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  • Toward printable, sensor-laden “skin” for robots In this age of smartphones and tablet computers, touch-sensitive surfaces are everywhere. They’re also brittle, as people with cracked phone screens everywhere can attest. Covering a robot — or an airplane or a bridge — with sensors will require a technology that is both flexible and cost-...
  • Protecting web users’ privacy Most website visits these days entail a database query — to look up airline flights, for example, or to find the fastest driving route between two addresses. But online database queries can reveal a surprising amount of information about the people making them. And some travel sites have...
  • Testing new networking protocols The transmission control protocol, or TCP, which manages traffic on the internet, was first proposed in 1974. Some version of TCP still regulates data transfer in most major data centers, the huge warehouses of servers maintained by popular websites.
  • Security for multirobot systemsDistributed planning, communication, and control algorithms for autonomous robots make up a major area of research in computer science. But in the literature on multirobot systems, security has gotten relatively short shrift.
  • Security for multirobot systems Distributed planning, communication, and control algorithms for autonomous robots make up a major area of research in computer science.
  • Daniel Zuo: Creative approaches to connectivity Distributed planning, communication, and control algorithms for autonomous robots make up a major area of research in computer science.
  • New AI tool improves cognitive testing One good piece of news in recent years is that people around the world are living longer. The downside to this news is that older age exposes more of us to varieties of cognitive decline, including Alzheimer’s disease. According to the Alzheimer’s Association, the number of people with this...
  • Cutting down the clutter in online conversations From Reddit to Quora, discussion forums can be equal parts informative and daunting. We’ve all fallen down rabbit holes of lengthy threads that are impossible to sift through. Comments can be redundant, off-topic or even inaccurate, but all that content is ultimately still there for us to...
  • Former White House adviser to lead new cybersecurity project at MITToday MIT announced that a former major White House adviser is joining the Institute to direct a new project focused on cybersecurity and the economy. R. David Edelman served on President Obama's National Economic Council, National Security Council and the Office of Science and Technology Policy....
  • AI beats pros at Super Smash Bros.Game-playing artificial intelligence has proved to be a game-changer for even the most seasoned veterans.
  • Brain-controlled robots For robots to do what we want, they need to understand us. Too often, this means having to meet them halfway: teaching them the intricacies of human language, for example, or giving them explicit commands for very specific tasks. But what if we could develop robots that were a more natural...
  • Putting data in the hands of doctorsRegina Barzilay is working with MIT students and medical doctors in an ambitious bid to revolutionize cancer care. She is relying on a tool largely unrecognized in the oncology world but deeply familiar to hers: machine learning.  Barzilay, the Delta Electronics Professor of Electrical...
  • Voice control everywhere The butt of jokes as little as 10 years ago, automatic speech recognition is now on the verge of becoming people’s chief means of interacting with their principal computing devices. In anticipation of the age of voice-controlled electronics, MIT researchers have built a low-power chip...
  • Putting data in the hands of doctors Regina Barzilay is working with MIT students and medical doctors in an ambitious bid to revolutionize cancer care. She is relying on a tool largely unrecognized in the oncology world but deeply familiar to hers: machine learning. 
  • Adding a splash of human intuition to planning algorithms Every other year, the International Conference on Automated Planning and Scheduling hosts a competition in which computer systems designed by conference participants try to find the best solution to a planning problem, such as scheduling flights or coordinating tasks for teams of autonomous...
  • CSAIL PhD has made seven robots, and still finds time to meditate.For Julian Straub, one man’s trash truly became his treasure when a microcontroller sparked a keen interest in the field of robotics and artificial intelligence. The German native is a fourth-year EECS student studying how robots can better understand their surroundings. Straub studied electrical...
  • Wearable AI system can detect a conversation's toneIt’s a fact of nature that a single conversation can be interpreted in very different ways. For people with anxiety or conditions such as Asperger’s, this can make social situations extremely stressful. But what if there was a more objective way to measure and understand our interactions?...
  • Wearable AI system can detect a conversation's tone It’s a fact of nature that a single conversation can be interpreted in very different ways. For people with anxiety or conditions such as Asperger’s, this can make social situations extremely stressful. But what if there was a more objective way to measure and understand our interactions?
  • Optimizing code Compilers are programs that convert computer code written in high-level languages intelligible to humans into low-level instructions executable by machines. But there’s more than one way to implement a given computation, and modern compilers extensively analyze the code they process, trying...
  • Faster websites with fewer bugs Today, loading a web page on a big website usually involves a database query — to retrieve the latest contributions to a discussion you’re participating in, a list of news stories related to the one you’re reading, links targeted to your geographic location, or the like. But database queries...
  • SMART automation Daniela Rus loves Singapore. As the MIT professor sits down in her Frank Gehry-designed office in Cambridge, Massachusetts, to talk about her research conducted in Singapore, her face starts to relax in a big smile.
  • Taming data The age of big data has seen a host of new techniques for analyzing large data sets. But before any of those techniques can be applied, the target data has to be aggregated, organized, and cleaned up.
  • WATCH: VR video explains how VR worksHow can a tiny cardboard box make you feel like you're miles away at a sandy beach? CSAIL PhD student Valentina Shin explains virtual reality in this 360-degree VR video:
  • Split-second data mappingPeople generally associate graphic processing units (GPUs) with imaging processing. Developed for video games in the 1990s, modern GPUs are specialized circuits with thousands of small, efficient processing units, or “cores,” that work simultaneously to rapidly render graphics on screen.But for the...
  • Model sheds light on purpose of inhibitory neurons Researchers at MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory have developed a new computational model of a neural circuit in the brain, which could shed light on the biological role of inhibitory neurons — neurons that keep other neurons from firing. The model describes a...
  • STUDY: CARPOOLING APPS COULD REDUCE TAXI TRAFFIC 75% Traffic is not just a nuisance for drivers: it’s also a public-health hazard and bad news for the economy.
  • Creating videos of the futureLiving in a dynamic physical world, it’s easy to forget how effortlessly we understand our surroundings. With minimal thought, we can figure out how scenes change and objects interact. But what’s second nature for us is still a huge problem for machines. With the limitless number of ways that...
  • Ingestible robots, glasses-free 3-D, and computers that explain themselves Machines that predict the future, robots that patch wounds, and wireless emotion-detectors are just a few of the exciting projects that came out of MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL) this year. Here’s a sampling of 16 highlights from 2016 that span the...
  • CSAIL's 16 best Tweets of 2016The “Dragon Book,” Margaret Hamilton, and the first single-chip CPU topped our Twitter feed this past year, alongside tweets about computer science news, our research, and other topics in coding and programming. We’ve rounded up the top 16 tweets of 2016, determined by number of retweets from our...
  • Data diversityWhen data sets get too big, sometimes the only way to do anything useful with them is to extract much smaller subsets and analyze those instead. Those subsets have to preserve certain properties of the full sets, however, and one property that’s useful in a wide range of applications is diversity....
  • Making big data manageableOne way to handle big data is to shrink it. If you can identify a small subset of your data set that preserves its salient mathematical relationships, you may be able to perform useful analyses on it that would be prohibitively time consuming on the full set.
  • Four CSAIL researchers named ACM fellowsThis week the Association for Computer Machinery (ACM) announced its 2016 fellows, which include four principal investigators from MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL): professors Erik Demaine, Fredo Durand, William Freeman, and Daniel Jackson. They were among the 1...
  • Learning words from picturesSpeech recognition systems, such as those that convert speech to text on cellphones, are generally the result of machine learning. A computer pores through thousands or even millions of audio files and their transcriptions, and learns which acoustic features correspond to which typed words. But...
  • Design your own custom droneThis fall’s new Federal Aviation Administration regulations have made drone flight easier than ever for both companies and consumers. But what if the drones out on the market aren’t exactly what you want? A new system from MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL)...
  • Enabling wireless virtual realityOne of the limits of today’s virtual reality (VR) headsets is that they have to be tethered to computers in order to process data well enough to deliver high-resolution visuals. But wearing an HDMI cable reduces mobility and can even lead to users tripping over cords. Fortunately, researchers from...
  • Computer learns to recognize sounds by watching videoIn recent years, computers have gotten remarkably good at recognizing speech and images: Think of the dictation software on most cellphones, or the algorithms that automatically identify people in photos posted to Facebook. But recognition of natural sounds — such as crowds cheering or waves...
  • Face to face with "The Enemy"When the filmmaking pioneers Auguste and Louis Lumière screened their 1895 film, "The Arrival of a Train at La Ciotat," audiences were so frightened by the real appearance of the image that they screamed and got out of the way — or so a well-known anecdote goes. Today, as one enters a virtual...
  • How the brain recognizes facesMIT researchers and their colleagues have developed a new computational model of the human brain’s face-recognition mechanism that seems to capture aspects of human neurology that previous models have missed. The researchers designed a machine-learning system that implemented their model, and they...
  • Study: carpooling apps could reduce taxi traffic 75%Traffic is not just a nuisance for drivers: it’s also a public-health hazard and bad news for the economy.Transportation studies put the annual cost of congestion at $160 billion, which includes 7 billion hours of time lost to sitting in traffic and an extra 3 billion gallons of fuel burned. One...
  • Creating videos of the futureLiving in a dynamic physical world, it’s easy to forget how effortlessly we understand our surroundings. With minimal thought, we can figure out how scenes change and objects interact. But what’s second nature for us is still a huge problem for machines. With the limitless number of ways that...
  • Meeting of the minds for machine intelligenceSurviving breast cancer changed the course of Regina Barzilay’s research. The experience showed her, in stark relief, that oncologists and their patients lack tools for data-driven decision making. That includes what treatments to recommend, but also whether a patient’s sample even warrants a...
  • Entanglement bonanzaQuantum computers promise huge speedups on some computational problems because they harness a strange physical property called entanglement, in which the physical state of one tiny particle depends on measurements made of another. In quantum computers, entanglement is a computational resource,...
  • Making computers explain themselvesIn recent years, the best-performing systems in artificial-intelligence research have come courtesy of neural networks, which look for patterns in training data that yield useful predictions or classifications. A neural net might, for instance, be trained to recognize certain objects in digital...
  • Was your vote counted? Our crypto expert weighs inVoters can then go to an online database that lists their encrypted receipt and shows that it matches up with the one they picked up at the ballot box. Watch Professor Rivest explain the concept on Numberphile:
  • Teaching Hong Kong students to embrace computational thinkingCoolThink@JC, a four-year initiative of The Hong Kong Jockey Club Charities Trust, was launched today to empower the city’s primary school teachers and students with computational thinking skills, including coding. Developed through a collaboration with MIT's Computer Science and Artificial...
  • Enabling wireless virtual realityOne of the limits of today’s virtual reality (VR) headsets is that they have to be tethered to computers in order to process data well enough to deliver high-resolution visuals. But wearing an HDMI cable reduces mobility and can even lead to users tripping over cords. Fortunately, researchers from...
  • Driverless-vehicle options now include scootersAt MIT’s 2016 Open House last spring, more than 100 visitors took rides on an autonomous mobility scooter in a trial of software designed by researchers from MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL), the National University of Singapore, and the Singapore-MIT Alliance...
  • Faster programs, easier programmingDynamic programming is a technique that can yield relatively efficient solutions to computational problems in economics, genomic analysis, and other fields. But adapting it to computer chips with multiple “cores,” or processing units, requires a level of programming expertise that few economists...
  • CSAIL founder Robert Fano honored at 11/4 memorialRobert “Bob” Fano, a professor emeritus in the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science (EECS) whose work helped usher in the personal computing age, died in Naples, Florida on July 13. He was 98.
  • CSAIL welcomes 6 new EECS facultyCSAIL welcomes six new faculty members to MIT's Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science (EECS)! The new faculty include Adam Belay, Stefanie Mueller, Max Shulakar, David Sontag, Ryan Williams and Virginia Vassilev Williams. Adam Belay will join as an assistant professor in...
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