SIGBITS September 2018

A WPI Computer Science Department summary of short notes on happenings involving faculty and students.

Phone: 508-831-5357
Fax: 508-831-5776

Craig Shue

Shue in the News

Craig Shue was quoted in the New York Times about his cybersecurity concerns in the article "Is My Not So Smart House Watching Me?"

Read article "Is my Not So Smart House Watching me?"


He debuted his Start-up Company at the RSA Security Conference.

Read article "WPI Professor Debuts Start-up Conpany at RSA security Conference"

Carolina Ruiz

Ruiz Invited Talk and Student Achievement

Carolina Ruiz was an invited speaker at the 12th Annual Digital Commonwealth Conference in April. Her talk was entitled "Concepts in Data Mining: Approaches, Techniques and Cutting-edge Applications". Digital Commonwealth is a collaborative organization with over 160 member institutions from across the state that supports the creation, management, and dissemination of cultural heritage materials held by Massachusetts libraries, museums, historical societies, and archives.

Her PhD student Ahmedul Kabir passed his Dissertation Defense on April 18th, 2018. Kabir's Dissertation is entitled: "Mixed Bagging: A Novel Ensemble Learning Framework for Supervised Classification based on Instance Hardness". Kabir's PhD Committee members are Prof. Carolina Ruiz (advisor), Prof. Sergio Alvarez (Boston College), Prof. Gabor Sarkozy and Prof. Xiangnan Kong. After his PhD graduation in May, Kabir returned to his professorship position at the University of Dhaka in Bangladesh, from where he was on leave while completing his PhD in our department.

Craig Wills

Wills In the News


A recent article appeared in on Craig Wills work on internet privacy.

Read article in

He was quoted in the Dice article, "Tech Industry Really Needs Professors and Teaching Talent." Wills recently conducted a survey to find out how many schools have had hiring problems in the computer science department. Of the 155 survey respondents Wills says "forty percent of the institutions reported back they were less than successful. Wills adds "Tenure track hires are the most valuable commodity any institution has."

Read article on

Dmitry Korkin

Korkin BCB Student Achievement

Dmitry Korkin announced that Andi Dhroso, a Ph.D. student in Bioinformatics and Computational Biology program as successfully passed his Ph.D. Qualifying Exam. His Exam's tittle was: "Detecting genomic elements of extreme conservation in eukaryotic genomes". Andi's Ph.D. Committee consists of Prof. Tanja Dominko, BCB, BBT, WPI, Prof. Lane Harrison, BCB, CS, WPI, and Dr. Adnan Derti, Surface Oncology Inc. (External Member).


Image removed.

Eltabakh and Rundensteiner Student Achieves Milestone


Mohamed Eltabakh and Elke Rundensteiner shared that Noura Alghamdi has passed her research qualification presentation/examination on the topic of "Distributed SubSequence Matching Using Cloud-Scale Time Series Indexing". Professor George Heineman served as her Qualification Co-Advisor.

Carlo Pinciroli

Pinciroli Honored


Carlo Pinciroli was honored by Rho Beta Epsilon, the Robotics Engineering Honors Society, as the faculty that they feel has done an exemplary job of preparing their students for a lifetime of learning. The group recognize Professor Pinciroli for his dedication and enthusiasm.

Giovanni Beltrame, Ettore Merlo, Jacopo Panerati, Carlo Pinciroli. Engineering Safety in Swarm Robotics. 1st International Workshop on Robotics Software Engineering (RoSE 2018).

Jacopo Panerati, Luca Gianoli, Carlo Pinciroli, Abdo Shabah, Gabriela Nicolescu, Giovanni Beltrame. From Swarms to Stars: Task Coverage in Robot Swarms with Connectivity Constraints. 2018 IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA 2018).

He has been invited to be Associate Editor of the Swarm Intelligence Journal (Springer).

He has been invited to talk at the MathWorks Research Summit. The MathWorks Research Summit is an invite-only event organized by MathWorks to gather notable individuals who conduct research in fields MathWorks is interested in.

His PhD student Nathalie Majcherczyk has started a summer internship at Amazon Robotics.

His PhD student Shadi Tasdighi Kalat has been awarded a fellowship to participate to the RSS Workshop on Women in Robotics.

Yanhua Li

Li Invitation and Publications


Yanhua Li was invited to serve as an associate editor (AE) for IEEE Transactions on Big Data (TBD).

Three papers by him and his students, and collaborators have been accepted to KDD 2018, IEEE Transactions on Big Data.

Tianfu He, Jie Bao, Ruiyuan Li, Sijie Ruan, Yanhua Li, Chao Tian, and Yu Zheng, Detecting Illegal Vehicle Parking Events using Sharing Bikes' Trajectories", the 24th ACM SIGKDD conference on Knowledge Discovery and Data Mining (KDD 2018) with an acceptance rate of 40/496=8.0%.

Yanhua Li, Guanxiong Liu, Zhi-Li Zhang, Jun Luo, Fan Zhang, CityLines: Designing Hybrid Hub-and- Spoke Transit System with Urban Big Data, IEEE Transactions on Big Data, Accepted for publication, 2018.

Yichen Ding, Yanhua Li, Xun Zhou, Zhuojie Huang, Simin You, Jun Luo, Sampling Big Trajectory Data for Traversal Trajectory Aggregate Query, IEEE Transactions on Big Data, Accepted for publication, 2018.

Mike Ciaraldi

Ciaraldi Published


Mike Ciaraldi's short story "Mohandas Who?" was published in the May issue of the online mystery magazine

Loris Fichera

Fichera Receives Award


Loris Fichera received a subaward from Vanderbilt University for the project entitled "Transnasal Diagnosis of Middle Ear Disease." The work, funded by the NIH, aims to develop a new ultra-thin endoscope that can enable inspection of the inside of the ear in a minimally-invasive manner, entering through the patient's nose and passing through the Eustachian tube. This device has the potential to provide accurate diagnoses and eliminate the need for exploratory ear surgery for many patients suffering from middle ear disease. The work to be performed at WPI involves computational optimization of the endoscope tip design.

Read article "Through the Eustachian Tube and Beyond"

Tian Guo

Guo Publication and Scholarship

Tian Guo and her Ph.D. student Samuel S. Ogden's paper entitled "MODI: Mobile Deep Inference Made Efficient by Edge Computing" has been accepted to the USENIX HotEdge'18.

She has been awarded a GHC Faculty Scholarship to attend the 2018 Grace Hopper Celebration in Houston, Texas.


Krishna Venkatasubramanian

Venkatasubramanian Student Presentation


Krishna Venkatasubramanian announced that Joshua Hebert has successfully presented his MS thesis titled "Ballistocardiography-based Authentication using Convolutional Neural Networks".


Brown Publications

David Brown has news on recent publication.

D.C. Brown (2018) "Initial thoughts on Comparing Computational Design Creativity Systems", International Journal of Design Creativity and Innovation, DOI: 10.1080/21650349.2018.1465478

K. Fu, M. Fuge & D.C. Brown (Eds.) (2018) "Design Creativity", Editorial, Artificial Intelligence for Engineering Design, Analysis and Manufacturing, Vol.32, No.4.

The paper "Affordances in Design" by D. C. Brown and J. R. A. Maier is one of the top 10 downloaded articles from 2017 in the AIEDAM journal (reported by Cambridge U.P.).

Elke Rundensteiner

Rundensteiner Papers, Awards and News

Elke Rundensteiner has had a number of recent papers, awards and other news.

Susmitha Wunnava, Xiao Qin, Tabassum Kakar, Elke A. Rundensteiner, and Xiangnan Kong, Bidirectional LSTM-CRF for Adverse Drug Event Tagging in Electronic Health Records, Proceedings of Machine Learning Research (PMLR), Volume 90: International Workshop on Medication and Adverse Drug Event Detection, (Special Issue for MADE 2018 Workshop, May 4th, 2018), Editors: Feifan Liu, Abhyuday Jagannatha, Hong Yu, PMLR 90: pp. 48-56, 2018.

Xiao Qin, Elke Rundensteiner and Xiangnan Kong, Topically-Coherent Neural Language Model Conditioned on Arbitrary Features (Christina Lee Yu and Mike Hughes, Poster session co-chairs) New England Machine Learning 2018, NEML'2018 Workshop, Poster,

Susmitha Wunnava, Xiao Qin, Tabassum Kakar, Elke Rundensteiner and Xiangnan Kong, Deep Learning using Letter and Word Embeddings, AMIA 2018 Informatics Summit: Translational, Clinical Research, Implementation, and Data Science, ``Frontiers of Clinical Information Extraction: Current Progress in Medication and Adverse Drug Event Detection from Electronic Health Records'', MADE 1.0 Panel, % 2018. March 12-15, 2018, San Franscico, CA. (Winner: Among top 3 teams for Task 1).

Kirthana Beaulac, ML Tlachac, Elke Rundensteiner, Kerri Barton, Scott Troppy, Shira Doron, Utilization of Predictive Modeling to Identify Emerging Statewide Antibiotic Resistance Trends, The Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America - SHEA 2018, SHEA Spring Conference: Science Guiding Prevention, Oral Presentation, Portland, OR, April 18 - 20, 2018. (Selected as a Top Featured Abstract, one among 5 outstanding abstracts selected).

Olga Poppe, Chuan Lei, A. Rozet, E. Rundensteiner and D. Maier, Sharon: Shared Online Event Sequence Aggregation, IEEE Int Conf on Data Eng., (ICDE) 2018, Paris, April 16-20, 2018. Presentation.

Xiao Qin, Tabassum Kakar,Susmitha Wunnava, Brian McCarthy, Andrew Schade, Huy Quoc Tran, Brian Zylich, Elke A. Rundensteiner, Lane Harrison, Sanjay K. Sahoo, Suranjan De, MeDIAR: Multi-Drug Adverse Reactions Analytics, IEEE Int Conf on Data Eng. (ICDE), Paris, April 16-20, 2018. Demonstration.

Rodica Neamtu, Ramoza Ahsan, Gabor Sarkozy, Elke Rundensteiner, Eamonn Keogh, Hoang Anh Dau, Nguyen Dinh, Cuong Tri; and Lovering, Charles J., Generalized Dynamic Time Warping: Unleashing the Warping Power Hidden in Point-to-Point Distances, IEEE Int Conf on Data Eng. (ICDE) 2018, Paris, April 16-20, 2018. Presentation.

Monica Tlachac, Elke Rundensteiner, Kerri Barton, Scott Troppy, Kirthana Beaulac, Shira Doron, Jian Zou, CASSIA: An Assistant For Identifying Clinically and Statistically Significant Decreases in Antimicrobial Susceptibility 2018 IEEE International Conference on Biomedical and Health Informatics (BHI-2018), March 4-7, 2018.

Utilization of Predictive Modeling to Identify Emerging Statewide Antibiotic Resistance Trends in Massachusetts", authors: Monica Lauren Tlachac, Elke Rundensteiner, PhD, and others, Massachusetts Healthcare Associated Infection/Antibiotic Resistance Technical Advisory Group, Meeting 35, March 13, 2018, Massachusetts Medical Society, Waltham MA, Presentation by ML.

The team "WorcesterPolytechnicInstitute-Wunnava" (Susmitha Wunnava, Xiao Qin, Tabassum Kakar, Elke Rundensteiner, and Xiangnan Kong) was selected as FIRST PRICE WINNER TEAM for the MADE 1.0 challenge; beating out IBM research and other teams from a variety of universities and others. This decision criterion was based on a Micro Avg F-score for the standard track EHR NLP competition using Exact Phrase Level evaluation. The winning solution will be presented at the MADE 1.0 panel at the AMIA Informatics Summit (, one of the most important conferences in Biomedical and Health Informatics. The panel is entitled "Frontiers of Clinical Information Extraction: Current Progress in Medication and Adverse Drug Event Detection from Electronic Health Records, held on 15th March 2018 at AMIA 2018, San Francisco, CA.

FDA-supported research with phd students (fellowship) and undergraduate MQP team


She participated in work using Data Science to help predict adverse drug reactions

Read article "Using Data Science to Help Predict Adverse Drug Reactions"

The Telegram and Gazette, College Town section featured the Worcester Polytechnic Institute team that won the Women in Data Science Datathon.

Read article in

Supporting WPI Women Faculty Researchers, WPI Women's Impact Network (WIN) Grant, PIs: DIANE STRONG, ELEANOR LOIACONO, ELKE RUNDENSTEINER, and PAMELA WEATHERS

Supporting Women in Data Science via the Women in Data Science Symposium: Fostering Diversity, Community, Mentorship: Outreach and Global Impact all in one!, WPI Women's Impact Network (WIN) Grant, PIs: MELANIE JUTRAS, ELKE RUNDENSTEINER, FATEMEH EMDAD, CAITLIN KUHLMAN, and CANSU SEN.

4D Data Collection Framework for the Built Environment, PI: Steven Van Dessel, Tao, Mingjiang, Liu, Shichao, El-Korchi, Tahar, Elke A. Rundensteiner, Heffernan, Neil, Whitehill, Jacob, Li, Yanhua, Huang, Xinming, Seed Grant Program. Dean of Engineering Office.

Food, Energy, and Water for Sustainability & Food Safety Engineering for Global Public Safety, PI: Jamal Yagoobi, Pratap Rao, Yousef Mahmoud, Elke A. Rundensteiner, Cosme Furlong-Vazquez, Yuxiang Liu, Douglas Petkie, Seed Grant Program. Dean of Engineering Office.

An archive of previous SIGBITS editions is also available.