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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 >>




In a 1999 paper, Erik Demaine — now a CSAIL principal investigaor, but then an 18-year-old PhD student at the University of Waterloo, in Canada — described an algorithm that could determine how to fold a piece of paper into any conceivable 3-D shape.
It was a milestone paper in the



Laparoscopy is a surgical technique in which a fiber-optic camera is inserted into a patient’s abdominal cavity to provide a video feed that guides the surgeon through a minimally invasive procedure.
Laparoscopic surgeries can take hours, and the video generated by the camera — the
Most robots are programmed using one of two methods: learning from demonstration, in which they watch a task being done and then replicate it, or via motion-planning techniques such as optimization or sampling, which require a programmer to explicitly specify a task’s goals and constraints



Eight years ago, Ted Adelson’s research group at MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL) unveiled a new sensor technology, called GelSight, that uses physical contact with an object to provide a remarkably detailed 3-D map of its surface.
Now, by mounting



Computer scientists have been working for decades on automatic navigation systems to aid the visually impaired, but it’s been difficult to come up with anything as reliable and easy to use as the white cane, the type of metal-tipped cane that visually impaired people frequently use to



Communicating through computers has become an extension of our daily reality. But as speaking via screens has become commonplace, our exchanges are losing inflection, body language, and empathy.
Danielle Olson ’14, a first-year PhD student at MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial
 
A reaction to the 2008 financial crisis, Bitcoin is a digital-currency scheme designed to wrest control of the monetary system from central banks. With Bitcoin, anyone can mint money, provided he or she can complete a complex computation quickly enough. Through a set of clever protocols



Today, MIT’s cross-disciplinary Internet Policy Research Initiative (IPRI) announced that it has awarded $1.5 million to a select group of principal investigators for early-stage Internet policy and cybersecurity research projects.
“Each project is aimed to support innovative research in



In recent years, a host of Hollywood blockbusters — including “The Fast and the Furious 7,” “Jurassic World,” and “The Wolf of Wall Street” — have included aerial tracking shots provided by drone helicopters outfitted with cameras.
Those shots required separate operators for the drones and
Ever wish your website could be edited right from the browser?A CSAIL team has developed “Mavo,” a language that lets you create and edit interactive websites and apps with nothing more than HTML.
Mavo allows you to make websites editable and saveable to the cloud via Github, DropBox or other
This week the Association for Computer Machinery (ACM) awarded MIT CSAIL graduate student Haitham Hassanieh the Doctoral Dissertation Award for his work in creating efficient algorithms for computing the Sparse Fourier Transform (SFT).Hassanieh, who was a grad student in CSAIL Professor



Most robots are programmed using one of two methods: learning from demonstration, in which they watch a task being done and then replicate it, or via motion-planning techniques such as optimization or sampling, which require a programmer to explicitly specify a task’s goals and constraints



When Alphabet executive chairman Eric Schmidt started programming in 1969 at the age of 14, there was no explicit title for what he was doing. “I was just a nerd,” he says.
But now computer science has fundamentally transformed fields like transportation, health care and education, and also



We’ve long known that blood pressure, breathing, body temperature and pulse provide an important window into the complexities of human health. But a growing body of research suggests that another vital sign – how fast you walk – could be a better predictor of health issues like



On an afternoon in early April, Tommi Jaakkola is pacing at the front of the vast auditorium that is 26-100. The chalkboards behind him are covered with equations. Jaakkola looks relaxed in a short-sleeved black shirt and jeans, and gestures to the board. “What is the answer here?” he asks



Hyper-connectivity has changed the way we communicate, wait, and productively use our time. Even in a world of 5G wireless and “instant” messaging, there are countless moments throughout the day when we’re waiting for messages, texts, and Snapchats to refresh. But our frustrations with



In the past 10 years, the best-performing artificial-intelligence systems — such as the speech recognizers on smartphones or Google’s latest automatic translator — have resulted from a technique called “deep learning.”
Deep learning is in fact a new name for an approach to artificial
It was recently announced that CSAIL principal investigator D. Fox Harrell will be promoted to full professor in July.

 Harrell is Professor of Digital Media (July 1st, 2017) in both the Comparative Media Studies Program and the Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory at MIT. His
This week CSAIL Director Daniela Rus was presented with the Engelberger Robotics Award recipient for her instrumental work as a leader, educator, and pioneer in the field of robotics. The Robotic Industries Association (RIA) presented the award at Automate 2017 and the International Symposium on



A webpage today is often the sum of many different components. A user’s home page on a social-networking site, for instance, might display the latest posts from the users’ friends; the associated images, links, and comments; notifications of pending messages and comments on the user’s own
In a world where hackers can sabotage power plants and impact elections, there has never been a more crucial time to examine cybersecurity for critical infrastructure, most of which is privately owned.



According to MIT experts, over the last 25 years presidents from both parties have
In a world where hackers can sabotage power plants and impact elections, there has never been a more crucial time to examine cybersecurity for critical infrastructure, most of which is privately owned.



According to MIT experts, over the last 25 years presidents from both parties have paid



Most website visits these days entail a database query — to look up airline flights, for example, or to find the fastest driving route between two addresses.
But online database queries can reveal a surprising amount of information about the people making them. And some travel sites have



In this age of smartphones and tablet computers, touch-sensitive surfaces are everywhere. They’re also brittle, as people with cracked phone screens everywhere can attest.
Covering a robot — or an airplane or a bridge — with sensors will require a technology that is both flexible and cost-



The transmission control protocol, or TCP, which manages traffic on the internet, was first proposed in 1974. Some version of TCP still regulates data transfer in most major data centers, the huge warehouses of servers maintained by popular websites.
That’s not because TCP is perfect or
Distributed planning, communication, and control algorithms for autonomous robots make up a major area of research in computer science. But in the literature on multirobot systems, security has gotten relatively short shrift.
In the latest issue of the journal Autonomous Robots, researchers from



Distributed planning, communication, and control algorithms for autonomous robots make up a major area of research in computer science. But in the literature on multirobot systems, security has gotten relatively short shrift.
In the latest issue of the journal Autonomous Robots, researchers



Distributed planning, communication, and control algorithms for autonomous robots make up a major area of research in computer science. But in the literature on multirobot systems, security has gotten relatively short shrift.
In the latest issue of the journal Autonomous Robots, researchers



One good piece of news in recent years is that people around the world are living longer. The downside to this news is that older age exposes more of us to varieties of cognitive decline, including Alzheimer’s disease. According to the Alzheimer’s Association, the number of people with this



From Reddit to Quora, discussion forums can be equal parts informative and daunting. We’ve all fallen down rabbit holes of lengthy threads that are impossible to sift through. Comments can be redundant, off-topic or even inaccurate, but all that content is ultimately still there for us to
Game-playing artificial intelligence has proved to be a game-changer for even the most seasoned veterans. First, Deep Blue beat the world’s best chess player, and since then Go, Pacman and poker have fallen too. Now, AI has triumphed over another fan-favorite: Nintendo’s Super Smash Bros. Melee (



For robots to do what we want, they need to understand us. Too often, this means having to meet them halfway: teaching them the intricacies of human language, for example, or giving them explicit commands for very specific tasks.
But what if we could develop robots that were a more natural
Regina Barzilay is working with MIT students and medical doctors in an ambitious bid to revolutionize cancer care. She is relying on a tool largely unrecognized in the oncology world but deeply familiar to hers: machine learning. 
Barzilay, the Delta Electronics Professor of Electrical



Regina Barzilay is working with MIT students and medical doctors in an ambitious bid to revolutionize cancer care. She is relying on a tool largely unrecognized in the oncology world but deeply familiar to hers: machine learning. 
Barzilay, the Delta Electronics Professor of



Every other year, the International Conference on Automated Planning and Scheduling hosts a competition in which computer systems designed by conference participants try to find the best solution to a planning problem, such as scheduling flights or coordinating tasks for teams of autonomous



It’s a fact of nature that a single conversation can be interpreted in very different ways. For people with anxiety or conditions such as Asperger’s, this can make social situations extremely stressful. But what if there was a more objective way to measure and understand our interactions?
It’s a fact of nature that a single conversation can be interpreted in very different ways. For people with anxiety or conditions such as Asperger’s, this can make social situations extremely stressful. But what if there was a more objective way to measure and understand our interactions?



Compilers are programs that convert computer code written in high-level languages intelligible to humans into low-level instructions executable by machines.
But there’s more than one way to implement a given computation, and modern compilers extensively analyze the code they process, trying



Today, loading a web page on a big website usually involves a database query — to retrieve the latest contributions to a discussion you’re participating in, a list of news stories related to the one you’re reading, links targeted to your geographic location, or the like.
But database queries



The age of big data has seen a host of new techniques for analyzing large data sets. But before any of those techniques can be applied, the target data has to be aggregated, organized, and cleaned up.
That turns out to be a shockingly time-consuming task. In a 2016 survey, 80 data scientists



Daniela Rus loves Singapore. As the MIT professor sits down in her Frank Gehry-designed office in Cambridge, Massachusetts, to talk about her research conducted in Singapore, her face starts to relax in a big smile.
Her story with Singapore started in the summer of 2010, when she made her
People generally associate graphic processing units (GPUs) with imaging processing. Developed for video games in the 1990s, modern GPUs are specialized circuits with thousands of small, efficient processing units, or “cores,” that work simultaneously to rapidly render graphics on screen.But for the



Researchers at MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory have developed a new computational model of a neural circuit in the brain, which could shed light on the biological role of inhibitory neurons — neurons that keep other neurons from firing.
The model describes a
 Traffic is not just a nuisance for drivers: it’s also a public-health hazard and bad news for the economy.
Transportation studies put the annual cost of congestion at $160 billion, which includes 7 billion hours of time lost to sitting in traffic and an extra 3 billion gallons of fuel
Living in a dynamic physical world, it’s easy to forget how effortlessly we understand our surroundings. With minimal thought, we can figure out how scenes change and objects interact.
But what’s second nature for us is still a huge problem for machines. With the limitless number of ways that
When data sets get too big, sometimes the only way to do anything useful with them is to extract much smaller subsets and analyze those instead.
Those subsets have to preserve certain properties of the full sets, however, and one property that’s useful in a wide range of applications is diversity.
One way to handle big data is to shrink it. If you can identify a small subset of your data set that preserves its salient mathematical relationships, you may be able to perform useful analyses on it that would be prohibitively time consuming on the full set.
The methods for creating such “coresets
This week the Association for Computer Machinery (ACM) announced its 2016 fellows, which include four principal investigators from MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL): professors Erik Demaine, Fredo Durand, William Freeman, and Daniel Jackson. They were among the 1
Speech recognition systems, such as those that convert speech to text on cellphones, are generally the result of machine learning. A computer pores through thousands or even millions of audio files and their transcriptions, and learns which acoustic features correspond to which typed words.
But
This fall’s new Federal Aviation Administration regulations have made drone flight easier than ever for both companies and consumers. But what if the drones out on the market aren’t exactly what you want?
A new system from MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL)