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  • Prof. Scott Aaronson debunks chatbot that "passed Turing Test" (NPR)CSAIL researcher Scott Aaronson went on NPR this week to debunk the notion that a chatbot actually passed the Turing Test this past week. He said that the chatbot, dubbed "Eugene Goostman", doesn't seem much more evolved than Eliza, the robo-therapist that MIT computer scientists...
  • Central heating that follows you around - WiTrack helps power "Local Warming" As great an innovation as central heating is, it's also a costly and energy-intensive one. Enter "Local Warming," a new system created by MIT researchers that establishes personal climates around individuals – an alternative to heating entire buildings. Led by the ...
  • Watch out, Bitcoin - CSAIL researchers help develop virtual currency that's actually anonymousOne of the biggest myths out there about Bitcoin is that it’s anonymous. Sure, you can theoretically make purchases without revealing your personal info, but your entire payment history is still on public view, including the origin and destination addresses and even your running account...
  • CSAIL Spotlight imageCongratulations to the CSAIL class of 2014!On June 6, MIT held its 148th commencement ceremony. We here at CSAIL would like to congratulate our 2013-2014 graduates and wish them good luck on the next leg of their journey! Below is the complete list of CSAIL students matriculating in both Masters and PhD programs.
  • CSAIL celebrates graduating PhDs with 2nd annual symposiumOn Wednesday, CSAIL held its second annual PhD symposium and reception to celebrate the 49 students who graduated during the 2013-2014 academic year. Nine doctoral graduates gave brief presentations on their theses, with topics that ranged from using data in order to prevent infections, to creating...
  • CSAIL's Michael Sipser named dean of MIT's School of ScienceCSAIL researcher Michael Sipser was recently named dean of MIT's School of Science. Head of the Department of Mathematics since 2004, Sipser has served as the school’s interim dean since December, when he was chosen to replace Marc Kastner, the Donner Professor of Physics; in November,...
  • Bake your own robot - printable bots that self-assemble when heatedPrintable robots — those that can be assembled from parts produced by 3-D printers — have long been a topic of research in the lab of CSAIL Director Daniela Rus. At this year’s IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation, Rus’ group and its collaborators...
  • Prof. John Leonard offers reality check on Google's self-driving carsCSAIL researcher John Leonard, who pioneered one of the basic navigation techniques used in autonomous vehicles, has been optimistic if a bit skeptical about Google's much-hyped self-driving cars. He has taken his camera to the streets of Cambridge to hunt for situations that might be...
  • CSAIL expert weighs in on whether Google's latest gadget is a legitimate quantum computerIs Google's latest gadget - called "the D-Wave" - a legitimate quantum computer? Wired Magazine recently explored the issue with quantum scientists like CSAIL's Scott Aaronson. From the article: Quantum computing is so new and so weird that no one is entirely sure whether the D-Wave is a...
  • Melding computation with imagination: Fox Harrell's work on "Phantasmal Media"As the only CSAIL researcher with a dual appointment in MIT's program in Comparative Media Studies/Writing, Fox Harrell occupies an unusual spot in academia. In his research group, the Imagination, Computation, and Expression Laboratory (ICE), Harrell and his students take formal analyses of...
  • Want to blend in? New algorithms produces instant-camouflageIf a bulky electrical box has to be placed at the edge of a public park, what’s the best way to conceal it so that it won’t detract from its surroundings? How about an air-conditioning condenser beside a historical building, or a portable toilet along a scenic trail? At the conference...
  • From CSAIL to CEO of the biggest web entity you've (probably) never heard ofDr. Tom Leighton, a former CSAIL researcher and MIT professor, co-founded what the New York Times has described as "one of the most important web companies that most people haven't heard of."
  • White House & MIT release reports on big data and privacyThe White House and the MIT both separately released reports on big data and privacy this past week. The White House report stemmed from a 90-day review undertaken by White Counselor John Podesta that included a day-long workshop hosted by the MIT Big Data Initiative at CSAIL. In...
  • New algorithm uses NLP techniques to efficiently search video for actionsWho did what? Techniques from natural-language processing enable computers to efficiently search video for actions. CAMBRIDGE, Mass. -- With the commodification of digital cameras, digital video has become so easy to produce that human beings can have trouble keeping up with it. Among the tools...
  • Could CSAIL's Andrew Lo help prevent another mortgage bubble?From today's Chicago Tribune: A few years ago, famed financial engineer Andrew Lo built a computer model that allowed one of the biggest U.S. banks to figure out which customers were most likely to fall behind on credit-card payments. More recently, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology...
  • Professor Zeldovich earns tenureEffective July 1, Professor Nickolai Zeldovich has been promoted to the rank of Associate Professor With Tenure.   From the official announcement by Anantha Chandrakasan, head of the Electrical Engineering and Computer Science (EECS) department: Zeldovich is a star in the field of...
  • New computer system automatically solves word problemsCSAIL researchers, working with colleagues at the University of Washington, have developed a new computer system that can automatically solve the type of word problems common in introductory algebra classes. In the near term, the work could lead to educational tools that identify errors in...
  • Soft robots - the future of AI?In a story about the emerging importance of soft robotics, The Verge recently profiled the soft robotic fish developed by CSAIL Director Daniela Rus and graduate student Andrew Marchese. Read more here. Check out a video of the fish in action: 
  • CSAIL researchers' competition videos prove that “science is awesome”
  • Improve your self(ie): MIT researcher can predict a photo’s popularityWant to rack up more views for your selfie? We can't all take our photos with the president, but a new tool developed by an MIT PhD can help us predict how popular our photos will be.
  • Charles Leiserson receives ACM Kanellakis Award CSAIL researcher Charles E. Leiserson was announced today as one of the winners of the 2013 Association for Computing Machinery’s (ACM) Paris Kanellakis Theory and Practice Award, alongside his former PhD student Robert D. Blumofe,  for contributions to robust parallel and...
  • CSAIL Spotlight image50 ways that MIT has transformed computing: CSAIL celebrates 50 years of computer science with MAC50 symposium 50 ways that MIT has transformed computer science
  • Aude Oliva named 2014 Guggenheim FellowCSAIL research scientist Aude Oliva has been named a 2014 Guggenheim Fellow in recognition of her contributions to the field of computer science. According to its website, the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation appoints Fellows "on the basis of impressive achievement in the past...
  • CSAIL Spotlight imageCSAIL's National Robotics Week Demo Day draws Boston Mayor Marty Walsh, high school students
  • The "Complexonaut" - Prof. Scott Aaronson discusses his adventures in quantum computingWhen he was in elementary school, Scott Aaronson, like many mathematically precocious kids of his generation, dreamed of making his own video games. He had only the foggiest notion of what that entailed, however.
  • Big, fast, weird dataThe “Big Data” research that continues to dominate IT agendas has traditionally focused on making sense of the growing volumes of computer data. Yet in recent years, the volume question has given way to the other V’s of Big Data: velocity and variety.
  • New object-orientation algorithm could aid robots in navigation, scene understandingSuppose you’re trying to navigate an unfamiliar section of a big city, and you’re using a particular cluster of skyscrapers as a reference point. Traffic and one-way streets force you to take some odd turns, and for a while you lose sight of your landmarks. When they reappear, in order...
  • Dina Katabi named Andrew (1956) and Erna Viterbi Professor of EECSCSAIL researcher Dina Katabi has been selected for the Andrew (1956) and Erna Viterbi Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at MIT. In his announcement, EECS Department Head Anantha Chandraksan said that Katabi "is an ideal candidate for this professorship...
  • Is gesture control in our future? CSAIL alum's new company 3Gear raises $1.9 millionCould our days using mice and trackpads be numbered?  A former CSAIL PhD is co-founder of 3Gear Systems, which is soon coming to market with a small, camera-controlled device that tracks your hand movements to control your PC. It’s raised $1.9 million in funding from investors...
  • CSAIL team earns top honors for printable bots at IEEE competitionThis week researchers from MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL) received top honors in multiple categories at an international competition focused on designing affordable, classroom-friendly robots. The team from CSAIL Director Daniela Rus’ Distributed...
  • Democratizing data visualizationsIn 2007, members of CSAIL's Haystack Group released a set of Web development tools called “Exhibit.” Exhibit lets novices quickly put together interactive data visualizations, such as maps with sortable data embedded in them; sortable tables that automatically pull in upd
  • New Web-app platform keeps user data private - and PRISM-proofResearchers at CSAIL have just developed an innovative platform for building web services that keeps user data encrypted at all times and only decrypts it on the user's own computer - helping to prevent hackers, major...
  • Could a CSAIL technology help stamp out phony Bigfoot photos?In 2012, CSAIL researchers developed a video-magnification system that allows you to notice and amplify imperceptible body movements - with applications everywhere from lie detection and law enforcement to being able to detect someone's heart rate just by looking at them. Little did they know...
  • CSAIL Demo Day (Monday, April 7) - schedule and backgroundDemo summaries
  • Cross-training: helping robots, humans work togetherFor MIT professor and CSAIL researcher Julie Shah, cross-training doesn't refer to what you're doing in the weight room - it's an innovative new method of teaching humans and robots to work together on factory tasks in a way that's easy, safe and more productive. Read a recent profile of Shah...
  • New parallel-programming research may help make our computers fasterComputer chips have stopped getting faster: The regular performance improvements we’ve come to expect are now the result of chipmakers’ adding more cores, or processing units, to their chips, rather than increasing their clock speed. In theory, doubling the number of cores doubles...
  • CSAIL researcher to discuss virtual worlds & culture at MIT Museum 3/27MIT Associate Professor and CSAIL researcher D. Fox Harrell will be at the MIT Museum March 27 for an evening discussion titled "Creating Cultures in Virtual Worlds." Part of the museum's TalkBack 360 series, the 6 p.m. event also features Todd Harper from the MIT Game Lab...
  • Tomas Lozano-Pérez receives MIT's top undergrad teaching honorTomas Lozano-Pérez was one of five professors to be named to the MacVicar Faculty Fellows Program, MIT's top undergraduate teaching honor. Every year, the program recognizes a handful of professors who are exceptional undergraduate teachers, educational innovators, and mentors. Lozano-P...
  • CSAIL leaders visit Qatar as part of $35m CS collaborationThis month CSAIL leaders will be traveling to Doma, Qatar to visit representatives at the Qatar Foundation's Qatar Computing Research Institute (QRCI), two years into a seven-year, $35 million agreement to collaborate on a wide-range of research topics in computer science.  The...
  • DRL group’s soft robotic fish moves like real thingA CSAIL team led by Director Daniela Rus has developed a soft robotic fish that moves like the real thing.
  • The Web at 25: looking back at CSAIL PI Tim Berners-Lee's invention25 years ago today, CSAIL PI Tim Berners-Lee sent his colleagues at CERN an "Information Management" proposal for a system of distributed hypertexts. It didn't sound too revolutionary at the time. ("Vague but exciting!," his boss told him.) Little did we...
  • Former CSAIL researcher earns EATC's Presburger Award A former CSAIL graduate student just earned EATCS's prestigious Presburger Award. David Woodruff, who graduated in 2007 after working with Principal Investigator Piotyr Indyk in CSAIL's Theory of Computation group, received the honor that has been given annually to a young scientist for...
  • Agarwal on MOOCS: completion rates aren't everything (HuffPo)CSAIL researcher Anant Agarwal, who serves as president of edX, recently wrote a piece for Huffington Post about why it's important to look at more than just completion rates in assessing the value and success of massive open-online courses (MOOCs). From HuffPo:  "The goals of our...
  • Big Data for Boston: to improve transport, city enlists MIT students to crunch numbersBy Adam Conner-Simons What happens when you give a bunch of MIT students GPS information on more than 2.3 million Boston taxi rides, and then offer them a cash prize to get creative with the data? That was the idea behind the inaugural MIT Big Data Challenge organized by the MIT Big Data Initiative...
  • CSAIL researcher's machine-learning algorithm could help analyze flight delays & social networks.CSAIL PI Alan Willsky and graduate student Ying Liu have developed a machine-learning algorithm that extends an artificial-intelligence technique to new tasks and could aid in the analysis of flight delays and social networks. In a paper being presented in December at the annual...
  • VIDEO: CSAIL Director Daniela Rus speaks at Davos about robots in manufacturingAt the World Economic Forum 2014, CSAIL Director Daniela Rus spoke about the notion of fabrication in the digital age and her dream of making robots accessible to everyday people. She has worked on developing printable robots that she imagines us soon being able to order from Kinko's to play...
  • Do baseball managers remove starting pitchers too early? New research tackles sports analyticsA unique model built by two CSAIL researchers indicates that major-league baseball managers have significant room to improve their decision-making. At this weekend's MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference (SSAC), EECS professor John Guttag and CSAIL PhD student Gartheeban...
  • System that automatically fills in gaps in code becomes more powerfulSince he was a graduate student, Armando Solar-Lezama, an associate professor in MIT’s Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, has been working on a programming language called Sketch, which allows programmers to simply omit some of the computational details of their...
  • CSAIL Spotlight imageRobots in our pockets? CSAIL panel discusses future of computing at SXSW Interactiveby Adam Conner-Simons From social networks to smartphones, computer science has never played a more central role in our lives, completely transforming how we communicate, work, learn, shop and entertain. As industry leaders like Google grow more interested in what’s happening in robotics...
  • White House to co-host workshop at MIT on 'big data' and privacy March 3As part of President Barack Obama’s call for a review of privacy issues in the context of increased digital information, MIT and the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy will co-host a daylong workshop on “big data” and privacy March 3 at MIT. The event, “Big...
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