For his work on information privacy and anonymity in big data, Yunsung Kim (SEAS’16) was named one of the five male finalists from PhD-granting institutions.
Yunsung is an Egleston Scholar majoring in computer science with a minor in applied mathematics. His current area of research interest includes social and mobile computing, and information network modeling. Since his sophomore summer, he has worked in Augustin Chaintreau’s Mobile and Social Computing Laboratory, where he conducted a number of projects with a focus on how even seemingly irrelevant individual footprints in various domains can be cleverly leveraged to break anonymity and damage user privacy. Prior to joining Chaintreau’s lab and since his first year at Columbia, Yunsung was a member of Martha Kim’s ARCADE lab, where he investigated the design trade-offs of address translation for heterogeneous systems.
Yunsung is the co-author of multiple publications, including a paper presented at last year’s ACM Conference on Online Social Networks; another paper will be presented at the ACM International World Wide Web Conference next year. After he receives his Bachelor’s degree, Yunsung hopes to continue his studies and pursue a PhD in computer science.
Alison Y. Chang (CC’16), who is majoring in Computer Science and concentrating in Psychology, received the Outstanding Undergraduate Female Research Award – honorable mention from the Computing Research Association (CRA). Chang has done 2.5 years of CS research in Columbia’s SpeechLab and co-authored several papers on her work, working with Julia Hirschberg and Erica Cooper on projects including code switching (the practice of switching interchangeably between languages), web scraping, and text-to-speech data selection. The papers include Overview for the First Shared Task on Language Identification in Code-Switched Data, which was presented in October at the Proceedings of The First Workshop on Computational Approaches to Code Switching.
Outside of Columbia, Chang spent a summer doing digital humanities research at Princeton University’s CS department and also interned twice at Google, on the Chromium team in Taipei, Taiwan and the research-based Machine Intelligence: Semantic Annotation For Text team in Mountain View, California. After graduating in 2016, she hopes to spend the summer teaching through Girls Who Code and then will return to Google as a software engineer, working under Machine Intelligence on Natural Language Processing-related topics.
Robert Ying, who expects to receive his MS in Computer Science next spring, received a CRA honorable mention for his work on assistive robotics and brain-computer interfaces. This research was conducted in the robotics lab of Peter Allen, where Ying has been a research assistant since his first year at Columbia. While there, he helped create a brain-computer interface grasping system, co-authoring (with Allen and Jonathan Weisz) the paper Grasping with your brain: a brain-computer interface for fast grasp selection, which was published at the 17th International Symposium on Robotics Research. Other robotics-related work includes a semi-autonomous motorized wheelchair platform (based on a modified electric wheelchair) and a robotic arm control system capable of detecting facial expressions. During summer breaks, he has interned at D. E. Shaw, Dropbox, and Amazon Web Services. After he receives his MS, he plans to begin working full-time at Dropbox in San Francisco.
Dean Boyce's statement on amicus brief filed by President Bollinger
President Bollinger announced that Columbia University along with many other academic institutions (sixteen, including all Ivy League universities) filed an amicus brief in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York challenging the Executive Order regarding immigrants from seven designated countries and refugees. Among other things, the brief asserts that “safety and security concerns can be addressed in a manner that is consistent with the values America has always stood for, including the free flow of ideas and people across borders and the welcoming of immigrants to our universities.”
This recent action provides a moment for us to collectively reflect on our community within Columbia Engineering and the importance of our commitment to maintaining an open and welcoming community for all students, faculty, researchers and administrative staff. As a School of Engineering and Applied Science, we are fortunate to attract students and faculty from diverse backgrounds, from across the country, and from around the world. It is a great benefit to be able to gather engineers and scientists of so many different perspectives and talents – all with a commitment to learning, a focus on pushing the frontiers of knowledge and discovery, and with a passion for translating our work to impact humanity.
I am proud of our community, and wish to take this opportunity to reinforce our collective commitment to maintaining an open and collegial environment. We are fortunate to have the privilege to learn from one another, and to study, work, and live together in such a dynamic and vibrant place as Columbia.
Mary C. Boyce
Dean of Engineering
Morris A. and Alma Schapiro Professor