Dr. Cameron mentioned in The Washington Post

Dr. CameronDr. Kirk Cameron and his ICAT collaborators were mentioned in an article in The Washington Post, for their sculpture depicting various parallel computing algorithms. The sculpture will be displayed at this year’s SIGGRAPH. A smaller version is on the display at the Moss Center gallery, where visitors can experiment with it. The full article can be read online at: http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/education/an-inventor-takes-the-helm-at-virginia-tech/2014/05/25/4de12c68-e0e9-11e3-8dcc-d6b7fede081a_story.html

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Dr. Ramakrishnan featured in The Roanoke Times

Dr. Ramakrishnan

Dr. Naren Ramakrishnan was featured in the Roanoke Times front page article on May 23, 2014. The article highlighted the research conducted in the Discovery Analytics Center (DAC), of which Dr. Ramakrishnan is the Director. In particular, it discusses the IARPA-funded EMBERS project. The full article can be read online at: http://www.roanoke.com/news/nrv/virginia-tech-team-s-computer-program-aims-to-read-the/article_5339830e-e224-11e3-bcc6-001a4bcf6878.html

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DelMundo awarded third place in the Grand Finals of the annual 2014 ACM Student Research Competition

Carlo DelMundo, student in ECE Department, was awarded third place in the Grand Finals of the annual 2014 ACM Student Research Competition. This was a competition among previous winners from different areas of CS. Del Mundo placed first at the Student Research Competition last fall at Supercomputing 2013, which lead him to the Grand Finals. Del Mundo, who was also recognized as the Outstanding CE Senior in the Spring 2014, is a part of the Synergy research group, lead by Dr. Wu Feng. For more information on the ACM Student Research Competition, please visit http://src.acm.org/about.html.

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Dr. Edwards featured in the Spring 2014 issue of the VT Magazine

Stephen H. EdwardsDr. Stephen H. Edwards was featured in the Spring 2014 issue of the VT Magazine. The article focuses on Dr. Edwards’ prominent role in creating educational tools for students. It discusses his involvement in creating “the Web-based Center for Automated Testing, or Web-CAT, a flexible, tailorable, Web-based automated grading system that has been adopted by 75 institutions nationwide and is the most widely used open-source grading tool of its kind in the world.”  The online version of the article is available at http://www.vtmag.vt.edu/spring14/professor-profiles.html#edwards.

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Team awarded the People’s Choice Award at the IEEE Symposium on 3D User Interfaces

A CS Department team was awarded the People’s Choice Award at the IEEE Symposium on 3D User Interfaces. The team, composed of Felipe Bacim (team lead), Mahdi Nabiyouni, Cristian Moral Matos, and Dr. Doug Bowman, was also awarded a second place for the judge’s award for their entry “Slice-n-Swipe: A Free Hand Gesture User Interface for 3D Point Cloud Annotation.” In addition, the poster “Designing Effective Travel Techniques with Bare-hand Interaction”, prepared by Mahdi Nabiyouni, Bireswar Laha, and Dr. Doug Bowman, was awarded an honorary mention. This is the fourth time in five years that the VT team has been recognized at the Conference. The work of Dr. Bowman and his research team has been mentioned in ACM News.

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We’ve been posting on again and (mostly) off again thoughts to this blog for almost eight years. The original motivation was to hilight the dynamic, varied, fastening field that is computer science. In 2006 we were in the depths of a bizarre enrollment drop-off among US CS departments, including ours. People were deciding not to study CS for truly bogus reasons. So we spent a lot of time trying to dispel myths and give an idea of the very cool things that you can do in CS.

Well … that problem seems be solved. At least in part. CS undergraduate enrollments are back up. Interest in the field is very high. Employment opportunities continue to be great. We still need to do a better job of attracting a set of students that is as diverse and representative as the world is. But there is some progress on that front as well.

CS@VT is gradually doing a better job of presenting our story to the outside world as well. As part of that process, we will be transitioning this blog to be more focused on department news, with potentially more contributors. Watch for some stylistic and editorial changes soon. I hope you’ll keep reading!

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Have you seen the video from code.org? Kinda cool. So coding is cool now? Works for me. I’ve always really enjoyed programming. I miss it when I don’t get to do it much. But for the last decade, we’ve also tried to tell people that CS isn’t just coding. Which is true. It’s a misconception that studying CS or working in a CS-enabled career means doing nothing but coding. There is so much more to CS. But maybe we’ve over-reacted a bit here. Maybe we’ve gotten too close to apologizing for something that really is fun and worthwhile and important. I’m glad the guys at code.org are bringing coding back out of the closet!

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Busy times, fun times

No posts for over a year? Yikes. Is nothing going on in CS@VT? Well … quite the opposite. Lots has been going on. Like hiring several new faculty members. And like seeing our undergraduate enrollment grow by about 40% in three years. And the group of companies hiring out students is growing at least that fast. This has the feel of the third big boom in computer science enrollments. The first was around the time the PC emerged, the second coincided with the explosion of the Web, and now — it’s mobile, it’s ubiquity, it’s natural interfaces, it’s the cloud, it’s a million things. A really exciting time, again, to be in computing!

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