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  • Faculty promotions: Chlipala, Golland, Torralba & VaikuntanathanThis week it was announced that four CSAIL researchers have been promoted within the Electrical Engineering and Computer Science (EECS) department. Polina Golland and Antonio Torralba were promoted to full professor, while Adam Chilpala and Vinod Vaikuntanathan were promoted to...
  • TED this week - take a look at past talks by CSAIL researchersThis week Vancouver is hosting the annual TED conference, which brings together executives, technologists and thought leaders to share ideas about technology, education, design and more. To get you in the mood, check out some TED talks given by CSAIL researchers past and present: CSAIL...
  • CSAIL at SXSW 2015 this week: Data (In)securityIn recent years no technology issue has drawn as much debate as data privacy, from revelations about government surveillance to major corporate data breaches. The topic has spurred tough questions about the balance between access and privacy and how to use data to help solve problems without...
  • MIT announces 3 new cybersecurity initiativesMIT Launches Three Institute-Wide Cybersecurity EffortsNew research programs to tackle technical, regulatory and business challenges.CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – On Thursday, March 12, MIT launched three new research endeavors aimed at addressing the technical, regulatory and business challenges of...
  • VIDEO: Worker robots that can "think" on their feetCSAIL roboticists are developing smart assembly-line robots that will learn from experience working alongside humans. Assembly line workers won't be swapping stories with their robotic counterparts any time soon, but future robots will be more aware of the humans they're working alongside.
  • Senior Sheldon Trotman designs programs to streamline human behaviorWhen MIT senior Sheldon Trotman walks into any room, he almost instinctively looks for inefficiencies. The electrical engineering and computer science major is bent on streamlining our world, and has already founded several small companies that aim to do so. Even while meeting at a small coffee...
  • How better machine learning can transform data scienceWhen Kalyan Veeramachaneni joined the Any Scale Learning For All (ALFA) group at MIT’s CSAIL as a postdoc in 2010, he worked on large-scale machine-learning platforms that enable the construction of models from huge data sets. “The question then was how to decompose a learning algorithm and data...
  • How an LED-filled “robot garden” can make coding more accessibleHere’s one way to get kids excited about programming: a "robot garden" with dozens of fast-changing LED lights and more than 100 origami robots that can crawl, swim, and blossom like flowers. A team from CSAIL  and the Department of Mechanical Engineering have developed a tablet-operated...
  • Why robots still can't fold your laundryFolding laundry is simple for people but tough for robots.No machine can yet match a human’s dexterity and problem-solving abilities when attacking a pile of irregular shaped clothes of different fabric types and weight. The difference between picking up a lace nightgown versus unraveling a pair of...
  • Mapping the human epigenomeThe sequencing of the human genome laid the foundation for the study of genetic variation and its links to a wide range of diseases. But the genome itself is only part of the story, as genes can be switched on and off by a range of chemical modifications, known as “epigenetic marks.” Now, a decade...
  • Multicore chips that are smarter, better & fasterComputer chips’ clocks have stopped getting faster. To keep delivering performance improvements, chipmakers are instead giving chips more processing units, or cores, which can execute computations in parallel. But the ways in which a chip carves up computations can make a big difference to...
  • Can an LED-filled “robot garden” make coding more accessible?Here’s one way to get kids excited about programming: a "robot garden" with dozens of fast-changing LED lights and more than 100 origami robots that can crawl, swim, and blossom like flowers. A team from CSAIL  and the Department of Mechanical Engineering have developed a tablet-operated...
  • How to create better how-to videos, using computer scienceEducational researchers have long held that presenting students with clear outlines of the material covered in lectures improves their retention. Recent studies indicate that the same is true of online how-to videos, and in a new paper researchers at CSAIL and Harvard University describe a new...
  • Balakrishnan, Rus elected to National Academy of EngineeringCSAIL principal investigators Hari Balakrishnan and Daniela Rus were among the 67 new members and 12 foreign associates elected today to the National Academy of Engineering (NAE). Election to the NAE is among the highest professional distinctions accorded to American engineers. Academy...
  • 2 new principal investigators to add to lab's machine-learning expertiseThis year CSAIL welcomes new principal investigators Tamara Broderick and Stefanie Jegelka, who have both joined MIT’s Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science (EECS) as assistant professors. Broderick and Jegelka were both most recently at the University of California, Berkeley,...
  • BBC profiles CSAIL's diversity of robotsThis week the BBC focused a entire program to MIT and its innovative research efforts. Much of the episode focused on CSAIL, including the "IkeaBots," "M Blocks," and other projects from CSAIL Director Daniela Rus' group. Skip to 4:25 to see the start of the CSAIL segment:...
  • Revamped "data structure" helps multicore chips maintain performanceEvery undergraduate computer-science major takes a course on data structures, which describes different ways of organizing data in a computer’s memory. Every data structure has its own advantages: Some are good for fast retrieval, some for efficient search, some for quick insertions and deletions,...
  • Silvio Micali named associate department head of EECSDepartment of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science (EECS) head Anantha Chandrakasan has announced the appointment of Professor Silvio Micali as associate department head of EECS, effective Jan. 15. Micali succeeds Professor Bill Freeman, who served in this role and as a member of the...
  • An algorithm that improves pattern recognitionOptimization algorithms, which try to find the minimum values of mathematical functions, are everywhere in engineering. Among other things, they’re used to evaluate design tradeoffs, to assess control systems, and to find patterns in data. One way to solve a difficult optimization problem is to...
  • Our Atlas robot is back!This week DARPA unveiled the new and improved Atlas robot that CSAIL's team will be using at this June's DARPA Robotics Challenge (DRC). The DRC is an international competition in which research teams from academy and industry are trying to develop a fully-autonomous robot...
  • CSAIL honors Anita Borg with special visit day for local studentsThis week CSAIL opened its doors to a diverse group of local high school students as part of a global network of events meant to honor computer science pioneer Anita Borg. The special "CS visit day" included six schools visiting campus for demos, lab tours, discussion sessions,...
  • GPS-less drones? CSAIL spin-off Skydio uses complex computer vision systemsA new start-up called Skydio, co-founded by two former CSAIL researchers, just emerged from a year in stealth mode to receive $3 million in funding for its GPS-less drones that employ sophisticated computer vision algorithms. Read more in The Verge, and check out videos from the team's work in...
  • Obama, UK PM Cameron announce CSAIL cybersecurity competitionAs part of a series of cybersecurity initiatives made public today during British Prime Minister David Cameron’s visit with President Barack Obama, the two nations announced that MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL) will face off against the University of Cambridge...
  • A better Siri? Planning software evaluates success probabilitiesImagine that you could tell your phone that you want to drive from your house in Boston to a hotel in upstate New York, that you want to stop for lunch at an Applebee’s at about 12:30, and that you don’t want the trip to take more than four hours. Then imagine that your phone tells you that you...
  • Learn about Big Data online! Enroll now in CSAIL-taught course with MIT Professional EducationSign Up Now for Spring Session of "Tackling the Challenges of Big Data"Starting February 3 MIT Professional Education will be offering a new installment of the online professional course, "Tackling the Challenges of Big Data". Twelve faculty experts from CSAIL will lead the course with enhanced...
  • Want a personal robot? This new object-recognition algorithm could helpFor household robots ever to be practical, they’ll need to be able to recognize the objects they’re supposed to manipulate. But while object recognition is one of the most widely studied topics in artificial intelligence, even the best object detectors still fail much of the time. CSAIL ...
  • 5 CSAIL PIs named 2014 ACM fellows - more than any other institutionToday the Association for Computer Machinery (ACM) announced its 2014 fellows, and among the awardees were five researchers from CSAIL — more than any other academic institution in the world. Srini Devadas, Eric Grimson, Robert Morris, Ronitt Rubinfeld, and CSAIL Director Daniela Rus were among...
  • Two CSAIL researchers make Forbes' "30 under 30" listTwo CSAIL researchers were named to Forbes magazine's fourth-annual "30 under 30" list, which honors today's "greatest gathering of young game changers, movers and makers." Graduate student Fadel Adib was recognized for his contributions in Dina Katabi's Networks@MIT group that...
  • 8 of the coolest things that happened at CSAIL this yearIt’s been a busy year for CSAIL. Researchers celebrated the lab’s 50th anniversary, created groundbreaking algorithms to magnify video and predict Bitcoin prices, and developed exciting new robots that can walk, talk, fly and swim. As 2014 comes to a close, we thought we’d look back on a few...
  • Taking the grunt work out of Web developmentA Web page today is the result of a number of interacting components — like cascading style sheets, XML code, ad hoc database queries, and JavaScript functions. For all but the most rudimentary sites, keeping track of how these different elements interact, refer to each other, and pass data back...
  • Arvind elected as India National Academy of Sciences Foreign FellowCSAIL researcher Arvind has been elected as Foreign Fellow to the India National Academy of Sciences. The Charles W. and Jennifer C. Johnson Professor in Computer Science, Arvind has contributed to the development of dynamic dataflow architectures, the implicitly-parallel programming...
  • Could birdsong help us solve stuttering?Think that sparrow whistling outside your bedroom window is nothing more than pleasant background noise?  A new paper from a CSAIL researcher suggests that we can apply what we know about songbirds to our understanding of human speech production — and, therefore, come closer to...
  • CSAIL PhDs' discuss gender in STEMs on Wired & RedditAs part of CSAIL's "Hour of Code" efforts this past week, on three CSAIL PhD students (Elena Glassman, Neha Narula and Jean Yang) participated in an "Ask Me Anything" (AMA) session on Reddit, where they answered questions about CSAIL, programming, academia and what it's like to be women in...
  • More-flexible digital communicationCommunication protocols for digital devices are very efficient but also very brittle: They require information to be specified in a precise order with a precise number of bits. If sender and receiver — say, a computer and a printer — are off by even a single bit relative to each other,...
  • CSAIL opens lab to 150 local students for "Hour of Code"Yesterday CSAIL hosted 150 local students for its first annual “Hour of Code” demo fair, tied to the international initiative aimed at getting young people excited about programming. Researchers showed off their work to math and computer science students from schools throughout greater Boston,...
  • MIT's new "Solve" event focused on future of technology to be curated by Agarwal & BrooksMIT will convene technologists, philanthropists, business leaders, policymakers, and social-change agents Oct. 5-8, 2015, for the launch of “Solve,” an effort to galvanize these leaders to drive progress on complex, important global challenges that MIT has singled out as urgent and ripe for...
  • Computers that teach by exampleComputers are good at identifying patterns in huge data sets. Humans, by contrast, are good at inferring patterns from just a few examples. In a paper appearing at the Neural Information Processing Society’s conference next week, CSAIL researchers present a new system that bridges these two...
  • Can Facebook spot terrorist behavior online? Daniel Weitzner discusses in the GuardianThe UK parliament’s intelligence and security committee recently suggested that Facebook and other internet platforms “take responsibility” for detecting terrorist activity online, in much the way that search engines can find child abuse images. But in the Guardian, CSAIL researcher Daniel...
  • Reinventing the Internet to make it saferCSAIL cybersecurity expert Howard Shrobe was prominently featured in the New York Times' special "Security" section this week. From "Reinventing the Internet to Make it Safer": With the advent of cloud computing and shiny new phones, tablets and watches, it can be easy to forget that in...
  • Stata: one of 10 reasons "why MIT is beautiful" this fallThe Stata Center made the cut for MIT Admissions' list of "10 Reasons Why MIT is beautiful."  Check out some of the other majestic campus shots taken this fall: http://bit.ly/1z9lp9P
  • New AI start-up Sentient collaborated with CSAIL on medical data analysisThis past week the AI company Sentient Technologies LLC emerged with $103.5 million in new funding. CSAIL researchers that include Una-May O'Reilly have been part of regular collaborations with Sentient on medical-data analysis work related to sepsis, a form of inflammation brought...
  • Shafi Goldwasser joins Lab for Nuclear Security and PolicyCSAIL researcher Shafi Goldwasser recently joined the team at The Department of Nuclear Science and Engineering's Laboratory for Nuclear Security and Policy (LNSP), which just received $3.2 million from the National Nuclear Security Administration to support research that could revolutionize...
  • TOC researcher earns 2014 Infosys Prize for Mathematical SciencesIt was recently announced that Madhu Sudan, an MIT adjunct professor and member of CSAIL's Theory of Computation, has been selected to receive the 2014 Infosys Prize for Mathematical Sciences. Presented by the Infosys Science Foundation in India, the award is given annually to honor...
  • New $15m MIT initiative on cybersecurity policy headed by CSAIL's WeitznerMIT has received $15 million in funding from the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation to establish an initiative aimed at laying the foundations for a smart, sustainable cybersecurity policy to deal with the growing cyber threats faced by governments, businesses, and individuals. The MIT...
  • New $15m MIT initiative on cybersecurity policy headed by CSAIL's Weitzner MIT has received $15 million in funding from the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation to establish an initiative aimed at laying the foundations for a smart, sustainable cybersecurity policy to deal with the growing cyber threats faced by governments, businesses, and individuals. The MIT...
  • Are Netflix & Amazon recommending things right?CSAIL principal investigator Devavrat Shah’s group specializes in analyzing how social networks process information. In 2012, the group demonstrated algorithms that could predict what topics would trend on Twitter up to five hours in advance; this year, they used the same framework to predict...
  • VIDEO: How the Digi-Comp II worksTired of explaining how that big, wooden contraption in Stata works? Check out this video demo of the Digi-Comp II, courtesy of "MIT+k12 videos.   
  • Could tomorrow's clothes morph in response to weather?This week Wired profiled Skylar Tibbits at MIT's Self-Assembly Lab, which is aimed at developing unique new materials that can self-assemble into useful objects like furniture or clothing. Tibbits' work with CSAIL principal investigator Erik Demaine include clothing that would be able to...
  • Former CSAIL director's fear: not enough robotsFormer CSAIL director Rodney Brooks recently talks about his biggest fear: not enough robots in the world. From this month's issue of Boston Magazine:
  • What are the building blocks of human imagination?From MIT Technology Review: Here’s a curious experiment. Take some white noise and use it to produce a set of images that are essentially random arrangements of different coloured blocks. Show these images to a number of people and ask whether any of the images remind them of, say, a car....
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