CSAIL Spotlights

  • Perching Glider Takes a Cue from the Birds

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    September 28, 2010
    It isn't everyday that a computer scientist wins one of the most coveted awards in aeronautics. But when Rick Cory started in Associate Professor Russ Tedrake's Robot Locomotion Group as a Ph.D. student, he wasn't out to conduct robotics as usual. "We were trying to think of a project that could...
  • Sikuli Rethinks Programming

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    April 22, 2010
    For as long as there have been computers, there has been coding. And with coding comes repetition—lots of it. That's always been the basic fact of a programmer's existence, even as computers have become ever more friendly from a user's perspective. That's where Sikuli comes in. The latest from...
  • When Signals Cross

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    April 01, 2010
    The human body and the systems that maintain it are, at their most basic, bundles of crackling electricity. Impulses, currents and waves can be found in every part of our world, and they offer much in the way of information if they can be properly read and interpreted. At the abstract level,...
  • Women In Computer Science

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    February 18, 2010
    In the public eye, computer scientists are often portrayed as dry, secluded – and almost always male. But behind the outdated stereotype, the lab is full of real world applications, exciting collaborations, and researchers of both genders who are working hard to advance the state of the field. For...
  • W3C: Maintaining a Web of Humanity

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    November 25, 2009
    While the “C” in CSAIL stands for computer, it’s not solely what goes on inside a computer that CSAIL researchers care about – especially when what’s running on the computer is the World Wide Web. “When you’re on the Web, you’re not connecting to a computer, you’re connecting to humanity,” says Tim...
  • Multicore Computing

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    July 09, 2009
    Professor Anant Agarwal has a tendency to think big. One recent piece of work has just been donated to the MIT Museum after being documented in the 2007 Guinness Book of World Records as the largest microphone array on the planet – and that was just one component of a larger project. But while...
  • The Center for Robotics: Intelligence in Action

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    July 06, 2009
    The CSAIL Center for Robotics brings together leading experts in robotics who are engaged in research aimed at creating robots that can drive cars, walk, fly, or swim; grasp and assemble arbitrary objects; perceive the world and find their way in buildings and streets; coordinate and form teams;...
  • Agile Robotics: Autonomous Forklift

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    May 30, 2009
    The field of robotics began relatively modestly. Its founders attempted to create simple machines capable of performing tasks or interacting with the world. But in doing so, the first roboticists opened the door to an amazing area of study, rich with possibilities for extraordinary contributions to...
  • Semantic Communication: Uncertainty in the Digital Age

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    May 24, 2009
    CSAIL Professor Madhu Sudan is thinking about communication. His project posits that communication is possible between beings with no common bond of language or shared history. Its direct substantiating case examines a theoretical instance of the third kind, placing extraterrestrials and...
  • Quantum Computing

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    May 24, 2009
    Quantum computing is one of the most fascinating – if counterintuitive – final frontiers in the computing world today. Saddled with technical limitations and the potential impossibility of their pursuit, experimentalists and theoreticians alike have found themselves beset from all sides by...
  • Precision Agriculture: Sustainable Farming in the Age of Robotics

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    April 22, 2009
    Early in the fall of 2008, students began gathering before a raised platform of fake grass. The artificial turf was adorned with evenly spaced tomato plants, nestled in sensible terra cotta pots. And while the small cluster of plants and grow lamps might have seemed incongruous under other...
  • Industry Affiliates Program: Bridging the Lab and the Marketplace

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    September 14, 2008
    The value of academic research is traditionally measured by its contribution to the world’s inventory of knowledge, through theses, papers, and physical artifacts. At CSAIL, we also view research as a practical matter – placing additional emphasis on designing and building technologies and...
  • Project Qmulus: Building An Integrated Virtual Information Environment

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    July 07, 2008
    Imagine having complete access to your own personalized environment – your notes, presentations, music, TV recordings, photo albums, recipes – from anywhere in the world, anytime. Making this dream a reality is the goal of Project Qmulus, CSAIL’s five-year, $20 million collaboration with Taiwan-...
  • Stata at Five

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    May 24, 2008
    The Ray and Maria Stata Center is a soaring, disorienting, quirky and controversial place to be. Concocted of glass, plywood, brick, cement, industrial steel, titanium, and a palette of paint directly out of Dr. Seuss, its winding staircases, tilted walls, and unexpected corners evoke a playful...
  • CSAIL & Nokia: Dial “C” for Collaboration

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    March 07, 2008
    Over the past four decades, CSAIL has partnered with numerous companies. Yet none of them have been quite like the Nokia and CSAIL collaboration known as Mobile Ecosystem 2012. In fact, CSAIL has worked with Nokia a number of times in the past, yet the current effort is still distinct. According to...
  • Outreach: Empowerment through education and technology

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    January 15, 2008
    The leaders of CSAIL’s outreach programs often get asked the question, “Why is a research lab doing outreach?”

    The answer is quite simple, according to CSAIL Assistant Director Jack Costanza, who is primarily responsible for the infrastructure of CSAIL’s 800-plus person lab. Costanza...
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