CS Department Annual Reunion

Every year for the past 5 years we’ve held a get-together for all the students from the 5-year classes (79, 84, 89…09) invited to reunion. Click on the picture for a Picasa album.

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Graduating Seniors 2014

Here is a photo from our graduation lunch, May 14th. At least 75% of our students have jobs in the field!

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Alumnus Wins the Nobel Prize of Computing

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.

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Google Tech Talk

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!

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Brandeis University’s 1st Annual Computer Science Alumni Networking and Career Fair

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.

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Computer Science Education Week

Republicans, Democrats Finally Find Common Ground — On Coding

From Mashable:

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

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Grants for Liuba Shrira

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.

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Music, Journalism, Hacktivism Talk

Investigating the Hactivists of Anonymous, Parmy Olson with Peter Van Zandt Lane, Brandeis University

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Reunion 2013

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.

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Harald Helfgott ’98 solves “Odd” Goldbach Conjecture

From New Scientist

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.

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