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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 >>
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
October 27, 2015Today represents the first day of the 2015-2016 NBA season, and we want to help.
Well, sort of. Over the years, CSAIL researchers have regularly participated in the MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference, where computer scientists and mathematicians come together to discuss research
October 26, 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.
“Everyone is building drones these days, but
October 22, 2015We are making breakthroughs almost weekly in our understanding of cancer and other deadly diseases, both in how to treat and – in some cases – how to cure them. So why is funding for early stage biomedical research and development declining just when we need it most?
October 17, 2015Every year corporations under-report roughly $91 billion of taxable income via schemes known as “partnerships and S corporations." The government tweaks its regulations every year to try to keep up with all of the complicated methods, but, just like a big game of Whack-a-Mole, every time one
October 08, 2015Congratulation to this year's Nobel Prize winners!
While computer science has no formal Nobel Prize, the Association for Computing Machinery’s A.M. Turing Award is often described as “the Nobel Prize of computing.”
Over the years, more than a dozen CSAIL-affiliated computer scientists have receive
October 06, 2015
MIT researchers are developing a computer system that uses genetic, demographic, and clinical data to help predict the effects of disease on brain anatomy.
In experiments, they trained a machine-learning system on MRI data from patients with neurodegenerative diseases and found that
October 01, 2015Machine learning, which is the basis for most commercial artificial-intelligence systems, is intrinsically probabilistic. An object-recognition algorithm asked to classify a particular image, for instance, might conclude that it has a 60 percent chance of depicting a dog, but a 30 percent chance of
September 30, 2015Robots have many strong suits, but delicacy traditionally hasn’t been one of them. Rigid limbs and digits make it difficult for them to grasp, hold, and manipulate a range of everyday objects without dropping or crushing them.
Recently, CSAIL researchers have discovered that the solution may
September 28, 20153D printing is great, assuming that all you need to do is print one material for one purpose, and that you’re okay with it taking a few tries. But the technology is still far behind where it could be in reliably
September 24, 2015CSAIL researcher Matei Zaharai was recently profiled by The Economist in a story about the state of cloud-computing start-ups.
Zaharia is co-founder of Databricks, a promising startup whose data-crunching technology Spark has drawn the attention of prominent developers, as well as a little
September 23, 2015
CSAIL researchers have designed a computer system that learns how to play a text-based computer game with no prior assumptions about how language works. Although the system can’t complete the game as a whole, its ability to complete sections of it suggests that, in some sense, it discovers
September 17, 2015Researchers at CSAIL and Boston Children’s Hospital have developed a system that can take MRI scans of a patient’s heart and, in a matter of hours, convert them into a tangible, physical model that surgeons can use to plan surgery.
The models could provide a more intuitive way for surgeons to
September 14, 2015Every language has its own collection of phonemes, or the basic phonetic units from which spoken words are composed. Depending on how you count, English has somewhere between 35 and 45. Knowing a language’s phonemes can make it much easier for automated systems to learn to interpret speech.
September 09, 2015By Larry Hardesty, MIT News
In a modern, multicore chip, every core — or processor — has its own small memory cache, where it stores frequently used data. But the chip also has a larger, shared cache, which all the cores can access.
If one core tries to update data in the shared cache,
September 04, 2015The World Health Organization estimates that 3,400 people die each day from traffic-related accidents. Could autonomous cars be part of the solution?
Today CSAIL announced a new $25 million research center funded by Toyota to further the development of autonomous vehicle technologies, with
September 03, 2015
by Larry Hardesty, MIT News
The technology behind 3-D printing is growing more and more common, but the ability to create designs for it is not. Any but the simplest designs require expertise with computer-aided design (CAD) applications, and even for the experts, the design process is
September 01, 2015At the International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems in September, members of the Singapore-MIT Alliance for Research and Technology (SMART) and their colleagues will describe an experiment conducted over six days at a large public garden in Singapore, in which self-driving golf
August 27, 2015For Justin Chen, a PhD student in the MIT Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering (CEE), there is more to observe in the built environment than meets the eye. So much more, in fact, that he has designed his entire academic attention in CEE to center on structural health monitoring.
August 27, 20153D printing is great, assuming that all you need to do is print one material for one purpose, and that you’re okay with it taking a few tries. But the technology is still far behind where it could be in reliably
August 26, 2015For more than a decade, gene sequencers have been improving more rapidly than the computers required to make sense of their outputs. Searching for DNA sequences in existing genomic databases can already take hours, and the problem is likely to get worse.
Recently, Bonnie Berger’s group at CSAIL
August 24, 2015In a computer operating system, the file system is the part that writes data to disk and tracks where the data is stored. If the computer crashes while it’s writing data, the file system’s records can become corrupt. Hours of work could be lost, or programs could stop working properly.
August 19, 2015Obesity is one of the biggest public health challenges of the 21st century. Affecting more than 500 million people worldwide, obesity costs at least $200 billion each year in the United States alone, and contributes to potentially fatal disorders such as cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, and
August 18, 2015For all of the advances in medical technology, many of the world’s most widely-used diagnostic tools essentially involve just two things: pen and paper.
Tests such as the Montreal Cognitive Assessment (MoCA) and the Clock Drawing Test (CDT) are used to detect cognitive change arising from a wide
August 17, 2015Much of the research aimed at understanding the root causes of biological differences has focused on differences in the genes. But in recent years there has been an increasing emphasis on studying the changes in the regulatory switches in our DNA that control how genes are turned on and off.
August 10, 2015If companies like Amazon and Google have their way, soon enough we will have robots air-dropping supplies from the sky. But is our software where it needs to be to move and deliver goods in the real world?
This question has been explored for many years by researchers at MIT's Computer Science and
August 09, 2015CSAIL principal investigator Aude Oliva has received a special research award from the National Science Foundation (NSF) as part of a $13.1 million initiative to support "transformative research in neural and cognitive systems."
One of the NSF's 16 grants will go towards Oliva's
August 09, 2015The popular term “drone,” which conjures images of remote-controlled flying zombies, is becoming less and less descriptive of the latest unmanned aerial vehicles. New applications are requiring more autonomy and intelligence from UAVs.“When people think about drones, they largely think of big
August 06, 2015It’s rare that anyone, including even an MIT computer scientist, is extended an invitation to the Oval Office. Even rarer, still: the opportunity to fall on your face in front of the “Leader of the Free World.”
To be clear, this particular fall in question was intentional. On Tuesday, researchers
July 29, 2015With 2.5 million daily users, the Tor network is the world’s most popular system for protecting Internet users’ anonymity. For more than a decade, people living under repressive regimes have used Tor to conceal their Web-browsing habits from electronic surveillance, and websites hosting content
July 24, 2015This week MIT professor Nickolai Zeldovich and his former student Raluca Popa wrote in IEEE Spectrum about new approaches to data encryption being pioneered by CSAIL computer scientists.
"Not long ago, hackers stole about 40 million debit- and credit-card records from Target, another
July 24, 2015John Leonard’s group at CSAIL specializes in SLAM, or simultaneous localization and mapping, the technique whereby mobile autonomous robots map their environments and determine their locations.
Last week, at the Robotics Science and Systems conference, members of Leonard’s group presented a new
July 17, 2015When a power company wants to build a new wind farm, it generally hires a consultant to make wind speed measurements at the proposed site for eight to 12 months. Those measurements are correlated with historical data and used to assess the site’s power-generation capacity.
This month CSAIL
July 10, 2015U.S. retail chains often rely on intuition in choosing which products, from a vast inventory, will sell best at stores across the nation. Now MIT spinout Celect is refining this process with novel data analytics, revealing interesting insights into how retailers can optimize their shelf space.
July 10, 2015Random-access memory, or RAM, is where computers like to store the data they’re working on. A processor can retrieve data from RAM tens of thousands of times more rapidly than it can from the computer’s disk drive.
But in the age of big data, data sets are often much too large to fit in a single