News Archive 2011

  • Annual Review Meeting Celebrates Lab Innovations CSAIL members enjoyed a successful Annual Review Meeting last week featuring two days of invigorating research presentations, spirited discussion, a warm welcome for pending Director Anant Agarwal and a moving tribute to Director Victor Zue, who is stepping down at the end of the month.
  • Amarasinghe Named EECS Co-Education Officer Professor Saman Amarasinghe will serve as a co-education officer in MIT’s Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science when Professor Anantha Chandrakasan assumes the directorship of the department on July 1. Amarasinghe will serve as a co-education officer alongside Professor Jacob White.
    Amarasinghe is the leader of the Commit Compiler Group at CSAIL. His research...
  • Freeman Appointed EECS Associate Department Head Professor William Freeman has been named an associate department head of MIT’s Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science (EECS), effective July 1. Freeman will serve alongside Professor Munther Dahleh of the Laboratory for Information and Decision Systems when Professor Anantha Chandrakasan assumes the directorship of EECS on July 1.
    Freeman is a member of the Computer Vision...
  • Terman Appointed CSAIL Co-Director Professor Anant Agarwal, director of CSAIL as of July 1, has announced that Chris Terman will serve as co-director of the lab.
    Terman is a senior lecturer in EECS and has served as an associate director in both LCS and CSAIL. He serves as the research director for the T-Party Project, a 10-year, $45-million research collaboration with Quanta Computer. He is actively involved in teaching courses...
  • Agarwal Named CSAIL Director Anant Agarwal, a professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science (EECS) at MIT, has been named the next director of CSAIL.
    Agarwal will succeed Professor Victor Zue, who has served four years as CSAIL’s director, four years as the lab’s co-director and two years as the director of the Lab for Computer Science (LCS). Agarwal's appointment is effective July 1, 2011.
    CSAIL is...
  • MERS Hosting Weekly TV Night CSAIL members are invited to sit back, relax and enjoy an evening of companionship, great TV and grub during the Model-based Embedded and Robotic Systems (MERS) Group’s weekly TV nights. Held in the MERS lab space, located at 32-224, attendees are currently watching "Dr. Who" reruns until July 11, when they will begin viewing episodes of "Eureka."
    Seating is currently...
  • Daskalakis Wins Outstanding Paper Prize Assistant Professor Constantinos Daskalakis has been awarded an Outstanding Paper Prize by the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics (SIAM) for his work with Paul W. Goldberg and Christos H. Papadimitriou on, “The Complexity of Computing a Nash Equilibrium.”
    To read the paper, visit http://epubs.siam.org/sicomp/resource/1/smjcat/v39/i1/p195_s1, and for more on Daskalakis’ work, visit...
  • Industry Affiliates Meeting Offers Peek at CSAIL Innovations Members of CSAIL’s Industry Affiliates Program (IAP) gathered in the Stata Center recently for the program’s two-day long Annual Meeting showcasing the breadth and diversity of research underway at the lab.
    The meeting kicked off with a historical look at the “Growth of Cryptography,” by keynote speaker Professor Ronald Rivest, one of the inventors of the RSA public key...
  • CSAIL Celebrates Class of 2011 Professors, students, CSAIL staff, family and friends gathered in the R&D Commons last Friday afternoon to celebrate CSAIL members of the Class of 2011 following MIT’s 145th Commencement exercises.
    CSAIL members who were awarded degrees in both Masters and PhD programs are listed below. Congratulations and best wishes to all as you embark on your next journey!
  • Cookies, Anyone? Donned in a gauzy dental gown, the PR2 robot lifts its left hand and grasps the mixing bowl placed in front of it. The robot’s right hand, equipped with a rubber spatula, shortly follows suit, veering inside the bowl and towards the mound of softened butter waiting inside. Then, in a concentrated and meticulous manner, the PR2 turns its head down towards the bowl, and slowly begins mixing...
  • CSAIL Staff Honored With Infinite Mile AwardsIn recognition of their commitment, dedication and integrity, eight CSAIL members were recently honored for their outstanding contributions to the lab. John Beane, Jason Dorfman, Arthur Prokosch, Jon Proulx, Colleen Russell, Eric Schwartz, Jay Sekora and Garrett Wollman were all presented with School of Engineering Infinite Mile Awards for Excellence last week. The Infinite Mile Award, launched...
  • CSAIL Researchers Take New Approach to Robotic Planning In the quest to create a robot able to help humans with everything from grocery shopping to cleaning the kitchen, Professor Leslie Pack Kaelbling and Professor Tomas Lozano-Perez are taking a new approach: Breaking down the tasks a robot must perform into smaller, simpler steps.
    Kaelbling and Lozano-Perez, leaders of the Learning in Intelligent Systems Group, believe that by using a hierarchical...
  • Tenenbaum Named Troland Research Award Winner The National Academy of Sciences has honored Joshua Tenenbaum, an associate professor of Cognitive Science and Computation and a principal investigator at CSAIL, with a Troland Research Award. The award is presented annually to two young investigators to recognize unusual achievement and further empirical research in psychology regarding the relationships of consciousness and the physical world...
  • Health Care of the FutureCSAIL Spotlight imageIn 1974 Professor Peter Szolovits made a prediction: By the 1980s a majority of large hospitals would have adopted the use of electronic medical records. While the necessary technology did not progress as quickly as expected to allow for this transition, the U.S. government is currently making a major push to ensure that hospitals switch from paper folders stuffed with memos to a secure and...
  • Dai & Steinhardt Receive EECS Awards EECS has honored two CSAIL students for outstanding achievements during the 2010-2011 academic year. Graduate student Hongkai Dai was honored with the Frederick C. Hennie Teaching Award for excellence in teaching, and Jacob Steinhardt was presented with the Robert M. Fano UROP Award for the best EECS UROP project.
    Both Dai and Steinhardt are working with Associate Professor Russ Tedrake in the...
  • Google Celebrates MIT Google paid tribute to MIT this past weekend with a blog post celebrating the Institute’s 150-year history of innovation and excellence. Google noted key contributions MIT has brought to the field of computer science, including the work of Professor and CSAIL Principal Investigator Ronald Rivest with Adi Shamir and Leonard Adleman on writing the RSA algorithm for public key encryption....
  • 6.141 Students Create Robots Ready For Mars Crowds of EECS students, faculty and staff stood in stunned silence as Twitch- a robot constructed and programmed by 6.141 students Owen Derby, Minh Phan, Jake Shapiro, Caine Jette and Nandi Bugg- gracefully maneuvered a tight corner and squeezed through a narrow wooden entryway collision-free.
    “You successfully navigated the Death Zone!” said Professor Daniela Rus to cheers of...
  • Check Out The MIT 150 Computation Symposium on TechTV If you missed Computation and the Transformation of Practically Everything, part of MIT’s 150th anniversary symposia series, fear not. Complete coverage of the symposium is now available online at MIT TechTV.
    To watch specific segments of the symposium or for a complete recap of the event, check out http://techtv.mit.edu/collections/150-events:1854/videos.
  • CSAIL Welcomes Public For MIT’s 150th AnniversaryOn Saturday, April 30, throngs of people descended upon the MIT campus to explore and discover all of the exciting research, innovation and creative work bursting forth from MIT.
    CSAIL welcomed the crowds in the Gates Tower lobby with live demonstrations from the User Interface Design Group and the Spoken Language Systems Group. Students explained and allowed visitors to explore the Darpa Grand...
  • Jordan Encourages Students To Explore Computational Biology Pehong Chen Distinguished Professor Michael Jordan of the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science and the Department of Statistics at the University of California, Berkeley wrapped up the 2010-2011 Dertouzos Lecturer Series Thursday evening with a look at his work with “Statistical Inference of Protein Structure and Function.”
    Jordan, a former MIT faculty member,...
  • Seneviratne Selected For Yahoo! Key Scientific Challenges Program Oshani Seneviratne, a PhD student in the Decentralized Information Group at CSAIL, has been selected to participate in Yahoo!’s 2011 Key Scientific Challenges (KSC) Program.
    Yahoo! was particularly interested in Seneviratne’s work addressing the issue of documents and information that are published on the Web without a means of tracking distribution, as well as abuse prevention in...
  • Check Out Under the Dome This SaturdayThis Saturday, April 30 come visit with Domo and MERTZ, check out a wide variety of interactive computer programming demonstrations, learn about the Bilibot Project, see an enormous origami T-Rex and much, much more during CSAIL’s participation in Under the Dome, MIT’s campus-wide Open House. The Open House, which is being held as part of MIT’s 150th anniversary celebrations, provides local...
  • Kelner & Haeupler Win STOC Best Paper Awards Assistant Professor Jonathan Kelner has been named one of the winners of the Best Paper Award for the annual Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) Symposium on Theory of Computing (STOC), to be held in June.
    The paper, “Electrical Flows, Laplacian Systems, and Faster Approximation of Maximum Flow in Undirected Graphs,” was written by Kelner, MIT EECS graduate student Aleksander Madry, MIT...
  • Demaine’s Artwork Selected for Smithsonian Exhibit Professor Erik Demaine’s artwork, created in collaboration with CSAIL Visiting Scientist Martin Demaine, has also been selected as part of the Smithsonian’s 40 Under 40: Craft Futures exhibition, which will run July 20, 2012-February 3, 2013. The show will feature 40 artists, all born since 1972, and is being held in honor of the 40th anniversary of the Renwick Gallery, the...
  • Celebrating The Influence of Computation 150 years ago, work was underway on sending the first transatlantic telegraph cable, a breakthrough in global communications that decreased message delivery times from weeks to mere minutes. Sir Tim Berners-Lee, a professor at MIT and a principal investigator at CSAIL, provided this perspective on how rapidly technology has transformed daily life during Computation and the Transformation of...
  • CSAIL Gives Back Through CommuniTech CSAIL is not only at the forefront of computer science and artificial intelligence research, but is also a leader in providing underserved communities access to digital technology. Through IMARA, an outreach initiative at CSAIL dedicated to finding long-term solutions to making educational technology and resources available to all, CSAIL operates CommuniTech, an effort to bridge the Digital...
  • CSAIL Faculty Offering Summer Courses This summer, three CSAIL faculty members are teaching courses as part of MIT's Professional Education program. These Short Programs, which meet for two to five sessions, offer business professionals an opportunity to learn firsthand from top experts in academia.
    Courses being offered by CSAIL Principal Investigators include:
    Cryptography and Computer Security [6.87s]

    http://web.mit.edu...
  • Demaines Screening First Art Film Tomorrow From October 18-22, 2010, glass maestro Lino Tagliapietra and his team worked at MIT’s Glass Lab, melding colorful pieces of glass into sculptures as intricately patterned as a butterfly’s wing. Professor Erik Demaine and CSAIL Visiting Scientist Martin Demaine document Tagliapietra’s visit to MIT in their debut art film Lino Tagliapietra: Glass Magician.
    The film will be...
  • Flying Like the Birds Despite their reputation as urban pests, pigeons traverse the city skies with grace and agility, dodging buildings, lampposts, power lines and other obstacles while traveling at remarkably high speeds. A multidisciplinary university research initiative (MURI) led by CSAIL Associate Professor Russ Tedrake will bring together a diverse group of researchers to develop a bird-sized, unmanned aerial...
  • ACM Names Kaashoek Winner of Infosys Foundation Award Professor Frans Kaashoek, an associate director of CSAIL and a leader of the Parallel and Distributed Operating Systems Group, has been named the 2010 recipient of the ACM (Association for Computing Machinery) Infosys Foundation Award in the Computing Sciences. Kaashoek is credited with greatly improving the structuring, robustness, scalability and security of software systems.
  • iRobot To the Rescue In Hollywood blockbusters, robots are often portrayed as menacing machines intent on destroying mankind. In the fight to contain the nuclear reactors at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant in Japan, robots may prove to be a powerful ally in reigning in a dangerous situation. Thanks to Bedford-based iRobot, the Japanese government will now have four robots, capable of doing everything from...
  • Miller Wins Jamieson Prize for Excellence in Teaching Associate Professor Robert Miller has been named a winner of the 2011 Jamieson Prize for Excellence in Teaching.
    Miller, the leader of the User Interface Design Group at CSAIL, is honored for his work in single-handedly developing 6.813/6.831:User Interface Design and Implementation. Enrollment in the course has increased from 50 to 120 students since its creation, and Miller is credited with...
  • Computational Biology Group Offers Look at Human & Fly Genome Regulation Three new papers, co-authored by Associate Professor Manolis Kellis (head of the Computational Biology Group at CSAIL), appeared in the March 23 edition of Nature reporting three large studies of gene regulation in the human and fly genomes.
  • Speeding Up Protein Modeling Processing vast amounts of genomic data is an ongoing battle, but a new technique coming out of CSAIL for modeling nuances in protein folding looks to be more computationally efficient than current models.
    The method could cut the time needed to run atom-by-atom simulations from months to mere minutes. This discovery could be helpful in further examining genes’ role in disease.
    For more...
  • The History of Cryptography, delivered by one of its pioneersIf you missed Professor Ronald L. Rivest’s lecture on “The Growth of Cryptography,” the 39th annual James R. Killian, Jr. Faculty Achievement Award Lecture, check out the video of Rivest’s presentation, which takes listeners on a journey through the development of the field of cryptography. From the ancient Greeks who discovered prime number factorization to Rivest’s...
  • Goldwasser Named 2011 IEEE Award Winner Shafi Goldwasser, the RSA Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at MIT and a principal investigator at CSAIL, has been named the 2011 winner of the IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers) Emanuel R. Piore Award. According to the IEE, Goldwasser was honored, “For pioneering work in laying the foundations of modern cryptography and its relation to...
  • Winston Honored As MacVicar Faculty Fellow Patrick H. Winston, the Ford Professor of Artificial Intelligence and Computer Science at MIT and a principal investigator at CSAIL, has been named a 2011 MacVicar Faculty Fellow in recognition of his outstanding dedication to undergraduate education. MIT faculty members are selected each year for this distinction, which they hold for a 10-year period.
    Professor Winston teaches the undergraduate...
  • With A Bang, New Admits Welcomed To CSAIL “Go forth and ideate,” said Professor Srini Devadas to the crowd of students gathered in Kiva for Visitors Weekend this past Sunday. Devadas, a member of CSAIL and Interim Head of the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at MIT, kicked off an exciting introduction to the lab by encouraging recent MIT admits to have “Eureka moments” while undertaking...
  • Computation and the Transformation of Practically EverythingCSAIL Spotlight image"Computation and the Transformation of Practically Everything," April 11-12, 2011, will celebrate the evolution of the Information Age and MIT's contributions. The event will bring together early and recent pioneers from a variety of fields to review the role computation has played in the past and present and to explore frontiers that lie ahead.
    We invite you to join us to hear how...
  • Testing Quantum Computers In a recently released paper, Associate Professor Scott Aaronson proposes an experiment that could help prove the effectiveness of quantum over classical computers. The goal of the paper, according to Aaronson, is to fill the gap between what is believed to be true about quantum computers and what researchers can currently show to be true.
    Aaronson, along with his PhD student Alex Arkhipov...
  • Rivest Honored With Lifetime Achievement Award Professor Ronald L. Rivest has been awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award at the RSA Conference, a global seminar for information security professionals. Rivest, the Viterbi Professor of Computer Science at MIT and a leader of the Cyrptography and Information Security Group at CSAIL, was honored for his work with public key cryptography.
    Professors Rivest, Adi Shamir and Leonard Adleman are...
  • Expanding the Potential of Multicore Computing In the quest to maintain a continuous doubling of computing power, CSAIL is leading the way, thanks to a grant from the U.S. Department of Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency. Led by CSAIL Professor Anant Agarwal, a team of 19 MIT researchers has joined forces on the Angstrom project, which is dedicated to building and creating the computer chip architectures of the future.
    MIT News is...
  • A Modern Approach to Radar As CSAIL Olympians raced through the Stata Center one evening last month playing an intense game of laser tag, Course VI undergrad Gustavo Goretkin sat quietly in the hallway outside of 32-123 forming a synthetic aperture radar (SAR) image with a radar constructed from two Maxwell House coffee cans. Goretkin, who is participating in UROP at CSAIL with the Learning and Intelligent Systems Group,...
  • Gallagher Wins Contest With Magic Button Interface If you need a little dose of magic in your life look no further than a new interface developed by CSAIL’s Garratt Gallagher. Using a Microsoft Kinect video game system in conjunction with ROS (open-source Robot Operating Software developed by Willow Garage), this Systems Robotics Engineer has created Customizable Buttons, a program that operates in a magical manner.
    The program works a...
  • Registration Open for Computation Symposium As we go about our daily lives the influence of the Information Age can be seen almost everywhere, from how we communicate with co-workers and family members throughout the day to the ways in which we gather and share news, manage our bank accounts and even how we enjoy an evening of entertainment.
  • CSAIL Members PromotedMIT’s Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science and the MIT Corporation have announced the promotion of three CSAIL members.
    Principal Investigators Erik Demaine and Piotr Indyk have been named full professors and Principal Investigator Wojciech Matusik has been named an associate professor.
  • Katz Explains Contributions To Watson Jeopardy! Challenge When the theme music for Jeopardy! fades into the background tonight and the race for the buzzer begins, Watson, IBM’s question answering computing system, will be relying on several ideas and algorithms, including ones originally developed at CSAIL by Principal Research Scientist Boris Katz.
    When IBM set out to create a computing system that could compete on and win Jeopardy!, the...
  • Professor Grimson Named MIT Chancellor Eric Grimson - a professor of Computer Science and Engineering at MIT, the Bernard Gordon Professor of Medical Engineering, head of the Institute’s Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science and a principal investigator at CSAIL - has been named the next chancellor of MIT. Grimson will assume his new role on March 1, 2011.
  • Pentagon Officials Explore CSAIL CSAIL played host to an entourage of high-level United States government officials on Thursday, February 10 when Deputy Secretary of Defense William J. Lynn, III, visited the lab to learn about the latest advances in computer science.
    On what Lynn referred to as a “reconnaissance trip,” he toured the robotics labs of Professors Daniela Rus, Russ Tedrake, Seth Teller and Nicholas...
  • CSAIL & MIT Libraries Awarded Grant for 'Exhibit' Upgrade In collaboration with CSAIL and Zepheira, LLC, MIT Libraries has been awarded a $650,000 grant from the United States Library of Congress to create a new version of Exhibit, an open source platform that allows users to create websites packed with advanced search, filtering and visualization features. The goal for the updated version, Exhibit 3.0, is to create software that will be useful for...