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Research is the lifeblood of CSAIL. Applying computational thinking and advanced technologies, we pose difficult questions and pursue innovative answers. While research is our core activity, we view it not as an end in itself but as a means to an end. The goal is not merely to build our knowledge but rather to impact our world. Ultimately, our research is intended to someday improve the way we live, work, and play; heal, travel, and learn; manage our lives, and care for our environment. READ MORE >>
May 19, 2016Computer science and engineering, a.k.a. CS or Course 6-3, was the most heavily enrolled major at MIT in the 2015-2016 academic year, with 594 undergraduates. The major has grown rapidly over the last several years, and with this growth CS faculty noticed students were starting out with a range of
May 17, 2016Researchers at CSAIL and Oxford say that the location stamps on just a handful of Twitter posts — as few as eight over the course of a single day — can be enough to disclose the addresses of the poster’s home and workplace to a relatively low-tech snooper.
The tweets themselves might be otherwise
May 12, 2016In experiments involving a simulation of the human esophagus and stomach, researchers at CSAIL, the University of Sheffield, and the Tokyo Institute of Technology have demonstrated a tiny origami robot that can unfold itself from a swallowed capsule and, steered by external magnetic fields, crawl
May 10, 2016Many diseases, such as cancer, diabetes, and schizophrenia, tend to be passed down through families. After researchers sequenced the human genome about 15 years ago, they had high hopes that this trove of information would reveal the genes that underlie these strongly heritable diseases.
May 06, 2016For as long as Leilani Battle can remember, she has always loved video games. Raised mostly outside of Seattle, (her father was in the navy), Battle followed her affinity for games through her study of computer science at the University of Washington before applying to MIT. Her passion morphed into
May 05, 2016CSAIL principal investigator Nancy Lynch is one of four MIT faculty members elected to the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) in recognition of their “distinguished and continuing achievements in original research.”Lynch is the NEC Professor of Software Science and Engineering in the Department of
May 01, 2016With the “Game of Thrones” season starting this week, fans have been feverishly discussing the show and its many polarizing characters. Who’s the meanest? The sexiest? The most memorable? For that last one, MIT scientists are on the case. Researchers from MIT’s Computer Science and
April 28, 2016This week MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL) received an unusual package: a six-foot-tall, 300-pound humanoid robot that NASA hopes to have serve on future space missions to Mars and beyond.A team of researchers led by CSAIL principal investigator Russ Tedrake
April 25, 2016A team from CSAIL has won a prestigious analytics award based on their research about how digitally-connected tools could be used to help diagnose brain disorders.
A decade-long partnership between MIT professor Randall Davis and Dr. Dana Penney of the Lahey Hospital and Medical Center in
April 21, 2016Planning algorithms for teams of robots fall into two categories: centralized algorithms, in which a single computer makes decisions for the whole team, and decentralized algorithms, in which each robot makes its own decisions based on local observations.
With centralized algorithms, if the
April 20, 2016MIT has offered courses on everything from pirate training to “street-fighting math,” but a new robotics class is truly one for the birds.
This spring, a hands-on course housed at MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL) took students on a trip to “Duckietown.” The
April 18, 2016One reason we don’t yet have robot personal assistants buzzing around doing our chores is because making them is hard. Assembling robots by hand is time-consuming, while automation — robots building other robots — is not yet fine-tuned enough to make robots that can do complex tasks.
April 18, 2016Today’s security systems usually fall into one of two categories: human or machine. So-called “analyst-driven solutions” rely on rules created by living experts and therefore miss any attacks that don’t match the rules. Meanwhile, today’s machine-learning approaches rely on “anomaly detection,”
April 15, 2016
By exploiting some peculiarities of the popular Web programming framework Ruby on Rails, CSAIL researchers have developed a system that can quickly comb through tens of thousands of lines of application code to find security flaws.
In tests on 50 popular Web applications written using
April 12, 2016A team that includes CSAIL researchers has designed a “flying monkey” robot that walks, grasps, flies, and clocks in at less than 1/10th of a pound. Modeled after the male stag beetle, the robot is part of a new class of robots capable of interacting with and modifying their surroundings, by using
April 06, 2016One reason we don’t yet have robot personal assistants buzzing around doing our chores is because making them is hard. Assembling robots by hand is time-consuming, while automation — robots building other robots — is not yet fine-tuned enough to make robots that can do complex tasks.
But if humans
March 31, 2016We’ve all been there, impatiently twiddling our thumbs while trying to locate a WiFi signal. But what if, instead, the WiFi could locate us?
According to researchers at MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL), it could mean safer drones, smarter homes, and password-
March 25, 2016The Microsoft Kinect was a boon to robotics researchers. The cheap, off-the-shelf depth sensor allowed them to quickly and cost-effectively prototype innovative systems that enable robots to map, interpret, and navigate their environments.
But sensors like the Kinect, which use infrared light to
March 24, 2016For people struggling with obesity, logging calorie counts and other nutritional information at every meal is a proven way to lose weight. The technique does require consistency and accuracy, however, and when it fails, it’s usually because people don't have the time to find and record all the
March 18, 2016Most people with smartphones use a range of applications that collect personal information and store it on Internet-connected servers — and from their desktop or laptop computers, they connect to Web services that do the same. Some use still other Internet-connected devices, such as thermostats or
March 09, 2016There are few things more frustrating than a slow-loading webpage. For companies, what’s even worse is what comes after: users abandoning their site in droves. Amazon, for example, estimates that every 100-millisecond delay cuts their profits by 1 percent.To help combat this problem, researchers
March 07, 2016Researchers at MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL) have developed a new system that allows Web users to share self-selected aspects of their online activity with their friends and the general public. The hope is to give users themselves, as well as academics and
February 17, 2016Autonomous robots performing a joint task send each other continual updates: “I’ve passed through a door and am turning 90 degrees right.” “After advancing 2 feet I’ve encountered a wall. I’m turning 90 degrees right.” “After advancing 4 feet I’ve encountered a wall.” And so on.
February 15, 2016
Planning algorithms are widely used in logistics and control. They can help schedule flights and bus routes, guide autonomous robots, and determine control policies for the power grid, among other things.
In recent years, planning algorithms have begun to factor in uncertainty — variations
February 12, 2016
This month it was announced that CSAIL researchers Nir Shavit and Charles Leiserson will be participating in a cross-institutional consortium project at Harvard focused on brain-mapping.Merging the disciplines of data science and neuroscience, the Machine Intelligence from Cortical Networks (
February 02, 2016
Researchers at CSAIL and MIT's Microsystems Research Laboratories (MTL) have developed a low-power chip for processing 3-D camera data that could help visually impaired people navigate their environments. The chip consumes only one-thousandth as much power as a conventional computer
January 29, 2016CSAIL researchers have developed a machine-learning system that can comb through repairs to open-source computer programs and learn their general properties, in order to produce new repairs for a different set of programs.
The researchers tested their system on a set of programming errors, culled
January 19, 2016Getting drones to fly around without hitting things is no small task. Obstacle-detection and motion-planning are two of computer science’s trickiest challenges, because of the complexity involved in creating real-time flight plans that avoid obstacles and handle surprises like wind and weather.
January 05, 2016The new Toyota Research Institute (TRI) - a $1 billion investment in artificial intelligence - aims to reduce traffic casualties, develop cars capable of navigating without human input, and advance the field of autonomous systems. This week TRI announced the advisory board and initial technical
January 04, 2016We humans take for granted our remarkable ability to predict things that happen around us. For example, consider Rube Goldberg machines: One of the reasons we enjoy them is because we can watch a chain-reaction of objects fall, roll, slide and collide, and anticipate what happens next.
But how do
December 23, 2015Object-recognition systems are beginning to get pretty good — and in the case of Facebook’s face-recognition algorithms, frighteningly good.
But object-recognition systems are typically trained on millions of visual examples, which is a far cry from how humans learn. Show a human two or three
December 16, 2015Researchers from MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL) have created an algorithm that can predict how memorable or forgettable an image is almost as accurately as humans — and they plan to turn it into an app that subtly tweaks photos to make them more memorable.
December 10, 2015
Researchers at CSAIL, New York University, and the University of Toronto have developed a computer system whose ability to produce a variation of a character in an unfamiliar writing system, on the first try, is indistinguishable from that of humans.
That means that the system in some sense
December 08, 2015It’s been a busy year for MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL). Researchers won the Turing Award, created groundbreaking algorithms to fix code and detect disease, and developed exciting new robots and artificial-intelligence systems. As 2015 comes to a close,
December 07, 2015
Anonymity networks, which sit on top of the public Internet, are designed to conceal people’s Web-browsing habits from prying eyes. The most popular of these, Tor, has been around for more than a decade and is used by millions of people every day.
Recent research, however, has shown that
November 23, 2015This week CSAIL principal investigator Victor W. Zue was one of three MIT faculty members to be elected as a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), according to the journal Science.
The new fellows are part of a group of 347 AAAS members elected by their
November 20, 2015CSAIL principal investigator Ruth Rosenholtz was on Science Friday today to discuss her research applying computer-vision techniques to transit maps. Her computer models are capable of determining how well people will comprehend a subway map (or other complex visualizations) in a
November 19, 2015CSAIL researchers have found that much of the data transferred to and from the 500 most popular free applications for Google Android cellphones make little or no difference to the user’s experience.
Of those “covert” communications, roughly half appear to be initiated by standard Android analytics
November 17, 2015This week NASA announced that MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL) is one of just two institutions who will receive “R5,” a six-foot, 290-pound humanoid robot also known as “Valkyrie” that will serve on future space missions to Mars and beyond.
Full story here.
November 17, 2015This week NASA announced that MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL) is one of just two institutions who will receive “R5,” a six-foot, 290-pound humanoid robot also known as “Valkyrie” that will serve on future space missions to Mars and beyond.A group led by
November 13, 2015
As smartphones become people’s primary computers and their primary cameras, there is growing demand for mobile versions of image-processing applications.
Image processing, however, can be computationally intensive and could quickly drain a cellphone’s battery. Some mobile applications try to
November 05, 2015
At the Siggraph Asia conference this week, MIT researchers presented a pair of papers describing techniques for either magnifying or smoothing out small variations in digital images.
The techniques could be used to produce more polished images for graphic-design projects, or, applied in the
November 05, 2015Spend 10 minutes on social media, and you’ll learn that people love infographics. But why, exactly, do we gravitate towards articles with titles like “24 Diagrams to Help You Eat Healthier” and “All You Need To Know About Beer In One Chart”? Do they actually serve their purpose of not only
November 04, 2015By exploiting the graphics-rendering software that powers sports video games, researchers at MIT and the Qatar Computing Research Institute (QCRI) have developed a system that automatically converts 2-D video of soccer games into 3-D.
The converted video can be played back over any 3-D device —
November 02, 2015A researcher from MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Lab (CSAIL) has developed an obstacle-detection system that allows a drone to autonomously dip, dart and dive through a tree-filled field at upwards of 30 miles per hour. (Full story)
November 02, 2015This week MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Lab (CSAIL) announced that it has received a $1 million gift from MasterCard that will go towards the research efforts of Tim Berners-Lee, inventor of the World Wide Web and co-leader of the lab’s Decentralized Information Group.
October 30, 2015In creating what looks to be a simple children’s musical instrument—a xylophone with keys in the shape of zoo animals—computer scientists at CSAIL, Columbia, Harvard and Disney Research have demonstrated that sound can be controlled by 3D-printing shapes.
The team designed an optimization
October 29, 2015Researchers from MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Lab have developed a soft robotic cube that uses a series of spring-loaded metal tongues to jump, bounce and roll along rocky terrain.
The three-inch-wide, seven-ounce cube is able to jump more than
October 28, 2015A team of researchers at MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Lab (CSAIL) has long believed that wireless signals like WiFi can be used to see things that are invisible to the naked eye.
Since 2013, CSAIL researchers have been developing technologies that use wireless signals to track
October 27, 2015
“Indistinguishability obfuscation” is a powerful concept that would yield provably secure versions of every cryptographic system we’ve ever developed and all those we’ve been unable to develop. But nobody knows how to put it into practice.
Last week, at the IEEE Symposium on Foundations of