Denis Gracanin (Computer Science), Joseph Wheeler (Architecture) and a team of interdisciplinary researchers from across campus unveiled the innovative future of kitchen design and construction at the Kitchen & Bath Industry Show in Las Vegas in January 2015. The show is North America’s premier annual event dedicated to the kitchen and bath industry. According to the VT Daily News, “The kitchen is the first phase of a three-year plan to construct a two-story FutureHAUS. The next phase of the FutureHAUS design process is the addition of a living room alongside the kitchen that will debut at the American Institute of Architects national convention May 14-16 in Atlanta”. To read the entire story please visit. Denis Gracanin is associate professor in the College of Engineering’s Department of Computer Science.Joseph Wheeler is a professor of architecture and co-director of the Center for Design Research and LumenHAUS lead researcher.
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. Ali Butt (http://www.cs.vt.edu/user/butt) and Dr. Chao Wang (http://www.ece.vt.edu/faculty/chaowang.php) received new NSF funding for a proposal entitled Pythia: An Application Analysis and Online Modeling Based Prediction Framework for Scalable Resource Management. Dr. Butt describes his research as: “Advanced computing systems for running data-intensive scientific and enterprise applications often boast of different types of resources, e.g., a conventional computer processor running alongside specialized GPUs/FPGAs. Such heterogeneity presents major resource management challenges, especially at large scale. Having a better understanding of the applications behavior on the emerging hardware is key to sustaining these systems. To this end, the project designs and develops Pythia, software that uses application classifiers and simulations to model and predict how workloads would behave on given hardware. This information is then used to better utilize the resources, and achieve scalable and high performance computing systems.”
Balaji Subramaniam, a Ph.D. student in the Department of Computer Science at Virginia Tech, attended the Heidelberg Laureate Forum (HLF) as a representative of the United States in a 20-person delegation of students and postdoctoral researchers. The forum took place September 21-26 in Heidelberg, Germany. The U.S. delegation was sponsored by Oak Ridge Associated Universities (ORAU) and the National Science Foundation (NSF).
Every year, HLF brings together 100 (undergraduate, graduate and postdoctoral) researchers from mathematics and computer science who have won the Fields Medal, Turing Award, Abel Prize, or Nevanlinna Prize. It serves as an ideal platform for young researchers to interact with established scientists in their field.
Balaji conducts research in the area of high-performance and distributed computing systems with an emphasis on energy efficiency. His current research interests include the modeling and prediction of performance under a power budget, hardware- and software-controlled power management, and benchmarking. Balaji is a member of the Synergy lab and advised by Wu-chun Feng.
Dr. Daphne Yao received a prestigious Army Research Office (ARO) Young Investigator Award. Dr. Yao says, in describing her research: “The project aims to develop new security model and data analytic techniques that enable accurate large-scale causality reasoning for detecting anomalies that are caused by system compromises and malicious insiders. The research will be focused on inferring high-level human events and actions based on low-level machine events. If successful, designing such a semantic-aware and mission-aware probabilistic model to capture and analyze human events related to accessing critical resources can be useful for detecting insider attacks — a problem long known to be notorious to solve.”
VTIP has filed a patent on a technology developed by Dr. Daphne Yao, as part of her NSF CAREER Award research. Dr. Daphne Yao presented a paper about this technology, entitled “Detection of Stealthy Malware Activities with Traffic Causality and Scalable Triggering Relation Discovery” this past June, in Japan. The paper was written in collaboration with Dr. Naren Ramamkrishnan and CS graduate student Han Zhang. A VT News article about this can be found here: https://www.eng.vt.edu/news/new-proactive-approach-unveiled-detect-malicious-software-networked-computers-and-data
Dr. Kirk Cameron was awarded a MD Research Faculty Fellowship. This fellowship is a recognition of Dr. Cameron’s research in green computing, and is an honor, not only for Dr. Cameron, but for the CS Department.
Recently the National Academy of Engineering published a list of 14 grand challenges for engineering in the 21st century. Very exciting, motivating and important stuff! If you are at all interested in being an engineer, please look at this list. And notice that advances in computer science will be critical in every single area.
Every week it seems like a hear of a cool new way in which someone’s life is made better through the creative use of computing. From this article in the Christian Science Monitor, entitled ‘Internet Helps Americans Save More Energy Every Year,’ comes this little tidbit:
‘… delivery giant UPS introduced new software to develop more efficient routes and help drivers avoid left-hand turns. Result: 28.5 million fewer miles driven and 3 million gallons of gas saved each year.’
Nice story. And simple enough to explain to your mother!