightmare-hack-makes-cisco-phone-spy-on-you

Cisco VoIP Phone Flaw Could Plant Bugs In Your Cubicle
Readwrite Hack
Jan 11, 2013
http://readwrite.com/2013/01/10/cisco-voip-phone-flaw-could-plant-bugs-in-your-cubicle

Hack turns Cisco desk phones into remote listening devices
Slashgear
Jan 11, 2013
http://www.slashgear.com/hack-turns-cisco-desk-phones-into-remote-listening-devices-11264898/

Cisco IP Phone Vulnerability Enables Remote Eavesdropping
Tekcert
Jan 10, 2013
http://tekcert.com/blog/2013/01/10/cisco-ip-phone-vulnerability-enables-remote-eavesdropping

Cisco issues advisory to plug security hole in VoIP phone
FierceEnterprise Communications
Jan 10, 2013
http://www.fierceenterprisecommunications.com/story/cisco-issues-advisory-plug-security-hole-voip-phones/2013-01-10

Hack Turns Cisco's Desk Phone into a Spying Device
Istruck.me
Jan 11, 2013
http://itstruck.me/hack-turns-ciscos-desk-phone-into-a-spying-device/

Hack Turns Cisco’s Desk Phone Into a Spying Device
Gizmodo
Jan 10, 2013
http://gizmodo.com/5974814/hack-turns-ciscos-desk-phone-into-a-spying-device

Warning: That Cisco phone on your desk may be spying on you
BetaNews
Jan 10, 2013
http://betanews.com/2013/01/10/warning-that-cisco-phone-on-your-desk-may-be-spying-on-you/

Hack turns the Cisco phone on your desk into a remote bugging device
Arstechnica
Jan 10,2013
http://arstechnica.com/security/2013/01/hack-turns-the-cisco-phone-on-your-desk-into-a-remote-bugging-device/

Cisco VoIP phone vulnerability allow eavesdropping remotely
IOtechie
Jan 9, 2013
http://hackersvalley.iotechie.com/hacks/cisco-voip-phone-vulnerability-allow-eavesdropping-remotely/

Cisco issues advisory to plug security hole in VoIP phones
FierceEnterpriseCommunications
Jan 10, 2013
http://www.fierceenterprisecommunications.com/story/cisco-issues-advisory-plug-security-hole-voip-phones/2013-01-10

Malware leaves Cisco VoIP phones "open to call tapping"
PC Pro
Jan 8, 2013
http://www.pcpro.co.uk/news/security/379129/malware-leaves-cisco-voip-phones-open-to-call-tapping

Researcher exposes VoIP phone vulnerability
Business Wire for Security InfoWatch
Dec 13, 2012
http://www.securityinfowatch.com/news/10842240/researcher-exposes-voip-phone-vulnerability

Cisco IP Phones Vulnerable
IEEE Spectrum
Dec 18, 2012
http://spectrum.ieee.org/computing/embedded-systems/cisco-ip-phones-vulnerable

Cisco IP phones buggy
NetworkWorld
Dec 12, 2012
http://www.networkworld.com/community/node/82046

Researchers Identify Security Vulnerabilities In VoIP Phones
Red Orbit
Jan 8, 2013
http://www.redorbit.com/news/technology/1112759485/voip-phones-security-vulnerability-software-symbiote-010813/

Security Researcher Compromises Cisco VoIP Phones With Vulnerability
Darkreading
Dec 13, 2012
http://www.darkreading.com/threat-intelligence/167901121/security/attacks-breaches/240144378/security-researcher-compromises-cisco-voip-phones-with-vulnerability.html

Remotely listen in via hacked VoIP phones: Cisco working on eavesdropping patch
Computerworld
Jan 8, 2013
http://blogs.computerworld.com/cybercrime-and-hacking/21600/remotely-listen-hacked-voip-phones-cisco-working-eavesdropping-patch

Cisco IP Phones Hacked
Fast Company
Dec 19, 2012
http://www.fastcompany.com/3004163/cisco-ip-phones-hacked

Cisco rushing to fix broken VoIP patch
IT World Canada
Jan 8, 2013
http://www.itworldcanada.com/news/cisco-rushing-to-fix-broken-voip-patch/146562

Cisco working to fix broken patch for VoIP phones
IDG News Service for CSO Online
Jan 7, 2013
http://www.csoonline.com/article/725788/cisco-working-to-fix-broken-patch-for-voip-phones

Your Cisco phone is listening to you: 29C3 talk on breaking Cisco phones
Boing Boing
Dec 29, 2012
http://boingboing.net/2012/12/29/your-cisco-phone-is-listening.html

Yet another eavesdrop vulnerability in Cisco phones
The Register
December 13, 2012
http://www.theregister.co.uk/2012/12/13/cisco_voip_phones_vulnerable/

Cisco VoIP Phones Affected By On Hook Security Vulnerability
Dec 6, 2012
Forbes
http://www.forbes.com/sites/robertvamosi/2012/12/06/off-hook-voip-phone-security-vulnerability-affects-some-cisco-models/

Discovered vulnerabilities in Cisco VoIP phones
KO IT (RUSSIAN)
Jan 8, 2013
http://ko.com.ua/obnaruzheny_uyazvimosti_v_telefonah_cisco_voip_70011

http://forums.cnet.com/7726-6132_102-5409269.html
http://www.xsnet.com/blog/bid/112454/Jenn%20Cano
http://news.softpedia.com/news/Kernel-Vulnerability-in-Cisco-Phones-Can-Be-Exploited-for-Covert-Surveillance-Video-320168.shtml
http://www.securelist.com/en/advisories/51768
http://accublog.wordpress.com/2013/01/10/eavesdropping-on-your-phone-from-anywhere-in-the-world/
http://geekapolis.fooyoh.com/geekapolis_gadgets_wishlist/8247285
http://eddydemland.blogspot.com/2013/01/hack-turns-ciscos-desk-phone-into.html
http://www.onenewspage.us/n/Technology/74vnp9j0m/Kernel-Vulnerability-in-Cisco-Phones-Can-Be-Exploited.htm
http://technology.automated.it/2013/01/10/cisco-phone-exploit-allows-attackers-to-listen-in-on-phone-calls/
http://www.i4u.com/2013/01/youtube/warning-your-be-you-desk-may-spying-phone-cisco
http://www.shafaqna.com/english/other-services/featured/itemlist/tag/cisco.html
http://www.ieverythingtech.com/2013/01/cisco-phone-exploit-allows-attackers-to-listen-in-on-phone-calls/
http://dailyme.com/story/2013011000002065/hack-turns-cisco-s-desk-phone-into-a-spying-device
http://truthisscary.com/2013/01/video-hacked-phones-could-be-listening-to-everything-you-say/
http://www.smokey-services.eu/forums/index.php?topic=227209.0
http://technewstube.com/theverge/154392/cisco-phone-exploit-allows-attackers-to-listen-in-on-phone-calls/
http://finance.yahoo.com/news/security-researcher-demonstrates-enterprise-voip-130000432.html
Published: December 22, 2012
Recognized for significant accomplishments in security. Read more.
Published: December 18, 2012
recognized for fundamental advances to combinatorial optimization, scheduling, and network algorithms Read more.
Published: December 17, 2012
http://www.forbes.com/special-report/2012/30-under-30/30-under-30.html Read more.
YoungHoon Jung, Richard Neill, and Luca Carloni win Best Paper Award at IEEE CloudCom
Published: December 6, 2012
YoungHoon Jung and Richard Neill, along with their advisor Luca Carloni, have received the Best Paper Award for their work "A Broadband Embedded Computing System for MapReduce Utilizing Hadoop" presented at the 4th IEEE International Conference on Cloud Computing Technology and Science (CloudCom 2012). The work was selected among the fifty-four papers accepted to the conference, which had a 17% acceptance rate.
Computer Engineering program achieves record enrollments
Published: November 27, 2012
The Computer Engineering program, jointly administered by CS and EE departments, has achieved record enrollments in Fall-12, with 114 students: 56 BS majors and 58 MS students.

The program is designed for students interested in the intersection between the two departments. In particular, its focus is on computer systems, combining skills in both hardware and software, including the areas of: digital design, computer architecture (both sequential and parallel), embedded systems, computer-aided design and networking.

To learn more about this program, please see http://www.compeng.columbia.edu
Vasilis Pappas won the first prize in the Kaspersky Lab North American Round at NYU-Poly CSAW
Published: November 19, 2012
"Smashing the Gadgets: Hindering Return-Oriented Programming Using In-Place Code Randomization"
Vasilis Pappas, Michalis Polychronakis, Angelos D. Keromytis IEEE Security & Privacy, May 2012

Photo/announcement:

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=491657707521734&set=a.157827437571431.30830.157394210948087&type=1&theater

Details of the competition:

http://www.poly.edu/csaw2012/csaw-kaspersky

He now goes to the International Round, in London.
Published: October 23, 2012
will be held on November 9, 2012 at Columbia University. Read more.
Published: October 23, 2012
The Impact of Software on Society Read more.
Published: October 19, 2012
natural language processing software to perform legal tasks efficiently and accurately Read more.
Christos Vezyrtzis, Steven Nowick and Yannis Tsividis win a Best Paper Award at IEEE ICCD Conference
Published: October 4, 2012
Christos Vezyrtzis, and his co-advisors Steven Nowick and Yannis Tsividis, won a Best Paper Award in the Logic and Circuit Design track at the 30th IEEE International Conference on Computer Design (ICCD-12). The paper is entitled "Designing Pipelined Delay Lines with Dynamically-Adaptive Granularity for Low-Energy Applications." The paper presents work led by Christos Vezyrtzis for his dissertation. It provides a novel approach to significantly reducing energy in delay lines, which are core components in several emerging embedded systems.
Kenneth Ross awarded NSF grant to study database processing using graphics processors
Published: September 30, 2012
Modern GPUs offer more parallelism and higher memory bandwidth than CPUs. This project aims to take advantage of these properties by developing a system to efficiently process database queries over GPU-resident datasets. To achieve this goal the project employs the following approaches: (a) The development of novel indexing techniques that combine multidimensional partitioning with block-oriented bitmaps, and whose parameters are sensitive to the query distribution; (b) The optimization of memory bank contention and value contention between threads; (c) The efficient implementation of a complete set of relational database operators, including aggregation, joins, and indexed selections; (d) The evaluation of the performance of the system on query-intensive workloads, using real applications and standard benchmarks.

For more please see http://www.nsf.gov/awardsearch/showAward.do?AwardNumber=1218222
Peter Allen awarded NSF Grant to develop a assistive robots with brain-muscle interfaces
Published: September 26, 2012
Prof. Peter Allen has been awarded a 5 year NSF grant as part of the National Robotics Initiative for "Assistive Robotics for Grasping and Manipulation using Novel Brain Computer interfaces." This project will develop a field-deployable assistive robotic system that will allow severely disabled patients to control a robot arm/hand system to perform complex grasping and manipulation tasks using novel Brain Muscle Computer Interfaces (BMCI). In addition to the development of a complete system to aid the severely disabled population with tetraplegia, the project will explore new directions in Human Machine Interfaces that can extend beyond the disabled population and into a variety of other applications. Collaborators include Dr. Joel Stein of the of the Department of Regenerative and Rehabilitation Medicine at Columbia University and Prof. Sanjay Joshi of the Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering department at UC Davis.
Jason Nieh awarded 4y NSF Grant to study virtual smartphone and tablet architectures
Published: September 19, 2012
A Virtual Smartphone and Tablet System Architecture

Smartphones are increasingly ubiquitous. Many users are
inconveniently forced to carry multiple smartphones for
work, personal, and geographic mobility needs.
This research is developing Cells, a lightweight virtualization
architecture for enabling multiple virtual smartphones to run
simultaneously on the same physical cellphone device in a securely
isolated manner. Cells introduces a new device namespace mechanism
and novel device proxies that efficiently and securely multiplex phone
hardware devices across multiple virtual phones while providing native
hardware device performance to all applications. Virtual phone
features include fully-accelerated graphics for gaming, complete power
management features, easy-to-use security and safety mechanisms that
can transparently and dynamically control the availability of phone
features, and full telephony functionality with separately assignable
telephone numbers and caller ID support. Cells is being implemented in
Android, the most widely used smartphone platform, to transparently
support multiple Android virtual phones on the same phone hardware.
While the primary focus of this research is smartphone devices, the
development of these ideas will also be explored in the context of
tablet devices.

The results of this research are providing a foundation for future
innovations in smartphone computing, enabling new uses and
applications and transforming the way the devices can be used. This
includes not only greater system security, but greater user safety
especially for young people. Integrating this research with the CS
curriculum provides students with hands-on learning through
programming projects on smartphone devices, enabling them to become
contributors to the workforce as smartphones become an increasingly
dominant computing platform.
Jason Nieh and Junfeng Yang awarded 4y NSF grant to investigate API Races in Deployed Systems
Published: September 19, 2012
NSF Medium Grant "RacePro: Automatically Detecting API Races in Deployed Systems" awarded to Jason Nieh and Junfeng Yang

While races in multithreaded programs have drawn huge attention from the
research community, little has been done for API races, a class
of errors as dangerous and as difficult to debug as traditional thread
races. An API race occurs when multiple activities, whether they be
threads or processes, access a shared resource via an application
programming interface (API) without proper synchronization. Detecting
API races is an important and difficult problem as existing race
detectors are unlikely to work well with API races.

Software reliability increasingly affects everyone, whether or not
they personally use computers. This research studies and
automatically detects for the first time an important class of races
that has a significant impact on software reliability. The study
quantitatively demonstrates how API races are numerous, difficult to
debug, and a real threat to software reliability. To address this
problem, this research is developing RacePro, a new system to
automatically detect API races in deployed systems. RacePro checks
deployed systems in-vivo by recording live executions then
deterministically replay and check them later. This approach
increases checking coverage beyond the configurations or executions
covered by software vendors or beta testing sites. RacePro records
multiple processes and threads, detects races in the recording among
API methods that may concurrently access shared objects, then explores
different execution orderings of such API methods to determine which races
are harmful and result in failures. Technologies developed will help
application developers detect insidious software defects, enabling
more robust, reliable, and secure software infrastructure.
Simha Sethumadhavan awarded NSF grant to study new processor designs
Published: September 19, 2012
NSF awards CS and EE professors grant to study new processor designs for Cyber-Physical Systems

The grant will support Profs. Sethumadhavan (CS), Seok and Tsividis' (EE) work on Hybrid Continuous-Discrete Computers for Cyber-Physical Systems, aiming at specialized single-chip computers with improved power/performance.

Professors Tsividis (EE), Seok (EE), Sethumadhavan (CS) and their collaborators in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Texas at Austin, have been awarded a three year, $1.1M NSF grant under the agency’s Cyber-Physical Systems program, for research in Hybrid Continuous-Discrete Computers for Cyber-Physical Systems.

The research augments the today-ubiquitous discrete (digital) model of computation with continuous (analog) computing, which is well-suited to the continuous natural variables involved in cyber-physical systems, and to the error-tolerant nature of computation in such systems. The result is a computing platform on a single silicon chip, with higher energy efficiency, higher speed, and better numerical convergence than is possible with purely discrete computation. The research has thrusts in hardware, architecture, microarchitecture, and applications.
Published: September 13, 2012
for his contributions to system-level design Read more.
Peter Allen and Eitan Grinspun awarded 3y NSF Grant to research robots manipulating thin shells
Published: September 10, 2012
Grasping and manipulation of deformable objects presents a host of new research challenges that are much more demanding than for rigid objects. A particular challenge is to fully understand the physics of deformation and to model deformable objects in a way that can be used by real robotic systems in the presence of noise and uncertainty and with real-time constraints. This project will use offline simulation to predict states of deformable objects modeled as thin-shells (i.e. cloth, fabric, clothing) that can then be recognized by a robotic vision/grasping system to pick up and manipulate these objects. The project will extend Prof. Allen's simulation environment for robotic grasping and Prof. Grinspun's system for simulation of deformable objects for use with a real physical robotic grasping system.
Published: September 10, 2012
as a member of the Computer Graphics Group (C2G2) in the Vision and Graphics Center Read more.
Published: August 21, 2012
for his kBouncer software security technology Read more.
Published: August 3, 2012
by Federal Trade Commission Chairman Jon Leibowitz Read more.
Published: July 30, 2012
with Patricia Culligan to tackle the growing abundance of data Read more.
Published: July 15, 2012
to support digital communications research Read more.
Evangelia Sitaridi and Ken Ross win Best Paper at DaMoN'12
Published: June 26, 2012
Evangelia Sitaridi and her advisor Prof. Kenneth Ross won the Best Paper Award at DaMoN 2012, collocated with SIGMOD, for their paper "Ameliorating Memory Contention of OLAP Operators on GPU Processors," which seeks to exploit the special structure of GPUs to increase the performance of data processing operations. In particular, they show how to optimize data arrangement in GPU memory using redundancy in order to minimize the running time of data processing operators implemented on a GPU.

For more on DaMoN see http://fusion.hpl.hp.com/damon2012/program.html
Lisa Wu, Martha Kim, and Stephen Edwards' paper the Spotlight of IEEE Computer Architectures Letters
Published: June 22, 2012
"Cache Impacts of Datatype Acceleration" by Lisa Wu, Martha Kim, and Stephen Edwards was selected as the Spotlight Paper for the January-June 2012 issue of the IEEE Computer Architecture Letters!

The paper is currently highlighted on the journal home page and will be available to the public for free for about six months (http://www.computer.org/cal).

Congratulations to the authors for this recognition of their research!
NSF funds Prof. Carloni to Investigate Heterogeneous SoC Design
Published: June 19, 2012
Prof. Carloni has received a three-year National Science Foundation award to investigate synthesis-driven methods for reuse, integration, and programming of specialized accelerators in systems-on-chip (SoCs).
Heterogeneous SoC architectures, which combine a variety of programmable components and special-function accelerators, are emerging as a fundamental computing platform for many systems from computer servers in data centers to embedded systems and mobile devices.

Design productivity for SoC platforms depends on creating and maintaining reusable components at higher levels of abstraction and on hierarchically combining them to form optimized subsystems. While the design of a single component is important, the critical challenges are in the integration and management of many heterogeneous components. The goal of this project is to establish Supervised Design-Space Exploration as the foundation for a new component-based design environment in which hardware-accelerator developers, software programmers and system architects can interact effectively while they each pursue their specific goals.

For more details:

http://www.nsf.gov/awardsearch/showAward.do?AwardNumber=1219001
Rocco Servedio elected SIGACT officer
Published: June 10, 2012
member-at-large will serve the premier organization representing theoretical computer science
Steven Nowick awarded grant to investigate interconnection networks
Published: June 8, 2012
Steve Nowick has been awarded an NSF Computing and Communication Foundations grant for "Designing Low-Latency and Robust Interconnection Networks with Fine-Grain Dynamic Adaptivity Using Asynchronous Techniques."

The work will focus on low-power and high-performance interconnection
networks, targeted to both shared-memory parallel processors and
systems-on-chip for consumer electronics. The aim is to develop a new class of dynamically-adaptable on-chip digital networks which continually self-reconfigure, at very fine-granularity, to customize their operation to actual observed traffic patterns.
Prediction and learning techniques will be explored, to optimally
reconfigure the on-chip networks.

The use of asynchronous networks supports the seamless integration of multiple synchronous processors and memories operating at different
clock rates. The ultimate goal is a significant breakthrough in system latency, power, area and reliability, over synchronous approaches.
Kristen Parton, Nizar Habash, and Kathy McKweon win Best Paper at EAMT 12
Published: June 5, 2012
Note:
Kristen Parton, Nizar Habash and Kathy McKeown won a best paper award at EAMT 12 (Conference of the European Association for Machine Translation) for their paper entitled "Can Automatic Post-Editing make MT more Meaningful?". This paper presents research done by Kristen Parton for her dissertation.
Julia Hirschberg & colleagues win NSF IGERT: From Data to Solutions
Published: June 2, 2012
Columbia Professor of Computer Science, Julia Hirschberg (PI) with co-PIs Shih-fu Chang (Electrical Engineering and Computer Science), Noemie Elhadad (Biomedical Informatics), Andrew Rosenberg (Computer Science, Queens College CUNY), Assaf Zeevi (Business), and 20 other faculty from Columbia, Queens College CUNY, Universidad de Buenos Aires, Universidad Nacional de Crdoba, and the Universidade Estadual de Campinas, have just been awarded an NSF IGERT for their project From Data to Solutions: A New PhD Program in Transformational Data & Information Sciences Research and Innovation. The 5-year $3M award will fund PhD students at Columbia and Queens College CUNY to pursue interdisciplinary approaches to extracting information relevant to business, medicine, and journalism from text, audio, and video data available on the web. Only 278 IGERTS have been funded by NSF since 1998; 18 new awards were made this year.
Published: May 22, 2012
for making fundamental advances in machine learning and natural language processing Read more.
Published: May 18, 2012
Killing the Myth of Cisco IOS Diversity: Recent Advances in Reliable Shellcode Design Read more.
Published: May 14, 2012
to investigate security, parallelism, and software testing. Read more.
David Harmon, Etienne Vouga, Breannan Smith, and Eitan Grinspun's paper a Research Highlight for Communications of the ACM
Published: April 22, 2012
"Asynchronous Contact Mechanics" by David Harmon, Etienne Vouga, Breannan Smith, Rasmus Tamstorf, Eitan Grinspun was selected as a Research Highlight for the April 2012 issue of Communications of the ACM!

The paper is currently highlighted on the CACM website (http://cacm.acm.org/research?date=year&subject=11).

Congratulations to the authors for this recognition of their research!
Published: April 19, 2012
Conventional software testing checks whether each output is correct for the set of test inputs. But for some software, it is not known what the correct output should be for some inputs -- yet it is still important to detect coding errors in that software, so they can be fixed. This dilemma arises frequently for machine learning, simulation and optimization applications, often "Programs which were written in order to determine the answer in the first place. There would be no need to write such programs, if the correct answer were known." As these kinds of applications are frequently used in public infrastructure and biomedical research (domains targeted in this research), it is critical to detect and fix errors before a calamity occurs.

Fortunately, many such applications reflect 'metamorphic properties' that define a relationship between pairs of inputs and outputs, such that for any previous input i with its already known output o, one can easily derive a test input i' and predict the expected output o'. If the actual output o'' is different from o', then there must be an error in the code. This project investigates methodology for determining the metamorphic properties of software and for devising good test cases from which the secondary tests can be derived. The project extends the inputs/outputs considered in previous work on metamorphic testing to focus on application state, before and after, rather than just functional parameters and results. The research also extends the pairwise relations implied by metamorphic properties to 'semantic similarity' for nondeterministic applications, applied to profiles from numerous executions, since an exact relation cannot be expected to hold for a single pair of test executions. These extensions enable treatment of more sophisticated properties that preliminary experiments have shown to reveal defects that were not detected otherwise. Read more.
Edwards and Kim awarded $1.2M NSF Grant to improve the practice of parallel programming
Published: April 18, 2012
This project aims to improve the practice of parallel programming -- perhaps the central problem facing computer science in the 21st century. While the sequential model first introduced by Von Neumann and others has served us well, its inefficiency has been brought into sharp focus by the availability of billion-transistor chips, which are greatly underutilized yet power-hungry when running sequential algorithms.

This project aims to improve the programmability and efficiency of distributed memory systems, a key issue in the execution of parallel algorithms. While it is fairly easy to put, say, thousands of independent adders on a single chip, it is far more difficult to supply them with useful data to add, a task that falls to the memory system. This research will develop compiler optimization algorithms able to configure and orchestrate parallel memory systems able to
utilize such parallel computational resources.

To make more than incremental progress, this project departs from existing hegemony in two important ways. First, its techniques will be applied only to algorithms expressed in the functional style, a more abstract, mathematically sound representation that enables precise reasoning about parallel algorithms and very aggressive optimizations. Second, it targets field-programmable gate arrays (FPGAs) rather than existing parallel computing platforms. FPGAs provide a highly flexible platform that enables exploring parallel architectures far different than today's awkward solutions, which are largely legacy sequential architectures glued together. While FPGAs are far too flexible and power-hungry to be the long-term "solution" to the parallel computer architecture question, their use grounds this project in physical reality and will produce useful hardware synthesis algorithms as a side-effect.

Judicious and efficient data movement is the linchpin of parallel computing. This project attacks that challenge head on, establishing the constructs and algorithms necessary for hardware and software to efficiently manipulate data together. This research will lay the groundwork for the next generation of storage and instruction set architectures, compilers, and programming paradigms -- the bedrock of today's mainstream computing.
Published: April 18, 2012
with team of researchers led by SRI International Read more.
Prof. Stolfo and GRA Ang Cui win DHS Contract
Published: April 16, 2012
Advanced Situation Awareness of High Impact Malware Attacks Against the Internet Routing Infrastructure

The PI's Intrusion Detection Lab (IDS) will investigate and evaluate techniques to detect and defend against advanced malware threats to the internet routing infrastructure. A recent study published by the IDS Lab demonstrates that there are a vast number of unsecured embedded systems on the internet, primarily routers, that are trivially vulnerable to exploitation with little to no effort. As of December 2011, 1.4 million trivially vulnerable devices are in easy reach of even the most unsophisticated attacker. The IDS lab will fully develop and deploy an experimental system that injects intrusion detection functionality within the firmware of a (legacy) router that senses the unauthorized modification of router firmware. The technology may be developed and deployed as a sensor in an Early Attack Warning System, but it may also be implemented to prevent firmware modifications. The IDS lab will demonstrate the highest levels of protection that can be achieved with this novel technology in a range of embedded system device types. This is thesis research of PhD GRA Ang Cui and a team of project students.
Published: April 10, 2012
Renowned for his work on areas from computer vision to machine learning Read more.
Published: April 5, 2012
and FedEx's Electric Vehicle experiment Read more.
Published: March 30, 2012
A Surge in Learning the Language of the Internet Read more.
Brown Institute Fellowships: Applications Invited
Published: March 28, 2012
The Brown fellowships are designed for students and postgrads who seek to do research that will help us understand the seismic changes in the media landscape. We are interested in seeing proposals that address the changing ways that content is created, distributed and consumed in the digital era, with particular emphasis on how technology can be leveraged to provide innovation in the media world. Bachelor's degree or higher sought. See
https://academicjobs.columbia.edu/applicants/jsp/shared/frameset/Frameset.jsp?time=1332985141422 for application details and a fuller description of the fellowships.

For more on the fellowship, please see
http://www.capitalnewyork.com/article/media/2012/01/5160427/helen-gurley-brown-gives-transformative-18-million-columbias-journalis

For more on our joint Journalism + CS Masters program, please see
http://www.wired.com/epicenter/2010/04/will-columbia-trained-code-savvy-journalists-bridge-the-mediatech-divide/
Lauren Wilcox receives Dissertation Award from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality
Published: March 19, 2012
Lauren's work addresses an important gap in health information technology: there has been limited research to date that explores the impact of providing hospitalized patients with direct access to health information throughout their care. Her research will yield new insights into how such technology can be used to educate and engage hospitalized patients and their families, by developing tablet-computer-based user interfaces with which hospitalized patients and their families can review clinical and health-related information. It will advance scientific knowledge in the field of patient-clinician communication, demonstrate new technical capabilities for sharing information among patients and their care team, and explore potential improvements to patient engagement, knowledge, and satisfaction.
Stolfo and Bellovin awarded $1.9M AFOSR grant to Design for Measurable Security
Published: March 8, 2012
The field of computer and communications security begs for a foundational science to guide our designs of systems and to reveal the safety, security, and resliency of the complex systems we depend upon today. To achieve this goal we must devise suitable metrics that can be used to objectively compare and evaluate alternative designs and the security posture of the systems and organizations we have developed. For example, it is very important for CSOs and the top management of modern organizations, in business and government, to be given the tools they need to answer these fundamental questions: Is my organization secure? Are the personnel sufficiently educated and trained to minimize the risks to the organization? Is my organization complying with regulations on managing and safeguarding sensitive data? How do I measure the security risk of a new technology or service provided to our customers? The grant supports research to investigate new methods to measure, quantify and evaluate the security of systems. We will explore three different types of metrics focusing on understanding the impact of multiple layers of defense, using attack complexity to measure security, and using systematic experiments to construct meaningful metrics. The goal is to enable designers to evaluate system designs more quantitatively, and produce designs that can be more meaningfully evaluated.
Sukan, Feiner, and Energin receive Best Poster Award at IEEE 3DUI 2012
Published: March 6, 2012
IEEE 3DUI (7th Symposium on 3D User Interfaces), which took place March 4-5 2012 in Costa Mesa, California is focused on the design and development of 3D user interfaces. The poster, "Manipulating Virtual Objects in Hand-Held Augmented Reality using Stored Snapshots" was the work of Ph.D. student Mengu Sukan, with M.S. student Semih Energin and Prof. Steve Feiner. Their work is an example of augmented reality, in which camera imagery is overlaid with live 3D graphics. The poster presents a set of interaction techniques that allow a user to first take snapshots of a scene using a tablet computer, and then jump back and forth between the snapshots, to revisit them virtually for interaction. By storing for each snapshot a still image of the scene, along with the camera position and orientation determined by computer vision software, this approach allows the overlaid 3D graphics to be dynamic and interactive. This makes it possible for the user to move and rotate virtual 3D objects from the vantage points of different locations, without the overhead of physically traveling between those locations. 3DUI attendees tried a real-time demo in which they laid out virtual furniture. They could rapidly transition between the live view and the viewpoints of multiple snapshots, as they moved and rotated items of virtual furniture, iteratively designing a desired layout.
Published: February 20, 2012
in recognition of their extraordinary contributions to the field Read more.
Published: February 15, 2012
to support Chen's work in algorithmic game theory and Yang's work on software systems Read more.
Published: February 10, 2012
enabling multiple independent secure personas on one device Read more.
Published: February 10, 2012
wide-ranging interview of our department's founding chair Read more.
Andrus & Nieh win Best Paper at 43rd ACM SIGCSE 2012
Published: January 4, 2012
Jeremy Andrus and Jason Nieh have received the Best Paper Award for their work on "Teaching Operating Systems Using Android," which was accepted to the 43rd ACM Technical Symposium on Computer Science Education (SIGCSE 2012). The work was selected from a pool of 289 papers submitted to the conference.

Congratulations to Jeremy and his advisor Jason!
Junfeng Yang wins Young Investigator Research award from Air Force Office of Scientific Research
Published: January 4, 2012
Junfeng Yang has received the Young Investigator Research Program award from the Air Force Office of Scientific Research and its Program for Information Operations and Security.

The Air Force YIP supports scientists and engineers who show exceptional ability and promise for conducting basic research.

Junfeng will investigate concurrency attacks and defenses. Today's multithreaded programs are plagued with subtle but serious concurrency vulnerabilities such as race conditions. Just as vulnerabilities in sequential programs can lead to security exploits, concurrency vulnerabilities can also be exploited by
attackers to gain privilege, steal information, inject arbitrary code, etc. Concurrency attacks targeting these vulnerabilities are impending (see CVE http://www.cvedetails.com/vulnerability-list/cweid-362/vulnerabilities.html), yet few existing defense techniques can deal with concurrency vulnerabilities. In fact, many of the traditional defense techniques are rendered unsafe by concurrency vulnerabilities.

The objective of this project is to take a holistic approach to creating novel program analysis/protection techniques and a system called DASH to secure multithreaded programs and harden traditional defense techniques in a concurrent environment. The greatest impact of our project will be drastically improved software security and reliability, benefiting the Nations cyber infrastructure.

For more on this award, see http://www.wpafb.af.mil/library/factsheets/factsheet.asp?id=9332
Energy Harvesting Active Networked Tags receives Best Student Demo Award in ACM SenSys 2011
Published: December 22, 2011
A demo presented by members of the Energy Harvesting Active Networked Tags (EnHANTs) Project received the Best Student Demo Award in the ACM Conference on Embedded Networked Sensor Systems (ACM SenSys 2011) which is the premier conference of the sensor networking community.

The demo titled "Organic Solar Cell-equipped Energy Harvesting Active Networked Tag (EnHANT) Prototypes" was developed by 10 students (Gerald Stanje, Paul Miller, Jianxun Zhu, Alexander Smith, Olivia Winn, Robert Margolies, Maria Gorlatova, John Sarik, Marcin Szczodrak, and Baradwaj Vigraham) from the groups of Professors Carloni (CS), Kinget, Kymissis, and Zussman.

The EnHANTs Project is an interdisciplinary project that focuses on developing small, flexible, and energetically self-reliant devices. These devices can be attached to objects that are traditionally not networked (e.g., books, furniture, walls, doors, toys, keys, clothing, and produce), thereby providing the infrastructure for various novel tracking applications. Examples of these applications include locating misplaced items, continuous monitoring of objects (e.g., items in a store and boxes in transit), and determining locations of disaster survivors.

The SenSys demo showcased EnHANT prototypes that are integrated with novel custom-developed organic solar cells and with novel custom Ultra-Wideband (UWB) transceivers, and demonstrated various network adaptations to environmental energy conditions. A video of the demo will soon be available on the EnHANTs website.

In 2009, the project won first place in the Vodafone Americas Foundation Wireless Innovation Competition; in 2011, it received the IEEE Communications Society Award for Outstanding Paper on New Communication Topics. The project has been supported by the National Science Foundation, the Department of Energy, the Department of Homeland Security, Google, and Vodafone.
Published: December 19, 2011
will guide the FCCs work on technology and engineering issues, Read more.
Published: December 18, 2011
The IEEE Transactions on Pattern Analysis and Machine Intelligence Feb'12 Spotlight Paper Read more.
Published: December 15, 2011
generating 3D scenes from written sentences helps improves literature comprehension Read more.
Published: December 8, 2011
The New York Times highlights Julia Hirschberg's lie detecting research. Read more.
Xi Chen wins NSF CAREER Award
Published: December 2, 2011
CAREER: Bridging Game Theory, Economics and Computer Science: Equilibria, Fixed Points, and Beyond

Recently concepts and methodologies from game theory and economics have found numerous successful applications in the study of the Internet and e-commerce. The main goal of this proposal is to bridge the algorithmic gap between these three disciplines. The PI will work to develop efficient algorithms for some of the fundamental models and solution concepts and to understand the computational difficulties inherent within them, with the aim to inspire and enable the next-generation e-commerce systems. The proposed research will contribute to a more solid algorithmic and complexity-theoretic foundation for the interdisciplinary field of Algorithmic Game Theory.
Published: December 1, 2011
Making multithreaded programs deterministic in an efficient and stable way Read more.
Published: November 30, 2011
Computer Science Professor Salvatore J. Stolfo and and Ph.D. student Ang Cui have uncovered a major vulnerability in HP printers. Read more.
Published: November 16, 2011
For international distinction in operational research. Read more.
Ang Cui and Jatin Kataria win Kapersky Labs American Cup
Published: November 15, 2011
Ang Cui and Jatin Kataria, co-authors of the paper Killing the Myth of CISCO IOS Diversity have won first prize in the Kapersky Labs American Cup held at NYU/PolyAmerican. Kapersky Labs is one of the largest AV Security companies in the world. The prize includes a trip to the Kaspersky "world" cup where the winners from the American, European and Asian cups will compete.

Details of the event are at http://www.kaspersky.com/educational-events/it_security_conference_2012_usa
Columbia team wins best paper award at SOSP
Published: October 29, 2011
SOSP, a premier systems conference, single track, held once every two years, has given a best paper award to

Cells: A Virtual Mobile Smartphone Architecture
by Jeremy Andrus, Christoffer Dall, Alex Vant Hof, Oren Laadan, Jason Nieh

Smartphones are increasingly ubiquitous, and many users carry multiple phones to accommodate work, personal, and geographic mobility needs. The authors created Cells, a virtualization architecture for enabling multiple virtual smartphones to run simultaneously on the same physical cellphone in an isolated, secure manner. Cells introduces a usage model of having one foreground virtual phone and multiple background virtual phones. This model enables a new device namespace mechanism and novel device proxies that integrate with lightweight operating system virtualization to multiplex phone hardware across multiple virtual phones while providing native hardware device performance. Cells virtual phone features include fully accelerated 3D graphics, complete power management features, and full telephony functionality with separately assignable telephone numbers and caller ID support. They have implemented a prototype of Cells that supports multiple Android virtual phones on the same phone. Their performance results demonstrate that Cells imposes only modest runtime and memory overhead, works seamlessly across multiple hardware devices including Google Nexus 1 and Nexus S phones, and transparently runs Android applications at native speed without any modifications.
Steve Henderson wins Best Science and Technology Student Paper Award at IEEE ISMAR 2011
Published: October 29, 2011
SMAR 2009 (IEEE International Symposium on Mixed and Augmented Reality) is the premier conference in its field.

Presented in Basel, Switzerland, "Augmented Reality in the Psychomotor Phase of a Procedural Task" reports on a key part of Steve Henderson's spring 2011 dissertation, and was coauthored by Dr. Henderson and his advisor, Prof. Steve Feiner. It presents the design and evaluation of a prototype augmented reality user interface designed to assist users in performing an aircraft maintenance assembly task. The prototype tracks the user and multiple physical task objects, and provides dynamic, prescriptive, overlaid instructions on a tracked, see-through, head-worn display in response to the user's ongoing activity. A user study shows participants were able to complete aspects of the assembly task in which they physically manipulated task objects significantly faster and with significantly greater accuracy when using augmented reality than when using 3D-graphics-based assistance presented on a stationary LCD panel.
Aaron Bernstein wins Best Student Paper at SODA 2012
Published: October 4, 2011
Aaron Bernstein has been awarded the Best Student Paper Award at SODA 2012, the ACM-SIAM symposium on discrete algorithms and the top algorithms conference, for his single-authored work on "Near Linear Time $\oeps$-Approximation for Restricted Shortest Paths in Undirected Graphs." Aaron is the sole winner of this award at SODA 2012.

He is a member of the CryptoLab at Columbia University, where he is advised by Tal Malkin. Congratulations to Aaron and to the CryptoLab for this outstanding research contribution!
Kyung-Hwa Kim wins Internet2 IDEA Award for Innovation in Advanced Network Applications
Published: October 4, 2011
Internet2, the nations most advanced networking consortium, has awarded Kyung-Hwa Kim, who is advised by Henning Schulzrinne, with one of two 2011 Internet2 Driving Exemplary Applications (IDEA) student awards for innovation in advanced network applications for collaborative research and education. Two senior and two student awards were presented at the Internet2 Fall Member Meeting in Raleigh, N.C. on Tuesday, Oct. 4.

"All of the winning applications have applied advanced networking technology to enable significant progress in research, teaching, learning or collaboration to increase the impact of next-generation networks around the world, said Tom Knab, chair of the IDEA award judging committee and chief information officer, Case Western Reserve Universitys College of Arts & Sciences. The winning submissions were from an exceptionally strong nominations pool and represent a cross-section of the wide-ranging innovation that is occurring within the Internet2 member community. Also, for the first time, we added a category for applications developed by students and those were remarkable for their creativity and relevance.

Kyung-Hwa Kims project, DYSWIS, is a collaborative network fault diagnosis system, with a complete framework for fault detection, user collaboration and fault diagnosis for advanced networks. With the increase in application complexity, the need for network fault diagnosis for end-users has increased. However, existing failure diagnosis techniques fail to assist end-users in accessing applications and services. The key idea of DYSWIS is a collaboration of end-users to diagnose a network fault in real-time to collect diverse information from different parts of the networks and infer the cause of failure.

Internet2, owned by U.S. research universities, is the worlds most advanced networking consortium for global researchers and scientists who develop breakthrough Internet technologies and applications and spark tomorrows essential innovations. Internet2, consists of more than 350 U.S. universities; corporations; government agencies; laboratories; higher learning; and other major national, regional and state research and education networks; and organizations representing more than 50 countries. Internet2 is a registered trademark.

Kyung-Hwa Kim is a Ph.D. student in the Internet Real-Time Lab, headed by Prof. Henning Schulzrinne.

Congratulations to Kyung-Hwa Kim, and his advisor, Henning Schulzrinne!

Press release: http://www.internet2.edu/news/pr/2011.10.04.idea.html
Julia Hirschberg receives AFOSR grant to study deceptive speech across cultures
Published: September 28, 2011
Julia Hirschberg, Michelle Levine (Barnard), and Andrew Rosenberg (Columbia University Ph.D., now at Queens College CUNY) have received a grant from the Air Force Office of Scientific Research to study the production and perception of deception in speech across cultures. The team will develop computational methods to detect deception in American, Chinese, and Arabic speakers and model the differing production and within- and cross-cultural perception of deception from speech. This work follows their work on American deception detection from speech.
Angelos Keromytis, Roxana Geambasu, Junfeng Yang, Simha Sethumadhavan and Sal Stolfo win DARPA project on cloud security
Published: September 27, 2011
MEERKATS is a novel architecture for cloud environments that elevates continuous system evolution and change as first-rate design principles. The project goal is to enable an environment for cloud services that constantly changes along several dimensions, toward creating an unpredictable target for an adversary. This unpredictability will both disrupt the adversarys ability to achieve an initial system compromise and, if a compromise occurs, to detect, disrupt, and/or otherwise impede his ability to exploit this success. We envision an environment where cloud services and data are constantly in flux, using adaptive (both proactive and reactive) protection mechanisms and distributed monitoring at various levels of abstraction. A key element of the proposed approach is the focus on both the software and the data in the cloud, not just protecting but leveraging both to improve mission resilience. MEERKATS will effectively exploit economies of scale (in resources available) to provide higher flexibility and effectiveness in the deployment and use of protection mechanisms as and where needed, focusing on current and anticipated mission needs instead of an inefficient, blanket approach to protecting everything, all the time at the same level of intensity.

MEERKATS includes partners at George Mason University and Symantec Research Labs.
Tal Malkin, Steve Bellovin, and Angelos Keromytis win IARPA grant for Security and Privacy Assurance Research
Published: September 27, 2011
Efficient, secure and private information access is critical to today's business and defense
operations. While the need for data protection is clear, the queries must be protected as
well, since they may reveal insights of the requester's interests, agenda, mode of operation,
etc. The PIs will develop an efficient and secure system for database access, which allows execution of complex queries, and guarantees protection to both server and client. The PIs will build on their existing successful solution, which relies on encrypted Bloom Filters (BF) and novel reroutable encryption to achieve simple keyword searches. The PIs will expand and enhance this system to handle far more complicated queries, support verifiable and private compliance checking, and maintain high performance even for very large databases. First, the PIs will design novel BF population and matching algorithms, which will allow for secure querying based on combinations of basic keywords. Then, the PIs will design and apply various heuristics and data representation and tokenization to extend this power to range, wildcard, and other query types. Some of the subprotocols will be implemented using Yao's Garbled Circuit (GC) technique, combined with techniques for seamless integration of BF- and GC-based secure computations. In particular, this will prove useful in secure query compliance checking. Finally, the PIs will investigate efficient solutions that eliminate all third helper parties, through the application of (and enhancements to) proxy re-encryption schemes. Using this tool, the (single) server in posession of the searchable encrypted database will be able to perform search and to re-encrypt the obtained result for decryption with the client's key.
American Scientist column credits Paskov and Traub for a "dramatic revival of interest in quasi-Monte Carlo."
Published: September 22, 2011
An article in the July-August issue of American Scientist credits the work of Paskov and Traub with bringing about a "dramatic revival of interest in quasi-Monte Carlo". Joseph Traub is the Edwin Howard Armstrong Professor of Computer Science at Columbia University; Spassimir Paskov was his PhD student. In the early 90s Paskov and Traub showed that quasi-Monte Carlo, which involves deterministic sampling, beats Monte Carlo, which involves randomized sampling, by one to three orders of magnitude for computing the 360 dimensional integrals which occur in computational finance. The use of quasi-Monte Carlo for high dimensional integrals was counter to the conventional wisdom of the world's leading experts.

The results of Paskov and Traub were due to computer experimentation. Theoretical explanations of these results continue to be an active research area. There is no generally accepted explanation.

Read the article at on the American Scientist website.
Published: September 20, 2011
Popular Science Magazine selects 2011's Ten Most Brilliant scientists. Read more.
Published: September 20, 2011
The ACM SIGMM Technical Achievement award cites that Prof. Shih-Fu Chang has made significant contributions that shape directions in many key areas of multimedia, including multimedia search, video summarization, compressed-domain manipulation, and trustworthy media.

For more information, visit http://www.sigmm.org/news/sigmm-award-2011. Read more.
Julia Hirschberg receives ISCA Medal for Scientific Achievement
Published: September 15, 2011
The citation reads: "She has made outstanding contributions to text-to-speech synthesis, prosody research, and many other topics in spoken language processing."

This past March, Julia Hirschberg also received the IEEE James L. Flanagan Speech and Audio Processing Award.

Julia Hirschberg has been a fellow of the American Association for Artificial Intelligence since 1994, a fellow of the International Speech Communication Association (ISCA) since 2008 and president of ISCA from 2005-2007, editor-in-chief of Computational Linguistics from 1993-2003 and co-editor-in-chief of Speech Communication from 2003-2005, and received a Columbia Engineering School Alumni Association (CESAA) Distinguished Faculty Teaching Award in 2009.
Jason Nieh wins IBM Faculty Award
Published: September 15, 2011
The IBM Faculty Award is a cash-only award intended to recognize outstanding faculty and to promote innovative, collaborative research in disciplines of mutual interest.
Martha Kim awarded NSF grant to develop fluid communication for parallel programs
Published: August 26, 2011
Every aspect of parallel software development is more complicated than for serial programs. This research focuses on one of the primary sources of complexity: intra-application communication. Currently it is a programmer's responsibility to find an efficient mapping of their application's communication patterns onto the communication infrastructure of the target system. This research flips that responsibility by developing a flexible communication architecture and associated tools and algorithms that allow the target platform to be specialized for a particular application, rather than vice versa. In addition to reducing the programmer's burden, specialization has the potential to improve communication efficiency while the automated techniques can increase portability.

This research poses questions whose answers have consequences at several levels of the traditional system stack: Can programmers be freed from hardware-specific optimization of communication without degrading performance? What abstractions are needed to allow hardware to adapt to the programmer, rather than the other way around? Can communication efficiency be improved when running on an application-specific communication platform? The project answers these questions by exploring abstractions and algorithms to profile a parallel program's communication, synthesize a custom network design, and implement it in a configurable network architecture substrate. The research methods center around the X10 language, and include compiler instrumentation passes, offline communication profile analyses, development of a portable network intermediate representation, and network place and route software algorithms.
Martha Kim, Stephen Edwards, Ken Ross awarded NSF grant to develop type-specific instruction processors
Published: August 26, 2011
This research project examines specialized processors that target abstract datatypes: moderate to large scale data structures and their associated operations. Modern software engineering practice encourages the use of such abstract types to improve programmer efficiency and software reliability. Abstract datatype processors thus align with these practices making the mapping of software to hardware intuitive and streamlined. By delivering energy-efficient, application-specific hardware in an easy-to-program fashion, this research empowers programmers to write faster software that consumes less energy.

The research activities span three fields of computer science: Hardware system and architecture research is carried out in software simulation. This portion of the research explores multiple aspects of the hardware system including efficient implementations of software-style polymorphism and mechanisms to enforce data encapsulation. The project is grounded in a specific, performance-critical, real-world problem of database query processing. This component of the research identifies target types for hardware acceleration that are used in common, complex database operations such as range partitioning. Performance results will be obtained both by direct measurement and by simulation. Finally, the compiler segment of the project develops compiler techniques to link high-level languages to the accelerators available on the target hardware system. The compiler adapts software at runtime to best utilize the available accelerators and to partition code among general-purpose and specialized processing cores.
Junfeng Yang awarded NSF grant to address concurrency errors
Published: August 26, 2011
LOOM: a Language and System for Bypassing and Diagnosing Concurrency Errors.

This project addresses programming challenges posed by the new trend in multicore computing. Multithreaded programs are difficult to write, test, and debug. They often contain numerous insidious concurrency errors, including data races, atomicity violations, and order violations, which we broadly define to be races. A good deal of prior research has focused on race detection. However, little progress has been made to help developers fix races because existing systems for fixing races work only with a small, fixed set of race patterns and, for the most part, do not work with simple order violations, a common type of concurrency errors.

The research objective of this project, LOOM: a Language and System for Bypassing and Diagnosing Concurrency Errors, is to create effective systems and technologies to help developers fix races. A preliminary study revealed a key challenge yet to be addressed on fixing races that is, how to help developers immediately protect deployed programs from known races. Even with the correct diagnosis of a race, fixing this race in a deployed program is complicated and time consuming. This delay leaves large vulnerability windows potentially compromising reliability and security.

To address these challenges, the LOOM project is creating an intuitive, expressive synchronization language and a system called LOOM for bypassing races in live programs. The language enables developers to write declarative, succinct execution filters to describe their synchronization intents on code. To fix races, LOOM installs these filters in live programs for immediate protection against races, until a software update is available and the program can be restarted.

The greatest impact of this project will be a new, effective language and system and novel technologies to improve the reliability of multithreaded program, benefiting business, government, and individuals.
Published: August 12, 2011
"Introduction to Algorithms" in its third edition Read more.
Angelos Keromytis awarded Google grant
Published: August 10, 2011
Angelos Keromytis has been awarded a Google Research grant for "Leveraging the Cloud to Audit Use of Sensitive Infomation". This work will focus on developing mechanisms and policies for providing easy-to-use auditing mechanisms for end-users to better control their data on the client and as it is being handled (and stored) by the cloud. The work will create a reusable and high-performance framework for dynamic information flow tracking (DIFT) of arbitrary binaries, taking into consideration the increasingly partitioned nature of rich clients across operating system abstractions (i.e., processes) and runtimes (e.g., HTML vs. Flash vs. Javascript vs. Native Client).
Published: July 26, 2011
for significant contributions to the preservation of biodiversity on Earth. Read more.
Tal Malkin's new NSF Grant: How to Let an Adversary Compute For You
Published: July 26, 2011
The Internet revolution enabled private users across the world to send and receive messages to one another. Coupled with cryptographic techniques like public key encryption and digital signatures, this gave rise to the development of the world wide web, e-commerce, and so many other technological changes that we routinely take for granted today. We are now facing a second revolution in which we are changing not just how we communicate, but how we compute. More and more we are sending large datasets to untrusted servers, having them perform calculations on our behalf. From our cell phones and our GPS units, we send compromising information to our service providers in order to outsource the computation that we cannot do on-the-go. Cryptography has a new role to play in these emerging environments.

The PI intends to explore the theoretical underpinnings of the cryptographic challenges that arise in this context. The proposed directions of research touch on the following questions:
-- How can we safely allow others to perform computation on our encrypted data while maintaining its privacy?
-- How can we verify that outsourced computation was done correctly?
-- What stronger security models are needed in this new, highly interactive environment?

We will address the theoretical aspects of these problems, including modeling, protocol design, and negative results. As part of our investigations, we will study the powerful cryptographic primitives of fully homomorphic encryption and functional encryption (in particular, the relationship between them and outsourced and veriable computations), as well as the area of leakage-resilient cryptography.
Published: July 25, 2011
While looking at old telegraph codebooks at the Library of Congress, Steve Bellovin stumbled on one from 1882 that described the concept of the one-time pad -- a theoretically perfect form of encryption -- some 35 years before it was thought to have been invented. With the aid of the Columbia University Library Network's online resources, he was able to identify the inventor as a prominent California banker, and to show a possible indirect link to the people generally credited with the invention. Read more.
Roxana Geambasu from the University of Washington will join the CS faculty this Fall
Published: July 1, 2011
Her research lies in the general operating systems area, centering on cloud computing and computer security. Cloud computing is the computing paradigm today, and likely will be in the foreseeable future; computer security is one of the biggest challenges in computer science. Geambasu has made astounding contributions to both areas. Her prior results have won her two Best Paper Awards at top security and systems conferences and a Google PhD fellowship in cloud computing, and were featured in media outlets ranging from The New York Times to National Public Radio.
Rocco Servedio awarded NSF grant to study learnability of monotone Boolean functions
Published: June 22, 2011
Rocco Servedio has been awarded an NSF Algorithmic Foundations grant for "The Boundary of Learnability for Monotone Boolean Functions". This work will focus on developing learning algorithms for different types of monotone Boolean functions, and also on developing complementary hardness-of-learning results. The ultimate goal of this project is a fine-grained understanding of the boundary between those classes of monotone Boolean functions that can be learned by computationally efficient algorithms, and those that cannot be thus efficiently learned.
Peter Allen awarded Google grant for 3D Shape and Texture Reconstruction
Published: June 15, 2011
Peter Allen has been awarded a Google Research grant for "3D Shape and Texture Reconstruction from Incomplete Data". This work will focus on recovering the full shape and texture of scanned and imaged objects for which only a partial model exists. The models will be completed by finding the most appropriate model in a novel database of thousands of previously modeled objects.
David Waltz receives Distinguished Service Award
Published: June 9, 2011
Dave Waltz is 2011 recipient of the AAAI Distinguished Service Award. The award was established in 1999 to honor an individual for extraordinary and sustained service to the artificial intelligence community. The AAAI Awards Committee mentioned his extraordinary and long-term technical and organizational leadership at both the community and individual levels, and the numerous AI scientists who have been directly touched in more personal ways by his insights, wisdom, and mentorship.

The award will be presented at AAAI-11 in San Francisco during the opening ceremony on Tuesday, July 13 of AAAI-11.
Published: June 8, 2011
The premier ACM group promotes research in techniques and tools for performance analysis. Read more.
John Kender, Shih-Fu Chang, Dan Ellis win IARPA Contract for Video Event Modeling and Retrieval
Published: June 3, 2011
John Kender (CS), Shih-Fu Chang (EE & CS) and Dan Ellis (EE) have been awarded a $2.9M, 5-year contract in the IARPA program called Aladdin (Automated Low-Level Analysis and Description of Diverse Intelligence Video). This contract is their share of a larger effort joint with IBM Research, entitled "Video Event Modeling and Retrieval based on Discriminative Semantic Features".

The research will develop a novel foundation for creating and exploiting a critical intermediate representation layer between low-level audio-visual features and high-level human events. Signal-based information will be abstracted and represented by "unit models", each of which is trained from small samples of exemplar data, in a sub-space selected from the larger intersection of semantic concepts with image and sound features. These resulting individual discriminators are then leveraged for higher-level ensemble modeling and detection. This middle layer of hundreds of thousands of models provides several advantages: models are trained and reused across many humanly meaningful categories; they each carry a machine-derived unit of semantic information; and they all are trained and applied in an easily parallelized fashion. The work will directly impact the key issues of accuracy, robustness, scalability, and responsiveness of video analysis systems.
Undergrad-originated work wins Best Paper at Privacy Law Scholars Conference in Berkeley
Published: June 3, 2011
Steve Bellovin, Maritza Johnson, and Michelle Madejski (SEAS BS '10) won the Best Paper award for "A Study of Privacy Setting Errors in Online Social Networks" at the Privacy Law Scholars Conference in Berkeley. The study contrasted people's intentions in their privacy settings with the reality. Every one of the 65 subjects had at least one error, disclosing information that they wanted to hide or hiding information that they wanted to show.

The work originated with a CS undergraduate's insight and initiative, and Prof. Bellovin's class assignment dealing with privacy. Of her own initiative, undergraduate Michelle Madejski wrote a Facebook app, found subjects, and did a preliminary version of the study. Based on early promising results, Prof. Bellovin and Ph.D. student Martiza Johnson teamed up with Madejski to carry out the full-scale study.

Read the paper here: https://mice.cs.columbia.edu/getTechreport.php?techreportID=1459

For more on the conference see http://docs.law.gwu.edu/facweb/dsolove/PLSC/
Shih-Fu Chang joins the department
Published: June 3, 2011
Prof. Shih-Fu Chang is a professor in the Department of Electrical Engineering and now has a new joint faculty appointment in the Department of Computer Science. Shih-Fu is world renounwed for his work in multimedia and information retrieval. Lean more about Prof. Chang's research by visiting http://www.ee.columbia.edu/~sfchang/.
Published: May 17, 2011
"Feiner, one of the gurus of the field, says augmented reality can exploit all the senses, including touch and hearing." Read more.
Peter Belhumeur's team, together with Smithsonian and U. Maryland collaborators, launches Leafsnap
Published: May 7, 2011
Peter Belhumeur and his Smithsonian and U. Maryland collaborators launched Leafsnap (leafsnap.com) in the Apple App store on Monday. Peter's group has now been covered by NPR, the New York Times, Science Magazine, the Gaurdian UK, Nooderlicht (Netherlands), Morgen (Germany), Smart Planet, Crunch Gear, Engadget, Treehugger, Intomobile, Columbia Record, and a Gizmodo video is slated for release when the iPad version goes live. More than 10,000 people have now installed the app.

Leafsnap is the first in a series of electronic field guides being developed by researchers from Columbia University, the University of Maryland, and the Smithsonian Institution. This free mobile app uses visual recognition software to help identify tree species from photographs of their leaves. Leafsnap contains beautiful high-resolution images of leaves, flowers, fruit, petiole, seeds, and bark. Leafsnap currently includes the trees of New York City and Washington, D.C., and will soon grow to include the trees of the entire continental United States.

Leafsnap turns users into citizen scientists, automatically sharing images, species identifications, and geo-coded stamps of species locations with a community of scientists who will use the stream of data to map and monitor the ebb and flow of flora nationwide.

The Leafsnap family of electronic field guides aims to leverage digital applications and mobile devices to build an ever-greater awareness of and appreciation for biodiversity.

The genesis of Leafsnap was the realization that many techniques used for face recognition developed by Professor Peter Belhumeur and Professor David Jacobs, of the Computer Science departments of Columbia University and the University of Maryland, respectively, could be applied to automatic species identification.

Professors Jacobs and Belhumeur approached Dr. John Kress, Chief Botanist at the Smithsonian, to start a collaborative effort for designing and building such a system for plant species. Columbia and the University of Maryland designed and implemented the visual recognition system used for automatic identification. In addition, Columbia University designed and wrote the iPhone, iPad, and Android apps, the leafsnap.com website, and wrote the code that powers the recognition servers. The Smithsonian was instrumental in collecting the datasets of leaf species and supervising the curation efforts throughout the course of the project. As part of this effort, the Smithsonian contracted the not-for-profit nature photography group Finding Species, which collected and photographed the high-quality photos available in the apps and the website.
Salvatore Stolfo and Angelos Keromytis's spinout wins SBIR
Published: May 3, 2011
Salvatore Stolfo and Angelos Keromytis's spinout Allure Security Technology, Inc., (www.alluresecurity.com) won a highly competitive DARPA SBIR grant. The SBIR project will build on the "decoy technologies" developed in the Columbia IDS lab for the insider threat. The first phase of SBIR will develop a baseline system that demonstrates the feasibility of identifying specific types of insider attacks, from malicious insiders to those who accidentally violate security policy.
Published: April 29, 2011
A paper by Ph.D. student Maria Gorlatova and Professors Peter Kinget, Ioannis Kymissis, Dan Rubenstein (CS), Xiadong Wang, and Gil Zussman won the 2011 IEEE Communications Society Award for Outstanding Paper on New Communication Topics. The paper, titled Energy Harvesting Active Networked Tags (EnHANTs) for Ubiquitous Object Networking, appeared in the IEEE Wireless Communications Dec. 2010 Special Issue on "The Internet of Things: the Next Big Thing in Communications?" (link to http://dl.comsoc.org/livepubs/pci/public/2010/dec/index.html). The paper describes the design challenges posed by a new class of ultra-low-power devices referred to as Energy-Harvesting Active Networked Tags (EnHANTs).

The IEEE Communications Society Award for Outstanding Paper on New Communication Topics is given to "outstanding papers that open new lines of work, envision bold approaches to communication, formulate new problems to solve, and essentially enlarge the field of communications engineering." It is given to a paper published in any IEEE Communications Society publication in the previous calendar year.

The award will be presented at the 2011 IEEE International Conference on Communications (ICC'2011) award ceremony.

More information about the EnHANTs project can be found in http://enhants.ee.columbia.edu/ Read more.
Published: April 19, 2011
Shree Nayar was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. The Academy studies and sets the direction of research in science and technology policy, global security, social policy, and the humanities. Its founders included Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, and George Washington. Its current members include many of the nation's most prominent computer scientists, more than 250 Nobel and Pulitzer Prize winners, as well as Lee Bollinger. Read more.
Dana Pe'er wins Stand Up To Cancer Award
Published: April 8, 2011
Dana Pe'er is a recipient of the Stand Up To Cancer award!

This award is highly visible due to its media-oriented backing. One of 13 awardees, Dana will receive $750k direct for 3 years for her project on "A Systems Approach to Understanding Tumor Specific Drug Response." Peers research is focused on elucidating tumor-specific molecular networks, working towards personalized cancer care. The project will develop and use machine learning approaches for the integration and analysis of high-throughput data toward understanding the tumor regulatory network and its response to drug, as well as the genetic determinants of this response.

Please see:
http://www.standup2cancer.org/node/4782
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9lDh1iiO9KA&feature=player_embedded
Published: April 8, 2011
"Election to the National Academy of Engineering is among the highest professional distinctions accorded to an engineer. Academy membership honors those who have made outstanding contributions to 'engineering research, practice, or education, including, where appropriate, significant contributions to the engineering literature,' and to the 'pioneering of new and developing fields of technology, making major advancements in traditional fields of engineering, or developing/implementing innovative approaches to engineering education." (http://www.nae.edu/Activities/MediaRoom/20095/42133.aspx)

Read more on http://www.engineering.columbia.edu/nae-elects-prof-yannakakis-member Read more.
Shree Nayar's BigShot in Scientific American
Published: April 1, 2011
What could be cooler for an aspiring scientist or engineer than a hands-on project working with and learning about electronics and optics? How about one where each student ends up with his or her own digital camera. Such is the vision of Shree Nayar's BigShot, which he has been cultivating since 2006. Nayar has already developed a dozen prototypes of the build-it-yourself BigShot camera. With his graduate students Guru Krishnan and Brian Smith, he has developed an associated educational and social-networking Web site, and conducted several successful pilot tests with children around the world.

The build-and-learn aspect of BigShot has a lot of appeal, says Margaret Honey, CEO of the New York Hall of Science in Queens, N.Y., a hands-on, family-oriented science and technology museum. "I've seen lots of technology and engineering projects throughout my career, and I was really taken with this," she says. "The strategy of engineering this device so that kids can fairly easily put this together without starting from scratch is incredibly smart. I love that kids end up with a working camera and that the assembly of the project is just the beginning."
Published: March 25, 2011
Simha Sethumadhavan was funded through the National Science Foundation's CAREER program for an ongoing research project on hardware security. Hardware components can contain malicious, illegal modifications that can siphon sensitive information to transmit to adversaries or shutdown critical operations. Such modifications to the hardware - the root of trust in computing - can compromise trustworthiness of systems because all software runs on hardware. This research investigates techniques to build trustworthy hardware systems even with such untrustworthy, malicious hardware components. Sethumadhavan, an assistant professor of Computer Science and a computer hardware and security expert, is the founding director of the Computer Architecture and Security Technologies Lab (CASTL). Read more.
Steve Nowick receives 2011 SEAS Distinguished Faculty Teaching Award
Published: March 24, 2011
The award, created by the Columbia Enginering Alumni Association, is given to honor faculty members for excellence in teaching undergraduates, teaching skills, sensitivity and responsiveness to student needs. It will be presented to the two winning SEAS faculty at Class Day ceremonies on Monday May 16, 4pm in the South Lawn.
Published: March 11, 2011
for her pioneering contributions to speech synthesis and prosody research Read more.
Steve Feiner elected to the CHI Academy.
Published: March 3, 2011
Steve Feiner has been elected to the CHI Academy, which is an honorary group of individuals who have made extensive contributions to the study of HCI and
who have led the shaping of the field.

For the citation, please see:
http://www.sigchi.org/about/awards/2011-sigchi-awards
Junfeng Yang receives an NSF Career Award
Published: February 17, 2011
Title: Making Threads More Deterministic by Memoizing Schedules

Multithreaded programs are becoming increasingly critical driven by the
rise of multicore hardware and the coming storm of cloud computing.
Unfortunately, these programs remain difficult to write, test, and debug.
A key reason for this difficulty is nondeterminism: different runs of a
multithreaded program may show different behaviors depending on how the
threads interleave. Nondeterminism complicates almost every development
step of multithreaded programs. For instance, it weakens testing because
the schedules tested may not be the ones run in the field; it complicates
debugging because reproducing a buggy schedule is hard.

In the past three decades, researchers have developed many techniques to
address nondeterminism. Despite these efforts, it remains an open
challenge to achieve both efficiency and determinism for general
multithreaded programs on commodity multiprocessors.

This project aims to address this fundamental challenge. Its key insight
is that one can reuse a small number of schedules to process a large
number of inputs. Based on this insight, it takes an approach called
schedule memoization that memoizes past schedules and, when possible,
reuses them for future runs. This approach amortizes the high overhead of
making one schedule deterministic over many reuses and makes a program
repeat familiar behaviors whenever possible. A real-world analogy to this
approach is animals' natural tendencies to follow familiar routes to avoid
hazards and discovery overhead of unknown routes.

The greatest impact of this project will be a novel approach and new,
effective systems and technologies to improving software reliability, thus
benefiting every business, government, and individual.
Published: January 18, 2011
Today's high-resolution cameras capture images with pixel counts in
the tens of millions. In the future digital cameras may may be able to
capture images with billions of pixels. Columbia's CAVE lab has shown
that by using a large ball lens, an array of planar sensors, and
deconvolution as a post processing step, we can capture gigapixel
images with a very compact camera. Read more.
Published: January 18, 2011
Peter Belhumeur discusses his work on face recognition in an interview on National Public Radio. The full interview is available at http://www.studio360.org/episodes/2010/12/17 Read more.
Eitan Grinspun profiled in New York Times
Published: January 3, 2011
The New York Times (Arts Section, C1, 2010/12/30) presents a full profile of Prof. Eitan Grinspun and his group at Columbia University. Grinspun's group combines an expertise in geometry and scientific computing to develop technologies used at Disney, Pixar, Weta Digital (best known for Avatar and Lord of the Rings) and top visual effects and animation studios worldwide. Read the article here.
Ang Cui and Salvatore Stolfo win best paper award
Published: December 19, 2010
Ang Cui and Salvatore Stolfo won best paper award at the 2010 Annual
Computer Security Applications Conferenec
for their paper "A Quantitative Analysis Of The Insecurity Of Embedded
Network Devices:
Results Of A Wide-area Scan."
Published: November 26, 2010
Social media sites such as Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and Flickr host an ever-increasing amount of user content captured or produced in association with real-world events, from presidential inaugurations to community-specific events. Unfortunately, the existing tools to find, organize, and present the social media content associated with events are extremely limited. This project will develop critical end-to-end information processing and presentation methods that will transform public access to real-world event information from social media sources. More information can be found at http://www.nsf.gov/awardsearch/showAward.do?AwardNumber=1017389. Read more.
David Harmon received a CRA/CCC Computing Innovation Fellowship
Published: October 18, 2010
CIFellow Harmon will be working at New York University, where he will investigate contact algorithms for geometric modeling. Geometric modeling is concerned with the description and manipulation of shapes for many purposes, such as computer-aided design, mechanical engineering, and image processing. The developed contact algorithms will take contacts and collisions into consideration when modeling complex geometry, such as subdivision surfaces. The impact of such algorithms can be applied to many practical scenarios including computer-aided manufacturing and medical simulation systems, where contact sensitive models are a physical requirement.

Harmon, who was an NSF Graduate Research Fellow during his doctoral studies at the Columbia University School of Engineering & Applied Science, completed his PhD thesis in 2010, as a member of the Columbia Computer Graphics Group directed by Prof. Eitan Grinspun. He has worked at both Walt Disney Animation Studios (makers of Snow White through Tangled) and Weta Digital (makers of The Lord of the Rings through Avatar), applying research technologies to problems in digital special effects. His work on contact algorithms for the motion of fabric is used in films such as Disney's Tangled.
Steve Feiner wins Lasting Impact Award at UIST'10
Published: October 6, 2010
Congratulations to Steve Feiner and his co-authors B. MacIntyre, M. Haupt, and E. Solomon, for winning the UIST'10: Lasting Impact Award for their 1993 paper "Windows on the world: 2D windows for 3D augmented reality".

The conference byline is "UIST (ACM Symposium on User Interface Software and Technology) is the premier forum for innovations in the software and technology of human-computer interfaces." The conference has been held yearly for the past 22 years. This is the eighth year of Lasting Impact awards.
Junfeng Yang and his students got two papers accepted to the the 2010 Symposium on Operating Systems Design and Implementation
Published: September 23, 2010
The the 2010 Symposium on Operating Systems Design and Implementation (OSDI 2010) is one of the top two operating systems conferences. Out of a few hundred submissions, only 32 papers were accepted! The two Columbia papers will be presented next month in Vancouver.
Henning Schulzrinne is the recipient of the 2010 William Terry Lifetime Distinguished Service Award
Published: September 10, 2010
Henning Schulzrinne is the recipient of the 2010 William Terry Lifetime Distinguished Service Award for his contribution and service to the IEEE and Region 1. This award is intended to recognize those whose personal efforts have provided leadership, creativity, guidance, hard work, and inspiration in a wide range of IEEE activities over a long period of time.
Prof. Ross Awarded NSF Grant for Databases on Multicore Processors
Published: September 9, 2010
Applications such as traffic monitoring, mobile user management,
and sensor networks need to process large volumes of updates while
supporting on-line analytic queries. With large amounts of RAM, single
machines are potentially able to manage hundreds of millions of
items. With multiple hardware threads, as many as 64 on modern
commodity multicore chips, many operations can be processed
concurrently.

Processing queries and updates concurrently can cause
interference. Queries need to see a consistent database state, meaning
that at least some of the time, updates will need to wait for queries
to complete. To address this problem, a RAM-resident snapshot of the database is taken at
various points in time. Analytic queries operate over the snapshot,
eliminating interference, but allowing answers to be slightly out of
date. Several different snapshot creation methods are being developed
and studied, with the goal of being able to create snapshots
rapidly (e.g., in fractions of a second) while minimizing the overhead
on update processing.

These problems are studied both for traditional server machines, as
well as for multicore mobile devices. By keeping personalized, up to
date data on a user's mobile device, a wide range of potential new
applications could be supported while avoiding the privacy concerns of
widely distributing one's location. The research focus is on how to
efficiently utilize the many processing cores available on modern
machines, both traditional and mobile devices. A primary goal is to
allow performance to scale as additional cores become available in
newer generations of hardware.

More information can be found at http://www.nsf.gov/awardsearch/showAward.do?AwardNumber=1049898
Matei Ciocarlie wins the 2010 RobotDalen Scientific award
Published: September 8, 2010
The Robotdalen Scientific Award is an international competition for young scientists, with € 20 000 in prize money. The purpose is to encourage young, innovative people all over the world in all aspects of robotics, to find new
and untried approaches for the future.The winner will be announced on Robotdalen Day in Örebro, Sweden on September 7, 2010.

For details: http://robotdalen.se/English/News/2010/Robotic-grasping-earned-scientific-award/
Published: August 25, 2010
See http://beta.wnyc.org/shows/lopate/2010/aug/25/computers-and-language/ for the story. Read more.
Published: August 17, 2010
Salman Abdul Baset and Prof. Henning Schulzrinne win best paper award at IPTCOMM 2010 for their paper titled "Reliability and Relay Selection in Peer-to-Peer Communication Systems". Read more.
David Elson and Prof. Kathy McKeown win best student paper award at ACL 2010
Published: August 3, 2010
PhD Student David Elson and Prof. Kathleen McKeown won the IBM Best Student Paper award at the 48th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics (ACL 2010) in Uppsala, Sweden along with co-author Nicholas Dames, Professor in the Department of English and Comparative Literature. Elson, McKeown and Dames studied the properties of social networks based on conversation in a corpus of 60 British novels from the Victorian era. They examined the correlation of these properties with literary theories about about interaction in the 19th century novel. The interdisciplinary paper was titled "Extracting Social Networks from Literary Fiction."
Malek Ben Salem and Prof. Salvatore J. Stolfo won a MIST 2010 best paper award
Published: June 18, 2010
Malek Ben Salem and Prof. Salvatore J. Stolfo, won best paper award at The 2nd International Workshop on Managing Insider Security Threats (MIST 2010). The paper was entitled "Detecting Masqueraders: A Comparison of One-Class Bag-of-Words User Behavior Modeling Techniques". The workshop was conducted in conjunction with 4th IFIP International Conference on Trust Management in Morioka, Japan, June 2010.
Prof. Rocco Servedio is the 2010 recipient of the Distinguished Teaching Award
Published: June 3, 2010
Prof. Rocco Servedio is the 2010 recipient of the Distinguished Teaching Award
from the Department of Computer Science. This award is in recognition of
his dedication to teaching and his efforts to make Computer Science
accessible to all students.
Published: May 17, 2010
The students are the first Columbia Engineering students in seven years to win these highly competitive scholarships. The scholarships include a $10,000 award for the 2010-11 academic year and a June retreat at Googles headquarters in Mountain View, Calif. Vasudevan and Ainsley are two of just 25 winners Google chose nationwide to honor on the strength of each candidate's academic background and demonstrated leadership. Vasudevan's adviser is Stephen Edwards, associate professor.

Googles goal for the award is to encourage women to excel in computing and technology and become active role models and leaders in the field. The company will sponsor the award recipients to the Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing to be held in Atlanta in September. According to Google, Anita Borg devoted her adult life to revolutionizing the way we think about technology and dismantling barriers that keep women and minorities from entering computing and technology fields. Her combination of technical expertise and fearless vision continues to inspire and motivate countless women to become active participants and leaders in creating technology.

Another Columbia Engineering student Zeinab Abbassi Ph.D. Computer Science was a finalist for the scholarship. Her adviser is Vishal Misra, associate professor. Read more.
Prof. Rocco Servedio wins Distinguished Faculty Teaching Award
Published: May 17, 2010
Professor Rocco Servedio was recognized with the 2010 Columbia Engineering Alumni Association Distinguished Faculty Teaching Award during the SEAS Class Day ceremony.
Profs. Nowick and Tsividis win a $1M NSF Grant
Published: May 8, 2010
The National Science Foundation has awarded a $1 million grant to Professors Yannis Tsividis of Electrical Engineering (principal investigator) and Steven Nowick of Computer Science (co-principal investigator) to perform research in ultra low-power microelectronic systems which perform continuous monitoring, acquisition and processing of signals occurring in the physical world. Such systems can be used in a wide range of applications, from environmental sensors to implantable or ingestible biomedical devices. This interdisciplinary research combines the expertise of the two investigators in continuous-time digital signal processors and in asynchronous digital design.

The proposal, entitled "Power-Adaptive, Event-Driven Data Conversion and Signal Processing Using Asynchronous Digital Techniques", addresses the increasing demand for ultra low-power and high-quality microelectronic systems that continuously acquire and process information, as soon as it becomes available. In these applications, new information is generated infrequently, at irregular and unpredictable intervals. This event-based nature of the information calls for a drastic re-thinking of how these signals are monitored and processed.

Traditional synchronous (i.e. clocked) digital techniques, which use fixed-rate operation to evaluate data whether or not it has changed, are a poor match for the above applications, and often lead to excessive power consumption. This research aims instead to provide viable "event-based" systems: controlled not by a clock but rather by the arrival of each event. Asynchronous (i.e. clock-less) digital logic techniques, which are ideally suited for this work, are combined with continuous-time digital signal processing, to make this task possible. Such continuous-time data acquisition and processing promises significant power and energy reduction, flexible support for a variety of signal processing protocols and encodings, high-quality output signals, and graceful scalability to future microelectronic technologies. A series of silicon chips will be designed and fully evaluated, culminating in a fully programmable, event-driven data acquisition and signal processing system, which can be used as a testbed for a wide variety of real-world applications.
Fadi Biadsy wins 2010 IBM Ph.D. Scholarship
Published: May 8, 2010
Fadi Biadsy, PhD student in the CS Spoken Language Processing group, has received an IBM PhD Scholarship for 2010. Fadi's research is on automatic dialect identification.
Prof. Carloni Wins ONR Young Investigator Award
Published: April 15, 2010
Prof. Luca Carloni has been selected as a Office of Naval Research (ONR) Young Investigator for his proposal "Methods for System-level Design and Programming of Heterogeneous Embedded Multi-Core Platforms".

The ONR Young Investigator Program invests in academic scientists and engineers who show exceptional promise for creative study. In 2010 the ONR selected 17 award recipients from 211 proposal submissions.

Read more about this on the Columbia SEAS
news webpage.

For more information on the ONR Young Investigator Program please see
the official press release.
Lauren Wilcox receives nomination for best paper at ACM CHI 2010
Published: April 4, 2010
ACM CHI (Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems) is
the premier Human-Computer Interaction conference. The paper,
"Designing Patient-Centric Information Displays for Hospitals,"
proposes a design for in-room, patient-centric information displays,
based on iterative design with physicians and a study with emergency
department patients at Washington Hospital Center, a large urban
hospital. The research was conducted by Wilcox during a summer
internship at Microsoft Research with Dan Morris and Desney Tan of
Microsoft Research, in collaboration with Justin Gatewood of MedStar
Institute for Innovation. The study included the presentation of
real-time information to patients based on their medical records,
during their visit to an Emergency Department. Subjective responses to
in-room displays were overwhelmingly positive, and the study elicited
guidelines (regarding specific information types, privacy, use cases,
and information presentation techniques) that could be used
for a fully-automatic implementation of the design.
Max Horlbeck receives Goldwater Recognition
Published: April 2, 2010
Max Horlbeck, a junior double major in Biochemistry and Computer Science and a Rabi Scholar from New York City, has won the Goldwater Scholarship. Max plans to pursue an M.D./Ph.D. program so that he can conduct biomedical research to develop gene-targeted therapies, treat patients, and teach at the university level. Congratulations Max!



The Goldwater Scholarship funds and supports outstanding undergraduate scholars in the sciences, mathematics, and engineering to pursue a Ph.D. in those fields.
Oliver Cossairt and Shree Nayar awarded Best Paper Award at 2010 International Conference on Computational Photography
Published: March 31, 2010
Oliver Cossairt and Shree Nayar of the Computer Vision Laboratory
were awarded the Best Paper Award at
the 2010 International Conference on Computational Photography (ICCP), for
their paper titled "Spectral Focal Sweep: Extended Depth of Field from
Chromatic Aberrations." The paper described a new technique for capturing
photographs with very wide depth of field. The conference was held at
MIT on March 28-30.
Prof. Servedio Receives Google Research Award for Research on Noise-Tolerant Learning
Published: March 24, 2010
Prof. Rocco Servedio has been awarded a Google Research Award to develop provably efficient and effective machine learning algorithms that use outlier detection as a method of identifying and eliminating noisy data points. A sensible first step for machine learning practitioners is to use some form of outlier detection to attempt to get rid of noisy examples in data before running their learning algorithms; however, this common-sense approach rarely plays a role in the theoretical study of efficient noise-tolerant learning algorithms. Prof. Servedio will work to establish a firm theoretical basis for noisy data detection as a central ingredient of computationally efficient learning algorithms.
Prof. Carloni is Awarded NSF Grant for Research on High-Performance Green Buildings
Published: March 23, 2010
Prof. Luca Carloni has been awarded an NSF grant to develop methods and tools for monitoring and controlling buildings through a network of embedded devices
with the goal of improving their energy-efficiency, comfort, and safety. Traditional buildings account for about 40% of the total energy consumed in the
United States. A central theme of the proposed research is to model a future high-performance building as a cyber-physical system whose complex dynamics arise from the interaction among its physical attributes, the operating equipment (such as sensors, embedded processors, and HVAC components), and the
behavior of its occupants. Emphasis is laid on the development of methods to make the distributed embedded system robust to uncertainty and adaptive to change.

More details: http://www.nsf.gov/awardsearch/showAward.do?AwardNumber=0931870
Published: March 1, 2010
The Anita Borg Institute for Women and Technology (ABI) announced today
the winners of this years Anita Borg Women of Vision Awards. Three
leaders in technology Kristina M. Johnson, Under Secretary for Energy,
Department of Energy, Kathleen R. McKeown, Henry and Gertrude Rothschild
Professor of Computer Science, Columbia University, and Lila Ibrahim,
General Manager, Emerging Markets Platform Group, Intel Corporation will
be* *honored for their accomplishments and contributions as women in
technology at ABIs fifth annual Women of Vision Awards Banquet at the
Mission City Ballroom, Santa Clara, California on May 12, 2010. Read more.
Congratulations to MSR Fellow Charles Han
Published: February 17, 2010
Security Group leading multi-institutional IARPA-funded effort to protect large-scale software systems
Published: January 29, 2010
The project will develop a novel architecture that integrates static analysis, dynamic confinement, and code diversification techniques to enable the identification, mitigation and containment of a large class of software vulnerabilities. The system will permit the immediate deployment of new software and the protection of already deployed (legacy) software by transparently inserting extensive security instrumentation, while leveraging concurrent program analysis and runtime profiling data to gradually reduce the performance cost of the instrumentation by allowing its selective removal or refinement.
Traub Appointed to National Academies Division Committee
Published: January 27, 2010
The Committee provides advice and strategic insights to boards and standing committees within its purview.
The DEPS portfolio ranges from disciplinary boards such as mathematics, physics, computer science,and astronomy to boards and standing committees serving
each of the major military services as well as the intelligence community and the Department of Homeland Security.

After 10 years of service Traub has stepped down as Chair of the Computer Science and Telecommunications Board (CSTB). He served as founding chair 1986-1992 and served again 2005-2009.
Published: December 17, 2009
The paper was titled "Self Organizing IP Multimedia Subsystem" and co-authored by Ashutosh Dutta (Telcordia Technologies, US), Christian Makaya (Ecole Polytechnique de Montreal, CA), Subir Das (Telcordia Technologies, US), Dana A Chee (Telcordia Technologies, US), Fuchun J Lin (Telcordia Technologies, US), Satoshi Komorita (KDDI R&D Laboratories Inc., JP), Tsunehiko Chiba (KDDI R&D Laboratories, Inc., JP), Hidetoshi Yokota (KDDI Labs, JP) and Henning Schulzrinne (Columbia University, US). Read more.
Prof. Rocco Servedio Promoted to Associate Professor with tenure
Published: December 8, 2009
Congratulations to Prof. Rocco Servedio, who has been promoted to the rank of Associate Professor with tenure.
Published: December 5, 2009
The Tech Awards 2009, a humanitarian program recognizing technological solutions aimed at worldwide challenges, selected 15 Laureates from a pool of 650 nominations representing 66 countries. Dr. White won for his work on the mobile, hand-held, and augmented reality versions of the Electronic Field Guide. The 2009 Tech Awards Laureates represent regions as diverse as Nigeria, Brazil, Great Britain, the United States and Bangladesh. The Laureates and former Vice President Al Gore, this year's James C. Morgan Global Humanitarian Award recipient, were recognized at The Tech Awards Gala on November 19th at the San Jose McEnery Convention Center.


The Tech Awards, presented by Applied Materials, is a signature program of The Tech Museum. Established in 2001, The Tech Awards recognizes Laureates in five categories: environment, economic development, education, equality, and health. These Laureates have developed new technological solutions or innovative ways to use existing technologies to significantly improve the lives of people around the world. Dr. White received one of the three Intel Environment Awards. Read more.

Congratulations to the the CUCS ACM programming teams!
Published: November 24, 2009
These teams consisted of students:

Team Columbia 1 (ranked 2nd):
- Jingyue Wu (PhD, computer science)
- Varun Jalan (MS, computer science)
- Zifeng Yuan (PhD, civil engineering)

Team Columbia 2 (ranked 6th):
- Chen Chen (PhD, IEOR)
- Huzaifa Neralwala (MS, computer science)
- Jiayang Jiang (Junior, mathematics)

Due to their performance, team Columbia 1 was also selected to be one of 100 teams (chosen from over 7,000 around the world) to advance to the world finals competition, to be held in Harbin, China from February 1--6. The teams were led by coach John Zhang (PhD student, computer science).
Prof. Jebara receives a Google Research Award
Published: November 20, 2009
The goal of this project is to set up a collaborative filtering problem much like the Netflix challenge where recommendations are provided to users based on large amounts of unsupervised human social activity (as opposed to more standard rating data).
Prof. Gravano receives a Google Research Award
Published: November 18, 2009
The goal of this project is to use the wealth of social media documents available on the Web to identify and characterize event-related information, ultimately leading to substantial improvements in browsing and search quality for event
media.
Prof. Malkin receives a Google Research Award
Published: November 17, 2009
The funded research will
enhance routing protocols such that they can compute high-performance
routes in a computationally efficient manner without revealing
information that might reveal the location of participating nodes.
This allows users to send and receive high-bandwidth, low-latency
transmissions such as video and audio feeds without revealing their
location. Potential applications include celebrity multimedia
twitter-like feeds, and network-supported action gaming.
Prof. Misra receives a Google research award
Published: November 17, 2009
A new generation of content delivery networks for live streaming, video on demand, and software updates takes advantage of a peer-to-peer architecture to reduce their operating cost. In contrast with previous uncoordinated peer-to-peer schemes, users opt-in to dedicate part of the resources they own to help the content delivery, in exchange for receiving the same service at a reduced price. Such incentive mechanisms are appealing, as they simplify coordination and accounting. However, they also increase a user's expectation that she will receive a fair price for the resources she provides. Addressing this issue carefully is critical in ensuring that all interested parties ---including the provider--- are willing to participate in such a system, thereby guaranteeing its stability. In this project, Prof. Misra will apply his recent results to design fair and stable incentive mechanisms for a variety of such peer assisted services.
NSF Grant to Traub and Wozniakowski
Published: November 5, 2009
ABSTRACT

Many important scientific and engineering problems involve a large number of variables. Equivalently they are said to be high dimensional. Examples of such problems occur in quantum mechanics, molecular biology, and economics. For example, the Schrodinger equation for p particles has dimension d = 3p; system with a large number of particles are of great interest in physics and chemistry. This problem can only be solved numerically. In decades of work scientists have found that the problems get increasingly hard as p increases. The investigators believe this does not stem from a failure to create good numerical methods--the difficulty is intrinsic. The investigators believe solving the Schrodinger equation suffers the curse of dimensionality on a classical computer. That is, the time to solve this problem must grow exponentially with p. (A classical computer is any machine not based on the principles of quantum mechanics--all machines in use today are classical computers.) The investigators hope to show this problem is tractable on a quantum computer. Success in this research would mark the first instance of a PROVEN exponential quantum speedup for an important non-artificial problem.
Published: November 4, 2009
Prof. Nayar also worked with a group of students, led by Guru Krishnan, An Tran and Brian Smith, to create a website, www.bigshotcamera.org, that walks children and teachers through
the workings of the camera. The website also allows young photographers from around
the world to share their pictures. The idea here was not to create a device that
was an inexpensive toy, says Nayar. The idea was to create something that
could be used as a platform for education across many societies.

Visit the Bigshot website. Read more about the Bigshot project. Read more.
Published: November 2, 2009
21st International Conference on Tools with Artificial Intelligence
November 2-5, 2009, Newark Liberty International Airport Marriott
Newark (NYC Metropolitan Area), New Jersey, USA

Learning from Data using Matchings and Graphs (pdf version)
Tony Jebara
Columbia University

Many machine learning problems on data can naturally be formulated as problems on graphs. For example, dimensionality reduction and visualization are related to graph embedding. Given a sparse graph between n high-dimensional data nodes, how do we faithfully embed it in low dimension? We present an algorithm that improves dimensionality reduction by extending semidefinite embedding methods. But, given only a dataset of n samples, how do we construct a graph in the first place? The space to explore is daunting with 2^(n^2) graphs to choose from yet two interesting subfamilies are tractable: matchings and b-matchings. By placing distributions over matchings and using loopy belief propagation, we can efficiently and optimally infer maximum weight subgraphs. Matching not only has intriguing combinatorial properties but it also leads to improvements in graph reconstruction, graph embedding, graph transduction, and graph partitioning. We will show applications on text, network and image data. Time permitting, we will also show results on location data from millions of tracked mobile phone users which lets us discover patterns of human behavior, networks of places and networks of people. Read more.
Published: October 27, 2009
Prof. Shree Nayar has been awarded Carnegie Mellon University's 2009
Alumni Achievement Award, which recognizes an individual
for exceptional accomplishments that have brought honor to
the receipient and to Carnegie Mellon. He is being recognized
for his "pioneering research contributions and teaching in
the field of computer vision." Read more.
Published: October 26, 2009
Scan of Internet Uncovers Thousands of Vulnerable Embedded Devices
Wired News (10/23/09) Zetter, Kim

A scan of the Internet by Columbia University researchers searching for vulnerable embedded devices has found that nearly 21,000 routers, Webcams, and VoIP products are vulnerable to remote attack. They say there could be as many as 6 million vulnerable devices on the Internet. The scan also found that the devices' administrative interfaces are viewable from anywhere on the Internet, and their owners have not changed the devices' passwords from the manufacturer's default. The study scanned networks belonging to the largest Internet service providers (ISPs) in North America, Europe, and Asia, and vulnerable devices were found in significant numbers in all parts of the world. Since starting the project last December, the researchers have scanned 130 million IP addresses and found nearly 300,000 devices whose administrative interfaces were remotely accessible from anywhere on the Internet. Devices with default passwords are most vulnerable, but others are theoretically vulnerable to brute-force password-cracking attacks. The researchers have provided ISPs with their findings, but Columbia professor Salvatore Stolfo says product manufacturers are the real culprits. He says that they need to hide their administrative interfaces by default and give customers clear instructions on how to alter the configuration to protect themselves. Stolfo also says that vendors should be more vocal in encouraging customers to change default passwords.
View Full Article | Return to Headlines Read more.
Ilias Diakonikolas wins Honorable Mention in the 2009 Nicholson Competition of the INFORMS society.
Published: October 23, 2009
The George Nicholson Student Paper Competition is held each year to honor outstanding papers in the field of operations research and the management sciences written by a student. Ilias Diakonikolas received an Honorable Mention Award in the 2009 Nicholson Competition for his paper "Small Approximate Pareto Sets for Biobjective Shortest Paths and Other Problems", coauthored with Prof. Mihalis Yannakakis. The paper is published in the SIAM Journal on Computing.
Steve Henderson receives best paper award at IEEE ISMAR 2009
Published: October 22, 2009
IEEE ISMAR (International Symposium on Mixed and Augmented Reality) is
the premier conference in its field. The paper,
"Evaluating the Benefits of Augmented Reality for Task Localization in
Maintenance of an Armored Personnel Carrier Turret," was coauthored
by Steve Henderson and Prof. Steve Feiner. It presents the design,
implementation, and user testing of a prototype augmented reality
application to support military mechanics conducting routine
maintenance tasks inside an armored vehicle turret. The prototype
uses a tracked head-worn display to augment a mechanic's view with
text, labels, arrows, and animated sequences documenting tasks to
perform. A formal human subject experiment with military mechanics
showed that the augmented reality condition allowed them to locate
tasks more quickly than using when two baseline conditions (an untracked
head-worn display, and a stationary display representing an improved
version of existing electronic technical manuals).
Published: October 22, 2009
The National Cyber Defense Industry Workshop will take place on October 28-29, 2009 at the Financial Services Roundtable in Washington, DC. The workshop is sponsored by the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and will be limited to senior experts from the financial services industry, academia and government agencies. The workshop is one in a series organized by the National Cyber Defense Initiative Steering committee with support from several government organizations and leaders. Read more.
Prof Yemini Delivers Keynote Speech at the IEEE/IFIP IM2009 conference
Published: October 5, 2009
Title: Can Genomic Networks Teach Integrated Network Management?
Prof. Gravano receives a Yahoo! Faculty Research and Engagement Gift
Published: October 5, 2009
Professor Luis Gravano was awarded a Yahoo! Faculty Research and Engagement Gift, for "User-Specific Extraction of Entity Lists and Attributes."
Published: September 30, 2009
Prof. Kenneth Ross has been awarded an NSF grant to study how to effectively use multicore machines to perform data intensive computations typical of database systems. The project aims to provide a generic, programmer-friendly framework for performing certain kinds of concurrent operations in parallel. The system will automatically detect and respond to hotspots and other performance pitfalls. Read more.
Prof. Feiner receives Microsoft Research Award to explore multitouch user interfaces.
Published: September 4, 2009
Their research will address the design and development of hybrid user interfaces that put multiuser tabletop user interface into a rich context of additional displays and devices, ranging from hand-held, to head-worn, to stationary. They will be supplementing the display and interaction plane established by and anchored on the tabletop with the capability to visualize and interact with information in the volume above and around it.
NSF funds Prof. Junfeng Yang, Prof. Gail Kaiser, and Prof. Jason Nieh to explore new software checking mechanisms
Published: August 12, 2009
Software reliability affects virtually everyone. Thorough software
checking is unquestionably crucial to improve software reliability,
but the checking coverage of most existing techniques is severely
hampered by where they are applied: a software product is typically
checked only at the site where it is developed, thus the number of
different states checked is throttled by those sites' resources (e.g.,
machines, testers/users, software/hardware configurations).

To address this fundamental problem, we will investigate mechanisms
that will enable software vendors to continue checking for bugs after
a product is deployed, thus checking a drastically more diverse set of
states. Our research contributions will include the investigation,
development, and deployment of: (1) a wide-area autonomic software
checking infrastructure to support continuous checking of deployed
software in a transparent, efficient, and scalable manner; (2) a
simple yet general and powerful checking interface to facilitate
creation of new checking techniques and combination of existing
techniques into more powerful means to find subtle bugs that are often
not found during conventional pre-deployment testing; (3) lightweight
isolation, checkpoint, migration, and deterministic replay mechanisms
that enable replication of application processes as checking launch
points, isolation of replicas from users, migration of replicas across
hosts, and replay of identified bugs without need for the original
execution environment; and (4) distributed computing mechanisms for
efficiently and scalably leveraging geographically dispersed idle
resources to determine where and when replicas should be executed to
improve the speed and coverage of software checking, thereby
converting available hardware cycles into improved software
reliability.
Prof. Carloni was elevated to "Senior Member" of IEEE and ACM
Published: August 12, 2009
Prof. Carloni was named a Senior Member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) on July 1, 2009 . According to the IEEE, only about 12% of the approximatley 382,000 members hold the Senior Member grade of IEEE.

Prof. Carloni was also named a Senior Member of the the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) on July 21, 2009. According to the ACM website, "the Senior Member grade recognizes those ACM members with at least 10 years of professional experience and 5 years of continuous Professional Membership who have demonstrated performance that sets them apart from their peers."
Prof. Stolfo receives NSF grants to explore fundamental means of measuring the security
Published: August 12, 2009
The proposed project explores fundamental means of measuring the security
posture of large enterprises. The project is intended to devise metrics and
measurement methods, and test and evaluate these in a real institution, to
evaluate how human users behave in a security context.

To develop computer security as a science and engineering discipline,
metrics need to be defined to evaluate the safety and security of
alternative system designs. Security policies are often specified by large
organizations but there are no direct means to evaluate how well these
policies are followed by human users. The proposed project explores
fundamental means of measuring the security posture of large enterprises.
Risk management and risk mitigation requires measurement to assess
alternative outcomes in any decision process. The project is intended to
devise metrics and measurement methods, and test and evaluate these in a
real institution, to evaluate how human users behave in a security context.
Financial institutions in particular require significant controls over the
handling of confidential financial information and employees must adhere to
these policies to protect assets, which are subject to continual adversarial
attack by thieves and fraudsters. Hence, financial institutions are the
primary focus of the measurement work. The technical means of measuring user
actions that may violate security policy is performed in a non-intrusive
manner. The measurement system uses specially crafted decoy documents and
email messages that signal when they have been opened or copied by a user in
violation of policy. The project will develop collaborations with financial
experts to devise risk models associated with users of information
technology within large enterprises. This line of work extends traditional
research in computer security by opening up a new area focused on the human
aspect of security.
NSF funds Prof. Feiner to explore using augmented reality to explain everyday tasks
Published: August 6, 2009
The project is titled "HCC: Medium: Collaborative Research: Generating Effective Dynamic Explanations in Augmented Reality."

To survive and flourish, people must interact with their environment in an organized fashion. To do so, they need to learn, imagine, and perform an assortment of transformations on and in the world. Primary among these are manipulation of objects and navigation in space. This project integrates research in computer science and cognitive science to develop and evaluate augmented reality tools to create effective dynamic explanations that enhance manipulation and navigation, in conjunction with identification and visualization. Augmented reality refers to user interfaces in which virtual material is integrated with and overlaid on the user's experience of the real world; for example, by using tracked head-worn and hand-held displays. Dynamic explanations are task-appropriate sequences of actions, presented interactively, with appropriate added information. The tools will be created in collaboration with subject matter experts for exploratory use in indoor and outdoor real world domains: navigating and identifying landmarks in a wooded park area, assembling a piece of furniture, and navigating and visualizing for planning the site of a new urban campus. Cognitive science research will determine the best ways to convey explanations and information to people. Computer science research will address the design and implementation of systems that embody the best candidate approaches for identifying objects and locations, specifying actions, and adding non-visible information. In situ experiments will be used to assess and refine the systems.

Manipulation, navigation, identification, and visualization are representative of important things that people do every day, ranging from fixing broken equipment to reaching a desired destination in an unfamiliar environment. The ways in which we perform these tasks could potentially be improved significantly through augmented reality systems designed using the principles to be developed by this project. Both the cognitive principles and the augmented reality tools will have broad applicability. The systems developed will inform the design of future systems that can aid the general public, for educational and recreational ends, as well as systems that can assist people with auditory, visual, or physical impairments.
Prof. Keromytis receives a Google research award
Published: July 15, 2009
Routing attacks against BGP have been demonstrated for years, and have recently been used in the wild to both disrupt service and capture traffic. A variety of mechanisms have been proposed and implemented in an ad hoc fashion and with varying degrees of diligence by ISPs. Due to the decentralized nature of the routing infrastructure, it is impossible to know how effective these measures (or future techniques) are. In this project, Prof. Keromytis will develop an infrastructure for evaluating the susceptibility of the Internet to BGP hijacking attacks and for determining the effectiveness of deployed mechanisms to counter them.
Prof. Gravano and Prof. Nieh win a Google research award
Published: July 15, 2009
"Google Desktop Meets DejaView: Display-Centric Desktop Search"

State-of-the-art desktop search tools are valuable for searching various forms of individual user documents -interpreted broadly and including user files, email messages, web pages, and chat sessions. Unfortunately, focusing on individual, relatively static documents in isolation is often insufficient for important search scenarios, where the history and patterns of access to all information on a desktop -static or otherwise- are themselves of value and, in fact, critical to answer certain queries effectively. We propose to design, implement, and evaluate new mechanisms for enabling users to search all information that has been displayed on their desktops, preserving and exploiting the same personal context and display layout as in the original desktop computing experience. Our next-generation desktop search system will rely on a virtualization record-and-play architecture that enables both display and application execution on a desktop to be recorded (and, in fact, replayed) efficiently without user-perceived degradation on application performance. Our system will capture and index all activity on the desktop, and will exploit this aggregate desktop information to produce effective, display-centric search results.
NSF supports research of Prof. Nieh and Prof. Keromytis into exploiting software elasticity
Published: July 10, 2009
Software failures in server applications are a significant problem for preserving system availability. In the absence of perfect software, this research focuses on tolerating and recovering from errors by exploiting software elasticity: the ability of regular code to recover from certain failures when low-level faults are masked by the operating system or appropriate instrumentation. Software elasticity is exploited by introducing rescue points, locations in application code for handling programmer-anticipated failures, which are automatically repurposed and tested for safely enabling fault recovery from a larger class of unanticipated faults. Rescue points recover software from unknown faults while maintaining system integrity and availability by mimicking system behavior under known error conditions. They are identified using fuzzing, created using a checkpoint-restart mechanism, and tested then injected into production code using binary patching. This approach masks failures to permit continued program execution while minimizing undesirable side-effects, enabling application recovery and software self-healing.
NSF funds Prof. Keromytis to track information flows
Published: June 30, 2009
Personally identifiable or sensitive information (PII) has become a target of attackers seeking financial gain through its misuse. With the trend toward storing and processing PII on complex and insecure systems, the need for improved protection has become a goal of enterprise policy and legislative efforts. In this project, Prof. Keromytis and his lab will investigate Concatenated Dynamic Information Flow Tracking (CDIFT), an architecture for performing dynamic information flow analysis at various system levels and across multiple processes in a distributed enterprise. CDIFT will allow administrators to map the enterprise business logic (applications, network, storage) and determine where information of interest is stored or transmitted. The same mechanism can also be used to enforce an information flow policy, restricting where and by whom such information can be viewed. CDIFT will complement and enhance current compliance and auditing efforts, which require considerable recurrent effort and a large number of man-hours spent by administrators and auditors on understanding existing systems.

The project will develop and experimentally evaluate novel techniques for conducting fine-grained tracking of information of interest (as defined by the system operator or, in the future, by end-users, in a flexible, context-sensitive manner) toward mapping the paths that such information takes through the enterprise and providing a means for enforcing information flow and access control policies. Prof. Keromytis' hypothesis is that it is possible to create efficient fine-grained information tracking and access control mechanisms that operate throughout an enterprise legacy computing infrastructure through appropriate use of hypervisors and distributed tag propagation protocols.
NSF funds Prof. Schulzrinne to investigate security service architectures in mobile networks
Published: June 30, 2009
The nature of telecommunications networks is rapidly changing. Commodity smart mobile phone frameworks such as Android and Openmoko invite developers and end users to build applications, modify the behavior of the phone, and use network services in novel ways. However, while simultaneously spurring incredible innovation, the move to open systems alters the underlying performance and security assumptions upon which the network was designed. Such changes invite vulnerabilities ranging from merely vexing phone glitches to catastrophic network failures. The current infrastructure lacks the basic protections needed to protect an increasingly open network, and it is unclear what new stresses and threats open systems and services will introduce.

This research analytically and experimentally investigates defensive infrastructure addressing vulnerabilities in open cellular operating systems and telecommunications networks. In this, we are exploring the requirements and design of such defenses in three coordinated efforts; a) extending and applying formal policy models for telecommunication systems, and provide tools for phone manufacturer, provider, developer, and end-user policy compliance verification, b) building a security-conscious distribution of the open-source Android operating system, and c) explore the needs and designs of overload controls in telecommunications networks needed to absorb changes in mobile phone behavior, traffic models, and the diversity of communication end-points.

This research symbiotically supports educational goals at the constituent institutions by supporting graduate and undergraduate student research, and is integral to the security and network curricula. This award is funded under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (Public Law 111-5).
National Science Foundation funds Prof. Allen's work on robotic hands
Published: June 27, 2009
The project is titled "Robotic Hands: Understanding and Implementing Adaptive Grasping". The project is defining the basis for lower-complexity hands that can grasp a wide variety of objects in noisy and unstructured environments. The new generation of mobile and humanoid robots still lack basic hands that can reliably grasp objects. Robot hands have been traditionally built as anthropomorphic, high degree-of-freedom (DOF) mechanisms that are expensive and difficult to control. The approach in this project is based on defining hand mechanisms that capture two key features of human grasping, versatility and low dimensionality of hand postures. Reducing complexity brings major benefits. Determining the minimal number of hand joints, sensors and actuators can reduce costs and speed research as low-complexity hands can be easily fabricated, designs can be quickly iterated, and control can be simplified. These ideas are used to build a low-cost, low degree-of-freedom grasping device that is based on hard human grasping data. Further, the new hand designs are being tested in simulation so as to build hardware that is functionally proven for robotic grasping tasks. Important research outcomes include the development of a new low-dimensional, low-cost robotic hand; experiments to gain insights from human grasping and adaptive compliance; and machine learning algorithms for grasping.
Prof. Itsik Pe'er wins National Science Foundation CAREER award on genomics
Published: June 24, 2009
High throughput sequencing is transforming human genetics: several disruptive technologies are coming of age and now enable resequencing throughput of megabases per dollar, in short segments. Specifically, hundreds and thousands of individuals can now be sequenced for targeted regions of the genome, in pools of individuals. The complete spectrum of common and rare alleles thus revealed is a key resource for understanding origins, genomics, and heritable traits of our species. The project tackles the recovery of individual identity of mutation carriers from pooled sequencing data, as well as using such individual-level mutation data for scoring of association to multiple variants in a locus. Prof. Pe'er proposes Bayesian scoring for genomic intervals containing functional variants, using comparative genomics to guide a prior distribution for functionality. The association score is further decomposed to contributions of each sample and each site, with Markovian dependency between such contributions along the genome.
Published: June 19, 2009
Structure Preserving Embedding (SPE) is an algorithm for embedding graphs in Euclidean space such that the embedding is low-dimensional and preserves the global topological properties of the input graph. Topology is preserved if a connectivity algorithm, such as k-nearest neighbors, can easily recover the edges of the input graph from only the coordinates of the nodes after embedding. SPE is formulated as a semidefinite program that learns a low-rank kernel matrix constrained by a set of linear inequalities which captures the connectivity structure of the input graph. Traditional graph embedding algorithms do not preserve structure, and thus the resulting visualizations can be misleading or less informative. SPE provides significant improvements in terms of visualization and lossless compression of graphs, outperforming popular methods such as spectral embedding and Laplacian eigenmaps. The paper finds that many classical graphs and networks can be properly embedded using only a few dimensions. Furthermore, introducing structure preserving constraints into dimensionality reduction algorithms produces more accurate representations of high-dimensional data. Read more.
Prof. Feiner receives Google Research Award
Published: June 18, 2009
Prof. Feiner and his students will be designing, developing, and evaluating mobile augmented reality systems on Android smartphones. Their research will investigate new ways to effectively integrate relevant information with the user's view of the surrounding environment, taking advantage of the GPS, compass, accelerometer, and camera built into Android smartphones such as the G1.
NSF supports research of Prof. Bellovin into learning security policies
Published: June 14, 2009
As both corporate and consumer-oriented applications introduce new functionality and increased levels of customization and delegation, they inevitably give rise to more complex security and privacy policies. Yet, studies have repeatedly shown that both lay and expert users are not good at configuring policies, rendering the human element an important, yet often overlooked source of vulnerability.

This project aims to develop and evaluate a new family of user-controllable policy learning techniques capable of leveraging user feedback and present users with incremental, user-understandable suggestions on how to improve their security or privacy policies. In contrast to traditional machine learning techniques, which are generally configured as black boxes than take over from the user, user-controllable policy learning aims to ensure that users continue to understand their policies and remain in control of policy changes. As a result, this family of policy learning techniques offers the prospect of empowering lay and expert users to more effectively configure a broad range of security and privacy policies.

The techniques to be developed in this project will be evaluated and refined in the context of two important domains, namely privacy policies in social networks and firewall policies. In the process, work to be conducted in this project is also expected to lead to a significantly deeper understanding of (1) the difficulties experienced by users as they try to specify and refine security and privacy policies and of (2) what it takes to overcome these challenges (e.g., better understanding of policy modifications that users can relate to, better understanding of how many policy modifications users can realistically be expected to handle, and how these issues relate to the expressiveness of underlying policy languages, modes of interactions with the user, and the topologies across which policies are deployed).
Prof. Hirschberg and Owen Rambow to convert text into 3D scenes
Published: June 10, 2009
The researchers are developing new theoretical models and technology to automatically convert descriptive text into 3D scenes representing the texts meaning. They do this via the Scenario-Based Lexical Knowledge Resource (SBLR), a resource they are creating from existing sources (PropBank, WordNet, FrameNet) and from automated mining of Wikipedia and other un-annotated text. In addition to predicate-argument structure and semantic roles, the SBLR includes necessary roles, typical role fillers, contextual elements, and activity poses which enables analysis of input sentences at a deep level and assembly of appropriate elements from libraries of 3D objects to depict the fuller scene implied by a sentence. For example, Terry ate breakfast does not tell us where (kitchen, dining room, restaurant) or what he ate (cereal, doughnut, or rice, umeboshi, and natto). These elements must be supplied from knowledge about typical role fillers appropriate for the information that is specified in the input. Note that the SBLR has a component that varies by cultural context.

Textually-generated 3D scenes will have a profound, paradigm-shifting effect in human computer interaction, giving people unskilled in graphical design the ability to directly express intentions and constraints in natural language -- bypassing standard low-level direct-manipulation techniques. This research will open up the world of 3D scene creation to a much larger group of people and a much wider set of applications. In particular, the research will target middle-school age students who need to improve their communicative skills, including those whose first language is not English or who have learning difficulties: a field study in a New York after-school program will test whether use of the system can improve literacy skills. The technology also has the potential for interesting a more diverse population in computer science at an early age, as interactions with K-12 teachers have indicated.
Published: June 10, 2009
Prof. Angelos Keromytis was invited to give a keynote talk on VoIP security at the 5th International Conference on Information Systems Security (ICISS), to be held December 16-18, 2008 in Kolkata, India. Read more.
Published: June 2, 2009
David Elson was lauded at the convocation: "You are, at heart, an educator, passionately committed to guiding students to an understanding of the material you teach. You make computer science come alive for them, regardless of whether they are students in your Department of non-majors.... You teach more than is required of a doctoral student in Computer Science and actively look for opportunities to reach wider audiences."

According to the award web page, "Established in 1996, the presidential awards honor the best of Columbia's teachers for the influence they have on the development of their students and their part in maintaining the University's longstanding reputation for educational excellence."

David Elson is working on his dissertation in natural language understanding, advised by Prof. Kathleen McKeown. Read more.
Prof. Feiner receives Faculty Mentorship Award
Published: May 31, 2009
Jen Amizade, the graduate student council president, lauded Prof. Feiner: "The Faculty Mentorship Award is given every year by the students to faculty who have gone above and beyond their duty to assist, guide and nurture their students along their path of learning and personal development. This award recognizes and shows appreciation for faculty members who have provided exceptional support to the graduate students. They truly exemplify excellence in graduate education in their role as advisor, advocate, mentor and friend. I am honored to have the pleasure of presenting this years award for outstanding mentorship for faculty in the Affiliated Schools of the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences to Steve Feiner, Professor of Computer Science. His students describe him as an attentive, genuinely warm and caring person who has never caused his students to feel unappreciated or unrecognized but has held them to the highest standards and has tirelessly fought for their success. His enduring personalized support and his belief in his students has inspired them and given them additional strength to meet his impeccable standards and obtain highly coveted positions after graduation."
Prof. Adam Cannon receives first departmental teaching award
Published: May 27, 2009
The award recognizes Prof. Adam's dedication to teaching the introductory computer science courses in the Department, COMS 1001 (Introduction to Information Science) and COMS 1004 (Introduction To Computer Science And Programming In Java). He has also helped create programs to mentor beginning computer science students. Prof. Cannon is a lecturer-in-discipline in the Department of Computer Science and also serves as associate chair for undergraduate affairs.
Prof. Julia Hirschberg wins Distinguished Faculty Teaching Award
Published: May 19, 2009
Professor Julia Hirschberg was recognized with the 2009 Columbia Engineering Alumni Association Distinguished Faculty Teaching Award.
Computer Science and Computer Engineering students receive departmental awards
Published: May 15, 2009

Michael Rand (CC) was awarded the Computer Science Department Award for Scholastic Achievements as acknowledgment of his contributions to the Department of Computer Science and to the university as a whole.

Brian Smith (SEAS) garnered the Computer Science Department Scholarship Award, awarded to an undergraduate Computer Science degree candidate who demonstrated scholastic excellence through projects or class contributions

Peter Tsonev (SEAS) was awarded the Computer Engineering Award of Excellence, for demonstrating scholastic excellence.

The Andrew P. Kosoresow Memorial Award for Excellence in Teaching and service is awarded to students who demonstrated outstanding teaching and exemplary service. This year, it was given to Tristan Naumann (SEAS), Dokyun Lee (CC), Jae Woo Lee (GSAS), Paul Etienne Vouga (GSAS), and Oren Laadan (GSAS).

The Russell C. Mills Award for Excellence in Computer Science recognizes academic excellence in the area of Computer Science and went to Joshua Weinberg (GS) and Eliane Stampfer (CC).

The Theodore R. Bashkow Award for Excellence in Independent Projects is awarded to Computer Science seniors who have excelled in independent projects. This year, Adam Waksman (CC) and Kimberly Manis (SEAS) were recognized.

The Paul Charles Michelman Memorial Award recognizes PhD students in Computer Science who have performed exemplary service to the department, devoting time and effort beyond the call to further the department's goal, and went to Matei Ciocarlie (GSAS) and Chris Murphy (GSAS).

The Certificate of Distinction for Academic Excellence is given at graduation to Computer Science and Computer Engineering majors who have an overall cumulative GPA in the top 10% among graduating seniors in CS and CE:
Michael Rand (CC), Brian Smith (SEAS), Daniel Weiner (GS), Peter Tsonev (SEAS), Adam Waksman (CC), Eliane Stampfer (CC).

The Computer Science Service Award is awarded to PhD students who were selected to be in the top 10% in service contribution to the Department: Hila Becker, Matei Ciocarlie, Gabriella Cretu-Ciocarlie, Kevin Egan, David Elson, Jin Wei Gu, David Harmon, Bert Huang, Maritza Johnson, Gurunandan Krishnan, Chris Murphy, Kristen Parton, Paul Etienne Vouga, John Zhang and Hang Zhao.

Professor Feiner receives ONR grant to develop Augmented Reality for Immersive Training
Published: May 14, 2009
Augmented reality overlays 3D graphics on the user's view of the real world, using a head-worn display for the research being conducted for this grant. The user interface design process that Prof. Feiner's team will follow takes into account information filtering, to determine what is displayed to the user; user interface component design, to determine the form in which that information is presented; and view management, to lay out static and dynamic information effectively on the display, in context of the real world.
Professors Bellovin, Keromytis and Stolfo work to improve defenses against botnets
Published: May 13, 2009
Research objectives include the statistical and algorithmic analysis of network adversaries involving the design and implementation of massive-dataset algorithms that can recognize anomalous data streams generated by distributed, strategic adversaries in large-scale networks. The project will involve data collection and analysis involving the design of succinct representations for large-scale traffic matrices, methods for privacy-preserving sharing and cross-correlation of network-traffic datasets. and the use of real-world traffic datasets, containing a mixture of benign and malicious traffic, to generate realistic workloads for testing performance of new defenses.
Miklos Bergou receives Intel Fellowship
Published: May 10, 2009
Miklos Bergou's research develops theory and systems for physical simulation and interactive design processes by combining physically motivated assumptions with mathematical rigor to search for accurate and efficient models of physical phenomena. His first SIGGRAPH paper introduced a new approach to artistic control of physical systems. In the future, he is interested in identifying what the right notions of "control" are in various contexts and develop tools built on a mathematical foundation that are appropriate within each context. That way, he hopes to be able to create novel techniques that are powerful enough to accommodate the needs of their users as well as simple and intuitive enough to be widely adopted. In pursuit of this goal, he has developed models for flexible surfaces (clothing, sheet metal) and curves (hair, sutures) that combine ideas from the budding area of Discrete Differential Geometry with simple physical insights. Because these models lead to fast, accurate simulations, they are now adopted by film studios such as Pixar and Weta Digital and software companies such as Adobe. Prof. Eitan Grinspun is Miklos Bergou's advisor.
Published: April 26, 2009
Traub is also a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), the New York Academy of Science, and the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM). He was elected to the National Academy of Engineering (NAE) in 1985. Read more.
Published: April 12, 2009
The grant provides unrestricted seed funds for research and for participation in a national graduate student research workshop. Mr. Merler work is on unedited videos, such as those taken of professor's lectures or of students' presentations. He focuses on ways to segment, analyze, and index the written content within them, and to display this content in crisper form, superimposed on cleaned mosaics images of the local environment. A browser driven by semantic key-word indexing of these doubly (foreground- and background-) enhanced videos is under construction. He began his studies at Columbia in Fall 2007 and is advised by Prof. John Kender. Read more.
Published: April 9, 2009
Professor Dan Rubenstein and Electrical Engineering colleagues Gil Zussman, Peter Kinget, John Kymissis, and Xiaodong Wang took first place in Vodafone's "Wireless Innovation Project" competition, which had nearly 100 university and non-profit applicants. The competition identifies and funds unique innovations using wireless related technology offering the best potential to address critical social issues around the world. The Columbia team will receive $300,000 to support their research project, "Active Networked Tags for Disaster Recovery Applications", which is developing a system that uses wireless devices to track and locate survivors trapped by fires and structural collapse. The system is based on energy harvesting tags using ultra low power communications. The project draws upon the team's diverse research expertise in networking, communications, energy harvesting materials and devices, and ultra low power electronics. More information can be found at http://www.vodafone-us.com/web%20innovation/index.html Read more.
Matei Ciocarlie wins best student paper award at 2007 World Haptics Conference
Published: March 26, 2009
Matei Ciocarlie won the best student paper award at the 2007 World Haptics Conference in Tsukuba, Japan for his paper Soft Finger Model with Adaptive Contact Geometry for Grasping and Manipulation Tasks. The paper was co-authored by Claire Lackner, a Computer Science undergraduate student, and Prof. Peter Allen. The prize carries an award of $1,000.
Prof. Pe'er wins 30 billion DNA bases for studying obesity in Micronesia
Published: March 18, 2009
Prof. Pe'er's lab has been studying data on a unique population from the Island of Kosrae, in the Federated States of Micronesia, where collaborators at Rockefeller University have collected DNA and blood profiles for 3000 individuals, which make up most of the adults on the island. HIs lab has recently developed computational machinery for tracing the patterns of inheritance in such populations, and impute genomic sequence of many individuals given on of them. Applied Biosystems have awarded 30 gigabases of DNA sequence from a select group of islanders, from which the investigators intend to impute sequence of hundreds of other individuals. This data will allow to investigate statistical associations of genetic variation with traits related to the obesity epidemic on the island.
Rebecca Collins receives IBM PhD fellowship
Published: March 17, 2009
Rebecca Collins' research explores ways to harness the potential power of multi-core processor systems for general purpose programming. As multi-core systems scale up to hundreds and thousands of processing cores, there is a need for new models and abstractions that ease the difficulty of explicitly programming many individual cores together with the on-chip communication network. Moreover, scalable and automatic solutions to scheduling, synchronization and load balancing are essential in order to fully utilize these powerful architectures. She has focused on addressing these challenges for two important classes of parallel applications: divide-and-conquer programs and stream programs. For the former, she has developed a tool that automatically generates parallel code which integrates distributed scheduling and adaptive memory management into SPMD-like threads running on the cores. For stream programs, she is developing a method that combines static task deployment with dynamic runtime schedules to flexibly balance the computational load among unbalanced stream tasks and increase the overall processing throughput. Mrs. Collins began her PhD studies at Columbia in the fall of 2005 and is advised by Prof. Luca Carloni.
New compute cluster supports research in traffic analysis, parallel programming, secure computer deployment and virtual machines
Published: March 16, 2009
The funds will be used to deploy a new compute cluster capable of continuous line-speed capture and near-online analysis of network traffic and for storage and analysis of large traces generated from run-time profiling of (legacy) applications. The computational capabilities provided by this cluster will allow detailed modeling and in depth analysis of real world scenarios. The proposed cluster, called Secure Cyber Operations and Parallelization Studies cluster (SCOPS), when fully operational will have peak throughput of nearly 1.2 Teraflops, 1.6TB of RAM, 52 TB of disk storage and state-of-the-art Cisco 1002 ASR routers. SCOPS, in addition to being used for the three projects will be used to train research students in parallel programming, secure computer deployment and virtual machines.
Published: March 11, 2009
This two-day conference is a policy and technical seminar presented by the Center of Information Networking and Telecommunications (CINT), the Grove School of Engineering at the City University of New York, City College, and the Institute of Strategic Studies (SSI), at the Army War College. The conference invites prominent academic, government and industrial researchers in the fields of information systems security, networking and telecommunications infrastructure protection to present their work to the audience with the purpose of helping policy makers and researchers keep abreast of the latest research and foster greater contact with both researchers and policy makers. Read more.
Published: March 10, 2009
EuroSec is a new workshop associated with the Annual ACM SIGOPS EuroSys conference. The workshop aims to bring together researchers, practitioners, system administrators, system programmers, and others interested in the latest advances in the security of computer systems and networks. The focus of the workshop is on novel, practical, systems-oriented work. Read more.
Sean White to speak at Columbia convocation for doctoral candidates on May 18
Published: March 5, 2009
CUCS PhD candidate Sean White will speak on behalf of his fellow candidates at the convocation for doctoral candidates in the schools of Architecture, Business, Engineering, Journalism, Law, Nursing, Physicians and Surgeons, Public Health, and Teachers College. The convocation will be held on Monday, May 18, 2009, at 3:30 PM in the Chapel.
PhD alumni is 2009 Sloan Research Fellow
Published: February 19, 2009
The Sloan Foundation named 118 fellows for 2009. Prof. Eskin works in the area of molecular biology and was advised by Prof. Sal Stolfo at Columbia University.
Snehit Prabhu wins Microsoft Research and Live Labs PhD Fellowship
Published: February 3, 2009
Snehit Prabhu's research involves the application of computational models to high throughput DNA sequencing. Snehit developed a method to analyze DNA from pooled sets of individuals, using error-correcting codes to identify each person. The work has been accepted to RECOMB 09 and selected as one of four papers considered for the Genome Research special issue for the conference. In addition to method development, Snehit got involved in applied analysis of sequenced organisms, and is a joint-first-author on the publication describing the first animal mutant whose genome was assembled - a worm with two right "brains" (Nature Methods 08). Snehit interned this summer at the Broad Institute of MIT, expanding his application to study yeast populations. He won the MSR fellowship with his proposal on inferring fitness and complexity of the population genome. Snehit came to Columbia in the fall of 2007 after two years at IBM. He transitioned from the MS to the PhD track in January 2008.
DHS supports faculty in anonymizing network traces
Published: January 29, 2009
The team will develop a next-generation network-trace anonymization tool that preserves individual and organizational privacy while still allowing cross-trace correlation for detection, understanding, and prevention of complex attacks and other network behavior. The tool will rely on three techniques that will be developed at Columbia University: (1) Hidden Markov Model (HMM)-based clustering will be used to divide raw network traces into groups for which statistical and other properties can be preserved across the anonymized equivalents; (2) more aggressive application- and definition-specific anonymization will prevent recovery and attribution of private topology, flow, and content information under attack; and (3) efficient and application-specific secure computation will allow this clustering and anonymization without centralizing or revealing the contents of individual raw traces during the clustering stage. These anonymization techniques will be evaluated against large sets of real-world traces, implemented and ruggedized. The resulting tool, which will be released under an open-source license for use in DHS PREDICT and other public cooperative-security efforts, will make next-generation anonymization broadly available to the security community, and will encourage greater sharing of useful trace data, without compromising privacy.
Published: December 29, 2008
"We all generate location information," says Jebara, "and we can use algorithms to generate visualization." Jebara creates 2D images from 3D images and, using information generated from mobile devices, can create visualizations of "hot spots" where people are congregating.

Taking data from GPS-equipped taxis and other vehicles, cell phones and other devices, Jebara's Citysense can tell you, in real time, where the action is. Read more.

Published: December 23, 2008
The awards are the nations highest honor for faculty members that are beginning their independent research careers. Prof. Ravi Ramamoorthi was named one of 15 nominated by the Department of Defense (DoD) as winners of the 2007 Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE) and one of 67 overall.

Sixty-seven researchers were honored on December 19 in a ceremony presided over by Dr. John H. Marburger III, Science Advisor to the President and Director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy.

"The Presidential Early Career Awards for Scientists and Engineers, established in 1996, honors the most promising researchers in the Nation within their fields. Nine federal departments and agencies annually nominate scientists and engineers who are at the start of their independent careers and whose work shows exceptional promise for leadership at the frontiers of scientific knowledge. Participating agencies award these talented scientists and engineers with up to five years of funding to further their research in support of critical government missions." Read more.

Published: December 16, 2008
StackSafe, based in Vienna, Virginia, leverages virtualization technology to reduce costly IT production problems and downtime. StackSafe's flagship product, Test Center, enables IT departments to stage their existing software infrastructure, conduct pre-deployment tests, and predict IT complications in a secure environment.

"Beating out more than 400 entrants from across the country, StackSafe was awarded first prize after a rigorous assessment by an online panel of over 300 venture capitalists, angel investors, and university judges." Read more.
Symantec supports Prof. Keromytis and Stolfo research on software security
Published: December 7, 2008
Prof. Sal Stolfo and Prof. Angelos Keromytis received a research gift from Symantec to aid their studies and investigations on techniques for scalable program whitelisting, for common software vulnerability discovery across large software installations, and for vulnerability-oriented analytics for risk assessment.
NIH funds Prof. Pe'er to study the genetics of schizophrenia
Published: December 4, 2008
The PIs are conducted a genomewide study for the association between genetic variants and schizophrenia, a highly heritable disease, but without clear common genetic factors. The research project started in May 2008.
Prof. Pe'er participates in consortium to study severe adverse reactions to medications
Published: December 4, 2008
The consortium brings together major pharmaceuticals (Abbott, Daiichi Sankyo, GlaxoSmithKline, Johnson & Johnson, Novartis, Pfizer, Roche, Sanofi Aventis, Takeda, Wellcome Trust and Wyeth) with joint interest in safely prescribing drugs by means of personalized medicine. On the academic side, Columbia is serving as the informatics center, with Aris Floratos (C2B2) and Prof. Pe'er. Additional academic consultants on the analysis side include Mark Daly from Harvard and David Goldstein from Duke, while medical-academic partners that include many physicians focused at collecting patient samples.
Prof. Pe'er uses novel computational technique to process signals from tumor DNA
Published: December 4, 2008
Cancer is a genetic disease in two levels: First, like many diseases inherited mutations at the individual level may contribute to disease risk and susceptibility in families. Second, and more specific to cancer, it is a genetic disease of cells, that acquire mutations during the lifetime of the patient, transforming the cells from normal tissue into tumors. Prof. Pe'er proposes a novel computational method to process signals from tumor DNA to detect interaction between these two kinds of mutations.
Prof. Pe'er to reconstruct a genealogy of the human species
Published: December 4, 2008
The project is driven by a novel approach for detecting relatedness of individuals from high throughput data of DNA variation across millions of genetic markers and tens of thousands of individuals. The approach is based on a new linear-time algorithm that stores words of marker data in a dictionary of genetic variants. This framework will handle the diversity of human genetic data in terms of populations and experimental platforms culminating in a complete map of human genetic genealogy.
Published: December 4, 2008
Sahar Hasan worked with Prof. Gail Kaiser on a project which was accepted for presentation at SIGCSE 2009, the annual conference of the ACM Special Interest Group on Computer Science Education. The paper is entitled "Retina: Helping Students and Instructors Based on Observed Programming Activities". The paper found that "it is difficult for instructors of CS1 and CS2 courses to get accurate answers to such critical questions as 'how long are students spending on programming assignments?', or 'what sorts of errors are they making?'. At the same time, students often have no idea of where they stand with respect to the rest of the class in terms of time spent on an assignment or the number or types of errors that they encounter." In the paper, the authors present a tool called Retina, which collects information about students' programming activities, and then provides useful and informative reports to both students and instructors based on the aggregation of that data. Retina can also make real-time recommendations to students, in order to help them quickly address some of the errors they make. In addition to describing Retina and its features, they also present some of the initial findings during two trials of the tool in a real classroom setting, involving 48 volunteers in our COMS 1004 introductory computer science class.

Ian Vo wrote a paper titled "Quality Assurance of Software Applications Using the In Vivo Testing Approach", which has been accepted for publication at ICST 2009, the 2nd IEEE International Conference on Software Testing, Verification and Validation. According to its abstract, "software products released into the field typically have some number of residual defects that either were not detected or could not have been detected during testing. This may be the result of flaws in the test cases themselves, incorrect assumptions made during the creation of test cases, or the infeasibility of testing the sheer number of possible configurations for a complex system; these defects may also be due to application states that were not considered during lab testing, or corrupted states that could arise due to a security violation. One approach to this problem is to continue to test these applications even after deployment, in hopes of finding any remaining flaws." The authors present a testing methodology they call in vivo testing, in which tests are continuously executed in the deployment environment. They discuss the approach and the prototype testing framework for Java applications called Invite and provide the results of case studies that demonstrate Invite's effectiveness and efficiency. Invite found real bugs in OSCache, Apache JCS and Apache Tomcat, with about 5% overhead. The project was supervised by Prof. Kaiser.

The CRA honored a total of 22 female and 44 male students in this year's competition. Read more.
Published: December 2, 2008
The ITG is the computing society of the VDE, the German electrical engineering society. The paper appeared in the May 2007 edition of the ACM Transactions on Multimedia Computing, Communications, and Applications (TOMCCAP). Service usage in emerging ubiquitous environments includes seamless and personalized usage of public and private devices discovered in the vicinity of a user. In our work, we describe an architecture for device discovery, device configuration, and the transfer of active sessions between devices. The presented architecture uses the Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) as a standardized, widely used signaling protocol for IP-based multimedia services. Our solution includes support of simple existing devices, split of sessions between devices, user-control of location-based behavior, and handling of security and privacy concerns. We present the implementation and show the feasibility of our work with analytical evaluation and measurements. Read more.
Charles Han receives ATI fellowship
Published: December 2, 2008
ATI's highly selective panel awards between four and six fellowships each year to outstanding doctoral students studying a broad range of topics spanning computer graphics, multimedia, chip or
system design, or related research.

Charles Han is a doctoral student in the Columbia Computer Graphics Group, co-advised by Profs. Eitan Grinspun and Ravi Ramamoorthi. His research focuses on finding principled representations and efficient algorithms that operare well across a wide range of visual scales.There are many instances in graphics where one would like to render the same object at different scales: for example, an architect
designing a building may want to preview the entire structure at once or may want to zoom in on individual parts; characters and terrain in computer games may be seen at extremely close distances or as distant pixels on the horizon. Current techniques in computer graphics are generally tailored to perform well at a particular physical scale, and often to not translate well to coarser or finer scales.

In work presented at SIGGRAPH 2007, Han presented a solution to the long-standing problem of normal map filtering. By reinterpreting normal mapping in the frequency-domain as a convolution of geometry and BRDF, this work has enabled accurate multiscale rendering of normal maps at speeds orders of magnitude faster than previously possible. More recently, Han has developed a framework for the efficient example-based synthesis of very large textures, with features spanning a wide (or infinite) range of physical scales. He continues to extend this work to add further expressive power and intuitive user control.
Mikls Bergou receives Autodesk Research Fellowship Award
Published: December 2, 2008
His research seeks out principled and efficient discrete models that mirror the key geometric properties of the physical system. Bergou is also interested in developing intuitive tools that can be used to control the behavior of these systems, with applications in engineering and entertainment. His work on thin shell simulations is currently used by special-effects studios.

Bergou's work builds on the ideas of Discrete Differential Geometry (DDG), whose goal is to identify the root from which the desirable properties of a continuous system stem and then to build discrete models using an appropriate discrete version of that root. This led to his work on discrete models for cloth and elastic rods. His work on artistic control of a physical system builds on constrained Lagrangian mechanics, in which constraints define the allowable states that a system may be in. Within the context of directing a physical simulation, this framework can be used to define constraints that allow for entirely physical motions for the system being simulated while still closely obeying the intent of the user controlling the
simulation.

Mikls is a Ph.D. candidate in the Columbia Computer Graphics Group, advised by Prof. Eitan Grinspun.
Patrick Lee, Prof. Misra and Rubenstein co-author award-winning paper at major networking conference
Published: November 22, 2008
Currently deployed IEEE 802.11 WLANs (Wi-Fi networks) share access point (AP) bandwidth on a per-packet basis. However, the various stations communicating with the AP often have different signal qualities, resulting in different transmission rates. This induces a phenomenon known as the rate anomaly problem, in which stations with lower signal quality transmit at lower rates and consume a significant majority of airtime, thereby dramatically reducing the throughput of stations transmitting at high rates. The paper proposes a practical, deployable system, called SoftRepeater, in which stations cooperatively address the rate anomaly problem. Specifically, a higher-rate WiFi stations opportunistically transform themselves into repeaters for stations with low data-rates when transmitting to/from the AP. The key challenge is to determine when it is beneficial to enable the repeater functionality. The authors analyze this problem, and propose a protocol that ensures that repeater functionality is enabled only when appropriate. They also describe a novel, zero-overhead network coding scheme that further alleviates undesirable symptoms of the rate anomaly problem. They evaluate our system using simulation and testbed implementation, and find that SoftRepeater can improve cumulative throughput by up to 200%.
Prof. Steve Nowick named IEEE Fellow
Published: November 12, 2008
According to the IEEE, "[t]he grade of Fellow recognizes unusual distinction in the profession and shall be conferred by the Board of Directors upon a person with an extraordinary record of accomplishments in any of the IEEE fields of interest. The accomplishments that are being honored shall have contributed importantly to the advancement or application of engineering, science and technology, bringing the realization of significant value to society."
Prof. Traub gives distinguished lecture at Georgia Tech
Published: November 11, 2008
Professor Joseph Traub, Edwin Howard Armstrong Professor of Computer Science, gave a College of Computing Distinguished Lecture at Georgia Tech. The title of his lecture was "Exponential Improvement
in Qubit Complexity".
Steve Henderson receives Best Paper Award
Published: October 29, 2008
The paper "Opportunistic controls: Leveraging natural affordances as
tangible user interfaces for augmented reality" was coauthored by Steve Henderson and Steve Feiner. It presents a class of interaction techniques, called opportunistic controls, in which naturally occurring physical artifacts in a task domain are used to provide input to a user interface through simple vision-based processing. Tactile feedback from an opportunistic control can make possible eyes-free interaction. For example, a ridged surface can be used as a slider or a spinning washer as a rotary pot.
Searching without peeking: Security group funded to investigate secure encrypted search
Published: October 6, 2008
The goal of the program is to develop and demonstrate practical, sound methods for the use of private information retrieval techniques in Intelligence Community systems, allowing a client to search a database for information of interest, while providing privacy to both sides: protecting other data of the information provider, and the nature of the client's interests. Specifically, the objective of this project is to investigate algorithms and systems that enable secure searches over encrypted data, and that are simultaneously practical and usable while providing concrete, provable security and privacy guarantees. In particular, we will investigate: (a) mechanisms for secure encrypted database searches; (b) theoretical foundations and new definitions of security for private information retrieval that offer different security/efficiency tradeoffs; (c) searchable secure email that protects messages-at-rest while allowing for private searches, resistant against even active adversaries; and (d) encrypted document comparison and tracking using n-grams encoded in encrypted Bloom filters.

According to the IARPA mission statement, "The Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity (IARPA) invests in high-risk/high-payoff research that has the potential to provide our nation with an overwhelming intelligence advantage over future adversaries."
Published: September 30, 2008
According to its web site, the purpose of ISCA is to promote, in an international world-wide context, activities and exchanges in all fields related to speech communication science and technology. The association is aimed at all persons and institutions interested in fundamental research and technological development that aims at describing, explaining and reproducing the various aspects of human communication by speech, that is, without assuming this enumeration to be exhaustive, phonetics, linguistics, computer speech recognition and synthesis, speech compression, speaker recognition, aids to medical diagnosis of voice pathologies. ISCA has about 1500 members. Professor Hirschberg has also served as past president of ISCA. Read more.
Profs. Traub and Wozniakowski to study quantum and classical complexity of continuous problems
Published: September 16, 2008
The investigators are studying the following general question: If physicists and chemists succeed in building quantum computers, which continuous problems arising in science and engineering can be solved much faster on a quantum computer than on a classical computer? Examples of continuous problems are path integration, the Schrdinger equation, high-dimensional approximation, continuous optimization, and integral equations. To obtain the power of quantum computation for continuous problems one must know the computational complexity of these problems on a classical computer. This is exactly what the investigators have studied for decades in the field of information-based complexity.

The classical complexity of many continuous problems is known due to information theoretic arguments. This may be contrasted with discrete problems such as integer factorization where one has to settle for conjectures about the complexity hierarchy. Among the issues the investigators will study are the following:


  1. For the foreseeable future the number of qubits will be a crucial computational resource. The investigators have shown that modifying the standard definition of quantum algorithms to permit randomized queries leads to an exponential improvement in the qubit complexity of path integration. The investigators propose to exploit the power of the randomized query setting. For example, are there exponential improvements in the query complexity for other important problems?

  2. A basic problem in physics and chemistry is to compute the ground state
    energy of a system. The ground state energy is given by the smallest eigenvalue of the time-independent Schrdinger equation. If the number of particles in the system is p, the number of variables is d = 3p. In the worst case classical setting, the problem we study suffers the curse of dimensionality. The curse is broken in the quantum setting. The investigators want to determine if the randomized classical setting suffers the curse of dimensionality. If it does, a quantum computer enjoys exponential speedup for this problem. This would mark the first example of proven exponential quantum speedup for an important problem.

  3. The Schrdinger equation is fundamental to quantum physics and quantum chemistry. Solving this equation for quantum systems with a large number of variables would have a huge payoff for many applications. The investigators propose to study algorithms and initiate the study of the computational complexity of the Schrdinger equation in the worst case and randomized settings on a classical computer and in the quantum setting.
Virtualizing networks: NSF funds joint GATech, Bell Labs and Columbia next-generation Internet project
Published: August 27, 2008
Despite or because of the Internets great success, it has shown itself to be very resistant again attempts to add new functionality to the network core. This dilemma lead to the recent trend in networking to implement services using overlay networking; overlay networking provides an opportunity for end systems to collaborate with others to achieve enhanced functions without having to modify routers. However, since overlay networks operate at the application layer, they cannot effectively use the resources that are available to network services. To address the limitations of services in the current Internet, this work presents a clean slate Internet architecture, called NetServ, based on the concepts of service virtualization. NetServ strives to break up the functions provided by Internet services and to make these functionalities available as modular building blocks for network services. A building block effectively encapsulates a network resource or function realized by a network node, such as link monitoring data or routing tables, and provides tunable parameters for easy configurability. These building blocks form a foundation for the implementation of full-fledged network services, which can then be used by applications. Furthermore, the new framework handles aspects of service discovery, distribution and management, thereby making new services more readily deployable. This project addresses five major research challenges in the new service architecture: i) the definition of requirements for a service-virtualized Internet architecture, ii) the design of an architectural framework for modular, virtualized services, iii) the identification of an initial set of key building blocks, which together can provide a foundation for common network services, iv) the development of mechanisms and protocols for service discovery and service distribution, and v) the design and implementation of a content distribution service based on the NetServ architecture. The feasibility of the NetServ approach will be demonstrated by building the prototype of a content distribution service. This service will interwork with two other services that are crucial for a variety of applications: a generalized naming service and a network monitoring service. The naming service is capable of naming a variety of network entities (like content, users, services, and devices), while obeying policy constraints. The network monitoring service provides makes network performance data available to applications. Overall, the objective of this work is to develop an architecture that provides an efficient and extensible architecture for core network services, to implement a prototype of the new architecture, design and implement a prototype of a content distribution service to demonstrate the feasibility of NetServ, and to evaluate the new architecture in a simulation environment as well as on a GENI-like test bed.
NSF supports project to tamper-proof cryptographic operations
Published: August 21, 2008
This research project focuses on the development of cryptographic mathematical models and constructions that address realistic security requirements at the implementation level. This is a fundamental problem as cryptographic security formalisms are often criticized for lack of relevance given the wide range of attacks available at the implementation level. Indeed, traditional cryptographic attacks are restricted in the way private data can be accessed; hence, the security of systems relying on such constructs is contingent on external non-cryptographic means for enforcing the necessary tamper resilience. Unfortunately, this physical tamper resistance is either too expensive or unreliable. The research extends models of cryptographic attacks to include various forms of private data tampering and access and brings the theory of cryptographic constructions closer to security concerns in practice. In particular, the tamper proofing of a wide set of cryptographic primitives is considered in an extended adversarial setting, such as digital signatures, public key encryption, secure function evaluation, as well as arbitrary cryptographic functions. This research thus explores the boundaries of what is achievable algorithmically and practically through cryptographic means.
Published: August 18, 2008
Participants in human-human conversation often entrain to one another, adopting the vocabulary and other behaviors of their partners. Evidence of this has been found from laboratory studies and observations of real life situations. The project will be investigating many types of entrainment in two large corpora of human-human conversations to improve system behavior in Spoken Dialogue Systems (SDS). Prof. Hirschberg and Nenkova want to discover which types of entrainment occur generally across speakers and which seem to be speaker-specific, which types of entrainment can be reliably linked to task success and perceived naturalness, and which types of entrainment can be automatically modeled in SDS. This research has importance for the construction of better SDS. Currently, research SDS have attempted to entrain users to system vocabularies to improve speech recognition accuracy: Since users are likely to employ the same vocabulary in their answers that systems use in their queries, systems have a better chance of recognizing user input correctly if they can predict word usage. However, there has been little attempt to create SDS that entrain to user behavior, despite evidence that human beings rate humans and systems that behave more like them more highly than those that do not. The project focuses on determining which types of system entrainment to users will be most important to users and most feasible for SDS. The team will also provide publicly available annotated corpora for future research by others. Prof. Nenkova received her doctorate from Columbia University in 2006. Read more.
Going beyond keyword search: Prof. Gravano receives NSF grant
Published: August 15, 2008
The text available on the Web and beyond embeds unprecedented volumes of valuable structured data, "hidden" in natural language. For example, a news article might discuss an outbreak of an infectious disease, reporting the name of the disease, the number of people affected, and the geographical regions involved. Keyword search, the prevalent query paradigm for text, is often insufficiently expressive for complex information needs that require structured data embedded in text. For such needs, users (e.g., an epidemiologist compiling statistics, as reported in the media, on recent foodborne disease outbreaks in a remote country) are forced to embark in labor-intensive cycles of keyword-based document retrieval and manual document filtering, until they locate the appropriate (structured) information. To move beyond keyword search, this project exploits information extraction technology, which identifies structured data in text, to enable structured querying. To capture diverse user information needs and depart from a "one-size-fits-all" querying approach, which is inappropriate for this extraction-based scenario, this project explores a wealth of structured query paradigms: sometimes users (e.g., a high-school student in need of some quick examples and statistics for a report on recent salmonella outbreaks in developing countries) are after a few exploratory results, which should be returned fast; some other times, users (e.g., the above epidemiologist investigating foodborne diseases) are after comprehensive results, for which waiting a longer time is acceptable. The project develops specialized cost-based query optimizers for each query paradigm, accounting for the efficiency and, critically, the result quality of the query execution plans. The technology produced will assist a vast range of users and information needs, by enabling efficient, diverse interactions with text databases --for sophisticated searching and data mining-- that are cumbersome or impossible with today's technology. The research and educational components of the project will rely on --and encourage-- a tight integration of three complementary Computer Science disciplines, namely, natural language processing, information retrieval, and databases. The project will also provide data sets and source code, for experimentation and evaluation, to the community at large over the Web, at http://extraction.cs.columbia.edu/.
Published: August 9, 2008
The goal of the lab is to develop and apply complex tools that can probe and derive meaning from mountains of data now being created in the rapidly expanding field of systems and computational biology.

The Pe'er-Bussemaker Lab is using high-throughput genomics data to infer a universal protein-DNA recognition code. Shown are the positions of protein side-chains contacting a Watson-Crick base-pair in a variety of protein-DNA complexes. The data is the result of research efforts such as the Human Genome Project and revolutionary sequencing technologies that are capable of reading over 100 billion letters of DNA in just a few days. Such technologies include high-density microarrays, which measure and analyze the activity within a cell and are capable of quantifying the levels of more than a million unique RNAs in a single experiment, and multi-laser flow cytometry, which measures the abundance of multiple signaling molecules in over 100,000 individual cells in a just few minutes.

"Vast amounts of data are being produced in super-exponential rates; novel ground-breaking technologies are being invented so much faster than the rate at which scientists can understand and leverage them to gain biological insights," adds Pe'er. "It's like buying a whole pie, eating a tiny piece and throwing the rest away. Most of the data is only looked at on the very, very surface. And most of the data is only scarcely being used, leaving the rest untouched."

Professors Pe'er and Harmen say their new lab reflects Columbia's support for computational biology, a commitment Pe'er says can be seen in the Center for Computational Biology and Bioinformatics (C2B2), established in 2006 at the Medical campus.

"Columbia has seen a very dramatic elevation in status in systems and computational biology with the initiation of the C2B2, which is fast becoming one of the best computational centers around," said Pe'er. "The activity between the uptown medical campus and here on Morningside makes Columbia one of the top five computational biology centers in the world."

(from the University press release of July 25, 2008) Read more.
Published: August 9, 2008
The paper "SIP Server Overload Control: Design and Evaluation" was co-authored by Charles Shen and
Henning Schulzrinne. It describes and evaluates mechanisms so that VoIP servers can continue to operate at full capacity even under severe overload. Such overload may occur during natural disasters or mass call-in events, such as voting for TV game show contestants. Without these measures, servers are likely to suffer from congestion collapse. Read more.
National Science Foundation to support Prof. Nowick's design tool work for asynchronous commmunication fabrics for parallel processors
Published: July 19, 2008
The grant is part of the Computing Processes and Artifacts (CPA) program; only about 10-15% of the proposals in the "Design Automation for Micro and Nano Systems" topical area were funded.

While the current reality is that the jury is still out on how the processor-of-the-future will look, one clear certainty is that it will be parallel. All major commercial processor vendors are now committed to increasing the number of processors (i.e., cores) that fit on a single chip. However, there are major obstacles of power consumption, performance and scalability in existing synchronous design methodologies. This proposal focuses on a particular existing easy-to-program and easy-to-teach multi-core architecture. It then identifies the interconnection network, connecting multiples cores and
memories, as the critical bottleneck to achieving lower overall power consumption. The target is to substantially improve the power, robustness and scalability of the system by designing and fabricating a high-speed asynchronous communication mesh.

The resulting parallel architecture will be globally-asynchronous locally-synchronous (i.e. GALS-style), that gracefully accommodates synchronous cores and memories operating at arbitrary unrelated clock
rates, while providing robustness to timing variability and support for plug-and-play (i.e. scalable) system design. Unlike most prior GALS architectures, this one will have significant performance and power requirements in a complex pipelined topology. In addition, computer-aided design (i.e., CAD) tools will be developed to support the design of this new mesh, as well as simulation, timing verification and performance analysis tools to be applied to the entire parallel architecture. This
work will be performed in collaboration with a separate NSF CPA proposal under Prof. Ken Stevens (University of Utah). The two proposals will be linked together into a larger framework: the Utah group will coordinate to provide and refine their commercial-based physical design tool development and support, while the Columbia/Maryland group will provide a new substantial test case for their asynchronous tool applications.

The work is expected to have broad impact. First, while it is targeted to one parallel architecture, several other architectures will benefit from this work, since the interconnection network can be applied to them as well. Second, the work is expected to demonstrate the benefits and role of
asynchronous design for complex high-performance systems. Finally, the outcome of the work could make a step in the paradigm shift from serial to parallel that the field is now undergoing; the resulting first-of-its-kind partly-asynchronous high-end massively-parallel on-chip computer could push
the level of scalability beyond what it currently possible and have a broad impact in supporting parallel applications in much of computer science and engineering.
NCWIT supports emerging scholars program through the Academic Alliance Seed Fund
Published: July 19, 2008
The emerging scholars program mentors women in their early college years interested in computer science, encouraging them to pursue computer science as a major or minor. The grant proposal was prepared by Chris Murphy, Kristen Parten, two Computer Science graduate students, and Prof. Adam Cannon, based on a trial run during the spring 2008 semester.



The Academic Alliance Seed Fund was established in 2007 to provide members of NCWITs Academic Alliance with startup funds (up to $15,000 per project) to develop and implement projects for recruiting and retaining women in computing and information technology. Funding for the Seed Fund is provided by Microsoft Research.



The NCWIT Academic Alliance includes more than 75 computer science and IT departments across the country including research universities, community colleges, womens colleges, and minority-serving institutions dedicated to gender equity and institutional change in higher education computing and information technology.
Prof. Wozniakowski receives honorary doctorate from Jena University and is elected to Polish Academy of Sciences
Published: June 29, 2008
The Polish Academy of Sciences (http://www.pan.pl/english/) "is a state scientific institution founded in 1952. From the very beginning, it has functioned as a learned society acting through an elected corporation of top scholars and research organizations, via its numerous scientific establishments. It has also become a major scientific advisory body through its scientific committees." It currently has 346 Polish members, 18 of whom are mathematicians.

The honorary doctorate (Dr. rer. nat. hc) cited Prof. Wozniakowski foundational contribution to numerical methods, particularly the deep insights due to the new discipline of information-based complexity and the work on the "curse of dimensionality" that helps determine which high-dimension problems are solvable.

The Friedrich-Schiller University in Jena was founded in 1588.
Published: June 29, 2008
"The Centre for Research and Technology Hellas (CE.R.T.H.), the largest research centre in Northern Greece, was founded in March 2000. CERTH is a non-profit organization that directly reports to the General Secretariat for Research and Technology (GSRT), of the Greek Ministry of Development. The mission of CERTH is to carry out fundamental and applied research with emphasis on development of novel products and services of industrial, economic and social importance in the fields of
chemical and biochemical processes and advanced functional materials, informatics and telecommunications, land, sea and air transportation, agrobiotechnology and food engineering,
environmentally friendly technologies for solid fuels and alternative energy sources, as well as
biomedical informatics, biomedical engineering, biomolecular medicine and pharmacogenetics." Read more.
Published: June 17, 2008
The impact of communication on the performance of computer systems continues to grow both at the macro-level, for blade servers and clusters of computers, and at the micro-level in multi-core processors. Meanwhile the tight on-chip power dissipation constraints have forced practically all major semiconductor companies to move to multi-core or chip multiprocessor (CMP) architectures. The emergence of CMPs has in turn placed increased challenges on the communications infrastructure as the growing number of processing cores integrated on each chip exacerbates the bandwidth requirements for both intra-chip and inter-chip communication.

This research project aims to harness the recent extraordinary advances in nanoscale silicon photonic technologies for developing optical interconnection networks that address the critical bandwidth and power challenges of future CMP-based system. The insertion of photonic interconnection networks essentially changes the power scaling rules: once a photonic path is established, the data are transmitted end-to-end without the need for repeating, regeneration or buffering. This means that the energy for generating and receiving the data is only expended once per communication transaction anywhere across the computing system. The PIs will investigate the complete cohesive design of an on-chip optical interconnection network that employs nanoscale CMOS photonic devices and enables seamless off-chip communications to other CMP computing nodes and to external memory. System-wide optical interconnection network architectures will be specifically studied in the context of stream processing models of computation. Read more.

Google supports local event search project
Published: June 11, 2008
The project focuses on two problems associated with local event search, namely, how to identify events of all sizes --including small, not-so-prominent events not necessarily covered in mainstream sources-- and how to determine the "geographical scope" of events --beyond their explicit location. The project will use the wealth and variety of sources that are available over the Web to identify and characterize events, in turn to produce expressive, high-quality local event search results.
Published: May 30, 2008
"The Applications, Middleware, and Services Advisory Council (AMSAC) is responsible for advising the Board and management on matters relating to the support and adoption of applications, middleware, security and other capabilities across the Internet2 membership and its collaborators around the globe. The AMSAC is responsible for interacting directly with other key advisory committees on technical and service issues. It will also provide advice on Internet2s efforts to support applications and middleware for teaching and learning as well as for research, and for advice on the investment of resources for current and future initiatives." Read more.
Prof. Keromytis funded to track sensitive information flows in enterprises
Published: May 27, 2008
The project will investigate mechanisms for implementing information accountability and visualization in large-scale distributed enterprise environments. Specifically, Prof. Keromytis' research group will investigate the use of Virtual Machine Monitors (VMMs) and distributed coordination protocols to efficiently track the flow of sensitive information (or, more generally, information of interest to the administrator) throughout a distributed system. Although much work has been done on VMMs in recent years, the focus has been on more efficient resource utilization and (from a security standpoint) component isolation; little to no work has been done on fine-grained information flow tracking within a single system and across system boundaries.
Published: May 22, 2008
Prof. Ross teaches courses in databases and problem solving at Columbia University.

Professor Ross has been selected as one of the two recipients of this year's Columbia Engineering School Alumni Association (CESAA) Distinguished Faculty Teaching Awards. Mr. Lee presented the award to Professor Ross at Class Day ceremonies on Monday, May 19.

"The Columbia Engineering School Alumni Association created this award more than a decade ago to recognize the exceptional commitment of members of the SEAS faculty to undergraduate education," said Mr. Lee. "This year, I am pleased to present these awards to two senior faculty members, a testament to their continuing faithfulness to the central mission of teaching undergraduates."

The awardees were selected by a Committee of the Alumni Association chaired by Eric Schon '68, with representation from the student body, and based on nominations from the students themselves. The Board of Managers of the Columbia Engineering School Alumni Association voted unanimously to approve the selection.

Students enthusiastically wrote that courses taught by these professors were the best they have taken at Columbia. The qualities that both professors share and the ones most frequently mentioned by students are their enthusiasm for the subject matter, caring attitude, approachability, responsiveness to student concerns, and the ability to make complex subject matter understandable. Read more.
Melinda Agyekum and Ryan Overbeck win Intel fellowship
Published: May 22, 2008
Melinda Agyekum, advised by Prof. Steven Nowick, has been selected for the Intel PhD Fellowship for her work in asynchronous digital systems. Asynchronous digital circuits perform synchronization and communication without using a global clock, and thereby can provide greater flexibility and timing-robustness in handling on-chip and off-chip communication. The goal of her work is to provide low-power encoding techniques that will allow asynchronous communication to become more tolerant of dynamic variability (e.g., soft-errors, cross-talk, noise, etc.) which has become an increasing problem due to device scaling.

Ryan Overbeck's, advised by Prof. Ravi Ramamoorthi, focuses on real-time ray tracing. Ray tracing is the core of many physically-based algorithms for rendering 3D scenes with global illumination (shadows, reflections, refractions, indirect illumination, and other effects), but has not been fast enough for interactive rendering on commodity computers until recently. He develops algorithms to ray trace 3D scenes with high quality shadows, reflections, and refractions providing a higher degree of realism to interactive content.
Carlos-Ren Prez wins National Physical Science Consortium fellowship
Published: May 21, 2008
Carlos-Ren Prez is working on automatic software healing with his PhD advisors, Prof. Angelos Keromytis and Prof. Jason Nieh. The NPSC fellowship is sponsored by the National Security Agency. "The NPSC has one primary objective: Increase the number of qualified U.S.-citizen Ph.D.'s in the physical sciences and related engineering fields, emphasizing recruitment of a diverse applicant pool of women and historically underrepresented minorities. ... Since inception in 1989, NPSC has awarded 374 graduate fellowships. Of those fellows, 148 have received a PhD, 79 have received a Masters Degree, and 78 are currently enrolled. Ninety-two percent of NPSC fellows have been female or members of underrepresented minority groups or both."
Traub Elected to the Marconi Society Board of Directors
Published: May 13, 2008
The Society is best known for the Marconi Prize, considered the most prestigious award in the field of communications and the Internet. Among its other activities, the Society holds regular forums on topics of societal importance.
New project explores next-generation emergency calling
Published: May 7, 2008
Traditional 9‐1‐1 systems, which date back to 1970s, support only voice, while non‐emergency communications now feature other media. Adding additional media for 9‐1‐1 presents opportunities and challenges. Text messages, images captured by cell phones, video clips, and automatic crash notification messages can dramatically enhance the 9‐1‐1 services by expediting emergency responses and reducing crash clearance times. The rapid increase of residential, nomadic and mobile VoIP usage requires the development of VoIP‐based next generation 9‐1‐1 systems and services that will replace the current circuit‐switched 9‐1‐1 systems. Beyond limitations in media and mobility support, existing systems are inefficient and cannot easily accommodate new functionality. The project will develop a testbed that will enable research on understanding and analysis of next generation 9‐1‐1 services. This is particularly important as both state and federal governments are in the process of planning next‐generation emergency communication platforms, unfortunately often without adequate vendor‐neutral testing and evaluation. This project is a collaborative proposal involving the University of North Texas, Columbia University, Texas A&M University with support from the Denco, Brazo and College Station county 9‐1‐1 centers. The project plans to investigate issues related to locating 9‐1‐1 callers, securing Public Safety Answering Points, ensuring continuous availability of 9‐1‐1 services during large‐scale emergencies, predicting emergencies, providing citizen alerts (reverse 9‐1‐1), improving inter‐agency coordination and enhancing 9‐1‐1 services for the deaf and hearing‐impaired using video phones and instant messaging. The research results will translate into engineering guidelines and be disseminated across government organizations, standards bodies such as IETF and National Emergency Number Association (NENA) and 9‐1‐1 centers.
Stolfo, Sethumadhavan, Locasto and August win DARPA seed grant
Published: April 29, 2008
This research effort will leverage recent discoveries of latent parallelism in sequential codes and improvements in machine learning to create a new automatic parallelization system. The parallelization system may offer dramatic performance improvements for legacy software (on multi-cores) without requiring prohibitively expensive software rewrites.
Prof. Belhumeur and Nayar to participate in NSF MURI project on human recognition
Published: April 22, 2008
The grant is for $1.5 million per year for three years with the potential for two additional option years at $1.5 million per year. The MURI project will be coordinated by team of researchers from University of Maryland with partnering institutions in Columbia University, University of California at Colorado Springs and University of California at San Diego, and international researchers from University of Southampton, UK and University of Queensland, Australia. The team will design and develop novel sensors, algorithms and systems for maritime biometrics. Columbia University's share of the grant will be $1.39 million over the five year period and will be shared by Columbia PIs Peter Belhumeur and Shree Nayar.
Oliver Cossairt and Alexander Gusev receive NSF graduate fellowships
Published: April 5, 2008

Olivier Cossairt, advised by Prof. Shree Nayar, has been selected for the NSF Graduate Fellowship to further his work on intelligent displays. Intelligent displays are new types of visualization systems that sense and react to their physical environment. Using these displays, real and digital objects are indistinguishable in appearance, enabling new possibilities for rich user interaction in fields as diverse as medical imaging, military visualization, and entertainment.

Alexander Gusev, advised by Prof. Itsik Pe'er, has been awarded an NSF Graduate Fellowship for his research work in computainal genetics. Genetic evidence shows that many pairs of individuals purported as unrelated to one another actually share an ancestor within the last few generations. Unfortunately, the computational barrier of comparing all pairs to one another prevented such analysis on a large scale. Sasha developed a linear time method for such all-against-all comparison, becoming the first to analyze ancestry of thousands of individuals, and finding surprising results with implications to population genetics and disease research.

Professors Allen, Bellovin, Keromytis, Servedio and Stolfo receive Google Research Awards
Published: March 14, 2008

Prof. Allen will be investigating semantically searchable dynamic 3D databases, developing
new methods to take an unstructured set of 3D models and organize them into a database that can be intelligently and efficiently queried. The database will be searchable, tagged and dynamic, and will be able to support queries based on whole object and partial object geometries.

In the project titled "Safe Browsing Through Web-based Application Communities", Profs. Keromytis and Stolfo will investigate the use of collaborative software monitoring, anomaly detection, and software self-healing to enable groups of users to browse safely. The project seeks to counter the increasingly virulent class of web-bourne malware by exchanging information among users about detected attacks and countermeasures when browsing unknown websites or even specific pages.

In the project "Privacy and Search: Having it Both Ways in Web Services", Prof. Keromytis will investigate techniques for addressing the privacy and confidentiality concerns of businesses and individuals while allowing for the use of hosted, web-based applications such as Google Docs and Gmail. Specifically, the project will combine data confidentiality mechanisms with Private Information Matching and Retrieval protocols, to develop schemes that offer different tradeoffs between stored-data confidentiality/privacy and legitimate business and user needs.

Rocco Servedio was awarded a Google Research Award to develop improved martingale ranking algorithms. Martingale ranking is an extension of martingale boosting, a provably noise-tolerant boosting algorithm from learning theory which was jointly developed by Rocco and Phil Long, a researcher at Google. Rocco will work to design adaptive and noise-tolerant martingale rankers that perform well 'at the top of the list' of items being ranked, which is where accurate rankings are most important.

Published: February 19, 2008
The Alfred P. Sloan Foundation named 118 outstanding young scientists, mathematicians, and economists as Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellows. The winners are faculty members at 64 colleges and universities in the United States and Canada who are conducting research at the frontiers of physics, chemistry, computational and evolutionary molecular biology, computer science, economics, mathematics and neuroscience. The Sloan Research Fellowships have been awarded since 1955. Read more.
Prof. Stolfo to participate in National Academies National Research Council committee
Published: February 16, 2008
At the request of the Chief of Naval Operations, the Naval Studies Board of the National Academies is planning to conduct a 12-month study entitled "Information Assurance for Network-Centric Naval Forces." The study will review the Department of Defense and the Department of the Navy responsibilities for information assurance, review recent information assurance-related studies conducted by and for the Department of Defense and Department of the Navy, examine the Department of Defense and Department of Navy research, development, and acquisition process for information assurance, and recommend alternative approaches to the process that allow for greater flexibility, assess potential information assurance vulnerabilities for network-centric naval forces, review and recommend information assurance best practices, recommend investment analysis approaches for managing cyber attack risks to network-centric naval forces that address the consequences of possible cyber attacks, the likelihoods of
these attacks actually occurring, and the uncertainties surrounding assumptions about these risks.
Published: February 8, 2008
Election to the National Academy of Engineering (NAE) is the highest professional distinction accorded to an engineer. Academy membership honors those who have made outstanding contributions to "engineering research, practice, or education, including, where appropriate, significant
contributions to the engineering literature," and to the "pioneering of new and developing fields of technology, making major advancements in traditional fields of engineering, or developing/implementing innovative approaches to engineering education."

The National Academy of Engineering (NAE) has elected a total of 65 new members and nine foreign associates spanning all disciplines of engineering and applied sciences.

Members are elected to the NAE by their peers (current NAE members). All members have distinguished themselves in technical positions, as university faculty, and as leaders in government and business organizations. They serve as "advisers to the nation on science, engineering, and medicine," and perform an unparalleled public service by addressing the scientific and technical aspects of some of societys
most pressing problems. The NAE was established in 1964 as an independent, nonprofit organization and is one of four United States National Academies. Read more.
Prof. Hirschberg receives honorary doctorate from KTH, Stockholm
Published: December 18, 2007
The full citation reads, translated from the Swedish original:

"Julia Hirschberg, professor in computer science, is active within the area of speech communications at Columbia University, USA. She belongs to the leading researchers in this field, having performed research in both industry and academia. In her work at AT&T, she contributed to the development of several voice-controlled telephone services. Julia Hirschberg has performed leading research on a variety of topics related to human-to-human and human-to-machine interaction. Specifically, within the area of prosody, she studied how people use other means than speech to communicate focus, turn-taking and emotions in a dialogue. She has also studied how this knowledge can be applied to various speech-based services. Julia Hirschberg has been president of the International Speech Communication Association (ISCA) since 2005. As such she is responsible for
the yearly conference Interspeech that attracts more than 1000 attendee each year."
CS major Rajesh Ramakrishnan selected as CRA Undergraduate Award finalist
Published: November 28, 2007
The Computing Research Association (CRA) is an association of more than 200 North American academic departments of computer science, computer engineering, and related fields; laboratories and centers in industry, government, and academia engaging in basic computing research; and affiliated professional societies.
Published: November 14, 2007
Distinguished lecturers visit IEEE Communications Society chapters to discuss new developments in communications and networking. Read more.
Published: November 9, 2007
Prof. Misra proposal seeks to develop and analyze Adaptive Sharing Mechanisms (ASMs) in which the mechanism used to share resources adapts dynamically to both the set of available resources and the
current needs of the consumers, such that the system is truly autonomic. The project proposes to modularize the ASM into separate components, and then design the various components using both cutting edge novel control theoretic and scheduling analyses. Read more.
Published: November 9, 2007

According to the citation, "Prof. Yechiam Yemini is that rare individual who embodies excellence in research, innovation and entrepreneurship. He was already a successful entrepreneur before he joined CATT. He then started System Management Arts or SMARTS, a company with over 150 employees that developed network management solutions. This company was acquired by EMC Corporation. He is now working on yet another start up called Arootz. In all his ventures he brings technological innovation and an unerring vision of the market."

Henning Schulzrinne was cited a pioneer in the development of Voice over IP technology that is supplanting circuit-switched voice, which has been the basis of phone service since the days of Alexander Graham Bell. He is a co-inventor of the Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) and the Real-Time Transport Protocol (RTP), which form the basis of VOIP, and additional standards for multimedia transport over the Internet.

In addition, Verizon Communication was honored for a joint project conducted with the lab of Prof. Schulzrinne.

The Center for Advanced Technology in Telecommunications and Distributed Information Systems (CATT) is a research and education group at Polytechnic University, long-recognized as one of the best engineering schools in the country. CATT researchers are leaders in the fields of electrical engineering and computer science. The Center also draws on the expertise of key researchers at Columbia University. Read more.

Published: September 30, 2007
"NIH New Innovator Dana Peer is looking forward to building her lab team and working on the next phase of her research, which seeks to illuminate how a cell's regulatory network processes signals, and how this signal processing goes wrong in cancer. As one of the worlds leading computational biologists, Peer develops highly sophisticated computational machine learning methods that analyze genomic data and detect patterns that underlie interactions and influences between molecules in a cell.

With the NIH award funding, Peer and her team will seek to understand the general underlying principles governing how cells process signals, how molecular networks compute, and how genetic variations alter cellular functioning. Specifically, she wants to understand how changes in DNA codes modify a cells response to its internal and external cues, which then leads to changes throughout the entire body. These changes, or malfunctions, can cause anything from autoimmune disease to cancer." (Columbia News) Read more.
Prof. Kender receives grant to study semantics of structured and unstructured videos
Published: September 22, 2007
This project explores three new related approaches to making the indexing and retrieval of videos more efficient, meaningful, and humanly navigable, even when the videos have little editor-imposed structure.

The first is the exploration and refinement of a novel, highly efficient machine learning technique for data-rich domains, which selects small and fast subsets of multimedia features that are most indicative of a given high-level concept. Speed-ups of three decimal orders of magnitude are possible.

The second is the development of new methods and tools for refining user concepts and domain ontologies for video retrieval, based on statistical analyses of their collocation and temporal behavior. The goals are the determination of video synonyms and hypernyms, the verification of temporal shot patterns such as repetition and alternation, and the exploitation of a newly recognized power-law decay of the recurrence of content.

The third is the demonstration of a customizable user interface, the first of its kind, to navigate a library of videos of unedited and relatively unstructured student presentations, using visual, speech, facial, auditory, textual, and other features. These features are shown to be more accurately and quickly derived using the results of the first investigation, and more compactly and saliently presented using the results of the second.
Joshua Reich demos delay-tolerant networks on Roomba, wins ACM Mobicom demo prize
Published: September 12, 2007
Joshua Reich, a PhD student in the Department, just won the student demo contest at ACM Mobicom/hoc for his Roombanet system (you might have seen vacuum cleaners roaming around the courtyard). His project was titled "MadNET: DTNs on Roombas". Mobicom is the flagship wireless conference and this year it was joint with Mobihoc. Joshua Reich is being advised by Prof. Vishal Misra and Prof. Dan Rubenstein.
Prof. Servedio and Malkin receive NSF grant on cross-leveraging cryptography and learning theory
Published: September 4, 2007
The project proposes a detailed study of the connections between cryptography and learning. Very roughly speaking, cryptography is about manipulating and encoding information so that it is difficult to reconstruct the initial information, while learning theory is about efficiently extracting information from some unknown object. This duality means that ideas and results from each area can potentially be leveraged to make progress in the other area.

The first main goal of the project is to obtain new cryptographic results based on the presumed hardness of various problems in computational learning theory. Work along these lines will include constructing and applying cryptographic primitives such as public-key cryptosystems and pseudorandom generators from learning problems that are widely believed to be hard, and exploring the average-case learnability of well-studied concept classes such as decision trees and DNF formulas. The second main goal of the project is to obtain new learning results via cryptography. The PIs will work to develop privacy-preserving learning algorithms; to establish computational hardness of learning various Boolean function classes using tools from cryptography; to obtain computational separations between pairs of well-studied learning models; and to explore the foundational assumptions of what are the minimal hardness assumptions required to prove hardness of learning.
Prof. Ramamoorthi receives NSF grant to improve rendering quality
Published: August 21, 2007
Computer graphics is commonly used for interactive visualization and rendering in video games, electronic commerce or scientific visualization. These applications often demand real-time results,
including multiple bounces of light (global illumination), material changes and spatially-varying local lighting. Computer graphics is also increasingly used to prototype or design illumination and material
properties, for industries as diverse as animation, entertainment, automobile design, and architecture. A lighting designer on a movie set wants to pre-visualize the scene lit by the final illumination and with
objects having their final material properties, be they paint, velvet or glass. An architect wants to visualize the reflectance properties of building materials in their natural setting. In many applications, much
greater realism and faithfulness can be obtained if the lighting or material designer could interactively specify these properties. The project will develop the theoretical foundations and next generation
practical algorithms for high quality real-time rendering and lighting/material design.
Published: July 31, 2007
The citation reads: "ACM SIGGRAPH is proud to recognize Ravi Ramamoorthi as this years recipient of the Signifi cant New Researcher Award for his groundbreaking work on mathematical representations
and computational models for the visual appearance of objects. Ravis work has had enormous impact in areas ranging from real-time rendering to acquisition and representation of visual appearance. In the tradition of the best graphics researchers, Ravi combines foundational mathematical analyses with
novel practical algorithms. His discoveries have not only led to a deeper understanding of appearance: a number of them are being adopted by industry.

Ravi obtained his B.S. and M.S. degrees in computer science and physics from Caltech in 1998, publishing two SIGGRAPH papers from his work there with Al Barr and Jim Arvo. He then received his Ph.D. in Computer Science from Stanford University in 2002, under Pat Hanrahan. He joined the faculty at Columbia University in August 2002, where he is now an associate professor of computer science. He is well known for his seminal SIGGRAPH 2001 paper and Ph.D. dissertation that used ideas from signal processing to establish a firm mathematical framework to describe reflection in terms of convolution, where the incident radiance plays the role of the signal, and the bidirectional reflectance distribution function of the surface plays the role of a filter. He went on to derive an explicit convolution product
formula in the frequency domain using spherical harmonics. This work represents a mathematical tour de force, addressing long standing problems in graphics and computer vision.

His SIGGRAPH 2004 paper with Ren Ng and Pat Hanrahan on triple product integrals continued his study of the reflection operator, a theme that has continued with several subsequent papers, two of which appear in this years proceedings.

Much of Ravis recent work has turned to data-driven methods, including five papers with a wide array of collaborators in SIGGRAPH 2006 that deal with a variety of issues, from the measurement and representation of complex time varying phenomena, to real-time editing of BRDFs. In summary, Ravi has made deep and broad contributions to the twin fields of graphics and computer vision. He has
shown exceptional levels of productivity, being one of the most prolific recent contributors to SIGGRAPH. Indeed, his research accomplishments make it easy to forget that he is only at the beginning of his career, having received his doctorate just five years ago. With such a quick start to his career, we look forward to many more productive years to come."

A video introduces Ravi and his work. The press release is available. Read more.
Prof. Allen to develop robotic tool for minimal-access surgery
Published: July 31, 2007
This project focuses on the development of a newly conceived insertable robotic effector platform and the integration of that platform with a recently developed insertable, remotely controlled camera system to be used for minimal access surgery. The project will involve the actual design and construction of the platform for tools and the integration of the imaging platform (insertable camera system) with the tools into a fully functional image guided system for minimal access surgery. This may also include the addition of various sensors on the tools, so that the resultant data stream from both the imaging platform and the tools can be processed to control the intervention. The overall aim is to develop a disruptive technology that includes an insertable image source, a wide range of surgical tools, and a computer to integrate the function of all components.
Profs. Kaiser and Nieh to receive grant to reduce computer downtime
Published: July 30, 2007
The project investigates and develops autonomic mechanisms for reducing system downtime due to software maintenance and upgrades. The project addresses operating system upgrades and also application upgrades, focusing on standalone binary-executable applications. The main goal is to lessen the possibility that patches and updates will "break" expected functionality of the environment that worked fine together with the old version -- overall maximizing availability and
reliability both during and after maintenance while imposing little management overhead. The contributions stem primarily from a virtualization architecture that decouples application instances from operating system instances, enabling either to be independently updated. The results, disseminated via web download, will improve availability of legacy applications, with no source code access,
modification, recompilation, relinking or application-specific semantic knowledge, and perform efficiently and securely on commodity operating systems and hardware.
Prof. Schulzrinne elected as vice chair of ACM SIGCOMM
Published: July 11, 2007
"SIGCOMM is ACM's professional forum for the discussion of topics in the field of communications and computer networks, including technical design and engineering, regulation and operations, and the social implications of computer networking. The SIG's members are particularly interested in the systems engineering and architectural questions of communication."
Prof. Vishal Misra elected to Board of Directors for ACM SIGMETRICS
Published: July 11, 2007
"Besides being the rockin'est ACM SIG, it is also widely revered as the most universal. Go ahead, try naming any SIG at all that isn't obsessed with performance. (No fair picking on SIGART, "The Art of AI." Just because they're decades late in delivering on their promises of functionality doesn't mean they wouldn't be talking performance if they could.)"

SIGMETRICS promotes research in performance analysis techniques as well as the advanced and innovative use of known methods and tools. It sponsors conferences, such as its own annual conference (SIGMETRICS), publishes a newsletter (Performance Evaluation Review), and operates a network bulletin board and web site.

Prof. Edwards wins NSF grant to develop new computer design methods
Published: June 30, 2007
This project proposes to reintroduce timing predictability as a first-class property of embedded processor architectures. To fully exploit such timing predictability, however, would require a significant redesign of much of computing technology, including operating systems, programming languages, compilers, and networks.

Obviously, a three-year NSF project cannot address the full breadth of the problem. We propose, therefore, to tackle the problem from the hardware design perspective. Our approach will be to develop precision timed (PRET) machines as soft cores on FPGAs, and to show that using such machines software components can be integrated with what would traditionally have been purely hardware designs. We expect that this will first greatly improve the expressiveness and usability of FPGA-based design flows, and second will provide a starting point for a decades-long revolution that will once again make timing
predictability an essential feature of processors.
Prof. Keromytis receives grant to investigate new communications mechanisms against denial-of-service attacks
Published: June 15, 2007
Network denial of service attacks occur with increasing frequency and devastating economic and psychological effects for the targeted sites and their users. Addressing the problem has proven difficult, primarily due to deployment and complexity concerns about previously proposed mechanisms. In particular, receiver-controlled capabilities are an elegant way for preventing communication interference, but are difficult to deploy in practice and are susceptible to control-channel attacks.

This project will investigate a new communication paradigm, named PacketSpread, which makes feasible the use of capability-like mechanisms on the current Internet, without requiring architectural modifications to networks or hosts. The high-level hypothesis of the research is that practical network capability schemes can be constructed through the use of end-point traffic-redirection mechanisms that use a spread-spectrum-like communication paradigm enabled by an overlay network. To test this hypothesis, the project will prototype and experimentally validate the resistance of such a scheme against attacks launched by realistic adversaries, while minimizing the impact of the approach to end-to-end communication latency and throughput.

The results of this research will enable a better understanding of how network-capability schemes can be deployed and used to provide robust and secure communications under both normal operation and in times of crisis. Improvements in the security and reliability of large-scale systems on which society, business, government, and individuals depend on will have a positive impact on society.
Adjunct Professor W. Bradford Paley's "Map of Science" published in Nature, SEED, Discover
Published: May 24, 2007
Page 14 of this month's (June's) Discover magazine shows an analysis of some 800,000 scientific papers, courtesy of work done by Columbia Department of Computer Science Adjunct Professor
W. Bradford Paley.

W. Bradford Paley, an Adjunct Associate Professor in the Department of Computer Science, worked with two collaborators to produce an illustration that seems itself to have become news. Working with Kevin Boyack (of Sandia National Labs) and Dick Klavans (of SciTech Strategies, Inc.), he developed a way of visualizing the relationships among 776 different scientific paradigms--labelling each node with ten unique descriptive phrases--on a small two-foot square print. The image (originally four feet square) was part of an "Illuminated Diagram," a visual display technique Mr. Paley first presented
at IEEE InfoVis 2002. It was part of an exhibit called "Places and Spaces: Mapping Science" installed in the New York Public Library Science Industry and Business Library, then the New York Hall of Science; it is now travelling worldwide.

The journal Nature noticed the image in that exhibit and opened its annual "Brilliant Images" image gallery of 2006 with a very reduced version. It was picked up by both SEED and Discover magazines and has been mentioned in dozens of news sites and blogs, including Slashdot, Reddit, Complexity Digest, Education Futures, and StumbleUpon.

Mr. Paley's site (didi.com/brad) describes his new label layout algorithm, as well as the rest of the project.
Prof. Malkin receives grant from Mitsubishi Electric Research Laboratories (MERL) on privacy-preserving learning
Published: April 25, 2007
As part of the grant, Prof. Malking will study secure protocols allowing two or more parties to apply vision
algorithms on their inputs, without revealing any additional information. For example, consider a client holding data which he would like classified by a server (e.g., applying a face detection algorithm). However, the client does not want to reveal any information on his data to the server, and the server does not want to reveal any information to the client, beyond the classification result. While general cryptographic techniques for secure multiparty computation may be applied, these often entail a performance overhead that is prohibitive for the real-world applications we address. Prof. Malkin and her team will work to design efficient privacy preserving protocols for common information classifiers including density estimation using Parzen windows, K-NN classification, neural networks, and support vector machines. We will also design privacy preserving protocols for other useful vision and learning problems, such as oblivious matching protocols, allowing two parties to find whether they are holding an
image of the same object or not, without disclosing any additional information on their images.
Claire Lackner, project student in Computer Science, to be valedictorian
Published: April 12, 2007
Claire is a Rabi Scholar majoring in Physics. She has undertaken research at the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory and in the Robotics laboratory (Prof. Peter Allen) of the Computer Science department, where she developed software to improve the grasping ability of a simulated robotic hand. At Cal Tech and the Jet Propulsion Laboratory as an undergraduate research fellow, she studied images of gullies on Mars and created a model for their formulation. Together with Professor Peter Allen, Claire has also done field work in France with the Art History department assisting in the three dimensional imaging of Romanesque churches. A recipient of both the Goldwater Scholarship and the National Defense Science and Engineering Graduate Fellowship, Claire will pursue a Ph.D. in Astrophysics at Princeton University this fall.
Sean White, Dominic Marino and Prof. Feiner win Best Note award at CHI 2007
Published: April 6, 2007
PhD student Sean White, Dominic Marino (MS, '07), and Professor Steve Feiner won the Best Note award at CHI 2007 for their short paper, "Designing a Mobile User Interface for Automated Species Identification." CHI 2007 is the top conference in human-computer interaction, and will be held in San Jose, April 28-May 3, 2007. For more information, see www.chi2007.org.
DHS grant for Prof. Stolfo, Keromytis, Hershkop to investigate insider threats
Published: April 5, 2007
The project, titled "Human Behavior, Insider Threat, and Awareness", will focus on investigating, developing, and experimentally evaluating methods and models for detecting malicious insider activity and behavior on a host computer system. The approach taken will be twofold. First, to create a system of host-based anomaly sensors to learn models of normal user behavior, such that significant behavior differences can be indicative of a security breach or malicious intent. Second, to create proactive honeypot technology, extending current honeypot technology with the introduction of controlled and realistic-looking bait traffic of various types to entice attackers and malicious insiders.
Published: April 3, 2007
Hila Becker is a Computer Science PhD student at Columbia University in New York City. Her research interests include machine learning theory and applications, data mining and information extraction. She currently works in the Center for Computational Learning Systems (CCLS).

The Anita Borg Institute for Women and Technology and Google sponsor the 2007 Google Anita Borg Memorial Scholarship. The Google Anita Borg Memorial Scholarship was established to honor the legacy of Anita Borg and her efforts to encourage women to pursue careers in computer science and technology. Finalists receive a cash award. For the 2006-2007 academic year, the institute received over 250 applications from students at 115 different universities across the country. Eligible students must be going into their final year of study at a US university or college. Selection criteria includes academic performance, letters of recommendation, answers to short essay questions and interviews with members of the review committee. After three rounds of review, the committee selected 50 finalists. [from the press release] Read more.

Published: April 1, 2007
The ranking has been compiled by Academic Analytics and includes grants, awards, citations and journal publications.

Details about the methodology can be found at
http://chronicle.com/stats/productivity/page.php?primary=4&secondary=34&bycat=Go Read more.
Professors Keromytis, Nieh and Stolfo win MURI grant on automatic recovery
Published: March 19, 2007
This project will develop autonomic recovery and regeneration mechanisms that will enable commodity systems to detect attacks, corruptions, and failures, then self-regenerate to a known good state, for both program and data, while increasing the reliability and security of the software to be more resistant and less vulnerable to attack. The project will adopt a "health care" model for computing systems, where failing systems are "triaged" either locally or through a centralized Enterprise Health Care Center (EHCC) to bring these systems back to health while other systems provide their services for non-stop enterprise computing. The approach will address both unintentional failures caused by software flaws and intentional attacks that exploit vulnerabilities in software applications.
Prof. Ramamoorthi wins Office of Naval Research Young Investigator Program fellowship
Published: March 19, 2007
ONR YIP is a very competitive program. This year, ONR received 214 proposals for the YIP competition and 33 were selected for award. Professor Ramamoorthi is a member of the Columbia Computer Science Computer Graphics group.

The images that objects produce are heavily influenced by the interplay between natural lighting conditions, complex materials with non-diffuse reflectance, and shadows cast by and on the object.
Modeling these effects, which are omnipresent in natural environments, is critical for image understanding and machine perception. For example, to deploy face recognition systems in airport security or in the outdoors, we must account for uncontrolled illumination, developing lighting-insensitive recognition methods. Recognizing and tracking vehicles requires understanding the bright highlights produced by metallic car bodies. Robotic helpers that provide assistance to the infirm must interpret highlights and shadows from household objects. Unmanned automated vehicles surveying battle scenarios can also benefit from improved image interpretation algorithms, allowing them to understand and build 3D models of their environs.

Therefore, compact mathematical models of illumination and reflectance are essential, to develop robust vision and image interpretation systems for uncontrolled conditions. We will pursue two main avenues. First, we analyze the frequency-domain properties of lighting and reflectance, extending our previous results to specular objects, describing a theory of frequency domain identities, analogous to
classical spatial domain results like reflectance ratios. Second, we analyze a general light transport operator that by definition includes arbitrary reflectance and shadowing. We develop a locally low-dimensional representation, even for high-frequency highlights and intricate shadows. This enables a new level of accuracy in appearance-based lighting-insensitive recognition and other applications.
Prof. Keromytis receives ONR grant to develop Quantitative Trust Management
Published: March 15, 2007
The goal of this project, funded by the Office of Naval Research (ONR) under the Multi-University Research Initiative (MURI) program is to develop Quantitative Trust Management as the basis for a scalable decentralized approach to dynamic, mission-based access control (MBAC). The dynamic trust management technique will address the inabilities of current capabilities to maintain security policies at the operational tempo required for network-centric warface, to scale to emerging nation-state threats, and to manage heterogeneous computing and network elements supporting Service-Oriented Architectures (SOA). MBAC will introduce a new generation of policy languages that will allow composition and quantification of the effects of dynamically changing policies, and the theoretical foundations to support composition of complex policies using cost-benefit analysis under compositional reasoning on quantitative measures of trust to make access-control decisions. These theoretical foundations will provide a basis by which access-control policies can be made "situation-aware" and thus adaptive to both local and global mission dynamics.
Prof. Grinspun receives NSF CAREER award to help understand and model complex mechanical systems
Published: March 7, 2007
Software that helps to develop intuition will help engineers to produce better designs, spur scientists to
poise more likely hypotheses, and give artists better control over the process of computer animation. Physical simulations have already achieved remarkable goals, enabling the prediction of systems that are too costly or dangerous to study empirically; however, current simulation technologies are built for precision, not intuition.

The investigators will develop simulation techniques that address the vision of a rapid, interactive design cycle, with a specific focus on the physical simulation of thin shells--flexible surfaces such as air bags, biological membranes, and textiles, with pervasive applications in automotive design, biomedical device optimization, and feature film production. The work will focus on qualitatively-accurate, but not precise, simulation. The research will yield novel methods that quickly but coarsely resolve the physics, skipping over irrelevant data to capture only the coarse variables that drive design decisions. The project will train young scientists with a deep understanding of computation, mathematics, and application domain areasdespite being in high demand, this combination of skills remains rare.

A technical goal of this project is to develop a principled, methodical approach to coarsening an existing discrete geometric model of a mechanical system, using adaptive, multiresolution
decompositions. Whereas adaptivity is commonly studied in the context of error estimators for mesh refinement, interactivity suggests a focus on how best to give up precision in a simulation. Therefore,
this research will (i) build on early work in the field of discrete differential geometry to formulate coarse geometric representations of physical systems that preserve key geometric and physical invariants,
(ii) investigate the convergence, resolution- and meshing-dependence of discrete differential operators, and (iii) contribute toward a software platform for interactive design space exploration with
concrete applications in automotive, biomedical, and feature-film engineering.
Prof. Shortliffe to become Dean of University of Arizona College of Medicine - Phoenix
Published: February 20, 2007
Prof. Shortliffe's is a professor in the departments of medicine and of computer science at Columbia as well as chair of the Department of Biomedical Informatics at Columbia College of Physicians and Surgeons.
Prof. Jebara receives grant to match data from heterogeneous databases
Published: February 14, 2007
The research proposal explores matching, b-matching and permutation within statistical learning, for applications including constraining social networks using graphs and b-matchings, visualizing large social networks, minimum volume embedding and merging social networks across heterogeneous databases. The applications will be explored via several novel algorithms and scientifically advance the areas of b-matching, permutation, metric learning, structured prediction, invariance and graph embedding.
Prof. Servedio to participate in DARPA Computer Science Study Panel
Published: January 10, 2007
The objective of the Computer Science Study Panel is to rapidly identify ideas in the field of computer science that will provide revolutionary advances, rather than incremental benefit, to the Department of Defense. Areas of special interest include pattern recognition, computer vision, probabilistic reasoning, biologically inspired exploitation, abnormal behavior analysis, cognitive psychology, machine learning, and other advanced disciplines in computer science. Participation in the panel, which lasts for one year, involves travel throughout the United States to government and industry sites. Panelists are eligible to submit a proposal for a Year 2 Computer Science Research Project. Prof. Servedio specializes in machine learning.
Profs. Keromytis and Stolfo to investigate protection of software system with Google Research Award
Published: January 9, 2007
Application Communities is a new paradigm for protecting software systems. Community members running independent instances of the same application will continuously exchange information that allows them to collectively identify new faults and attacks (collaborative monitoring), and to automatically develop, test and apply fixes (heal).

The PIs propose to apply these techniques to the problem of detecting new web-bourne malware (e.g., malicious attachments or active content) through a collaborative method that utilizes (a) the users' actions (to drive the browsers and "explore" new pages, in a manner similar to but more comprehensive and less error-prone than other proposed work that uses automated web-crawlers to scan suspicious web sites), (b) new detectors that are either already running on the users' systems (e.g., a host-based anomaly detector) or are easily deployable over the web, (c) a browser extension that communicates with Google to send information about locally found anomalies and to receive information about the threat-level ("maliciousness") of content downloaded or about-to-be downloaded from the web, and (d) Google itself, as the broker of said information. In addition, Google or a third party can act as the "validator" of alerts, using techniques the PIs have developed for protection of servers, albeit applied to the desktop/browser environment.
Published: December 19, 2006
The grant is titled "Integrating Control, Computation, and Communication - A Design Automation Flow for Distributed Embedded Systems".

Steady advances in such enabling technologies as semiconductor circuits, wireless networking, and microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) are making possible the design of complex distributed (networked) embedded systems that could benefit several application areas such as public
infrastructure, industrial automation, automotive industry, and consumer electronics. However, the heterogeneous and distributed nature of many such systems requires design teams with a composite skill set spanning automatic control, communication networks, and hardware/software
computational systems. Computer-aided design, a traditionally interdisciplinary research area, will be instrumental in making these systems feasible and in enhancing the productivity of the design process.
The grant will allow the PI to develop new modeling techniques, optimization algorithms, ommunication protocols and interface processes that combined will yield a novel 'design automation flow for distributed embedded-control applications' such as automotive ``X-by-wire systems'' and integrated buildings. The goal is to enable the integrated design and validation of these systems while assisting the typically multidisciplinary engineering teams that are building them. Intermediate contributions include methods for the robust deployment of real-time embedded software on distributed architectures and for the synthesis of a distributed implementation of an embedded control application where performance requirements are met while the usage of communication and computational resources is well-balanced. The education plan is motivated by the belief that the academic curricula for both computer and electrical engineers need to be updated in order to
overcome the artificial and historical boundaries among those disciplines in electrical engineering and computer science that lie at the core of embedded computing. Read more.
Published: November 30, 2006
Each year, the CRA selects outstanding undergraduates based on nominations from Departments across the United States and Canada. This year, there were about 65 winners, including honorable mentions. Read more.
Dean Zvi Galil to become President of Tel Aviv University
Published: November 11, 2006
He earned his undergraduate degree at Tel Aviv University and began his teaching career at Tel Aviv University in 1976. Prof. Galil was chair of the Department of Computer Science at Columbia from 1989 to 1994 before becoming Dean of the School of Engineering and Applied Science in 1995.
Seung Geol Choi wins best student-paper award at International Workshop on Security
Published: November 10, 2006
The paper is titled "Short Traceable Signatures Based on Bilinear Pairings".
Published: November 4, 2006
The prestigious honor, first awarded in 1988, recognizes individuals for scientific or technological breakthroughs, outstanding leadership, highly distinguished authorship or significant long-term contributions in the computer security field.

Bellovin, currently a professor of computer science at Columbia University, was one of the originators of USENET as a graduate student at the University of North Carolina in the late 1970s. During more than 20 years of research at Bell Labs and AT&T Labs Research, Bellovin was one of the first researchers to recognize the importance of firewalls to network security, explore protocol failures, discuss routing security and utilize encrypted key exchange protocols.

Bellovin has served on numerous National Research Council computer security committees, was an Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) security director from 2002-2004, and was a member of the now-defunct Department of Homeland Security's Science and Technology Advisory Board. He is the co-author of "Firewalls and Internet Security: Repelling the Wily Hacker," and holds several patents on cryptographic and network protocols. [quoted from the ACSAC announcement] Read more.
Prof. Nowick receives grant to design asynchronous interconnect fabrics for parallel processors
Published: October 24, 2006
The proposal is titled "Designing a Flexible High-Throughput Asynchronous Interconnect Fabric
for Future Single-Chip Parallel Processors". The goal is to design a high-throughput, flexible and low-power digital fabric for future desktop parallel processors, e.g., those with 64+ processors
per chip. The fabric will be designed using high-speed asynchronous pipelines, handling the communication between synchronous processor cores and distributed memory. The asynchrony of the fabric will facilitate lower power, handling of heterogeneous interfaces, and high access rates (with fine-grained pipelining). This work is in collaboration with the parallel processing and CAD groups at the University of Maryland, including Prof. Uzi Vishkin.
Department recruiting faculty in Computer Engineering and Software Systems
Published: October 23, 2006

The Department of Computer Science is seeking applicants for two
tenure-track positions at either the junior or senior level, one each in
computer engineering and software systems. Applicants should have a Ph.D. in a relevant field, and have demonstrated excellence in research and
the potential for leadership in the field. Senior applicants should
also have demonstrated excellence in teaching and continued
strong leadership in research.

Our department of 32 tenure-track faculty and 2 lecturers attracts excellent
Ph.D. students, virtually all of whom are fully supported by research
grants. The department has close ties to the nearby research laboratories
of AT&T, IBM (T.J. Watson), Lucent, NEC, Siemens, Telcordia Technologies
and Verizon, as well as to a number of major companies including financial
companies of Wall Street. Columbia University is one of the leading research
universities in the United States, and New York City is one of the
cultural, financial, and communications capitals of the
world. Columbia's tree-lined campus is located in Morningside Heights
on the Upper West Side.

Applicants should submit summaries of research and teaching interests,
CV, email address, and the names and email addresses of at least three
references by filing an online application at
www.cs.columbia.edu/recruit. Review of applications will begin on January 1, 2007.

Columbia University is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action
Employer. We encourage applications from women and minorities.

Prof. Carloni to Contribute to Gigascale System Research Center
Published: October 17, 2006
The Microelectronics Advanced Research Corporation (MARCO) funds and operates university-based research centers in microelectronics technology. Its charter initiative, the Focus Center Research Program (FCRP), is designed to expand pre-competitive, cooperative, long-range applied microelectronics research at U.S. universities. Each Focus Center targets research in a particular area of expertise. The GSRC Focus Center brings together 41 faculty from 17 American universities to focus on pertinent problems the semiconductor industry faces in the next decade in the areas of system design, integration, test, and verification. The GSRC web site is http://www.gigascale.org/; the MARCO web site is http://fcrp.src.org/.
Prof. Allen to participate in building anthropomorphic prosthetic arm
Published: October 10, 2006
The team includes researchers from the University of Pittsburth, University of Minnesota, CMU, Arizona State University and Columbia University. The goal of this project is to build and demonstrate an anthropomorphic prosthetic arm and hand that is controlled by cortical output.
Prof. Grinspun receives best paper award at Eurographics
Published: September 25, 2006
Eurographics considered 246 submitted papers, and accepted 42.
Jackson Liscombe wins Best Student Paper award at INTERSPEECH 2006
Published: September 25, 2006
INTERSPEECH is the annual conference of the International Speech Communication Association (http://www.isca-speech.org), which has about 1500 members. The conference is held annually, this year in Pittsburgh. There are usually about 1100 attendees and approximately 1000 submissions. ISCA is one of the major speech science and technology organizations internationally.
Prof. Grinspun awarded NSF grant to develop parallel architectures for interactive scientific computing
Published: September 16, 2006
Scientists and engineers are increasingly interested in conducting computational studies comprising large numbers of computational experiments (runs of simulation software) in domains ranging from automotive design-space exploration to biomedical device optimization and customization. Most such studies require interactivity, with the user continuously monitoring and steering how the study unfolds, based on partial results. This project develops foundations for a system that facilitates interactive computational studies involving a multitude of simulation experiments. The researchers specifically target engineering design applications, focusing on small-to-medium size simulation problems running on tightly-coupled parallel machines. Specific points of focus include (1) higher-level user control of the overall study (as opposed to individual experiments); (2) reuse of data from prior experiments in carrying forward new computations; (3) dynamic management of system resources by relying on a tighter coupling between application and system software; and (4) software reuse based on common component architecture (CCA) compliance and standardization of a more permeable system-/solver-level interface. The architecture will be evaluated on real-world biomedical applications, with a
specific focus on natural incorporation of existing simulation, solver, and domain-specific codes.

Prof. Eitan Grinspun (Columbia) brings expertise in adaptive multiresolution methods for physical simulation, working as part of a team led by NYU. Prof. Vijay Karamcheti (NYU) offers expertise in application-aware mechanisms for parallel computing, and Prof. Denis Zorin (NYU) provides expertise in interactive geometric modeling and simulation. Finally, Prof. Steve Parker (Utah) brings his expertise in the development of the SCIRun and SCIRun2 platforms for scientific computing.
Published: August 11, 2006
The alliance will perform research in the four areas of network theory, security across system of systems, sensor information processing and delivery and distributed coalition planning and decision making. Read more.
Alex Haubold wins best-poster award at multimedia conference
Published: July 16, 2006
This annual conference, one of the most significant and largest in the area of multimedia, featured over 270 posters. Alex, who is Prof. John Kender's student, won for his paper reporting on research he did as part of his IBM internship last summer: "Semantic Multimedia Retrieval using Lexical Query Expansion
and Model-Based Reranking".
Profs. Stolfo, Keromytis and Kaiser win NSF CyberTrust grant to study collaborative self-healing systems
Published: July 13, 2006
Collaborative Self-healing Systems (COSS) is a new paradigm for protecting software systems. Software monocultures are widely used applications that share common vulnerabilities. Hence, any attack that exploits one instance of a vulnerable application provides the means for wide-spread damage. The emerging concept of collaborative security, wherein independent but cooperative entities form a group to improve their individual security, provides the opportunity to exploit the homogeneity of a software monoculture for collective and mutual protection. Monocultures can be leveraged to improve an applications overall security and reliability. COSS members running independent instances of the same application will continuously exchange information that allows them to collectively identify new application faults and attacks (collaborative monitoring), identify the core vulnerability shared by all instances of the application (vulnerability identification), and to automatically develop, test and apply fixes (heal the application). Identifying the application vulnerability requires potentially substantial costs in instrumentation and monitoring in each application instance. We leverage the size of a COSS to amortize the cost of monitoring the applications behavior on a per-instance basis by distributing the monitoring task across a large population; each instance only monitors a portion of the common application but collectively the entire application is covered. COSS may be viewed as a large-scale, diverse software-testing facility that allows its members to identify how a potentially large and complex host application behaves at a very fine level of granularity. This project develops, prototypes and evaluates technologies for automatically building collaborative, self-securing software systems, enabling reliable and secure commodity software.
Prof. Misra and Rubenstein obtain NSF CyberTrust grant to study routing security
Published: July 9, 2006
The grant extends over three years and is entitled "Understanding Control Plane Security: The Method of Strong Detection". The research seeks to further development of a methodology for measuring the inherent security of the control plane component of existing and future network routing protocols. The approach has a significant theoretical component: it looks at general classes of routing protocols and show how they can be analyzed for their ability to monitor themselves. It uses our proposed technique of
Strong Detection to reveal bounds on the kinds of errors that these classes of routing protocols can detect. Hence, the research will be identifying complexity classes of routing protocols in terms of their self-monitoring abilities.
Prof. Schulzrinne receives grant to study VoIP spam
Published: July 8, 2006
The research will focus on using trust paths to determine whether unknown callers are likely to be telemarketers or other spammers. Trust paths capture transitive trust in a friend-of-a-friend model, with trust established by having a person send email or call another person. Such trust paths are suitable for low-risk decisions, such as whether to accept an email or phone call, rather than high-risk decisions such as whether to loan money or reveal private information.
Alp Atici and Prof. Servedio win best paper award at learning theory conference
Published: July 5, 2006
This award is given to the best student paper at the conference; the award is for the paper "Learning Unions of omega(1)-Dimensional Rectangles" which is co-authored by Prof. Rocco Servedio. The E. M. Gold Award comes with a scholarship of approximately 550 Euros.
Prof. Kender to participate in DTO project to analyze news broadcasts
Published: June 20, 2006
The project pursues research on statistical modeling techniques that will characterize video contents in large semantic spaces, using open source international news broadcasts. It emphasizes cross-domain and
cross-cultural scalability, faster than real-time performance, and the exploitation of the temporal evolutionary aspects of video contents. It will build a retrieval workbench with video mining, topic tracking, and cross-linking capabilities, along with other video understanding services.
Profs. Nieh and Hirschberg receive IBM Faculty Award
Published: June 14, 2006
Prof. Julia Hirschberg and Prof. Jason Nieh received the IBM Faculty Award for 2006.
Profs. Misra, Rubenstein, Coffman and colleagues win NSF grant to study adaptive sharing mechanisms
Published: June 12, 2006
A wide variety of systems, including web farms, virtual machines, multi-tasking OSes, GRID computing systems, and sensor networks improve their accessibility, availability, resilience and fairness by
sharing resources across the consumers they support. However, research that explores how to share resources generally derives point solutions, where different resource/consumer configurations require
separately-designed sharing mechanisms. For instance, a scheduler often has implemented separately a single policy (e.g., FCFS, PS, FBPS, SPRT) optimized for a particular load setting, and cannot easily
be switched to another policy when the situation changes.

This project seeks to develop and analyze Adaptive Sharing Mechanisms (ASMs) in which the mechanism used to share resources adapts dynamically to both the set of available resources and the current
needs of the consumers, such that the system is truly autonomic. We initiate our study with a modularization of the ASM into separate components, and then study the various components using both cutting edge novel control theoretic and scheduling analyses. The study ends with prototype and testing ASMs within a server farm environment.

The grant extends over three years and is part of the NSF Computer Systems Research (CSR) program. Only approximately 10% of all grant applications were funded.
Prof. Malkin gives distinguished lecture at UT Austin
Published: June 11, 2006
The talk discussed Prof. Malkin's ongoing research program, expanding the traditional foundations of cryptography to withstand stronger attacks which are more appropriate in light of the way cryptography is used today. In particular, her research rigorously addresses cryptographic applications used in a complex and vulnerable environment such as the Internet, or on small portable devices, where a variety of new,
powerful and unexpected attacks become possible. The talk took place in December 2005.
NYSTAR supports Prof. Stolfo to analyze social networks and document flow
Published: June 11, 2006
The goals of the project are to identify anomalous events worthy of investigation, as well as the
identification users who exhibit potential insider threats.

The award initiates research in the IDS lab that has also been proposed to other agencies for joint support with two companies, Symantec and Secure Decisions, Inc.

The project starts in June 2006 and lasts for 6 months.
Prof. Stolfo to investigate malware detection with help of Disruptive Technology Office (DTO)
Published: June 11, 2006
Stealthy malware is considered the next wave of serious security threat whereby unknown vulnerabilities in common COTS word processing software is used to deliver malcode that is beyond the reach of the detection capabilities of standard Anti-virus scanners. The research focuses on methods to identify anomalous data embedded within documents.

The grant was awarded in January of 2006.
Prof. Stolfo wins grant to investigate insider threats and network anomalys
Published: June 11, 2006
This grant extends a previous ARO grant for research into Counter Evasion techniques. The objectives of the grant are to investigate techniques for the rapid exchange of security alert information among thousands of computers that sense anomalous network events. The rapid sharing of information may provide for the early detection of targeted attacks, including attacks that are sourced inside the defended network. Other techniques are investigated to profile the typical behavior of users within the network, in order to detect anomalous activities indicating the onset of an insider attack.

The Army Research Office (ARO) awarded the grant under a MIPR with the NSA. The projects started in May 2006 and lasts for approximately 40 months.
Profs. Bellovin, Keromytis and Stolfo funded to study large-scale systems security
Published: June 11, 2006
The objective of the research is to investigate novel techniques to secure networks of hundreds to thousands of commodity computers using automated patch generation, patch distribution management, distributed and dynamic firewalls, advanced content-based anomaly detectors and artificial diversity for collaborative security.

The Disruptive Technology Office (DTO, formerly ARDA) awarded the grant, while AFRL provides grant administration. The grant duration is 18 months.
Prof. Malkin wins NSF CAREER award
Published: June 11, 2006
The project challenges the traditional cryptographic assumptions about the limitations of the adversary, such as the assumption that the adversary has no access whatsoever to the legitimate parties' secret keys. The project will investigate the strongest existing models, design new models, develop protocols, and
explore the limits of what is possible to achieve, for several types of strong and realistic attacks, including chosen ciphertext attack, key tampering attacks, and key exposure attacks.
Prof. Malkin awarded grant to study key-evolving signatures
Published: June 11, 2006
Digital signatures play an essential role in securing financial Internet transactions, including private and authenticated communication, electronic commerce and other applications. However, all signature-based systems are vulnerable to the key exposure problem, which in practice is a far more likely cause of compromise than cryptanalysis. The objective of the project is to investigate the feasibility, performance, and correct use of key-evolving signatures, a new type of signatures which has recently emerged in the
cryptographic community as a potentially realistic way to mitigate key exposure attacks. In particular, the project will study intrusion resilient signatures, the strongest key-evolving mechanism to date, which allows to contain the damage to a single time period, with no other consequences for earlier or later uses of the key.
Prof. Malkin receives grant to study web server security
Published: June 11, 2006
The SSL/TLS protocols are used to ensure integrity of on-line financial transactions, establishing a "secure connection" between the consumer (or client) and the financial institution (or server). The goal of the project is to analyze whether and how often best practices are being used in current Internet transactions, by sampling a set of well known and less well
known secure servers and exposing common weaknesses and pitfalls. In the process, the project will also develop and release a toolkit for probing and testing the security of these servers.
Prof. Gravano and students win SIGMOD best-paper award
Published: May 26, 2006
Panos Ipeirotis and Eugene Agichtein are CS PhD alumni, and Pranay Jain is a graduating MS student. SIGMOD is one of two premier database conferences; SIGMOD 2006 received 446 research paper submissions, out of which 58 (or 13%) were accepted for publication.

The paper puts text-searching and crawling on a sound foundation. Text is ubiquitous and, not surprisingly, many important applications
rely on textual data for a variety of tasks. As a notable example,
information extraction applications derive structured relations from
unstructured text; as another example, focused crawlers explore the
web to locate pages about specific topics. Execution plans for
text-centric tasks follow two general paradigms for processing a text
database: either they scan, or "crawl," the text database or,
alternatively, they exploit search engine indexes and retrieve the
documents of interest via carefully crafted queries constructed in
task-specific ways. The choice between crawl- and query-based
execution plans can have a substantial impact on both execution time
and output "completeness" (e.g., in terms of recall). Nevertheless,
this choice is typically ad-hoc and based on heuristics or plain
intuition. This paper presents fundamental building blocks to make the
choice of execution plans for text-centric tasks in an informed,
cost-based way. Towards this goal, the paper shows how to analyze
query- and crawl-based plans in terms of both execution time and
output completeness. The paper adapts results from random-graph theory
and statistics to develop a rigorous cost model for the execution
plans. This cost model reflects the fact that the performance of the
plans depends on fundamental task-specific properties of the
underlying text databases. The paper identifies these properties and
presents efficient techniques for estimating the associated parameters
of the cost model. Overall, the paper's approach helps predict the
most appropriate execution plans for a task, resulting in significant
efficiency and output completeness benefits.

Published: May 22, 2006
During the past decade, interconnects have replaced transistors as the dominant determiner of integrated circuit performance by imposing primary limits on latency, energy dissipation, signal integrity and design productivity for giga-scale systems integration. Scalable networks made
of carefully-engineered links are expected to replace traditional on-chip communication schemes by providing higher bandwidth with lower power dissipation. Further, on-chip networks offer the opportunity to mitigate the complexity of system-on-chip design by facilitating the assembling of
multiple processing cores through the emergence of standards for communication protocols and network access points. This project will investigate the design of low-power scalable on-chip networks for multi-core systems-on-chip by combining a new low-latency, low-energy, current-mode signalling techniques with the design of latency-insensitive protocols extended to support fault-tolerant mechanisms.

The project is funded by the NSF Foundations of Computing Processes and Artifacts (CPA) Cluster. In 2005 the NSF CPA cluster received 532 proposals and funded approximately 10% of them.

The NSF CPA cluster supports research and education projects to advance formalisms and methodologies pertaining to the artifacts and processes for building computing and communication systems. Areas of interest include: topics in software engineering such as software design methodologies, tools for software testing, analysis, synthesis, and verification; semantics, design, and implementation of programming languages; software systems and tools for reliable and high performance computing; computer architectures including memory and I/O subsystems,
micro-architectural techniques, and application-specific architectures; system-on-a-chip; performance metrics and evaluation tools; VLSI electronic design and pertinent analysis, synthesis and simulation
algorithms; architecture and design for mixed media or future media (e.g., MEMs and nanotechnology); computer graphics and visualization techniques. Read more.

Prof. Edwards wins NSF grant to develop embedded systems environment with deterministic concurrency
Published: May 19, 2006
Prof. Edwards proposes to create the SHIM (software/hardware integration medium) development environment for the software in next-generation embedded systems. It will improve designer productivity by making it easier to design correct systems and will facilitate architectural exploration by providing automatic software synthesis.

The SHIM model of computation provides deterministic concurrency with reliable communication, simplifying validation because behavior is reproducible. Based on asynchronous concurrent processes that communicate through rendezvous channels, SHIM can handle control,multi- and variable-rate dataflow, and data-dependent decisions. The components consist of a high-level language based on SHIM, an efficient simulator for SHIM, a software synthesis system that generates C, a formal analysis tool for SHIM and libraries for the SHIM environment.

Prof. Hirschberg wins NSF grant to study rhythm and intonation in language learning
Published: May 15, 2006
Prosody is an integral part of human communication, but one that
second language (L2) learners rarely learn. Topic shifts, contrastive
focus, and even simple question/statement distinctions, cannot be
recognized or produced in many languages without an understanding of
their prosody. However, 'translating' between the prosody of one
language and that of another is a little-studied phenomenon. This
research addresses the 'prosody translation' problem for Mandarin
Chinese and English L2 learners by identifying correspondences between
prosodic phenomena in each language that convey similar meanings. The
work is based on comparisons of L1 and L2 prosodic phenomena and the
meanings they convey. Computational models of prosodic variation
suitable for representing these phenomena in each language are
constructed from data collected in the laboratory, with results tested
on L1 and L2 subjects. The models are tested in an interactive
tutoring system which takes an adaptive, self-paced approach to
prosody tutoring. This system modifies training and testing examples
automatically by imcremental enhancement of distinctive prosodic
features in response to student performance. The success of the
system is evaluated via longitudinal studies of L2 students of both
languages to see whether the new techniques improve students' ability
to recognize and produce L2 prosodic variation. By providing a method
and computational support for prosody tutoring, this work will not
only enable students to attain more native-like fluency but it will
provide a model for training students in other pragmatic language
phenomena --- beyond learning the words and the syntax of a new
language.
Published: May 13, 2006
This project, titled "Cache-Aware Database Systems on Modern Multithreading Processors", studies how to best utilize the resources available in modern processors in the development of database system software. A primary objective is avoiding cache interference between threads in multithreaded and multi-core processors, so that performance scales well as the number of cores/threads increases. A variety of techniques are considered, including multi-threaded algorithm design, threads explicitly devoted to resource management, and scheduling algorithms that are aware of thread interference patterns. Simulations and implementations on real hardware are used to measure the effectiveness of each approach.

The project will result in the development of algorithms designed for the global management (and minimization) of processor- and memory-related delays in database systems. Performance improvements would enhance the experience of database system users, and reduce hardware requirements for a given level of performance. Project-related information can be found at http://www.cs.columbia.edu/~kar/fastqueryproj.html

This project was one of only eleven funded in the Database Management Systems program in 2006 and lasts through August 2008. Read more.

Published: May 1, 2006
"Research today named the five newest members of its highly prestigious Microsoft Research New Faculty Fellowship Program. Because new faculty members are essential to the future of academic computing, Microsoft Research honors early-career professors who demonstrate the drive and creativity to develop original research while continually advancing the state of the art of computing." "Regina Barzilay, assistant professor of electrical engineering and computer science at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Barzilay is up to the challenge. She is focusing her research on computational modeling of linguistic phenomena. She is exploring the ability of a computer to summarize information found in multiple documents that contain related information, such as news articles covering the same event. This will help readers find meaning in the ever-increasing body of information available today." Prof. Barzilay graduated from Columbia University in 2002, where she was advised by Prof. McKeown. Read more.
Prof. Nayar named as 2006 Great Teacher
Published: May 1, 2006
The award is bestowed by the Society of Columbia Graduates. Its Board of Directors has named Prof. Nayar for this award because it feels that he exemplifies the greatest traditions of teaching at Columbia and have earned the recognition of his students and his peers as a dedicated and inspired undergraduate teacher and mentor. As one of the Societys Great Teachers, he will join the ranks of Columbias finest and most beloved professors, such as Mark Van Doren, Lionel Trilling, Mario Salvadori, Morton Friedman, Rene Testa, and others. The Great Teachers Award Dinner will be held in Low Library on the evening of Thursday, October 19, 2006. The Society was formed in 1909, and it will soon be celebrating its own 100 year anniversary. Throughout much of its existence, the Societys principal mission has been to recognize great service to Columbia by its alumni and by its faculty.
CS grad students and Prof. Servedio win best paper award at COLT 2006
Published: April 25, 2006
Homin Lee and Andrew Wan will receive the Mark Fulk Best Student Paper award at the 19th Annual Conference on Learning Theory (COLT 2006), held in Pittsburgh, PA, in July. The award is for their paper titled "DNF are Teachable in the Average Case," which is joint work with Rocco Servedio. COLT is the top conference in computational learning theory, with more than 100 papers submitted per year for the last several years.
Profs. Keromytis and Stolfo win DARPA grant for securing mobile ad-hoc networks
Published: April 16, 2006
Through this grant, they will develop a new, behavior-based mechanism for authenticating and authorizing new nodes in wireless MANETs. Rather than only granting access to a network, or to services on a network, by means of an authenticated identity or a qualified role, we propose to require nodes to also exchange a model of their behavior to grant access and to assess the legitimacy of their subsequent communication. When a node
requests access, it provides its pre-computed egress behavior model to
another node who may grant it access to some service. The receiver
compares the requestor's egress model to its own ingress model to
determine whether the new device conforms to its expected
behavior. Access rights are thus granted or denied based upon the
level of agreement between the two models, and the level of risk the
recipient is willing to manage. The second use of the exchanged models
is to validate active communication after access has been granted.
As a result, MANET nodes, will have greater confidence that a new node is not malicious; if an already admitted node starts misbehaving, other MANET nodes will quickly detect and evict it.
Prof. Jebara receives grant to use learning to match people, multimedia and graphs via permutation
Published: April 8, 2006
This proposal undertakes a novel research direction that explores matching
and permutation within statistical learning. These research tools have
applications in national security as a way to identify and match people
from text and multimedia and discover links between them. More
specifically, this proposal addresses the following key application areas:


  • Matching authors: permutational clustering methods and permutationally
    invariant kernels are used to compute the likelihood the same person wrote
    a given publication or text.

  • Matching text and multimedia documents: permutational algorithms and
    permutationally invariant kernels to perform text, image and word
    matchings of descriptions of people to known individuals in a database.

  • Matching social networks and graphs: social network matching tools from
    permutational algorithms which find a subnetwork in a larger network that
    has a desired topology.
Published: April 8, 2006
SIGGRAPH is the most prestigious conference for computer graphics, with the 2006 conference to take place in Boston, Massachusetts in August 2006. A total of 86 papers were accepted from 474 submissions. Authors from Columbia University include Prof. Ramamoorthi, Prof. Nayar, Prof. Grinspun, and Prof. Belhumeur, along with their graduate students. More information about the Columbia Vision + Graphics Center can be found at http://www.cs.columbia.edu/cvgc/ Read more.
Published: February 17, 2006
The dinner "Honor[s] distinguished figures whose outstanding contributions to city life exemplify the values championed by The Cooper Union." Read more.
Rean Griffith wins IBM PhD fellowship
Published: February 11, 2006
Rean Griffth is a 7th semester PhD student who had previously received his MS at Columbia and his BS from the University of the West Indies, Barbados, and has worked as an intern the past two summers at IBM Almaden as well as at Microsoft. He has to date published or had accepted for publication half a dozen papers joint with IBM Watson researchers, including an IEEE Transactions journal article and a book chapter in a forthcoming CRC Autonomic Computing 'handbook'. His tentative thesis proposal title is "An Approach to Retro-fitting and Evaluating the Self-Healing Capabilities of Legacy Systems". He expects to propose later this spring. Rean's thesis topic concerns developing technologies to dynamically inject self-healing capabilities into legacy software systems without available source code, to perform adaptations while those systems continue running, and devising benchmarks to qualitatively and quantitatively compare alternative autonomic self-healing algorithms that can be injected in in this fashion.

As stated by the IBM Ph.D. Fellowship Program, "Award Recipients are selected based on their overall potential for research excellence, the degree to which their technical interests align with those of IBM, and their progress to-date, as evidenced by publications and endorsements from their faculty advisor and department head."
Published: January 25, 2006
The article states: "IEEE Intelligent Systems is pleased to announce that we have completed the selection of our first ever 'IEEE IS Ten to Watch' awardees to be included in a AI Ten to Watch article which will be featured in a forthcoming special issue we are publishing to coincide with the 50th Anniversary of the Dartmouth Workshop (generally considered the birthplace of modern AI).
Nominations of the top AI researchers to have received their PhD in the past few years were solicited from a wide range of well-known AI researchers and department chairs. We received over 50 nominations from the US, Europe and Asia, and a committee of senior members of the IEEE Intelligent Systems Advisory Board picked the top ten. All the nominees were eminently qualified and doing exciting work, and the ten winners represent the very best of the field of AI." Read more.
Prof. Keromytis wins NSF grant to investigate flow-based computing
Published: January 3, 2006
The project will explore a new operating system architecture that removes the memory and CPU from the data path of applications that handle high-bandwidth data flows (e.g., multimedia servers). The role of the OS becomes that of a data-flow manager, while applications are concerned purely with signaling. This design parallels the evolution of modern network routers and has the potential to enable high-performance I/O in current and next generation computer systems, while also exploiting recent trends toward programmable peripheral devices. Such devices are composed into virtual processing pipelines, completely removing the CPU and main memory from data-intensive tasks that can be offloaded. Our architecture abandons the concept of memory-centric computing, which has been a mainstay of computer science education and practice since its inception.
Published: December 12, 2005
Shaya Potter and Jason Nieh received the Best Student Paper Award at
the 19th Large Installation System Administration Conference (LISA
2005) held last week in San Diego, CA for their paper titled:
"Reducing Downtime Due to System Maintenance and Upgrades". Read more.
Published: November 29, 2005
Prof. Henning Schulzrinne was elected to the grade of IEEE Fellow "for contributions to the design of protocols, applications, and algorithms
for Internet multimedia." Read more.
Published: November 29, 2005
Claire Lackner and Catherine Lennon are both students in Columbia College. Read more.
Published: October 28, 2005
The Donald E. Knuth prize for outstanding contributions to the
foundations of computer science is awarded every 1.5 years by the ACM
Special Interest Group on Algorithms and Computing Theory (SIGACT) and
the IEEE Technical Committee on the Mathematical Foundations of
Computing. The Prize includes a $5000 award and a $1000 travel stipend
(for travel to the award ceremony) paid by ACM SIGACT and IEEE
TCMFC. The Prize is awarded for major research accomplishments and
contributions to the foundations of computer science over an extended
period of time.

The Prize is named in honor and recognition of the extraordinary
accomplishments of Prof. Donald Knuth, Emeritus at Stanford
University. Prof. Knuth is best known for his ongoing multivolume
series, The Art of Computer Programming, which played a critical role
in establishing and defining Computer Science as a rigorous,
intellectual discipline. Prof. Knuth has also made fundamental
contributions to the subfields of analysis of algorithms, compilers,
string matching, term rewriting systems, literate programming, and
typography. His TeX and MF systems are widely accepted as standards
for electronic typesetting. Prof. Knuth's work is distinguished by its
integration of theoretical analyses and practical real-world
concerns. In his work, theory and practice are not separate components
of Computer Science, but rather he shows them to be inexorably linked
branches of the same whole. Read more.
Published: October 24, 2005
Ph.D. Student Matei Ciocarlie from the Columbia Robotics Lab was chosen as the second place winner in the CanestaVision 3D Vision Contest The prize includes a $5,000 cash award and an electronic perception development kit worth $7,000. Matei's entry was a real-time "Eye-in-Hand" range sensor for robotic grasping. Matei was one of ten finalists, who were then given 6 months to develop their 3D vision application. Congratulations to Matei! Read more.
Published: October 24, 2005
Peter Allen and Dennis Fowler M.D, Surgery have received a 2 year
$425K NIH Exploratory/Developmental Research Grant for Insertable
Imaging and Effector Platforms for Surgery. The grant is to construct
small, mobile, multi-function platforms that can be placed inside a
body cavity to perform robotic minimal access surgery. The robot will
be based upon an existing prototype device developed at the Columbia
Robotics Lab. Read more.
Published: October 22, 2005
Our department of 32 tenure-track faculty and 3 lecturers attracts excellent Ph.D. students, virtually all of whom are fully supported by research grants. Our department maintains close ties with other on-campus research centers that are actively involved in computational biology including the Center for Computational Learning Systems, the Department of Biomedical Informatics, and the Columbia Genome Center. We also have close ties to the nearby research laboratories of AT&T, IBM, Lucent, Siemens, Verizon, Telcordia Technologies, NEC, and other leading industrial companies including the financial companies of Wall Street. Columbia University is one of the leading research universities in the United States, and New York City is one of the cultural, financial, and communications capitals of the world. Columbia's campus is located in Morningside Heights on the Upper West Side.

Note that the computer engineering position has a starting date of January 2007.

Applicants should submit summaries of research and teaching interests, CV, email address, and the names and email addresses of at least three references by filing an online application at
www.cs.columbia.edu/recruit. Review of applications will begin on December 1, 2005.

Columbia University is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer. We encourage applications from women and minorities. Read more.

Published: October 14, 2005
Bill Gates' presentation can be viewed at http://www.microsoft.com/events/executives/billgates.mspx Read more.
Published: September 30, 2005
Funded through the National Centers for Biomedical Computing (NCBC) program, a component of the National Institutes of Health Roadmap for Medical Research, the National Center for the Multiscale Analysis of Genomic and Cellular Networks (MAGNet) will address this challenge through the application of both knowledge-based and physics-based methods. The Center will provide an integrative computational framework to organize molecular interactions in the cell into manageable context dependent components. Furthermore, it will develop a variety of interoperable computational models and tools that can leverage such a map of cellular interactions to elucidate important biological processes and to address a variety of biomedical applications.

Details about MAGNet can be found at http://magnet.c2b2.columbia.edu/index.html Read more.
Prof. Malkin's work featured in congressional testimony
Published: September 23, 2005
Part of the testimony read:

"The most pertinent is a project undertaken by Dr. Tal Malkin and her team in the Computer Science Department at Columbia University, in partnership with researchers from IBM, related to the cryptographic security of Internet servers. Cryptography is an essential component of modern electronic commerce. With the explosion of transactions being conducted over the Internet, ensuring the security of data transfer is critically important. Considerable amounts of money are being exchanged over the Internet, either through shopping sites (e.g. Amazon, Buy.com), auction sites (eBay), online banking (Citibank, Chase), stock trading (Schwab), and even the government (irs.gov).

Dr. Malkin and her team made a systematic study of the cryptographic strength of thousands of "secure" servers on the Internet. Servers are computers that host the main functions of the Internet, such as Web sites (Web servers), email (mail servers), and other functions. Communication with these sites is secured by a protocol known as the Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) or its variant, Transport Layer Security (TLS). These protocols provide authentication, privacy, and integrity. A key component of the security of SSL/TLS is the cryptographic strength of the underlying algorithms used by the protocol. Dr. Malkins study probed 25,000 secure Web servers to determine if SSL was being properly configured and whether it was employed in the most secure way. Improper configuration can lead to attacks on servers, stolen data identity theft, break-ins, etc. Dr. Malkins project is the most extensive study of actually existing server security on the Internet.

The teams findings, relevant to these hearings, included some serious weaknesses in how Web servers, including eCommerce servers employed by financial service companies, are currently being configured.

The most prevalent is that an old, outdated version of SSL, known as SSL 2.0, is still being supported on over 93% of these secure servers. SSL 2.0 has many flaws, including a vulnerability to man in the middle attacks, which are commonly used for identity theft. While most of these servers also employ a more advanced version of SSL, the incoming communication can choose to use Version 2.0 and thus breach the defenses of the server.

Another serious problem is the use of 512 bit public keys (1,024 bits are recommended), which can be broken readily, thus compromising all of the data on the server using this key length. Over 5% of the secure servers are using this key length.

These security shortcomings are quite serious, and pose risks both to the consumers and the providers in the financial services industry. Financial server security can be increased both by popularizing the correct configurations and, possibly, by greater government oversight in this area."
Published: September 21, 2005
Movie Night kicks off again for the Fall 05 semester tonight, Wednesday Sept. 21st at 7 PM with Napoleon Dynamite. Read more.
Prof. Grinspun wins NSF grant to study simulating physical systems at multiple resolutions
Published: September 19, 2005
The work will be performed by researchers at Columbia University, led by Prof. Grinspun, and Caltech and was funded jointly by the NSF math and computer science directorates. The proposal is titled "Computational and Mathematical Foundations for the Synthesis of Multiresolution Representations with Variational Integrators and Discrete
Geometry".

Physical phenomena such as the crushing of a car or the evolution of a
storm system are governed by effects ranging from very small to very
large scales. Accurately predicting these by resolving the finest
scales in a computer simulation is prohibitively expensive. The
investigators study how fine scale information impacts coarse scale
behavior and vice versa. In effect "summarizing" these relationships
allows the researchers to model coarse scale effects accurately and
efficiently without the need to explicitly resolve the finest scales
in a computation. A key to this study lies in the careful transfer of
structures present in the mathematical models of these phenomena
(which in essence have infinite resolution) to the computational realm
with its finite resolution and finite computational resources. The
methods being developed will allow rapid assessment of overall effects
with the ability "to drill down" computationally where additional
detail is required.

Physical systems are typically described by a set of continuous
equations using tools from geometric mechanics and differential
geometry to analyze and capture their properties. For purposes of
computation one must derive discrete (in space and time)
representations of the underlying equations. Theories which are
discrete from the start (rather than discretized after the fact), with
key geometric properties built in, can more readily yield robust
numerical simulations which are true to the underlying continuous
systems: they exactly preserve invariants of the continuous systems in
the discrete computational realm. So far these methods have not
accounted for effects across scales. Yet both physics and numerics
require such multiresolution strategies. This research project is
developing a multiresolution theory for discrete variational methods
and discrete differential geometry to apply it to applications in
thin-shell and fluid modeling. Its innovative aspect lies in tools to
conserve symmetries across computational scales.
Published: September 18, 2005
The work of the Group is directed toward improving the art of analyzing and optimizing performance and costs of data processing systems through the use of analytical models. The group play san important and active role in fostering education and research in these areas. It organizes or coorganizes a conference every eighteen months. The group is chaired by Prof. Don Towsley, UMass. Read more.
Published: September 14, 2005
The WORKIT project addresses the need for wireless network tools and platforms as recommended in the 2003 NSF Wireless Network Workshop report. The project will build on the IOTA (Integration of Two Access Technologies) project at Bell Labs. The PI's will enhance and develop IOTA for a software and systems package in a distributable form called the Wireless Open Research Kit (WORKIT). WORKIT will include source code and documentation and also be embodied in low-cost off the shelf hardware. WORKIT will be an enabler for research in mobility management, interlayer awareness, software algorithms for optimal network selection, reconfiguration, security, accounting, authentication, policy download and enforcement, and hybrid wireless networking. Broader impacts of this project include use of WORKIT in education and enabling stronger university/industry collaborations in this area of emerging importance at colleges and universities. Read more.
Published: September 14, 2005
The International Speech Communication Association (ISCA) is the major international organization devoted to speech science and technology, with approimately 1500 members. ISCA runs annual conferences which draw 1000-1300
participants. The main goal of the Association is "to promote Speech Communication Science and Technology, both in the industrial and Academic areas", covering all the aspects of Speech Communication (Acoustics, Phonetics, Phonology, Linguistics, Natural Language Processing, Artificial Intelligence, Cognitive Science, Signal Processing, Pattern Recognition, etc.). Read more.
Published: September 14, 2005
She is being recognized for her work in teaching computers to read and write.

"For her doctoral dissertation at Columbia University, computer scientist Regina Barzilay led the development of Newsblaster, which does what no computer program could do before: recognize stories from different news services as being about the same basic subject, and then paraphrase elements from all of the stories to create a summary."
 Read more.
Published: September 11, 2005
The CSTB deals with critical issues facing the nation in the area of
computer science and telecomuniations. Projects include cybersecurity research, biometrics, IT to enhance disaster management, and building certifiably dependable systems. For more information, visit www.cstb.org.

Prof. Traub's appointment marks his return to the CSTB, as he was also its founding chair. "In 1986, along with Marjory Blumenthal, Joe's vision and dedication established the model that has made CSTB one of the strongest boards at the Academies. At this particular point in CSTB's history, I could not think of another person better suited to assume the chair and to guide CSTB to new heights," said Bill Wulf, President of the National Academy of Engineering. Read more.

CUCS family BBQ October 1
Published: August 31, 2005
All members of the Columbia Computer Science community are invited, including students, alumni, staff and faculty, along with their families and significant others. Please RSVP by September 21 to rosemary@cs.columbia.edu (Rosemary Addarich). There is no fee.

Dora the Explorer will appear from 12 - 1:00, followed by a Harry
Potter Magician from 1:00 - 2:00.

Prof. Nowick to participate in major asynchronous digital design project
Published: August 26, 2005
There were 20 large-scale proposals submitted, and only one funded, headed by Boeing, with participation of Philips Semiconductors, two asynchronous startups
and two smaller academic efforts. The two goals of the project are
to build a large-scale asynchronous demonstration chip (for Boeing) and design an
asynchronous CAD tool for use future asynchronous designs.

Prof. Nowick and his former PhD student Montek Singh (currently an assistant
professor at UNC), will play a key role in transferring
their high-speed asynchronous pipeline style, MOUSETRAP, to the
Philips commercial asynchronous tool flow, and providing optimizations
for several of the other CAD tools.

Dan Phung, Guiseppe Valetto and Prof. Gail Kaiser Present Best Paper at International Conference
Published: August 10, 2005
The increasing popularity of online courses has highlighted the lack
of collaborative tools for student groups. In addition, the
introduction of lecture videos into the online curriculum has drawn
attention to the disparity in the network resources used by students.
The paper presents an e-Learning architecture and adaptation model called
AI^2TV (Adaptive Internet Interactive Team Video), which
allows virtual students, possibly some or all disadvantaged in network
resources, to collaboratively view a video in synchrony. AI^2TV upholds the invariant that each student will view semantically equivalent content at all times. Video player actions, like play, pause and stop, can be initiated by any student and their results are seen by all the other students. These features
allow group members to review a lecture video in tandem, facilitating
the learning process. Experimental trials show that AI^2TV can successfully synchronize video for distributed students while, at the same time, optimizing the video quality, given fluctuating bandwidth, by adaptively adjusting the quality level for each student.
Columbia Natural Language Group and CCLS win large DARPA grant
Published: June 23, 2005

The grant was awarded to a team lead by SRI and consisting of researchers at Columbia University, University of Massachusetts Amherst, University of California San Diego, University of California Berkeley, University of Washington, Technical University Aachen (Germany), and Systran.

The research to be conducted at the Center for Computational Learning
Systems (CCLS) will center on building natural language processing tools for
Arabic and its dialects, concentrating on leveraging linguistic knowledge
when few resources (annotated corpora or even unannotated corpora) are
available. Mona Diab, Nizar Habash, and Owen Rambow will build on work
accomlished under an existing NSF grant. In addition, Nizar Habash will
continue his work on generation-heavy hybrid machine translation.

Prof. Schulzrinne wins Sputnik prize
Published: June 22, 2005
Prof. Schulzrinne received the award at the 2005 forward2business conference in Halle, Germany.
Published: June 18, 2005
These projects aim to research and develop a new generation of
collaborative, cross-domain security technologies to detect and prevent
the exploitation of network-based computer systems. The core concept is to
deploy a number of strategically placed sensors across a number of
participating networks that collaborate by sharing information in
real-time to defend the entire network and each of its members. A novel
content-based anomaly detector, PAYL, identifies likely new exploits
targeting vulnerable systems. The Worminator project has developed a new
generation of scalable, collaborative, cross-domain security systems that
exchange alert information including profiled behaviors of attacks and
privacy-preserving anomalous content alerts to detect severe zero-day
security events. The work is a joint collaboration with CounterStorm, a
New York City based company spun out from the DHS and DARPA-sponsored
Columbia IDS lab, headed by Prof. Sal Stolfo. Read more.
Prof. Servedio wins NSF grant on connections between quantum computation and computational learning
Published: June 18, 2005
Professor Rocco Servedio was awarded a grant from the NSF program on
Emerging Models and Technologies for Computation (EMT). The EMT cluster
seeks to advance the fundamental capabilities of computer and information
sciences and engineering by capitalizing on advances and insights from
areas such as biological systems, quantum phenomena, nanoscale science and
engineering, and other novel computing concepts. The award will support
Rocco's research on connections between quantum computation and
computational learning theory. Rocco's research in this area will focus
on the fundamental abilities and limitations of quantum learning
algorithms from an information-theoretic perspective, as well as on
developing computationally efficient quantum learning algorithms.
Published: May 15, 2005
The paper "Extracting Context To Improve Accuracy For HTML Content Extraction" by
Suhit Gupta, Prof. Gail Kaiser and Prof. Salv Stolfo, all from the Department of Computer Science at Columbia University, won the Best Student Poster Award at WWW 2005 in Japan. Read more.
Database and Information Retrieval Day at Columbia
Published: May 10, 2005
The database research group hosted the first DB/IR Day at Columbia
University on April 15, 2005 to bring together researchers in database and
information retrieval. More than 120 researchers and students from
academic and research institutions across the greater New York area
attended this inaugural workshop, making it a very successful event.

The program consisted of three technical keynote lectures from Alon Halevy
(University of Washington), Craig Nevill-Manning (Google Inc.) and Michael
Stonebraker (MIT), and a poster session for graduate students to present
their latest research. The event was sponsored by IBM research, with additional
funding from Columbia's Graduate Student Advisory Council.

Published: May 8, 2005
Dean Zvi Galil, Professor of Computer Science and Dean of the School of Engineering and Applied Science, was elected as a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. The American Academy of Arts and Sciences elected 196 new Fellows and 17 new Foreign Honorary Members. The 213 men and women are leaders in scholarship, business, the arts, and public affairs. Read more.
Published: April 6, 2005
The "Modeling and Managing Content Changes in Text Databases," by Panos Ipeirotis (a Fall 2004 Columbia PhD graduate, now an assistant professor at NYU), Alexandros Ntoulas (a PhD student at UCLA), Junghoo Cho (an assistant professor at UCLA), and Prof. Luis Gravano, won the Best Paper Award at the 21st IEEE International Conference on Data Engineering (ICDE) 2005 conference held April 2005 in Tokyo. ICDE is a highly selective and prestigious database conference. Read more.
Fall 2004 extraordinary TAs named
Published: April 4, 2005
Sebastian Enrique, Alpa Shah, Mark Threshock, Eugene Ie, William Beaver, Abhinav Kamra, and Joshua Weinberg were named as "extraordinary TAs" for the 2004 fall semester, based on the evaluation of students in their classes.
Jim Kurose and Prof. Henning Schulzrinne recognized for service to networking community
Published: March 15, 2005
Prof. Jim Kurose (PhD'84) and now professor of computer science at UMass Amherst, and Prof. Henning Schulzrinne were recognized with the 2005 IEEE Communications Society Technical Committee on Computer Communications Outstanding Service award, recognizing their continuing contributions to the network research community.
Prof. Aho and Prof. McKeown receive named chairs
Published: March 15, 2005
Both are recognized for their distinguished contribution to computer science, their service to the profession, the University and the School.
Published: March 6, 2005
ACM, the Association for Computing Machinery, today announced the winners of four prestigious awards honoring advances in computing technology. The awards reflect outstanding achievements ranging from improving Internet communications to innovative programming language and software designs to creative applications of computer science in the fine arts. This year's winners represent innovative research teams and new luminaries as well as renaissance thinkers in the computing field. ACM will present these and other awards at the annual ACM Awards Banquet on June 11, 2005, in San Francisco, CA. Read more.
Published: February 24, 2005
The Sloan Research Fellowships are intended to enhance the careers of the very best young faculty members in specified fields of science. Currently a total of 116 fellowships are awarded annually in seven fields: chemistry, computational and evolutionary molecular biology, computer science, economics, mathematics, neuroscience, and physics. Only 14 of these fellowships were awarded in Computer Science in 2005. Read more.
Published: January 31, 2005
Async-05 Symposium is the top symposium on advances in asynchronous (i.e.,
clockless) circuits and systems. The symposium
typically has 100-120 attendees, and over 60 submitted papers.
This year, the symposium will be hosted at Columbia
University in Davis Auditorium, with Prof. Nowick as general
co-chair. Invited speakers include Turing award-winner
Ivan Sutherland with Robert Drost (Sun Microsystems Lab),
Bob Colwell (the former Intel manager of several Pentium
projects), and a tutorial on high-speed clocking with
Prof. Ken Shepard (EE Department) and Phil Restle (IBM
T.J. Watson). Read more.
Published: January 24, 2005

A proposal from the Columbia Robotics Lab was chosen as one of ten
winners for the CanestaVision 3D sensing design competition. Columbia
Ph.D. student Matei Ciocarlie and Research Scientist Andrew Miller
headed the proposal which focuses on developing an "Eye-in-Hand" range
sensor for robotic grasping.

Each of the winners will receive a $7,500 development kit that
consists of a CanestaVision 3-D sensor chip, a USB interface, and
application program interface (API) software. These hardware and
software development kits will be used to actually build the
applications, and enter them in the "implementation" phase of the
contest which boasts a $10,000 first prize for best use of the technology.
Stay tuned for the Phase II winners in June! Read more.

Michelle Zhou receives Outstanding Paper Award
Published: January 6, 2005
Michelle Zhou, a recent PhD graduate from the Department, just received the IUI 2005 (International Conf. on Intelligent User Interfaces) Outstanding Paper Award for "A Graph-Matching Approach to Dynamic Media Allocation in Intelligent Multimedia Interfaces" by Michelle X. Zhou, Zhen Wen, and Vikram Aggarwal (IBM TJ Watson).
Prof. Ramamoorthi wins NSF CAREER award
Published: January 3, 2005
Much of human perception is driven by the visual appearance of the
world. People are captivated by the effects of natural lighting and
shading patterns, such as the soft shadows from the leaves of a tree
in skylight, the glints of sunlight in ocean waves, or the shiny
reflections from a velvet cushion. In computer graphics, it is
important to be able to accurately reproduce these appearance effects,
to create realistic images for applications like video games, vehicle
and flight simulators, or architectural design of interior spaces.
However, it is still very difficult to accurately model complex
illumination and reflection effects in interactive applications like
games, in image-based rendering applications like e-commerce, or in
computer vision applications like face recognition. In the past, the
above applications have been addressed separately, by devising
particular algorithms for specific problems. In this project, the
research focuses on the mathematical and computational fundamentals of
visual appearance, seeking to understand the intrinsic computational
structure of illumination, reflection and shadowing, and develop a
unified approach to many problems in graphics and vision.

The main thrust of the research will be to develop appropriate
mathematical representations for appearance, along with computational
algorithms and signal-processing techniques such as Clebsch-Gordan
expansions, wavelet methods with triple product expansions, and radial
basis functions. A major advantage of this approach is that the same
representations, analysis and computation tools can then be applied to
many application domains, such as real-time and image-based rendering,
Monte Carlo sampling and lighting-insensitive recognition. This
research philosophy builds on the investigator's dissertation, where
he developed a signal-processing framework for reflection, leading to
new frequency domain algorithms for both forward and inverse rendering.
Prof. Jebara wins KDD grant for research into learning algorithms
Published: January 2, 2005
This effort aims to embed the concept of correspondence or
permutation into learning algorithms and statistical data
representations. This includes statistical modeling of images,
text and networks while matching their subcomponents (pixels,
words or nodes). Permutation algorithms are combined with
learning algorithms to more accurately model realistic data.
Experiments focus on face and identity recognition problems.
Microsoft provides funding to further instruction on trustworthy computing
Published: December 4, 2004
The goal of this project will be to develop educational material that promote
awareness of four pillars of Trustworthy Computing: security, privacy,
reliability, and business/societal integrity. The project will
develop a new course on Trustworthy Computing, integrate relevant material
into COMS W3157, COMS W4156, and other courses as appropriate, and develop a
student programming competition specifically focused on trustworthy computing.
The overarching aim is to create a multi-year, integrated curriculum on
Trustworthy Computing.
Published: December 2, 2004
Bhargav Bhatt, Bogdan Caprita and Aaron Roth were recognized with the Computing Research Association's (CRA) Outstanding Undergraduate Award for 2005. Aaron and Bhargav received Honorable Mention, while Bogdan was one of only ten finalists in the United States.

The winners will receive their award at an upcoming CRA conference.

The CRA noted: "This year's nominees were a very impressive group. A number of them
were commended for making significant contributions to more than one
research project, several were authors or coauthors on multiple papers,
others had made presentations at major conferences, and some had
produced software artifacts that were in widespread use. Many of our
nominees had been involved in successful summer research or internship
programs, many had been teaching assistants, tutors, or mentors, and a
number had significant involvement in community volunteer efforts. It is
quite an honor to be selected as one of the top members of this group." Read more.
Network Computing Lab group wins best-paper award at Mobicom
Published: September 29, 2004

Ricardo Baratto, Shaya Potter, Gong Su, and Jason Nieh received the
Best Student Paper Award at the 10th International Conference on Mobile
Computing and Networking (MobiCom 2004) held this week in Philadelphia,
PA for their paper titled: "MobiDesk: Mobile Virtual Desktop
Computing". The PC Chairs noted that paper was also the highest rated
paper of the conference as per the original review scores.

MobiCom is the top conference in the field of mobile computing and
networking with a typical acceptance rate of less than 10%. This year
the conference received 326 submissions, of which 26 papers were
accepted. 65% of the accepted papers had a student as first author.

Prof. Ramamoorthi and Prof. Chang (EE) win grant to detect digital photograph tampering
Published: September 9, 2004
Trustworthy photographs play an important role in many applications
such as news reporting, intelligence information gathering, and
criminal investigation. However, with the advent of the digital age,
the trustworthiness of pictures can no longer be taken for granted.
This project will develop a completely blind and passive system for
detecting digital photograph tampering. We take an innovative
approach integrating techniques from signal-processing and computer
graphics. The signal processing method involves effective use of
higher-order signal statistics to identify tampering artifacts at the
signal level, while the computer graphics approach includes novel
techniques for 3D geometry estimation, illumination field recovery and
relighting, and scene reconstruction to detect inconsistencies at the
scene level like shadows, shading and geometry.

The three-year project was funded at $740,000 as part of the NSF CyberTrust program.
Prof. Misra, Rubenstein and others win NSF award to study funneling impulses in sensor networks
Published: September 8, 2004

There are many types of sensor networks, covering different
geographical areas, using devices with a variety of energy
constraints, and implementing an assortment of applications. One
driving application is the reporting of conditions within a region
where the environment abruptly change due to an anomalous event, such
as an earthquake, terrorist attack, flood, or fire. During and
immediately following these events, sensor networks can provide
scientists, rescue workers, and even victims with crucial information
such as exit routes, danger spots, and areas that demand additional
rescue and recovery resources. This will facilitate and expedite
recovery procedures and identify the source of the problem.

This proposal focuses specifically on sensor systems that are to be
designed to efficiently deliver information during and immediately
following an event that triggers an abrupt change. The novelty
of this proposal is its focus on sensor networks that must deal with a
sudden impulse of data. The impulse will move the sensor network
almost instantaneously from a state with a light load to a state with
an overloading body of data to report. This data needs to be
delivered through the sensor network quickly to a relatively small
number of sink points that attach to the regular
communication infrastructure. The flow of data out of the network has
similarities to the flow of people out of a large arena after a
sporting event completes: this large impulse of data that is
suddenly on the move must be funneled out through what is typically a
small number of collection sink points.

The project was funded for $750,000 over three years.

Profs. Nieh, Kaiser and Keromytis win highly competitive NSF award for secure remote computing
Published: September 8, 2004
The proposal is one of only three proposals that are being funded in the NSF ITR cybertrust program, with an overall acceptance rate of between 5 and 10%.

The Secure Remote Computing Services (SRCS) project will develop
critical information technology (IT) infrastructure. SRCS will move
all application logic and data from insecure end-user devices, which
attackers can easily corrupt, steal and destroy, to autonomic server
farms in physically secure, remote data centers that can rapidly adapt
to computing demands especially in times of crisis. Users can then
access their computing state from anywhere, anytime, using simple,
stateless Internet-enabled devices. SRCS builds on the hypothesis
that a combination of lightweight process migration, remote display
technology, overlay-based security and trust-management access control
mechanisms, driven by an autonomic management utility, can result in a
significant improvement in overall system reliability and security.
The results of this proposed effort will enable SRCS implementations
to provide a myriad of benefits, including persistence and continuity
of business logic, minimizing the cost of localized computing
failures, robust protection against attacks, and transparent user
mobility with global computing access. SRCS in time of crisis
specifically addresses a major concern of national and homeland
security. The substantially lowered total cost of ownership of
applications running on SRCS is anticipated to dramatically reduce the
gap between IT haves and have nots.

The proposal was funded at $1,200,000 over three years.

New undergraduate curriculum
Published: September 5, 2004

You may have noticed some changes in the undergraduate curriculum
for Computer Science majors, as published in the SEAS bulletin.
This year is a transition year, as the CS department is phasing in
the new curriculum, so please bear with us.

How does this affect you now?
Please read this message to find out!

Note that the changes will affect ALL COMPUTER SCIENCE MAJORS, MINORS
and CONCENTRATORS, in all schools, not just SEAS. The bulletins for
Columbia College (CC), General Studies (GS) and Barnard will not
reflect the changes until 2005-06, so please refer to the Computer
Science department web pages for the most up-to-date information.


The new sequence of programming courses is as follows:


CS-I (COMS W1004): Introduction to Programming
(for computer science and other science and engineering majors who
have little or no programming experience.) This course introduces
basic computer science concepts underlying modern information
technology along with algorithmic problem-solving techniques using
Java. This course or AP/CS becomes a prerequisite for coms-w1007
starting in Spring 2005.

CS-II (COMS W1007): Introduction to Computer Science
(for students who have programmed before and/or taken AP Computer
Science in high school). This course is taught in Java and covers
computer science concepts and intermediate programming skills.

CS-III (COMS W3157): Tools and Techniques for Advanced Programming.
Pre-requisite: coms-w1007. This course covers C, C++, internet
programming skills and Unix utilities.

CS-IV (COMS W3137): Data Structures and Algorithms.
Pre-requisite: coms-w3157.
Pre- or co-requisite: coms-w3203 (Discrete Math).
Introduction to classic data structures and algorithms.
Taught in C/C++ (starting in Spring 2005).


This semester (Fall 2004) will be the last semester that Data
Structures (3137) is taught in Java. Starting in Spring 2005, it will
be taught in C/C++. For this reason, Advanced Programming (3157) is
now a pre-requisite for Data Structures.

Due to errors in scheduling, there unfortunately has been a conflict
between Discrete Math (3203) and Advanced Progamming (3157).
If you are currently enrolled in Discrete Math (W 3203), but have not
already taken COMS W3157, this it is advised that you take COMS W3157 this term.

To work around the time conflict, we have added a second section of
3157, which meets on Monday and Wednesday mornings. (Note that the
Wednesday is a lab section which will appear on the registrar's web
site on Tuesday next week.)

If this second section of 3157 is a conflict for you as well, then
it is recommended by the department that you drop 3203 for this term
and pick up section 1 of 3157; and take 3203 in the Spring.

Also note that if took Introduction to Computer Science (1007) last
year, you have the option of taking Data Structures (3137) this term
in Java or taking Advanced Programming (3157) now and then taking
Data Structures in C/C++ in the Spring.

For equestions, please contact
Prof Elizabeth Sklar (sklar@cs.columbia.edu) or
Prof Alfred Aho (aho@cs.columbi.edu) or
Simon Bird (birds@cs.columbia.edu).

Published: August 30, 2004
An orientation session for all new CS MS and PhD students will be offered on September 1, starting at 9 am in the Interschool Laboratory (750 CEPSR). Read more.
Published: August 13, 2004
Please join us! There will be plenty of opportunity for socializing with
your classmates, for hearing about the latest research and activities
of CS alums, and for catching up on news. The events are open to all friends of the Department, including students and alumni, current and former staff members, current and former faculty and research colleagues. Read more.
Prof. Nayar wins best paper award at 2004 IEEE Conference on Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition
Published: July 1, 2004
CVPR is one of the two top international conferences in the
field of Computer Vision. This year the conference received
873 submissions, of which 59 papers were accepted as
oral presentations and 200 papers were accepted as posters.
Published: June 14, 2004
The Prof. Andrew Kosoresow Memorial Fund is accepting donations to endow the Andrew P. Kosoresow Memorial Award for Excellence in Teaching and Service. This award is given each year by the Department of Computer Science to up to three Computer Science students for outstanding contributions to teaching in the Department and exemplary service to the Department and its mission. Donations can be made on-line by credit card. Read more.
Prof. Malkin receives IBM Faculty Award
Published: June 10, 2004
Prof. Tal Malkin received the prestigious IBM Faculty Award, a cash-only award intended to recognize outstanding faculty and to promote innovative, collaborative research in disciplines of mutual interest to IBM and the researcher. Prof. Malkin's research focuses on cryptography, with a project titled "The Next Generation of Cryptography: Removing Unrealistic Assumptions About the Adversary."

She plans to expand the traditional cryptographic foundations so as to
withstand attacks by stronger, more realistic adversaries. In
particular, we will study security in a complex Internet-like
environment with multiple protocol executions, and will address
security against attackers who can obtain or tamper with the secret
keys.

The IBM Faculty Award is highly competitive: in 2002 IBM granted about 50 such awards across he mathematics and computer science disciplines.
Successful Theory Day at Columbia
Published: May 15, 2004
More than 280 people attended the Columbia Theory day on May 14th. Columbia CS faculty organized the event and contributed talks, including contributions by Profs. Malkin, Yannakakis, Servedio and Stein.
Prof. Jason Nieh receives 2004 SEAS Distinguished Faculty Teaching Award
Published: March 25, 2004
Prof. Jason Nieh will receive the 2004 School of Engineering and Applied Science (SEAS) Faculty Teaching Award. Prof. Nieh teaches Operating Systems and other popular classes in the Department.
Prof. Luis Gravano joins editorial board of the Transactions on Database Systems
Published: March 25, 2004
Prof. Luis Gravano will join the editorial board of the ACM Transactions on Database Systems, the most prestigious journal in the area of database theory and applications.
Published: March 11, 2004
Bogdan Caprita was named as one of ten finalists for the CRA Outstanding Undergraduate Award for 2004. CRA's Outstanding Undergraduate Award program recognizes undergraduate students who show outstanding research potential in an area of computing research. Read more.
Published: March 8, 2004
The National Academy of Engineering (NAE) has elected 76 new members and 11 foreign associates, NAE President Wm. A. Wulf announced today. This brings the total U.S. membership to 2,174 and the number of foreign associates to 172.

Election to the National Academy of Engineering is among the highest professional distinctions accorded to an engineer. Academy membership honors those who have made "important contributions to engineering theory and practice, including significant contributions to the literature of engineering theory and practice," and those who have demonstrated accomplishment in "the pioneering of new fields of engineering, making major advancements in traditional fields of engineering, or developing/implementing innovative approaches to engineering education." Read more.
Prof. Rocco Servedio wins NSF Career Award on Efficient Learning Algorithms
Published: February 24, 2004
The goal of the research project is to design and analyze provably
effective and efficient algorithms for well-defined computational learning
problems. The two main goals are:

* To develop algorithms which can efficiently learn rich classes of
Boolean functions in well-studied models of computational learning.
Anticipated research directions here include learning DNF formulas,
learning various classes of Boolean circuits, and learning in the presence
of irrelevant information.

* To develop and analyze new well-motivated models for computational
learning, and to design efficient learning algorithms for these new
models. Anticipated research directions here include developing
average-case learning algorithms, developing a theory of learning from
nonmalicious random examples, and studying the role of quantum computation
in learning theory.

An important aspect of the proposed research methodology is to explore and
exploit connections between learning problems and complexity-theoretic
structural questions about Boolean functions.
Published: February 10, 2004
JOINT TECHS ATTENDEES EXPERIENCE RICH PRESENCE AND LOCATION SERVICES

WASHINGTON, D.C. - February 3, 2004 - Internet2(R) today announced that its
Presence and Integrated Communications (PIC) Working Group successfully
completed an experimental communications trial during the advanced
networking, Joint Techs Workshop in Hawaii last week. The trial
demonstrated SIP-based (Session Initiation Protocol) voice, video, and
instant messaging over wireless fidelity (WiFi), and SIP voice conferencing
- all in the context of rich presence derived from WiFi location service and
enterprise calendaring.

"The rich presence efforts at Internet2 point the way towards
next-generation communication services, reaching far beyond the limited
presence and phone systems in use today," said Henning Schulzrinne,
professor in the Departments of Computer Science and Electrical Engineering
at Columbia University. "Beyond the old goal of reachable anywhere,
anytime, rich presence gives control back to users, so that communications
becomes planned and desired instead of disruptive and haphazard."

Participants downloaded and installed one of several integrated
communications clients onto their laptops allowing them to initiate voice,
instant messaging, and video calls to other participants - using the
receiver's email address as a single, converged electronic identity.

With the inclusion of rich presence services, participants were able to see
not only which of their buddies were online or offline, but also, for each
buddy, a current location, activity, and expected call quality. As
participants used the meeting's wireless LAN infrastructure and moved from
one meeting room to another, their locations were tracked by WiFi location
technology from HP. "The open-source SIP Express Router (SER) provided a
solid base for this demo," said Jiri Kuthan, member of the Internet2 PIC
Working Group and director of engineering at iptel.org. "We were able to
extend SER to perform as a SIP presence agent serving rich location,
calendar, and expected call quality presence to clients."

"Location services can add enormous value to integrated communications
applications and can provide life-saving location information to emergency
responders," said Ben Teitelbaum, Internet2 program manager for voice and
integrated communications. "Internet2 is working to ensure that these
technologies are designed and deployed to protect users' privacy and allow
users to control and filter what information about them is published."

Participants were also able to experience placing SIP voice calls to any
user at a SIP.edu-enabled institution (http://voip.internet2.edu/SIP.edu/)
and were able to eavesdrop on meeting sessions by calling special "room
buddies."

"The result of this experiment, as well as the results of future
experiments, is a critical means of helping to determine what presence and
integrated communications means to the end user," said Jamey Hicks, member
of the Internet2 PIC Working Group and principal member of the technical
staff, HP Labs. "Our goal is to develop an improved mode of communication
with a focus on location-based services using 802.11 - for people constantly
on the go and requiring constant contact, such as healthcare providers or
those in the business community."

The individuals who contributed to the success of this experiment are from
the following Internet2 member institutions (in alphabetical order):

+ Columbia University
+ Ford Motor Company
+ HP
+ University of Hawaii
+ University of Pennsylvania
+ Wave Three Software
+ Yale University

# # #

About the Internet2 Presence and Integrated Communications Working Group
The Presence and Integrated Communications (PIC) working group will foster
the deployment of network-based communication technologies through
demonstrations, tutorials, and initiatives in collaboration with both the
private sector and open-source initiatives. This growing area will have an
effect on nearly every individual within higher education and also have the
potential to be a significant driver for network design, security, and
middleware. For more information, visit: http://pic.internet2.edu.

About Columbia University's IRT Laboratory
The Internet Real-Time Lab (IRT) in the Department of Computer Science at
Columbia University conducts research in the areas of:
+ Internet telephony;
+ Streaming Internet media;
+ Internet quality of service;
+ Network measurements and reliability;
+ Service location;
+ Ad-hoc wireless networks;
+ Scalable content distribution; and
+ Ubiquitous and context-aware computing and communication.

About HP Labs Cambridge
HP Labs Cambridge (HPLC) is the primary advanced research facility for HP on
the East Coast. For more information on HP Labs, please visit
http://www.hpl.hp.com.

About iptel.org
Based in Berlin, Germany, iptel.org is a leading innovation organization in
SIP technology. iptel.org is a consultant to vendors and network operators
and is known for having created a unique open-source SIP server with premium
service in flexibility and high performance. iptel.org's server, SIP
Express Router, has been powering public VoIP services of numerous providers
around the world. For more information, visit http://www.iptel.org/.

About Internet2(R)
Led by more than 200 U.S. universities, working with industry and
government, Internet2 develops and deploys advanced network applications and
technologies for research and higher education, accelerating the creation of
tomorrow's Internet. Internet2 recreates the partnerships among academia,
industry, and government that helped foster today's Internet in its infancy.
For more information about Internet2, visit: http://www.internet2.edu/. Read more.
Published: February 5, 2004
A new award, The Andrew P. Kosoresow Memorial Award for Outstanding Performance in TA-ing and Service, will be given annually. Those who wish to give in Andrew's name should contact the Department at 212.939.7007. Read more.
Published: January 12, 2004
The project is called the Open Access Research Testbed for Next-Generation Wireless Networks. Its nickname "ORBIT" draws an analogy between planetary orbits and the trajectories of mobile devices in a wireless network. Read more.
Profs. Edwards, Keromytis, Misra, Sklar join Computer Science faculty
Published: January 10, 2004
Prof. Stephen A. Edwards researches software for embedded systems;
Prof. Angelos D. Keromytis focuses on computer security, cryptography, and networking; Prof. Vishal Misra works on communication networks, while Prof. Elizabeth Sklar's interest lie in human and machine learning.

Prof. Misra's has a joint appointment with Electrical Engineering.
Peter Belhumeur and Tony Jebara join faculty
Published: January 10, 2004
Prof. Belhumeur works in the area of computational vision and image processing; Prof. Jebara focuses on machine learning, user interfaces, computer vision and bioinformatics.
Julia Hirschberg and Ravi Ramamoorthi join faculty
Published: January 10, 2004
The department welcomes two new faculty members for the Fall 2002 semester. Julia Hirschberg explores computational linguistics, while Ravi Ramamoorthi's research area is computer graphics and vision.
Published: January 10, 2004
The author of many textbooks, he is cited by his students as one of the best computer science teachers they have ever encountered. Read more.
Published: January 7, 2004
Prof. Jason Nieh has won the Xigma Xi Young Investigator Award for
2004, which is awarded to one person in the physical sciences and
engineering once every two years. More information is available at sigmaxi.org. Read more.
Published: December 1, 2003
The annual award is given for "Outstanding contributions to the development or commercialization of significant technology, resulting in, for example, beneficial impacts on the economy, environment, infrastructure, communications, or social well-being". Read more.
Steve Feiner receives IEEE VGTC 2014 Virtual Reality Career Award
Published: April 8, 2014
At IEEE Virtual Reality 2014, Steve Feiner received the 2014 Virtual Reality Career Award of the IEEE Computer Society Visualization and Graphics Technical Committee. The citation reads, "In recognition of his lifetime contributions to augmented reality and virtual reality, including seminal research on mobile augmented reality, automated design and layout, and applications to task assistance and navigation." More information about the award can be found at IEEE VR 2014 awards or IEEE Transactions on Visualization and Computer Graphics, April 2014, 20(4), p. xiii.
Roxana Geambasu receives Honorable Mention for Dennis M. Ritchie Doctoral Dissertation Award
Published: April 8, 2014
The SIGOPS Dennis M. Ritchie Doctoral Dissertation Award recognizes research in software systems and to encourage the creativity that Dennis Ritchie embodied, providing a reminder of Ritchie's legacy and what a difference one person can make in the field of software systems research.

Roxana Geambasu received the first honorable mention for the inaugural Ritchie Award competition!

Read more at http://www.sigops.org/award-ritchie.html
Vishal Misra receives U. Mass Amherst Outstanding Alumni Award
Published: March 29, 2014
During Homecoming Weekend 2014, the College of Engineering at the University of Massachusetts Amherst will host its annual Alumni Awards program, where the University will honor extraordinary members of its alumni community with awards of distinction.

In celebration of his significant achievements and inspiring successes in his early career, Vishal Misra will be awarded the 2014 College of Engineering Outstanding Junior Alumni Award. The award is given to a graduate in the early stages of their career, and the citation reads: "for exemplary accomplishments, epitomizing the potential of a U. Mass Amherst College of Engineering education."

The award will be presented on September 26, 2014 at UMass Amherst.
Prof. Junfeng Yang wins Google Faculty Research Award
Published: March 4, 2014
Associate Professor Junfeng Yang and his team will build AppDoctor, a novel system for making mobile/wearable devices reliable and secure.

Mobile and wearable devices offer unprecedented convenience to our lives, yet they also bring new threads. Studies have shown that the apps running on these devices are often plagued with programming errors that degrade user experience. Worse, apps are sometimes infected with malware, which can steal users' private information, install key loggers, fake mobile payments, etc. Prof. Yang and his team will use the funding received from Google to build AppDoctor, a new system for detecting programming errors and malware in Android apps, benefiting every Android user.
Evangelia Sitaridi Awarded IBM PhD Fellowship
Published: February 26, 2014
The IBM Ph.D. Fellowship Awards Program is an intensely competitive worldwide program, which honors exceptional Ph.D. students who have an interest in solving problems that are important to IBM and fundamental to innovation in many academic disciplines and areas of study. Fellows are awarded a stipend for one academic year, and can apply for renewals for a total of up to three years. More details can be found at http://www.research.ibm.com/university/phdfellowship/

Eva Sitaridi is working with her advisor Kenneth Ross on database query processing algorithms using graphics processors.
Roxana Geambasu wins NSF CAREER Award
Published: January 30, 2014
Assistant Professor Roxana Geambasu receives NSF CAREER Award to create new data protection abstractions for modern operating systems. Her proposal is entitled "New Abstractions for Responsible Sensitive Data Management in Modern Operating Systems."

The evolution of data storage in modern operating systems (OSes) brings both challenges and opportunities for fine-grained data protection. While traditional OSes offer simple, relatively low-level data abstractions -- files and directories -- modern OSes, including Android and iOS, embed much higher-level abstractions, such as relational databases and object-relational models. On the one hand, the new abstractions complicate file structures and access patterns, greatly challenging existing protection systems -- such as encrypted file systems, deniable file systems, antiviruses, and anomaly detectors -- which, fallen behind the times, continue to operate at the old file level. On the other hand, the higher-level abstractions incorporate valuable semantics about the structure of application data, which can be leveraged to improve the effectiveness of future protection systems.

Prof. Geambasu is investigating new data protection abstractions that are better attuned to modern OSes. One example is a logical data object (LDO). An LDO corresponds to an application-specific resource -- such as an email, a document, or a bank account -- and includes all the data related to it, no matter how or where it is persisted (e.g., rows in databases, objects in object-relational models, files in the file system, etc.). Protection systems use LDOs to acquire rich semantics about the data to refine their effectiveness. One example application is a fine-grained object hiding system that lets users select, through the familiar UIs of their unmodified applications, arbitrary objects –- such as individual emails, documents, bank accounts –- and hide or unhide them. By creating new, convenient protection abstractions, and teaching students and the broader community about them, Prof. Geambasu hopes to promote a responsible approach to data management, in which users manage their data carefully, minimizing its exposure to attacks.
"Navigating Big Data" by Wu, Barker, Kim, & Ross named IEEE Micro "Top Pick"
Published: January 22, 2014
The paper will be re-published in a special issue of IEEE MICRO. The citation reads:

IEEE Micro will publish its yearly "Micro's Top Picks from the Computer Architecture Conferences" as its May / June 2014 issue. This issue collects some of this year's most significant research papers in computer architecture based on novelty and long-term impact. Any computer architecture paper (not a combination of papers) published in the top conferences of 2013 (including MICRO-46) is eligible. Top Picks will attempt to recognize those significant and insightful papers that have the potential to influence the work of computer architects for years to come.

The paper that was recognized appeared in the International Symposium on Computer Architecture (ISCA '13) and is entitled

"Navigating Big Data with High-Throughput, Energy-Efficient Data Partitioning"
Lisa Wu, Raymond J Barker, Martha A Kim, Kenneth A Ross.
Karen Sparck Jones Award awarded to Eugene Agichtein
Published: January 20, 2014
This award recognizes advances in our understanding of Information Retrieval and Natural Language Processing with significant experimental contributions; a list of previous winners is at http://irsg.bcs.org/ksjaward.php. Eugene received his Ph.D. in Computer Science from Columbia University in 2005. He is a Sloan Research Fellow.
Team wins first place in Juniper/Comcast Software-Defined Network (SDN) Competition
Published: November 24, 2013
Computer Science graduate students Kyung Hwa Kim, Hyunwoo Nam, and Jong Yul Kim won first place in the Juniper/Comcast Software-Defined Network (SDN) workshop and competition recently held at the Juniper Networks OpenLab facility in Bridgewater, NJ. Students were challenged to develop solutions using Juniper’s Junos Space Platform to improve network utilization and quality of user experience under dynamic network conditions. The Columbia team, whose faculty advisor is Computer Science Professor Henning Schulzrinne, presented an application-aware SDN solution. They won for an excellent visualization tool to monitor network status, a differentiated routing algorithm that takes application needs into account, and a compelling business model for service providers.
Vladimir Vapnik awarded the NEC Foundation's C&C Prize
Published: November 24, 2013
Computer Science Professor Vladimir Vapnik has been awarded the 2013 C&C Prize bestowed by NEC Foundation, the foundation arm of IT and networking giant NEC Corp. Vapnik also is a senior research scientist at the Center for Computational Learning Systems (CCLS) and a member of Columbia’s Institute for Data Sciences and Engineering. He is recognized “for contributions to establishing Statistical Learning Theory and for the invention of high-performance and practical learning algorithms.” His breakthroughs were significant, and he has made valuable contributions to the development of machine learning technology and the expansion of its application field, cited NEC C&C. Established in 1985, the C&C Prize is awarded to distinguished individuals for their pioneering contributions related to the integration of computers and communications technologies and the social impact of developments in these fields.
Adam Waksman and Matthew Suozzo win Best Student Paper Award at ACM SIGSAC
Published: November 9, 2013
CS PhD Student Adam Waksman and CS Junior Matthew Suozzo have been recognized with a “Best Student Paper Award” at the 20th ACM SIGSAC Conference on Computer and Communications Security held at Berlin, Germany between November 4-8, 2013.

The paper "FANCI: Identification of Stealthy Malicious Logic Using Boolean Functional Analysis" was co-authored with their advisor Prof. Simha Sethumadhavan.

The paper describes a method for detecting backdoors in hardware circuits before the design is taped-out and sent to the market. This is the first purely static analysis technique for detecting backdoors in hardware.

Papers with more than 50% student co-authors were eligible for the best student paper award, and only three of 530 submissions received this honor.
Augustin Chaintreau and co-authors win Best Paper at ACM/USENIX IMC
Published: November 7, 2013
Congratulations to Philippa, Vijay, Bala, Dina an Pablo, from Stony Brook, AT&T and Telefonica, and to Augustin who were together awarded the Best Paper at the ACM/USENIX IMC conference in Barcelona this week. The conference is about Internet measurement and although their contribution was submitted as a short paper, it received the highest rank among 178 submissions.

In their paper, the authors propose to explore the hidden side of the web: the one where the money is made!

Large-scale tracking and exploitation of personal information is what makes Facebook, Google, Admob and Bing earning massive advertisment profit through targeting. Here they study for the first time the relation between *how much* information is collected and *how valuable* it is, through very large traces of webbrowsing and models of profiling and advertisment. They show that even a crude model highlights important contrasts: while Google is omnipresent on the web, far more than any other aggregator, our estimation suggests Facebook is the most profitable. The role of high value publishers and the possibility of disabling tracking also reveal potential tensions and a rich space for deployment of various revenue sharing schemes.

Follow the Money: Understanding Economics of Online Aggregation and Advertising
P. Gill,, V. Erramilli, A. Chaintreau, B. Krishnamurthy, K. Papagiannaki, and P. Rodriguez.
Proceedings of the 10th ACM/USENIX IMC'13 Internet Measurement Conference

While the web quickly evolves to accomodate new ad-based revenues and social services, the mobile social lab work with various groups on making the economics of Internet content and your data more transparent.
Venkat Venkatasubramanian and coauthors win Best Poster award
Published: September 23, 2013
The 23rd Annual Meeting of the European Symposium on Computer Aided Process Engineering (ESCAPE 23), held in Lappeenranta, Finland, is a prestigious gathering of process systems engineers in the world, held annually at some European city. A committee of the conference organizers evaluate all the poster papers and annouce the best poster paper award at the concluding session of the conference. This time, there were more than 100 posters presented from all over the world.

A. Gupta, A. Giridhar, G.V. Reklaitis, and V. Venkatasubramanian, "Intelligent Alarm Systems applied to Continuous Pharmaceutical Manufacturing", in the Proceedings of the 23rd European Symposium on Computer Aided Process Engineering (ESCAPE-23), Lappeenranta, Finland, Computer Aided Chemical Engineering, Volume 32, pp. 499-504, 2013.

One of the important challenges in running a complex process system, such as a pharmaceutical manufacturing plant, safely and optimally is in developing and implementing automated systems that can assist human operators with supervisory control decisions for managing exceptional events. Exceptional events are those where a process has drifted to an abnormal state (due to some failure) which, if left uncorrected, can lead to losses in product quality, production capacity, equipment integrity, and/or human lives. In this paper, we discuss the development of a model-based intelligent control system that addresses this challenge by effectively integrating different models of process knowledge -- the TOPS ontology for pharmaceutical concepts, signed directed graph models of cause-and-effect relationships between critical variables, qualitative trends analysis of process trends and principal component analysis for fault detection. This approach is demonstrated for the operation of a continuous dry granulation line which is a part of a tablet production line. This system provides timely guidance to the operator regarding the detection and diagnosis of exceptional events along with relevant mitigation strategies, with the goal of avoiding emergency shutdowns.
Anargyros Papageorgiou and Joseph Traub's publication designated as Editors' Suggestion in Physical Review A
Published: August 14, 2013
Anargyros Papageorgiou and Joseph Traub recently published "Measures of quantum computing speedup" in Physical Review A.

The journal also publishes a list of a small number of Physical Review A papers that the editors and referees find of particular interest, importance, or clarity. These Editors' Suggestion papers are listed prominently on http://pra.aps.org/ and marked with a special icon in the print and online Tables of Contents and in online searches.

"Measures of quantum computing speedup" introduces the concept of strong quantum speedup. It is shown that approximating the ground-state energy of an instance of the time-independent Schrodinger equation with d degrees of freedom and d large enjoys strong exponential quantum speedup. It can be easily solved on a quantum computer. Some researchers in QMA theory believe that quantum computation is not effective for eigenvalue problems. One of the goals of this paper is to explain this dissonance.
Published: August 6, 2013
Bigshot DIY camera aims to teach kids tech basics Read more.
IEEE Micro selects two Columbia publications as "Top Picks in Computer Architecture"
Published: August 6, 2013
In its July/August 2013 issue, IEEE Micro published its yearly "Top Picks from the Computer Architecture Conferences". The issue features eleven of the year's most significant research papers in computer architecture based on novelty and long-term impact, two of which are from Columbia.

The first is entitled "Collection, Analysis, and Uses of Parallel Block Vectors." Authored by PhD student Melanie Kambadur, undergraduate Kui Tang, and Assistant Professor Martha Kim, this research establishes a novel perspective from which to reason about the correctness and performance of parallel software. In addition, it describes the design and implementation of an open source tool that automatically instruments an program to gather the necessary runtime information.

The second paper is titled "A Quantitative, Experimental Approach to Measuring Processor Side-Channel Security." The authors are John Demme, Robert Martin, Adam Waksman and Simha Sethumadhavan. This paper describes quantitative method to identify bad hardware design decisions that weaken security. The methodology can be used in the early processor design stages when security vulnerabilities can be easily fixed. The paper marks the beginning of a quantitative approach to securing computer architectures.
Rocco Servedio awarded NSF grant to study learning and testing probability distributions
Published: June 4, 2013
Prof. Rocco Servedio has been awarded a three-year NSF grant on
"Learning and Testing Classes of Distributions" as part of the
Algorithmic Foundations program.

A long and successful line of work in theoretical computer science has
focused on understanding the ability of computationally efficient
algorithms to learn and test membership in various classes of Boolean
functions. This proposal advocates an analogous focus on developing
efficient algorithms for learning and testing natural and important
classes of probability distributions over extremely large domains. The
research is motivated by the ever-increasing availability of large
amounts of raw unlabeled data from a wide range of problem domains
across the natural and social sciences. Efficient algorithms for these
learning and testing problems can provide useful modelling tools in
data-rich environments and may serve as a theoretically grounded
"computational substrate" on which large-scale machine learning applications
for real-world unsupervised learning problems can be developed.

One specific goal of the project is to develop efficient algorithms to
learn and test univariate probability distributions that satisfy
different natural kinds of "shape constraints" on the underlying
probability density function. Preliminary results suggest that dramatic
improvements in efficiency may be possible for algorithms that are
designed to exploit this type of structure. Another goal is to develop
efficient algorithms for learning and testing complex distributions that
result from the aggregation of many independent simple sources of
randomness.
Published: May 18, 2013
PhD Students Bob Coyne and Daniel Bauer, along with team advisor Prof Julia Hirschberg and Neelam Brar from the Columbia-London EMBA-Global program, have won the $100,000 grand prize for the New York State Business Plan Competition. The Columbia team was chosen from among 430 teams from nearly 60 colleges and universities across the state. The team won for WordsEye, a natural language processing system that creates 3D scenes from simple textual descriptions. WordsEye, based on research done at Columbia's CS Department and Center for Computational Learning Systems, works by parsing the input text, performing semantic analysis, and automatically loading and positioning 3D objects in order to construct and render a 3D scene. The technology makes it easy for anyone to create and share rendered 3D scenes online. The prize money will be used to launch the business in the social media market. Read more.
Published: May 18, 2013
recognizing exceptional career accomplishments and impact by alumni Read more.
Published: May 18, 2013
top teaching honor given by the University at Commencement Read more.
Alicia Abella awarded University Medal for Excellence
Published: May 18, 2013
Alicia Abella has been awarded the University Medal of Excellence, given annually to an outstanding Columbia graduate under the age of 45.

Abella is currently the executive director of the Innovative Devices and Services Research Department at AT&T Labs, managing a multi-disciplinary technical staff specializing in human-computer interaction, Abella is an award-winning advocate for encouraging minorities and women to pursue careers in science and engineering. She earned her Ph.D. and master’s degree from Columbia, graduating in 1995, under the guidance of Prof. John Kender.
Augustin Chaintreau wins 2013 ACM SIGMETRICS Rising Star Award
Published: May 14, 2013
Augustin Chaintreau will receive the 2013 ACM SIGMETRICS Rising Star Award for "Contributions to the analysis of emerging distributed digital and social networking systems." The award is given annually to recognize a rising star in the ACM Sigmetrics community who demonstrates outstanding potential for research in the field of computer and communication performance. The selection is based on the impact of the candidate's work in the field in creating promising new ideas, paradigms and tools related to the performance analysis of computer and communication systems, which may be analytical or empirical in nature.
Timothy Sun receives Honorable Mention in the Computing Research Association's (CRA) Outstanding Undergraduate Researcher Award
Published: May 14, 2013
Timothy Sun has been selected Honorable Mention in the Computing Research Association's (CRA) Outstanding Undergraduate Researcher Award (Male) 2013.

Timothy Sun is being recognized for his complete set of undergraduate research projects, which include his paper
On Milgram's construction and the Duke embedding conjectures.

Timothy was advised by Prof. Jonathan Gross.
CU Undergrads receive Distinguished Recognition at the Intel/Cornell Cup
Published: May 14, 2013
A team of SEAS undergraduates advised by Prof Peter Allen received a Distinguished Recognition award at the Intel/Cornell Cup embedded design competition held at Disney World. The Columbia ARM team (Assistive Robotic Manipulator) built a lightweight, inexpensive, wheelchair mounted robotic arm that is controlled by a novel Brain Computer Interface (BCI) that allows disabled people to control the arm using only facial muscles. The team members were Robert Ying '16 Computer Science, Brendan Chamberlain Simon '15 Mechanical Engineering , Haris Durrani '15 Applied Physics and Angel Say '13 Mechanical Engineering .

For a video of the ARM see Engadget.
Kui Tang receives Honorable Mention in the Computing Research Association's (CRA) Outstanding Undergraduate Researcher Award
Published: May 14, 2013
Kui Tang worked with Prof. Martha Kim on Parallel Computer Architecture and Compilers and published the paper Uncovering New Parallel Scaling Properties with a Basic Block View. ACM SIGMETRICS. 2013.

Kui Tang also worked with Prof. Tony Jebara on Tractable Inference in Graphical Models and published the paper Bethe Bounds and Approximating the Global Optimum. Sixteenth International Conference on Artificial Intelligence and Statistics, 2013.

Congratulations to Kui Tang, Martha Kim, and Tony Jebara!
Augustin Chaintreau wins NSF CAREER Award
Published: May 4, 2013
Assistant Professor Augustin Chaintreau won the NSF CAREER Award to investigate analytics for data regained by users. His proposal is entitled "Banalytics: Behavioral Network Analytics for Data Transparency."

Today, data on customers is what makes a company profitable. Tomorrow, data about citizens can make our society successful. But how to reconcile this progress with privacy? Analytics - the science of identifying individual types and collective trends - runs now behind closed doors on your data and outside your control. Prof. Chaintreau aims at showing that an alternative exists that is more socially efficient; managing personal data should be made transparent and easy for each of us. In his NSF Career award, he will develop algorithms that run analytics on data regained by users, while leveraging information on their social context. Moreover, mechanisms will be designed for incentive to make privacy not only a choice, but one that leads to a socially efficient outcome. Demonstrating this concept will start in the classroom. Not only the engineers but also the future journalists informing our citizens will be involved in a new program on the management of personal data, as enabling privacy raises technical, economic and societal challenges. The ultimate goal of this work is to improve how the web treats information about our life without the high cost of a top-down regulation.
Aaron Bernstein wins Best Student Paper at STOC 2013
Published: April 18, 2013
Aaron Bernstein received the Best Student Paper Award at STOC 2013,
the 45th ACM Symposium on the Theory of Computing, for his
single-authored paper titled "Maintaining Shortest Paths Under
Deletions in Weighted Directed Graphs." The work is on maintaining
distance information in a network that is changing over time.

STOC is one of the most prestigious conferences in theoretical
computer science. Two papers shared the award at STOC 2013. Before
this, Aaron was also the sole winner of the Best Student Paper Award
at SODA (ACM-SIAM Symposium on Discrete Algorithms) 2012. As a
third-year PhD student, Aaron's research interest lies in the design
and analysis of efficient algorithms. He has made significant
contribution to this area, and has already published seven papers in
STOC, FOCS and SODA.
Sal Stolfo appointed to National Academies National Research Council Panel on Information Science
Published: April 17, 2013
Prof Salvatore J Stolfo has been appointed to the National Academies National Research Council (NRC) Panel on Information Science at the Army Research Laboratory. This panel reviews the scientific and technical quality of the Army Research Laboratory’s (ARL) programs of research and development related to its information science technical area. The information science areas to be assessed include autonomous systems, network sciences (communication networks, defense of networks, information networks, social-cognitive networks), atmospheric sciences and high-performance computing.
Hung-Yi Liu, Michele Petracca, and Luca Carloni win Best Paper Award at DATE Conference
Published: April 11, 2013
CS PhD student Hung-Yi Liu and post-doctoral researcher Michele Petracca, along with their advisor Luca Carloni, have received the Best Paper Award for their work "Compositional System-Level Design Exploration with Planning of High-Level Synthesis", which they published at the 2012 edition of the Design, Automation, and Test in Europe (DATE). DATE is one of the premier conferences dedicated to electronic and embedded systems.

The work presents novel algorithms to cope with the growing complexity of designing Systems-on-Chip by simplifying heterogeneous component integration and enabling reuse of predesigned components. It was the only best paper assigned for DATE 2012, which received some 950 paper submissions, more than 50% from outside Europe. The best-paper selection was performed by an award committee, based on the results of the reviewing process, the quality of the final paper, and the quality of the presentation, which was given by Hung-Yi.

The award was announced at the 2013 edition of the conference, which was held in March 2012 in Grenoble, France.
Columbia Team Leads $7.2M Contract for Embedded Computing Research
Published: March 8, 2013
Luca Carloni, Associate Professor of Computer Science; Martha Kim, Assistant Professor of Computer Science; Ken Shepard, Professor of Electrical Engineering and Biomedical Engineering; and Mingoo Seok, Assistant Professor of Electrical Engineering have been awarded a new $7.2 million contract from the Defense Advanced Research Project Agency (DARPA) as part of the Power Efficiency Revolution for Embedded Computing Technologies (PERFECT) program to develop embedded scalable platforms (ESP), a novel generation of platform architectures that yield optimal energy-performance operations while supporting a diversity of embedded application workloads. The ESP project also includes additional co-principal investigators Margaret Martonosi, Hugh Trumbull Adams '35 Professor of Computer Science at Princeton, Alberto Sangiovanni-Vincentelli, The Edgar L. and Harold H. Buttner Chair of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at the University of California at Berkeley, and Dr. William Gallagher, Senior Manager of Exploratory Magnetic Memories and Quantum Computing at the IBM T.J. Watson Research Center.

''Computer engineering research is intrinsically an interdisciplinary effort and the complex challenges of developing future embedded systems require a vertically integrated approach to innovation that spans from circuit design to application software,'' says Professor Carloni, Principal Investigator on the program. ''We are excited with this award which recognizes the continuous progress of Columbia Engineering faculty in leading interdisciplinary and multi-institution research programs.''

In the framework of the PERFECT program, the ESP Team will investigate a variety of scalable innovations in circuits, architecture, software, and computer-aided design (CAD) methods, including: scalable 3D-stacked voltage regulators for integrated fine-grain power management; highly-resilient near-threshold-voltage circuit operation; seamless integration of programmable cores and specialized accelerators into a scalable system-on-chip (SoC) architecture; efficient network-on-chip infrastructure for both message-passing communications and distributed power control; static and dynamic scheduling of on-chip resources driven by performance profiling; and an integrated CAD environment for full-system simulation and application-driven optimization.
Published: March 1, 2013
Identifying the genetic makeup of the founding Ashkenazi Jews Read more.
Published: February 28, 2013
Embedded "symbiotes" detect unanticipated (zero-day) attacks Read more.
Published: January 14, 2013
for pioneering contributions to signal processing for multimedia content analysis and retrieval Read more.
Programming team wins regionals, advances to ACM ICPC World Finals
Published: January 12, 2013
The CS@CU team has won first place at the ACM ICPC Greater New York Region programming competition, and is advancing to the ACM ICPC World Finals, to be held in St. Petersburg in June next year.

On October 28 at the Stony Brook University, team members Long Chen, Gang Hu, Xinhao Yuan participated in a grueling five-hour competition, winning first place. The team is coached by Xiaorui Sun.

ACM ICPC is an annual competitive programming competition among the universities of the world. The contest helps students enhance their programming skills, and enables contestants to test their ability to perform under pressure. ACM ICPC is the oldest, largest, and most prestigious programming contest in the world. Each year, more than 5,000 teams from about 2,000 universities all over the world compete at the regional level, and about 100 teams participate the World Finals.

Congratulations, team!
Ang Cui and Sal Stolfo demonstrate VoIP phone hack
Published: January 11, 2013
The Internet Will Literally Kill You By 2014, Predicts Security Firm
SecurityWatch
Dec 20, 2012
http://securitywatch.pcmag.com/none/306223-the-internet-will-literally-kill-you-by-2014-predicts-security-firm

Can Your Cisco VoIP Phone Spy On You?
SecurityWatch
Dec 19, 2012
http://securitywatch.pcmag.com/none/306172-can-your-cisco-voip-phone-spy-on-you

Security researchers find vulnerability in Cisco VoIP phones
PhysOrg
Dec 19, 2012
http://phys.org/news/2012-12-vulnerability-cisco-voip.html

Cisco phone exploit allows attackers to listen in on phone calls
The Verge
Jan 10, 2013
http://www.theverge.com/2013/1/10/3861316/cisco-phone-exploit-discretely-enables-microphone

Your worst office nightmare: Hack makes Cisco phone spy on you
ExtremeTech
Jan 10, 2013
http://www.extremetech.com/computing/145371-your-worst-office-nightmare-hack-makes-cisco-phone-spy-on-you

Cisco VoIP Phone Flaw Could Plant Bugs In Your Cubicle
Readwrite Hack
Jan 11, 2013
http://readwrite.com/2013/01/10/cisco-voip-phone-flaw-could-plant-bugs-in-your-cubicle

Hack turns Cisco desk phones into remote listening devices
Slashgear
Jan 11, 2013
http://www.slashgear.com/hack-turns-cisco-desk-phones-into-remote-listening-devices-11264898/

Cisco IP Phone Vulnerability Enables Remote Eavesdropping
Tekcert
Jan 10, 2013
http://tekcert.com/blog/2013/01/10/cisco-ip-phone-vulnerability-enables-remote-eavesdropping

Cisco issues advisory to plug security hole in VoIP phone
FierceEnterprise Communications
Jan 10, 2013
http://www.fierceenterprisecommunications.com/story/cisco-issues-advisory-plug-security-hole-voip-phones/2013-01-10

Hack Turns Cisco's Desk Phone into a Spying Device
Istruck.me
Jan 11, 2013
http://itstruck.me/hack-turns-ciscos-desk-phone-into-a-spying-device/

Hack Turns Cisco’s Desk Phone Into a Spying Device
Gizmodo
Jan 10, 2013
http://gizmodo.com/5974814/hack-turns-ciscos-desk-phone-into-a-spying-device

Warning: That Cisco phone on your desk may be spying on you
BetaNews
Jan 10, 2013
http://betanews.com/2013/01/10/warning-that-cisco-phone-on-your-desk-may-be-spying-on-you/

Hack turns the Cisco phone on your desk into a remote bugging device
Arstechnica
Jan 10,2013
http://arstechnica.com/security/2013/01/hack-turns-the-cisco-phone-on-your-desk-into-a-remote-bugging-device/

Cisco VoIP phone vulnerability allow eavesdropping remotely
IOtechie
Jan 9, 2013
http://hackersvalley.iotechie.com/hacks/cisco-voip-phone-vulnerability-allow-eavesdropping-remotely/

Cisco issues advisory to plug security hole in VoIP phones
FierceEnterpriseCommunications
Jan 10, 2013
http://www.fierceenterprisecommunications.com/story/cisco-issues-advisory-plug-security-hole-voip-phones/2013-01-10

Malware leaves Cisco VoIP phones "open to call tapping"
PC Pro
Jan 8, 2013
http://www.pcpro.co.uk/news/security/379129/malware-leaves-cisco-voip-phones-open-to-call-tapping

Researcher exposes VoIP phone vulnerability
Business Wire for Security InfoWatch
Dec 13, 2012
http://www.securityinfowatch.com/news/10842240/researcher-exposes-voip-phone-vulnerability

Cisco IP Phones Vulnerable
IEEE Spectrum
Dec 18, 2012
http://spectrum.ieee.org/computing/embedded-systems/cisco-ip-phones-vulnerable

Cisco IP phones buggy
NetworkWorld
Dec 12, 2012
http://www.networkworld.com/community/node/82046

Researchers Identify Security Vulnerabilities In VoIP Phones
Red Orbit
Jan 8, 2013
http://www.redorbit.com/news/technology/1112759485/voip-phones-security-vulnerability-software-symbiote-010813/

Security Researcher Compromises Cisco VoIP Phones With Vulnerability
Darkreading
Dec 13, 2012
http://www.darkreading.com/threat-intelligence/167901121/security/attacks-breaches/240144378/security-researcher-compromises-cisco-voip-phones-with-vulnerability.html

Remotely listen in via hacked VoIP phones: Cisco working on eavesdropping patch
Computerworld
Jan 8, 2013
http://blogs.computerworld.com/cybercrime-and-hacking/21600/remotely-listen-hacked-voip-phones-cisco-working-eavesdropping-patch

Cisco IP Phones Hacked
Fast Company
Dec 19, 2012
http://www.fastcompany.com/3004163/cisco-ip-phones-hacked

Cisco rushing to fix broken VoIP patch
IT World Canada
Jan 8, 2013
http://www.itworldcanada.com/news/cisco-rushing-to-fix-broken-voip-patch/146562

Cisco working to fix broken patch for VoIP phones
IDG News Service for CSO Online
Jan 7, 2013
http://www.csoonline.com/article/725788/cisco-working-to-fix-broken-patch-for-voip-phones

Your Cisco phone is listening to you: 29C3 talk on breaking Cisco phones
Boing Boing
Dec 29, 2012
http://boingboing.net/2012/12/29/your-cisco-phone-is-listening.html

Yet another eavesdrop vulnerability in Cisco phones
The Register
December 13, 2012
http://www.theregister.co.uk/2012/12/13/cisco_voip_phones_vulnerable/

Cisco VoIP Phones Affected By On Hook Security Vulnerability
Dec 6, 2012
Forbes
http://www.forbes.com/sites/robertvamosi/2012/12/06/off-hook-voip-phone-security-vulnerability-affects-some-cisco-models/

Discovered vulnerabilities in Cisco VoIP phones
KO IT (RUSSIAN)
Jan 8, 2013
http://ko.com.ua/obnaruzheny_uyazvimosti_v_telefonah_cisco_voip_70011

http://forums.cnet.com/7726-6132_102-5409269.html
http://www.xsnet.com/blog/bid/112454/Jenn%20Cano
http://news.softpedia.com/news/Kernel-Vulnerability-in-Cisco-Phones-Can-Be-Exploited-for-Covert-Surveillance-Video-320168.shtml
http://www.securelist.com/en/advisories/51768
http://accublog.wordpress.com/2013/01/10/eavesdropping-on-your-phone-from-anywhere-in-the-world/
http://geekapolis.fooyoh.com/geekapolis_gadgets_wishlist/8247285
http://eddydemland.blogspot.com/2013/01/hack-turns-ciscos-desk-phone-into.html
http://www.onenewspage.us/n/Technology/74vnp9j0m/Kernel-Vulnerability-in-Cisco-Phones-Can-Be-Exploited.htm
http://technology.automated.it/2013/01/10/cisco-phone-exploit-allows-attackers-to-listen-in-on-phone-calls/
http://www.i4u.com/2013/01/youtube/warning-your-be-you-desk-may-spying-phone-cisco
http://www.shafaqna.com/english/other-services/featured/itemlist/tag/cisco.html
http://www.ieverythingtech.com/2013/01/cisco-phone-exploit-allows-attackers-to-listen-in-on-phone-calls/
http://dailyme.com/story/2013011000002065/hack-turns-cisco-s-desk-phone-into-a-spying-device
http://truthisscary.com/2013/01/video-hacked-phones-could-be-listening-to-everything-you-say/
http://www.smokey-services.eu/forums/index.php?topic=227209.0
http://technewstube.com/theverge/154392/cisco-phone-exploit-allows-attackers-to-listen-in-on-phone-calls/
http://finance.yahoo.com/news/security-researcher-demonstrates-enterprise-voip-130000432.html
Published: December 22, 2012
Recognized for significant accomplishments in security. Read more.
Published: December 18, 2012
recognized for fundamental advances to combinatorial optimization, scheduling, and network algorithms Read more.
Published: December 17, 2012
http://www.forbes.com/special-report/2012/30-under-30/30-under-30.html Read more.
YoungHoon Jung, Richard Neill, and Luca Carloni win Best Paper Award at IEEE CloudCom
Published: December 6, 2012
YoungHoon Jung and Richard Neill, along with their advisor Luca Carloni, have received the Best Paper Award for their work "A Broadband Embedded Computing System for MapReduce Utilizing Hadoop" presented at the 4th IEEE International Conference on Cloud Computing Technology and Science (CloudCom 2012). The work was selected among the fifty-four papers accepted to the conference, which had a 17% acceptance rate.
Computer Engineering program achieves record enrollments
Published: November 27, 2012
The Computer Engineering program, jointly administered by CS and EE departments, has achieved record enrollments in Fall-12, with 114 students: 56 BS majors and 58 MS students.

The program is designed for students interested in the intersection between the two departments. In particular, its focus is on computer systems, combining skills in both hardware and software, including the areas of: digital design, computer architecture (both sequential and parallel), embedded systems, computer-aided design and networking.

To learn more about this program, please see http://www.compeng.columbia.edu
Vasilis Pappas won the first prize in the Kaspersky Lab North American Round at NYU-Poly CSAW
Published: November 19, 2012
"Smashing the Gadgets: Hindering Return-Oriented Programming Using In-Place Code Randomization"
Vasilis Pappas, Michalis Polychronakis, Angelos D. Keromytis IEEE Security & Privacy, May 2012

Photo/announcement:

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=491657707521734&set=a.157827437571431.30830.157394210948087&type=1&theater

Details of the competition:

http://www.poly.edu/csaw2012/csaw-kaspersky

He now goes to the International Round, in London.
Published: October 23, 2012
will be held on November 9, 2012 at Columbia University. Read more.
Published: October 23, 2012
The Impact of Software on Society Read more.
Published: October 19, 2012
natural language processing software to perform legal tasks efficiently and accurately Read more.
Christos Vezyrtzis, Steven Nowick and Yannis Tsividis win a Best Paper Award at IEEE ICCD Conference
Published: October 4, 2012
Christos Vezyrtzis, and his co-advisors Steven Nowick and Yannis Tsividis, won a Best Paper Award in the Logic and Circuit Design track at the 30th IEEE International Conference on Computer Design (ICCD-12). The paper is entitled "Designing Pipelined Delay Lines with Dynamically-Adaptive Granularity for Low-Energy Applications." The paper presents work led by Christos Vezyrtzis for his dissertation. It provides a novel approach to significantly reducing energy in delay lines, which are core components in several emerging embedded systems.
Kenneth Ross awarded NSF grant to study database processing using graphics processors
Published: September 30, 2012
Modern GPUs offer more parallelism and higher memory bandwidth than CPUs. This project aims to take advantage of these properties by developing a system to efficiently process database queries over GPU-resident datasets. To achieve this goal the project employs the following approaches: (a) The development of novel indexing techniques that combine multidimensional partitioning with block-oriented bitmaps, and whose parameters are sensitive to the query distribution; (b) The optimization of memory bank contention and value contention between threads; (c) The efficient implementation of a complete set of relational database operators, including aggregation, joins, and indexed selections; (d) The evaluation of the performance of the system on query-intensive workloads, using real applications and standard benchmarks.

For more please see http://www.nsf.gov/awardsearch/showAward.do?AwardNumber=1218222
Peter Allen awarded NSF Grant to develop a assistive robots with brain-muscle interfaces
Published: September 26, 2012
Prof. Peter Allen has been awarded a 5 year NSF grant as part of the National Robotics Initiative for "Assistive Robotics for Grasping and Manipulation using Novel Brain Computer interfaces." This project will develop a field-deployable assistive robotic system that will allow severely disabled patients to control a robot arm/hand system to perform complex grasping and manipulation tasks using novel Brain Muscle Computer Interfaces (BMCI). In addition to the development of a complete system to aid the severely disabled population with tetraplegia, the project will explore new directions in Human Machine Interfaces that can extend beyond the disabled population and into a variety of other applications. Collaborators include Dr. Joel Stein of the of the Department of Regenerative and Rehabilitation Medicine at Columbia University and Prof. Sanjay Joshi of the Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering department at UC Davis.
Jason Nieh awarded 4y NSF Grant to study virtual smartphone and tablet architectures
Published: September 19, 2012
A Virtual Smartphone and Tablet System Architecture

Smartphones are increasingly ubiquitous. Many users are
inconveniently forced to carry multiple smartphones for
work, personal, and geographic mobility needs.
This research is developing Cells, a lightweight virtualization
architecture for enabling multiple virtual smartphones to run
simultaneously on the same physical cellphone device in a securely
isolated manner. Cells introduces a new device namespace mechanism
and novel device proxies that efficiently and securely multiplex phone
hardware devices across multiple virtual phones while providing native
hardware device performance to all applications. Virtual phone
features include fully-accelerated graphics for gaming, complete power
management features, easy-to-use security and safety mechanisms that
can transparently and dynamically control the availability of phone
features, and full telephony functionality with separately assignable
telephone numbers and caller ID support. Cells is being implemented in
Android, the most widely used smartphone platform, to transparently
support multiple Android virtual phones on the same phone hardware.
While the primary focus of this research is smartphone devices, the
development of these ideas will also be explored in the context of
tablet devices.

The results of this research are providing a foundation for future
innovations in smartphone computing, enabling new uses and
applications and transforming the way the devices can be used. This
includes not only greater system security, but greater user safety
especially for young people. Integrating this research with the CS
curriculum provides students with hands-on learning through
programming projects on smartphone devices, enabling them to become
contributors to the workforce as smartphones become an increasingly
dominant computing platform.
Jason Nieh and Junfeng Yang awarded 4y NSF grant to investigate API Races in Deployed Systems
Published: September 19, 2012
NSF Medium Grant "RacePro: Automatically Detecting API Races in Deployed Systems" awarded to Jason Nieh and Junfeng Yang

While races in multithreaded programs have drawn huge attention from the
research community, little has been done for API races, a class
of errors as dangerous and as difficult to debug as traditional thread
races. An API race occurs when multiple activities, whether they be
threads or processes, access a shared resource via an application
programming interface (API) without proper synchronization. Detecting
API races is an important and difficult problem as existing race
detectors are unlikely to work well with API races.

Software reliability increasingly affects everyone, whether or not
they personally use computers. This research studies and
automatically detects for the first time an important class of races
that has a significant impact on software reliability. The study
quantitatively demonstrates how API races are numerous, difficult to
debug, and a real threat to software reliability. To address this
problem, this research is developing RacePro, a new system to
automatically detect API races in deployed systems. RacePro checks
deployed systems in-vivo by recording live executions then
deterministically replay and check them later. This approach
increases checking coverage beyond the configurations or executions
covered by software vendors or beta testing sites. RacePro records
multiple processes and threads, detects races in the recording among
API methods that may concurrently access shared objects, then explores
different execution orderings of such API methods to determine which races
are harmful and result in failures. Technologies developed will help
application developers detect insidious software defects, enabling
more robust, reliable, and secure software infrastructure.
Simha Sethumadhavan awarded NSF grant to study new processor designs
Published: September 19, 2012
NSF awards CS and EE professors grant to study new processor designs for Cyber-Physical Systems

The grant will support Profs. Sethumadhavan (CS), Seok and Tsividis' (EE) work on Hybrid Continuous-Discrete Computers for Cyber-Physical Systems, aiming at specialized single-chip computers with improved power/performance.

Professors Tsividis (EE), Seok (EE), Sethumadhavan (CS) and their collaborators in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Texas at Austin, have been awarded a three year, $1.1M NSF grant under the agency’s Cyber-Physical Systems program, for research in Hybrid Continuous-Discrete Computers for Cyber-Physical Systems.

The research augments the today-ubiquitous discrete (digital) model of computation with continuous (analog) computing, which is well-suited to the continuous natural variables involved in cyber-physical systems, and to the error-tolerant nature of computation in such systems. The result is a computing platform on a single silicon chip, with higher energy efficiency, higher speed, and better numerical convergence than is possible with purely discrete computation. The research has thrusts in hardware, architecture, microarchitecture, and applications.
Published: September 13, 2012
for his contributions to system-level design Read more.
Peter Allen and Eitan Grinspun awarded 3y NSF Grant to research robots manipulating thin shells
Published: September 10, 2012
Grasping and manipulation of deformable objects presents a host of new research challenges that are much more demanding than for rigid objects. A particular challenge is to fully understand the physics of deformation and to model deformable objects in a way that can be used by real robotic systems in the presence of noise and uncertainty and with real-time constraints. This project will use offline simulation to predict states of deformable objects modeled as thin-shells (i.e. cloth, fabric, clothing) that can then be recognized by a robotic vision/grasping system to pick up and manipulate these objects. The project will extend Prof. Allen's simulation environment for robotic grasping and Prof. Grinspun's system for simulation of deformable objects for use with a real physical robotic grasping system.
Published: September 10, 2012
as a member of the Computer Graphics Group (C2G2) in the Vision and Graphics Center Read more.
Published: August 21, 2012
for his kBouncer software security technology Read more.
Published: August 3, 2012
by Federal Trade Commission Chairman Jon Leibowitz Read more.
Published: July 30, 2012
with Patricia Culligan to tackle the growing abundance of data Read more.
Published: July 15, 2012
to support digital communications research Read more.
Evangelia Sitaridi and Ken Ross win Best Paper at DaMoN'12
Published: June 26, 2012
Evangelia Sitaridi and her advisor Prof. Kenneth Ross won the Best Paper Award at DaMoN 2012, collocated with SIGMOD, for their paper "Ameliorating Memory Contention of OLAP Operators on GPU Processors," which seeks to exploit the special structure of GPUs to increase the performance of data processing operations. In particular, they show how to optimize data arrangement in GPU memory using redundancy in order to minimize the running time of data processing operators implemented on a GPU.

For more on DaMoN see http://fusion.hpl.hp.com/damon2012/program.html
Lisa Wu, Martha Kim, and Stephen Edwards' paper the Spotlight of IEEE Computer Architectures Letters
Published: June 22, 2012
"Cache Impacts of Datatype Acceleration" by Lisa Wu, Martha Kim, and Stephen Edwards was selected as the Spotlight Paper for the January-June 2012 issue of the IEEE Computer Architecture Letters!

The paper is currently highlighted on the journal home page and will be available to the public for free for about six months (http://www.computer.org/cal).

Congratulations to the authors for this recognition of their research!
NSF funds Prof. Carloni to Investigate Heterogeneous SoC Design
Published: June 19, 2012
Prof. Carloni has received a three-year National Science Foundation award to investigate synthesis-driven methods for reuse, integration, and programming of specialized accelerators in systems-on-chip (SoCs).
Heterogeneous SoC architectures, which combine a variety of programmable components and special-function accelerators, are emerging as a fundamental computing platform for many systems from computer servers in data centers to embedded systems and mobile devices.

Design productivity for SoC platforms depends on creating and maintaining reusable components at higher levels of abstraction and on hierarchically combining them to form optimized subsystems. While the design of a single component is important, the critical challenges are in the integration and management of many heterogeneous components. The goal of this project is to establish Supervised Design-Space Exploration as the foundation for a new component-based design environment in which hardware-accelerator developers, software programmers and system architects can interact effectively while they each pursue their specific goals.

For more details:

http://www.nsf.gov/awardsearch/showAward.do?AwardNumber=1219001
Rocco Servedio elected SIGACT officer
Published: June 10, 2012
member-at-large will serve the premier organization representing theoretical computer science
Steven Nowick awarded grant to investigate interconnection networks
Published: June 8, 2012
Steve Nowick has been awarded an NSF Computing and Communication Foundations grant for "Designing Low-Latency and Robust Interconnection Networks with Fine-Grain Dynamic Adaptivity Using Asynchronous Techniques."

The work will focus on low-power and high-performance interconnection
networks, targeted to both shared-memory parallel processors and
systems-on-chip for consumer electronics. The aim is to develop a new class of dynamically-adaptable on-chip digital networks which continually self-reconfigure, at very fine-granularity, to customize their operation to actual observed traffic patterns.
Prediction and learning techniques will be explored, to optimally
reconfigure the on-chip networks.

The use of asynchronous networks supports the seamless integration of multiple synchronous processors and memories operating at different
clock rates. The ultimate goal is a significant breakthrough in system latency, power, area and reliability, over synchronous approaches.
Kristen Parton, Nizar Habash, and Kathy McKweon win Best Paper at EAMT 12
Published: June 5, 2012
Note:
Kristen Parton, Nizar Habash and Kathy McKeown won a best paper award at EAMT 12 (Conference of the European Association for Machine Translation) for their paper entitled "Can Automatic Post-Editing make MT more Meaningful?". This paper presents research done by Kristen Parton for her dissertation.
Julia Hirschberg & colleagues win NSF IGERT: From Data to Solutions
Published: June 2, 2012
Columbia Professor of Computer Science, Julia Hirschberg (PI) with co-PIs Shih-fu Chang (Electrical Engineering and Computer Science), Noemie Elhadad (Biomedical Informatics), Andrew Rosenberg (Computer Science, Queens College CUNY), Assaf Zeevi (Business), and 20 other faculty from Columbia, Queens College CUNY, Universidad de Buenos Aires, Universidad Nacional de Crdoba, and the Universidade Estadual de Campinas, have just been awarded an NSF IGERT for their project From Data to Solutions: A New PhD Program in Transformational Data & Information Sciences Research and Innovation. The 5-year $3M award will fund PhD students at Columbia and Queens College CUNY to pursue interdisciplinary approaches to extracting information relevant to business, medicine, and journalism from text, audio, and video data available on the web. Only 278 IGERTS have been funded by NSF since 1998; 18 new awards were made this year.
Published: May 22, 2012
for making fundamental advances in machine learning and natural language processing Read more.
Published: May 18, 2012
Killing the Myth of Cisco IOS Diversity: Recent Advances in Reliable Shellcode Design Read more.
Published: May 14, 2012
to investigate security, parallelism, and software testing. Read more.
David Harmon, Etienne Vouga, Breannan Smith, and Eitan Grinspun's paper a Research Highlight for Communications of the ACM
Published: April 22, 2012
"Asynchronous Contact Mechanics" by David Harmon, Etienne Vouga, Breannan Smith, Rasmus Tamstorf, Eitan Grinspun was selected as a Research Highlight for the April 2012 issue of Communications of the ACM!

The paper is currently highlighted on the CACM website (http://cacm.acm.org/research?date=year&subject=11).

Congratulations to the authors for this recognition of their research!
Published: April 19, 2012
Conventional software testing checks whether each output is correct for the set of test inputs. But for some software, it is not known what the correct output should be for some inputs -- yet it is still important to detect coding errors in that software, so they can be fixed. This dilemma arises frequently for machine learning, simulation and optimization applications, often "Programs which were written in order to determine the answer in the first place. There would be no need to write such programs, if the correct answer were known." As these kinds of applications are frequently used in public infrastructure and biomedical research (domains targeted in this research), it is critical to detect and fix errors before a calamity occurs.

Fortunately, many such applications reflect 'metamorphic properties' that define a relationship between pairs of inputs and outputs, such that for any previous input i with its already known output o, one can easily derive a test input i' and predict the expected output o'. If the actual output o'' is different from o', then there must be an error in the code. This project investigates methodology for determining the metamorphic properties of software and for devising good test cases from which the secondary tests can be derived. The project extends the inputs/outputs considered in previous work on metamorphic testing to focus on application state, before and after, rather than just functional parameters and results. The research also extends the pairwise relations implied by metamorphic properties to 'semantic similarity' for nondeterministic applications, applied to profiles from numerous executions, since an exact relation cannot be expected to hold for a single pair of test executions. These extensions enable treatment of more sophisticated properties that preliminary experiments have shown to reveal defects that were not detected otherwise. Read more.
Edwards and Kim awarded $1.2M NSF Grant to improve the practice of parallel programming
Published: April 18, 2012
This project aims to improve the practice of parallel programming -- perhaps the central problem facing computer science in the 21st century. While the sequential model first introduced by Von Neumann and others has served us well, its inefficiency has been brought into sharp focus by the availability of billion-transistor chips, which are greatly underutilized yet power-hungry when running sequential algorithms.

This project aims to improve the programmability and efficiency of distributed memory systems, a key issue in the execution of parallel algorithms. While it is fairly easy to put, say, thousands of independent adders on a single chip, it is far more difficult to supply them with useful data to add, a task that falls to the memory system. This research will develop compiler optimization algorithms able to configure and orchestrate parallel memory systems able to
utilize such parallel computational resources.

To make more than incremental progress, this project departs from existing hegemony in two important ways. First, its techniques will be applied only to algorithms expressed in the functional style, a more abstract, mathematically sound representation that enables precise reasoning about parallel algorithms and very aggressive optimizations. Second, it targets field-programmable gate arrays (FPGAs) rather than existing parallel computing platforms. FPGAs provide a highly flexible platform that enables exploring parallel architectures far different than today's awkward solutions, which are largely legacy sequential architectures glued together. While FPGAs are far too flexible and power-hungry to be the long-term "solution" to the parallel computer architecture question, their use grounds this project in physical reality and will produce useful hardware synthesis algorithms as a side-effect.

Judicious and efficient data movement is the linchpin of parallel computing. This project attacks that challenge head on, establishing the constructs and algorithms necessary for hardware and software to efficiently manipulate data together. This research will lay the groundwork for the next generation of storage and instruction set architectures, compilers, and programming paradigms -- the bedrock of today's mainstream computing.
Published: April 18, 2012
with team of researchers led by SRI International Read more.
Prof. Stolfo and GRA Ang Cui win DHS Contract
Published: April 16, 2012
Advanced Situation Awareness of High Impact Malware Attacks Against the Internet Routing Infrastructure

The PI's Intrusion Detection Lab (IDS) will investigate and evaluate techniques to detect and defend against advanced malware threats to the internet routing infrastructure. A recent study published by the IDS Lab demonstrates that there are a vast number of unsecured embedded systems on the internet, primarily routers, that are trivially vulnerable to exploitation with little to no effort. As of December 2011, 1.4 million trivially vulnerable devices are in easy reach of even the most unsophisticated attacker. The IDS lab will fully develop and deploy an experimental system that injects intrusion detection functionality within the firmware of a (legacy) router that senses the unauthorized modification of router firmware. The technology may be developed and deployed as a sensor in an Early Attack Warning System, but it may also be implemented to prevent firmware modifications. The IDS lab will demonstrate the highest levels of protection that can be achieved with this novel technology in a range of embedded system device types. This is thesis research of PhD GRA Ang Cui and a team of project students.
Published: April 10, 2012
Renowned for his work on areas from computer vision to machine learning Read more.
Published: April 5, 2012
and FedEx's Electric Vehicle experiment Read more.
Published: March 30, 2012
A Surge in Learning the Language of the Internet Read more.
Brown Institute Fellowships: Applications Invited
Published: March 28, 2012
The Brown fellowships are designed for students and postgrads who seek to do research that will help us understand the seismic changes in the media landscape. We are interested in seeing proposals that address the changing ways that content is created, distributed and consumed in the digital era, with particular emphasis on how technology can be leveraged to provide innovation in the media world. Bachelor's degree or higher sought. See
https://academicjobs.columbia.edu/applicants/jsp/shared/frameset/Frameset.jsp?time=1332985141422 for application details and a fuller description of the fellowships.

For more on the fellowship, please see
http://www.capitalnewyork.com/article/media/2012/01/5160427/helen-gurley-brown-gives-transformative-18-million-columbias-journalis

For more on our joint Journalism + CS Masters program, please see
http://www.wired.com/epicenter/2010/04/will-columbia-trained-code-savvy-journalists-bridge-the-mediatech-divide/
Lauren Wilcox receives Dissertation Award from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality
Published: March 19, 2012
Lauren's work addresses an important gap in health information technology: there has been limited research to date that explores the impact of providing hospitalized patients with direct access to health information throughout their care. Her research will yield new insights into how such technology can be used to educate and engage hospitalized patients and their families, by developing tablet-computer-based user interfaces with which hospitalized patients and their families can review clinical and health-related information. It will advance scientific knowledge in the field of patient-clinician communication, demonstrate new technical capabilities for sharing information among patients and their care team, and explore potential improvements to patient engagement, knowledge, and satisfaction.
Stolfo and Bellovin awarded $1.9M AFOSR grant to Design for Measurable Security
Published: March 8, 2012
The field of computer and communications security begs for a foundational science to guide our designs of systems and to reveal the safety, security, and resliency of the complex systems we depend upon today. To achieve this goal we must devise suitable metrics that can be used to objectively compare and evaluate alternative designs and the security posture of the systems and organizations we have developed. For example, it is very important for CSOs and the top management of modern organizations, in business and government, to be given the tools they need to answer these fundamental questions: Is my organization secure? Are the personnel sufficiently educated and trained to minimize the risks to the organization? Is my organization complying with regulations on managing and safeguarding sensitive data? How do I measure the security risk of a new technology or service provided to our customers? The grant supports research to investigate new methods to measure, quantify and evaluate the security of systems. We will explore three different types of metrics focusing on understanding the impact of multiple layers of defense, using attack complexity to measure security, and using systematic experiments to construct meaningful metrics. The goal is to enable designers to evaluate system designs more quantitatively, and produce designs that can be more meaningfully evaluated.
Sukan, Feiner, and Energin receive Best Poster Award at IEEE 3DUI 2012
Published: March 6, 2012
IEEE 3DUI (7th Symposium on 3D User Interfaces), which took place March 4-5 2012 in Costa Mesa, California is focused on the design and development of 3D user interfaces. The poster, "Manipulating Virtual Objects in Hand-Held Augmented Reality using Stored Snapshots" was the work of Ph.D. student Mengu Sukan, with M.S. student Semih Energin and Prof. Steve Feiner. Their work is an example of augmented reality, in which camera imagery is overlaid with live 3D graphics. The poster presents a set of interaction techniques that allow a user to first take snapshots of a scene using a tablet computer, and then jump back and forth between the snapshots, to revisit them virtually for interaction. By storing for each snapshot a still image of the scene, along with the camera position and orientation determined by computer vision software, this approach allows the overlaid 3D graphics to be dynamic and interactive. This makes it possible for the user to move and rotate virtual 3D objects from the vantage points of different locations, without the overhead of physically traveling between those locations. 3DUI attendees tried a real-time demo in which they laid out virtual furniture. They could rapidly transition between the live view and the viewpoints of multiple snapshots, as they moved and rotated items of virtual furniture, iteratively designing a desired layout.
Published: February 20, 2012
in recognition of their extraordinary contributions to the field Read more.
Published: February 15, 2012
to support Chen's work in algorithmic game theory and Yang's work on software systems Read more.
Published: February 10, 2012
enabling multiple independent secure personas on one device Read more.
Published: February 10, 2012
wide-ranging interview of our department's founding chair Read more.
Andrus & Nieh win Best Paper at 43rd ACM SIGCSE 2012
Published: January 4, 2012
Jeremy Andrus and Jason Nieh have received the Best Paper Award for their work on "Teaching Operating Systems Using Android," which was accepted to the 43rd ACM Technical Symposium on Computer Science Education (SIGCSE 2012). The work was selected from a pool of 289 papers submitted to the conference.

Congratulations to Jeremy and his advisor Jason!
Junfeng Yang wins Young Investigator Research award from Air Force Office of Scientific Research
Published: January 4, 2012
Junfeng Yang has received the Young Investigator Research Program award from the Air Force Office of Scientific Research and its Program for Information Operations and Security.

The Air Force YIP supports scientists and engineers who show exceptional ability and promise for conducting basic research.

Junfeng will investigate concurrency attacks and defenses. Today's multithreaded programs are plagued with subtle but serious concurrency vulnerabilities such as race conditions. Just as vulnerabilities in sequential programs can lead to security exploits, concurrency vulnerabilities can also be exploited by
attackers to gain privilege, steal information, inject arbitrary code, etc. Concurrency attacks targeting these vulnerabilities are impending (see CVE http://www.cvedetails.com/vulnerability-list/cweid-362/vulnerabilities.html), yet few existing defense techniques can deal with concurrency vulnerabilities. In fact, many of the traditional defense techniques are rendered unsafe by concurrency vulnerabilities.

The objective of this project is to take a holistic approach to creating novel program analysis/protection techniques and a system called DASH to secure multithreaded programs and harden traditional defense techniques in a concurrent environment. The greatest impact of our project will be drastically improved software security and reliability, benefiting the Nations cyber infrastructure.

For more on this award, see http://www.wpafb.af.mil/library/factsheets/factsheet.asp?id=9332
Energy Harvesting Active Networked Tags receives Best Student Demo Award in ACM SenSys 2011
Published: December 22, 2011
A demo presented by members of the Energy Harvesting Active Networked Tags (EnHANTs) Project received the Best Student Demo Award in the ACM Conference on Embedded Networked Sensor Systems (ACM SenSys 2011) which is the premier conference of the sensor networking community.

The demo titled "Organic Solar Cell-equipped Energy Harvesting Active Networked Tag (EnHANT) Prototypes" was developed by 10 students (Gerald Stanje, Paul Miller, Jianxun Zhu, Alexander Smith, Olivia Winn, Robert Margolies, Maria Gorlatova, John Sarik, Marcin Szczodrak, and Baradwaj Vigraham) from the groups of Professors Carloni (CS), Kinget, Kymissis, and Zussman.

The EnHANTs Project is an interdisciplinary project that focuses on developing small, flexible, and energetically self-reliant devices. These devices can be attached to objects that are traditionally not networked (e.g., books, furniture, walls, doors, toys, keys, clothing, and produce), thereby providing the infrastructure for various novel tracking applications. Examples of these applications include locating misplaced items, continuous monitoring of objects (e.g., items in a store and boxes in transit), and determining locations of disaster survivors.

The SenSys demo showcased EnHANT prototypes that are integrated with novel custom-developed organic solar cells and with novel custom Ultra-Wideband (UWB) transceivers, and demonstrated various network adaptations to environmental energy conditions. A video of the demo will soon be available on the EnHANTs website.

In 2009, the project won first place in the Vodafone Americas Foundation Wireless Innovation Competition; in 2011, it received the IEEE Communications Society Award for Outstanding Paper on New Communication Topics. The project has been supported by the National Science Foundation, the Department of Energy, the Department of Homeland Security, Google, and Vodafone.
Published: December 19, 2011
will guide the FCCs work on technology and engineering issues, Read more.
Published: December 18, 2011
The IEEE Transactions on Pattern Analysis and Machine Intelligence Feb'12 Spotlight Paper Read more.
Published: December 15, 2011
generating 3D scenes from written sentences helps improves literature comprehension Read more.
Published: December 8, 2011
The New York Times highlights Julia Hirschberg's lie detecting research. Read more.
Xi Chen wins NSF CAREER Award
Published: December 2, 2011
CAREER: Bridging Game Theory, Economics and Computer Science: Equilibria, Fixed Points, and Beyond

Recently concepts and methodologies from game theory and economics have found numerous successful applications in the study of the Internet and e-commerce. The main goal of this proposal is to bridge the algorithmic gap between these three disciplines. The PI will work to develop efficient algorithms for some of the fundamental models and solution concepts and to understand the computational difficulties inherent within them, with the aim to inspire and enable the next-generation e-commerce systems. The proposed research will contribute to a more solid algorithmic and complexity-theoretic foundation for the interdisciplinary field of Algorithmic Game Theory.
Published: December 1, 2011
Making multithreaded programs deterministic in an efficient and stable way Read more.
Published: November 30, 2011
Computer Science Professor Salvatore J. Stolfo and and Ph.D. student Ang Cui have uncovered a major vulnerability in HP printers. Read more.
Published: November 16, 2011
For international distinction in operational research. Read more.
Ang Cui and Jatin Kataria win Kapersky Labs American Cup
Published: November 15, 2011
Ang Cui and Jatin Kataria, co-authors of the paper Killing the Myth of CISCO IOS Diversity have won first prize in the Kapersky Labs American Cup held at NYU/PolyAmerican. Kapersky Labs is one of the largest AV Security companies in the world. The prize includes a trip to the Kaspersky "world" cup where the winners from the American, European and Asian cups will compete.

Details of the event are at http://www.kaspersky.com/educational-events/it_security_conference_2012_usa
Columbia team wins best paper award at SOSP
Published: October 29, 2011
SOSP, a premier systems conference, single track, held once every two years, has given a best paper award to

Cells: A Virtual Mobile Smartphone Architecture
by Jeremy Andrus, Christoffer Dall, Alex Vant Hof, Oren Laadan, Jason Nieh

Smartphones are increasingly ubiquitous, and many users carry multiple phones to accommodate work, personal, and geographic mobility needs. The authors created Cells, a virtualization architecture for enabling multiple virtual smartphones to run simultaneously on the same physical cellphone in an isolated, secure manner. Cells introduces a usage model of having one foreground virtual phone and multiple background virtual phones. This model enables a new device namespace mechanism and novel device proxies that integrate with lightweight operating system virtualization to multiplex phone hardware across multiple virtual phones while providing native hardware device performance. Cells virtual phone features include fully accelerated 3D graphics, complete power management features, and full telephony functionality with separately assignable telephone numbers and caller ID support. They have implemented a prototype of Cells that supports multiple Android virtual phones on the same phone. Their performance results demonstrate that Cells imposes only modest runtime and memory overhead, works seamlessly across multiple hardware devices including Google Nexus 1 and Nexus S phones, and transparently runs Android applications at native speed without any modifications.
Steve Henderson wins Best Science and Technology Student Paper Award at IEEE ISMAR 2011
Published: October 29, 2011
SMAR 2009 (IEEE International Symposium on Mixed and Augmented Reality) is the premier conference in its field.

Presented in Basel, Switzerland, "Augmented Reality in the Psychomotor Phase of a Procedural Task" reports on a key part of Steve Henderson's spring 2011 dissertation, and was coauthored by Dr. Henderson and his advisor, Prof. Steve Feiner. It presents the design and evaluation of a prototype augmented reality user interface designed to assist users in performing an aircraft maintenance assembly task. The prototype tracks the user and multiple physical task objects, and provides dynamic, prescriptive, overlaid instructions on a tracked, see-through, head-worn display in response to the user's ongoing activity. A user study shows participants were able to complete aspects of the assembly task in which they physically manipulated task objects significantly faster and with significantly greater accuracy when using augmented reality than when using 3D-graphics-based assistance presented on a stationary LCD panel.
Aaron Bernstein wins Best Student Paper at SODA 2012
Published: October 4, 2011
Aaron Bernstein has been awarded the Best Student Paper Award at SODA 2012, the ACM-SIAM symposium on discrete algorithms and the top algorithms conference, for his single-authored work on "Near Linear Time $\oeps$-Approximation for Restricted Shortest Paths in Undirected Graphs." Aaron is the sole winner of this award at SODA 2012.

He is a member of the CryptoLab at Columbia University, where he is advised by Tal Malkin. Congratulations to Aaron and to the CryptoLab for this outstanding research contribution!
Kyung-Hwa Kim wins Internet2 IDEA Award for Innovation in Advanced Network Applications
Published: October 4, 2011
Internet2, the nations most advanced networking consortium, has awarded Kyung-Hwa Kim, who is advised by Henning Schulzrinne, with one of two 2011 Internet2 Driving Exemplary Applications (IDEA) student awards for innovation in advanced network applications for collaborative research and education. Two senior and two student awards were presented at the Internet2 Fall Member Meeting in Raleigh, N.C. on Tuesday, Oct. 4.

"All of the winning applications have applied advanced networking technology to enable significant progress in research, teaching, learning or collaboration to increase the impact of next-generation networks around the world, said Tom Knab, chair of the IDEA award judging committee and chief information officer, Case Western Reserve Universitys College of Arts & Sciences. The winning submissions were from an exceptionally strong nominations pool and represent a cross-section of the wide-ranging innovation that is occurring within the Internet2 member community. Also, for the first time, we added a category for applications developed by students and those were remarkable for their creativity and relevance.

Kyung-Hwa Kims project, DYSWIS, is a collaborative network fault diagnosis system, with a complete framework for fault detection, user collaboration and fault diagnosis for advanced networks. With the increase in application complexity, the need for network fault diagnosis for end-users has increased. However, existing failure diagnosis techniques fail to assist end-users in accessing applications and services. The key idea of DYSWIS is a collaboration of end-users to diagnose a network fault in real-time to collect diverse information from different parts of the networks and infer the cause of failure.

Internet2, owned by U.S. research universities, is the worlds most advanced networking consortium for global researchers and scientists who develop breakthrough Internet technologies and applications and spark tomorrows essential innovations. Internet2, consists of more than 350 U.S. universities; corporations; government agencies; laboratories; higher learning; and other major national, regional and state research and education networks; and organizations representing more than 50 countries. Internet2 is a registered trademark.

Kyung-Hwa Kim is a Ph.D. student in the Internet Real-Time Lab, headed by Prof. Henning Schulzrinne.

Congratulations to Kyung-Hwa Kim, and his advisor, Henning Schulzrinne!

Press release: http://www.internet2.edu/news/pr/2011.10.04.idea.html
Julia Hirschberg receives AFOSR grant to study deceptive speech across cultures
Published: September 28, 2011
Julia Hirschberg, Michelle Levine (Barnard), and Andrew Rosenberg (Columbia University Ph.D., now at Queens College CUNY) have received a grant from the Air Force Office of Scientific Research to study the production and perception of deception in speech across cultures. The team will develop computational methods to detect deception in American, Chinese, and Arabic speakers and model the differing production and within- and cross-cultural perception of deception from speech. This work follows their work on American deception detection from speech.
Angelos Keromytis, Roxana Geambasu, Junfeng Yang, Simha Sethumadhavan and Sal Stolfo win DARPA project on cloud security
Published: September 27, 2011
MEERKATS is a novel architecture for cloud environments that elevates continuous system evolution and change as first-rate design principles. The project goal is to enable an environment for cloud services that constantly changes along several dimensions, toward creating an unpredictable target for an adversary. This unpredictability will both disrupt the adversarys ability to achieve an initial system compromise and, if a compromise occurs, to detect, disrupt, and/or otherwise impede his ability to exploit this success. We envision an environment where cloud services and data are constantly in flux, using adaptive (both proactive and reactive) protection mechanisms and distributed monitoring at various levels of abstraction. A key element of the proposed approach is the focus on both the software and the data in the cloud, not just protecting but leveraging both to improve mission resilience. MEERKATS will effectively exploit economies of scale (in resources available) to provide higher flexibility and effectiveness in the deployment and use of protection mechanisms as and where needed, focusing on current and anticipated mission needs instead of an inefficient, blanket approach to protecting everything, all the time at the same level of intensity.

MEERKATS includes partners at George Mason University and Symantec Research Labs.
Tal Malkin, Steve Bellovin, and Angelos Keromytis win IARPA grant for Security and Privacy Assurance Research
Published: September 27, 2011
Efficient, secure and private information access is critical to today's business and defense
operations. While the need for data protection is clear, the queries must be protected as
well, since they may reveal insights of the requester's interests, agenda, mode of operation,
etc. The PIs will develop an efficient and secure system for database access, which allows execution of complex queries, and guarantees protection to both server and client. The PIs will build on their existing successful solution, which relies on encrypted Bloom Filters (BF) and novel reroutable encryption to achieve simple keyword searches. The PIs will expand and enhance this system to handle far more complicated queries, support verifiable and private compliance checking, and maintain high performance even for very large databases. First, the PIs will design novel BF population and matching algorithms, which will allow for secure querying based on combinations of basic keywords. Then, the PIs will design and apply various heuristics and data representation and tokenization to extend this power to range, wildcard, and other query types. Some of the subprotocols will be implemented using Yao's Garbled Circuit (GC) technique, combined with techniques for seamless integration of BF- and GC-based secure computations. In particular, this will prove useful in secure query compliance checking. Finally, the PIs will investigate efficient solutions that eliminate all third helper parties, through the application of (and enhancements to) proxy re-encryption schemes. Using this tool, the (single) server in posession of the searchable encrypted database will be able to perform search and to re-encrypt the obtained result for decryption with the client's key.
American Scientist column credits Paskov and Traub for a "dramatic revival of interest in quasi-Monte Carlo."
Published: September 22, 2011
An article in the July-August issue of American Scientist credits the work of Paskov and Traub with bringing about a "dramatic revival of interest in quasi-Monte Carlo". Joseph Traub is the Edwin Howard Armstrong Professor of Computer Science at Columbia University; Spassimir Paskov was his PhD student. In the early 90s Paskov and Traub showed that quasi-Monte Carlo, which involves deterministic sampling, beats Monte Carlo, which involves randomized sampling, by one to three orders of magnitude for computing the 360 dimensional integrals which occur in computational finance. The use of quasi-Monte Carlo for high dimensional integrals was counter to the conventional wisdom of the world's leading experts.

The results of Paskov and Traub were due to computer experimentation. Theoretical explanations of these results continue to be an active research area. There is no generally accepted explanation.

Read the article at on the American Scientist website.
Published: September 20, 2011
Popular Science Magazine selects 2011's Ten Most Brilliant scientists. Read more.
Published: September 20, 2011
The ACM SIGMM Technical Achievement award cites that Prof. Shih-Fu Chang has made significant contributions that shape directions in many key areas of multimedia, including multimedia search, video summarization, compressed-domain manipulation, and trustworthy media.

For more information, visit http://www.sigmm.org/news/sigmm-award-2011. Read more.
Julia Hirschberg receives ISCA Medal for Scientific Achievement
Published: September 15, 2011
The citation reads: "She has made outstanding contributions to text-to-speech synthesis, prosody research, and many other topics in spoken language processing."

This past March, Julia Hirschberg also received the IEEE James L. Flanagan Speech and Audio Processing Award.

Julia Hirschberg has been a fellow of the American Association for Artificial Intelligence since 1994, a fellow of the International Speech Communication Association (ISCA) since 2008 and president of ISCA from 2005-2007, editor-in-chief of Computational Linguistics from 1993-2003 and co-editor-in-chief of Speech Communication from 2003-2005, and received a Columbia Engineering School Alumni Association (CESAA) Distinguished Faculty Teaching Award in 2009.
Jason Nieh wins IBM Faculty Award
Published: September 15, 2011
The IBM Faculty Award is a cash-only award intended to recognize outstanding faculty and to promote innovative, collaborative research in disciplines of mutual interest.
Martha Kim awarded NSF grant to develop fluid communication for parallel programs
Published: August 26, 2011
Every aspect of parallel software development is more complicated than for serial programs. This research focuses on one of the primary sources of complexity: intra-application communication. Currently it is a programmer's responsibility to find an efficient mapping of their application's communication patterns onto the communication infrastructure of the target system. This research flips that responsibility by developing a flexible communication architecture and associated tools and algorithms that allow the target platform to be specialized for a particular application, rather than vice versa. In addition to reducing the programmer's burden, specialization has the potential to improve communication efficiency while the automated techniques can increase portability.

This research poses questions whose answers have consequences at several levels of the traditional system stack: Can programmers be freed from hardware-specific optimization of communication without degrading performance? What abstractions are needed to allow hardware to adapt to the programmer, rather than the other way around? Can communication efficiency be improved when running on an application-specific communication platform? The project answers these questions by exploring abstractions and algorithms to profile a parallel program's communication, synthesize a custom network design, and implement it in a configurable network architecture substrate. The research methods center around the X10 language, and include compiler instrumentation passes, offline communication profile analyses, development of a portable network intermediate representation, and network place and route software algorithms.
Martha Kim, Stephen Edwards, Ken Ross awarded NSF grant to develop type-specific instruction processors
Published: August 26, 2011
This research project examines specialized processors that target abstract datatypes: moderate to large scale data structures and their associated operations. Modern software engineering practice encourages the use of such abstract types to improve programmer efficiency and software reliability. Abstract datatype processors thus align with these practices making the mapping of software to hardware intuitive and streamlined. By delivering energy-efficient, application-specific hardware in an easy-to-program fashion, this research empowers programmers to write faster software that consumes less energy.

The research activities span three fields of computer science: Hardware system and architecture research is carried out in software simulation. This portion of the research explores multiple aspects of the hardware system including efficient implementations of software-style polymorphism and mechanisms to enforce data encapsulation. The project is grounded in a specific, performance-critical, real-world problem of database query processing. This component of the research identifies target types for hardware acceleration that are used in common, complex database operations such as range partitioning. Performance results will be obtained both by direct measurement and by simulation. Finally, the compiler segment of the project develops compiler techniques to link high-level languages to the accelerators available on the target hardware system. The compiler adapts software at runtime to best utilize the available accelerators and to partition code among general-purpose and specialized processing cores.
Junfeng Yang awarded NSF grant to address concurrency errors
Published: August 26, 2011
LOOM: a Language and System for Bypassing and Diagnosing Concurrency Errors.

This project addresses programming challenges posed by the new trend in multicore computing. Multithreaded programs are difficult to write, test, and debug. They often contain numerous insidious concurrency errors, including data races, atomicity violations, and order violations, which we broadly define to be races. A good deal of prior research has focused on race detection. However, little progress has been made to help developers fix races because existing systems for fixing races work only with a small, fixed set of race patterns and, for the most part, do not work with simple order violations, a common type of concurrency errors.

The research objective of this project, LOOM: a Language and System for Bypassing and Diagnosing Concurrency Errors, is to create effective systems and technologies to help developers fix races. A preliminary study revealed a key challenge yet to be addressed on fixing races that is, how to help developers immediately protect deployed programs from known races. Even with the correct diagnosis of a race, fixing this race in a deployed program is complicated and time consuming. This delay leaves large vulnerability windows potentially compromising reliability and security.

To address these challenges, the LOOM project is creating an intuitive, expressive synchronization language and a system called LOOM for bypassing races in live programs. The language enables developers to write declarative, succinct execution filters to describe their synchronization intents on code. To fix races, LOOM installs these filters in live programs for immediate protection against races, until a software update is available and the program can be restarted.

The greatest impact of this project will be a new, effective language and system and novel technologies to improve the reliability of multithreaded program, benefiting business, government, and individuals.
Published: August 12, 2011
"Introduction to Algorithms" in its third edition Read more.
Angelos Keromytis awarded Google grant
Published: August 10, 2011
Angelos Keromytis has been awarded a Google Research grant for "Leveraging the Cloud to Audit Use of Sensitive Infomation". This work will focus on developing mechanisms and policies for providing easy-to-use auditing mechanisms for end-users to better control their data on the client and as it is being handled (and stored) by the cloud. The work will create a reusable and high-performance framework for dynamic information flow tracking (DIFT) of arbitrary binaries, taking into consideration the increasingly partitioned nature of rich clients across operating system abstractions (i.e., processes) and runtimes (e.g., HTML vs. Flash vs. Javascript vs. Native Client).
Published: July 26, 2011
for significant contributions to the preservation of biodiversity on Earth. Read more.
Tal Malkin's new NSF Grant: How to Let an Adversary Compute For You
Published: July 26, 2011
The Internet revolution enabled private users across the world to send and receive messages to one another. Coupled with cryptographic techniques like public key encryption and digital signatures, this gave rise to the development of the world wide web, e-commerce, and so many other technological changes that we routinely take for granted today. We are now facing a second revolution in which we are changing not just how we communicate, but how we compute. More and more we are sending large datasets to untrusted servers, having them perform calculations on our behalf. From our cell phones and our GPS units, we send compromising information to our service providers in order to outsource the computation that we cannot do on-the-go. Cryptography has a new role to play in these emerging environments.

The PI intends to explore the theoretical underpinnings of the cryptographic challenges that arise in this context. The proposed directions of research touch on the following questions:
-- How can we safely allow others to perform computation on our encrypted data while maintaining its privacy?
-- How can we verify that outsourced computation was done correctly?
-- What stronger security models are needed in this new, highly interactive environment?

We will address the theoretical aspects of these problems, including modeling, protocol design, and negative results. As part of our investigations, we will study the powerful cryptographic primitives of fully homomorphic encryption and functional encryption (in particular, the relationship between them and outsourced and veriable computations), as well as the area of leakage-resilient cryptography.
Published: July 25, 2011
While looking at old telegraph codebooks at the Library of Congress, Steve Bellovin stumbled on one from 1882 that described the concept of the one-time pad -- a theoretically perfect form of encryption -- some 35 years before it was thought to have been invented. With the aid of the Columbia University Library Network's online resources, he was able to identify the inventor as a prominent California banker, and to show a possible indirect link to the people generally credited with the invention. Read more.
Roxana Geambasu from the University of Washington will join the CS faculty this Fall
Published: July 1, 2011
Her research lies in the general operating systems area, centering on cloud computing and computer security. Cloud computing is the computing paradigm today, and likely will be in the foreseeable future; computer security is one of the biggest challenges in computer science. Geambasu has made astounding contributions to both areas. Her prior results have won her two Best Paper Awards at top security and systems conferences and a Google PhD fellowship in cloud computing, and were featured in media outlets ranging from The New York Times to National Public Radio.
Rocco Servedio awarded NSF grant to study learnability of monotone Boolean functions
Published: June 22, 2011
Rocco Servedio has been awarded an NSF Algorithmic Foundations grant for "The Boundary of Learnability for Monotone Boolean Functions". This work will focus on developing learning algorithms for different types of monotone Boolean functions, and also on developing complementary hardness-of-learning results. The ultimate goal of this project is a fine-grained understanding of the boundary between those classes of monotone Boolean functions that can be learned by computationally efficient algorithms, and those that cannot be thus efficiently learned.
Peter Allen awarded Google grant for 3D Shape and Texture Reconstruction
Published: June 15, 2011
Peter Allen has been awarded a Google Research grant for "3D Shape and Texture Reconstruction from Incomplete Data". This work will focus on recovering the full shape and texture of scanned and imaged objects for which only a partial model exists. The models will be completed by finding the most appropriate model in a novel database of thousands of previously modeled objects.
David Waltz receives Distinguished Service Award
Published: June 9, 2011
Dave Waltz is 2011 recipient of the AAAI Distinguished Service Award. The award was established in 1999 to honor an individual for extraordinary and sustained service to the artificial intelligence community. The AAAI Awards Committee mentioned his extraordinary and long-term technical and organizational leadership at both the community and individual levels, and the numerous AI scientists who have been directly touched in more personal ways by his insights, wisdom, and mentorship.

The award will be presented at AAAI-11 in San Francisco during the opening ceremony on Tuesday, July 13 of AAAI-11.
Published: June 8, 2011
The premier ACM group promotes research in techniques and tools for performance analysis. Read more.
John Kender, Shih-Fu Chang, Dan Ellis win IARPA Contract for Video Event Modeling and Retrieval
Published: June 3, 2011
John Kender (CS), Shih-Fu Chang (EE & CS) and Dan Ellis (EE) have been awarded a $2.9M, 5-year contract in the IARPA program called Aladdin (Automated Low-Level Analysis and Description of Diverse Intelligence Video). This contract is their share of a larger effort joint with IBM Research, entitled "Video Event Modeling and Retrieval based on Discriminative Semantic Features".

The research will develop a novel foundation for creating and exploiting a critical intermediate representation layer between low-level audio-visual features and high-level human events. Signal-based information will be abstracted and represented by "unit models", each of which is trained from small samples of exemplar data, in a sub-space selected from the larger intersection of semantic concepts with image and sound features. These resulting individual discriminators are then leveraged for higher-level ensemble modeling and detection. This middle layer of hundreds of thousands of models provides several advantages: models are trained and reused across many humanly meaningful categories; they each carry a machine-derived unit of semantic information; and they all are trained and applied in an easily parallelized fashion. The work will directly impact the key issues of accuracy, robustness, scalability, and responsiveness of video analysis systems.
Undergrad-originated work wins Best Paper at Privacy Law Scholars Conference in Berkeley
Published: June 3, 2011
Steve Bellovin, Maritza Johnson, and Michelle Madejski (SEAS BS '10) won the Best Paper award for "A Study of Privacy Setting Errors in Online Social Networks" at the Privacy Law Scholars Conference in Berkeley. The study contrasted people's intentions in their privacy settings with the reality. Every one of the 65 subjects had at least one error, disclosing information that they wanted to hide or hiding information that they wanted to show.

The work originated with a CS undergraduate's insight and initiative, and Prof. Bellovin's class assignment dealing with privacy. Of her own initiative, undergraduate Michelle Madejski wrote a Facebook app, found subjects, and did a preliminary version of the study. Based on early promising results, Prof. Bellovin and Ph.D. student Martiza Johnson teamed up with Madejski to carry out the full-scale study.

Read the paper here: https://mice.cs.columbia.edu/getTechreport.php?techreportID=1459

For more on the conference see http://docs.law.gwu.edu/facweb/dsolove/PLSC/
Shih-Fu Chang joins the department
Published: June 3, 2011
Prof. Shih-Fu Chang is a professor in the Department of Electrical Engineering and now has a new joint faculty appointment in the Department of Computer Science. Shih-Fu is world renounwed for his work in multimedia and information retrieval. Lean more about Prof. Chang's research by visiting http://www.ee.columbia.edu/~sfchang/.
Published: May 17, 2011
"Feiner, one of the gurus of the field, says augmented reality can exploit all the senses, including touch and hearing." Read more.
Peter Belhumeur's team, together with Smithsonian and U. Maryland collaborators, launches Leafsnap
Published: May 7, 2011
Peter Belhumeur and his Smithsonian and U. Maryland collaborators launched Leafsnap (leafsnap.com) in the Apple App store on Monday. Peter's group has now been covered by NPR, the New York Times, Science Magazine, the Gaurdian UK, Nooderlicht (Netherlands), Morgen (Germany), Smart Planet, Crunch Gear, Engadget, Treehugger, Intomobile, Columbia Record, and a Gizmodo video is slated for release when the iPad version goes live. More than 10,000 people have now installed the app.

Leafsnap is the first in a series of electronic field guides being developed by researchers from Columbia University, the University of Maryland, and the Smithsonian Institution. This free mobile app uses visual recognition software to help identify tree species from photographs of their leaves. Leafsnap contains beautiful high-resolution images of leaves, flowers, fruit, petiole, seeds, and bark. Leafsnap currently includes the trees of New York City and Washington, D.C., and will soon grow to include the trees of the entire continental United States.

Leafsnap turns users into citizen scientists, automatically sharing images, species identifications, and geo-coded stamps of species locations with a community of scientists who will use the stream of data to map and monitor the ebb and flow of flora nationwide.

The Leafsnap family of electronic field guides aims to leverage digital applications and mobile devices to build an ever-greater awareness of and appreciation for biodiversity.

The genesis of Leafsnap was the realization that many techniques used for face recognition developed by Professor Peter Belhumeur and Professor David Jacobs, of the Computer Science departments of Columbia University and the University of Maryland, respectively, could be applied to automatic species identification.

Professors Jacobs and Belhumeur approached Dr. John Kress, Chief Botanist at the Smithsonian, to start a collaborative effort for designing and building such a system for plant species. Columbia and the University of Maryland designed and implemented the visual recognition system used for automatic identification. In addition, Columbia University designed and wrote the iPhone, iPad, and Android apps, the leafsnap.com website, and wrote the code that powers the recognition servers. The Smithsonian was instrumental in collecting the datasets of leaf species and supervising the curation efforts throughout the course of the project. As part of this effort, the Smithsonian contracted the not-for-profit nature photography group Finding Species, which collected and photographed the high-quality photos available in the apps and the website.
Salvatore Stolfo and Angelos Keromytis's spinout wins SBIR
Published: May 3, 2011
Salvatore Stolfo and Angelos Keromytis's spinout Allure Security Technology, Inc., (www.alluresecurity.com) won a highly competitive DARPA SBIR grant. The SBIR project will build on the "decoy technologies" developed in the Columbia IDS lab for the insider threat. The first phase of SBIR will develop a baseline system that demonstrates the feasibility of identifying specific types of insider attacks, from malicious insiders to those who accidentally violate security policy.
Published: April 29, 2011
A paper by Ph.D. student Maria Gorlatova and Professors Peter Kinget, Ioannis Kymissis, Dan Rubenstein (CS), Xiadong Wang, and Gil Zussman won the 2011 IEEE Communications Society Award for Outstanding Paper on New Communication Topics. The paper, titled Energy Harvesting Active Networked Tags (EnHANTs) for Ubiquitous Object Networking, appeared in the IEEE Wireless Communications Dec. 2010 Special Issue on "The Internet of Things: the Next Big Thing in Communications?" (link to http://dl.comsoc.org/livepubs/pci/public/2010/dec/index.html). The paper describes the design challenges posed by a new class of ultra-low-power devices referred to as Energy-Harvesting Active Networked Tags (EnHANTs).

The IEEE Communications Society Award for Outstanding Paper on New Communication Topics is given to "outstanding papers that open new lines of work, envision bold approaches to communication, formulate new problems to solve, and essentially enlarge the field of communications engineering." It is given to a paper published in any IEEE Communications Society publication in the previous calendar year.

The award will be presented at the 2011 IEEE International Conference on Communications (ICC'2011) award ceremony.

More information about the EnHANTs project can be found in http://enhants.ee.columbia.edu/ Read more.
Published: April 19, 2011
Shree Nayar was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. The Academy studies and sets the direction of research in science and technology policy, global security, social policy, and the humanities. Its founders included Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, and George Washington. Its current members include many of the nation's most prominent computer scientists, more than 250 Nobel and Pulitzer Prize winners, as well as Lee Bollinger. Read more.
Dana Pe'er wins Stand Up To Cancer Award
Published: April 8, 2011
Dana Pe'er is a recipient of the Stand Up To Cancer award!

This award is highly visible due to its media-oriented backing. One of 13 awardees, Dana will receive $750k direct for 3 years for her project on "A Systems Approach to Understanding Tumor Specific Drug Response." Peers research is focused on elucidating tumor-specific molecular networks, working towards personalized cancer care. The project will develop and use machine learning approaches for the integration and analysis of high-throughput data toward understanding the tumor regulatory network and its response to drug, as well as the genetic determinants of this response.

Please see:
http://www.standup2cancer.org/node/4782
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9lDh1iiO9KA&feature=player_embedded
Published: April 8, 2011
"Election to the National Academy of Engineering is among the highest professional distinctions accorded to an engineer. Academy membership honors those who have made outstanding contributions to 'engineering research, practice, or education, including, where appropriate, significant contributions to the engineering literature,' and to the 'pioneering of new and developing fields of technology, making major advancements in traditional fields of engineering, or developing/implementing innovative approaches to engineering education." (http://www.nae.edu/Activities/MediaRoom/20095/42133.aspx)

Read more on http://www.engineering.columbia.edu/nae-elects-prof-yannakakis-member Read more.
Shree Nayar's BigShot in Scientific American
Published: April 1, 2011
What could be cooler for an aspiring scientist or engineer than a hands-on project working with and learning about electronics and optics? How about one where each student ends up with his or her own digital camera. Such is the vision of Shree Nayar's BigShot, which he has been cultivating since 2006. Nayar has already developed a dozen prototypes of the build-it-yourself BigShot camera. With his graduate students Guru Krishnan and Brian Smith, he has developed an associated educational and social-networking Web site, and conducted several successful pilot tests with children around the world.

The build-and-learn aspect of BigShot has a lot of appeal, says Margaret Honey, CEO of the New York Hall of Science in Queens, N.Y., a hands-on, family-oriented science and technology museum. "I've seen lots of technology and engineering projects throughout my career, and I was really taken with this," she says. "The strategy of engineering this device so that kids can fairly easily put this together without starting from scratch is incredibly smart. I love that kids end up with a working camera and that the assembly of the project is just the beginning."
Published: March 25, 2011
Simha Sethumadhavan was funded through the National Science Foundation's CAREER program for an ongoing research project on hardware security. Hardware components can contain malicious, illegal modifications that can siphon sensitive information to transmit to adversaries or shutdown critical operations. Such modifications to the hardware - the root of trust in computing - can compromise trustworthiness of systems because all software runs on hardware. This research investigates techniques to build trustworthy hardware systems even with such untrustworthy, malicious hardware components. Sethumadhavan, an assistant professor of Computer Science and a computer hardware and security expert, is the founding director of the Computer Architecture and Security Technologies Lab (CASTL). Read more.
Steve Nowick receives 2011 SEAS Distinguished Faculty Teaching Award
Published: March 24, 2011
The award, created by the Columbia Enginering Alumni Association, is given to honor faculty members for excellence in teaching undergraduates, teaching skills, sensitivity and responsiveness to student needs. It will be presented to the two winning SEAS faculty at Class Day ceremonies on Monday May 16, 4pm in the South Lawn.
Published: March 11, 2011
for her pioneering contributions to speech synthesis and prosody research Read more.
Steve Feiner elected to the CHI Academy.
Published: March 3, 2011
Steve Feiner has been elected to the CHI Academy, which is an honorary group of individuals who have made extensive contributions to the study of HCI and
who have led the shaping of the field.

For the citation, please see:
http://www.sigchi.org/about/awards/2011-sigchi-awards
Junfeng Yang receives an NSF Career Award
Published: February 17, 2011
Title: Making Threads More Deterministic by Memoizing Schedules

Multithreaded programs are becoming increasingly critical driven by the
rise of multicore hardware and the coming storm of cloud computing.
Unfortunately, these programs remain difficult to write, test, and debug.
A key reason for this difficulty is nondeterminism: different runs of a
multithreaded program may show different behaviors depending on how the
threads interleave. Nondeterminism complicates almost every development
step of multithreaded programs. For instance, it weakens testing because
the schedules tested may not be the ones run in the field; it complicates
debugging because reproducing a buggy schedule is hard.

In the past three decades, researchers have developed many techniques to
address nondeterminism. Despite these efforts, it remains an open
challenge to achieve both efficiency and determinism for general
multithreaded programs on commodity multiprocessors.

This project aims to address this fundamental challenge. Its key insight
is that one can reuse a small number of schedules to process a large
number of inputs. Based on this insight, it takes an approach called
schedule memoization that memoizes past schedules and, when possible,
reuses them for future runs. This approach amortizes the high overhead of
making one schedule deterministic over many reuses and makes a program
repeat familiar behaviors whenever possible. A real-world analogy to this
approach is animals' natural tendencies to follow familiar routes to avoid
hazards and discovery overhead of unknown routes.

The greatest impact of this project will be a novel approach and new,
effective systems and technologies to improving software reliability, thus
benefiting every business, government, and individual.
Published: January 18, 2011
Today's high-resolution cameras capture images with pixel counts in
the tens of millions. In the future digital cameras may may be able to
capture images with billions of pixels. Columbia's CAVE lab has shown
that by using a large ball lens, an array of planar sensors, and
deconvolution as a post processing step, we can capture gigapixel
images with a very compact camera. Read more.
Published: January 18, 2011
Peter Belhumeur discusses his work on face recognition in an interview on National Public Radio. The full interview is available at http://www.studio360.org/episodes/2010/12/17 Read more.
Eitan Grinspun profiled in New York Times
Published: January 3, 2011
The New York Times (Arts Section, C1, 2010/12/30) presents a full profile of Prof. Eitan Grinspun and his group at Columbia University. Grinspun's group combines an expertise in geometry and scientific computing to develop technologies used at Disney, Pixar, Weta Digital (best known for Avatar and Lord of the Rings) and top visual effects and animation studios worldwide. Read the article here.
Ang Cui and Salvatore Stolfo win best paper award
Published: December 19, 2010
Ang Cui and Salvatore Stolfo won best paper award at the 2010 Annual
Computer Security Applications Conferenec
for their paper "A Quantitative Analysis Of The Insecurity Of Embedded
Network Devices:
Results Of A Wide-area Scan."
Published: November 26, 2010
Social media sites such as Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and Flickr host an ever-increasing amount of user content captured or produced in association with real-world events, from presidential inaugurations to community-specific events. Unfortunately, the existing tools to find, organize, and present the social media content associated with events are extremely limited. This project will develop critical end-to-end information processing and presentation methods that will transform public access to real-world event information from social media sources. More information can be found at http://www.nsf.gov/awardsearch/showAward.do?AwardNumber=1017389. Read more.
David Harmon received a CRA/CCC Computing Innovation Fellowship
Published: October 18, 2010
CIFellow Harmon will be working at New York University, where he will investigate contact algorithms for geometric modeling. Geometric modeling is concerned with the description and manipulation of shapes for many purposes, such as computer-aided design, mechanical engineering, and image processing. The developed contact algorithms will take contacts and collisions into consideration when modeling complex geometry, such as subdivision surfaces. The impact of such algorithms can be applied to many practical scenarios including computer-aided manufacturing and medical simulation systems, where contact sensitive models are a physical requirement.

Harmon, who was an NSF Graduate Research Fellow during his doctoral studies at the Columbia University School of Engineering & Applied Science, completed his PhD thesis in 2010, as a member of the Columbia Computer Graphics Group directed by Prof. Eitan Grinspun. He has worked at both Walt Disney Animation Studios (makers of Snow White through Tangled) and Weta Digital (makers of The Lord of the Rings through Avatar), applying research technologies to problems in digital special effects. His work on contact algorithms for the motion of fabric is used in films such as Disney's Tangled.
Steve Feiner wins Lasting Impact Award at UIST'10
Published: October 6, 2010
Congratulations to Steve Feiner and his co-authors B. MacIntyre, M. Haupt, and E. Solomon, for winning the UIST'10: Lasting Impact Award for their 1993 paper "Windows on the world: 2D windows for 3D augmented reality".

The conference byline is "UIST (ACM Symposium on User Interface Software and Technology) is the premier forum for innovations in the software and technology of human-computer interfaces." The conference has been held yearly for the past 22 years. This is the eighth year of Lasting Impact awards.
Junfeng Yang and his students got two papers accepted to the the 2010 Symposium on Operating Systems Design and Implementation
Published: September 23, 2010
The the 2010 Symposium on Operating Systems Design and Implementation (OSDI 2010) is one of the top two operating systems conferences. Out of a few hundred submissions, only 32 papers were accepted! The two Columbia papers will be presented next month in Vancouver.
Henning Schulzrinne is the recipient of the 2010 William Terry Lifetime Distinguished Service Award
Published: September 10, 2010
Henning Schulzrinne is the recipient of the 2010 William Terry Lifetime Distinguished Service Award for his contribution and service to the IEEE and Region 1. This award is intended to recognize those whose personal efforts have provided leadership, creativity, guidance, hard work, and inspiration in a wide range of IEEE activities over a long period of time.
Prof. Ross Awarded NSF Grant for Databases on Multicore Processors
Published: September 9, 2010
Applications such as traffic monitoring, mobile user management,
and sensor networks need to process large volumes of updates while
supporting on-line analytic queries. With large amounts of RAM, single
machines are potentially able to manage hundreds of millions of
items. With multiple hardware threads, as many as 64 on modern
commodity multicore chips, many operations can be processed
concurrently.

Processing queries and updates concurrently can cause
interference. Queries need to see a consistent database state, meaning
that at least some of the time, updates will need to wait for queries
to complete. To address this problem, a RAM-resident snapshot of the database is taken at
various points in time. Analytic queries operate over the snapshot,
eliminating interference, but allowing answers to be slightly out of
date. Several different snapshot creation methods are being developed
and studied, with the goal of being able to create snapshots
rapidly (e.g., in fractions of a second) while minimizing the overhead
on update processing.

These problems are studied both for traditional server machines, as
well as for multicore mobile devices. By keeping personalized, up to
date data on a user's mobile device, a wide range of potential new
applications could be supported while avoiding the privacy concerns of
widely distributing one's location. The research focus is on how to
efficiently utilize the many processing cores available on modern
machines, both traditional and mobile devices. A primary goal is to
allow performance to scale as additional cores become available in
newer generations of hardware.

More information can be found at http://www.nsf.gov/awardsearch/showAward.do?AwardNumber=1049898
Matei Ciocarlie wins the 2010 RobotDalen Scientific award
Published: September 8, 2010
The Robotdalen Scientific Award is an international competition for young scientists, with € 20 000 in prize money. The purpose is to encourage young, innovative people all over the world in all aspects of robotics, to find new
and untried approaches for the future.The winner will be announced on Robotdalen Day in Örebro, Sweden on September 7, 2010.

For details: http://robotdalen.se/English/News/2010/Robotic-grasping-earned-scientific-award/
Published: August 25, 2010
See http://beta.wnyc.org/shows/lopate/2010/aug/25/computers-and-language/ for the story. Read more.
Published: August 17, 2010
Salman Abdul Baset and Prof. Henning Schulzrinne win best paper award at IPTCOMM 2010 for their paper titled "Reliability and Relay Selection in Peer-to-Peer Communication Systems". Read more.
David Elson and Prof. Kathy McKeown win best student paper award at ACL 2010
Published: August 3, 2010
PhD Student David Elson and Prof. Kathleen McKeown won the IBM Best Student Paper award at the 48th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics (ACL 2010) in Uppsala, Sweden along with co-author Nicholas Dames, Professor in the Department of English and Comparative Literature. Elson, McKeown and Dames studied the properties of social networks based on conversation in a corpus of 60 British novels from the Victorian era. They examined the correlation of these properties with literary theories about about interaction in the 19th century novel. The interdisciplinary paper was titled "Extracting Social Networks from Literary Fiction."
Malek Ben Salem and Prof. Salvatore J. Stolfo won a MIST 2010 best paper award
Published: June 18, 2010
Malek Ben Salem and Prof. Salvatore J. Stolfo, won best paper award at The 2nd International Workshop on Managing Insider Security Threats (MIST 2010). The paper was entitled "Detecting Masqueraders: A Comparison of One-Class Bag-of-Words User Behavior Modeling Techniques". The workshop was conducted in conjunction with 4th IFIP International Conference on Trust Management in Morioka, Japan, June 2010.
Prof. Rocco Servedio is the 2010 recipient of the Distinguished Teaching Award
Published: June 3, 2010
Prof. Rocco Servedio is the 2010 recipient of the Distinguished Teaching Award
from the Department of Computer Science. This award is in recognition of
his dedication to teaching and his efforts to make Computer Science
accessible to all students.
Published: May 17, 2010
The students are the first Columbia Engineering students in seven years to win these highly competitive scholarships. The scholarships include a $10,000 award for the 2010-11 academic year and a June retreat at Googles headquarters in Mountain View, Calif. Vasudevan and Ainsley are two of just 25 winners Google chose nationwide to honor on the strength of each candidate's academic background and demonstrated leadership. Vasudevan's adviser is Stephen Edwards, associate professor.

Googles goal for the award is to encourage women to excel in computing and technology and become active role models and leaders in the field. The company will sponsor the award recipients to the Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing to be held in Atlanta in September. According to Google, Anita Borg devoted her adult life to revolutionizing the way we think about technology and dismantling barriers that keep women and minorities from entering computing and technology fields. Her combination of technical expertise and fearless vision continues to inspire and motivate countless women to become active participants and leaders in creating technology.

Another Columbia Engineering student Zeinab Abbassi Ph.D. Computer Science was a finalist for the scholarship. Her adviser is Vishal Misra, associate professor. Read more.
Prof. Rocco Servedio wins Distinguished Faculty Teaching Award
Published: May 17, 2010
Professor Rocco Servedio was recognized with the 2010 Columbia Engineering Alumni Association Distinguished Faculty Teaching Award during the SEAS Class Day ceremony.
Profs. Nowick and Tsividis win a $1M NSF Grant
Published: May 8, 2010
The National Science Foundation has awarded a $1 million grant to Professors Yannis Tsividis of Electrical Engineering (principal investigator) and Steven Nowick of Computer Science (co-principal investigator) to perform research in ultra low-power microelectronic systems which perform continuous monitoring, acquisition and processing of signals occurring in the physical world. Such systems can be used in a wide range of applications, from environmental sensors to implantable or ingestible biomedical devices. This interdisciplinary research combines the expertise of the two investigators in continuous-time digital signal processors and in asynchronous digital design.

The proposal, entitled "Power-Adaptive, Event-Driven Data Conversion and Signal Processing Using Asynchronous Digital Techniques", addresses the increasing demand for ultra low-power and high-quality microelectronic systems that continuously acquire and process information, as soon as it becomes available. In these applications, new information is generated infrequently, at irregular and unpredictable intervals. This event-based nature of the information calls for a drastic re-thinking of how these signals are monitored and processed.

Traditional synchronous (i.e. clocked) digital techniques, which use fixed-rate operation to evaluate data whether or not it has changed, are a poor match for the above applications, and often lead to excessive power consumption. This research aims instead to provide viable "event-based" systems: controlled not by a clock but rather by the arrival of each event. Asynchronous (i.e. clock-less) digital logic techniques, which are ideally suited for this work, are combined with continuous-time digital signal processing, to make this task possible. Such continuous-time data acquisition and processing promises significant power and energy reduction, flexible support for a variety of signal processing protocols and encodings, high-quality output signals, and graceful scalability to future microelectronic technologies. A series of silicon chips will be designed and fully evaluated, culminating in a fully programmable, event-driven data acquisition and signal processing system, which can be used as a testbed for a wide variety of real-world applications.
Fadi Biadsy wins 2010 IBM Ph.D. Scholarship
Published: May 8, 2010
Fadi Biadsy, PhD student in the CS Spoken Language Processing group, has received an IBM PhD Scholarship for 2010. Fadi's research is on automatic dialect identification.
Prof. Carloni Wins ONR Young Investigator Award
Published: April 15, 2010
Prof. Luca Carloni has been selected as a Office of Naval Research (ONR) Young Investigator for his proposal "Methods for System-level Design and Programming of Heterogeneous Embedded Multi-Core Platforms".

The ONR Young Investigator Program invests in academic scientists and engineers who show exceptional promise for creative study. In 2010 the ONR selected 17 award recipients from 211 proposal submissions.

Read more about this on the Columbia SEAS
news webpage.

For more information on the ONR Young Investigator Program please see
the official press release.
Lauren Wilcox receives nomination for best paper at ACM CHI 2010
Published: April 4, 2010
ACM CHI (Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems) is
the premier Human-Computer Interaction conference. The paper,
"Designing Patient-Centric Information Displays for Hospitals,"
proposes a design for in-room, patient-centric information displays,
based on iterative design with physicians and a study with emergency
department patients at Washington Hospital Center, a large urban
hospital. The research was conducted by Wilcox during a summer
internship at Microsoft Research with Dan Morris and Desney Tan of
Microsoft Research, in collaboration with Justin Gatewood of MedStar
Institute for Innovation. The study included the presentation of
real-time information to patients based on their medical records,
during their visit to an Emergency Department. Subjective responses to
in-room displays were overwhelmingly positive, and the study elicited
guidelines (regarding specific information types, privacy, use cases,
and information presentation techniques) that could be used
for a fully-automatic implementation of the design.
Max Horlbeck receives Goldwater Recognition
Published: April 2, 2010
Max Horlbeck, a junior double major in Biochemistry and Computer Science and a Rabi Scholar from New York City, has won the Goldwater Scholarship. Max plans to pursue an M.D./Ph.D. program so that he can conduct biomedical research to develop gene-targeted therapies, treat patients, and teach at the university level. Congratulations Max!



The Goldwater Scholarship funds and supports outstanding undergraduate scholars in the sciences, mathematics, and engineering to pursue a Ph.D. in those fields.
Oliver Cossairt and Shree Nayar awarded Best Paper Award at 2010 International Conference on Computational Photography
Published: March 31, 2010
Oliver Cossairt and Shree Nayar of the Computer Vision Laboratory
were awarded the Best Paper Award at
the 2010 International Conference on Computational Photography (ICCP), for
their paper titled "Spectral Focal Sweep: Extended Depth of Field from
Chromatic Aberrations." The paper described a new technique for capturing
photographs with very wide depth of field. The conference was held at
MIT on March 28-30.
Prof. Servedio Receives Google Research Award for Research on Noise-Tolerant Learning
Published: March 24, 2010
Prof. Rocco Servedio has been awarded a Google Research Award to develop provably efficient and effective machine learning algorithms that use outlier detection as a method of identifying and eliminating noisy data points. A sensible first step for machine learning practitioners is to use some form of outlier detection to attempt to get rid of noisy examples in data before running their learning algorithms; however, this common-sense approach rarely plays a role in the theoretical study of efficient noise-tolerant learning algorithms. Prof. Servedio will work to establish a firm theoretical basis for noisy data detection as a central ingredient of computationally efficient learning algorithms.
Prof. Carloni is Awarded NSF Grant for Research on High-Performance Green Buildings
Published: March 23, 2010
Prof. Luca Carloni has been awarded an NSF grant to develop methods and tools for monitoring and controlling buildings through a network of embedded devices
with the goal of improving their energy-efficiency, comfort, and safety. Traditional buildings account for about 40% of the total energy consumed in the
United States. A central theme of the proposed research is to model a future high-performance building as a cyber-physical system whose complex dynamics arise from the interaction among its physical attributes, the operating equipment (such as sensors, embedded processors, and HVAC components), and the
behavior of its occupants. Emphasis is laid on the development of methods to make the distributed embedded system robust to uncertainty and adaptive to change.

More details: http://www.nsf.gov/awardsearch/showAward.do?AwardNumber=0931870
Published: March 1, 2010
The Anita Borg Institute for Women and Technology (ABI) announced today
the winners of this years Anita Borg Women of Vision Awards. Three
leaders in technology Kristina M. Johnson, Under Secretary for Energy,
Department of Energy, Kathleen R. McKeown, Henry and Gertrude Rothschild
Professor of Computer Science, Columbia University, and Lila Ibrahim,
General Manager, Emerging Markets Platform Group, Intel Corporation will
be* *honored for their accomplishments and contributions as women in
technology at ABIs fifth annual Women of Vision Awards Banquet at the
Mission City Ballroom, Santa Clara, California on May 12, 2010. Read more.
Congratulations to MSR Fellow Charles Han
Published: February 17, 2010
Security Group leading multi-institutional IARPA-funded effort to protect large-scale software systems
Published: January 29, 2010
The project will develop a novel architecture that integrates static analysis, dynamic confinement, and code diversification techniques to enable the identification, mitigation and containment of a large class of software vulnerabilities. The system will permit the immediate deployment of new software and the protection of already deployed (legacy) software by transparently inserting extensive security instrumentation, while leveraging concurrent program analysis and runtime profiling data to gradually reduce the performance cost of the instrumentation by allowing its selective removal or refinement.
Traub Appointed to National Academies Division Committee
Published: January 27, 2010
The Committee provides advice and strategic insights to boards and standing committees within its purview.
The DEPS portfolio ranges from disciplinary boards such as mathematics, physics, computer science,and astronomy to boards and standing committees serving
each of the major military services as well as the intelligence community and the Department of Homeland Security.

After 10 years of service Traub has stepped down as Chair of the Computer Science and Telecommunications Board (CSTB). He served as founding chair 1986-1992 and served again 2005-2009.
Published: December 17, 2009
The paper was titled "Self Organizing IP Multimedia Subsystem" and co-authored by Ashutosh Dutta (Telcordia Technologies, US), Christian Makaya (Ecole Polytechnique de Montreal, CA), Subir Das (Telcordia Technologies, US), Dana A Chee (Telcordia Technologies, US), Fuchun J Lin (Telcordia Technologies, US), Satoshi Komorita (KDDI R&D Laboratories Inc., JP), Tsunehiko Chiba (KDDI R&D Laboratories, Inc., JP), Hidetoshi Yokota (KDDI Labs, JP) and Henning Schulzrinne (Columbia University, US). Read more.
Prof. Rocco Servedio Promoted to Associate Professor with tenure
Published: December 8, 2009
Congratulations to Prof. Rocco Servedio, who has been promoted to the rank of Associate Professor with tenure.
Published: December 5, 2009
The Tech Awards 2009, a humanitarian program recognizing technological solutions aimed at worldwide challenges, selected 15 Laureates from a pool of 650 nominations representing 66 countries. Dr. White won for his work on the mobile, hand-held, and augmented reality versions of the Electronic Field Guide. The 2009 Tech Awards Laureates represent regions as diverse as Nigeria, Brazil, Great Britain, the United States and Bangladesh. The Laureates and former Vice President Al Gore, this year's James C. Morgan Global Humanitarian Award recipient, were recognized at The Tech Awards Gala on November 19th at the San Jose McEnery Convention Center.


The Tech Awards, presented by Applied Materials, is a signature program of The Tech Museum. Established in 2001, The Tech Awards recognizes Laureates in five categories: environment, economic development, education, equality, and health. These Laureates have developed new technological solutions or innovative ways to use existing technologies to significantly improve the lives of people around the world. Dr. White received one of the three Intel Environment Awards. Read more.

Congratulations to the the CUCS ACM programming teams!
Published: November 24, 2009
These teams consisted of students:

Team Columbia 1 (ranked 2nd):
- Jingyue Wu (PhD, computer science)
- Varun Jalan (MS, computer science)
- Zifeng Yuan (PhD, civil engineering)

Team Columbia 2 (ranked 6th):
- Chen Chen (PhD, IEOR)
- Huzaifa Neralwala (MS, computer science)
- Jiayang Jiang (Junior, mathematics)

Due to their performance, team Columbia 1 was also selected to be one of 100 teams (chosen from over 7,000 around the world) to advance to the world finals competition, to be held in Harbin, China from February 1--6. The teams were led by coach John Zhang (PhD student, computer science).
Prof. Jebara receives a Google Research Award
Published: November 20, 2009
The goal of this project is to set up a collaborative filtering problem much like the Netflix challenge where recommendations are provided to users based on large amounts of unsupervised human social activity (as opposed to more standard rating data).
Prof. Gravano receives a Google Research Award
Published: November 18, 2009
The goal of this project is to use the wealth of social media documents available on the Web to identify and characterize event-related information, ultimately leading to substantial improvements in browsing and search quality for event
media.
Prof. Malkin receives a Google Research Award
Published: November 17, 2009
The funded research will
enhance routing protocols such that they can compute high-performance
routes in a computationally efficient manner without revealing
information that might reveal the location of participating nodes.
This allows users to send and receive high-bandwidth, low-latency
transmissions such as video and audio feeds without revealing their
location. Potential applications include celebrity multimedia
twitter-like feeds, and network-supported action gaming.
Prof. Misra receives a Google research award
Published: November 17, 2009
A new generation of content delivery networks for live streaming, video on demand, and software updates takes advantage of a peer-to-peer architecture to reduce their operating cost. In contrast with previous uncoordinated peer-to-peer schemes, users opt-in to dedicate part of the resources they own to help the content delivery, in exchange for receiving the same service at a reduced price. Such incentive mechanisms are appealing, as they simplify coordination and accounting. However, they also increase a user's expectation that she will receive a fair price for the resources she provides. Addressing this issue carefully is critical in ensuring that all interested parties ---including the provider--- are willing to participate in such a system, thereby guaranteeing its stability. In this project, Prof. Misra will apply his recent results to design fair and stable incentive mechanisms for a variety of such peer assisted services.
NSF Grant to Traub and Wozniakowski
Published: November 5, 2009
ABSTRACT

Many important scientific and engineering problems involve a large number of variables. Equivalently they are said to be high dimensional. Examples of such problems occur in quantum mechanics, molecular biology, and economics. For example, the Schrodinger equation for p particles has dimension d = 3p; system with a large number of particles are of great interest in physics and chemistry. This problem can only be solved numerically. In decades of work scientists have found that the problems get increasingly hard as p increases. The investigators believe this does not stem from a failure to create good numerical methods--the difficulty is intrinsic. The investigators believe solving the Schrodinger equation suffers the curse of dimensionality on a classical computer. That is, the time to solve this problem must grow exponentially with p. (A classical computer is any machine not based on the principles of quantum mechanics--all machines in use today are classical computers.) The investigators hope to show this problem is tractable on a quantum computer. Success in this research would mark the first instance of a PROVEN exponential quantum speedup for an important non-artificial problem.
Published: November 4, 2009
Prof. Nayar also worked with a group of students, led by Guru Krishnan, An Tran and Brian Smith, to create a website, www.bigshotcamera.org, that walks children and teachers through
the workings of the camera. The website also allows young photographers from around
the world to share their pictures. The idea here was not to create a device that
was an inexpensive toy, says Nayar. The idea was to create something that
could be used as a platform for education across many societies.

Visit the Bigshot website. Read more about the Bigshot project. Read more.
Published: November 2, 2009
21st International Conference on Tools with Artificial Intelligence
November 2-5, 2009, Newark Liberty International Airport Marriott
Newark (NYC Metropolitan Area), New Jersey, USA

Learning from Data using Matchings and Graphs (pdf version)
Tony Jebara
Columbia University

Many machine learning problems on data can naturally be formulated as problems on graphs. For example, dimensionality reduction and visualization are related to graph embedding. Given a sparse graph between n high-dimensional data nodes, how do we faithfully embed it in low dimension? We present an algorithm that improves dimensionality reduction by extending semidefinite embedding methods. But, given only a dataset of n samples, how do we construct a graph in the first place? The space to explore is daunting with 2^(n^2) graphs to choose from yet two interesting subfamilies are tractable: matchings and b-matchings. By placing distributions over matchings and using loopy belief propagation, we can efficiently and optimally infer maximum weight subgraphs. Matching not only has intriguing combinatorial properties but it also leads to improvements in graph reconstruction, graph embedding, graph transduction, and graph partitioning. We will show applications on text, network and image data. Time permitting, we will also show results on location data from millions of tracked mobile phone users which lets us discover patterns of human behavior, networks of places and networks of people. Read more.
Published: October 27, 2009
Prof. Shree Nayar has been awarded Carnegie Mellon University's 2009
Alumni Achievement Award, which recognizes an individual
for exceptional accomplishments that have brought honor to
the receipient and to Carnegie Mellon. He is being recognized
for his "pioneering research contributions and teaching in
the field of computer vision." Read more.
Published: October 26, 2009
Scan of Internet Uncovers Thousands of Vulnerable Embedded Devices
Wired News (10/23/09) Zetter, Kim

A scan of the Internet by Columbia University researchers searching for vulnerable embedded devices has found that nearly 21,000 routers, Webcams, and VoIP products are vulnerable to remote attack. They say there could be as many as 6 million vulnerable devices on the Internet. The scan also found that the devices' administrative interfaces are viewable from anywhere on the Internet, and their owners have not changed the devices' passwords from the manufacturer's default. The study scanned networks belonging to the largest Internet service providers (ISPs) in North America, Europe, and Asia, and vulnerable devices were found in significant numbers in all parts of the world. Since starting the project last December, the researchers have scanned 130 million IP addresses and found nearly 300,000 devices whose administrative interfaces were remotely accessible from anywhere on the Internet. Devices with default passwords are most vulnerable, but others are theoretically vulnerable to brute-force password-cracking attacks. The researchers have provided ISPs with their findings, but Columbia professor Salvatore Stolfo says product manufacturers are the real culprits. He says that they need to hide their administrative interfaces by default and give customers clear instructions on how to alter the configuration to protect themselves. Stolfo also says that vendors should be more vocal in encouraging customers to change default passwords.
View Full Article | Return to Headlines Read more.
Ilias Diakonikolas wins Honorable Mention in the 2009 Nicholson Competition of the INFORMS society.
Published: October 23, 2009
The George Nicholson Student Paper Competition is held each year to honor outstanding papers in the field of operations research and the management sciences written by a student. Ilias Diakonikolas received an Honorable Mention Award in the 2009 Nicholson Competition for his paper "Small Approximate Pareto Sets for Biobjective Shortest Paths and Other Problems", coauthored with Prof. Mihalis Yannakakis. The paper is published in the SIAM Journal on Computing.
Steve Henderson receives best paper award at IEEE ISMAR 2009
Published: October 22, 2009
IEEE ISMAR (International Symposium on Mixed and Augmented Reality) is
the premier conference in its field. The paper,
"Evaluating the Benefits of Augmented Reality for Task Localization in
Maintenance of an Armored Personnel Carrier Turret," was coauthored
by Steve Henderson and Prof. Steve Feiner. It presents the design,
implementation, and user testing of a prototype augmented reality
application to support military mechanics conducting routine
maintenance tasks inside an armored vehicle turret. The prototype
uses a tracked head-worn display to augment a mechanic's view with
text, labels, arrows, and animated sequences documenting tasks to
perform. A formal human subject experiment with military mechanics
showed that the augmented reality condition allowed them to locate
tasks more quickly than using when two baseline conditions (an untracked
head-worn display, and a stationary display representing an improved
version of existing electronic technical manuals).
Published: October 22, 2009
The National Cyber Defense Industry Workshop will take place on October 28-29, 2009 at the Financial Services Roundtable in Washington, DC. The workshop is sponsored by the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and will be limited to senior experts from the financial services industry, academia and government agencies. The workshop is one in a series organized by the National Cyber Defense Initiative Steering committee with support from several government organizations and leaders. Read more.
Prof Yemini Delivers Keynote Speech at the IEEE/IFIP IM2009 conference
Published: October 5, 2009
Title: Can Genomic Networks Teach Integrated Network Management?
Prof. Gravano receives a Yahoo! Faculty Research and Engagement Gift
Published: October 5, 2009
Professor Luis Gravano was awarded a Yahoo! Faculty Research and Engagement Gift, for "User-Specific Extraction of Entity Lists and Attributes."
Published: September 30, 2009
Prof. Kenneth Ross has been awarded an NSF grant to study how to effectively use multicore machines to perform data intensive computations typical of database systems. The project aims to provide a generic, programmer-friendly framework for performing certain kinds of concurrent operations in parallel. The system will automatically detect and respond to hotspots and other performance pitfalls. Read more.
Prof. Feiner receives Microsoft Research Award to explore multitouch user interfaces.
Published: September 4, 2009
Their research will address the design and development of hybrid user interfaces that put multiuser tabletop user interface into a rich context of additional displays and devices, ranging from hand-held, to head-worn, to stationary. They will be supplementing the display and interaction plane established by and anchored on the tabletop with the capability to visualize and interact with information in the volume above and around it.
NSF funds Prof. Junfeng Yang, Prof. Gail Kaiser, and Prof. Jason Nieh to explore new software checking mechanisms
Published: August 12, 2009
Software reliability affects virtually everyone. Thorough software
checking is unquestionably crucial to improve software reliability,
but the checking coverage of most existing techniques is severely
hampered by where they are applied: a software product is typically
checked only at the site where it is developed, thus the number of
different states checked is throttled by those sites' resources (e.g.,
machines, testers/users, software/hardware configurations).

To address this fundamental problem, we will investigate mechanisms
that will enable software vendors to continue checking for bugs after
a product is deployed, thus checking a drastically more diverse set of
states. Our research contributions will include the investigation,
development, and deployment of: (1) a wide-area autonomic software
checking infrastructure to support continuous checking of deployed
software in a transparent, efficient, and scalable manner; (2) a
simple yet general and powerful checking interface to facilitate
creation of new checking techniques and combination of existing
techniques into more powerful means to find subtle bugs that are often
not found during conventional pre-deployment testing; (3) lightweight
isolation, checkpoint, migration, and deterministic replay mechanisms
that enable replication of application processes as checking launch
points, isolation of replicas from users, migration of replicas across
hosts, and replay of identified bugs without need for the original
execution environment; and (4) distributed computing mechanisms for
efficiently and scalably leveraging geographically dispersed idle
resources to determine where and when replicas should be executed to
improve the speed and coverage of software checking, thereby
converting available hardware cycles into improved software
reliability.
Prof. Carloni was elevated to "Senior Member" of IEEE and ACM
Published: August 12, 2009
Prof. Carloni was named a Senior Member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) on July 1, 2009 . According to the IEEE, only about 12% of the approximatley 382,000 members hold the Senior Member grade of IEEE.

Prof. Carloni was also named a Senior Member of the the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) on July 21, 2009. According to the ACM website, "the Senior Member grade recognizes those ACM members with at least 10 years of professional experience and 5 years of continuous Professional Membership who have demonstrated performance that sets them apart from their peers."
Prof. Stolfo receives NSF grants to explore fundamental means of measuring the security
Published: August 12, 2009
The proposed project explores fundamental means of measuring the security
posture of large enterprises. The project is intended to devise metrics and
measurement methods, and test and evaluate these in a real institution, to
evaluate how human users behave in a security context.

To develop computer security as a science and engineering discipline,
metrics need to be defined to evaluate the safety and security of
alternative system designs. Security policies are often specified by large
organizations but there are no direct means to evaluate how well these
policies are followed by human users. The proposed project explores
fundamental means of measuring the security posture of large enterprises.
Risk management and risk mitigation requires measurement to assess
alternative outcomes in any decision process. The project is intended to
devise metrics and measurement methods, and test and evaluate these in a
real institution, to evaluate how human users behave in a security context.
Financial institutions in particular require significant controls over the
handling of confidential financial information and employees must adhere to
these policies to protect assets, which are subject to continual adversarial
attack by thieves and fraudsters. Hence, financial institutions are the
primary focus of the measurement work. The technical means of measuring user
actions that may violate security policy is performed in a non-intrusive
manner. The measurement system uses specially crafted decoy documents and
email messages that signal when they have been opened or copied by a user in
violation of policy. The project will develop collaborations with financial
experts to devise risk models associated with users of information
technology within large enterprises. This line of work extends traditional
research in computer security by opening up a new area focused on the human
aspect of security.
NSF funds Prof. Feiner to explore using augmented reality to explain everyday tasks
Published: August 6, 2009
The project is titled "HCC: Medium: Collaborative Research: Generating Effective Dynamic Explanations in Augmented Reality."

To survive and flourish, people must interact with their environment in an organized fashion. To do so, they need to learn, imagine, and perform an assortment of transformations on and in the world. Primary among these are manipulation of objects and navigation in space. This project integrates research in computer science and cognitive science to develop and evaluate augmented reality tools to create effective dynamic explanations that enhance manipulation and navigation, in conjunction with identification and visualization. Augmented reality refers to user interfaces in which virtual material is integrated with and overlaid on the user's experience of the real world; for example, by using tracked head-worn and hand-held displays. Dynamic explanations are task-appropriate sequences of actions, presented interactively, with appropriate added information. The tools will be created in collaboration with subject matter experts for exploratory use in indoor and outdoor real world domains: navigating and identifying landmarks in a wooded park area, assembling a piece of furniture, and navigating and visualizing for planning the site of a new urban campus. Cognitive science research will determine the best ways to convey explanations and information to people. Computer science research will address the design and implementation of systems that embody the best candidate approaches for identifying objects and locations, specifying actions, and adding non-visible information. In situ experiments will be used to assess and refine the systems.

Manipulation, navigation, identification, and visualization are representative of important things that people do every day, ranging from fixing broken equipment to reaching a desired destination in an unfamiliar environment. The ways in which we perform these tasks could potentially be improved significantly through augmented reality systems designed using the principles to be developed by this project. Both the cognitive principles and the augmented reality tools will have broad applicability. The systems developed will inform the design of future systems that can aid the general public, for educational and recreational ends, as well as systems that can assist people with auditory, visual, or physical impairments.
Prof. Keromytis receives a Google research award
Published: July 15, 2009
Routing attacks against BGP have been demonstrated for years, and have recently been used in the wild to both disrupt service and capture traffic. A variety of mechanisms have been proposed and implemented in an ad hoc fashion and with varying degrees of diligence by ISPs. Due to the decentralized nature of the routing infrastructure, it is impossible to know how effective these measures (or future techniques) are. In this project, Prof. Keromytis will develop an infrastructure for evaluating the susceptibility of the Internet to BGP hijacking attacks and for determining the effectiveness of deployed mechanisms to counter them.
Prof. Gravano and Prof. Nieh win a Google research award
Published: July 15, 2009
"Google Desktop Meets DejaView: Display-Centric Desktop Search"

State-of-the-art desktop search tools are valuable for searching various forms of individual user documents -interpreted broadly and including user files, email messages, web pages, and chat sessions. Unfortunately, focusing on individual, relatively static documents in isolation is often insufficient for important search scenarios, where the history and patterns of access to all information on a desktop -static or otherwise- are themselves of value and, in fact, critical to answer certain queries effectively. We propose to design, implement, and evaluate new mechanisms for enabling users to search all information that has been displayed on their desktops, preserving and exploiting the same personal context and display layout as in the original desktop computing experience. Our next-generation desktop search system will rely on a virtualization record-and-play architecture that enables both display and application execution on a desktop to be recorded (and, in fact, replayed) efficiently without user-perceived degradation on application performance. Our system will capture and index all activity on the desktop, and will exploit this aggregate desktop information to produce effective, display-centric search results.
NSF supports research of Prof. Nieh and Prof. Keromytis into exploiting software elasticity
Published: July 10, 2009
Software failures in server applications are a significant problem for preserving system availability. In the absence of perfect software, this research focuses on tolerating and recovering from errors by exploiting software elasticity: the ability of regular code to recover from certain failures when low-level faults are masked by the operating system or appropriate instrumentation. Software elasticity is exploited by introducing rescue points, locations in application code for handling programmer-anticipated failures, which are automatically repurposed and tested for safely enabling fault recovery from a larger class of unanticipated faults. Rescue points recover software from unknown faults while maintaining system integrity and availability by mimicking system behavior under known error conditions. They are identified using fuzzing, created using a checkpoint-restart mechanism, and tested then injected into production code using binary patching. This approach masks failures to permit continued program execution while minimizing undesirable side-effects, enabling application recovery and software self-healing.
NSF funds Prof. Keromytis to track information flows
Published: June 30, 2009
Personally identifiable or sensitive information (PII) has become a target of attackers seeking financial gain through its misuse. With the trend toward storing and processing PII on complex and insecure systems, the need for improved protection has become a goal of enterprise policy and legislative efforts. In this project, Prof. Keromytis and his lab will investigate Concatenated Dynamic Information Flow Tracking (CDIFT), an architecture for performing dynamic information flow analysis at various system levels and across multiple processes in a distributed enterprise. CDIFT will allow administrators to map the enterprise business logic (applications, network, storage) and determine where information of interest is stored or transmitted. The same mechanism can also be used to enforce an information flow policy, restricting where and by whom such information can be viewed. CDIFT will complement and enhance current compliance and auditing efforts, which require considerable recurrent effort and a large number of man-hours spent by administrators and auditors on understanding existing systems.

The project will develop and experimentally evaluate novel techniques for conducting fine-grained tracking of information of interest (as defined by the system operator or, in the future, by end-users, in a flexible, context-sensitive manner) toward mapping the paths that such information takes through the enterprise and providing a means for enforcing information flow and access control policies. Prof. Keromytis' hypothesis is that it is possible to create efficient fine-grained information tracking and access control mechanisms that operate throughout an enterprise legacy computing infrastructure through appropriate use of hypervisors and distributed tag propagation protocols.
NSF funds Prof. Schulzrinne to investigate security service architectures in mobile networks
Published: June 30, 2009
The nature of telecommunications networks is rapidly changing. Commodity smart mobile phone frameworks such as Android and Openmoko invite developers and end users to build applications, modify the behavior of the phone, and use network services in novel ways. However, while simultaneously spurring incredible innovation, the move to open systems alters the underlying performance and security assumptions upon which the network was designed. Such changes invite vulnerabilities ranging from merely vexing phone glitches to catastrophic network failures. The current infrastructure lacks the basic protections needed to protect an increasingly open network, and it is unclear what new stresses and threats open systems and services will introduce.

This research analytically and experimentally investigates defensive infrastructure addressing vulnerabilities in open cellular operating systems and telecommunications networks. In this, we are exploring the requirements and design of such defenses in three coordinated efforts; a) extending and applying formal policy models for telecommunication systems, and provide tools for phone manufacturer, provider, developer, and end-user policy compliance verification, b) building a security-conscious distribution of the open-source Android operating system, and c) explore the needs and designs of overload controls in telecommunications networks needed to absorb changes in mobile phone behavior, traffic models, and the diversity of communication end-points.

This research symbiotically supports educational goals at the constituent institutions by supporting graduate and undergraduate student research, and is integral to the security and network curricula. This award is funded under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (Public Law 111-5).
National Science Foundation funds Prof. Allen's work on robotic hands
Published: June 27, 2009
The project is titled "Robotic Hands: Understanding and Implementing Adaptive Grasping". The project is defining the basis for lower-complexity hands that can grasp a wide variety of objects in noisy and unstructured environments. The new generation of mobile and humanoid robots still lack basic hands that can reliably grasp objects. Robot hands have been traditionally built as anthropomorphic, high degree-of-freedom (DOF) mechanisms that are expensive and difficult to control. The approach in this project is based on defining hand mechanisms that capture two key features of human grasping, versatility and low dimensionality of hand postures. Reducing complexity brings major benefits. Determining the minimal number of hand joints, sensors and actuators can reduce costs and speed research as low-complexity hands can be easily fabricated, designs can be quickly iterated, and control can be simplified. These ideas are used to build a low-cost, low degree-of-freedom grasping device that is based on hard human grasping data. Further, the new hand designs are being tested in simulation so as to build hardware that is functionally proven for robotic grasping tasks. Important research outcomes include the development of a new low-dimensional, low-cost robotic hand; experiments to gain insights from human grasping and adaptive compliance; and machine learning algorithms for grasping.
Prof. Itsik Pe'er wins National Science Foundation CAREER award on genomics
Published: June 24, 2009
High throughput sequencing is transforming human genetics: several disruptive technologies are coming of age and now enable resequencing throughput of megabases per dollar, in short segments. Specifically, hundreds and thousands of individuals can now be sequenced for targeted regions of the genome, in pools of individuals. The complete spectrum of common and rare alleles thus revealed is a key resource for understanding origins, genomics, and heritable traits of our species. The project tackles the recovery of individual identity of mutation carriers from pooled sequencing data, as well as using such individual-level mutation data for scoring of association to multiple variants in a locus. Prof. Pe'er proposes Bayesian scoring for genomic intervals containing functional variants, using comparative genomics to guide a prior distribution for functionality. The association score is further decomposed to contributions of each sample and each site, with Markovian dependency between such contributions along the genome.
Published: June 19, 2009
Structure Preserving Embedding (SPE) is an algorithm for embedding graphs in Euclidean space such that the embedding is low-dimensional and preserves the global topological properties of the input graph. Topology is preserved if a connectivity algorithm, such as k-nearest neighbors, can easily recover the edges of the input graph from only the coordinates of the nodes after embedding. SPE is formulated as a semidefinite program that learns a low-rank kernel matrix constrained by a set of linear inequalities which captures the connectivity structure of the input graph. Traditional graph embedding algorithms do not preserve structure, and thus the resulting visualizations can be misleading or less informative. SPE provides significant improvements in terms of visualization and lossless compression of graphs, outperforming popular methods such as spectral embedding and Laplacian eigenmaps. The paper finds that many classical graphs and networks can be properly embedded using only a few dimensions. Furthermore, introducing structure preserving constraints into dimensionality reduction algorithms produces more accurate representations of high-dimensional data. Read more.
Prof. Feiner receives Google Research Award
Published: June 18, 2009
Prof. Feiner and his students will be designing, developing, and evaluating mobile augmented reality systems on Android smartphones. Their research will investigate new ways to effectively integrate relevant information with the user's view of the surrounding environment, taking advantage of the GPS, compass, accelerometer, and camera built into Android smartphones such as the G1.
NSF supports research of Prof. Bellovin into learning security policies
Published: June 14, 2009
As both corporate and consumer-oriented applications introduce new functionality and increased levels of customization and delegation, they inevitably give rise to more complex security and privacy policies. Yet, studies have repeatedly shown that both lay and expert users are not good at configuring policies, rendering the human element an important, yet often overlooked source of vulnerability.

This project aims to develop and evaluate a new family of user-controllable policy learning techniques capable of leveraging user feedback and present users with incremental, user-understandable suggestions on how to improve their security or privacy policies. In contrast to traditional machine learning techniques, which are generally configured as black boxes than take over from the user, user-controllable policy learning aims to ensure that users continue to understand their policies and remain in control of policy changes. As a result, this family of policy learning techniques offers the prospect of empowering lay and expert users to more effectively configure a broad range of security and privacy policies.

The techniques to be developed in this project will be evaluated and refined in the context of two important domains, namely privacy policies in social networks and firewall policies. In the process, work to be conducted in this project is also expected to lead to a significantly deeper understanding of (1) the difficulties experienced by users as they try to specify and refine security and privacy policies and of (2) what it takes to overcome these challenges (e.g., better understanding of policy modifications that users can relate to, better understanding of how many policy modifications users can realistically be expected to handle, and how these issues relate to the expressiveness of underlying policy languages, modes of interactions with the user, and the topologies across which policies are deployed).
Prof. Hirschberg and Owen Rambow to convert text into 3D scenes
Published: June 10, 2009
The researchers are developing new theoretical models and technology to automatically convert descriptive text into 3D scenes representing the texts meaning. They do this via the Scenario-Based Lexical Knowledge Resource (SBLR), a resource they are creating from existing sources (PropBank, WordNet, FrameNet) and from automated mining of Wikipedia and other un-annotated text. In addition to predicate-argument structure and semantic roles, the SBLR includes necessary roles, typical role fillers, contextual elements, and activity poses which enables analysis of input sentences at a deep level and assembly of appropriate elements from libraries of 3D objects to depict the fuller scene implied by a sentence. For example, Terry ate breakfast does not tell us where (kitchen, dining room, restaurant) or what he ate (cereal, doughnut, or rice, umeboshi, and natto). These elements must be supplied from knowledge about typical role fillers appropriate for the information that is specified in the input. Note that the SBLR has a component that varies by cultural context.

Textually-generated 3D scenes will have a profound, paradigm-shifting effect in human computer interaction, giving people unskilled in graphical design the ability to directly express intentions and constraints in natural language -- bypassing standard low-level direct-manipulation techniques. This research will open up the world of 3D scene creation to a much larger group of people and a much wider set of applications. In particular, the research will target middle-school age students who need to improve their communicative skills, including those whose first language is not English or who have learning difficulties: a field study in a New York after-school program will test whether use of the system can improve literacy skills. The technology also has the potential for interesting a more diverse population in computer science at an early age, as interactions with K-12 teachers have indicated.
Published: June 10, 2009
Prof. Angelos Keromytis was invited to give a keynote talk on VoIP security at the 5th International Conference on Information Systems Security (ICISS), to be held December 16-18, 2008 in Kolkata, India. Read more.
Published: June 2, 2009
David Elson was lauded at the convocation: "You are, at heart, an educator, passionately committed to guiding students to an understanding of the material you teach. You make computer science come alive for them, regardless of whether they are students in your Department of non-majors.... You teach more than is required of a doctoral student in Computer Science and actively look for opportunities to reach wider audiences."

According to the award web page, "Established in 1996, the presidential awards honor the best of Columbia's teachers for the influence they have on the development of their students and their part in maintaining the University's longstanding reputation for educational excellence."

David Elson is working on his dissertation in natural language understanding, advised by Prof. Kathleen McKeown. Read more.
Prof. Feiner receives Faculty Mentorship Award
Published: May 31, 2009
Jen Amizade, the graduate student council president, lauded Prof. Feiner: "The Faculty Mentorship Award is given every year by the students to faculty who have gone above and beyond their duty to assist, guide and nurture their students along their path of learning and personal development. This award recognizes and shows appreciation for faculty members who have provided exceptional support to the graduate students. They truly exemplify excellence in graduate education in their role as advisor, advocate, mentor and friend. I am honored to have the pleasure of presenting this years award for outstanding mentorship for faculty in the Affiliated Schools of the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences to Steve Feiner, Professor of Computer Science. His students describe him as an attentive, genuinely warm and caring person who has never caused his students to feel unappreciated or unrecognized but has held them to the highest standards and has tirelessly fought for their success. His enduring personalized support and his belief in his students has inspired them and given them additional strength to meet his impeccable standards and obtain highly coveted positions after graduation."
Prof. Adam Cannon receives first departmental teaching award
Published: May 27, 2009
The award recognizes Prof. Adam's dedication to teaching the introductory computer science courses in the Department, COMS 1001 (Introduction to Information Science) and COMS 1004 (Introduction To Computer Science And Programming In Java). He has also helped create programs to mentor beginning computer science students. Prof. Cannon is a lecturer-in-discipline in the Department of Computer Science and also serves as associate chair for undergraduate affairs.
Prof. Julia Hirschberg wins Distinguished Faculty Teaching Award
Published: May 19, 2009
Professor Julia Hirschberg was recognized with the 2009 Columbia Engineering Alumni Association Distinguished Faculty Teaching Award.
Computer Science and Computer Engineering students receive departmental awards
Published: May 15, 2009

Michael Rand (CC) was awarded the Computer Science Department Award for Scholastic Achievements as acknowledgment of his contributions to the Department of Computer Science and to the university as a whole.

Brian Smith (SEAS) garnered the Computer Science Department Scholarship Award, awarded to an undergraduate Computer Science degree candidate who demonstrated scholastic excellence through projects or class contributions

Peter Tsonev (SEAS) was awarded the Computer Engineering Award of Excellence, for demonstrating scholastic excellence.

The Andrew P. Kosoresow Memorial Award for Excellence in Teaching and service is awarded to students who demonstrated outstanding teaching and exemplary service. This year, it was given to Tristan Naumann (SEAS), Dokyun Lee (CC), Jae Woo Lee (GSAS), Paul Etienne Vouga (GSAS), and Oren Laadan (GSAS).

The Russell C. Mills Award for Excellence in Computer Science recognizes academic excellence in the area of Computer Science and went to Joshua Weinberg (GS) and Eliane Stampfer (CC).

The Theodore R. Bashkow Award for Excellence in Independent Projects is awarded to Computer Science seniors who have excelled in independent projects. This year, Adam Waksman (CC) and Kimberly Manis (SEAS) were recognized.

The Paul Charles Michelman Memorial Award recognizes PhD students in Computer Science who have performed exemplary service to the department, devoting time and effort beyond the call to further the department's goal, and went to Matei Ciocarlie (GSAS) and Chris Murphy (GSAS).

The Certificate of Distinction for Academic Excellence is given at graduation to Computer Science and Computer Engineering majors who have an overall cumulative GPA in the top 10% among graduating seniors in CS and CE:
Michael Rand (CC), Brian Smith (SEAS), Daniel Weiner (GS), Peter Tsonev (SEAS), Adam Waksman (CC), Eliane Stampfer (CC).

The Computer Science Service Award is awarded to PhD students who were selected to be in the top 10% in service contribution to the Department: Hila Becker, Matei Ciocarlie, Gabriella Cretu-Ciocarlie, Kevin Egan, David Elson, Jin Wei Gu, David Harmon, Bert Huang, Maritza Johnson, Gurunandan Krishnan, Chris Murphy, Kristen Parton, Paul Etienne Vouga, John Zhang and Hang Zhao.

Professor Feiner receives ONR grant to develop Augmented Reality for Immersive Training
Published: May 14, 2009
Augmented reality overlays 3D graphics on the user's view of the real world, using a head-worn display for the research being conducted for this grant. The user interface design process that Prof. Feiner's team will follow takes into account information filtering, to determine what is displayed to the user; user interface component design, to determine the form in which that information is presented; and view management, to lay out static and dynamic information effectively on the display, in context of the real world.
Professors Bellovin, Keromytis and Stolfo work to improve defenses against botnets
Published: May 13, 2009
Research objectives include the statistical and algorithmic analysis of network adversaries involving the design and implementation of massive-dataset algorithms that can recognize anomalous data streams generated by distributed, strategic adversaries in large-scale networks. The project will involve data collection and analysis involving the design of succinct representations for large-scale traffic matrices, methods for privacy-preserving sharing and cross-correlation of network-traffic datasets. and the use of real-world traffic datasets, containing a mixture of benign and malicious traffic, to generate realistic workloads for testing performance of new defenses.
Miklos Bergou receives Intel Fellowship
Published: May 10, 2009
Miklos Bergou's research develops theory and systems for physical simulation and interactive design processes by combining physically motivated assumptions with mathematical rigor to search for accurate and efficient models of physical phenomena. His first SIGGRAPH paper introduced a new approach to artistic control of physical systems. In the future, he is interested in identifying what the right notions of "control" are in various contexts and develop tools built on a mathematical foundation that are appropriate within each context. That way, he hopes to be able to create novel techniques that are powerful enough to accommodate the needs of their users as well as simple and intuitive enough to be widely adopted. In pursuit of this goal, he has developed models for flexible surfaces (clothing, sheet metal) and curves (hair, sutures) that combine ideas from the budding area of Discrete Differential Geometry with simple physical insights. Because these models lead to fast, accurate simulations, they are now adopted by film studios such as Pixar and Weta Digital and software companies such as Adobe. Prof. Eitan Grinspun is Miklos Bergou's advisor.
Published: April 26, 2009
Traub is also a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), the New York Academy of Science, and the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM). He was elected to the National Academy of Engineering (NAE) in 1985. Read more.
Published: April 12, 2009
The grant provides unrestricted seed funds for research and for participation in a national graduate student research workshop. Mr. Merler work is on unedited videos, such as those taken of professor's lectures or of students' presentations. He focuses on ways to segment, analyze, and index the written content within them, and to display this content in crisper form, superimposed on cleaned mosaics images of the local environment. A browser driven by semantic key-word indexing of these doubly (foreground- and background-) enhanced videos is under construction. He began his studies at Columbia in Fall 2007 and is advised by Prof. John Kender. Read more.
Published: April 9, 2009
Professor Dan Rubenstein and Electrical Engineering colleagues Gil Zussman, Peter Kinget, John Kymissis, and Xiaodong Wang took first place in Vodafone's "Wireless Innovation Project" competition, which had nearly 100 university and non-profit applicants. The competition identifies and funds unique innovations using wireless related technology offering the best potential to address critical social issues around the world. The Columbia team will receive $300,000 to support their research project, "Active Networked Tags for Disaster Recovery Applications", which is developing a system that uses wireless devices to track and locate survivors trapped by fires and structural collapse. The system is based on energy harvesting tags using ultra low power communications. The project draws upon the team's diverse research expertise in networking, communications, energy harvesting materials and devices, and ultra low power electronics. More information can be found at http://www.vodafone-us.com/web%20innovation/index.html Read more.
Matei Ciocarlie wins best student paper award at 2007 World Haptics Conference
Published: March 26, 2009
Matei Ciocarlie won the best student paper award at the 2007 World Haptics Conference in Tsukuba, Japan for his paper Soft Finger Model with Adaptive Contact Geometry for Grasping and Manipulation Tasks. The paper was co-authored by Claire Lackner, a Computer Science undergraduate student, and Prof. Peter Allen. The prize carries an award of $1,000.
Prof. Pe'er wins 30 billion DNA bases for studying obesity in Micronesia
Published: March 18, 2009
Prof. Pe'er's lab has been studying data on a unique population from the Island of Kosrae, in the Federated States of Micronesia, where collaborators at Rockefeller University have collected DNA and blood profiles for 3000 individuals, which make up most of the adults on the island. HIs lab has recently developed computational machinery for tracing the patterns of inheritance in such populations, and impute genomic sequence of many individuals given on of them. Applied Biosystems have awarded 30 gigabases of DNA sequence from a select group of islanders, from which the investigators intend to impute sequence of hundreds of other individuals. This data will allow to investigate statistical associations of genetic variation with traits related to the obesity epidemic on the island.
Rebecca Collins receives IBM PhD fellowship
Published: March 17, 2009
Rebecca Collins' research explores ways to harness the potential power of multi-core processor systems for general purpose programming. As multi-core systems scale up to hundreds and thousands of processing cores, there is a need for new models and abstractions that ease the difficulty of explicitly programming many individual cores together with the on-chip communication network. Moreover, scalable and automatic solutions to scheduling, synchronization and load balancing are essential in order to fully utilize these powerful architectures. She has focused on addressing these challenges for two important classes of parallel applications: divide-and-conquer programs and stream programs. For the former, she has developed a tool that automatically generates parallel code which integrates distributed scheduling and adaptive memory management into SPMD-like threads running on the cores. For stream programs, she is developing a method that combines static task deployment with dynamic runtime schedules to flexibly balance the computational load among unbalanced stream tasks and increase the overall processing throughput. Mrs. Collins began her PhD studies at Columbia in the fall of 2005 and is advised by Prof. Luca Carloni.
New compute cluster supports research in traffic analysis, parallel programming, secure computer deployment and virtual machines
Published: March 16, 2009
The funds will be used to deploy a new compute cluster capable of continuous line-speed capture and near-online analysis of network traffic and for storage and analysis of large traces generated from run-time profiling of (legacy) applications. The computational capabilities provided by this cluster will allow detailed modeling and in depth analysis of real world scenarios. The proposed cluster, called Secure Cyber Operations and Parallelization Studies cluster (SCOPS), when fully operational will have peak throughput of nearly 1.2 Teraflops, 1.6TB of RAM, 52 TB of disk storage and state-of-the-art Cisco 1002 ASR routers. SCOPS, in addition to being used for the three projects will be used to train research students in parallel programming, secure computer deployment and virtual machines.
Published: March 11, 2009
This two-day conference is a policy and technical seminar presented by the Center of Information Networking and Telecommunications (CINT), the Grove School of Engineering at the City University of New York, City College, and the Institute of Strategic Studies (SSI), at the Army War College. The conference invites prominent academic, government and industrial researchers in the fields of information systems security, networking and telecommunications infrastructure protection to present their work to the audience with the purpose of helping policy makers and researchers keep abreast of the latest research and foster greater contact with both researchers and policy makers. Read more.
Published: March 10, 2009
EuroSec is a new workshop associated with the Annual ACM SIGOPS EuroSys conference. The workshop aims to bring together researchers, practitioners, system administrators, system programmers, and others interested in the latest advances in the security of computer systems and networks. The focus of the workshop is on novel, practical, systems-oriented work. Read more.
Sean White to speak at Columbia convocation for doctoral candidates on May 18
Published: March 5, 2009
CUCS PhD candidate Sean White will speak on behalf of his fellow candidates at the convocation for doctoral candidates in the schools of Architecture, Business, Engineering, Journalism, Law, Nursing, Physicians and Surgeons, Public Health, and Teachers College. The convocation will be held on Monday, May 18, 2009, at 3:30 PM in the Chapel.
PhD alumni is 2009 Sloan Research Fellow
Published: February 19, 2009
The Sloan Foundation named 118 fellows for 2009. Prof. Eskin works in the area of molecular biology and was advised by Prof. Sal Stolfo at Columbia University.
Snehit Prabhu wins Microsoft Research and Live Labs PhD Fellowship
Published: February 3, 2009
Snehit Prabhu's research involves the application of computational models to high throughput DNA sequencing. Snehit developed a method to analyze DNA from pooled sets of individuals, using error-correcting codes to identify each person. The work has been accepted to RECOMB 09 and selected as one of four papers considered for the Genome Research special issue for the conference. In addition to method development, Snehit got involved in applied analysis of sequenced organisms, and is a joint-first-author on the publication describing the first animal mutant whose genome was assembled - a worm with two right "brains" (Nature Methods 08). Snehit interned this summer at the Broad Institute of MIT, expanding his application to study yeast populations. He won the MSR fellowship with his proposal on inferring fitness and complexity of the population genome. Snehit came to Columbia in the fall of 2007 after two years at IBM. He transitioned from the MS to the PhD track in January 2008.
DHS supports faculty in anonymizing network traces
Published: January 29, 2009
The team will develop a next-generation network-trace anonymization tool that preserves individual and organizational privacy while still allowing cross-trace correlation for detection, understanding, and prevention of complex attacks and other network behavior. The tool will rely on three techniques that will be developed at Columbia University: (1) Hidden Markov Model (HMM)-based clustering will be used to divide raw network traces into groups for which statistical and other properties can be preserved across the anonymized equivalents; (2) more aggressive application- and definition-specific anonymization will prevent recovery and attribution of private topology, flow, and content information under attack; and (3) efficient and application-specific secure computation will allow this clustering and anonymization without centralizing or revealing the contents of individual raw traces during the clustering stage. These anonymization techniques will be evaluated against large sets of real-world traces, implemented and ruggedized. The resulting tool, which will be released under an open-source license for use in DHS PREDICT and other public cooperative-security efforts, will make next-generation anonymization broadly available to the security community, and will encourage greater sharing of useful trace data, without compromising privacy.
Published: December 29, 2008
"We all generate location information," says Jebara, "and we can use algorithms to generate visualization." Jebara creates 2D images from 3D images and, using information generated from mobile devices, can create visualizations of "hot spots" where people are congregating.

Taking data from GPS-equipped taxis and other vehicles, cell phones and other devices, Jebara's Citysense can tell you, in real time, where the action is. Read more.

Published: December 23, 2008
The awards are the nations highest honor for faculty members that are beginning their independent research careers. Prof. Ravi Ramamoorthi was named one of 15 nominated by the Department of Defense (DoD) as winners of the 2007 Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE) and one of 67 overall.

Sixty-seven researchers were honored on December 19 in a ceremony presided over by Dr. John H. Marburger III, Science Advisor to the President and Director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy.

"The Presidential Early Career Awards for Scientists and Engineers, established in 1996, honors the most promising researchers in the Nation within their fields. Nine federal departments and agencies annually nominate scientists and engineers who are at the start of their independent careers and whose work shows exceptional promise for leadership at the frontiers of scientific knowledge. Participating agencies award these talented scientists and engineers with up to five years of funding to further their research in support of critical government missions." Read more.

Published: December 16, 2008
StackSafe, based in Vienna, Virginia, leverages virtualization technology to reduce costly IT production problems and downtime. StackSafe's flagship product, Test Center, enables IT departments to stage their existing software infrastructure, conduct pre-deployment tests, and predict IT complications in a secure environment.

"Beating out more than 400 entrants from across the country, StackSafe was awarded first prize after a rigorous assessment by an online panel of over 300 venture capitalists, angel investors, and university judges." Read more.
Symantec supports Prof. Keromytis and Stolfo research on software security
Published: December 7, 2008
Prof. Sal Stolfo and Prof. Angelos Keromytis received a research gift from Symantec to aid their studies and investigations on techniques for scalable program whitelisting, for common software vulnerability discovery across large software installations, and for vulnerability-oriented analytics for risk assessment.
NIH funds Prof. Pe'er to study the genetics of schizophrenia
Published: December 4, 2008
The PIs are conducted a genomewide study for the association between genetic variants and schizophrenia, a highly heritable disease, but without clear common genetic factors. The research project started in May 2008.
Prof. Pe'er participates in consortium to study severe adverse reactions to medications
Published: December 4, 2008
The consortium brings together major pharmaceuticals (Abbott, Daiichi Sankyo, GlaxoSmithKline, Johnson & Johnson, Novartis, Pfizer, Roche, Sanofi Aventis, Takeda, Wellcome Trust and Wyeth) with joint interest in safely prescribing drugs by means of personalized medicine. On the academic side, Columbia is serving as the informatics center, with Aris Floratos (C2B2) and Prof. Pe'er. Additional academic consultants on the analysis side include Mark Daly from Harvard and David Goldstein from Duke, while medical-academic partners that include many physicians focused at collecting patient samples.
Prof. Pe'er uses novel computational technique to process signals from tumor DNA
Published: December 4, 2008
Cancer is a genetic disease in two levels: First, like many diseases inherited mutations at the individual level may contribute to disease risk and susceptibility in families. Second, and more specific to cancer, it is a genetic disease of cells, that acquire mutations during the lifetime of the patient, transforming the cells from normal tissue into tumors. Prof. Pe'er proposes a novel computational method to process signals from tumor DNA to detect interaction between these two kinds of mutations.
Prof. Pe'er to reconstruct a genealogy of the human species
Published: December 4, 2008
The project is driven by a novel approach for detecting relatedness of individuals from high throughput data of DNA variation across millions of genetic markers and tens of thousands of individuals. The approach is based on a new linear-time algorithm that stores words of marker data in a dictionary of genetic variants. This framework will handle the diversity of human genetic data in terms of populations and experimental platforms culminating in a complete map of human genetic genealogy.
Published: December 4, 2008
Sahar Hasan worked with Prof. Gail Kaiser on a project which was accepted for presentation at SIGCSE 2009, the annual conference of the ACM Special Interest Group on Computer Science Education. The paper is entitled "Retina: Helping Students and Instructors Based on Observed Programming Activities". The paper found that "it is difficult for instructors of CS1 and CS2 courses to get accurate answers to such critical questions as 'how long are students spending on programming assignments?', or 'what sorts of errors are they making?'. At the same time, students often have no idea of where they stand with respect to the rest of the class in terms of time spent on an assignment or the number or types of errors that they encounter." In the paper, the authors present a tool called Retina, which collects information about students' programming activities, and then provides useful and informative reports to both students and instructors based on the aggregation of that data. Retina can also make real-time recommendations to students, in order to help them quickly address some of the errors they make. In addition to describing Retina and its features, they also present some of the initial findings during two trials of the tool in a real classroom setting, involving 48 volunteers in our COMS 1004 introductory computer science class.

Ian Vo wrote a paper titled "Quality Assurance of Software Applications Using the In Vivo Testing Approach", which has been accepted for publication at ICST 2009, the 2nd IEEE International Conference on Software Testing, Verification and Validation. According to its abstract, "software products released into the field typically have some number of residual defects that either were not detected or could not have been detected during testing. This may be the result of flaws in the test cases themselves, incorrect assumptions made during the creation of test cases, or the infeasibility of testing the sheer number of possible configurations for a complex system; these defects may also be due to application states that were not considered during lab testing, or corrupted states that could arise due to a security violation. One approach to this problem is to continue to test these applications even after deployment, in hopes of finding any remaining flaws." The authors present a testing methodology they call in vivo testing, in which tests are continuously executed in the deployment environment. They discuss the approach and the prototype testing framework for Java applications called Invite and provide the results of case studies that demonstrate Invite's effectiveness and efficiency. Invite found real bugs in OSCache, Apache JCS and Apache Tomcat, with about 5% overhead. The project was supervised by Prof. Kaiser.

The CRA honored a total of 22 female and 44 male students in this year's competition. Read more.
Published: December 2, 2008
The ITG is the computing society of the VDE, the German electrical engineering society. The paper appeared in the May 2007 edition of the ACM Transactions on Multimedia Computing, Communications, and Applications (TOMCCAP). Service usage in emerging ubiquitous environments includes seamless and personalized usage of public and private devices discovered in the vicinity of a user. In our work, we describe an architecture for device discovery, device configuration, and the transfer of active sessions between devices. The presented architecture uses the Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) as a standardized, widely used signaling protocol for IP-based multimedia services. Our solution includes support of simple existing devices, split of sessions between devices, user-control of location-based behavior, and handling of security and privacy concerns. We present the implementation and show the feasibility of our work with analytical evaluation and measurements. Read more.
Charles Han receives ATI fellowship
Published: December 2, 2008
ATI's highly selective panel awards between four and six fellowships each year to outstanding doctoral students studying a broad range of topics spanning computer graphics, multimedia, chip or
system design, or related research.

Charles Han is a doctoral student in the Columbia Computer Graphics Group, co-advised by Profs. Eitan Grinspun and Ravi Ramamoorthi. His research focuses on finding principled representations and efficient algorithms that operare well across a wide range of visual scales.There are many instances in graphics where one would like to render the same object at different scales: for example, an architect
designing a building may want to preview the entire structure at once or may want to zoom in on individual parts; characters and terrain in computer games may be seen at extremely close distances or as distant pixels on the horizon. Current techniques in computer graphics are generally tailored to perform well at a particular physical scale, and often to not translate well to coarser or finer scales.

In work presented at SIGGRAPH 2007, Han presented a solution to the long-standing problem of normal map filtering. By reinterpreting normal mapping in the frequency-domain as a convolution of geometry and BRDF, this work has enabled accurate multiscale rendering of normal maps at speeds orders of magnitude faster than previously possible. More recently, Han has developed a framework for the efficient example-based synthesis of very large textures, with features spanning a wide (or infinite) range of physical scales. He continues to extend this work to add further expressive power and intuitive user control.
Mikls Bergou receives Autodesk Research Fellowship Award
Published: December 2, 2008
His research seeks out principled and efficient discrete models that mirror the key geometric properties of the physical system. Bergou is also interested in developing intuitive tools that can be used to control the behavior of these systems, with applications in engineering and entertainment. His work on thin shell simulations is currently used by special-effects studios.

Bergou's work builds on the ideas of Discrete Differential Geometry (DDG), whose goal is to identify the root from which the desirable properties of a continuous system stem and then to build discrete models using an appropriate discrete version of that root. This led to his work on discrete models for cloth and elastic rods. His work on artistic control of a physical system builds on constrained Lagrangian mechanics, in which constraints define the allowable states that a system may be in. Within the context of directing a physical simulation, this framework can be used to define constraints that allow for entirely physical motions for the system being simulated while still closely obeying the intent of the user controlling the
simulation.

Mikls is a Ph.D. candidate in the Columbia Computer Graphics Group, advised by Prof. Eitan Grinspun.
Patrick Lee, Prof. Misra and Rubenstein co-author award-winning paper at major networking conference
Published: November 22, 2008
Currently deployed IEEE 802.11 WLANs (Wi-Fi networks) share access point (AP) bandwidth on a per-packet basis. However, the various stations communicating with the AP often have different signal qualities, resulting in different transmission rates. This induces a phenomenon known as the rate anomaly problem, in which stations with lower signal quality transmit at lower rates and consume a significant majority of airtime, thereby dramatically reducing the throughput of stations transmitting at high rates. The paper proposes a practical, deployable system, called SoftRepeater, in which stations cooperatively address the rate anomaly problem. Specifically, a higher-rate WiFi stations opportunistically transform themselves into repeaters for stations with low data-rates when transmitting to/from the AP. The key challenge is to determine when it is beneficial to enable the repeater functionality. The authors analyze this problem, and propose a protocol that ensures that repeater functionality is enabled only when appropriate. They also describe a novel, zero-overhead network coding scheme that further alleviates undesirable symptoms of the rate anomaly problem. They evaluate our system using simulation and testbed implementation, and find that SoftRepeater can improve cumulative throughput by up to 200%.
Prof. Steve Nowick named IEEE Fellow
Published: November 12, 2008
According to the IEEE, "[t]he grade of Fellow recognizes unusual distinction in the profession and shall be conferred by the Board of Directors upon a person with an extraordinary record of accomplishments in any of the IEEE fields of interest. The accomplishments that are being honored shall have contributed importantly to the advancement or application of engineering, science and technology, bringing the realization of significant value to society."
Prof. Traub gives distinguished lecture at Georgia Tech
Published: November 11, 2008
Professor Joseph Traub, Edwin Howard Armstrong Professor of Computer Science, gave a College of Computing Distinguished Lecture at Georgia Tech. The title of his lecture was "Exponential Improvement
in Qubit Complexity".
Steve Henderson receives Best Paper Award
Published: October 29, 2008
The paper "Opportunistic controls: Leveraging natural affordances as
tangible user interfaces for augmented reality" was coauthored by Steve Henderson and Steve Feiner. It presents a class of interaction techniques, called opportunistic controls, in which naturally occurring physical artifacts in a task domain are used to provide input to a user interface through simple vision-based processing. Tactile feedback from an opportunistic control can make possible eyes-free interaction. For example, a ridged surface can be used as a slider or a spinning washer as a rotary pot.
Searching without peeking: Security group funded to investigate secure encrypted search
Published: October 6, 2008
The goal of the program is to develop and demonstrate practical, sound methods for the use of private information retrieval techniques in Intelligence Community systems, allowing a client to search a database for information of interest, while providing privacy to both sides: protecting other data of the information provider, and the nature of the client's interests. Specifically, the objective of this project is to investigate algorithms and systems that enable secure searches over encrypted data, and that are simultaneously practical and usable while providing concrete, provable security and privacy guarantees. In particular, we will investigate: (a) mechanisms for secure encrypted database searches; (b) theoretical foundations and new definitions of security for private information retrieval that offer different security/efficiency tradeoffs; (c) searchable secure email that protects messages-at-rest while allowing for private searches, resistant against even active adversaries; and (d) encrypted document comparison and tracking using n-grams encoded in encrypted Bloom filters.

According to the IARPA mission statement, "The Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity (IARPA) invests in high-risk/high-payoff research that has the potential to provide our nation with an overwhelming intelligence advantage over future adversaries."
Published: September 30, 2008
According to its web site, the purpose of ISCA is to promote, in an international world-wide context, activities and exchanges in all fields related to speech communication science and technology. The association is aimed at all persons and institutions interested in fundamental research and technological development that aims at describing, explaining and reproducing the various aspects of human communication by speech, that is, without assuming this enumeration to be exhaustive, phonetics, linguistics, computer speech recognition and synthesis, speech compression, speaker recognition, aids to medical diagnosis of voice pathologies. ISCA has about 1500 members. Professor Hirschberg has also served as past president of ISCA. Read more.
Profs. Traub and Wozniakowski to study quantum and classical complexity of continuous problems
Published: September 16, 2008
The investigators are studying the following general question: If physicists and chemists succeed in building quantum computers, which continuous problems arising in science and engineering can be solved much faster on a quantum computer than on a classical computer? Examples of continuous problems are path integration, the Schrdinger equation, high-dimensional approximation, continuous optimization, and integral equations. To obtain the power of quantum computation for continuous problems one must know the computational complexity of these problems on a classical computer. This is exactly what the investigators have studied for decades in the field of information-based complexity.

The classical complexity of many continuous problems is known due to information theoretic arguments. This may be contrasted with discrete problems such as integer factorization where one has to settle for conjectures about the complexity hierarchy. Among the issues the investigators will study are the following:


  1. For the foreseeable future the number of qubits will be a crucial computational resource. The investigators have shown that modifying the standard definition of quantum algorithms to permit randomized queries leads to an exponential improvement in the qubit complexity of path integration. The investigators propose to exploit the power of the randomized query setting. For example, are there exponential improvements in the query complexity for other important problems?

  2. A basic problem in physics and chemistry is to compute the ground state
    energy of a system. The ground state energy is given by the smallest eigenvalue of the time-independent Schrdinger equation. If the number of particles in the system is p, the number of variables is d = 3p. In the worst case classical setting, the problem we study suffers the curse of dimensionality. The curse is broken in the quantum setting. The investigators want to determine if the randomized classical setting suffers the curse of dimensionality. If it does, a quantum computer enjoys exponential speedup for this problem. This would mark the first example of proven exponential quantum speedup for an important problem.

  3. The Schrdinger equation is fundamental to quantum physics and quantum chemistry. Solving this equation for quantum systems with a large number of variables would have a huge payoff for many applications. The investigators propose to study algorithms and initiate the study of the computational complexity of the Schrdinger equation in the worst case and randomized settings on a classical computer and in the quantum setting.
Virtualizing networks: NSF funds joint GATech, Bell Labs and Columbia next-generation Internet project
Published: August 27, 2008
Despite or because of the Internets great success, it has shown itself to be very resistant again attempts to add new functionality to the network core. This dilemma lead to the recent trend in networking to implement services using overlay networking; overlay networking provides an opportunity for end systems to collaborate with others to achieve enhanced functions without having to modify routers. However, since overlay networks operate at the application layer, they cannot effectively use the resources that are available to network services. To address the limitations of services in the current Internet, this work presents a clean slate Internet architecture, called NetServ, based on the concepts of service virtualization. NetServ strives to break up the functions provided by Internet services and to make these functionalities available as modular building blocks for network services. A building block effectively encapsulates a network resource or function realized by a network node, such as link monitoring data or routing tables, and provides tunable parameters for easy configurability. These building blocks form a foundation for the implementation of full-fledged network services, which can then be used by applications. Furthermore, the new framework handles aspects of service discovery, distribution and management, thereby making new services more readily deployable. This project addresses five major research challenges in the new service architecture: i) the definition of requirements for a service-virtualized Internet architecture, ii) the design of an architectural framework for modular, virtualized services, iii) the identification of an initial set of key building blocks, which together can provide a foundation for common network services, iv) the development of mechanisms and protocols for service discovery and service distribution, and v) the design and implementation of a content distribution service based on the NetServ architecture. The feasibility of the NetServ approach will be demonstrated by building the prototype of a content distribution service. This service will interwork with two other services that are crucial for a variety of applications: a generalized naming service and a network monitoring service. The naming service is capable of naming a variety of network entities (like content, users, services, and devices), while obeying policy constraints. The network monitoring service provides makes network performance data available to applications. Overall, the objective of this work is to develop an architecture that provides an efficient and extensible architecture for core network services, to implement a prototype of the new architecture, design and implement a prototype of a content distribution service to demonstrate the feasibility of NetServ, and to evaluate the new architecture in a simulation environment as well as on a GENI-like test bed.
NSF supports project to tamper-proof cryptographic operations
Published: August 21, 2008
This research project focuses on the development of cryptographic mathematical models and constructions that address realistic security requirements at the implementation level. This is a fundamental problem as cryptographic security formalisms are often criticized for lack of relevance given the wide range of attacks available at the implementation level. Indeed, traditional cryptographic attacks are restricted in the way private data can be accessed; hence, the security of systems relying on such constructs is contingent on external non-cryptographic means for enforcing the necessary tamper resilience. Unfortunately, this physical tamper resistance is either too expensive or unreliable. The research extends models of cryptographic attacks to include various forms of private data tampering and access and brings the theory of cryptographic constructions closer to security concerns in practice. In particular, the tamper proofing of a wide set of cryptographic primitives is considered in an extended adversarial setting, such as digital signatures, public key encryption, secure function evaluation, as well as arbitrary cryptographic functions. This research thus explores the boundaries of what is achievable algorithmically and practically through cryptographic means.
Published: August 18, 2008
Participants in human-human conversation often entrain to one another, adopting the vocabulary and other behaviors of their partners. Evidence of this has been found from laboratory studies and observations of real life situations. The project will be investigating many types of entrainment in two large corpora of human-human conversations to improve system behavior in Spoken Dialogue Systems (SDS). Prof. Hirschberg and Nenkova want to discover which types of entrainment occur generally across speakers and which seem to be speaker-specific, which types of entrainment can be reliably linked to task success and perceived naturalness, and which types of entrainment can be automatically modeled in SDS. This research has importance for the construction of better SDS. Currently, research SDS have attempted to entrain users to system vocabularies to improve speech recognition accuracy: Since users are likely to employ the same vocabulary in their answers that systems use in their queries, systems have a better chance of recognizing user input correctly if they can predict word usage. However, there has been little attempt to create SDS that entrain to user behavior, despite evidence that human beings rate humans and systems that behave more like them more highly than those that do not. The project focuses on determining which types of system entrainment to users will be most important to users and most feasible for SDS. The team will also provide publicly available annotated corpora for future research by others. Prof. Nenkova received her doctorate from Columbia University in 2006. Read more.
Going beyond keyword search: Prof. Gravano receives NSF grant
Published: August 15, 2008
The text available on the Web and beyond embeds unprecedented volumes of valuable structured data, "hidden" in natural language. For example, a news article might discuss an outbreak of an infectious disease, reporting the name of the disease, the number of people affected, and the geographical regions involved. Keyword search, the prevalent query paradigm for text, is often insufficiently expressive for complex information needs that require structured data embedded in text. For such needs, users (e.g., an epidemiologist compiling statistics, as reported in the media, on recent foodborne disease outbreaks in a remote country) are forced to embark in labor-intensive cycles of keyword-based document retrieval and manual document filtering, until they locate the appropriate (structured) information. To move beyond keyword search, this project exploits information extraction technology, which identifies structured data in text, to enable structured querying. To capture diverse user information needs and depart from a "one-size-fits-all" querying approach, which is inappropriate for this extraction-based scenario, this project explores a wealth of structured query paradigms: sometimes users (e.g., a high-school student in need of some quick examples and statistics for a report on recent salmonella outbreaks in developing countries) are after a few exploratory results, which should be returned fast; some other times, users (e.g., the above epidemiologist investigating foodborne diseases) are after comprehensive results, for which waiting a longer time is acceptable. The project develops specialized cost-based query optimizers for each query paradigm, accounting for the efficiency and, critically, the result quality of the query execution plans. The technology produced will assist a vast range of users and information needs, by enabling efficient, diverse interactions with text databases --for sophisticated searching and data mining-- that are cumbersome or impossible with today's technology. The research and educational components of the project will rely on --and encourage-- a tight integration of three complementary Computer Science disciplines, namely, natural language processing, information retrieval, and databases. The project will also provide data sets and source code, for experimentation and evaluation, to the community at large over the Web, at http://extraction.cs.columbia.edu/.
Published: August 9, 2008
The goal of the lab is to develop and apply complex tools that can probe and derive meaning from mountains of data now being created in the rapidly expanding field of systems and computational biology.

The Pe'er-Bussemaker Lab is using high-throughput genomics data to infer a universal protein-DNA recognition code. Shown are the positions of protein side-chains contacting a Watson-Crick base-pair in a variety of protein-DNA complexes. The data is the result of research efforts such as the Human Genome Project and revolutionary sequencing technologies that are capable of reading over 100 billion letters of DNA in just a few days. Such technologies include high-density microarrays, which measure and analyze the activity within a cell and are capable of quantifying the levels of more than a million unique RNAs in a single experiment, and multi-laser flow cytometry, which measures the abundance of multiple signaling molecules in over 100,000 individual cells in a just few minutes.

"Vast amounts of data are being produced in super-exponential rates; novel ground-breaking technologies are being invented so much faster than the rate at which scientists can understand and leverage them to gain biological insights," adds Pe'er. "It's like buying a whole pie, eating a tiny piece and throwing the rest away. Most of the data is only looked at on the very, very surface. And most of the data is only scarcely being used, leaving the rest untouched."

Professors Pe'er and Harmen say their new lab reflects Columbia's support for computational biology, a commitment Pe'er says can be seen in the Center for Computational Biology and Bioinformatics (C2B2), established in 2006 at the Medical campus.

"Columbia has seen a very dramatic elevation in status in systems and computational biology with the initiation of the C2B2, which is fast becoming one of the best computational centers around," said Pe'er. "The activity between the uptown medical campus and here on Morningside makes Columbia one of the top five computational biology centers in the world."

(from the University press release of July 25, 2008) Read more.
Published: August 9, 2008
The paper "SIP Server Overload Control: Design and Evaluation" was co-authored by Charles Shen and
Henning Schulzrinne. It describes and evaluates mechanisms so that VoIP servers can continue to operate at full capacity even under severe overload. Such overload may occur during natural disasters or mass call-in events, such as voting for TV game show contestants. Without these measures, servers are likely to suffer from congestion collapse. Read more.
National Science Foundation to support Prof. Nowick's design tool work for asynchronous commmunication fabrics for parallel processors
Published: July 19, 2008
The grant is part of the Computing Processes and Artifacts (CPA) program; only about 10-15% of the proposals in the "Design Automation for Micro and Nano Systems" topical area were funded.

While the current reality is that the jury is still out on how the processor-of-the-future will look, one clear certainty is that it will be parallel. All major commercial processor vendors are now committed to increasing the number of processors (i.e., cores) that fit on a single chip. However, there are major obstacles of power consumption, performance and scalability in existing synchronous design methodologies. This proposal focuses on a particular existing easy-to-program and easy-to-teach multi-core architecture. It then identifies the interconnection network, connecting multiples cores and
memories, as the critical bottleneck to achieving lower overall power consumption. The target is to substantially improve the power, robustness and scalability of the system by designing and fabricating a high-speed asynchronous communication mesh.

The resulting parallel architecture will be globally-asynchronous locally-synchronous (i.e. GALS-style), that gracefully accommodates synchronous cores and memories operating at arbitrary unrelated clock
rates, while providing robustness to timing variability and support for plug-and-play (i.e. scalable) system design. Unlike most prior GALS architectures, this one will have significant performance and power requirements in a complex pipelined topology. In addition, computer-aided design (i.e., CAD) tools will be developed to support the design of this new mesh, as well as simulation, timing verification and performance analysis tools to be applied to the entire parallel architecture. This
work will be performed in collaboration with a separate NSF CPA proposal under Prof. Ken Stevens (University of Utah). The two proposals will be linked together into a larger framework: the Utah group will coordinate to provide and refine their commercial-based physical design tool development and support, while the Columbia/Maryland group will provide a new substantial test case for their asynchronous tool applications.

The work is expected to have broad impact. First, while it is targeted to one parallel architecture, several other architectures will benefit from this work, since the interconnection network can be applied to them as well. Second, the work is expected to demonstrate the benefits and role of
asynchronous design for complex high-performance systems. Finally, the outcome of the work could make a step in the paradigm shift from serial to parallel that the field is now undergoing; the resulting first-of-its-kind partly-asynchronous high-end massively-parallel on-chip computer could push
the level of scalability beyond what it currently possible and have a broad impact in supporting parallel applications in much of computer science and engineering.
NCWIT supports emerging scholars program through the Academic Alliance Seed Fund
Published: July 19, 2008
The emerging scholars program mentors women in their early college years interested in computer science, encouraging them to pursue computer science as a major or minor. The grant proposal was prepared by Chris Murphy, Kristen Parten, two Computer Science graduate students, and Prof. Adam Cannon, based on a trial run during the spring 2008 semester.



The Academic Alliance Seed Fund was established in 2007 to provide members of NCWITs Academic Alliance with startup funds (up to $15,000 per project) to develop and implement projects for recruiting and retaining women in computing and information technology. Funding for the Seed Fund is provided by Microsoft Research.



The NCWIT Academic Alliance includes more than 75 computer science and IT departments across the country including research universities, community colleges, womens colleges, and minority-serving institutions dedicated to gender equity and institutional change in higher education computing and information technology.
Prof. Wozniakowski receives honorary doctorate from Jena University and is elected to Polish Academy of Sciences
Published: June 29, 2008
The Polish Academy of Sciences (http://www.pan.pl/english/) "is a state scientific institution founded in 1952. From the very beginning, it has functioned as a learned society acting through an elected corporation of top scholars and research organizations, via its numerous scientific establishments. It has also become a major scientific advisory body through its scientific committees." It currently has 346 Polish members, 18 of whom are mathematicians.

The honorary doctorate (Dr. rer. nat. hc) cited Prof. Wozniakowski foundational contribution to numerical methods, particularly the deep insights due to the new discipline of information-based complexity and the work on the "curse of dimensionality" that helps determine which high-dimension problems are solvable.

The Friedrich-Schiller University in Jena was founded in 1588.
Published: June 29, 2008
"The Centre for Research and Technology Hellas (CE.R.T.H.), the largest research centre in Northern Greece, was founded in March 2000. CERTH is a non-profit organization that directly reports to the General Secretariat for Research and Technology (GSRT), of the Greek Ministry of Development. The mission of CERTH is to carry out fundamental and applied research with emphasis on development of novel products and services of industrial, economic and social importance in the fields of
chemical and biochemical processes and advanced functional materials, informatics and telecommunications, land, sea and air transportation, agrobiotechnology and food engineering,
environmentally friendly technologies for solid fuels and alternative energy sources, as well as
biomedical informatics, biomedical engineering, biomolecular medicine and pharmacogenetics." Read more.
Published: June 17, 2008
The impact of communication on the performance of computer systems continues to grow both at the macro-level, for blade servers and clusters of computers, and at the micro-level in multi-core processors. Meanwhile the tight on-chip power dissipation constraints have forced practically all major semiconductor companies to move to multi-core or chip multiprocessor (CMP) architectures. The emergence of CMPs has in turn placed increased challenges on the communications infrastructure as the growing number of processing cores integrated on each chip exacerbates the bandwidth requirements for both intra-chip and inter-chip communication.

This research project aims to harness the recent extraordinary advances in nanoscale silicon photonic technologies for developing optical interconnection networks that address the critical bandwidth and power challenges of future CMP-based system. The insertion of photonic interconnection networks essentially changes the power scaling rules: once a photonic path is established, the data are transmitted end-to-end without the need for repeating, regeneration or buffering. This means that the energy for generating and receiving the data is only expended once per communication transaction anywhere across the computing system. The PIs will investigate the complete cohesive design of an on-chip optical interconnection network that employs nanoscale CMOS photonic devices and enables seamless off-chip communications to other CMP computing nodes and to external memory. System-wide optical interconnection network architectures will be specifically studied in the context of stream processing models of computation. Read more.

Google supports local event search project
Published: June 11, 2008
The project focuses on two problems associated with local event search, namely, how to identify events of all sizes --including small, not-so-prominent events not necessarily covered in mainstream sources-- and how to determine the "geographical scope" of events --beyond their explicit location. The project will use the wealth and variety of sources that are available over the Web to identify and characterize events, in turn to produce expressive, high-quality local event search results.
Published: May 30, 2008
"The Applications, Middleware, and Services Advisory Council (AMSAC) is responsible for advising the Board and management on matters relating to the support and adoption of applications, middleware, security and other capabilities across the Internet2 membership and its collaborators around the globe. The AMSAC is responsible for interacting directly with other key advisory committees on technical and service issues. It will also provide advice on Internet2s efforts to support applications and middleware for teaching and learning as well as for research, and for advice on the investment of resources for current and future initiatives." Read more.
Prof. Keromytis funded to track sensitive information flows in enterprises
Published: May 27, 2008
The project will investigate mechanisms for implementing information accountability and visualization in large-scale distributed enterprise environments. Specifically, Prof. Keromytis' research group will investigate the use of Virtual Machine Monitors (VMMs) and distributed coordination protocols to efficiently track the flow of sensitive information (or, more generally, information of interest to the administrator) throughout a distributed system. Although much work has been done on VMMs in recent years, the focus has been on more efficient resource utilization and (from a security standpoint) component isolation; little to no work has been done on fine-grained information flow tracking within a single system and across system boundaries.
Published: May 22, 2008
Prof. Ross teaches courses in databases and problem solving at Columbia University.

Professor Ross has been selected as one of the two recipients of this year's Columbia Engineering School Alumni Association (CESAA) Distinguished Faculty Teaching Awards. Mr. Lee presented the award to Professor Ross at Class Day ceremonies on Monday, May 19.

"The Columbia Engineering School Alumni Association created this award more than a decade ago to recognize the exceptional commitment of members of the SEAS faculty to undergraduate education," said Mr. Lee. "This year, I am pleased to present these awards to two senior faculty members, a testament to their continuing faithfulness to the central mission of teaching undergraduates."

The awardees were selected by a Committee of the Alumni Association chaired by Eric Schon '68, with representation from the student body, and based on nominations from the students themselves. The Board of Managers of the Columbia Engineering School Alumni Association voted unanimously to approve the selection.

Students enthusiastically wrote that courses taught by these professors were the best they have taken at Columbia. The qualities that both professors share and the ones most frequently mentioned by students are their enthusiasm for the subject matter, caring attitude, approachability, responsiveness to student concerns, and the ability to make complex subject matter understandable. Read more.
Melinda Agyekum and Ryan Overbeck win Intel fellowship
Published: May 22, 2008
Melinda Agyekum, advised by Prof. Steven Nowick, has been selected for the Intel PhD Fellowship for her work in asynchronous digital systems. Asynchronous digital circuits perform synchronization and communication without using a global clock, and thereby can provide greater flexibility and timing-robustness in handling on-chip and off-chip communication. The goal of her work is to provide low-power encoding techniques that will allow asynchronous communication to become more tolerant of dynamic variability (e.g., soft-errors, cross-talk, noise, etc.) which has become an increasing problem due to device scaling.

Ryan Overbeck's, advised by Prof. Ravi Ramamoorthi, focuses on real-time ray tracing. Ray tracing is the core of many physically-based algorithms for rendering 3D scenes with global illumination (shadows, reflections, refractions, indirect illumination, and other effects), but has not been fast enough for interactive rendering on commodity computers until recently. He develops algorithms to ray trace 3D scenes with high quality shadows, reflections, and refractions providing a higher degree of realism to interactive content.
Carlos-Ren Prez wins National Physical Science Consortium fellowship
Published: May 21, 2008
Carlos-Ren Prez is working on automatic software healing with his PhD advisors, Prof. Angelos Keromytis and Prof. Jason Nieh. The NPSC fellowship is sponsored by the National Security Agency. "The NPSC has one primary objective: Increase the number of qualified U.S.-citizen Ph.D.'s in the physical sciences and related engineering fields, emphasizing recruitment of a diverse applicant pool of women and historically underrepresented minorities. ... Since inception in 1989, NPSC has awarded 374 graduate fellowships. Of those fellows, 148 have received a PhD, 79 have received a Masters Degree, and 78 are currently enrolled. Ninety-two percent of NPSC fellows have been female or members of underrepresented minority groups or both."
Traub Elected to the Marconi Society Board of Directors
Published: May 13, 2008
The Society is best known for the Marconi Prize, considered the most prestigious award in the field of communications and the Internet. Among its other activities, the Society holds regular forums on topics of societal importance.
New project explores next-generation emergency calling
Published: May 7, 2008
Traditional 9‐1‐1 systems, which date back to 1970s, support only voice, while non‐emergency communications now feature other media. Adding additional media for 9‐1‐1 presents opportunities and challenges. Text messages, images captured by cell phones, video clips, and automatic crash notification messages can dramatically enhance the 9‐1‐1 services by expediting emergency responses and reducing crash clearance times. The rapid increase of residential, nomadic and mobile VoIP usage requires the development of VoIP‐based next generation 9‐1‐1 systems and services that will replace the current circuit‐switched 9‐1‐1 systems. Beyond limitations in media and mobility support, existing systems are inefficient and cannot easily accommodate new functionality. The project will develop a testbed that will enable research on understanding and analysis of next generation 9‐1‐1 services. This is particularly important as both state and federal governments are in the process of planning next‐generation emergency communication platforms, unfortunately often without adequate vendor‐neutral testing and evaluation. This project is a collaborative proposal involving the University of North Texas, Columbia University, Texas A&M University with support from the Denco, Brazo and College Station county 9‐1‐1 centers. The project plans to investigate issues related to locating 9‐1‐1 callers, securing Public Safety Answering Points, ensuring continuous availability of 9‐1‐1 services during large‐scale emergencies, predicting emergencies, providing citizen alerts (reverse 9‐1‐1), improving inter‐agency coordination and enhancing 9‐1‐1 services for the deaf and hearing‐impaired using video phones and instant messaging. The research results will translate into engineering guidelines and be disseminated across government organizations, standards bodies such as IETF and National Emergency Number Association (NENA) and 9‐1‐1 centers.
Stolfo, Sethumadhavan, Locasto and August win DARPA seed grant
Published: April 29, 2008
This research effort will leverage recent discoveries of latent parallelism in sequential codes and improvements in machine learning to create a new automatic parallelization system. The parallelization system may offer dramatic performance improvements for legacy software (on multi-cores) without requiring prohibitively expensive software rewrites.
Prof. Belhumeur and Nayar to participate in NSF MURI project on human recognition
Published: April 22, 2008
The grant is for $1.5 million per year for three years with the potential for two additional option years at $1.5 million per year. The MURI project will be coordinated by team of researchers from University of Maryland with partnering institutions in Columbia University, University of California at Colorado Springs and University of California at San Diego, and international researchers from University of Southampton, UK and University of Queensland, Australia. The team will design and develop novel sensors, algorithms and systems for maritime biometrics. Columbia University's share of the grant will be $1.39 million over the five year period and will be shared by Columbia PIs Peter Belhumeur and Shree Nayar.
Oliver Cossairt and Alexander Gusev receive NSF graduate fellowships
Published: April 5, 2008

Olivier Cossairt, advised by Prof. Shree Nayar, has been selected for the NSF Graduate Fellowship to further his work on intelligent displays. Intelligent displays are new types of visualization systems that sense and react to their physical environment. Using these displays, real and digital objects are indistinguishable in appearance, enabling new possibilities for rich user interaction in fields as diverse as medical imaging, military visualization, and entertainment.

Alexander Gusev, advised by Prof. Itsik Pe'er, has been awarded an NSF Graduate Fellowship for his research work in computainal genetics. Genetic evidence shows that many pairs of individuals purported as unrelated to one another actually share an ancestor within the last few generations. Unfortunately, the computational barrier of comparing all pairs to one another prevented such analysis on a large scale. Sasha developed a linear time method for such all-against-all comparison, becoming the first to analyze ancestry of thousands of individuals, and finding surprising results with implications to population genetics and disease research.

Professors Allen, Bellovin, Keromytis, Servedio and Stolfo receive Google Research Awards
Published: March 14, 2008

Prof. Allen will be investigating semantically searchable dynamic 3D databases, developing
new methods to take an unstructured set of 3D models and organize them into a database that can be intelligently and efficiently queried. The database will be searchable, tagged and dynamic, and will be able to support queries based on whole object and partial object geometries.

In the project titled "Safe Browsing Through Web-based Application Communities", Profs. Keromytis and Stolfo will investigate the use of collaborative software monitoring, anomaly detection, and software self-healing to enable groups of users to browse safely. The project seeks to counter the increasingly virulent class of web-bourne malware by exchanging information among users about detected attacks and countermeasures when browsing unknown websites or even specific pages.

In the project "Privacy and Search: Having it Both Ways in Web Services", Prof. Keromytis will investigate techniques for addressing the privacy and confidentiality concerns of businesses and individuals while allowing for the use of hosted, web-based applications such as Google Docs and Gmail. Specifically, the project will combine data confidentiality mechanisms with Private Information Matching and Retrieval protocols, to develop schemes that offer different tradeoffs between stored-data confidentiality/privacy and legitimate business and user needs.

Rocco Servedio was awarded a Google Research Award to develop improved martingale ranking algorithms. Martingale ranking is an extension of martingale boosting, a provably noise-tolerant boosting algorithm from learning theory which was jointly developed by Rocco and Phil Long, a researcher at Google. Rocco will work to design adaptive and noise-tolerant martingale rankers that perform well 'at the top of the list' of items being ranked, which is where accurate rankings are most important.

Published: February 19, 2008
The Alfred P. Sloan Foundation named 118 outstanding young scientists, mathematicians, and economists as Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellows. The winners are faculty members at 64 colleges and universities in the United States and Canada who are conducting research at the frontiers of physics, chemistry, computational and evolutionary molecular biology, computer science, economics, mathematics and neuroscience. The Sloan Research Fellowships have been awarded since 1955. Read more.
Prof. Stolfo to participate in National Academies National Research Council committee
Published: February 16, 2008
At the request of the Chief of Naval Operations, the Naval Studies Board of the National Academies is planning to conduct a 12-month study entitled "Information Assurance for Network-Centric Naval Forces." The study will review the Department of Defense and the Department of the Navy responsibilities for information assurance, review recent information assurance-related studies conducted by and for the Department of Defense and Department of the Navy, examine the Department of Defense and Department of Navy research, development, and acquisition process for information assurance, and recommend alternative approaches to the process that allow for greater flexibility, assess potential information assurance vulnerabilities for network-centric naval forces, review and recommend information assurance best practices, recommend investment analysis approaches for managing cyber attack risks to network-centric naval forces that address the consequences of possible cyber attacks, the likelihoods of
these attacks actually occurring, and the uncertainties surrounding assumptions about these risks.
Published: February 8, 2008
Election to the National Academy of Engineering (NAE) is the highest professional distinction accorded to an engineer. Academy membership honors those who have made outstanding contributions to "engineering research, practice, or education, including, where appropriate, significant
contributions to the engineering literature," and to the "pioneering of new and developing fields of technology, making major advancements in traditional fields of engineering, or developing/implementing innovative approaches to engineering education."

The National Academy of Engineering (NAE) has elected a total of 65 new members and nine foreign associates spanning all disciplines of engineering and applied sciences.

Members are elected to the NAE by their peers (current NAE members). All members have distinguished themselves in technical positions, as university faculty, and as leaders in government and business organizations. They serve as "advisers to the nation on science, engineering, and medicine," and perform an unparalleled public service by addressing the scientific and technical aspects of some of societys
most pressing problems. The NAE was established in 1964 as an independent, nonprofit organization and is one of four United States National Academies. Read more.
Prof. Hirschberg receives honorary doctorate from KTH, Stockholm
Published: December 18, 2007
The full citation reads, translated from the Swedish original:

"Julia Hirschberg, professor in computer science, is active within the area of speech communications at Columbia University, USA. She belongs to the leading researchers in this field, having performed research in both industry and academia. In her work at AT&T, she contributed to the development of several voice-controlled telephone services. Julia Hirschberg has performed leading research on a variety of topics related to human-to-human and human-to-machine interaction. Specifically, within the area of prosody, she studied how people use other means than speech to communicate focus, turn-taking and emotions in a dialogue. She has also studied how this knowledge can be applied to various speech-based services. Julia Hirschberg has been president of the International Speech Communication Association (ISCA) since 2005. As such she is responsible for
the yearly conference Interspeech that attracts more than 1000 attendee each year."
CS major Rajesh Ramakrishnan selected as CRA Undergraduate Award finalist
Published: November 28, 2007
The Computing Research Association (CRA) is an association of more than 200 North American academic departments of computer science, computer engineering, and related fields; laboratories and centers in industry, government, and academia engaging in basic computing research; and affiliated professional societies.
Published: November 14, 2007
Distinguished lecturers visit IEEE Communications Society chapters to discuss new developments in communications and networking. Read more.
Published: November 9, 2007
Prof. Misra proposal seeks to develop and analyze Adaptive Sharing Mechanisms (ASMs) in which the mechanism used to share resources adapts dynamically to both the set of available resources and the
current needs of the consumers, such that the system is truly autonomic. The project proposes to modularize the ASM into separate components, and then design the various components using both cutting edge novel control theoretic and scheduling analyses. Read more.
Published: November 9, 2007

According to the citation, "Prof. Yechiam Yemini is that rare individual who embodies excellence in research, innovation and entrepreneurship. He was already a successful entrepreneur before he joined CATT. He then started System Management Arts or SMARTS, a company with over 150 employees that developed network management solutions. This company was acquired by EMC Corporation. He is now working on yet another start up called Arootz. In all his ventures he brings technological innovation and an unerring vision of the market."

Henning Schulzrinne was cited a pioneer in the development of Voice over IP technology that is supplanting circuit-switched voice, which has been the basis of phone service since the days of Alexander Graham Bell. He is a co-inventor of the Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) and the Real-Time Transport Protocol (RTP), which form the basis of VOIP, and additional standards for multimedia transport over the Internet.

In addition, Verizon Communication was honored for a joint project conducted with the lab of Prof. Schulzrinne.

The Center for Advanced Technology in Telecommunications and Distributed Information Systems (CATT) is a research and education group at Polytechnic University, long-recognized as one of the best engineering schools in the country. CATT researchers are leaders in the fields of electrical engineering and computer science. The Center also draws on the expertise of key researchers at Columbia University. Read more.

Published: September 30, 2007
"NIH New Innovator Dana Peer is looking forward to building her lab team and working on the next phase of her research, which seeks to illuminate how a cell's regulatory network processes signals, and how this signal processing goes wrong in cancer. As one of the worlds leading computational biologists, Peer develops highly sophisticated computational machine learning methods that analyze genomic data and detect patterns that underlie interactions and influences between molecules in a cell.

With the NIH award funding, Peer and her team will seek to understand the general underlying principles governing how cells process signals, how molecular networks compute, and how genetic variations alter cellular functioning. Specifically, she wants to understand how changes in DNA codes modify a cells response to its internal and external cues, which then leads to changes throughout the entire body. These changes, or malfunctions, can cause anything from autoimmune disease to cancer." (Columbia News) Read more.
Prof. Kender receives grant to study semantics of structured and unstructured videos
Published: September 22, 2007
This project explores three new related approaches to making the indexing and retrieval of videos more efficient, meaningful, and humanly navigable, even when the videos have little editor-imposed structure.

The first is the exploration and refinement of a novel, highly efficient machine learning technique for data-rich domains, which selects small and fast subsets of multimedia features that are most indicative of a given high-level concept. Speed-ups of three decimal orders of magnitude are possible.

The second is the development of new methods and tools for refining user concepts and domain ontologies for video retrieval, based on statistical analyses of their collocation and temporal behavior. The goals are the determination of video synonyms and hypernyms, the verification of temporal shot patterns such as repetition and alternation, and the exploitation of a newly recognized power-law decay of the recurrence of content.

The third is the demonstration of a customizable user interface, the first of its kind, to navigate a library of videos of unedited and relatively unstructured student presentations, using visual, speech, facial, auditory, textual, and other features. These features are shown to be more accurately and quickly derived using the results of the first investigation, and more compactly and saliently presented using the results of the second.
Joshua Reich demos delay-tolerant networks on Roomba, wins ACM Mobicom demo prize
Published: September 12, 2007
Joshua Reich, a PhD student in the Department, just won the student demo contest at ACM Mobicom/hoc for his Roombanet system (you might have seen vacuum cleaners roaming around the courtyard). His project was titled "MadNET: DTNs on Roombas". Mobicom is the flagship wireless conference and this year it was joint with Mobihoc. Joshua Reich is being advised by Prof. Vishal Misra and Prof. Dan Rubenstein.
Prof. Servedio and Malkin receive NSF grant on cross-leveraging cryptography and learning theory
Published: September 4, 2007
The project proposes a detailed study of the connections between cryptography and learning. Very roughly speaking, cryptography is about manipulating and encoding information so that it is difficult to reconstruct the initial information, while learning theory is about efficiently extracting information from some unknown object. This duality means that ideas and results from each area can potentially be leveraged to make progress in the other area.

The first main goal of the project is to obtain new cryptographic results based on the presumed hardness of various problems in computational learning theory. Work along these lines will include constructing and applying cryptographic primitives such as public-key cryptosystems and pseudorandom generators from learning problems that are widely believed to be hard, and exploring the average-case learnability of well-studied concept classes such as decision trees and DNF formulas. The second main goal of the project is to obtain new learning results via cryptography. The PIs will work to develop privacy-preserving learning algorithms; to establish computational hardness of learning various Boolean function classes using tools from cryptography; to obtain computational separations between pairs of well-studied learning models; and to explore the foundational assumptions of what are the minimal hardness assumptions required to prove hardness of learning.
Prof. Ramamoorthi receives NSF grant to improve rendering quality
Published: August 21, 2007
Computer graphics is commonly used for interactive visualization and rendering in video games, electronic commerce or scientific visualization. These applications often demand real-time results,
including multiple bounces of light (global illumination), material changes and spatially-varying local lighting. Computer graphics is also increasingly used to prototype or design illumination and material
properties, for industries as diverse as animation, entertainment, automobile design, and architecture. A lighting designer on a movie set wants to pre-visualize the scene lit by the final illumination and with
objects having their final material properties, be they paint, velvet or glass. An architect wants to visualize the reflectance properties of building materials in their natural setting. In many applications, much
greater realism and faithfulness can be obtained if the lighting or material designer could interactively specify these properties. The project will develop the theoretical foundations and next generation
practical algorithms for high quality real-time rendering and lighting/material design.
Published: July 31, 2007
The citation reads: "ACM SIGGRAPH is proud to recognize Ravi Ramamoorthi as this years recipient of the Signifi cant New Researcher Award for his groundbreaking work on mathematical representations
and computational models for the visual appearance of objects. Ravis work has had enormous impact in areas ranging from real-time rendering to acquisition and representation of visual appearance. In the tradition of the best graphics researchers, Ravi combines foundational mathematical analyses with
novel practical algorithms. His discoveries have not only led to a deeper understanding of appearance: a number of them are being adopted by industry.

Ravi obtained his B.S. and M.S. degrees in computer science and physics from Caltech in 1998, publishing two SIGGRAPH papers from his work there with Al Barr and Jim Arvo. He then received his Ph.D. in Computer Science from Stanford University in 2002, under Pat Hanrahan. He joined the faculty at Columbia University in August 2002, where he is now an associate professor of computer science. He is well known for his seminal SIGGRAPH 2001 paper and Ph.D. dissertation that used ideas from signal processing to establish a firm mathematical framework to describe reflection in terms of convolution, where the incident radiance plays the role of the signal, and the bidirectional reflectance distribution function of the surface plays the role of a filter. He went on to derive an explicit convolution product
formula in the frequency domain using spherical harmonics. This work represents a mathematical tour de force, addressing long standing problems in graphics and computer vision.

His SIGGRAPH 2004 paper with Ren Ng and Pat Hanrahan on triple product integrals continued his study of the reflection operator, a theme that has continued with several subsequent papers, two of which appear in this years proceedings.

Much of Ravis recent work has turned to data-driven methods, including five papers with a wide array of collaborators in SIGGRAPH 2006 that deal with a variety of issues, from the measurement and representation of complex time varying phenomena, to real-time editing of BRDFs. In summary, Ravi has made deep and broad contributions to the twin fields of graphics and computer vision. He has
shown exceptional levels of productivity, being one of the most prolific recent contributors to SIGGRAPH. Indeed, his research accomplishments make it easy to forget that he is only at the beginning of his career, having received his doctorate just five years ago. With such a quick start to his career, we look forward to many more productive years to come."

A video introduces Ravi and his work. The press release is available. Read more.
Prof. Allen to develop robotic tool for minimal-access surgery
Published: July 31, 2007
This project focuses on the development of a newly conceived insertable robotic effector platform and the integration of that platform with a recently developed insertable, remotely controlled camera system to be used for minimal access surgery. The project will involve the actual design and construction of the platform for tools and the integration of the imaging platform (insertable camera system) with the tools into a fully functional image guided system for minimal access surgery. This may also include the addition of various sensors on the tools, so that the resultant data stream from both the imaging platform and the tools can be processed to control the intervention. The overall aim is to develop a disruptive technology that includes an insertable image source, a wide range of surgical tools, and a computer to integrate the function of all components.
Profs. Kaiser and Nieh to receive grant to reduce computer downtime
Published: July 30, 2007
The project investigates and develops autonomic mechanisms for reducing system downtime due to software maintenance and upgrades. The project addresses operating system upgrades and also application upgrades, focusing on standalone binary-executable applications. The main goal is to lessen the possibility that patches and updates will "break" expected functionality of the environment that worked fine together with the old version -- overall maximizing availability and
reliability both during and after maintenance while imposing little management overhead. The contributions stem primarily from a virtualization architecture that decouples application instances from operating system instances, enabling either to be independently updated. The results, disseminated via web download, will improve availability of legacy applications, with no source code access,
modification, recompilation, relinking or application-specific semantic knowledge, and perform efficiently and securely on commodity operating systems and hardware.
Prof. Schulzrinne elected as vice chair of ACM SIGCOMM
Published: July 11, 2007
"SIGCOMM is ACM's professional forum for the discussion of topics in the field of communications and computer networks, including technical design and engineering, regulation and operations, and the social implications of computer networking. The SIG's members are particularly interested in the systems engineering and architectural questions of communication."
Prof. Vishal Misra elected to Board of Directors for ACM SIGMETRICS
Published: July 11, 2007
"Besides being the rockin'est ACM SIG, it is also widely revered as the most universal. Go ahead, try naming any SIG at all that isn't obsessed with performance. (No fair picking on SIGART, "The Art of AI." Just because they're decades late in delivering on their promises of functionality doesn't mean they wouldn't be talking performance if they could.)"

SIGMETRICS promotes research in performance analysis techniques as well as the advanced and innovative use of known methods and tools. It sponsors conferences, such as its own annual conference (SIGMETRICS), publishes a newsletter (Performance Evaluation Review), and operates a network bulletin board and web site.

Prof. Edwards wins NSF grant to develop new computer design methods
Published: June 30, 2007
This project proposes to reintroduce timing predictability as a first-class property of embedded processor architectures. To fully exploit such timing predictability, however, would require a significant redesign of much of computing technology, including operating systems, programming languages, compilers, and networks.

Obviously, a three-year NSF project cannot address the full breadth of the problem. We propose, therefore, to tackle the problem from the hardware design perspective. Our approach will be to develop precision timed (PRET) machines as soft cores on FPGAs, and to show that using such machines software components can be integrated with what would traditionally have been purely hardware designs. We expect that this will first greatly improve the expressiveness and usability of FPGA-based design flows, and second will provide a starting point for a decades-long revolution that will once again make timing
predictability an essential feature of processors.
Prof. Keromytis receives grant to investigate new communications mechanisms against denial-of-service attacks
Published: June 15, 2007
Network denial of service attacks occur with increasing frequency and devastating economic and psychological effects for the targeted sites and their users. Addressing the problem has proven difficult, primarily due to deployment and complexity concerns about previously proposed mechanisms. In particular, receiver-controlled capabilities are an elegant way for preventing communication interference, but are difficult to deploy in practice and are susceptible to control-channel attacks.

This project will investigate a new communication paradigm, named PacketSpread, which makes feasible the use of capability-like mechanisms on the current Internet, without requiring architectural modifications to networks or hosts. The high-level hypothesis of the research is that practical network capability schemes can be constructed through the use of end-point traffic-redirection mechanisms that use a spread-spectrum-like communication paradigm enabled by an overlay network. To test this hypothesis, the project will prototype and experimentally validate the resistance of such a scheme against attacks launched by realistic adversaries, while minimizing the impact of the approach to end-to-end communication latency and throughput.

The results of this research will enable a better understanding of how network-capability schemes can be deployed and used to provide robust and secure communications under both normal operation and in times of crisis. Improvements in the security and reliability of large-scale systems on which society, business, government, and individuals depend on will have a positive impact on society.
Adjunct Professor W. Bradford Paley's "Map of Science" published in Nature, SEED, Discover
Published: May 24, 2007
Page 14 of this month's (June's) Discover magazine shows an analysis of some 800,000 scientific papers, courtesy of work done by Columbia Department of Computer Science Adjunct Professor
W. Bradford Paley.

W. Bradford Paley, an Adjunct Associate Professor in the Department of Computer Science, worked with two collaborators to produce an illustration that seems itself to have become news. Working with Kevin Boyack (of Sandia National Labs) and Dick Klavans (of SciTech Strategies, Inc.), he developed a way of visualizing the relationships among 776 different scientific paradigms--labelling each node with ten unique descriptive phrases--on a small two-foot square print. The image (originally four feet square) was part of an "Illuminated Diagram," a visual display technique Mr. Paley first presented
at IEEE InfoVis 2002. It was part of an exhibit called "Places and Spaces: Mapping Science" installed in the New York Public Library Science Industry and Business Library, then the New York Hall of Science; it is now travelling worldwide.

The journal Nature noticed the image in that exhibit and opened its annual "Brilliant Images" image gallery of 2006 with a very reduced version. It was picked up by both SEED and Discover magazines and has been mentioned in dozens of news sites and blogs, including Slashdot, Reddit, Complexity Digest, Education Futures, and StumbleUpon.

Mr. Paley's site (didi.com/brad) describes his new label layout algorithm, as well as the rest of the project.
Prof. Malkin receives grant from Mitsubishi Electric Research Laboratories (MERL) on privacy-preserving learning
Published: April 25, 2007
As part of the grant, Prof. Malking will study secure protocols allowing two or more parties to apply vision
algorithms on their inputs, without revealing any additional information. For example, consider a client holding data which he would like classified by a server (e.g., applying a face detection algorithm). However, the client does not want to reveal any information on his data to the server, and the server does not want to reveal any information to the client, beyond the classification result. While general cryptographic techniques for secure multiparty computation may be applied, these often entail a performance overhead that is prohibitive for the real-world applications we address. Prof. Malkin and her team will work to design efficient privacy preserving protocols for common information classifiers including density estimation using Parzen windows, K-NN classification, neural networks, and support vector machines. We will also design privacy preserving protocols for other useful vision and learning problems, such as oblivious matching protocols, allowing two parties to find whether they are holding an
image of the same object or not, without disclosing any additional information on their images.
Claire Lackner, project student in Computer Science, to be valedictorian
Published: April 12, 2007
Claire is a Rabi Scholar majoring in Physics. She has undertaken research at the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory and in the Robotics laboratory (Prof. Peter Allen) of the Computer Science department, where she developed software to improve the grasping ability of a simulated robotic hand. At Cal Tech and the Jet Propulsion Laboratory as an undergraduate research fellow, she studied images of gullies on Mars and created a model for their formulation. Together with Professor Peter Allen, Claire has also done field work in France with the Art History department assisting in the three dimensional imaging of Romanesque churches. A recipient of both the Goldwater Scholarship and the National Defense Science and Engineering Graduate Fellowship, Claire will pursue a Ph.D. in Astrophysics at Princeton University this fall.
Sean White, Dominic Marino and Prof. Feiner win Best Note award at CHI 2007
Published: April 6, 2007
PhD student Sean White, Dominic Marino (MS, '07), and Professor Steve Feiner won the Best Note award at CHI 2007 for their short paper, "Designing a Mobile User Interface for Automated Species Identification." CHI 2007 is the top conference in human-computer interaction, and will be held in San Jose, April 28-May 3, 2007. For more information, see www.chi2007.org.
DHS grant for Prof. Stolfo, Keromytis, Hershkop to investigate insider threats
Published: April 5, 2007
The project, titled "Human Behavior, Insider Threat, and Awareness", will focus on investigating, developing, and experimentally evaluating methods and models for detecting malicious insider activity and behavior on a host computer system. The approach taken will be twofold. First, to create a system of host-based anomaly sensors to learn models of normal user behavior, such that significant behavior differences can be indicative of a security breach or malicious intent. Second, to create proactive honeypot technology, extending current honeypot technology with the introduction of controlled and realistic-looking bait traffic of various types to entice attackers and malicious insiders.
Published: April 3, 2007
Hila Becker is a Computer Science PhD student at Columbia University in New York City. Her research interests include machine learning theory and applications, data mining and information extraction. She currently works in the Center for Computational Learning Systems (CCLS).

The Anita Borg Institute for Women and Technology and Google sponsor the 2007 Google Anita Borg Memorial Scholarship. The Google Anita Borg Memorial Scholarship was established to honor the legacy of Anita Borg and her efforts to encourage women to pursue careers in computer science and technology. Finalists receive a cash award. For the 2006-2007 academic year, the institute received over 250 applications from students at 115 different universities across the country. Eligible students must be going into their final year of study at a US university or college. Selection criteria includes academic performance, letters of recommendation, answers to short essay questions and interviews with members of the review committee. After three rounds of review, the committee selected 50 finalists. [from the press release] Read more.

Published: April 1, 2007
The ranking has been compiled by Academic Analytics and includes grants, awards, citations and journal publications.

Details about the methodology can be found at
http://chronicle.com/stats/productivity/page.php?primary=4&secondary=34&bycat=Go Read more.
Professors Keromytis, Nieh and Stolfo win MURI grant on automatic recovery
Published: March 19, 2007
This project will develop autonomic recovery and regeneration mechanisms that will enable commodity systems to detect attacks, corruptions, and failures, then self-regenerate to a known good state, for both program and data, while increasing the reliability and security of the software to be more resistant and less vulnerable to attack. The project will adopt a "health care" model for computing systems, where failing systems are "triaged" either locally or through a centralized Enterprise Health Care Center (EHCC) to bring these systems back to health while other systems provide their services for non-stop enterprise computing. The approach will address both unintentional failures caused by software flaws and intentional attacks that exploit vulnerabilities in software applications.
Prof. Ramamoorthi wins Office of Naval Research Young Investigator Program fellowship
Published: March 19, 2007
ONR YIP is a very competitive program. This year, ONR received 214 proposals for the YIP competition and 33 were selected for award. Professor Ramamoorthi is a member of the Columbia Computer Science Computer Graphics group.

The images that objects produce are heavily influenced by the interplay between natural lighting conditions, complex materials with non-diffuse reflectance, and shadows cast by and on the object.
Modeling these effects, which are omnipresent in natural environments, is critical for image understanding and machine perception. For example, to deploy face recognition systems in airport security or in the outdoors, we must account for uncontrolled illumination, developing lighting-insensitive recognition methods. Recognizing and tracking vehicles requires understanding the bright highlights produced by metallic car bodies. Robotic helpers that provide assistance to the infirm must interpret highlights and shadows from household objects. Unmanned automated vehicles surveying battle scenarios can also benefit from improved image interpretation algorithms, allowing them to understand and build 3D models of their environs.

Therefore, compact mathematical models of illumination and reflectance are essential, to develop robust vision and image interpretation systems for uncontrolled conditions. We will pursue two main avenues. First, we analyze the frequency-domain properties of lighting and reflectance, extending our previous results to specular objects, describing a theory of frequency domain identities, analogous to
classical spatial domain results like reflectance ratios. Second, we analyze a general light transport operator that by definition includes arbitrary reflectance and shadowing. We develop a locally low-dimensional representation, even for high-frequency highlights and intricate shadows. This enables a new level of accuracy in appearance-based lighting-insensitive recognition and other applications.
Prof. Keromytis receives ONR grant to develop Quantitative Trust Management
Published: March 15, 2007
The goal of this project, funded by the Office of Naval Research (ONR) under the Multi-University Research Initiative (MURI) program is to develop Quantitative Trust Management as the basis for a scalable decentralized approach to dynamic, mission-based access control (MBAC). The dynamic trust management technique will address the inabilities of current capabilities to maintain security policies at the operational tempo required for network-centric warface, to scale to emerging nation-state threats, and to manage heterogeneous computing and network elements supporting Service-Oriented Architectures (SOA). MBAC will introduce a new generation of policy languages that will allow composition and quantification of the effects of dynamically changing policies, and the theoretical foundations to support composition of complex policies using cost-benefit analysis under compositional reasoning on quantitative measures of trust to make access-control decisions. These theoretical foundations will provide a basis by which access-control policies can be made "situation-aware" and thus adaptive to both local and global mission dynamics.
Prof. Grinspun receives NSF CAREER award to help understand and model complex mechanical systems
Published: March 7, 2007
Software that helps to develop intuition will help engineers to produce better designs, spur scientists to
poise more likely hypotheses, and give artists better control over the process of computer animation. Physical simulations have already achieved remarkable goals, enabling the prediction of systems that are too costly or dangerous to study empirically; however, current simulation technologies are built for precision, not intuition.

The investigators will develop simulation techniques that address the vision of a rapid, interactive design cycle, with a specific focus on the physical simulation of thin shells--flexible surfaces such as air bags, biological membranes, and textiles, with pervasive applications in automotive design, biomedical device optimization, and feature film production. The work will focus on qualitatively-accurate, but not precise, simulation. The research will yield novel methods that quickly but coarsely resolve the physics, skipping over irrelevant data to capture only the coarse variables that drive design decisions. The project will train young scientists with a deep understanding of computation, mathematics, and application domain areasdespite being in high demand, this combination of skills remains rare.

A technical goal of this project is to develop a principled, methodical approach to coarsening an existing discrete geometric model of a mechanical system, using adaptive, multiresolution
decompositions. Whereas adaptivity is commonly studied in the context of error estimators for mesh refinement, interactivity suggests a focus on how best to give up precision in a simulation. Therefore,
this research will (i) build on early work in the field of discrete differential geometry to formulate coarse geometric representations of physical systems that preserve key geometric and physical invariants,
(ii) investigate the convergence, resolution- and meshing-dependence of discrete differential operators, and (iii) contribute toward a software platform for interactive design space exploration with
concrete applications in automotive, biomedical, and feature-film engineering.
Prof. Shortliffe to become Dean of University of Arizona College of Medicine - Phoenix
Published: February 20, 2007
Prof. Shortliffe's is a professor in the departments of medicine and of computer science at Columbia as well as chair of the Department of Biomedical Informatics at Columbia College of Physicians and Surgeons.
Prof. Jebara receives grant to match data from heterogeneous databases
Published: February 14, 2007
The research proposal explores matching, b-matching and permutation within statistical learning, for applications including constraining social networks using graphs and b-matchings, visualizing large social networks, minimum volume embedding and merging social networks across heterogeneous databases. The applications will be explored via several novel algorithms and scientifically advance the areas of b-matching, permutation, metric learning, structured prediction, invariance and graph embedding.
Prof. Servedio to participate in DARPA Computer Science Study Panel
Published: January 10, 2007
The objective of the Computer Science Study Panel is to rapidly identify ideas in the field of computer science that will provide revolutionary advances, rather than incremental benefit, to the Department of Defense. Areas of special interest include pattern recognition, computer vision, probabilistic reasoning, biologically inspired exploitation, abnormal behavior analysis, cognitive psychology, machine learning, and other advanced disciplines in computer science. Participation in the panel, which lasts for one year, involves travel throughout the United States to government and industry sites. Panelists are eligible to submit a proposal for a Year 2 Computer Science Research Project. Prof. Servedio specializes in machine learning.
Profs. Keromytis and Stolfo to investigate protection of software system with Google Research Award
Published: January 9, 2007
Application Communities is a new paradigm for protecting software systems. Community members running independent instances of the same application will continuously exchange information that allows them to collectively identify new faults and attacks (collaborative monitoring), and to automatically develop, test and apply fixes (heal).

The PIs propose to apply these techniques to the problem of detecting new web-bourne malware (e.g., malicious attachments or active content) through a collaborative method that utilizes (a) the users' actions (to drive the browsers and "explore" new pages, in a manner similar to but more comprehensive and less error-prone than other proposed work that uses automated web-crawlers to scan suspicious web sites), (b) new detectors that are either already running on the users' systems (e.g., a host-based anomaly detector) or are easily deployable over the web, (c) a browser extension that communicates with Google to send information about locally found anomalies and to receive information about the threat-level ("maliciousness") of content downloaded or about-to-be downloaded from the web, and (d) Google itself, as the broker of said information. In addition, Google or a third party can act as the "validator" of alerts, using techniques the PIs have developed for protection of servers, albeit applied to the desktop/browser environment.
Published: December 19, 2006
The grant is titled "Integrating Control, Computation, and Communication - A Design Automation Flow for Distributed Embedded Systems".

Steady advances in such enabling technologies as semiconductor circuits, wireless networking, and microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) are making possible the design of complex distributed (networked) embedded systems that could benefit several application areas such as public
infrastructure, industrial automation, automotive industry, and consumer electronics. However, the heterogeneous and distributed nature of many such systems requires design teams with a composite skill set spanning automatic control, communication networks, and hardware/software
computational systems. Computer-aided design, a traditionally interdisciplinary research area, will be instrumental in making these systems feasible and in enhancing the productivity of the design process.
The grant will allow the PI to develop new modeling techniques, optimization algorithms, ommunication protocols and interface processes that combined will yield a novel 'design automation flow for distributed embedded-control applications' such as automotive ``X-by-wire systems'' and integrated buildings. The goal is to enable the integrated design and validation of these systems while assisting the typically multidisciplinary engineering teams that are building them. Intermediate contributions include methods for the robust deployment of real-time embedded software on distributed architectures and for the synthesis of a distributed implementation of an embedded control application where performance requirements are met while the usage of communication and computational resources is well-balanced. The education plan is motivated by the belief that the academic curricula for both computer and electrical engineers need to be updated in order to
overcome the artificial and historical boundaries among those disciplines in electrical engineering and computer science that lie at the core of embedded computing. Read more.
Published: November 30, 2006
Each year, the CRA selects outstanding undergraduates based on nominations from Departments across the United States and Canada. This year, there were about 65 winners, including honorable mentions. Read more.
Dean Zvi Galil to become President of Tel Aviv University
Published: November 11, 2006
He earned his undergraduate degree at Tel Aviv University and began his teaching career at Tel Aviv University in 1976. Prof. Galil was chair of the Department of Computer Science at Columbia from 1989 to 1994 before becoming Dean of the School of Engineering and Applied Science in 1995.
Seung Geol Choi wins best student-paper award at International Workshop on Security
Published: November 10, 2006
The paper is titled "Short Traceable Signatures Based on Bilinear Pairings".
Published: November 4, 2006
The prestigious honor, first awarded in 1988, recognizes individuals for scientific or technological breakthroughs, outstanding leadership, highly distinguished authorship or significant long-term contributions in the computer security field.

Bellovin, currently a professor of computer science at Columbia University, was one of the originators of USENET as a graduate student at the University of North Carolina in the late 1970s. During more than 20 years of research at Bell Labs and AT&T Labs Research, Bellovin was one of the first researchers to recognize the importance of firewalls to network security, explore protocol failures, discuss routing security and utilize encrypted key exchange protocols.

Bellovin has served on numerous National Research Council computer security committees, was an Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) security director from 2002-2004, and was a member of the now-defunct Department of Homeland Security's Science and Technology Advisory Board. He is the co-author of "Firewalls and Internet Security: Repelling the Wily Hacker," and holds several patents on cryptographic and network protocols. [quoted from the ACSAC announcement] Read more.
Prof. Nowick receives grant to design asynchronous interconnect fabrics for parallel processors
Published: October 24, 2006
The proposal is titled "Designing a Flexible High-Throughput Asynchronous Interconnect Fabric
for Future Single-Chip Parallel Processors". The goal is to design a high-throughput, flexible and low-power digital fabric for future desktop parallel processors, e.g., those with 64+ processors
per chip. The fabric will be designed using high-speed asynchronous pipelines, handling the communication between synchronous processor cores and distributed memory. The asynchrony of the fabric will facilitate lower power, handling of heterogeneous interfaces, and high access rates (with fine-grained pipelining). This work is in collaboration with the parallel processing and CAD groups at the University of Maryland, including Prof. Uzi Vishkin.
Department recruiting faculty in Computer Engineering and Software Systems
Published: October 23, 2006

The Department of Computer Science is seeking applicants for two
tenure-track positions at either the junior or senior level, one each in
computer engineering and software systems. Applicants should have a Ph.D. in a relevant field, and have demonstrated excellence in research and
the potential for leadership in the field. Senior applicants should
also have demonstrated excellence in teaching and continued
strong leadership in research.

Our department of 32 tenure-track faculty and 2 lecturers attracts excellent
Ph.D. students, virtually all of whom are fully supported by research
grants. The department has close ties to the nearby research laboratories
of AT&T, IBM (T.J. Watson), Lucent, NEC, Siemens, Telcordia Technologies
and Verizon, as well as to a number of major companies including financial
companies of Wall Street. Columbia University is one of the leading research
universities in the United States, and New York City is one of the
cultural, financial, and communications capitals of the
world. Columbia's tree-lined campus is located in Morningside Heights
on the Upper West Side.

Applicants should submit summaries of research and teaching interests,
CV, email address, and the names and email addresses of at least three
references by filing an online application at
www.cs.columbia.edu/recruit. Review of applications will begin on January 1, 2007.

Columbia University is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action
Employer. We encourage applications from women and minorities.

Prof. Carloni to Contribute to Gigascale System Research Center
Published: October 17, 2006
The Microelectronics Advanced Research Corporation (MARCO) funds and operates university-based research centers in microelectronics technology. Its charter initiative, the Focus Center Research Program (FCRP), is designed to expand pre-competitive, cooperative, long-range applied microelectronics research at U.S. universities. Each Focus Center targets research in a particular area of expertise. The GSRC Focus Center brings together 41 faculty from 17 American universities to focus on pertinent problems the semiconductor industry faces in the next decade in the areas of system design, integration, test, and verification. The GSRC web site is http://www.gigascale.org/; the MARCO web site is http://fcrp.src.org/.
Prof. Allen to participate in building anthropomorphic prosthetic arm
Published: October 10, 2006
The team includes researchers from the University of Pittsburth, University of Minnesota, CMU, Arizona State University and Columbia University. The goal of this project is to build and demonstrate an anthropomorphic prosthetic arm and hand that is controlled by cortical output.
Prof. Grinspun receives best paper award at Eurographics
Published: September 25, 2006
Eurographics considered 246 submitted papers, and accepted 42.
Jackson Liscombe wins Best Student Paper award at INTERSPEECH 2006
Published: September 25, 2006
INTERSPEECH is the annual conference of the International Speech Communication Association (http://www.isca-speech.org), which has about 1500 members. The conference is held annually, this year in Pittsburgh. There are usually about 1100 attendees and approximately 1000 submissions. ISCA is one of the major speech science and technology organizations internationally.
Prof. Grinspun awarded NSF grant to develop parallel architectures for interactive scientific computing
Published: September 16, 2006
Scientists and engineers are increasingly interested in conducting computational studies comprising large numbers of computational experiments (runs of simulation software) in domains ranging from automotive design-space exploration to biomedical device optimization and customization. Most such studies require interactivity, with the user continuously monitoring and steering how the study unfolds, based on partial results. This project develops foundations for a system that facilitates interactive computational studies involving a multitude of simulation experiments. The researchers specifically target engineering design applications, focusing on small-to-medium size simulation problems running on tightly-coupled parallel machines. Specific points of focus include (1) higher-level user control of the overall study (as opposed to individual experiments); (2) reuse of data from prior experiments in carrying forward new computations; (3) dynamic management of system resources by relying on a tighter coupling between application and system software; and (4) software reuse based on common component architecture (CCA) compliance and standardization of a more permeable system-/solver-level interface. The architecture will be evaluated on real-world biomedical applications, with a
specific focus on natural incorporation of existing simulation, solver, and domain-specific codes.

Prof. Eitan Grinspun (Columbia) brings expertise in adaptive multiresolution methods for physical simulation, working as part of a team led by NYU. Prof. Vijay Karamcheti (NYU) offers expertise in application-aware mechanisms for parallel computing, and Prof. Denis Zorin (NYU) provides expertise in interactive geometric modeling and simulation. Finally, Prof. Steve Parker (Utah) brings his expertise in the development of the SCIRun and SCIRun2 platforms for scientific computing.
Published: August 11, 2006
The alliance will perform research in the four areas of network theory, security across system of systems, sensor information processing and delivery and distributed coalition planning and decision making. Read more.
Alex Haubold wins best-poster award at multimedia conference
Published: July 16, 2006
This annual conference, one of the most significant and largest in the area of multimedia, featured over 270 posters. Alex, who is Prof. John Kender's student, won for his paper reporting on research he did as part of his IBM internship last summer: "Semantic Multimedia Retrieval using Lexical Query Expansion
and Model-Based Reranking".
Profs. Stolfo, Keromytis and Kaiser win NSF CyberTrust grant to study collaborative self-healing systems
Published: July 13, 2006
Collaborative Self-healing Systems (COSS) is a new paradigm for protecting software systems. Software monocultures are widely used applications that share common vulnerabilities. Hence, any attack that exploits one instance of a vulnerable application provides the means for wide-spread damage. The emerging concept of collaborative security, wherein independent but cooperative entities form a group to improve their individual security, provides the opportunity to exploit the homogeneity of a software monoculture for collective and mutual protection. Monocultures can be leveraged to improve an applications overall security and reliability. COSS members running independent instances of the same application will continuously exchange information that allows them to collectively identify new application faults and attacks (collaborative monitoring), identify the core vulnerability shared by all instances of the application (vulnerability identification), and to automatically develop, test and apply fixes (heal the application). Identifying the application vulnerability requires potentially substantial costs in instrumentation and monitoring in each application instance. We leverage the size of a COSS to amortize the cost of monitoring the applications behavior on a per-instance basis by distributing the monitoring task across a large population; each instance only monitors a portion of the common application but collectively the entire application is covered. COSS may be viewed as a large-scale, diverse software-testing facility that allows its members to identify how a potentially large and complex host application behaves at a very fine level of granularity. This project develops, prototypes and evaluates technologies for automatically building collaborative, self-securing software systems, enabling reliable and secure commodity software.
Prof. Misra and Rubenstein obtain NSF CyberTrust grant to study routing security
Published: July 9, 2006
The grant extends over three years and is entitled "Understanding Control Plane Security: The Method of Strong Detection". The research seeks to further development of a methodology for measuring the inherent security of the control plane component of existing and future network routing protocols. The approach has a significant theoretical component: it looks at general classes of routing protocols and show how they can be analyzed for their ability to monitor themselves. It uses our proposed technique of
Strong Detection to reveal bounds on the kinds of errors that these classes of routing protocols can detect. Hence, the research will be identifying complexity classes of routing protocols in terms of their self-monitoring abilities.
Prof. Schulzrinne receives grant to study VoIP spam
Published: July 8, 2006
The research will focus on using trust paths to determine whether unknown callers are likely to be telemarketers or other spammers. Trust paths capture transitive trust in a friend-of-a-friend model, with trust established by having a person send email or call another person. Such trust paths are suitable for low-risk decisions, such as whether to accept an email or phone call, rather than high-risk decisions such as whether to loan money or reveal private information.
Alp Atici and Prof. Servedio win best paper award at learning theory conference
Published: July 5, 2006
This award is given to the best student paper at the conference; the award is for the paper "Learning Unions of omega(1)-Dimensional Rectangles" which is co-authored by Prof. Rocco Servedio. The E. M. Gold Award comes with a scholarship of approximately 550 Euros.
Prof. Kender to participate in DTO project to analyze news broadcasts
Published: June 20, 2006
The project pursues research on statistical modeling techniques that will characterize video contents in large semantic spaces, using open source international news broadcasts. It emphasizes cross-domain and
cross-cultural scalability, faster than real-time performance, and the exploitation of the temporal evolutionary aspects of video contents. It will build a retrieval workbench with video mining, topic tracking, and cross-linking capabilities, along with other video understanding services.
Profs. Nieh and Hirschberg receive IBM Faculty Award
Published: June 14, 2006
Prof. Julia Hirschberg and Prof. Jason Nieh received the IBM Faculty Award for 2006.
Profs. Misra, Rubenstein, Coffman and colleagues win NSF grant to study adaptive sharing mechanisms
Published: June 12, 2006
A wide variety of systems, including web farms, virtual machines, multi-tasking OSes, GRID computing systems, and sensor networks improve their accessibility, availability, resilience and fairness by
sharing resources across the consumers they support. However, research that explores how to share resources generally derives point solutions, where different resource/consumer configurations require
separately-designed sharing mechanisms. For instance, a scheduler often has implemented separately a single policy (e.g., FCFS, PS, FBPS, SPRT) optimized for a particular load setting, and cannot easily
be switched to another policy when the situation changes.

This project seeks to develop and analyze Adaptive Sharing Mechanisms (ASMs) in which the mechanism used to share resources adapts dynamically to both the set of available resources and the current
needs of the consumers, such that the system is truly autonomic. We initiate our study with a modularization of the ASM into separate components, and then study the various components using both cutting edge novel control theoretic and scheduling analyses. The study ends with prototype and testing ASMs within a server farm environment.

The grant extends over three years and is part of the NSF Computer Systems Research (CSR) program. Only approximately 10% of all grant applications were funded.
Prof. Malkin gives distinguished lecture at UT Austin
Published: June 11, 2006
The talk discussed Prof. Malkin's ongoing research program, expanding the traditional foundations of cryptography to withstand stronger attacks which are more appropriate in light of the way cryptography is used today. In particular, her research rigorously addresses cryptographic applications used in a complex and vulnerable environment such as the Internet, or on small portable devices, where a variety of new,
powerful and unexpected attacks become possible. The talk took place in December 2005.
NYSTAR supports Prof. Stolfo to analyze social networks and document flow
Published: June 11, 2006
The goals of the project are to identify anomalous events worthy of investigation, as well as the
identification users who exhibit potential insider threats.

The award initiates research in the IDS lab that has also been proposed to other agencies for joint support with two companies, Symantec and Secure Decisions, Inc.

The project starts in June 2006 and lasts for 6 months.
Prof. Stolfo to investigate malware detection with help of Disruptive Technology Office (DTO)
Published: June 11, 2006
Stealthy malware is considered the next wave of serious security threat whereby unknown vulnerabilities in common COTS word processing software is used to deliver malcode that is beyond the reach of the detection capabilities of standard Anti-virus scanners. The research focuses on methods to identify anomalous data embedded within documents.

The grant was awarded in January of 2006.
Prof. Stolfo wins grant to investigate insider threats and network anomalys
Published: June 11, 2006
This grant extends a previous ARO grant for research into Counter Evasion techniques. The objectives of the grant are to investigate techniques for the rapid exchange of security alert information among thousands of computers that sense anomalous network events. The rapid sharing of information may provide for the early detection of targeted attacks, including attacks that are sourced inside the defended network. Other techniques are investigated to profile the typical behavior of users within the network, in order to detect anomalous activities indicating the onset of an insider attack.

The Army Research Office (ARO) awarded the grant under a MIPR with the NSA. The projects started in May 2006 and lasts for approximately 40 months.
Profs. Bellovin, Keromytis and Stolfo funded to study large-scale systems security
Published: June 11, 2006
The objective of the research is to investigate novel techniques to secure networks of hundreds to thousands of commodity computers using automated patch generation, patch distribution management, distributed and dynamic firewalls, advanced content-based anomaly detectors and artificial diversity for collaborative security.

The Disruptive Technology Office (DTO, formerly ARDA) awarded the grant, while AFRL provides grant administration. The grant duration is 18 months.
Prof. Malkin wins NSF CAREER award
Published: June 11, 2006
The project challenges the traditional cryptographic assumptions about the limitations of the adversary, such as the assumption that the adversary has no access whatsoever to the legitimate parties' secret keys. The project will investigate the strongest existing models, design new models, develop protocols, and
explore the limits of what is possible to achieve, for several types of strong and realistic attacks, including chosen ciphertext attack, key tampering attacks, and key exposure attacks.
Prof. Malkin awarded grant to study key-evolving signatures
Published: June 11, 2006
Digital signatures play an essential role in securing financial Internet transactions, including private and authenticated communication, electronic commerce and other applications. However, all signature-based systems are vulnerable to the key exposure problem, which in practice is a far more likely cause of compromise than cryptanalysis. The objective of the project is to investigate the feasibility, performance, and correct use of key-evolving signatures, a new type of signatures which has recently emerged in the
cryptographic community as a potentially realistic way to mitigate key exposure attacks. In particular, the project will study intrusion resilient signatures, the strongest key-evolving mechanism to date, which allows to contain the damage to a single time period, with no other consequences for earlier or later uses of the key.
Prof. Malkin receives grant to study web server security
Published: June 11, 2006
The SSL/TLS protocols are used to ensure integrity of on-line financial transactions, establishing a "secure connection" between the consumer (or client) and the financial institution (or server). The goal of the project is to analyze whether and how often best practices are being used in current Internet transactions, by sampling a set of well known and less well
known secure servers and exposing common weaknesses and pitfalls. In the process, the project will also develop and release a toolkit for probing and testing the security of these servers.
Prof. Gravano and students win SIGMOD best-paper award
Published: May 26, 2006
Panos Ipeirotis and Eugene Agichtein are CS PhD alumni, and Pranay Jain is a graduating MS student. SIGMOD is one of two premier database conferences; SIGMOD 2006 received 446 research paper submissions, out of which 58 (or 13%) were accepted for publication.

The paper puts text-searching and crawling on a sound foundation. Text is ubiquitous and, not surprisingly, many important applications
rely on textual data for a variety of tasks. As a notable example,
information extraction applications derive structured relations from
unstructured text; as another example, focused crawlers explore the
web to locate pages about specific topics. Execution plans for
text-centric tasks follow two general paradigms for processing a text
database: either they scan, or "crawl," the text database or,
alternatively, they exploit search engine indexes and retrieve the
documents of interest via carefully crafted queries constructed in
task-specific ways. The choice between crawl- and query-based
execution plans can have a substantial impact on both execution time
and output "completeness" (e.g., in terms of recall). Nevertheless,
this choice is typically ad-hoc and based on heuristics or plain
intuition. This paper presents fundamental building blocks to make the
choice of execution plans for text-centric tasks in an informed,
cost-based way. Towards this goal, the paper shows how to analyze
query- and crawl-based plans in terms of both execution time and
output completeness. The paper adapts results from random-graph theory
and statistics to develop a rigorous cost model for the execution
plans. This cost model reflects the fact that the performance of the
plans depends on fundamental task-specific properties of the
underlying text databases. The paper identifies these properties and
presents efficient techniques for estimating the associated parameters
of the cost model. Overall, the paper's approach helps predict the
most appropriate execution plans for a task, resulting in significant
efficiency and output completeness benefits.

Published: May 22, 2006
During the past decade, interconnects have replaced transistors as the dominant determiner of integrated circuit performance by imposing primary limits on latency, energy dissipation, signal integrity and design productivity for giga-scale systems integration. Scalable networks made
of carefully-engineered links are expected to replace traditional on-chip communication schemes by providing higher bandwidth with lower power dissipation. Further, on-chip networks offer the opportunity to mitigate the complexity of system-on-chip design by facilitating the assembling of
multiple processing cores through the emergence of standards for communication protocols and network access points. This project will investigate the design of low-power scalable on-chip networks for multi-core systems-on-chip by combining a new low-latency, low-energy, current-mode signalling techniques with the design of latency-insensitive protocols extended to support fault-tolerant mechanisms.

The project is funded by the NSF Foundations of Computing Processes and Artifacts (CPA) Cluster. In 2005 the NSF CPA cluster received 532 proposals and funded approximately 10% of them.

The NSF CPA cluster supports research and education projects to advance formalisms and methodologies pertaining to the artifacts and processes for building computing and communication systems. Areas of interest include: topics in software engineering such as software design methodologies, tools for software testing, analysis, synthesis, and verification; semantics, design, and implementation of programming languages; software systems and tools for reliable and high performance computing; computer architectures including memory and I/O subsystems,
micro-architectural techniques, and application-specific architectures; system-on-a-chip; performance metrics and evaluation tools; VLSI electronic design and pertinent analysis, synthesis and simulation
algorithms; architecture and design for mixed media or future media (e.g., MEMs and nanotechnology); computer graphics and visualization techniques. Read more.

Prof. Edwards wins NSF grant to develop embedded systems environment with deterministic concurrency
Published: May 19, 2006
Prof. Edwards proposes to create the SHIM (software/hardware integration medium) development environment for the software in next-generation embedded systems. It will improve designer productivity by making it easier to design correct systems and will facilitate architectural exploration by providing automatic software synthesis.

The SHIM model of computation provides deterministic concurrency with reliable communication, simplifying validation because behavior is reproducible. Based on asynchronous concurrent processes that communicate through rendezvous channels, SHIM can handle control,multi- and variable-rate dataflow, and data-dependent decisions. The components consist of a high-level language based on SHIM, an efficient simulator for SHIM, a software synthesis system that generates C, a formal analysis tool for SHIM and libraries for the SHIM environment.

Prof. Hirschberg wins NSF grant to study rhythm and intonation in language learning
Published: May 15, 2006
Prosody is an integral part of human communication, but one that
second language (L2) learners rarely learn. Topic shifts, contrastive
focus, and even simple question/statement distinctions, cannot be
recognized or produced in many languages without an understanding of
their prosody. However, 'translating' between the prosody of one
language and that of another is a little-studied phenomenon. This
research addresses the 'prosody translation' problem for Mandarin
Chinese and English L2 learners by identifying correspondences between
prosodic phenomena in each language that convey similar meanings. The
work is based on comparisons of L1 and L2 prosodic phenomena and the
meanings they convey. Computational models of prosodic variation
suitable for representing these phenomena in each language are
constructed from data collected in the laboratory, with results tested
on L1 and L2 subjects. The models are tested in an interactive
tutoring system which takes an adaptive, self-paced approach to
prosody tutoring. This system modifies training and testing examples
automatically by imcremental enhancement of distinctive prosodic
features in response to student performance. The success of the
system is evaluated via longitudinal studies of L2 students of both
languages to see whether the new techniques improve students' ability
to recognize and produce L2 prosodic variation. By providing a method
and computational support for prosody tutoring, this work will not
only enable students to attain more native-like fluency but it will
provide a model for training students in other pragmatic language
phenomena --- beyond learning the words and the syntax of a new
language.
Published: May 13, 2006
This project, titled "Cache-Aware Database Systems on Modern Multithreading Processors", studies how to best utilize the resources available in modern processors in the development of database system software. A primary objective is avoiding cache interference between threads in multithreaded and multi-core processors, so that performance scales well as the number of cores/threads increases. A variety of techniques are considered, including multi-threaded algorithm design, threads explicitly devoted to resource management, and scheduling algorithms that are aware of thread interference patterns. Simulations and implementations on real hardware are used to measure the effectiveness of each approach.

The project will result in the development of algorithms designed for the global management (and minimization) of processor- and memory-related delays in database systems. Performance improvements would enhance the experience of database system users, and reduce hardware requirements for a given level of performance. Project-related information can be found at http://www.cs.columbia.edu/~kar/fastqueryproj.html

This project was one of only eleven funded in the Database Management Systems program in 2006 and lasts through August 2008. Read more.

Published: May 1, 2006
"Research today named the five newest members of its highly prestigious Microsoft Research New Faculty Fellowship Program. Because new faculty members are essential to the future of academic computing, Microsoft Research honors early-career professors who demonstrate the drive and creativity to develop original research while continually advancing the state of the art of computing." "Regina Barzilay, assistant professor of electrical engineering and computer science at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Barzilay is up to the challenge. She is focusing her research on computational modeling of linguistic phenomena. She is exploring the ability of a computer to summarize information found in multiple documents that contain related information, such as news articles covering the same event. This will help readers find meaning in the ever-increasing body of information available today." Prof. Barzilay graduated from Columbia University in 2002, where she was advised by Prof. McKeown. Read more.
Prof. Nayar named as 2006 Great Teacher
Published: May 1, 2006
The award is bestowed by the Society of Columbia Graduates. Its Board of Directors has named Prof. Nayar for this award because it feels that he exemplifies the greatest traditions of teaching at Columbia and have earned the recognition of his students and his peers as a dedicated and inspired undergraduate teacher and mentor. As one of the Societys Great Teachers, he will join the ranks of Columbias finest and most beloved professors, such as Mark Van Doren, Lionel Trilling, Mario Salvadori, Morton Friedman, Rene Testa, and others. The Great Teachers Award Dinner will be held in Low Library on the evening of Thursday, October 19, 2006. The Society was formed in 1909, and it will soon be celebrating its own 100 year anniversary. Throughout much of its existence, the Societys principal mission has been to recognize great service to Columbia by its alumni and by its faculty.
CS grad students and Prof. Servedio win best paper award at COLT 2006
Published: April 25, 2006
Homin Lee and Andrew Wan will receive the Mark Fulk Best Student Paper award at the 19th Annual Conference on Learning Theory (COLT 2006), held in Pittsburgh, PA, in July. The award is for their paper titled "DNF are Teachable in the Average Case," which is joint work with Rocco Servedio. COLT is the top conference in computational learning theory, with more than 100 papers submitted per year for the last several years.
Profs. Keromytis and Stolfo win DARPA grant for securing mobile ad-hoc networks
Published: April 16, 2006
Through this grant, they will develop a new, behavior-based mechanism for authenticating and authorizing new nodes in wireless MANETs. Rather than only granting access to a network, or to services on a network, by means of an authenticated identity or a qualified role, we propose to require nodes to also exchange a model of their behavior to grant access and to assess the legitimacy of their subsequent communication. When a node
requests access, it provides its pre-computed egress behavior model to
another node who may grant it access to some service. The receiver
compares the requestor's egress model to its own ingress model to
determine whether the new device conforms to its expected
behavior. Access rights are thus granted or denied based upon the
level of agreement between the two models, and the level of risk the
recipient is willing to manage. The second use of the exchanged models
is to validate active communication after access has been granted.
As a result, MANET nodes, will have greater confidence that a new node is not malicious; if an already admitted node starts misbehaving, other MANET nodes will quickly detect and evict it.
Prof. Jebara receives grant to use learning to match people, multimedia and graphs via permutation
Published: April 8, 2006
This proposal undertakes a novel research direction that explores matching
and permutation within statistical learning. These research tools have
applications in national security as a way to identify and match people
from text and multimedia and discover links between them. More
specifically, this proposal addresses the following key application areas:


  • Matching authors: permutational clustering methods and permutationally
    invariant kernels are used to compute the likelihood the same person wrote
    a given publication or text.

  • Matching text and multimedia documents: permutational algorithms and
    permutationally invariant kernels to perform text, image and word
    matchings of descriptions of people to known individuals in a database.

  • Matching social networks and graphs: social network matching tools from
    permutational algorithms which find a subnetwork in a larger network that
    has a desired topology.
Published: April 8, 2006
SIGGRAPH is the most prestigious conference for computer graphics, with the 2006 conference to take place in Boston, Massachusetts in August 2006. A total of 86 papers were accepted from 474 submissions. Authors from Columbia University include Prof. Ramamoorthi, Prof. Nayar, Prof. Grinspun, and Prof. Belhumeur, along with their graduate students. More information about the Columbia Vision + Graphics Center can be found at http://www.cs.columbia.edu/cvgc/ Read more.
Published: February 17, 2006
The dinner "Honor[s] distinguished figures whose outstanding contributions to city life exemplify the values championed by The Cooper Union." Read more.
Rean Griffith wins IBM PhD fellowship
Published: February 11, 2006
Rean Griffth is a 7th semester PhD student who had previously received his MS at Columbia and his BS from the University of the West Indies, Barbados, and has worked as an intern the past two summers at IBM Almaden as well as at Microsoft. He has to date published or had accepted for publication half a dozen papers joint with IBM Watson researchers, including an IEEE Transactions journal article and a book chapter in a forthcoming CRC Autonomic Computing 'handbook'. His tentative thesis proposal title is "An Approach to Retro-fitting and Evaluating the Self-Healing Capabilities of Legacy Systems". He expects to propose later this spring. Rean's thesis topic concerns developing technologies to dynamically inject self-healing capabilities into legacy software systems without available source code, to perform adaptations while those systems continue running, and devising benchmarks to qualitatively and quantitatively compare alternative autonomic self-healing algorithms that can be injected in in this fashion.

As stated by the IBM Ph.D. Fellowship Program, "Award Recipients are selected based on their overall potential for research excellence, the degree to which their technical interests align with those of IBM, and their progress to-date, as evidenced by publications and endorsements from their faculty advisor and department head."
Published: January 25, 2006
The article states: "IEEE Intelligent Systems is pleased to announce that we have completed the selection of our first ever 'IEEE IS Ten to Watch' awardees to be included in a AI Ten to Watch article which will be featured in a forthcoming special issue we are publishing to coincide with the 50th Anniversary of the Dartmouth Workshop (generally considered the birthplace of modern AI).
Nominations of the top AI researchers to have received their PhD in the past few years were solicited from a wide range of well-known AI researchers and department chairs. We received over 50 nominations from the US, Europe and Asia, and a committee of senior members of the IEEE Intelligent Systems Advisory Board picked the top ten. All the nominees were eminently qualified and doing exciting work, and the ten winners represent the very best of the field of AI." Read more.
Prof. Keromytis wins NSF grant to investigate flow-based computing
Published: January 3, 2006
The project will explore a new operating system architecture that removes the memory and CPU from the data path of applications that handle high-bandwidth data flows (e.g., multimedia servers). The role of the OS becomes that of a data-flow manager, while applications are concerned purely with signaling. This design parallels the evolution of modern network routers and has the potential to enable high-performance I/O in current and next generation computer systems, while also exploiting recent trends toward programmable peripheral devices. Such devices are composed into virtual processing pipelines, completely removing the CPU and main memory from data-intensive tasks that can be offloaded. Our architecture abandons the concept of memory-centric computing, which has been a mainstay of computer science education and practice since its inception.
Published: December 12, 2005
Shaya Potter and Jason Nieh received the Best Student Paper Award at
the 19th Large Installation System Administration Conference (LISA
2005) held last week in San Diego, CA for their paper titled:
"Reducing Downtime Due to System Maintenance and Upgrades". Read more.
Published: November 29, 2005
Prof. Henning Schulzrinne was elected to the grade of IEEE Fellow "for contributions to the design of protocols, applications, and algorithms
for Internet multimedia." Read more.
Published: November 29, 2005
Claire Lackner and Catherine Lennon are both students in Columbia College. Read more.
Published: October 28, 2005
The Donald E. Knuth prize for outstanding contributions to the
foundations of computer science is awarded every 1.5 years by the ACM
Special Interest Group on Algorithms and Computing Theory (SIGACT) and
the IEEE Technical Committee on the Mathematical Foundations of
Computing. The Prize includes a $5000 award and a $1000 travel stipend
(for travel to the award ceremony) paid by ACM SIGACT and IEEE
TCMFC. The Prize is awarded for major research accomplishments and
contributions to the foundations of computer science over an extended
period of time.

The Prize is named in honor and recognition of the extraordinary
accomplishments of Prof. Donald Knuth, Emeritus at Stanford
University. Prof. Knuth is best known for his ongoing multivolume
series, The Art of Computer Programming, which played a critical role
in establishing and defining Computer Science as a rigorous,
intellectual discipline. Prof. Knuth has also made fundamental
contributions to the subfields of analysis of algorithms, compilers,
string matching, term rewriting systems, literate programming, and
typography. His TeX and MF systems are widely accepted as standards
for electronic typesetting. Prof. Knuth's work is distinguished by its
integration of theoretical analyses and practical real-world
concerns. In his work, theory and practice are not separate components
of Computer Science, but rather he shows them to be inexorably linked
branches of the same whole. Read more.
Published: October 24, 2005
Ph.D. Student Matei Ciocarlie from the Columbia Robotics Lab was chosen as the second place winner in the CanestaVision 3D Vision Contest The prize includes a $5,000 cash award and an electronic perception development kit worth $7,000. Matei's entry was a real-time "Eye-in-Hand" range sensor for robotic grasping. Matei was one of ten finalists, who were then given 6 months to develop their 3D vision application. Congratulations to Matei! Read more.
Published: October 24, 2005
Peter Allen and Dennis Fowler M.D, Surgery have received a 2 year
$425K NIH Exploratory/Developmental Research Grant for Insertable
Imaging and Effector Platforms for Surgery. The grant is to construct
small, mobile, multi-function platforms that can be placed inside a
body cavity to perform robotic minimal access surgery. The robot will
be based upon an existing prototype device developed at the Columbia
Robotics Lab. Read more.
Published: October 22, 2005
Our department of 32 tenure-track faculty and 3 lecturers attracts excellent Ph.D. students, virtually all of whom are fully supported by research grants. Our department maintains close ties with other on-campus research centers that are actively involved in computational biology including the Center for Computational Learning Systems, the Department of Biomedical Informatics, and the Columbia Genome Center. We also have close ties to the nearby research laboratories of AT&T, IBM, Lucent, Siemens, Verizon, Telcordia Technologies, NEC, and other leading industrial companies including the financial companies of Wall Street. Columbia University is one of the leading research universities in the United States, and New York City is one of the cultural, financial, and communications capitals of the world. Columbia's campus is located in Morningside Heights on the Upper West Side.

Note that the computer engineering position has a starting date of January 2007.

Applicants should submit summaries of research and teaching interests, CV, email address, and the names and email addresses of at least three references by filing an online application at
www.cs.columbia.edu/recruit. Review of applications will begin on December 1, 2005.

Columbia University is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer. We encourage applications from women and minorities. Read more.

Published: October 14, 2005
Bill Gates' presentation can be viewed at http://www.microsoft.com/events/executives/billgates.mspx Read more.
Published: September 30, 2005
Funded through the National Centers for Biomedical Computing (NCBC) program, a component of the National Institutes of Health Roadmap for Medical Research, the National Center for the Multiscale Analysis of Genomic and Cellular Networks (MAGNet) will address this challenge through the application of both knowledge-based and physics-based methods. The Center will provide an integrative computational framework to organize molecular interactions in the cell into manageable context dependent components. Furthermore, it will develop a variety of interoperable computational models and tools that can leverage such a map of cellular interactions to elucidate important biological processes and to address a variety of biomedical applications.

Details about MAGNet can be found at http://magnet.c2b2.columbia.edu/index.html Read more.
Prof. Malkin's work featured in congressional testimony
Published: September 23, 2005
Part of the testimony read:

"The most pertinent is a project undertaken by Dr. Tal Malkin and her team in the Computer Science Department at Columbia University, in partnership with researchers from IBM, related to the cryptographic security of Internet servers. Cryptography is an essential component of modern electronic commerce. With the explosion of transactions being conducted over the Internet, ensuring the security of data transfer is critically important. Considerable amounts of money are being exchanged over the Internet, either through shopping sites (e.g. Amazon, Buy.com), auction sites (eBay), online banking (Citibank, Chase), stock trading (Schwab), and even the government (irs.gov).

Dr. Malkin and her team made a systematic study of the cryptographic strength of thousands of "secure" servers on the Internet. Servers are computers that host the main functions of the Internet, such as Web sites (Web servers), email (mail servers), and other functions. Communication with these sites is secured by a protocol known as the Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) or its variant, Transport Layer Security (TLS). These protocols provide authentication, privacy, and integrity. A key component of the security of SSL/TLS is the cryptographic strength of the underlying algorithms used by the protocol. Dr. Malkins study probed 25,000 secure Web servers to determine if SSL was being properly configured and whether it was employed in the most secure way. Improper configuration can lead to attacks on servers, stolen data identity theft, break-ins, etc. Dr. Malkins project is the most extensive study of actually existing server security on the Internet.

The teams findings, relevant to these hearings, included some serious weaknesses in how Web servers, including eCommerce servers employed by financial service companies, are currently being configured.

The most prevalent is that an old, outdated version of SSL, known as SSL 2.0, is still being supported on over 93% of these secure servers. SSL 2.0 has many flaws, including a vulnerability to man in the middle attacks, which are commonly used for identity theft. While most of these servers also employ a more advanced version of SSL, the incoming communication can choose to use Version 2.0 and thus breach the defenses of the server.

Another serious problem is the use of 512 bit public keys (1,024 bits are recommended), which can be broken readily, thus compromising all of the data on the server using this key length. Over 5% of the secure servers are using this key length.

These security shortcomings are quite serious, and pose risks both to the consumers and the providers in the financial services industry. Financial server security can be increased both by popularizing the correct configurations and, possibly, by greater government oversight in this area."
Published: September 21, 2005
Movie Night kicks off again for the Fall 05 semester tonight, Wednesday Sept. 21st at 7 PM with Napoleon Dynamite. Read more.
Prof. Grinspun wins NSF grant to study simulating physical systems at multiple resolutions
Published: September 19, 2005
The work will be performed by researchers at Columbia University, led by Prof. Grinspun, and Caltech and was funded jointly by the NSF math and computer science directorates. The proposal is titled "Computational and Mathematical Foundations for the Synthesis of Multiresolution Representations with Variational Integrators and Discrete
Geometry".

Physical phenomena such as the crushing of a car or the evolution of a
storm system are governed by effects ranging from very small to very
large scales. Accurately predicting these by resolving the finest
scales in a computer simulation is prohibitively expensive. The
investigators study how fine scale information impacts coarse scale
behavior and vice versa. In effect "summarizing" these relationships
allows the researchers to model coarse scale effects accurately and
efficiently without the need to explicitly resolve the finest scales
in a computation. A key to this study lies in the careful transfer of
structures present in the mathematical models of these phenomena
(which in essence have infinite resolution) to the computational realm
with its finite resolution and finite computational resources. The
methods being developed will allow rapid assessment of overall effects
with the ability "to drill down" computationally where additional
detail is required.

Physical systems are typically described by a set of continuous
equations using tools from geometric mechanics and differential
geometry to analyze and capture their properties. For purposes of
computation one must derive discrete (in space and time)
representations of the underlying equations. Theories which are
discrete from the start (rather than discretized after the fact), with
key geometric properties built in, can more readily yield robust
numerical simulations which are true to the underlying continuous
systems: they exactly preserve invariants of the continuous systems in
the discrete computational realm. So far these methods have not
accounted for effects across scales. Yet both physics and numerics
require such multiresolution strategies. This research project is
developing a multiresolution theory for discrete variational methods
and discrete differential geometry to apply it to applications in
thin-shell and fluid modeling. Its innovative aspect lies in tools to
conserve symmetries across computational scales.
Published: September 18, 2005
The work of the Group is directed toward improving the art of analyzing and optimizing performance and costs of data processing systems through the use of analytical models. The group play san important and active role in fostering education and research in these areas. It organizes or coorganizes a conference every eighteen months. The group is chaired by Prof. Don Towsley, UMass. Read more.
Published: September 14, 2005
The WORKIT project addresses the need for wireless network tools and platforms as recommended in the 2003 NSF Wireless Network Workshop report. The project will build on the IOTA (Integration of Two Access Technologies) project at Bell Labs. The PI's will enhance and develop IOTA for a software and systems package in a distributable form called the Wireless Open Research Kit (WORKIT). WORKIT will include source code and documentation and also be embodied in low-cost off the shelf hardware. WORKIT will be an enabler for research in mobility management, interlayer awareness, software algorithms for optimal network selection, reconfiguration, security, accounting, authentication, policy download and enforcement, and hybrid wireless networking. Broader impacts of this project include use of WORKIT in education and enabling stronger university/industry collaborations in this area of emerging importance at colleges and universities. Read more.
Published: September 14, 2005
The International Speech Communication Association (ISCA) is the major international organization devoted to speech science and technology, with approimately 1500 members. ISCA runs annual conferences which draw 1000-1300
participants. The main goal of the Association is "to promote Speech Communication Science and Technology, both in the industrial and Academic areas", covering all the aspects of Speech Communication (Acoustics, Phonetics, Phonology, Linguistics, Natural Language Processing, Artificial Intelligence, Cognitive Science, Signal Processing, Pattern Recognition, etc.). Read more.
Published: September 14, 2005
She is being recognized for her work in teaching computers to read and write.

"For her doctoral dissertation at Columbia University, computer scientist Regina Barzilay led the development of Newsblaster, which does what no computer program could do before: recognize stories from different news services as being about the same basic subject, and then paraphrase elements from all of the stories to create a summary."
 Read more.
Published: September 11, 2005
The CSTB deals with critical issues facing the nation in the area of
computer science and telecomuniations. Projects include cybersecurity research, biometrics, IT to enhance disaster management, and building certifiably dependable systems. For more information, visit www.cstb.org.

Prof. Traub's appointment marks his return to the CSTB, as he was also its founding chair. "In 1986, along with Marjory Blumenthal, Joe's vision and dedication established the model that has made CSTB one of the strongest boards at the Academies. At this particular point in CSTB's history, I could not think of another person better suited to assume the chair and to guide CSTB to new heights," said Bill Wulf, President of the National Academy of Engineering. Read more.

CUCS family BBQ October 1
Published: August 31, 2005
All members of the Columbia Computer Science community are invited, including students, alumni, staff and faculty, along with their families and significant others. Please RSVP by September 21 to rosemary@cs.columbia.edu (Rosemary Addarich). There is no fee.

Dora the Explorer will appear from 12 - 1:00, followed by a Harry
Potter Magician from 1:00 - 2:00.

Prof. Nowick to participate in major asynchronous digital design project
Published: August 26, 2005
There were 20 large-scale proposals submitted, and only one funded, headed by Boeing, with participation of Philips Semiconductors, two asynchronous startups
and two smaller academic efforts. The two goals of the project are
to build a large-scale asynchronous demonstration chip (for Boeing) and design an
asynchronous CAD tool for use future asynchronous designs.

Prof. Nowick and his former PhD student Montek Singh (currently an assistant
professor at UNC), will play a key role in transferring
their high-speed asynchronous pipeline style, MOUSETRAP, to the
Philips commercial asynchronous tool flow, and providing optimizations
for several of the other CAD tools.

Dan Phung, Guiseppe Valetto and Prof. Gail Kaiser Present Best Paper at International Conference
Published: August 10, 2005
The increasing popularity of online courses has highlighted the lack
of collaborative tools for student groups. In addition, the
introduction of lecture videos into the online curriculum has drawn
attention to the disparity in the network resources used by students.
The paper presents an e-Learning architecture and adaptation model called
AI^2TV (Adaptive Internet Interactive Team Video), which
allows virtual students, possibly some or all disadvantaged in network
resources, to collaboratively view a video in synchrony. AI^2TV upholds the invariant that each student will view semantically equivalent content at all times. Video player actions, like play, pause and stop, can be initiated by any student and their results are seen by all the other students. These features
allow group members to review a lecture video in tandem, facilitating
the learning process. Experimental trials show that AI^2TV can successfully synchronize video for distributed students while, at the same time, optimizing the video quality, given fluctuating bandwidth, by adaptively adjusting the quality level for each student.
Columbia Natural Language Group and CCLS win large DARPA grant
Published: June 23, 2005

The grant was awarded to a team lead by SRI and consisting of researchers at Columbia University, University of Massachusetts Amherst, University of California San Diego, University of California Berkeley, University of Washington, Technical University Aachen (Germany), and Systran.

The research to be conducted at the Center for Computational Learning
Systems (CCLS) will center on building natural language processing tools for
Arabic and its dialects, concentrating on leveraging linguistic knowledge
when few resources (annotated corpora or even unannotated corpora) are
available. Mona Diab, Nizar Habash, and Owen Rambow will build on work
accomlished under an existing NSF grant. In addition, Nizar Habash will
continue his work on generation-heavy hybrid machine translation.

Prof. Schulzrinne wins Sputnik prize
Published: June 22, 2005
Prof. Schulzrinne received the award at the 2005 forward2business conference in Halle, Germany.
Published: June 18, 2005
These projects aim to research and develop a new generation of
collaborative, cross-domain security technologies to detect and prevent
the exploitation of network-based computer systems. The core concept is to
deploy a number of strategically placed sensors across a number of
participating networks that collaborate by sharing information in
real-time to defend the entire network and each of its members. A novel
content-based anomaly detector, PAYL, identifies likely new exploits
targeting vulnerable systems. The Worminator project has developed a new
generation of scalable, collaborative, cross-domain security systems that
exchange alert information including profiled behaviors of attacks and
privacy-preserving anomalous content alerts to detect severe zero-day
security events. The work is a joint collaboration with CounterStorm, a
New York City based company spun out from the DHS and DARPA-sponsored
Columbia IDS lab, headed by Prof. Sal Stolfo. Read more.
Prof. Servedio wins NSF grant on connections between quantum computation and computational learning
Published: June 18, 2005
Professor Rocco Servedio was awarded a grant from the NSF program on
Emerging Models and Technologies for Computation (EMT). The EMT cluster
seeks to advance the fundamental capabilities of computer and information
sciences and engineering by capitalizing on advances and insights from
areas such as biological systems, quantum phenomena, nanoscale science and
engineering, and other novel computing concepts. The award will support
Rocco's research on connections between quantum computation and
computational learning theory. Rocco's research in this area will focus
on the fundamental abilities and limitations of quantum learning
algorithms from an information-theoretic perspective, as well as on
developing computationally efficient quantum learning algorithms.
Published: May 15, 2005
The paper "Extracting Context To Improve Accuracy For HTML Content Extraction" by
Suhit Gupta, Prof. Gail Kaiser and Prof. Salv Stolfo, all from the Department of Computer Science at Columbia University, won the Best Student Poster Award at WWW 2005 in Japan. Read more.
Database and Information Retrieval Day at Columbia
Published: May 10, 2005
The database research group hosted the first DB/IR Day at Columbia
University on April 15, 2005 to bring together researchers in database and
information retrieval. More than 120 researchers and students from
academic and research institutions across the greater New York area
attended this inaugural workshop, making it a very successful event.

The program consisted of three technical keynote lectures from Alon Halevy
(University of Washington), Craig Nevill-Manning (Google Inc.) and Michael
Stonebraker (MIT), and a poster session for graduate students to present
their latest research. The event was sponsored by IBM research, with additional
funding from Columbia's Graduate Student Advisory Council.

Published: May 8, 2005
Dean Zvi Galil, Professor of Computer Science and Dean of the School of Engineering and Applied Science, was elected as a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. The American Academy of Arts and Sciences elected 196 new Fellows and 17 new Foreign Honorary Members. The 213 men and women are leaders in scholarship, business, the arts, and public affairs. Read more.
Published: April 6, 2005
The "Modeling and Managing Content Changes in Text Databases," by Panos Ipeirotis (a Fall 2004 Columbia PhD graduate, now an assistant professor at NYU), Alexandros Ntoulas (a PhD student at UCLA), Junghoo Cho (an assistant professor at UCLA), and Prof. Luis Gravano, won the Best Paper Award at the 21st IEEE International Conference on Data Engineering (ICDE) 2005 conference held April 2005 in Tokyo. ICDE is a highly selective and prestigious database conference. Read more.
Fall 2004 extraordinary TAs named
Published: April 4, 2005
Sebastian Enrique, Alpa Shah, Mark Threshock, Eugene Ie, William Beaver, Abhinav Kamra, and Joshua Weinberg were named as "extraordinary TAs" for the 2004 fall semester, based on the evaluation of students in their classes.
Jim Kurose and Prof. Henning Schulzrinne recognized for service to networking community
Published: March 15, 2005
Prof. Jim Kurose (PhD'84) and now professor of computer science at UMass Amherst, and Prof. Henning Schulzrinne were recognized with the 2005 IEEE Communications Society Technical Committee on Computer Communications Outstanding Service award, recognizing their continuing contributions to the network research community.
Prof. Aho and Prof. McKeown receive named chairs
Published: March 15, 2005
Both are recognized for their distinguished contribution to computer science, their service to the profession, the University and the School.
Published: March 6, 2005
ACM, the Association for Computing Machinery, today announced the winners of four prestigious awards honoring advances in computing technology. The awards reflect outstanding achievements ranging from improving Internet communications to innovative programming language and software designs to creative applications of computer science in the fine arts. This year's winners represent innovative research teams and new luminaries as well as renaissance thinkers in the computing field. ACM will present these and other awards at the annual ACM Awards Banquet on June 11, 2005, in San Francisco, CA. Read more.
Published: February 24, 2005
The Sloan Research Fellowships are intended to enhance the careers of the very best young faculty members in specified fields of science. Currently a total of 116 fellowships are awarded annually in seven fields: chemistry, computational and evolutionary molecular biology, computer science, economics, mathematics, neuroscience, and physics. Only 14 of these fellowships were awarded in Computer Science in 2005. Read more.
Published: January 31, 2005
Async-05 Symposium is the top symposium on advances in asynchronous (i.e.,
clockless) circuits and systems. The symposium
typically has 100-120 attendees, and over 60 submitted papers.
This year, the symposium will be hosted at Columbia
University in Davis Auditorium, with Prof. Nowick as general
co-chair. Invited speakers include Turing award-winner
Ivan Sutherland with Robert Drost (Sun Microsystems Lab),
Bob Colwell (the former Intel manager of several Pentium
projects), and a tutorial on high-speed clocking with
Prof. Ken Shepard (EE Department) and Phil Restle (IBM
T.J. Watson). Read more.
Published: January 24, 2005

A proposal from the Columbia Robotics Lab was chosen as one of ten
winners for the CanestaVision 3D sensing design competition. Columbia
Ph.D. student Matei Ciocarlie and Research Scientist Andrew Miller
headed the proposal which focuses on developing an "Eye-in-Hand" range
sensor for robotic grasping.

Each of the winners will receive a $7,500 development kit that
consists of a CanestaVision 3-D sensor chip, a USB interface, and
application program interface (API) software. These hardware and
software development kits will be used to actually build the
applications, and enter them in the "implementation" phase of the
contest which boasts a $10,000 first prize for best use of the technology.
Stay tuned for the Phase II winners in June! Read more.

Michelle Zhou receives Outstanding Paper Award
Published: January 6, 2005
Michelle Zhou, a recent PhD graduate from the Department, just received the IUI 2005 (International Conf. on Intelligent User Interfaces) Outstanding Paper Award for "A Graph-Matching Approach to Dynamic Media Allocation in Intelligent Multimedia Interfaces" by Michelle X. Zhou, Zhen Wen, and Vikram Aggarwal (IBM TJ Watson).
Prof. Ramamoorthi wins NSF CAREER award
Published: January 3, 2005
Much of human perception is driven by the visual appearance of the
world. People are captivated by the effects of natural lighting and
shading patterns, such as the soft shadows from the leaves of a tree
in skylight, the glints of sunlight in ocean waves, or the shiny
reflections from a velvet cushion. In computer graphics, it is
important to be able to accurately reproduce these appearance effects,
to create realistic images for applications like video games, vehicle
and flight simulators, or architectural design of interior spaces.
However, it is still very difficult to accurately model complex
illumination and reflection effects in interactive applications like
games, in image-based rendering applications like e-commerce, or in
computer vision applications like face recognition. In the past, the
above applications have been addressed separately, by devising
particular algorithms for specific problems. In this project, the
research focuses on the mathematical and computational fundamentals of
visual appearance, seeking to understand the intrinsic computational
structure of illumination, reflection and shadowing, and develop a
unified approach to many problems in graphics and vision.

The main thrust of the research will be to develop appropriate
mathematical representations for appearance, along with computational
algorithms and signal-processing techniques such as Clebsch-Gordan
expansions, wavelet methods with triple product expansions, and radial
basis functions. A major advantage of this approach is that the same
representations, analysis and computation tools can then be applied to
many application domains, such as real-time and image-based rendering,
Monte Carlo sampling and lighting-insensitive recognition. This
research philosophy builds on the investigator's dissertation, where
he developed a signal-processing framework for reflection, leading to
new frequency domain algorithms for both forward and inverse rendering.
Prof. Jebara wins KDD grant for research into learning algorithms
Published: January 2, 2005
This effort aims to embed the concept of correspondence or
permutation into learning algorithms and statistical data
representations. This includes statistical modeling of images,
text and networks while matching their subcomponents (pixels,
words or nodes). Permutation algorithms are combined with
learning algorithms to more accurately model realistic data.
Experiments focus on face and identity recognition problems.