The Association for Computing Machinery named Leslie Lamport, MA ’71, PhD ’72, the recipient of the 2013 A.M. Turing Award, an honor widely known as the ‘Nobel of Computing.’ Lamport, a principal researcher at Microsoft Research, received both his degrees from Brandeis University in mathematics.
For those outside computer science, Lamport is probably best known for developing LaTeX, a typesetting system ubiquitous in technical and scientific publications, but his most pioneering work explored the seemingly chaotic world of distributed computing systems. Read more.
I’m Mikel McDaniel, a recent real-life Brandeis graduate and real-life Google engineer from real-life. At Google, we are always looking for talented engineers to join our team. I’m coming by Vertica Lounge in Volen this Monday, February 24, 2014 at 1 pm to answer all your questions and tell you about engineering projects I’ve worked on and life as a Googler. Google does work in all areas of computer science from security, to artificial intelligence, to security, to crazy large distributed systems, to natural language processing, and much more! We impact people’s lives in a positive way by making products that help better organizes the world’s information!
Please feel free to RSVP for the event here . You can also ask and vote on any questions you have here and to learn more about Google’s culture and opportunities here. There will be swag and good food!
Brandeis University’s 1st Annual Computer Science Alumni Networking and Career Fair will be held on Monday, January 27th, 2014 5:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. in Shapiro Science Center Atrium. Explore careers in Computer Science, Software Development, Information Technology and other disciplines, learn about the manifold job opportunities available for Computer Scientists and network with graduates of our BA, BS, MA, and PhD programs who are now working in this rapidly growing field. See the link below for event overview, timeline, registration, preparation workshops, panelists and attending employers: https://sites.google.com/a/brandeis.edu/cs-networking/networking-jan-27-2014.
Republicans, Democrats Finally Find Common Ground — On Coding
In an increasingly divisive U.S. political climate, there’s at least one cause that has found support on both sides of the aisle — computer science education.
President Barack Obama, a Democrat, and Republican House Majority Leader Eric Cantor both stressed the importance of learning to to code, or write computer programs, in videos uploaded Sunday to YouTube by Code.org, a non-profit advocacy group. The joint call to action comes at the start of Computer Science Education Week, which began Monday.
“If we want America to stay on the cutting edge, we need young Americans like you to master the tools and technology that will change how we do just about everything,” Obama says in a short video. “
Don’t just buy a new video game, make one. Don’t just download the latest app, help design it. Don’t just play on your phone, program it.”
Cantor, who often plays the role of political adversary to Obama, backed the President’s sentiment. Continue reading
NSF CISE Grant: Efficient Techniques for Modular Past State Systems
Retrospection is the ability of a data store to run ad-hoc programs over consistent past states of a data store as if they were the current state. Retrospection makes it easier to analyze past states providing a valuable tool for auditors, historians, economists, social scientists and others with a need to investigate historical data. Yet most light-weight data stores today do not support retrospection. The key reason is that existing retrospection techniques, for performance, require invasive hard-to-adopt modifications to data store internals. This project will develop and evaluate an easy-to-adopt modular method and a set of associated techniques for supporting efficient retrospection in light-weight transactional data stores using an embedded persistent consistent past-state system.
NSF CISE IIS Grant: An efficient, versatile, scalable, and portable storage system for scientific data containers
Scientific data sets are becoming too large and complex to fit in RAM, forcing scientific applications to perform a lot of slow disk and network I/O. This growth also makes scientific data more vulnerable to data corruption due to crashes and human errors. This project will use recent results from algorithms, database, and file-systems research to improve the performance and reliability of the HDF5 standard file format for storing scientific data. This will make scientific research cheaper, faster, more reliable, and more reproducible.
A tradition for the past 5 years, the department hosted alumni for a get together during alumni weekend. This year we had students from 73 and 78 through 2003 and 2008. It was held in the new Vertica Lounge, Saturday, June 8, right after the Ralph Norman BBQ.
Click on the picture for a Picasa album.
In other prime number news, another mathematician has made progress on an equally intractable prime problem first posed by Christian Goldbach in 1742. Golbach suggested that every even number greater than 2 is the sum of two primes. Now Harald Helfgott of the École Normale Supérieure in Paris, France, has proved a related problem: the odd Goldbach conjecture, which states that every odd number above 5 is the sum of three primes.
A proof of Goldbach’s conjecture would also prove the odd version, since you can then take an even number formed of two primes and add 3 to it to get an odd number formed of three primes. But Helfgott’s proof is unlikely to help mathematicians go in the other direction, says Terence Tao of the University of California, Los Angeles – so Goldbach’s original problem remains unsolved.
Also see Scientific American Goldbach Variations.
Assistant Professor of Computer Science Olga Papaemmanouil has received a Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) award from the National Science Foundation (NSF), a highly selective grant that the National Science Foundation awards to junior faculty members who are likely to become academic leaders of the future.
The research project funded by Olga’s CAREER grant (“Towards Extensible Performance Management for Cloud Data Services“) aims to a) develop declarative mechanisms that allow application developers to express custom performance criteria for data processing tasks and b) exploit the properties of these mechanisms to design extensible resource, workload and Service-Level-Agreement (SLA) management services for cloud databases.
Artificial Intelligence luminaries from across the nation gathered at Brandeis on Sunday Sept 23 to honor David Waltz, who was a professor at Brandeis from 1984-1993 and who passed away in March from cancer. Organized by Prof. Jordan Pollack with sponsorship from Brandeis, AAAI, and Ab Initio Software, the day long event featured keynotes and panels from 6 different phases of Waltz’s career reflecting on his work and his leadership. A complete schedule follows the break, and when video of the event is available it will link from here.