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For more Rensselaer news, see the RPI News page or the blog The Approach.

April 6, 2015

Neuromorphic: Rensselaer Researchers To Design the Next-Generation Supercomputer

With a $1.3 million grant from the Air Force Research Laboratory, researchers at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute will explore the design and potential of next-generation supercomputers that incorporate a highly efficient "neuromorphic" processor, which more closely represents the human brain in its architectural design. In the Rensselaer project, titled "Massively Parallel Modeling and Simulation of Next-Generation Hybrid Neuromorphic Supercomputer Systems," researchers will use the Institute's supercomputer -- one of the four most powerful university supercomputers in the U.S. -- to simulate a hybrid supercomputer built with neuromorphic as well as classical computing processors, testing various network designs and the resulting outcomes to applications. Full story ...

April 2, 2015

Team TROOPER Prepares for Final DARPA Challenge

Team TROOPER will take on contenders from around the globe -- and tackle some of the most daunting disaster response tests -- during the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) Robotics Challenge finals June 5-6 in Pomona, California. The team is a partnership of Rensselaer, Lockheed Martin, and the University of Pennsylvania. Full story ...

March 20, 2015

Professor Francine Berman Nominated to National Council on the Humanities

President Barack Obama yesterday announced his intent to nominate Francine Berman to be a member of the National Council on the Humanities. Berman is the Edward P. Hamilton Distinguished Professor in Computer Science at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. The National Council on the Humanities, a board of twenty-six distinguished private citizens appointed by the president and confirmed by the Senate, advises the chairman of the National Endowment of the Humanities. Full story ...

March 19, 2015

Rensselaer Team Takes on NASA Robot Challenge

A team of Rensselaer students and their autonomous robot will compete this June in the 2015 NASA Sample Return Robot Challenge. Held at Worcester Polytechnic Institute, the challenge requires robots to navigate over unknown terrain and around obstacles to locate and retrieve geological samples. The Rensselaer entry is a sophisticated robot, complete with arms, a complex manipulation and grasping system, a long-range laser sensor to help with navigation, and a turntable with separate containers for each sample the robot collects. Full story ...

March 19, 2015

The Science of Magic: Rensselaer and Walt Disney Imagineering Research and Development, Inc. Advance the Frontiers of Cognitive Computing

An interdisciplinary team of researchers at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute is collaborating with Walt Disney Imagineering Research & Development, Inc., part of the theme park design and development arm of The Walt Disney Company. Together, they are exploring how the cognitive computing technology being developed at Rensselaer can help enhance the experience of visitors to Disney theme parks, cruise ships and other venues. Leading the project for Rensselaer is James Hendler, Tetherless World Senior Constellation Professor and director of The Rensselaer Institute for Data Exploration and Applications (IDEA). An expert in web science, Big Data, and artificial intelligence, Hendler said the collaboration with Walt Disney Imagineering Research & Development, Inc. is an important step forward for all of the data-related research taking place as part of The Rensselaer IDEA. Rensselaer faculty members Mei Si, assistant professor in the Department of Cognitive Science, and Heng Ji, the Edward P. Hamilton Development Chair and associate professor in the Department of Computer Science, will collaborate with Hendler on the project. Full story ...

March 12, 2015

Research Data Alliance Delivers on its Mission to Accelerate Data Sharing and Exchange

Representatives from the international data community are convening this week in San Diego, California, to attend the Fifth Plenary Meeting of the Research Data Alliance (RDA). With the theme "Adopt a Deliverable," approximately four hundred participants, including faculty and students from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI), are collaborating on new ways to foster an open environment of data sharing and exchange. Full story ...

March 12, 2015

Computer Scientist and Social Choice Expert Lirong Xia Receives NSF CAREER Award

Computer scientist and social choice expert Lirong Xia, an assistant professor of computer science at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, has won a prestigious Faculty Early Career Development Award (CAREER) from the National Science Foundation (NSF) Division of Information & Intelligent Systems. Xia will use the five-year $524,989 grant to investigate computational mechanisms that improve individual contributions to collective decision making processes -- such as news rankings -- including crowd-sourcing in the presence of online "noise answers." The project draws on economics, statistics, and computation to expand the capabilities of social choice mechanisms to handle large numbers of alternative choices, to extract ground truth from aggregated preferences, and to address problems where individual agents might not be able to compare some alternatives or have incentive to misreport their preferences. Full story ...

March 11, 2015

"Crushing it" w/RPISEC

This past weekend, RPISEC sent one team of five members to compete in the 12th Information Security Talent Search as organized and hosted by Rochester Institute of Technology's Security Practices and Research Student Association. This year the team consisted of Branden Clark '16, Patrick Biernat '16, Austin Ralls '17, Sophia D'Antoine '15, and Markus Gaasedelen '15. RPISEC placed 1st both at ISTS12 and ISTS11 (last year), and a few other times in years previous. Full story ...

February 19, 2015

Professor Francine Berman: Making an Impact in Data and STEM

Francine Berman, the Edward P. Hamilton Distinguished Professor in Computer Science, is on a mission to change the national conversation on data preservation and on women and technology --and she just might succeed. In Berman, Rensselaer has one of the most respected, sought-after leaders in digital data preservation, data cyberinfrastructure, and high-performance computing, as well as a national advocate for women in technology. Full story ...

October 10, 2014

Research By Rensselaer Professors Bolek Szymanski and Gyorgy Korniss Highlighted by Defense Threat Reduction Agency

Research from Bolek Szymanski, the Claire and Roland Schmitt Distinguished Professor of Computer Science at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, and Gyorgy Korniss, professor in the Department of Physics, Applied Physics, and Astronomy, was highlighted as a success story by the Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA) of the U.S. Department of Defense. DTRA commended work by Szymanski and Korniss on the challenging problem of providing military decision-makers with better information to predict and assess the consequences of military operations, toward the goal of reducing unintended collateral damage. Full story ...

October 10, 2014

Rensselaer Professor Deborah McGuinness Collaborates on New $15 Million NSF Award for DataONE Environmental Science Project

The National Science Foundation (NSF) has awarded $15 million to a team of environmental and earth science data researchers, including researchers at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, who are providing tools and infrastructure that improve access to vast amounts of scientific data. As part of the project, Rensselaer will provide semantic technology leadership to help improve scientific discovery, said Deborah McGuinness, director of the Rensselaer Web Science Center, and Tetherless World Senior Constellation Chair and professor of computer science and cognitive science at Rensselaer. Full story ...

September 25, 2014

Faculty Position in Department of Computer Science

The Department of Computer Science at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy NY invites applications for a full-time tenure track or tenured faculty position at the Assistant/Associate/Full Professor level in the area of "cyber security," including but not limited to networked and distributed systems security, anonymity and privacy, malware analysis and forensics, trusted systems, and cyber warfare. Full story ...

September 3, 2014

Lecturer Position in Department of Computer Science

The School of Science (SoS) at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, NY, invites applications for the position of Lecturer in the Department of Computer Science (http://cs.rpi.edu), starting January 1, 2015. The initial appointment will be for nine months. Teaching responsibilities will be in computer systems, software engineering, and introductory computer science courses. Full story ...

June 23, 2014

What data science needs: Commentatry in Big Data journal discusses challenges to the "science of data science"

To meet its potential for driving discovery and knowledge acquisition, data science must address the key challenges posed by "Big Data," assert Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute Professors James Hendler and Peter Fox in a commentary appearing in the June edition of the journal Big Data. Those challenges are not typically represented in university data science programs, which currently emphasize statistical techniques, visualization, and programming/analysis applications. Full story ...

June 19, 2014

Tracking climate change information with semantic web technology

Two benchmark climate change reports offer differing ranges of future sea level rise. How could that be? A deeper look reveals that one report gauges the most likely change while the other gauges plausible change. But that insight is gained only through access to the data and methodologies behind the documents, and details that are often difficult to trace. Tracking data provenance using Semantic Web technology offers a solution for decision makers considering results contained in such science-based documents, argue a group of researchers in a commentary published in the June edition of Nature Climate Change. Full story ...

May 21, 2014

David Vorick -- A Computer Science dgree, a start-up business, and the skills to make it happen

David Vorick is leaving Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute with more than a degree in computer science; he's also taking with him a fledgling cryptocurrency and cloud storage business, and the entrepreneurial skills he and his co-founder learned at Rensselaer. The business is Sia, a decentralized cloud storage solution, and after graduation, Vorick and co-founder Luke Champine are moving their shop across the country to Silicon Valley. Full story ...

April 25, 2014

Citizen scientist - Your safari photos are the data

Image-Based Ecological Information System (IBEIS) can identify individual animals in photos and match them against images of known animals stored in a database. Intended as an tool for conservation efforts, and ecology and population biology research, the beauty of IBEIS is that it can ID animals from ordinary snapshots, such as the thousands of photos taken daily by visitors to wildlife conservation reserves such as Yellowstone National Park, Amboseli National Park in Kenya, or the Galapagos Islands off the coast of Ecuador. To help test the system, Chuck Stewart, head of the Department of Computer Science at Rensselaer, and a lead researcher on the project, visited Mpala Research Centre in Kenya in January (and had a close encounter with a rhino) Full story ...

April 16, 2014

Expert in social choice Lirong Xia joins Rensselaer

Lirong Xia, a researcher whose work is improving voting and online recommendation systems, has joined Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute as an assistant professor of computer science. Xia joins Rensselaer from Harvard University, where he was a postdoctoral scholar at the Center for Research on Computation and Society. Xia's research is at the intersection of computation and a branch of economics known as "social choice" which analyzes the use of individual preferences to resach collective decisions or social objectives. Applications of social choice include voting, allocation of tasks, and recommendation systems such as online product recommendations. Full story ...

April 1, 2014

Enhanced autopilot system could help prevent accidents like 2009 Air France 447 crash

Thirty lines of computer code might have saved Air France flight 447, and 228 passengers and crew aboard, from plunging into the Atlantic Ocean on June 1, 2009, according to new research by Carlos Varela, an associate professor of computer science at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. Varela and his research group have developed a computer system that detects and corrects faulty airspeed readings, such as those that contributed to the AF447 crash. Their approach to detecting errors could be applicable in many systems that rely on sensor readings.
RPI story ...
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March 21, 2014

Rensselaer Center for Open Source Software

When the Rensselaer Center for Open Source Software (RCOS) was established in 2007, there were four student members, working on two open source projects. The seed money for RCOS was donated by Sean O.Sullivan '85, a member of the Rensselaer Board of Trustees and founder of MapInfo, JumpStart International, and other companies, with the intention to "support the development of open software solutions to promote civil societies in the United States and across the globe." Part of the Computer Science Department, RCOS is growing dramatically; there are now more than 160 student members, with over half of those new to the center this year. To join, a student needs to start or become involved with an existing open source project, one that somehow serves the greater good. Every aspect of that project -- plans, progress, issues, goals, and most importantly, the code -- must be open, available, and transparent. When a project is first proposed, it is sent out for evaluation and feedback to the entire RCOS mailing list, including past and present members and faculty advisers. Full story ...

January 23, 2014

School of Science Names New Professors

The School of Science announced two new professors on its faculty in December. Heng Ji, an expert in natural language processing, has been appointed the Edward P. Hamilton Development Chair and Tenured Associate Professor in Computer Science and Karyn Rogers, a geochemist and geomicrobiologist whose research takes her to the most extreme environments capable of sustaining life on Earth, has been appointed assistant professor in the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences. Ji's current research focuses on natural language processing, with emphasis on the design of efficient algorithms that can extract knowledge and information on a massive scale from Web-based sources such as social media posts, Wikipedia articles, and news reports. Full story ...

January 23, 2014

Jeff Trinkle Named to NSF Robotics Post

The National Science Foundation (NSF) has tapped Jeff Trinkle, computer science professor and director of the Rensselaer Computer Science Department Robotics Lab, for a leadership role with President Barack Obama.s National Robotics Initiative (NRI). Starting Jan. 21, Trinkle will serve as program director for the NSF Directorate for Computer and Information Science and Engineering, Division of Information and Intelligent Systems, responsible for advancing NRI. Full story ...

January 23, 2014

TROOPER Moves Forward in DARPA Robotics Chalenge

In December, Team TROOPER completed the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) Robotics Challenge trials at the Homestead-Miami Speedway. The Lockheed Martin Advanced Technology Laboratories-led team, which also includes Rensselaer and the University of Pennsylvania, guided an Atlas humanoid robot through a number of tasks designed to simulate disaster response scenarios.The team is one of eight to move forward onto the next phase of the Challenge. In 2014, the team will continue to refine and expand its robotic system concept in preparation for the DARPA Robotics Challenge finals. Full story ...

December 17, 2013

Rensselaer Students To Compete in DARPA Robotics Challenge

Students at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute are playing a key role developing robotic capabilities for use in disaster response. The students are part of a team that has qualified for the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) Robotics Challenge and will compete December 20-21 in trials that will test the capabilities of human-sized semi-autonomous robots. Full story ...

December 10, 2013

Beyond the Keyword: Natural Language Processing Expert Heng Ji Joins Rensselaer as Edward P. Hamilton Development Chair

Heng Ji, an expert in natural language processing, has been appointed as the Edward P. Hamilton Development Chair and Tenured Associate Professor in Computer Science at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. Ji was most recently a faculty member in computer science at the City University of New York. "Heng brings an extraordinary track record of success in a very strategic research area to Rensselaer," said Laurie Leshin, dean of the School of Science at Rensselaer. Full story ...

November 25, 2013

Rensselaer Professor Deborah L. McGuinness Named Fellow of the AAAS

Web scientist and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute Tetherless World Research Constellation Professor Deborah L. McGuinness has been selected as a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). McGuinness is one of 388 newly selected members awarded the honor because of their scientifically or socially distinguished efforts to advance science or its applications, according to AAAS. McGuinness is a professor in the computer science and cognitive science departments and the director of the Web Science Research Center at Rensselaer. She is a leading expert on knowledge representation and reasoning languages, ontology creation and evolution environments, and provenance. Most recently, McGuinness is best known for her research on the Semantic Web and in bridging artificial intelligence and eScience. The next generation of the World Wide Web, the Semantic Web allows computers and other electronics and robotics to communicate and interact without requiring human intervention. The Semantic Web uses information encoded in Web ontology languages to allow computers to "talk" to and understand one another. Full story ...

November 11, 2013

Research Data Alliance/US To Expand Reach and Scope With $5 Million NSF Grant

The National Science Foundation (NSF) has awarded a five-year, $5 million grant to Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and partners to expand United States leadership and engagement in the international data community through the Research Data Alliance (RDA). RDA is accelerating the development of global infrastructure for data sharing and exchange among diverse research areas -- including tools, code, institutional policy, and best practices -- that provide the foundation for new data-driven insights and discoveries. Full story ...

November 8, 2013

Stacy Patterson named Clare Boothe Luce Assistant Professor

Stacy Patterson, a computer scientist whose research creates new utility by linking the sensors that pepper modern consumer goods, like automobiles, has joined Rensselaer as the Clare Boothe Luce Assistant Professor in Computer Science. Patterson, an expert in dynamic networks, distributed algorithms, and cooperative control, was most recently a postdoctoral fellow at the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology. Full story ...

October 3, 2013

Rensselaer at Petascale: AMOS Among the World's Fastest and Most Powerful Supercomputers

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute today unveiled a new petascale supercomputing system, the Advanced Multiprocessing Optimized System, or AMOS.

With the ability to perform more than one quadrillion (1015) calculations per second, AMOS is the most powerful university-based supercomputer in New York state and the Northeast, and among the most powerful in the world. In addition to massive computational power, AMOS has high-performance networking capabilities with a bandwidth of more than four terabytes per second -- more than the combined bandwidth of 2 million home Internet subscribers.

This combination of speed and networking is unique among the world's university-based supercomputing systems, and will enable Rensselaer and its partners in academia and industry to better tackle highly complex, data-rich research challenges ranging from personalized health care, to smart grids, to economic modeling.

AMOS is a five-rack IBM Blue Gene/Q supercomputer with additional equipment, and represents the latest milestone in the decades-long close collaboration between IBM and Rensselaer. In January of this year, IBM provided a Watson cognitive computing system to Rensselaer, Watson at Rensselaer, making it the first university to receive such a system. Full story ...

September 27, 2013

Hendler to lead Rensselaer IDEA

President Jackson has announced the appointment of Professor James Hendler as director of the Rensselaer Institute for Data Exploration and Applications (IDEA). Hendler, senior constellation chair and former department head, has assumed responsibility for leveraging the wealth of data science, high performance computing, predictive analytics, data visualization, and cognitive computing research being done at Rensselaer. The Rensselaer IDEA will be the hub for these and other multidisciplinary data-related programs and projects on campus, which range from health care, to business analytics, to smart buildings, to cybersecurity, according to President Jackson.s announcement. Full story ...

September 18, 2013

International Research Data Alliance facilitates data sharing at first US meeting

Top leaders from the White House and our nation's science agencies understand the importance of data management. From September 16-18, they are gathering at the National Academy of Sciences in Washington as part of a major meeting of the international Research Data Alliance (RDA). Francine Berman, distinguished professor of computer science at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, is co-chair of the RDA Council and opened the conference. Full story ...

September 12, 2013

Computer Science Department alumnus Karthik Bala named 2013 William F. Glaser '53 Rensselaer Entrepreneur of the Year

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute alumnus Karthik Bala '97 and his brother, Guha Bala, co-founders of the successful video game development company Vicarious Visions, have been selected as the 2013 William F. Glaser '53 Rensselaer Entrepreneurs of the Year. Established in 1990, the award brings the world of entrepreneurship into Rensselaer classrooms by recognizing successful entrepreneurs and role models who share their wisdom and experiences with students. Full story ...

September 9, 2013

Harnessing the petabyte: Data Science Research Center explors cloud computing and supercomputing to analyze big data

The petabyte -- a quantity of digital information 12 orders of magnitude greater than the lowly kilobyte -- looms large as a future standard for data. To glean knowledge from this deluge of data, a team of researchers at the Data Science Research Center at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute is combining the reach of cloud computing with the precision of supercomputers in a new approach to Big Data analysis.

"Advances in technology for medical imaging devices, sensors, and in powerful scientific simulations are producing data that we must be able to access and mine," said Bulent Yener, founding director of the DSRC, a professor of computer science within the Rensselaer School of Science, and a member of the research team. "The trend is heading toward petabyte data and we need to develop algorithms and methods that can help us understand the knowledge contained within it."

The team, led by Petros Drineas, associate professor of computer science at Rensselaer, has been awarded a four-year, $1 million grant from the National Science Foundation Division of Information & Intelligent Systems to explore the new strategies for mining petabyte data. The project will enlist key faculty from across the Institute including Drineas and Yener; Christopher Carothers, director of the Rensselaer supercomputing center, the Computational Center for Nanotechnology Innovations (CCNI), and professor of computer science; Mohammed Zaki, professor of computer science; and Angel Garcia, head of the Department of Physics, Applied Physics, and Astronomy and senior chaired professor in the Biocomputation and Bioinformatics Constellation. Full story ...

August 30, 2013

IBM's University Partnerships Narrow Big Data Skills Gap

Earlier this month, IBM announced that Rensselaer is among nine new academic collaborations that have been added to its more than 1,000 partnerships with universities across the globe, focusing on Big Data and analytics -- all of which are designed to prepare students for the 4.4 million jobs that will be created worldwide to support Big Data by 2015. The company also announced more than $100,000 in awards for Big Data curricula. As part of IBM's Academic Initiative, the company is launching new curricula focusing on Big Data and analytics with Rensselaer, Georgetown University, George Washington University, and the University of Missouri, as well as a new addition to IBM's partnership with Northwestern University. Full story ...

August 30, 2013

Tackling Big Data: Rensselaer Launches the Institute for Data Exploration and Applications

Rensselaer has launched a new universitywide initiative to tackle the challenges and opportunities of Big Data. The new Rensselaer Institute for Data Exploration and Applications (IDEA) brings together and fortifies the wealth of data science, high performance computing, predictive analytics, data visualization, and cognitive computing research at Rensselaer. The Rensselaer IDEA represents an investment by Rensselaer of $60 million, and involves faculty members and students from more than 12 departments across the five schools of the university. The new research institute serves as a hub for Rensselaer faculty, staff, and students engaged in data-driven discovery and innovation. Through the use of the vast amounts of available data, they are addressing some of the most challenging problems facing our world -- from energy security and job creation to sustainability and health care. Full story ...

August 29, 2013

GE Global Research joins the Data Science Research Center at Rensselaer

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute today announced that GE Global Research has joined the Data Science Research Center (DSRC) Industry Affiliates Program at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. With a $30,000 commitment, GE Global Research becomes a part of a growing number of corporate partners that will collaborate to shape the future of data science by building strategic relationships, networking, and participating in cutting-edge research and education. Full story ...

August 8, 2013

Rensselaer Computer Science and Research Data Expert Francine Berman Co-Authors Op Ed on Research Data Preservation in Science

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute Professor and Council co-Chair of the international Research Data Alliance Francine Berman joined with Google Vice President Vint Cerf to discuss the future of public access to research data in a Science magazine Op Ed appearing Aug 9. "Who Will Pay for Public Access to Research Data?" appears in the Policy Forum section of Science -- a publication of the American Association for the Advancement of Science -- and discusses the growing call for greater public access to data resulting from taxpayer sponsored research. Full story ...

July 22, 2013

New faculty member named one of "AI's 10 to Watch"

IEEE Intelligent Systems has named new Computer Science Department faculty member Heng Ji as on their list of "AI's 10 to Watch." Full story ...

July 18, 2013

Computer Science Department welcomes new faculty members

The Computer Science Department is pleased to announce three new faculty members joining us this year. Please join us in welcoming

  • Lirong Xia, assistant professor.
  • Stacy Patterson, Clare Boothe Luce Assistant Professor,
  • Heng Ji, Edward G. Hamilton Development Chair and Associate Professor of Computer Science.

July 16, 2013

General Dynamics Advanced Information Systems Becomes Founding Corporate Member of Data Science Research Center

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute today announced that General Dynamics Advanced Information Systems will serve as the founding corporate member of the Rensselaer Data Science Research Center (DSRC) Industry Affiliates Program. General Dynamics Advanced Information Systems becomes the first industrial member of the DSRC, spearheading the collaborative effort to help shape the future of data science through information sharing between industry and academia to continue cutting-edge research and education. Full story ...

July 9, 2013

Two Computer Science majors part of team awarded "Outstanding" prize in international contest

Here's a knotty problem: There is a relationship between human activity, damage to the environment, and harm to people (greenhouse gases leads to sea level rise which threatens coastal populations), but the cause-and-effect isn't always clear. And while environmentalists collect stats on damage to the environment (pollutants in air and water, deforestation, species loss), policy makers who can shape human activity think in terms of harm to people (public health crisis, unemployment, threats to infrastructure). So how can we close the loop between human actions, environmental changes, and effects on humanity to save the planet and ourselves?

Three Rensselaer School of Science students have a solution: Skip the middleman (the environment) and draw a straight line between human actions and harm to humans. Their work on a new model called the "Earth Damage Score," earned Diogo Moitinho de Almeida, Amanda Knight, and Eric Shapiro one of five "Outstanding" prizes in the Interdisciplinary Contest in Modeling. The trio took top prize in a field of 957 entries, and were the only American team among the award-winning top 12 entrants in the contest. Full story ...

June 13, 2013

The Rensselaer IDEA: Harnessing the Power of Data to Change the World

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute today announced a new university-wide initiative to tackle the challenges and opportunities of Big Data. The new Rensselaer Institute for Data Exploration and Applications (IDEA) brings together and fortifies the wealth of data science, high performance computing, predictive analytics, data visualization, and cognitive computing research at Rensselaer, the nation's oldest technological research university. Professor James Hendler, head of the Rensselaer Department of Computer Science, will serve as the director of the Rensselaer IDEA. To boost the impact of the research institute, Rensselaer will hire new faculty members -- including an addition to the Tetherless World Constellation -- and will create a new research constellation in Computational Science and Engineering. Full story ...

May 14, 2013

DNA Analysis Unearths Origins of Minoans, the First Major European Civilization

Research published today in Nature Communications, produced with the aid of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute computer scientist Petros Drineas, used DNA analysis to unearth the previously unknown origin of the Minoans, who some 5,000 years ago established the first advanced Bronze Age civilization in present-day Crete. Results suggest that the Minoan civilization arose from the population already living in Bronze Age Crete, people who were probably descendents of the first humans to reach Crete about 9,000 years ago, and who bear greatest genetic similarity with modern European populations. Full story ...

April 30, 2013

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and Lawrence Livermore Scientists Set a New Simulation Speed Record on the Sequoia Supercomputer

Computer scientists at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute have set a high performance computing speed record that opens the way to the scientific exploration of complex planetary-scale systems. In a paper to be published in May, the joint team will announce a record-breaking simulation speed of 504 billion events per second on LLNL's Sequoia Blue Gene/Q supercomputer, dwarfing the previous record set in 2009 of 12.2 billion events per second. Constructed by IBM, the 120-rack Sequoia supercomputer has a peak performance of 25 petaflops per second and is the second fastest supercomputer in the world, with a total speed and capacity equivalent to about one million desktop PCs. Authors of the study are Peter Barnes Jr. and David Jefferson of LLNL, and CCNI Director and computer science professor Chris Carothers and graduate student Justin LaPre of Rensselaer. Full story ...

March 15, 2013

First Meeting of New Research Data Alliance March 18 in Sweden Will Feature Leading "Big Data" Experts and Others Working To Make Research Data Easier To Share

Many of the world's leading experts on "Big Data" and related fields will gather in Sweden March 18 for the first plenary session of the new international Research Data Alliance (RDA) -- an interdisciplinary organization whose goal is to accelerate data-driven innovation through research data sharing and exchange. U.S. involvement is led by Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute Computer Science Professor Francine Berman and Professor Beth A. Plale, of the School of Informatics and Computing at Indiana University. Full story ...

February 22, 2013

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute Student Team Earns First Place in U.S. Health Data Platform Competition

Four graduate students in the Tetherless World Constellation at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute recently earned the top prize in a national health data platform challenge designed to create new functionalities for the U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services' (HHS) repository for open health data: healthdata.gov.

The goal for students and others in the competition was to make high-value health data more accessible to entrepreneurs, researchers, and policy makers in the hopes of better health outcomes for all.

The four students won the $20,000 first prize in the Health Data Platform challenge designed by the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology within HHS. The students earned the honor in the so-called Metadata Challenge component of the competition, which was designed to facilitate the application of common metadata standards to all open government data. Full story ...

February 15, 2013

President Jackson and Professor Hendler Participate in World Economic Forum

Rensselaer President Shirley Ann Jackson and World Wide Web expert and Rensselaer Professor Jim Hendler joined global leaders in government, business, academe, media, and the arts at the World Economic Forum (WEF) 2013 Annual Meeting in Davos, Switzerland. This year's meeting, focusing on "Resilient Dynamism," was held Jan. 23 to 27. President Jackson, a member of the WEF Science Advisory Committee and the WEF-USA Board, moderated a session on "Global Supply Chain Resilience," focusing on new approaches in risk management. Professor Hendler, head of the Computer Science Department and a senior constellation professor in the Tetherless World Constellation at Rensselaer, participated in an IdeasLab titled "Cyber Resiliency," and on a panel titled "Science: The Next Revolution." Full story ...

January 30, 2013

IBM's Watson to Join Research Team at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

IBM (NYSE: IBM) today announced it will provide a modified version of an IBM Watson system to Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, making it the first university to receive such a system. The arrival of the Watson system will enable new leading-edge research at Rensselaer, and afford faculty and students an opportunity to find new uses for Watson and deepen the systems' cognitive capabilities. The firsthand experience of working on the system will also better position Rensselaer students as future leaders in the areas of Big Data, analytics, and cognitive computing.

Known to many as the IBM innovation that beat Jeopardy!'s all-time champions, Watson has a unique ability to understand the subtle nuances of human language, sift through vast amounts of data, and provide evidence-based answers to its human users' questions. Currently, Watson's fact-finding prowess is being applied to crucial fields, such as healthcare, where IBM is collaborating with medical providers, hospitals and physicians to help doctors analyze a patient's history, symptoms and the latest news and medical literature to help physicians make faster, more accurate diagnoses. IBM is also working with financial institutions to help improve and simplify the banking experience. Full story ...

January 18, 2013

Study of social network check-ins shows that proximity is still the strongest predictor of friendship

The closer you live to another person, the more likely you are to be friends with that person despite the growing use and impact of social media, according to a study that drew on data from the location-based social network provider Gowalla. The study, by researchers within the Social Cognitive Networks Academic Research Center (SCNARC) at Rensselaer, also showed that people tend to move in groups of friends, and that two people chosen at random at a specific event (like a concert or at a particular store) are unlikely to be friends. While the findings are seemingly common sense, the study -- and continued research on social networks -- holds a powerful message for a broad range of applications that rely on accurate predictions of how people move, such as emergency planning, infrastructure development, communications networks, and disease control. Full story ...

November 30, 2012

Rensselaer Awarded Prestigious Grant From Henry Luce Foundation To Establish a Clare Boothe Luce Assistant Professorship in Computer Science

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute today announced a five-year $499,000 grant from the Henry Luce Foundation to establish the Clare Boothe Luce Assistant Professorship in Computer Science. The initiative supports the Institute in advancing women in computer science and other STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) fields.

The grant will be used to hire a female assistant professor with a research and teaching focus in the fast-paced field of mobile and distributed computing systems. The Clare Boothe Luce Assistant Professor will join Rensselaer as a faculty member, occupying a position that will continue in the tenure/tenure-track faculty ranks even after the five-year grant period. Full story ...

November 13, 2012

NSF-supported Research Data Alliance/U.S. collaborates with international partners to accelerate data sharing

The National Science Foundation today awarded a $2.5-million grant to Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute to enable its participation in a new international organization that will accelerate research data sharing among scientists around the globe.

The grant will be used to develop a Research Data Alliance (RDA) that will allow researchers the world over to collaboratively use scientific data to speed up innovation.

To date, more than 120 U.S. and international participants are helping conceptualize the organization and populate its first efforts. Along with scientific and data leaders from the United States, members from Australia and the European Union are part of the new alliance's organizational steering committee. U.S. participation will be led by Rensselaer Computer Science Professor Francine Berman. Full story ...

November 12, 2012

Parallel processing expert Christopher Carothers named director of Rensselaer supercomputing center

The combination of powerful new hardware, a talented new director, and a continued industry focus is set to amplify the success, reach, and impact of the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute supercomputing center.

Parallel and distributed computing expert Christopher Carothers has been named director of the Rensselaer Computational Center for Nanotechnology Innovations (CCNI). In this role, Carothers is charged with making the new supercomputing resources of CCNI accessible to Rensselaer students and faculty. He is also responsible for forging new collaborations and opportunities for Rensselaer researchers to continue solving critical high-performance computing problems and creating value for the center.s partners in industry, academia, and government. Full story ...

October 26, 2012

World wide web expert Jim Hendler receives inaugural Strata Big Data Award

Jim Hendler, head of the Department of Computer Science and senior constellation professor in the Tetherless World Constellation at Rensselaer, has been honored with an inaugural Strata Data Innovation Award, given to individuals who have made significant innovations in the data field. Full story ...

October 17, 2012

Students attend Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing

The Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing was held in Baltimore Maryland this year. An annual event focused on bringing the research and career interests of technical women to the forefront, the conference hosted over 3600 technical professionals at all levels. This year, the conference featured keynotes by Dr. Anita Jones, former Director of Defense Research and Engineering for the U.S. Department of Defense, and Dr. Nora Denzel, Senior Vice President at Intuit. Two Rensselaer graduate students, Misbah Mubarak and Elsa Gonsiorowski, won the Grace Hopper Scholarship to attend the conference free of charge. In addition, with strong support and funding provided at all levels from the Dean of Science Laurie Leshin, CS Department Chair Jim Hendler to the President and the Provost of Rensselaer, 7 additional Rensselaer students (including freshman, sophomore, junior and seniors) attended the conference and experienced the tremendous inspiration and energy of the Grace Hopper Conference (GHC) first-hand. Full story ...

September 5, 2012

Faculty positions open in the Computer Science Department

The Department of Computer Science at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, N.Y. seeks to hire two faculty members to join a strong and growing faculty.

The first opening, the Hamilton Chair in Computer Science, is intended for an associate professor in the area of .cyber risk,. including but not limited to information/data security, privacy, accountability, trust, and forensics for computers, networks and cyber-physical systems. Applicants for this chaired position must demonstrate an outstanding record of research accomplishments as well as a strong committment to teaching.

The second position, for an assistant professor, is focused on agent-based systems, including but not limited to multi-agent systems, agent learning, collective intelligence, agents in financial markets, agent-based risk assessment, and agent-based modeling, especially for networked and distributed systems. Full story ...

June 26, 2012

World wide web expert Jim Hendler named head of Computer Science Department at Rensselaer

Professor Jim Hendler has been named the new head of the Department of Computer Science at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. Hendler is currently a senior constellation professor in the Tetherless World Constellation and program director of the Information Technology and Web Science (ITWS) program at Rensselaer. He will be stepping down from his leadership of the ITWS Program to assume the department head post. Full story ...

June 7, 2012

Scientists utilizing new funding to develop computers that help search out the new technologies

Scientists at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute have begun work on a new Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity (IARPA) project to develop computer systems that help quickly identify emerging ideas and capabilities in technology. The research is part of the IARPA Foresight and Understanding from Scientific Exposition (FUSE) program under a team led by BAE Systems that includes Brandeis University, New York University, 1790 Analytics, and Rensselaer. Rensselaer has received $510,000 to fund its initial phase of the larger collaborative research project. As noted in the FUSE IARPA press release launching the program, the current process to scan the horizon for new technologies is done primarily with human hands and minds. The process is time consuming and exhaustive, often only finding a technology well after it has become engrained. The computer and web scientists within the Tetherless World Constellation at Rensselaer, led by Constellation Professor Deborah McGuinness, will work with the FUSE team to help automate portions of the technological process of identifying emerging technologies. The team seeks to develop computational programs that will quickly analyze millions and even billions of pages of text for the emergence of new technological and scientific trends. The end result will be a new tool that can quickly scan collections of text in multiple languages for arising ideas. The Rensselaer focus is on making the process transparent and actionable. Full story ...

June 7, 2012

Rensselaer researchers unveil prototype disaster management simulator

Engineers and scientists at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute are working to develop powerful new decision-making and data visualization tools for emergency management. These tools aim to help law enforcement, health officials, water and electric utilities, and others to collaboratively and effectively respond to disasters. Today, a team of three Rensselaer researchers will demonstrate a prototype of this new technology for federal, state, and local officials, including representatives from the Department of Homeland Security and New York state. The demonstration will take place in the Curtis R. Priem Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center (EMPAC), the capabilities of which are a key component of the new technology's data visualization and advanced interactive graphics. The research project is a collaboration between William "Al" Wallace '61, the Yamada Corporation Professor at Rensselaer, and a member of the Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering (ISE); Barbara Cutler, associate professor in the Department of Computer Science; and David Mendonça '01, associate professor in ISE. Full story ...

June 5, 2012

GNS Healthcare expands membership at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute supercomputing center to advance big data healthcare solutions

Leading "big data" analytics firm GNS Healthcare has signed a multi-year agreement to extend and expand its membership with the Computational Center for Nanotechnology Innovations (CCNI) at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. The agreement enables GNS to continue and grow its use of CCNI's massively parallel computational resources to directly support its research and operations. CCNI is a $100 million partnership between Rensselaer, IBM, and New York state. The center houses one of the world's most powerful university-based supercomputers and is a national leader in promoting the application of high-performance computing in industry. CCNI supports a network of more than 700 researchers in academia and industry across a diverse spectrum of disciplines. Full story ...

June 1, 2012

Article cites RPI as a top choice for financial services companies hiring computer science majors

According to Wall Street & Technology's article "How to Land a Technology Job on Wall Street: Inside an Elite Wall Street IT Education," financial services companies are hiring recent computer science graduates. The article quotes William Murphy, chief technology officer of Blackstone Group. Murphy's campus recruiting program "targets the top tech schools on the East Coast, including Carnegie Mellon, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI), the University of Pennsylvania (his alma mater) and, locally, the Stevens Institute of Technology in Hoboken, N.J." Full story ...

April 27, 2012

New cell graphs link tissue structure to its corresponding biological function

Computer scientists and biologists in the Data Science Research Center at Rensselaer have developed a rare collaboration between the two very different fields to pick apart a fundamental roadblock to progress in modern medicine. Their unique partnership has uncovered a new computational model called .cell graphs. that links the structure of human tissue to its corresponding biological function. The tool is a promising step in the effort to bring the power of computational science together with traditional biology in the fight against human diseases such as cancer. Full story ...

April 13, 2012

Two IBM Fellows in two years

IBM has announced that Rensselaer computer science alumnus Balaram Sinharoy has received a prestigious IBM fellowship. The former doctoral student is one of only seven scientists to be named fellow this year. Sinharoy is the second Rensselaer computer science alumnus to receive the distinction in two years. Fellow computer science graduate David Ferrucci was also named fellow in 2011. Full story ...

February 17, 2012

Doctoral student named digital forensics grand champion

Can Yildizli, a doctoral student in computer science, has won the Department of Defense (DoD) Cyber Crime Center (DC3) Digital Forensics Challenge 2011, placing first among 1,147 contestants worldwide. Yildizli was named "Grand Champion" with a score of 4,789-1,257 points ahead of the nearest competitor. Full story ...

January 24, 2012

Computer scientist to bring programming and aviation know-how together

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute computer scientist Carlos Varela has received seed funding from the U.S. Air Force to help make flight data as updated, active, and accurate as possible. Varela, part of the Data Science Research Center at Rensselaer, will use the more than $100,000 grant to develop sophisticated computer logic programming to help create safer and more efficient flight technology. The grant is part of the Air Force Office of Scientific Research (AFOSR) Dynamic Data-Driven Application Systems (DDDAS) program. Full story ...

September 12, 2011

New supercomputer to boost Rensselaer leadership in high-performance computing

A new system to be installed at the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute supercomputing center will enable exciting new research possibilities across the nation and boost the university's international leadership in computational modeling and simulation, data science, high-performance computing, and web science. Funded by a $2.65 million grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) and with additional support from Rensselaer and its Computational Center for Nanotechnology Innovations (CCNI), the new system will be a national resource for researchers in academia and industry across a wide range of disciplines. The system, scheduled to be delivered and installed in 2012, provides a balanced combination of computational power, fast data access, and visualization capabilities. It will be comprised of a powerful IBM Blue Gene/Q supercomputer, along with a multiterabyte memory (RAM) storage accelerator, petascale disk storage, rendering cluster, and remote display wall systems. "The IBM Blue Gene/Q system is brand new, and should enable unprecedented innovations in massively parallel computing for data-intensive and multiscale research," said Christopher Carothers, professor in the Department of Computer Science at Rensselaer, and lead researcher on the new grant. "Many important research projects are hitting a bottleneck, as the amount of data they.re generating continues to grow, as does their need to interact with this data. With our new balanced system, paired with the expertise of Rensselaer faculty and students, we should be able to help researchers in academia and industry to overcome many of these challenges." Full story ...

August 1, 2011

Professor James Hendler featured in New York Times

Professor James Hendler shares his experiences as a frequent flier in "To Share Grievances, Microblogging the Frustrations of Flight." Full story ...

July 25, 2011

Minority Rules: Scientists Discover Tipping Point for the Spread of Ideas

Scientists at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute have found that when just 10 percent of the population holds an unshakable belief, their belief will always be adopted by the majority of the society. The scientists, who are members of the Social Cognitive Networks Academic Research Center (SCNARC) at Rensselaer, used computational and analytical methods to discover the tipping point where a minority belief becomes the majority opinion. The finding has implications for the study and influence of societal interactions ranging from the spread of innovations to the movement of political ideals.

"When the number of committed opinion holders is below 10 percent, there is no visible progress in the spread of ideas. It would literally take the amount of time comparable to the age of the universe for this size group to reach the majority," said SCNARC Director Boleslaw Szymanski, the Claire and Roland Schmitt Distinguished Professor at Rensselaer. "Once that number grows above 10 percent, the idea spreads like flame." Full story ...

July 19 2011

Francine Berman featured on WAMC

Today on WAMC's Academic Minute program, Fran Berman, Professor of Computer Science and Vice President for Research, spoke about preservation of digital data. Full story ...

July 1, 2011

Elsevier/TWC Health and Life Sciences Hackathon

Professors Deborah McGuinness and Joanne Luciano teamed up with Elsevier for the Elsevier/TWC Health and Life Sciences Hackathon. The first place winner was Computer Science PhD student James McCusker. Full story ...

June 30, 2011

Professor James Hendler quoted in Scientific American

The Scientific American article "Social Climber: Google Challenges Facebook for Networking Supremacy" about the new Google+ network includes comments from Computer Science professor James Hendler. Full story ...

June 17, 2011

Tetherless World Receives Grant from Microsoft

The Tetherless World Constellation has received an unrestricted $100,000 donation from Microsoft Research Laboratories. The funding will support research within the constellation on how Semantic Web technologies can be applied to interpreting, storing, and utilizing financial data. The funding will also be utilized by researchers within the constellation to explore new ways to store data in what is known as "the cloud." Full story ...

June 9, 2011

Computer Science major Peter Hajas develops popular iPhone application Mobile Notifier

Computer Science major Peter Hajas has developed MobileNotifier, an iPhone application which has been downloaded by more then 250,000 people. Mobile Notifier is an open source application which was developed as part of Peter's work in the Rensselaer Center for Open Source Software, led by Professor Mukkai Krishnamoorthy. Full story ...

May 6, 2011

Memorial dedication for Bob Ingalls to be held May 12

The dedication of the bench and tree in memory of Robert Ingalls will be held on Thursday, May 12, 2011 at 11:00 AM in front of the Lally Building. Contact Sharon Simmons for information, or if you would like to speak, sing, play an instrument, etc. at this informal ceremony. Full story ...

May 3, 2011

Alumnus David Ferrucci chosen as IBM Fellow

Among the eight newly chosen IBM Fellows is Rensselaer alumnus David Ferrucci. Ferrucci was the lead developer of IBM's Watson supercomputer, a recent winner on the "Jeopardy" television show. Full story ...

April 15, 2011

Student Scheduler Software Created

Students and staff at Rensselaer have come together to develop an open source software called the Rensselaer Open Course Scheduler that will help students more easily plan their upcoming semester. Because the software is also open source, the developers would like other universities to benefit from their programming and use the code that they have written for Rensselaer. The scheduler was developed by a collaborative mix of students, faculty, staff, and even alumni at Rensselaer. Students from the Rensselaer honor society Upsilon Pi Epsilon (UPE), as well as faculty and students involved in the Center for Open Source Software, worked with staff from the Division of the Chief Information Officer (DotCIO) and the Office of the Registrar to develop the application. Full story ...

February 24, 2011

Computer Science Sophomore Made Key Contributions to NASA's First Human-Like Robot

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute student Nathaniel Quillin has friends in high places. Some of those friends will pilot space shuttle Discovery into orbit this afternoon.

Quillin, a sophomore dual majoring in computer science and computer and systems engineering, spent two semesters and two summers at NASA's Johnson Space Center (JSC) outside Houston. He is a member of the research team that developed the first human-like robot to be sent to space. The robot, called Robonaut 2, or R2, is scheduled to launch into orbit today aboard Discovery and become a permanent resident of the International Space Station (ISS). Full story ...

February 23, 2011

A Semantic Sommelier: Wine Application Highlights the Power of Web 3.0

In the restaurant of the future, you will always enjoy the perfect meal with that full-bodied 2006 cabernet sauvignon, you will always know your dinner companions' favorite merlot, and you will be able to check if the sommelier's cellar contains your favorite pinot grigio before you even check your coat. These feats of classic cuisine will come to the modern dinner through the power of Semantic Web technology.

Web scientist and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute Tetherless World Research Constellation Professor Deborah McGuinness has been developing a family of applications for the most tech-savvy wine connoisseurs since her days as a graduate student in the 1980s -- before what we now know as the World Wide Web had even been envisioned. Full story ...

February 14, 2011

Web Experts Ask Scientists To Use the Web To Improve Understanding, Sharing of Their Data in Science Magazine

Peter Fox and James Hendler of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute are calling for scientists to take a few tips from the users of the World Wide Web when presenting their data to the public and other scientists in the Feb. 11 issue of Science magazine. Fox and Hendler, both professors within the Tetherless World Research Constellation at Rensselaer, outline a new vision for the visualization of scientific data in a perspective piece titled "Changing the Equation on Scientific Data Visualization." Full story ...

February 11, 2011

Alex, What's the Future of Computing, Voice Recognition, and Artificial Intelligence?

Rensselaer professors and scientists, and lead developers of the IBM Watson computer, will join an audience of students and visitors to watch as Watson faces off against the two all-time Jeopardy! champions on Feb. 14, 15, and 16, and to analyze the technology that enables a computer to compete effectively with humans.

Several of the scientists behind the development of Watson are Rensselaer graduates. David Ferrucci, the IBM lead scientist on the project, earned his Ph.D. at Rensselaer. Chris Welty, who earned all three of his degrees at Rensselaer and is a member of the IBM Watson algorithms team, is a former director of Rensselaer's computer science laboratory. Welty will join the Rensselaer audience at all three viewing events and discuss the technology behind Watson. He will be joined by Adam Lally, an IBM software engineer on the Watson project and a Rensselaer graduate. Full story ...

February 8, 2011

Rensselaer Data Scientists Collaborate on $2 Million Grant to Study Ocean

Peter Fox and Charles Stewart, data scientists at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, are beginning a large-scale collaboration with the Woods Hole Oceanography Institution (WHOI), utilizing a more than $2 million grant from the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation.

A professor in the Tetherless World Research Constellation at Rensselaer, Fox is bringing his expertise in data science to the study of our immense ocean ecosystems. Stewart, a professor in the Department of Computer Science, will apply his experience in developing computer vision systems, to the analysis of images of the ocean floor and seawater. Full story ...

December 10, 2010

Professor Francine Berman named fellow of IEEE

Cyberinfrastructure pioneer Francine Berman, Professor of Computer Science and Vice President for Research, has been named a fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE). In elevating her to a fellow, the IEEE cited her leadership in the areas of high performance and grid computing. Full story ...

December 10, 2010

New application allows scientists easy access to important government data

Government agencies around the world make billions of bits of raw data available to the public each day, but this data is often in difficult formats or so widely spread around the Web it is virtually unusable to the public and scientists who seek to use this valuable information in their research. Computer scientists within the Tetherless World Research Constellation at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute have developed an application to help solve the problem. A collaboration with scientific publisher Elsevier, the application utilizes the U.S. government data warehouse, Data.gov, to provide scientists with easy and direct access to government data sets relevant to their research. Full story ...

November 30, 2010

Memorial plans for Bob Ingalls

A memorial service for the Computer Science Department's Executive Officer, Dr. Bob Ingalls, will be held at the Chapel and Cultural Center, 2125 Burdett Avenue, Troy, NY, on Saturday, December 4, at 11:00 a.m., followed by a reception in The Great Room at the Heffner Alumni House. In addition, the Computer Science Department invites financial contributions for a physical memorial in the form of a tree, bench, and plaque, and for a memorial scholarship. Full story ...

November 23, 2010

Joanne Luciano Joins Renowned Web Science Research Group at Rensselaer

Joanne Sylvia Luciano has joined Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute as research associate professor in the Tetherless World Research Constellation. Luciano.s research uses computational modeling and the World Wide Web to improve health care and advance medical discovery.

Luciano is an experienced technology consultant to major hospitals, biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies. In addition to her nearly 30 years as a consultant, she held a joint appointment with Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts General Hospital for nine years, where she served as a lecturer and research scientist using computational modeling to study human disease.

She joins an interdisciplinary research team within the Tetherless World Research Constellation at Rensselaer, dedicated to advancing science and society through understanding and utilization of the World Wide Web. Full story ...

November 15, 2010

Video of Barbara Liskov Talk available

Turing award winner Barbara Liskov was the speaker at the Rensselaer Computer Science Department's 2010 Joseph E. Flaherty Lecture on November 11. A video of the talk is available here.

November 15, 2010

Bob Ingalls

The Computer Science Department's Executive Officer, Dr. Robert Ingalls, passed away on Friday, November 12, 2010. His obituary is available on the Albany Times Union web site. A memorial service is planned for December 4.

November 5, 2010

Rensselaer creates new Center for Data Science Research

Researchers throughout Rensselaer are coming together to develop a new interdisciplinary Data Science Research Center. The center will bring together top researchers from every school within Rensselaer as well as collaborators at other universities and corporations to develop new and better ways to store, protect, share, and gain knowledge from scientific data. The Computer Science Department's Professor Bülent Yener will serve as director of the new center. Full story ...

October 8, 2010

Professor Trinkle named Faculty Dean of the Residential Commons

The Division of Student Life has appointed Jeff Trinkle, professor of computer science and director of the Computer Science Robotics Lab at Rensselaer, to the newly created position of faculty dean of the residential commons. In his new role -- with a three-year renewable contract -- Trinkle will serve as an academic resource for living and learning communities and theme houses. He will also work to create new opportunities for faculty involvement and student learning outside of the classroom. Full story ...

October 4, 2010

Professor Jim Hendler featured in Playboy Magazine

Playboy Magazine's October college issue includes a list of of the nation's 20 most innovative college professors. Included on the list is a professor from the RPI Computer Science Department. Professor Jim Hendler is described by Playboy as an "internet visionary." Full story ...

September 27, 2010

Jim Hendler in London To Help Lead International Discussion on Web Science

Rensselaer Constellation Professor James Hendler is in London this week to help lead an important two-day discussion on the future development of the World Wide Web. The conference was organized by Hendler, Professor Nigel Shadbolt of the University of Southampton, Professor Dame Wendy Hall of the University of Southampton, and Professor Bill Dutton of the University of Oxford Full story ...

September 20, 2010

Turing Award winner Barbara Liskov to present 2010 Flaherty Lecture

The 2010 Joseph E. Flaherty Lecture will take place on November, 11, 2010. The speaker will be Barbara Liskov, who is an Institute Professor at MIT and Associate Provost for Faculty Equity. She is a member of the National Academy of Engineering, a fellow of the American Arts and Sciences, and a fellow of the ACM. She received the ACM Turing Award in 2009. The title of her talk will be "The Power of Abstraction." Full story ...

August 31, 2010

Rensselaer Professor Wins HP Innovation Award for His Work on Searching for Complex Patterns in Massive Linked Data

Professor Mohammed Zaki has been selected for the 2010 HP Labs Innovation Research Program. HP reviewed more than 375 proposals from 202 universities across 36 countries. Rensselaer is one of only 52 universities in the world to receive a 2010 Innovation Research award. The award will allow Zaki, working with HP labs, to tackle two specific problems: graph pattern mining and graph indexing. Full story ...

August 2, 2010

Graduate student Joshua Shinavier featured in article in New Scientist

Graduate student Joshua Shinavier is featured in New Scientist magazine in an article titled "Google, Twitter and Facebook build the semantic web." Full story ...

August 1, 2010

Alumni featured in Albany Times Union

The Albany Times Union published a story about Kitware, a local company which employs many of our alumni. The article includes a photo of Amitha Perera (PhD 2003) and Roddy Collins (PhD 2004). Full story ...

July 15, 2010

Alumnus Mohammad Al Hasan receives Doctoral Dissertation Award

The ACM Special Interest Group on Knowledge Discovery and Data Mining (SIGKDD) has selected Mohammad Al Hasan as the winner of the 2010 SIGKDD Doctoral Dissertation Award. Dr. Al Hasan received his PhD from the Rensselaer Computer Science Department in 2009. His dissertation, Mining Interesting Subgraphs by Output Space Sampling, was completed under the guidance of Professor Mohammed J. Zaki.

June 18, 2010

White House Cites Web Science Research

The White House on May 21 cited Rensselaer for its leadership role in using the Web to promote government transparency. The announcement was made at an event in Washington, D.C., to commemorate the one-year anniversary of the open government Web site Data.gov. U.S. Chief Information Officer Vivek Kundra applauded Rensselaer researchers and students for developing in the past eight months more than 40 applications that use datasets from Data.gov in new and innovative ways. Full story ...

May 14, 2010

Computer Science student Evan Patton wins NSF fellowship

Computer Science student Evan Patton is one of three Rensselaer students to be chosen as 2010 National Science Foundation (NSF) Graduate Research Fellows. One of the nation's most prestigious fellowship programs, the NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program (GRFP) supports outstanding individuals who are in the early stages of graduate studies in science, technology, engineering, or mathematics (STEM). "These are the gold standard, the fellowships by which everything else is measured," said Stanley Dunn, vice provost and dean of graduate education. "If you are selected, you are the best of the best." Full story ...

May 4, 2010

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute Launches $16.75 Million Center To Research Social Cognitive Networks

The new center, funded by a $16.75 million five-year grant from the Army Research Laboratory, will join researchers from a broad spectrum of fields -- including sociology, physics, computer science, engineering, and medicine -- in exploring social cognitive networks. The center will study the fundamentals of network structures and how those structures have been altered by technology. The goal will be a deeper understanding of social cognitive networks and a firm scientific basis for this newly arising field of network science. Full story ...

May 3, 2010

The Social and Cognitive Networks Academic Research Center will open with a day of technical talks

As announced in our October 22nd story, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute will launch a new interdisciplinary research center devoted to the study of social and cognitive networks. The launch event will occur on Tuesday, May 4. After welcoming remarks by Rensselaer President Shirley Jackson, Provost Robert Palazzo, Vice President for Research Fran Berman, U.S. Representative Paul Tonko, Brigadier General Harold Green, and Center Director Professor Boleslaw Szymanski, there will be four scientific sessions, entitled "Social Cognitive Network Science," "Network Science: A Decade and Beyond," "Building a Nervous System for Humanity," and "Predicting the Behavior of Socio-technical Systems: A Network Approach." Full story ...

December 11, 2009

Computer Science Students Win International Semantic Web Challenge

Several computer science students took top honors at the 2009 Semantic Web Challenge help Oct. 25-29 in Washington, D.C. Graduate students Gregory Todd Williams, Jesse Weaver, and Medha Atre, as well as Senior Constellation Professor of the Tetherless World Research Constellation James Hendler, received first place in the "Billion Triples Track" competition with research that utilized the advance capabilities of the supercomputer within the Computational Center for Nanotechnology Innovations (CCNI). Full story ...

November 3, 2009

Rensselaer computer scientists and geologists create iPhone app for identification of rock samples

While you might enjoy listening to little Rolling Stones or Fleetwood Mac on your iPhone during your next hike, geologists both amateur and professional will now be using the smartphone to study the original classic rocks - perhaps schist or maybe the more refined marble. One of likely the first applications to bring science to the popular device, the new MetPetDB app is allowing geoscientists to proudly declare, "I have an app for that!"

Created by a team of computer scientists, geologists, and undergraduate students at Rensselaer, MetPetDB is a new-age tool in an age-old field of study. The app gives users the ability to search through thousands of rock samples without leaving their desk or, if they are on a field expedition, search through samples taken in their current location. As an example, while hiking up Mt. Marcy in the Adirondacks, a search for surrounding samples would bring up photos of rock samples taken nearby as well as information on what type of rock they are, who owns them, the minerals present in the sample, metamorphic grade, and any scientific publications published related to the sample. Full story ...

October 23, 2009

Francine Berman to receive Kennedy Award for Cyberinfrastructure Leadership

The Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) and the IEEE Computer Society (IEEE-CS) will jointly present the inaugural Ken Kennedy Award to Francine Berman, vice president for research at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. Berman is being recognized for her efforts to build a national cyberinfrastructure. Full story ...

October 23, 2009

Hendler Appointed to Air Force Scientific Advisory Board

Rensselaer Professor James Hendler recently was named to the Air Force Scientific Advisory Board (SAB), a 52-member federal panel of the nation.s top scientists from academia, industry, and national laboratories. Full story ...

October 22, 2009

Rensselaer to lead multimillion-dollar research Center for Social and Cognitive Networks

With $16.75 million in funding from the Army Research Laboratory (ARL), Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute will launch a new interdisciplinary research center devoted to the study of social and cognitive networks.

The Center for Social and Cognitive Networks is part of the newly created Collaborative Technology Alliance (CTA) of the ARL, which includes a total of four nationwide centers focused on different aspects of the emerging field of network science.

The Rensselaer center will be headed by Boleslaw Szymanski, Rensselaer's Claire & Roland Schmitt Distinguished Professor of Computer Science. Rensselaer will receive $8.6 million of the $16.75 million in total funding to lead the new center for its first five years. An additional $18.75 million is anticipated from the ARL for a second phase, which would bring the total funding for the interdisciplinary center to $35.5 million over 10 years.

Rensselaer will be joined by corporate and academic partners from IBM Corp., Northeastern University, and the City University of New York, and collaborators from Harvard University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, New York University, Northwestern University, the University of Notre Dame, the University of Maryland, and Indiana University. Full story ...

August 19, 2009

RPI Cisco Academy becomes teaching center for 7 state area

After 8 years of striving for excellence, RPI Cisco Academy has been honored with the highest designation for any Cisco Academy: Cisco Academy Teaching Center (CATC). Effective immediately RPI is the CATC for all of New England and New York including both Boston and New York City (New York City Department of Education). RPI will have ultimate technical teaching responsibility within the Academy program for 25 Regional Academies, 232 Local Academies, and 13,639 students. Full story ...

August 18, 2009

Alumnus Scott Coull and Professor Boleslaw Szymanksi featured for their security research

The work of Professor Boleslaw Szymanski and alumnus Scott Coull was featured in New Scientist magazine in an article titled "Internet 'immune system' could block viruses." Scott Coull received BS and MS degrees in Computer Science from Rensselaer, and has since gone on to earn a PhD from Johns Hopkins University. Full story ...

June 8, 2009

Moon Magic: Researchers Develop New Tool To Visualize Past, Future Lunar Eclipses

Professor Barbara Cutler and graduate student Theodore Yapo have developed a new method for using computer graphics to simulate and render an accurate visualization of a lunar eclipse. The model uses celestial geometry of the sun, Earth, and moon, along with data for the Earth's atmosphere and the moon's peculiar optical properties to create picture-perfect images of lunar eclipses. Full story ...

May 14, 2009

Graduate student Mohammad Al Hasan wins best paper award

A paper authored by Mohammad Al Hasan won the best paper award at the 13th Pacific-Asia Conference on Knowledge Discovery and Data Mining (PAKDD), held recently (April 27-30) in Bangkok, Thailand. The paper was entitled, "Clustering with Lower Bound on Similarity", and the other authors were Saeed Salem, Benjarath Pupacdi, and Prof. Mohammed J. Zaki.

February 13, 2009

Hardwick named Acting Head of Computer Science

Professor of Computer Science Martin Hardwick has been named acting head of the Computer Science Department. Hardwick brings nearly a quarter-century of teaching and research experience at Rensselaer to the new role.

Hardwick joined Rensselaer in 1985 as an assistant professor, coming to Rensselaer from Texas Technological University where he served as assistant professor of computer science. He received both his bachelor's degree and doctorate from Bristol University in the United Kingdom.

He is the author of numerous papers and articles on engineering database systems and concurrent engineering. He supervised the Model Driven Intelligent Control of Manufacturing program, known as the "Super Model" Project. This program developed STEP-NC, a technology that is being evaluated by the aerospace and automotive industries as the next-generation language for control of manufacturing robots and computers. Full story ...

February 3, 2009

Student Open Source Software Brings Personal Finance to the iPhone

In these difficult economic times, everyone is seeking a better way to manage their personal finances. And at a time when even the newly elected president can't be separated from his wireless device, two undergraduates from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute have developed an open source solution that combines smart personal financial management with your smartphone.

The computer science students, who are part of the Rensselaer Center for Open Software (RCOS), have developed an application for Apple Inc.'s popular iPhone that allows users to log, track, and manage their personal spending. Full story ...

May 7, 2008

Constellation Launch Event: The Future of the World Wide Web

One June 11, 2008, some of the foremost experts on the World Wide Web will come together on campus for the Tetherless World Constellation Launch Event, "The Future of the World Wide Web." Speakers will be James Hendler, Deborah McGuinness, Tim Berners-Lee, Wendy Hall, Nigel Shadbolt, and Nova Spivack. Full story ...

April 18, 2008

Student hackers win second place in computer security competition

Rensselaer students Alex Radocea, Ryan Govostes, Rob Escriva, and Henry Filgueiras took second place in the Information Security Talent Search, an annual competition at the Rochester Institute of Technology which pits teams of undergraduates against each other in a battle to build the most robust server possible and to tear through as many of their competitors' servers as possible. Full story ...

April 7, 2008

Computer Program Reveals Anyone's Ancestry

A group of computer scientists, mathematicians, and biologists from around the world have developed a computer algorithm that can quickly trace an individual's genetic ancestry with only a small sample of their DNA. In fact, the program can trace the genetic ancestry of thousands of individuals in minutes, without any prior knowledge of their background. Full story ...

February 28, 2008

Student web language gains international recognition

Gregory Williams, a Rensselaer doctoral student in computer science who works in the new Tetherless World Constellation, single-handedly implemented a Web language that allows Web sites to speak and share data with one another. His language was given high marks by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) and will form a baseline for other companies and researchers to build upon. Full story ...

October 20, 2007

Boleslaw Szymanski named first Claire and Roland Schmitt Distinguished Professor

For over a quarter of a century, Rensselaer's Boleslaw Szymanski has occupied a place at the cutting edge of computer science, systems, and networks. In recognition of his accomplishments, he recently was appointed the inaugural Claire and Roland Schmitt Distinguished Professor of Computer Science. Named for the Institute's 16th president and his wife, the professorship is among the highest honors awarded to a faculty member. Full story ...

October 16, 2007

Web Language and Artificial Intelligence Expert Joins Tetherless World Research Constellation

A leading expert in Web research, Deborah L. McGuinness, joins Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute as an endowed chair of the Tetherless World Research Constellation. One of the creators of the Web language that is ushering in the next generation of the World Wide Web -- the OWL Web Ontology Language -- McGuinness is widely known in her field. She joins the senior constellation chair, James A. Hendler. Together the two top Web gurus make Rensselaer a leader in Web research. Full story ...

September 20, 2007

Computer program traces ancestry using anonymous DNA samples

A group of computer scientists, mathematicians, and biologists from around the world have developed a computer algorithm that can help trace the genetic ancestry of thousands of individuals in minutes, without any prior knowledge of their background. The team's findings will be published in the September 2007 edition of the journal PLoS Genetics. Full story ...

May 3, 2007

Petros Drineas Awarded School of Science's Emerging Researcher Award

Professor Petros Drineas has been awarded the School of Science's Emerging Researcher Award. This award is given to a faculty or staff member who has worked in the School of Science 3-6 years. Professor Drineas was chosen for this award based on his many accomplishments during his four years in the Computer Science Department. Full story ...

November 6, 2006

Schoffstall Gift Commitment To Establish Dr. Joseph E. Flaherty Lecture Series

To honor the illustrious career of Joseph Flaherty, Rensselaer's recently retired dean of the School of Science, Martin Schoffstall '82 has made a $100,000 challenge gift commitment to establish the "Dr. Joseph E. Flaherty Lecture Series" in the Computer Science Department at Rensselaer. Full story ...

November 2, 2006

Applications for Faculty Positions Invited

The Department of Computer Science at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) invites applications for one or more tenure-track positions at the Assistant Professor level; exceptional candidates at all professorial levels will be considered. While all research areas of computer science will be considered, the department has special interest in security, cryptography, scientific computation, data science (mining, handling and visualization) and bioinformatics. Full story ...

October, 2006

Wei Zhao Appointed Dean of Science

Rensselaer has appointed Wei Zhao as dean of the School of Science. Zhao, who is currently senior associate vice president for research at Texas A&M University, will take over the position from acting dean Samuel Wait Jr. '53 in January 2007. Full story ...

July 19, 2006

RPI Becomes a Founding Member of the International Technology Alliance

IBM Research is leading the International Technology Alliance, a consortium of 24 institutions from industry and academia in both the U.K. and the U.S. created in May 2006. The International Technology Alliance opens a new era of collaborative, multi-disciplinary research which spans multiple universities and industrial research labs. A number of leading researchers have come together to perform joint research, forming a virtual organization of some of the best minds in both countries over the next ten years. Among them, Dr. Boleslaw Szymanski of RPI is leading Project 9, one of the 12 projects of the alliance. Dr. Jim Hendler, who joins RPI in January 2007 is a participant in Project 12. Both RPI researchers are excited to be a part of this group, and are looking forward to achieving several breakthroughs in network-centric systems over the course of the next ten years. Full story ...

June 14, 2006

Web Visionary James A. Hendler Will Lead Tetherless World Research Constellation

James A. Hendler, a renowned computer scientist and World Wide Web researcher, has been appointed senior constellation professor of the Tetherless World Research Constellation at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. Hendler will join Rensselaer Jan. 1, 2007. Full story ...

February 9, 2006

Faculty Search Canceled

The Computer Science Department at Rensselaer is unable to consider applications for tenure-track faculty positions. Rensselaer's administration has recently made a strategic decision to cancel our regular faculty search in favor of searching for groups of chaired professors. Full story ...

October 19, 2005

David Kotfila, RPI's Cisco Networking Academy Director, Quoted in Cisco Press Release

David Kotfila, RPI's Cisco Networking Academy Director, was quoted today in a Cisco Systems press release about Cisco's expanded technology training curriculum. The story was carried by Business Wire and Yahoo Finance. Full story ...

May 16, 2005

Computer Science Major Graduates at 18 and Founds Company

Ryan Trinkle will receive his B.S. in Computer Science and Computer Systems Engineering from Rensselaer on May 21, 2005. He will take a year off from school to found a game development company and then will enroll in Harvard Law School. Full story ...

February 7, 2005

Professor Carlos Varela Selected For NSF Career Award

Carlos Varela, assistant professor of computer science at Rensselaer, has been awarded a Faculty Early Career Development Award (CAREER) from the National Science Foundation (NSF). Varela will use the projected five-year, $400,000 grant to design and implement computer programming technology for use in solving complex scientific problems through high-performance grid computing. Full story ...

October 20, 2004

Professor Bruce R. Donald Kicks Off Distinguished Speaker Series

The Computer Science Department at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute initiates this year a Distinguished Speaker Series, in part to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Department. The Series will bring world leading researchers in diverse areas of Computer Science to present state-of-the-art research, salient results, and future directions. The Series will be kicked off November 3 by Professor Bruce R. Donald of Dartmouth University, who will present a talk entitled Algorithmic Challenges in Structural Molecular Biology and Proteomics. Details ...

May 18, 2004

New Research Project Investigates 3D Modeling and Tracking From Distributed, Mobile Sensors

The Departments of Computer Science and Electrical, Computer, and Systems Engineering are pleased to announce the formation of a new Army research project. Led by Professor Charles Stewart, with co-Investigators Professors Daniel Freedman, Lester Gerhardt and Richard Radke, this project involves the development of algorithms to automatically construct dynamic, three-dimensional models of urban scenes using a variety of mobile, airborne and ground sensors. Work on this project, which is planned for five years at half-million dollars per year, will proceed in close association with Object Sciences Corporation of Springfield, VA. Object Sciences was founded by Dr. Glenn Tarbox, '92 who earned his Ph.D. at Rensselaer under the guidance of Professor Gerhardt. The new project will support several graduate students and will be housed in renovated space on the 3rd floor of the Materials Research Center.

May 7, 2004

Mapping Proteins: Researchers at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute Discover a Better Way to Decode the Protein Language

Two researchers at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute are creating a faster, more efficient data-mining technique to determine basic rules of how proteins form. The researchers are Mohammed Zaki, assistant professor of computer science, and Chris Bystroff, assistant professor of biology. Full story ...

April 26, 2004

Rensselaer To Host Workshop on Pervasive Computing and Networking

"Anytime, Anywhere" computing will be the focus of a "Workshop on Pervasive Computing and Networking" at Rensselaer this week. Scores of leading-edge researchers are coming to campus April 29 and 30 for the event, sponsored by the National Science Foundation and the Rensselaer Center for Pervasive Computing and Networking. Full story ...

April 15, 2004

Rensselaer Researchers Developing Program to Root Out Terrorists Online

In the wake of the tragedy of Sept. 11, 2001, it became clear to experts worldwide that international terrorist organizations - Al-Qaeda in particular - rely heavily on cybercommunications for their planning. This prompted a group of Rensselaer researchers in the departments of computer science and decision sciences and engineering systems to start developing techniques for modeling the evolution of social groups in Web chat rooms, newsgroups, and bulletin boards, with the specific goal of detecting potentially harmful groups. Full story ...

April 15, 2004

ROSS.Net to be Launched in Summer '04

Chris Carothers and his team are working on an extremely light-weight model implementation framework called ROSSNet that is specifically designed for large-scale network simulation. The framework poses the question: "what do you really need to model in order to answer a particular protocol dynamics question in a large-scale scenario?" For example, are all layers in a protocol stack really necessary? Can a host just be a TCP sender or just a TCP receiver? Does the simulated host really need to be both? By asking these kinds of questions, the framework enables a single TCP connection state to be realized in just 320 bytes total (both sender and receiver) and 64 bytes per each packet-event. Full story ...