Congratulations to Pitt CS Faculty and TA's on your Achievements!

Created: Sep 27, 2016 by Mackenzie L. Ball
Accolades, Departmental News

Congratulations to the following faculty and TA's for achieving the highest evaluation scores for overall effectiveness and receiving teaching awards for the 2015 - 2016 Academic Year:
Teaching Assistant Award: SeyedSalim Malakouti 4.70
George Jucha Part Time Instructor Award: Paulo Ferreira 4.81 CS0401
Core Class Lecturer Award: John Ramirez 4.84 CS0401
UG Classes Tenure Stream Award: Adam Lee 4.44 CS0441
Upper Level Lecturer Award: Jon Misurda 4.65 CS1550
Upper Level Tenure Stream Award: Rebecca Hwa 4.33 CS1671
Graduate 2000 Level Award: Rami Melhem 4.83 CS2410

Honorable Mentions for receiving at least one 10 Decile or more:
Jon Misurda, John Ramirez, Rebecca Hwa, Tan Kosiyatrakul, Bill Laboon, Nick Farnan, Paula Ferreira, Bryan Mills, Bill Franolich, Kirk Pruhs, Rami Melhem, Patricia Quirin, Youtao Zhang.

Congratulations to Prof. Chrysanthis and Prof. Labrinidis on receiving new NSF Award!

Created: Sep 13, 2016 by Julia Qian
Updated: Sep 15, 2016 by Mackenzie L. Ball
Press Releases, Accolades, Departmental News

Prof. Chrysanthis and Prof. Labrinidis, together with colleagues from the School of Engineering (Prof. Peyman Givi, PI) and the Math Department (Prof. William Layton) received new research funding from the National Science Foundation for their project entitled Appraisal of Subgrid Scale Closures in Reacting Turbulence via DNS Big Data. The project will employ a range of strategies and computational tools for utilizing DNS data to appraise the performance of large eddy simulation (LES) predictions in turbulent combustion. The study will pave the way for LES to become the primary means of predictions for future design and manufacturing of combustion systems, while building a data sharing infrastructure, and providing educational and outreach programs to students at all levels.

Pitt Computer Science Lecturer Bill Garrison, Presented at the 2016 IEEE Symposium on Security and Privacy

Created: Sep 08, 2016 by Julia Qian
Updated: Sep 08, 2016 by Mackenzie L. Ball
Accolades, Departmental News

Since 1980, the IEEE Symposium on Security and Privacy has been the premier forum for presenting developments in computer security and electronic privacy, and for bringing together researchers and practitioners in the field. The 2016 Symposium marked the 37th annual meeting of this flagship conference.

The Symposium was held on May 23-25, and the Security and Privacy Workshops were held on May 26, 2016. Both events were in San Jose, California at The Fairmont.

Congratulations to Dr. John "Jack" Lange on His Promotion to Associate Professor with Tenure!

Created: Sep 08, 2016 by Julia Qian
Updated: Sep 08, 2016 by Mackenzie L. Ball
Accolades, Departmental News

We are excited to announce that Dr.John "Jack" Lange has been promoted to Associate Professor with tenure!
Before joining the Department of Computer Science at the University of Pittsburgh in the fall of 2010, Dr. Lange received his PhD and M.S. degrees in Computer Science from Northwestern University (2006 and 2010). Prior to that he received a B.S. in Computer Engineering as well as a B.S. in Computer Science also from Northwestern University (2003).

His research specializes in High Performance Computing and Operating Systems, as well as networking, virtualization and distributed systems. His current focus lies in the area of specialized operating systems for super-computing environments.

Please join us in congratulating Dr. Lange on his promotion!

Pitt CS's SteelHacks ranks 18th out of 47 ranked hackathons in North America by MLH!

Created: Sep 02, 2016 by Mackenzie L. Ball
Updated: Sep 08, 2016 by Mackenzie L. Ball
Accolades, Outreach News

Major League Hacking (MLH) is the official student hackathon league. Each year, they power over 200 weekend-long invention competitions that inspire innovation, cultivate communities and teach computer science skills to more than 65,000 students around the world. MLH is an engaged and passionate maker community, consisting of the next generation of technology leaders and entrepreneurs. SteelHacks is an MLH member event hosted at the University of Pittsburgh, through the Department of Computer Science, for students at colleges & universities across the US who are passionate about getting their hands dirty using technology and design. Congrats SteelHacks!!

Congratulations to Professor Adriana Kovashka on receiving a NSF CRII CISE Research Initiation Grant!

Created: Jun 01, 2016 by Mackenzie L. Ball
Press Releases, Accolades

This project develops technologies to interpret the visual rhetoric of images. The project advances computer vision through novel solutions to the novel problem of decoding the visual messages in advertisements and artistic photographs, and thus brings computer vision closer to its goal of being able to automatically understand visual content. From a practical standpoint, understanding visual rhetoric can be used to produce image descriptions for the visually impaired that align with how a human would label these images, and thus give them access to the rich content shown in newspapers or on TV. This project is tightly integrated with education. The work is interdisciplinary and can attract undergraduate students to the research from different fields.

This research focuses on three media understanding tasks: (1) understanding the persuasive messages conveyed by artistic images and the strategies that those images use to convey their message; (2) exposing a photographer's bias towards their subject, e.g., determining whether a photograph portrays its subject in a positive or negative light; and (3) predicting what part of an artistic photograph a viewer might find most captivating or poignant. To enable decoding of artistic images, a large dataset is collected and annotated with a number of artistic properties and persuasion techniques that are intended for human understanding, then methods are developed to model visual symbolism in artistic images, as well as adapt positive/negative effect methods from sentiment analysis. To predict the photographer's bias towards a subject, a dataset of historical and modern portrayals of minorities and foreigners is collected, then an algorithm is created that reasons about body language and 3D layout and composition of the photo. To predict poignance, eyetracking data on a set of artistic images from famous photographers is collected, then semantic and connotation conflicts between the objects in the photographs are analyzed.

PhD student Huy Nguyen Wins Best Student Paper Award

Created: May 25, 2016 by Lydia Moss
Accolades, Departmental News

Huy Nguyen, a sixth year PhD student at the University of Pittsburgh under the advising of Dr. Diane Litman was recently awarded "Best Student Paper" at the 29th International Florida Artificial Intelligence Research Society conference. Congratulations!!

Pitt CS Students Ritwik Gupta and Laurence Putterman Win Red Bull's Hack the Hits!

Created: Apr 14, 2016 by Mackenzie L. Ball
Updated: Apr 15, 2016 by Mackenzie L. Ball
Accolades, Outreach News

Pitt Computer Science students Laurence Putterman and Ritwik Gupta, along with Tiffany Jiang from Carnegie Mellon, were recently one of 5 teams around the nation picked to compete in Red Bull’s Hack the Hits hackathon in San Francisco this past weekend. Their team won first place where they created a MIDI controller that mimics the experience of playing a string instrument with some additions. Over the course of 24 hours, each of the 5 teams (from schools such as Stanford and UC Berkeley) tried to create an expressive, playable instrument that could be used in a live or studio setting. Using four touch sensitive “thinpot” (thin potentiometer) sensors connected to an Arduino and some cardboard, they recreated the general shape of a guitar, where the thinpot sensors took the place of strings. This enabled the player to expressively slide their notes just like a string instrument player. In addition, a Leap Motion attached to the body of the instrument allowed players to modulate effects by gesturing in front of the instrument with their hands. The thinpot sensors send their output to the Arduino, which relays the information over a serial connection. Max for Live, a powerful visual programming environment specifically designed for interfacing with Ableton Live (audio software), receives this data, separates the data according to sensor, and transforms those values into MIDI. Each sensor outputs to its own MIDI channel, allowing the user a great deal of flexibility with regards to how they would like the instrument to sound. They were featured in Forbes, follow the link for the article Congratulations to Ritwik and Laurence!!!

Pitt CS PhD Students are 2 of the 3 Nominees for Best Student Paper!

Created: Apr 06, 2016 by Mackenzie L. Ball

At the 29th International Florida Artificial Intelligence Research Society Conference Pitt CS PhD students Huy Nguyen and Wencan Luo are two of the three nominees for Best Student Paper.

"Improving Argument Mining in Student Essays by Learning and Exploiting Argument Indicators versus Essay Topics" - Huy Nguyen and Diane Litman

"Determining the Quality of a Student Reflective Response" - Wencan Luo and Diane Litman

For more information:

CS Department Announces Honor Roll and Outstanding Undergraduate Student

Created: Mar 21, 2016 by Lydia Moss
Accolades, Departmental News

To be named to the CS Honor Roll for a given academic year, students must:
1. Be a full time student for the academic year
2. Have taken at least 3 CS courses including at least 2 upper level CS classes
3. Have a CS GPA of 3.75+
4. Have an overall GPA of 3.5+

37 students were named to the CS Honor Roll for 2014-2015. They are:
Nicholas Alberts
Zachary Alcorn
Reed Armstrong
Joseph Baker
Devon Broglie
Michael Byrne
Yijia Cui
Adam Darr
Leart Doko
Sarah Dubnik
Stephen Ellis
Rinat Gatyatullin
Alexander Glyde
Shelley Goldberg
Eric Gratta
Spencer Gray
Joseph Hagner
Corey Hoffman
Adam Jaworski
Adnan Khan
Charles Kiorpes
Andrew Lucas
Aditya Mahadevan
Julian Manfredi
Peter Mash
William McKibbin
Edwin Mellett
David Neiman
John Phillips
Joel Roggeman
Justin Rushin
Adam Schwab
Lauren Thompson
Frank Wolverton
Megan Yates
Jiayan Zhang
Sheridan Zivanovich

For 2015-2016, Joel Roggeman was chosen by the faculty as the outstanding undergraduate student for his academic excellence and in his participation in extracurricular activities that support the CS Department. Joel has a CS GPA of 4.0, and overall GPA of 3.967, and has received 6 A+ grades in CS courses. In addition to his strong academics, Joel is a math minor, has done research in collaboration with Dr. Alex Labrinidis, is a peer tutor in the CS Resource Center, and is the Computer Science Club business manager. Please join the CS Department in congratulating all of these students for their successes!

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