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In the News

Photo: Kanat Tangwongsan Kanat Tangwongsan Wins Allen Newell Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Research
May 16, 2006: Kanat received this year's undergraduate research award for his work on active data structures and applications to dynamic and kinetic algorithms. Advised by professor and ALADDIN Center co-director Guy Blelloch, Kanat is a graduating senior and an alumni of the ALADDIN Center REU program ('04 and '05) who will pursue his graduate studies at Carnegie Mellon this fall. Kanat was also named a male runner-up for the 2006 Computing Research Associate Outstanding Undergraduate Award earlier this year.  read Kanat's paper

Screen image: Phetch Gamers help the blind get the picture
May 16, 2006: "Visually impaired people often use text-to-speech converters called screen readers to listen to the content of web pages spoken by a synthesised voice. However, the pictures on most websites remain inaccessible because very few have detailed captions to accurately describe them. The online game 'Phetch' designed to encourage other web users to generate these missing captions. 'We hope to collect captions for every image on the web,' says Shiry Ginosar, a member of the Phetch team." By Paul Marks, New Scientist  read the article

Two ALADDIN Center Undergrads Present Award-Nominated Papers at CHI 2006
April 24, 2006: Graduating senior Shiry Ginosar and rising senior Mihir Kedia presented papers describing their undergraduate research at CHI 2006, the premier international conference for human-computer interaction. Both papers were nominated for the Best Paper award by SIGCHI. A third paper about Masters student Roy Liu's work on Peekaboom was also published at the conference. Advised by professor Manuel Blum and postdoc Luis von Ahn, Shiry, Mihir, and Roy are all alumni of the ALADDIN Center REU program.
read the paper about Phetch (pdf) [Best paper nominee]
read the paper about Verbosity (pdf) [Best paper nominee]
read the paper about Peekaboom (pdf)

Manuel Blum Appointed as University Professor
April 28, 2006: Manuel has been appointed as University Professor. This is the highest rank any Carnegie Mellon faculty member can attain throughout the entire university. According to Deparment Head of Computer Science, Jeannette M. Wing, "Manuel is a deep and inspiring thinker, a gentle and generous mentor, and a warm and wonderful colleague to us all. Please join me in congratulating Manuel!"

Luis von Ahn Wins 2006 Alan J. Perlis SCS Student Teaching Award
April 26, 2006: Named for Alan J. Perlis, a founder of Carnegie Mellon's Computer Science Department and its first department head, this award honors the student who has shown the highest degree of excellence and dedication as a teaching assistant. "The student support for Luis von Ahn's nomination was simply exceptional," explains professor and award committee chair Peter Lee. "Luis has developed an amazing reputation as a great teacher, among both students and faculty. It is clear that students look up to him as a mentor and that faculty rely on him as a colleague and source of teaching advice." The award will be officially conferred during the SCS commencement ceremony.

Manuel Blum Elected into National Academy of Engineering
February 10, 2006: Manuel was elected to the Academy for his contributions to abstract complexity theory, inductive inference, cryptographic protocols, and the theory and applications of program checkers. NAE membership is one of the highest professional distinctions an engineer can achieve. Manuel is a leader in the field of theoretical computing and one of the founders of computational complexity theory. His momentous achievements were recognized in 1995 with the highest honor in computing, the A. M. Turing Award.  read more  read the press release

US Secretary of Commerce Tests Peekaboom
February 3, 2006: Professor Manuel Blum and graduate student Roy Liu demonstrate to Commerce Secretary Carlos Gutierrez how Peekaboom identifies objects in images. Gutierrez was on campus to speak on the Role of Innovation and Education in National Competitiveness. As part of his visit, Gutierrez received special presentations of some of the most promising and exciting technologies at Carnegie Mellon. Peekaboom is one of many "human computation" games designed by postdoc Luis von Ahn and his collaborators. These games use people's computational abilities to solve problems that are relatively easy for most people, but that still baffle the most sophisticated computers.  play peekaboom now

Welcome to new PostDoc Mohammad Taghi Hajiaghayi
January 16, 2006: Mohammad joins the ALADDIN Center as a postdoc from MIT, where he completed his Ph.D. in the Theory of Computation Group at the Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL) under the supervision of Erik D. Demaine and Tom Leighton. Mohammad will be in residence at Carnegie Mellon through December.  visit Mohammad's home page

Welcome to Visiting Faculty Guido Schäfer from Technische Universität Berlin
October 26, 2005: Assistant Professor Guido Schäfer has joined the ALADDIN Center as a Visiting Faculty from Institut für Mathematik at Technische Universität Berlin. Guido will be in residence at Carnegie Mellon through early December.  visit Guido's home page

A shindig for math people
October 17, 2005: "Scientists from around the world will gather in Pittsburgh this weekend to celebrate the career -- and 60th birthday -- of Dr. [Alan] Frieze. A math professor at Carnegie Mellon, he has been a leading force in the area of discrete mathematics known as probabilistic combinatorics, which can be used to optimize business operations and improve information networking." Byron Spice, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.  read the article  read the press release

Former ALADDIN Visiting Faculty Jon Kleinberg Named MacArthur Foundation Fellow
September 20, 2005: A professor of computer science at Cornell University, Kleinberg is a computer scientist whose research topics have tackled a wide variety of practical problems.  read the press release

Welcome to Visiting Faculty Stefano Leonardi from Università di Roma "La Sapienza"
August 8, 2005: Professor Stefano Leonardi has joined the ALADDIN Center as a Visiting Faculty from the School of Engineering at Università di Roma "La Sapienza". Stefano will be in residence at Carnegie Mellon for the entire fall semester.  visit Stefano's home page

Peekaboom Game in the News  play peekaboom now
CMU online game will be used to help teach computers to see
August 1, 2005: "There aren't many humans who are willing to sit down and teach a computer to see... but there are plenty of people who will do so if they think it's fun." Byron Spice, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.  read the article
Peekaboom draws plenty of participants
August 8, 2005: "In the three days following Monday's article about Peekaboom, 6,700 people registered on the Peekaboom site and, by midnight Wednesday, more than 250,000 annotations had been generated." Science News Briefs, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.  read the article

Russell Schwartz Receives Presidential Award
June 13, 2005: Assistant Professor of Biological Sciences Russell Schwartz was honored in Washington, D.C., as a recipient of the Presidential Early Career Awards for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE). This program recognizes outstanding scientists and engineers who, early in their careers, show exceptional potential for leadership at the frontiers of knowledge. This Presidential Award is the highest honor bestowed by the United States Government on scientists and engineers beginning their independent careers.  read the press release

"Notung" Helps Biologists Determine a Gene's Family Tree
May 17, 2005: Associate Professor of Biological Sciences Dannie Durand and her research team have developed a new software tool called "Notung" that sifts through thousands of potential evolutionary scenarios to obtain the best guess about when a given gene arose. MSNBC Cosmic Log, May 14-20, 2005.  read the article  read the press release

ALADDIN Center Co-Director Lenore Blum Receives Presidential Award
May 16, 2005: Lenore Blum was honored in Washington, D.C., as a recipient of the Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Mathematics and Engineering Mentoring (PAESMEM). PAESMEM seeks to identify outstanding mentoring efforts that enhance the participation of groups, including women, minorities and persons with disabilities that are underrepresented in science, technology, engineering and mathematics.  read the press release

CAPTCHA the Puzzle
April 18, 2005: "In the last few years, computer scientists have worked out an ingenious security scheme ... [that's] an intriguing way of distinguishing between the actions of a computer program and those of a person." Ivars Peterson's MathTrek  read the article

Gwendolyn Stockman Named Scholarship Finalist
April 8, 2005: CS Junior and ALADDIN Center REU alumna Gwendolyn Stockman is honored as a Google Anita Borg Memorial Scholarship Finalist.

Anupam Gupta Wins Sloan Research Fellowship
The Sloan Foundation has awarded Anupam Gupta, Assistant Professor of Computer Science, a Sloan Research Fellowship. This prestigious award is intended to enhance the careers of the very best young faculty members. A total of 116 fellowships are awarded annually in seven fields: chemistry, computational and evolutionary molecular biology, computer science, economics, mathematics, neuroscience, and physics. read more

Congratulations!! to our CS undergraduates recognized for their outstanding research by the Computing Research Association: Suporn Pongnumkul (advisor: Guy Blelloch), Jared Go (advisor: James Kuffner), Shilpa Desai (advisor: Lenore Blum), and Brendan Juba (advisor: Manuel Blum).  read more

Gary Miller, Professor CSD, is a co-winner of the 2003 ACM Kanellakis Award which honors specific theoretical accomplishments that have had a significant and demonstrable effect on the practice of computing. Previous SCS award winners, 1998 and 1999

Teaching computers to think. Researchers hope game will improve Web searches., October 17, 2003
read the article

Baffling the Bots. Anti-spammers take on automatons posing as humans. By Lee Bruno, Scientific American, October 20, 2003
read the article

CMU student taps brain's game skills
Luis von Ahn's ESP Game "steals cycles from humans" to label images on the Internet. By Byron Spice, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, October 5, 2003
read the article
play the game

Strength in Numbers
A summer program gives a boost to women going for Ph.D.'s in mathematics. By Robin Wilson, Chronicle of Higher Education, July 18, 2003
read the article

Captchas: Computer Tests Can Defeat Spam. Ingenious computer tests may also advance machine vision and AI. By Jaikumar Vijayan, Computerworld, June 16, 2003
read the article


Past Workshops

MillerFest 2006
April 19-20, 2006
Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, PA
Giant Eagle Auditorium - Baker Hall

MillerFest 2006 is a workshop to honor and celebrate the career of Gary Miller on the occasion of his 60th birthday.  read more

Workshop on Flexible Network Design
November 4-5, 2005
Princeton University, Princeton, NJ
Small Auditorium (Room 105) - Computer Science Department

The goal of this workshop is to focus on this active area of applications of algorithms to understand current trends, identify understudied areas, and formulate new directions for further investigation.  read more and register

FriezeFest 2005
October 21-22, 2005
Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, PA
McConomy Auditorium - University Center

FriezeFest 2005 is a workshop to honor and celebrate the career of Alan Frieze on the occasion of his 60th birthday.  read more and register

FOCS 2005 in Pittsburgh!  read more

Carnegie Mellon / Technische Universiteit Eindhoven Collaborative Workshop
2-3 July 2005
Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, PA
Newell Simon Hall 3305

read more

4th Annual Computational Molecular Biology Symposium at Carnegie Mellon University
Tuesday, April 26th, 2005
12:00 - 6:00 P.M.
3305 Newell-Simon Hall

Market Design Workshop.
Time: October 28 – 29, 2004
Place:Carnegie Mellon University.
read more

Workshop on Meshing for Computational Biology.
Time: September 19th, 2004
Place: Cascades Meeting Center at The Williamsburg Woodlands, Williamsburg, Virginia
read more

Lamps of ALADDIN Annual Project Review.
May 24th, 2004
read more

Second RECOMB Satellite Workshop on Computational Methods for SNPs and Haplotypes. February 20-21, 2004
read more

Dynamic Algorithms and Applications. January 14, 2004
read more


Past Courses

Combinatorial Optimization: Packing and Covering (short series of lectures)
Instructor: Gerard Cornuejols
Dates: May 9th to May 26th
Time and Venue (tentative): Monday and Thursday, 2-3:30pm, Tepper 318

The integer programming models known as set packing and set covering have a wide range of applications, from pattern recognition to airline crew scheduling. Recent surveys on these and related models of Operations Research can be found in Annotated Bibliographies in Combinatorial Optimization edited by Dell'Amico, Maffioli and Martello.

Sometimes, due to the special structure of the constraint matrix, the natural linear programming relaxation yields an optimal solution that is integer, thus solving the problem. Sometimes, both the linear programming relaxation and its dual have integer optimal solutions. Under which conditions do such integrality conditions hold? This question is both of theoretical and practical interest. Min-max theorems, polyhedral combinatorics and graph theory come all together in this rich area of discrete mathematics. In addition to min-max and polyhedral results, some of the deepest results in this area come in two flavors: 'excluded minor' results and 'decomposition' results. In this course we present several of these beautiful results.

3D Computational Geometry
Gary Miller

The intent of this course is to study algorithms for geometric problems in 3 or more dimensions. Topics will be picked to prepare the participant for understanding and developing state of the art three simulations.
read more

15-859(J): Algorithmic Applications of Metric Embeddings
Anupam Gupta and R. Ravi
Time: TR 1:30-2:50
Place: Wean 4615A

In recent years, the study of distance-preserving embeddings has given a powerful tool to algorithm designers. This course will study various aspects of embedding of metric spaces into "simpler" ones.
read more

Convex Optimization
Instructor: John Lafferty

This course will be an informal seminar on convex optimization, treating theory, algorithms, and applications.
read more

15:859J: Computational Geometry
Instructor: Gary Miller
Time: Monday Wednesday 10:30-12:00
Place: Wean 4601

The course text will be Computational Geometry Algorithms and Applications, 2nd ed., by de Berg, van Kreveld, Overmars, and Schwarzkopf (Springer-Verlag, 2000). We will cover most of the book, adding some additional material.
read more






This material is based upon work supported by National Science Foundation under Grant No. 0122581.
Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the
National Science Foundation