News

Spotlighted News

Filter options
  • All
  • Articles
  • Videos
  • Talks
List view

8 of the coolest things that happened at CSAIL this year

It’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 highlights from the year. Reminisce with us as we reflect on some of the exciting research and campus happenings from the past 12 months.Read more at MIT News: bit.ly/1HbFfGh

Arvind elected as India National Academy of Sciences Foreign Fellow

CSAIL 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 languages Id and pH, and the compilation of these types of languages on parallel machines. R. S. Nikhil and Arvind published the book, "Implicit Parallel Programming in pH" in 2001.

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 identifying and potentially even reducing the prevalence of disorders like stuttering and Huntington’s Disease. In a paper published in Science this month, CSAIL postdoc Andreas Pfenning and collaborators at Duke University compared genetic maps of brain tissue from three groups: humans, vocal-learning birds, and non-vocal-learning birds and primates.

CSAIL PhDs' discuss gender in STEMs on Wired & Reddit

As 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 computer science. The AMA swiftly went to the front page of Reddit and received almost 5,000 comments and questions from readers. Some highlights are below. As a result of the AMA, the researchers were inspired to write an oped in Wired magazine about "why gender still matters" in the STEM fields.

MIT's new "Solve" event focused on future of technology to be curated by Agarwal & Brooks

MIT 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 progress. Solve will organize challenges into four content pillars, identified by MIT as strategic targets for interdisciplinary research, problem solving, and collaboration:

More-flexible digital communication

Communication 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, communication between them breaks down entirely.Humans are much more flexible. Two strangers may come to a conversation with wildly differing vocabularies and frames of reference, but they will quickly assess the extent of their mutual understanding and tailor their speech accordingly.

Can Facebook spot terrorist behavior online? Daniel Weitzner discusses in the Guardian

The 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 Weitzner - the former White House deputy chief technology officer for internet policy - argues that having web platforms become "partners in state surveillance" doesn't just threaten free expression and privacy, but may not even make technical sense.

Computers that teach by example

Computers 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 ways of processing information, so that humans and computers can collaborate to make better decisions.

Reinventing the Internet to make it safer

CSAIL 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 many ways our computer systems are still very old.

Shafi Goldwasser joins Lab for Nuclear Security and Policy

CSAIL 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 the verification of international arms-control treaties.The system is a physics manifestation of interactive zero-knowldge proofs, a mathematical concept invented by Goldwasser (and for which she received the 2012 Turing Award).Asked about the project, Goldwasser said, “This is very exciting for me! I have been waiting 30 years to see the ideas behind interactive and zero-knowledge proofs applied to problems outside the realm of mathematics and digital information.”

TOC researcher earns 2014 Infosys Prize for Mathematical Sciences

It 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 outstanding achievements of contemporary researchers and scientists across six categories. Each award carries a prize of a gold medal, a citation and a purse of approximately $90,000.The award was given to Sudan for his contributions to probabilistically checkable proofs and error-correcting codes.

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 morph in response to weather, as well as 3-D printed wood "robots" that respond to external cues and change shape. Read more at Wired or BostInno.

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.Most of the time, these random images will appear to people as, well, random. But every now and again somebody will say that an image does remind them of a car. Set this image aside. And repeat.

Historic quantum software is run for the first time

This week marks the first instance of software demonstrating the potential of quantum computing being run on a real machine - 20 years after the piece of software was first created.South African researchers used a one-way quantum computer to run an algorithm developed in 1994 by University of Montreal's Daniel Simon. That algorithm was the first that showed a quantum computer could solve a problem exponentially faster than an ordinary computer.Experts say that implementing the algorithm could result in more practical computers powered by the strange properties of quantum mechanics.

Researchers predict price of Bitcoin via deep learning

Scientists have crunched data to predict crime, hospital visits, and government uprisings — so why not the price of Bitcoin? A researcher at MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory recently developed a machine-learning algorithm that can predict the price of the infamously volatile cryptocurrency Bitcoin, allowing his team to nearly double its investment over a period of 50 days. Earlier this year, principal investigator Devavrat Shah and recent graduate Kang Zhang - who are both also affiliated with the Laboratory for Information and Decision Systems - collected price data from all major Bitcoin exchanges, every second for five months, accumulating more than 200 million data points.

Shafi Goldwasser gives keynote at 2014 Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing

Professor Shafi Goldwasser gave the keynote address at this week's 2014 Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing, which drew 8,000 attendees from around the world.She spoke about her work in cryptography and theory of computation, and how her gender has informed her career. Watch her keynote here. (Her introduction begins at 47:35 and her talk starts at 48:50.)

Articles

8 of the coolest things that happened at CSAIL this year

It’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 highlights from the year. Reminisce with us as we reflect on some of the exciting research and campus happenings from the past 12 months.Read more at MIT News: bit.ly/1HbFfGh

Arvind elected as India National Academy of Sciences Foreign Fellow

CSAIL 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 languages Id and pH, and the compilation of these types of languages on parallel machines. R. S. Nikhil and Arvind published the book, "Implicit Parallel Programming in pH" in 2001.

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 identifying and potentially even reducing the prevalence of disorders like stuttering and Huntington’s Disease. In a paper published in Science this month, CSAIL postdoc Andreas Pfenning and collaborators at Duke University compared genetic maps of brain tissue from three groups: humans, vocal-learning birds, and non-vocal-learning birds and primates.

CSAIL PhDs' discuss gender in STEMs on Wired & Reddit

As 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 computer science. The AMA swiftly went to the front page of Reddit and received almost 5,000 comments and questions from readers. Some highlights are below. As a result of the AMA, the researchers were inspired to write an oped in Wired magazine about "why gender still matters" in the STEM fields.

MIT's new "Solve" event focused on future of technology to be curated by Agarwal & Brooks

MIT 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 progress. Solve will organize challenges into four content pillars, identified by MIT as strategic targets for interdisciplinary research, problem solving, and collaboration:

More-flexible digital communication

Communication 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, communication between them breaks down entirely.Humans are much more flexible. Two strangers may come to a conversation with wildly differing vocabularies and frames of reference, but they will quickly assess the extent of their mutual understanding and tailor their speech accordingly.

Can Facebook spot terrorist behavior online? Daniel Weitzner discusses in the Guardian

The 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 Weitzner - the former White House deputy chief technology officer for internet policy - argues that having web platforms become "partners in state surveillance" doesn't just threaten free expression and privacy, but may not even make technical sense.

Computers that teach by example

Computers 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 ways of processing information, so that humans and computers can collaborate to make better decisions.

Reinventing the Internet to make it safer

CSAIL 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 many ways our computer systems are still very old.

Shafi Goldwasser joins Lab for Nuclear Security and Policy

CSAIL 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 the verification of international arms-control treaties.The system is a physics manifestation of interactive zero-knowldge proofs, a mathematical concept invented by Goldwasser (and for which she received the 2012 Turing Award).Asked about the project, Goldwasser said, “This is very exciting for me! I have been waiting 30 years to see the ideas behind interactive and zero-knowledge proofs applied to problems outside the realm of mathematics and digital information.”

TOC researcher earns 2014 Infosys Prize for Mathematical Sciences

It 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 outstanding achievements of contemporary researchers and scientists across six categories. Each award carries a prize of a gold medal, a citation and a purse of approximately $90,000.The award was given to Sudan for his contributions to probabilistically checkable proofs and error-correcting codes.

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 morph in response to weather, as well as 3-D printed wood "robots" that respond to external cues and change shape. Read more at Wired or BostInno.

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.Most of the time, these random images will appear to people as, well, random. But every now and again somebody will say that an image does remind them of a car. Set this image aside. And repeat.

Historic quantum software is run for the first time

This week marks the first instance of software demonstrating the potential of quantum computing being run on a real machine - 20 years after the piece of software was first created.South African researchers used a one-way quantum computer to run an algorithm developed in 1994 by University of Montreal's Daniel Simon. That algorithm was the first that showed a quantum computer could solve a problem exponentially faster than an ordinary computer.Experts say that implementing the algorithm could result in more practical computers powered by the strange properties of quantum mechanics.

Researchers predict price of Bitcoin via deep learning

Scientists have crunched data to predict crime, hospital visits, and government uprisings — so why not the price of Bitcoin? A researcher at MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory recently developed a machine-learning algorithm that can predict the price of the infamously volatile cryptocurrency Bitcoin, allowing his team to nearly double its investment over a period of 50 days. Earlier this year, principal investigator Devavrat Shah and recent graduate Kang Zhang - who are both also affiliated with the Laboratory for Information and Decision Systems - collected price data from all major Bitcoin exchanges, every second for five months, accumulating more than 200 million data points.

Shafi Goldwasser gives keynote at 2014 Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing

Professor Shafi Goldwasser gave the keynote address at this week's 2014 Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing, which drew 8,000 attendees from around the world.She spoke about her work in cryptography and theory of computation, and how her gender has informed her career. Watch her keynote here. (Her introduction begins at 47:35 and her talk starts at 48:50.)

Videos

No matching results found