Spotlighted News

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

Teaching computers to see — by learning to see like computers

Object-recognition systems — software that tries to identify objects in digital images — typically rely on machine learning. They comb through databases of previously labeled images and look for combinations of visual features that seem to correlate with particular objects. Then, when presented with a new image, they try to determine whether it contains one of the previously identified combinations of features.

Leonard Named Associate Head for Research at Dept. of Mechanical Engineering

Professor John Leonard has been named the associate head for research of the Department of Mechanical Engineering, effective as of Monday, September 16, 2013.

Leonard is a professor of Mechanical and Ocean Engineering in the MIT Department of Mechanical Engineering and a principal investigator at CSAIL, where he leads the Marine Robotics Group. His research addresses the problems of navigation and mapping for autonomous mobile operating in underwater and terrestrial environments. A primary goal of his group's work is persistent autonomy or the capability for one or more robots to operate robustly for days, weeks and months at a time with minimal human supervision, in complex, dynamic environments.

Kagal Promoted to Principal Research Scientist

Dr. Lalana Kagal has been promoted to the role of Principal Research Scientist, effective July 1, 2013.

Kagal is the Deputy Director of the Decentralized Information Group at CSAIL. Her research focuses on modeling how social norms and legal rules work in society in order to automate the compliance of policy in information systems. She is currently exploring various facets of information management and policy, such as the development of new paradigms for exploring and integrating distributed data, privacy aware querying of big (linked) data, and frameworks for mobile applications for disaster management.

Four from CSAIL Named to Massachusetts Academy of Sciences

Professors and CSAIL Principal Investigators Edward Adelson, Shafi Goldwasser, Tom Leighton, and Barbara Liskov have been named 2013 Fellows of the Massachusetts Academy of Sciences.

Massachusetts Academy of Sciences Fellows constitute a select and prestigious community of scientists and science educators who are recognized for extraordinary scientific accomplishments and service to the science community and the public.

The 2013 Fellows were honored during the Academy's Inaugural Fellows Reception in April 2013.

Golland Honored with Jamieson Prize for Teaching

Associate Professor Polina Golland has been honored as one of two recipients of the 2013 Jamieson Prize for Excellence in Teaching.

Golland is a professor in the MIT Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, and a principal investigator at CSAIL where she is focused on developing novel techniques for image analysis and understanding. Her current work focuses on developing statistical analysis methods for characterization of biological processes using images (from MRI to microscopy) as a source of information.

She received BSc and Masters in Computer Science from Technion, Israel, and a Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science from MIT in 2001. She joined the faculty in 2003.

3-D mapping in real time, without the drift

Professor John Leonard and his colleagues at the National University of Ireland (NUI) at Maynooth have developed a new mapping algorithm that creates highly-detailed 3-D maps. “The technique solves a major problem in the robotic mapping community that’s known as either “loop closure” or “drift”: As a camera pans across a room or travels down a corridor, it invariably introduces slight errors in the estimated path taken. A doorway may shift a bit to the right, or a wall may appear slightly taller than it is. Over relatively long distances, these errors can compound, resulting in a disjointed map, with walls and stairways that don’t exactly line up,” wrote Jennifer Chu in an article in MIT News.

Team MIT Welcomes Atlas Robot

The MIT team competing in the DARPA Robotics Challenge (DRC), a competition sponsored by the Department of Defense to promote innovation in robotics technology for disaster-response operations, has received the multi-million dollar humanoid robot designed by Boston Dynamics for use in the competition. The MIT team will now adapt the software and interface they developed during the virtual portion of the competition for use on the humanoid robot, dubbed Atlas, for use in the competition’s two remaining challenges, which are set for December 2013 and December 2014. Check out video of Team MIT receiving the Atlas robot below.

CSAIL Start-Up Acquired by GoDaddy

GoDaddy has acquired CSAIL start-up company Locu, an online platform that helps promote local businesses, for $70 million. Locu was co-founded by CSAIL PhD candidate Marek Olszewski and CSAIL postdoctoral associate Stelios Sidiroglou-Douskos. GoDaddy is a domain seller and small business online platform, and has been working with Locu since June of 2013.

The idea for Locu came about while working on a project supervised by top MIT researchers including Sir Tim Berners-Lee.

Vote for the CSAIL SXSW Panel Proposal

What are the biggest technological challenges facing today's computer scientists? What new research is on the horizon, how will it change the way that we use computers, and what will the digital landscape look like in 10 years?If you'd like the answer to these questions and many more about the future of technology, vote for the CSAIL panel proposal at the 2014 South by Southwest (SXSW) conference.

Shah and Gombolay Receive Best Paper Award

Assistant Professor Julie Shah and graduate student Matthew Gombolay have been honored as the recipients of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) Best Intelligent Systems Paper Award for 2012. Shah and Gombolay were recognized for their paper 'A Uniprocessor Scheduling Policy for Non-Preemptive Task Sets with Precedence and Temporal Constraints,' which they presented at the AIAA Infotech@Aerospace Conference last year.

Rus to Discuss Future of Robotics during White House Google+ Hangout

Join CSAIL Director Daniela Rus this Friday, August 9 at 2:00 PM EDT as she talks about the future of robotics during a "We the Geeks" Google+ Hangout session hosted by the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy. Rus and other pioneering scientists - including Rodney Brooks, former CSAIL director and president of Rethink Robotics - will discuss how robots can help transform everything from school classrooms to the factory floor, and operating rooms to the way we explore the Solar System.

Agarwal Talks edX, Online Learning on ‘The Colbert Report’

Professor Anant Agarwal appeared on the July 24 edition of The Colbert Report, a satirical late-night comedy show hosted by comedian Stephen Colbert. Agarwal, a former director of CSAIL, is the president of edX, the not-for-profit online learning enterprise founded by Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

During his appearance on the show, Agarwal discussed the opportunities provided by online education.

Researchers Develop New Method for Understanding Network Connections

Network science, the study of complex interconnected systems, has grown over the past few years as it has become pivotal in understanding a wide variety of fields ranging from molecular and cell biology to social and information sciences and big data. By studying the structure and connectivity patterns of a network, researchers are able to gain insight into how different variables within a network are related and the strength of individual relationships, as well as make predictions about emerging network properties. In engineered networks, the connections between elements are directly observable.

Three from CSAIL Named to ‘AI’s 10 to Watch’ List

Three CSAIL roboticists have been named to IEEE Intelligent Systems' 2013 list of "AI's 10 to Watch", which celebrates 10 rising stars in the field of artificial intelligence (AI). The CSAIL members named to the list are: Nora Ayanian, Finale Doshi-Velez and Stefanie Tellex.

IEEE Intelligent Systems publishes the list of AI's 10 to Watch every two years. The list features researchers who have all completed their doctoral work in the past five years. "Despite being relatively junior in their career," writes Daniel Zeng, "each one has made impressive research contributions and had an impact in the literature - and in some cases, in real-world applications as well."

Freeman Receives Test of Time Award

Professor William Freeman has been honored with the Test of Time Award for his paper 'Orientation Histograms for Hand Gesture Recognition," co-written by Michal Roth in 1995. The award was presented at the 2013 IEEE Automatic Face and Gesture Recognition Conference in Shanghai, China.

Freeman and Roth's paper presents a new method to recognize hand gestures, based on a pattern recognition technique that employs histograms of local orientation.

Creating a faster Internet with computer-generated congestion algorithms

At the annual conference of the Association for Computing Machinery’s Special Interest Group on Data Communication, Professor Hari Balakrishnan and CSAIL graduate student Keith Winstein will present a new computer system called Remy that designs computer algorithms for controlling network congestion. “In the researchers’ simulations, algorithms produced by Remy significantly outperformed algorithms devised by human engineers,” wrote Larry Hardesty for the MIT News Office. Read the full article here:

New Research Sheds Lights on Unsigned Judicial Opinions

Courts, including the U.S. Supreme Court, publish a shock number of opinions without divulging the author. These unsigned per curiam opinions were traditionally considered a means of deciding uncontroversial cases in which justices were all in agreement. Today, though, these anonymous opinions often dispose of highly controversial issues, frequently over significant disagreement among justices. Since 2005, the Roberts Court has disposed of at least 65 cases through unsigned per curiam opinions, and many cases have also included unsigned concurring or dissenting opinions. Political commentators, practitioners, historians and scholars have all decried this trend, arguing that it undermines judicial accountability.

Indyk Named Simons Investigator

The Simons Foundation has announced that Professor Piotr Indyk has been selected as a Simons Investigator. Indyk is one of 13 mathematicians, theoretical physicists and computer scientists named as 2013 Simons Investigators and one of two professors at MIT selected for the honor.

Simons Investigators receive $100,000 annually to support their research. The support is for an initial period of five years, with the possibility of renewal for an additional five years. The goal of the program is to provide a stable base of support for outstanding scientists in their most productive years, enabling them to undertake long-term study of fundamental questions.

Rus Elected to Massachusetts Women’s Forum

CSAIL Director Daniela Rus has been elected to the Massachusetts Women's Forum (MWF). Founded in 1991, the Forum aims to bring together females leaders across industries and sectors to enrich and enhance professional development, encourage exposure to a broad spectrum of ideas, provide opportunity for new relationships and to validate the contributions women are making to the State of Massachusetts.

The MWF currently has 145 members and is chapter of the International Women's Forum, which includes members like Ruth Bader Ginsburg, U.S. Supreme Court Justice.

CSAIL Members Inducted into Internet Hall of Fame

CSAIL Senior Research Scientist David Clark and CSAIL Visiting Scientist Richard Stallman are two of the 2013 inductees into the Internet Hall of Fame. J.C.R. Licklider, a director of Project MAC (the precursor to CSAIL), and MIT alumnus Robert Metcalfe were also inducted into the Internet Hall of Fame as part of the class of 2013.

The Internet Hall of Fame, an annual awards program that has been established by the Internet Society, aims to publicly recognize a distinguished and select group of visionaries, leaders and luminaries who have made significant contributions to the development and advancement of the Internet.

Seeing through walls with WiFi

A new system developed by professor and CSAIL principal investigator Dina Katabi along with her graduate student Fadel Adib could one day let us see through walls Superman style. The technology uses low-power Wi-Fi signals to track human movement and can even decipher motions behind walls. “The system, called “Wi-Vi,” is based on a concept similar to radar and sonar imaging. But in contrast to radar and sonar, it transmits a low-power Wi-Fi signal and uses its reflections to track moving humans.


VIDEO: Does quantum computing seem too complicated? PI Scott Aaronson breaks it down in "Explained"

CSAIL Principal Investigator Scott Aaronson, an Associate Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, breaks down the intricacies of quantum computing in laymen's terms to share what it's about and why it's important.

Aaronson argues that quantum computing has implications for everything from pharmaceuticals to nanotechnology, from biochemistry to super conductors. 'For any of these applications,' he said, 'a quantum computer naturally implements those dynamics and gives you a speed-up for implementing those things.'

ACM Names Fellows for Computing Advances that Are Transforming Science and Society

ACM has recognized 50 of its members, including CSAIL researchers Nir Shavit and Dina Katabi, for their contributions to computing that are driving innovations across multiple domains and disciplines. The 2013 ACM Fellows, from the world's leading universities, corporations, and research labs, have achieved advances in computing research and development that are accelerating the digital revolution and impacting every dimension of how we live, work, and play.


The MIT Big Data Challenge: Transportation in the City of Boston is now open!

The MIT Big Data Challenge: Transportation in the City of Boston is now open!

What can we learn from 2.3 Million Taxi Rides?

To learn more about the challenge and the data, join us:

MEETUP: TUESDAY DEC 10 5:00-7:00pm
LOCATION: Stata Center, 32-G882, Hewlett Meeting Room

Lots of free pizza! (of course)



OPEN: NOV 12 2013
END: JAN 20, 2014
PRIZES: $10K total

Charles Leiserson now AAAS Fellow

The American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) recently awarded the distinction of fellow to Charles Leiserson, for distinguished contributions to the theory and practice of parallel and distributed computing, practical impact, and transfer of new knowledge to others.

Yuan Luo Awarded First Prize at Symposium

Yuan Luo, a PhD student in Professor Peter Szolovits' Clinical Decision Making Group, has been awarded the first prize at the Natural Language Processing Doctoral Consortium in 2013 American Medical Informatics Association's Annual Symposium. The presentation, "Subgraph Augmented Non-Negative Tensor Factorization (SANTF) in Medical Natural Language Processing", describes a new method for jointly modeling the interactions among higher-order features and atomic features by integrating them into the learning objective, at the same time performing dimensionality reduction in all types of features. The method not only leads to improved clustering of patient phenotype, but also produces latent groups of features that are consistent with clinical insights.

Cheung Honored with PhD Fellowship Program Award

CSAIL graduate student Alvin Cheung has been named one of the 2013 Intel Labs U.S. PhD Fellowship Program Awardees. Cheung was selected for his work with, "making database applications perform using program analysis."

Cheung is a graduate student in the MIT Database Group and the Computer-Aided Programming Group, and is currently working on building tools that make use of programming language techniques to improve application performance. His research interests include program analysis, improving database application performance, and building big systems in general.

Fano Celebrates 96th Birthday

On Monday, November 11, Professor Emeritus Robert Fano celebrated his 96th birthday. Fano was the Ford Professor of Engineering in the MIT Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science until his retirement in June 1984. He organized Project MAC (Multiple Access Computing or Machine-Aided Cognition), the predecessor to CSAIL, in 1963 and was its director until September 1968. He also served as associate head of the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science from 1971 to 1974.

Researchers Win OOPSLA Best Paper Award

CSAIL researchers were honored with the Best Paper Award at the 2013 Association for Computing Machinery's Object-Oriented Programming, Systems, Languages and Applications conference (OOPSLA) for their paper "Verifying Quantitative Reliability for Programs That Execute on Unreliable Hardware." The paper was written by CSAIL graduate students Michael Carbin and Sasa Misailovic, and Professor Martin Rinard.

The paper describes a new programming framework that enables software developers to specify when computing errors made by smaller and less reliant transistors may be tolerable. The system then calculates the probability that the software will perform as it's intended.

Rus Named Viterbi Professor

Professor Anantha Chandrakasan, head of the MIT Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, has announced that Professor Daniela Rus, director of CSAIL, has been appointed the Andrew (1956) and Erna Viterbi Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science. Established in 1999 by Andrew and Erna Viterbi, the chair recognizes significant contributions in the field of communications and signal processing. Professor Ronald Rivest was the first chair holder of the Viterbi Professorship. Rus, a renowned roboticist, is known for spearheading research in programmable matter and distributed robotics.

Robot Locomotion Group wins ICRA Best Paper Award

CSAIL graduate student Anirudha Majumdar, postdoctoral associate Amir Ali Ahmadi, and Associate Professor Russ Tedrake were awarded the Best Conference Paper Award at the 2013 IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA). The group was honored for their paper "Control design along trajectories with sums of squares programming," which describes a new approach for robotic control techniques for tasks like walking, running and flying.

Using Computer Science to Determine How to Present Information Visually

New research by CSAIL Principal Research Scientist Aude Oliva provides new clues about the brain's visual memory. In collaboration with Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS) doctoral student Michelle Borkin and Professor Hanspeter Pfister, Oliva and graduate students Zoya Bylinskii and Phillip Isola studied the memorability of a wide variety of visualizations to help decipher the best ways to present information visually.

Malik Opens 2013-2014 Dertouzos Lecturer Series with Talk on Computer Vision

Jitendra Malik, the Arthur J. Chick Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at the University of California at Berkeley, kicked off the 2013-2014 Dertouzos Lecturer Series on Thursday, October 10. Malik, who is renowned for his work in computer vision, discussed "The Three R's of Computer Vision: Recognition, Reconstruction and Reorganization" and his view on what progress is needed to further advance the field.

A self-assembling robot that can fly, jump and roll!

A team of researchers from Professor Daniela Rus’ Distributed Robotics Lab has developed a new type of self-assembling, jumping, flying rolling, modular robot called M-Blocks. The robots, “are cubes with no external moving parts. Nonetheless, they’re able to climb over and around one another, leap through the air, roll across the ground, and even move while suspended upside down from metallic surfaces,” wrote Larry Hardesty for the MIT News Office.

Researchers to Address Future of Wireless at One-Day Event

On Monday, October 7, reporters are invited to attend a one-day MIT event that will address some of the biggest challenges facing the wireless industry. Hosted by the MIT Center for Wireless Networks and Mobile Computing (Wireless@MIT), the event will showcase the latest cutting-edge research designed to tackle the biggest challenges facing the wireless industry, and will feature talks by MIT faculty and researchers, as well as demonstrations of next generation wireless and mobile systems.

Kellis Speaks on Future of Computational Biology at TEDx

On September 13, 2013, Associate Professor Manolis Kellis took the stage at TEDxCambridge to explain his work with computational biology and his hopes for the future of medicine. Using his own genome as an example, Kellis described his work using advanced computer science techniques to transform the field of medicine by taking a more personalized approach to treating patients.

As described in his talk, Kellis envisions a future where doctors and patients could access information on their personal genome to see whether certain combinations of medications, tailored to a person's specific genetic mutations, could help treat or even predict disease.

Katabi Named MacArthur Foundation Fellow

Professor Dina Katabi has been named one of the 2013 MacArthur Fellows. Often referred to as "genius grants," the MacArthur Fellows Program awards unrestricted fellowships to individuals who have "shown extraordinary originality and dedication in their creative pursuits and a marked capacity for self-direction."

The 2013 fellows will receive a $625,000 prize over a five-year period. Fellows are selected based on exceptional creativity, promise for important future advances based on a track record of significant accomplishment, and potential for the fellowship to facilitate subsequent creative work.

Computer scientists document ballet in birds-eye, time-lapse and slow-motion

CSAIL members created a video in collaboration with Boston Ballet that premiered premiere at the Boston Ballet Night of Stars on the Boston Common September 22. CSAIL principal investigator David Gifford and graduate student Adrian Dalca created the video by placing multiple small cameras in a Boston Ballet studio, shooting from two angles at various speeds to create a visual record of a day of rehearsal. The resulting footage was used for both time-lapse and slow-motion capture, and the segments were computationally manipulated to add effects and set to music.


No matching results found