Dr. Madhav V. Marathe (http://www.vbi.vt.edu/ndssl/people-profile/Madhav-Marathe) has been named Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, for contributions to high performance computing algorithms and software environments. Dr. Marathe is the director of the Network Dynamics and Simulation Science Laboratory (http://www.vbi.vt.edu/ndssl/) in the Virginia Bioinformatics Institute (http://vbi.vt.edu/).
Nicholas Sharp, CS undergraduate student, achieved the level of Finalist in the prestigious 2015 National Computing Research Association Undergraduate Research Award competition (http://www.cra.org/awards/undergrad-current/). His faculty research mentors are Drs. T.M. Murali (https://bioinformatics.cs.vt.edu/~murali/) and Shane Ross (ESM).
The CRA annual undergrad research competition distinguishes candidates by gender and by the type of their home department: non-Ph.D.-granting vs Ph.D.-granting. Nick was in the competition in the male, Ph.D.-granting department group. There were one Winner, one Runner-up and four Finalists selected in this category, as well as seven Honorable Mentions. The home universities for the top six researchers included: University of Washington, Seattle; Columbia; UNC, Chapel Hill; Mississippi State; Texas A&M, and Virginia Tech. The Department is proud of all of its winners in this competition; between 2010 and 2015 we have had four Honorable Mentions and two Finalists!
Parang Saraf, CS Ph.D. student, and teammate Patrick Butler, CS graduate, won the 2014 IEEE VAST Grand Challenge Award for Effective Analysis and Presentation in Paris, France. This award was featured on the COE website ribbon, which can be found at: http://vacommunity.org/VAST+Challenge+2014. Parang works on the EMBERS (http://dac.cs.vt.edu/projects/embers) project with Dr. Naren Ramakrishnan (http://cs.vt.edu/˜ramakris). More information about this award can be found on the NCR website: http://ncr.vt.edu/highlights/Highlight-111914.html
Dr. Wenjing Lou (http://people.cs.vt.edu/wjlou), professor of computer science, has been named an IEEE Fellow for contributions to information and network security.
The IEEE Fellow grade is conferred by the IEEE Board of Directors upon a person with an outstanding record of accomplishments in any of the IEEE fields of interest. The total number selected in any one year cannot exceed one-tenth of one- percent of the total voting membership. IEEE Fellow is the highest grade of membership and is recognized by the technical community as a prestigious honor and an important career achievement.
As a co-director of the Complex Networks and Security Research (CNSR) laboratory at Virginia Tech, Lou leads research on cybersecurity and wireless networks. She has an international reputation for high-quality, innovative, and impactful research. For her elevation to IEEE Fellow, she was cited for her work on information security and privacy in cloud computing as well as on wireless and network security.
Lou’s research has been supported by research grants from federal funding agencies and industry. In addition to a 2008 National Science Foundation (NSF) CAREER Award, she was PI on eight and co-PI on three NSF grants. She received four best paper awards, two of which are from ACM conferences. As of November 2014, her work has been cited more than 9,400 times per Google Scholar and her h-index is 47. Her outstanding performance in research has been recognized by multiple institutional awards, including a Virginia Tech College of Engineering Dean’s Faculty Fellow award in 2014.
Lou has held several leadership positions in the IEEE Communications Society. She was the lead founder of the IEEE Conference on Communication and Network Security, served as the conference’s technical program committee chair in 2013, and is currently the chair of the conference’s steering committee. Lou also serves on the editorial board of multiple prestigious journals, including IEEE Transactions on Mobile Computing, IEEE Transactions on Parallel and Distributed Systems, Journal of Computer Security, and IEEE Transactions on Wireless Communications. She chaired technical program committees of a number of conferences, workshops, and symposia.
Lou has graduated seven Ph.D. students, four of whom are currently tenured or tenure-track professors in research universities in the US. Three of them received the prestigious NSF CAREER award.
Since August 2014, Lou has been serving as a program director at NSF under the Intergovernmental Personnel Act (IPA) assignment. At NSF, her responsibilities include the Networking Technology and Systems (NeTS) program, a core program of the Computer and Network Systems (CNS) division within the Directorate for Computer & Information Science & Engineering (CISE), and the Secure and Trustworthy Cyberspace (SaTC) program, a cross-cutting program led by CISE/CNS.
Lou joined the Virginia Tech faculty in 2011 as a tenured associate professor and was promoted to full professor in 2014. Prior to Virginia Tech, she was a faculty at Worcester Polytechnic Institute in Worcester, Massachusetts for eight years. She received a Ph.D. degree in electrical and computer engineering from the University of Florida in 2003.
(pictured left to right, Eric Woods, IBM Representative (and VT grad); Miraziz Yusupov, Nick Sharp, Scott Pruett and Coach Dr. Godmar Back)
December 2, 2014 — The VT team has advanced to the 2015 ACM-ICPC World Finals to be held May 16 – May 21 in Marrakech, Morocco.
On Nov 1st, the Virginia Tech ACM Programming Team competed in the 2014 Regional ACM International Collegiate Programming Competition (ICPC). Virginia Tech fielded eight teams of three students each, who competed among 188 teams from universities and colleges across the Mid-Atlantic region for a coveted spot at the ACM ICPC World Finals, which will be held in Marrakech, Morocco in May 2015. The Mid-Atlantic region comprises universities and colleges in the states of Virginia, North Carolina, West Virginia, Delaware, Maryland, D.C., East Pennsylvania and South New Jersey.
The ACM ICPC contest fosters creativity, teamwork, and innovation in building new software programs, and enables students to test their ability to perform under pressure. It is the oldest, largest, and most prestigious programming contest in the world.
All participating students were CS majors, ranging from sophomores who competed for the first time to seniors who participated for the 2nd or 3rd year. Virginia Tech's top-scoring team, which consisted of CS students Nicholas Sharp, Scott Pruett, and Miraziz Yusupov, finished first at the Radford University site, and placed overall 3rd place. With this result, it is one of only 22 teams from North America to qualify for a spot at the World Finals.
Overall, our teams placed as follows:
#3 The Traveling Salesmen:
Scott Pruett, Nick Sharp, Miraziz Yusupov
#11 Trie Hards:
Brendan Avent, Tucker Noia, Saurav Sharma
#15 The Canonical Backtrackers:
Hassan Almas, Andriy Katkov, Nathaniel Lahn
#16 The Breadth-First Searchers:
Harrison Fang, Daniel Gil, Luke Wolff
#48 Ternary Search Party:
Nate Craun, Michael Zamani, Loran Steinberger
Larissa Perara, Aarathi Raghuraman, Monica Wei
Carlos Folgar, Brannon Mason, Elliace Zargarpur
The Naive Backtrackers:
Patrick Easter, Edward McEnrue, Reid Thomas
Our teams prepared in weekly practices and multiple 5-hour mock contests held on the weekends leading up to the regional contest.
The ACM Programming Team is open to all undergraduate students and to graduate students who have not completed more than 5 years of post-K12 education. See here for complete eligibility requirements.
Students interested in participating in the team should contact Team Coach Dr. Godmar Back (email@example.com), or visit the team web page at https://icpc.cs.vt.edu/
All CS@VT teams pictured below:
As part of our departmental outreach to the community, the ACM-ICPC Programming Team of the Virginia Tech, led by its coach Dr. Godmar Back, held the first Virginia Tech High School Programming Contest. The contest was held on Saturday, Dec 6, online.
24 teams from 7 high schools across the state competed for 5 hours to solve 10 challenging programming problems, posed in the style of the ACM-ICPC contest. The winning team from the Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology, TJHSST Freshmen, solved 9 out of 10 problems.
The top three teams were:
- Place: TJHSST Freshmen (Thomas Jefferson High School): Sujay Ratna, Shwetark Patel, William Li
- Place: Betaware 4 (Battlefield High School): Ethan Villagran, Ian Cabacungan, Nick Gill
- Place: CIT Team 1 (Deep Run High School): Roman Bohuk, Jake Smith, Seth Tenembaum
This contest was organized by Dr. Godmar Back (Contest Director and Head Judge), and volunteers from the Virginia Tech ACM ICPC Programming Team: Daniel Gil, Rupin Khera, Larissa Perara, Nick Sharp, Andriy Katkov, Harrison Fang. Problems were created by Dr. Back, Nick Sharp, Andriy Katkov, and Daniel Gil. Several high school teachers and parents functioned as on-site coaches.
Virginia Tech is planning to host this contest annually during the Fall semester. High School teachers and other interested parties who wish to be informed about future contests are invited to join the vthscontest Google group.
Dr. Wenjing Lou (CS) (http://www.cnsr.ictas.vt.edu/WJLou.htmland) and Dr. Tom Hou (ECE) were awarded two new multi-institutional NSF research grants. The first, is entitled NSF CPS: Synergy: Collaborative Research: Cognitive Green Building: A Holistic Cyber-Physical Analytic Paradigm for Energy Sustainability. It aims to develop a unified analytical approach for green building design that comprehensively manages energy sustainability by taking into account the complex interactions between these systems of systems, providing a high degree of security, agility and robust to extreme events. This is a collaborative project between Profs. Ness Shroff and Qian Chen from Ohio State University, and Profs. Tom Hou (PI) and Wenjing Lou, from Virginia Tech.
The second award is entitled NSF CNS Collaborative Research: A Multi-Layer Approach Towards Reliable Cognitive Radio Networks. The objective behind this project’s research activities is to develop technological solutions that ensure that cognitive radios operate in a trustworthy manner, in spite of potential security threats. It is a collaborative project between Profs. Wenjing Lou (PI) and Tom Hou from VT, and Profs. Wade Trappe and Yanyong Zhang from Rutgers University; with VT being the lead institution for this project.
CS@VT Affiliate Professor Nicholas Polys (http://cs.vt.edu/user/polys) and colleagues Drs. Michael Buehrer, Vuk Marojevic, and YalingYang, from ECE, received funding from the NSF DUE/IUSE program, for their proposal entitled Wireless Communication Test beds for Authentic STEM Learning.
Dr. Kirk Cameron (http://cs.vt.edu/user/cameron) and colleagues from the University of Houston, received NSF SHF funding for the proposal entitled Application-aware Energy Modeling and Power Management for Parallel and High Performance Computing.
Drs. Chris North (PI) (http://cs.vt.edu/user/north) and Yong Cao (http://cs.vt.edu/user/yongcao), and Department of Statistics Drs. Leanna House and Scotland Leman, received an NSF Big Data Award, entitled BIGDATA: F: DKA: Usable Big Data Analytics via Multi-Scale Visual to Parametric Interaction (MV2PI). Dr. North describes the research funded: “Gaining big insight from big data requires big analytics, which poses big usability problems. In this proposal, human-computer-interaction research is merged with complex statistical methods and fast computation to make big data analytics usable and accessible to professional and student users. Multi-scale Visual-to-Parametric Interaction (MV2PI) enables analysts to simultaneously steer multiple algorithmic models across a continuum of data scales, from large data clouds to small working sets, by interacting directly with visualized data to adjust complex model parameters.”
Dr. Cliff Shaffer (http://cs.vt.edu/user/shaffer) and colleagues Dr. Susan Roger of Duke University and Dr. Tom Naps of University of Wisconsin-Oshcosh, received NSF IUSE funding. Dr. Shaffer is the PI for the VT-centered research on this grant. Dr. Shaffer says that the project “will study the efficacy of and disseminate a STEM learning environment named OpenDSA. OpenDSA is an open-source project with international collaboration. It has the potential to fundamentally change instruction in courses on Data Structures and Algorithms (DSA) and Formal Languages and Automata (FLA). ”
Dr. Chris North (http://cs.vt.edu/user/north) and Dr. Naren Ramakrishnan (http://cs.vt.edu/user/ramakrishnan) received funding from L-3 Communications for their proposal entitled: Discovering Coordinated Malicious Activity and Network Usage Patterns. Quoting Dr. North: “In this project, we propose a visual analytics approach to cyber security network defense. We will adapt biclustering algorithms to detect coordinated malicious activities, and a method of chaining biclusters to uncover network usage patterns across large-scale cyber security datasets (e.g., network logs) by fusing multiple data domains. We will create visualizations that enable human interaction with these algorithms and results to form characterizations of malicious behaviors.”
Drs. Wu Feng (http://cs.vt.edu/user/feng) and Eli Tilevich (http://cs.vt.edu/user/tilevich) received CRA-W funding for their proposal entitled Parallel Computing for Everyone. This funding is available to CS faculty to encourage female CS students to pursue research opportunities as part of their studies. The researchers state that “This grant seeks to introduce explicit parallel computing abstractions into an educational programming language that is based on MIT’s Scratch visual programming langauge. This omission of explicit programming constructs is hard to rationalize given the ubiquity of multi- and many-core architectures. Enhancing Scratch with such parallel programming abstractions presents an unprecedented research and educational opportunity to mold the minds of the next generation of computer scientists to realize solutions that explicitly take advantage of parallel computing. Such abstractions (or components in Scratch terminology) include consumer-producer, pipes and filters, and process pool, just to name a few. These components will be realized to follow the Scratch design paradigm, where a component can be dragged onto the canvas and parameterized with the required values. The shape of a component determines to which other components it can be connected, thus providing the constraints whose satisfaction ensures that the resulting combination is semantically correct.”
Drs. Dennis Kafura (http://cs.vt.edu/user/kafura), Cliff Shaffer (http://cs.vt.edu/user/shaffer) , and Eli Tilevich (http://cs.vt.edu/user/tilevich) received NSF TUES EAGER funding for their proposal entitled: Scaffolding Big Data for Authentic Learning of Computing. In the word of Dr. Kafura the goal of this research is “to create curriculum and technologies that leverage Big Data with the proper scaffolding required to accommodate students with little or no programming background.”
Dr. Daphne Yao’s (http://www.cs.vt.edu/user/yao) research was featured in an article in ACM Tech News on October 17, 2014. This research focuses on the development of algorithms that “can alert companies when an employee might be acting maliciously on their network.” The article, entitled Researcher Builds System to Protect Against Malicious Insiders, can be found here: http://www.computerworld.com/article/2825952/researcher-builds-system-to-protect-against-malicious-insiders.html
The Department of Computer Science is proud to announce three lectures for the Distinguished Lecture Series 2014-2015 (http://cs.vt.edu/DistinguishedLectures). Dr. Michael Littman, from Brown University, an expert in reinforcement (machine) learning will be speaking on December 5, 2014. Dr. Annie I. Antón, Chair of the School of Interactive Computing, Georgia Institute of Technology, an authority on digital privacy will be speaking on January 30, 2015. Dr. Jamika Burge, Senior Scientist at Information Systems Worldwide, a Ph.D. alumna of CS@VT (20017) and specialist on qualitative/behavioral research design and analysis, will be presenting on April 17, 2015. Dr. Burge is also co-chair of the Coalition for Diversity in Computing. The Department is pleased to host these eminent computer scientists.
Dr. Dennis Kafura (http://www.cs.vt.edu/user/kafura) and CS grad student Cory Bart were featured in an article in the Roanoke Times on October 25, 2014. The article, entitled Students Test New Ways of Teaching and Learning in Virginia Tech, describes a new course in computational thinking offered to non-CS majors by Dr. Kafura this semester. (http://www.roanoke.com/news/education/higher_education/virginia_tech/students-test-new-ways-of-teaching-and-learning-at-virginia/article_dca00832-1328-5e74-9ba5-c0bbf62fb0fb.html).