SIGBITS September 2021

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

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Fax: 508-831-5776

SIGBITS September 2021

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

Dmitry Korkin

Korkin Work on the Pandemic

Dmitry Korkin collaborated with artist Angela Palmer who created a sculpture of the SARS-CoV-2 virus. The work is entitled "2020: The Sphere that Changed the World" and is on exhibit at the Museum of Natural History at Oxford University in England.

Link to Museum of Natural History

He published a short article in Nature Methods called Computational protein modeling and the next viral pandemic."

Link to Nature Methods

Jacob Whitehill

Whitehill Receives NSF CAREER Award

Jacob Whitehill received an NSF CAREER award for his project entitled ``Developing New Scientific Instruments for Classroom Observation: A Multi-modal Machine Learning Approach.''

Link to the National Science Foundation

Elke Rundensteiner

Rundensteiner Named William B. Smith Professor

Elke Rundensteiner was named a William B. Smith Professor. In making the announcement, Dean Jean King credited Rundensteiner with leading WPI's most rapidly growing interdisciplinary program---data science---with a current growth rate of 36 percent. She also praised Rundensteiner's federal grant success and called her commitment to women in data science, mentoring, collaboration, and scientific rigor exemplary.

Link to Article

Lane T. Harrison  Image removed.

Harrison and Li Promoted

Professors Lane Harrison and Yanhua Li received tenure and were promoted to the rank of Associate Professor.

Link to Article


Xiaozhong  Liu Image removed. Torumoy  Ghoshal

New Faculty Hires in Computer Science and Data Science

The Computer Science Department successfully hired four new faculty. Rose Bohrer (not pictured), most recently earning her PhD at Carnegie-Mellon University, joins the department as an Assistant Professor. Xiaozhong Liu, most recently an Associate Professor at Indiana University, joins the department as tenured Associate Professor with an affiliation with the Data Science program. Shubbhi Taneja, most recently on the faculty at Sonoma State University, joins the department as an Assistant Teaching Professor. In addition, Torumoy Ghoshal, most recently on the faculty at Lyon College, joins the Data Science program as an Assistant Teaching Professor.

Rodica Neamtu

Neamtu Appointed to Tenure-Track Professor of Teaching

Rodica Neamtu is one of 15 teaching faculty appointed to a newly created tenure-track Professor of Teaching position at WPI.

Link to Article

Her work was featured in a related article in the Inside Higher Education.

Link to Inside Higher Ed

She co-lead a Workshop on "Using Projects in High Enrollment Courses to Support Participants’ Learning" as part of the Project Based Learning Summer Institute in June 2021.

She published an article on "Interaction and Problem Solving in Covid-19 Times" in the Proceedings of Project Kaleidoscope, STEM Education and High Impact Practices, Moving Forward, 2021.

Craig Shue

New Masters Degree in Cybersecurity

Under the leadership of Craig Shue, the department worked with faculty in ECE and the School of Business to create a new Master of Science in Cybersecurity degree.

George Heineman

New Professional Masters Degree in Computer Science

Under the leadership of George Heineman, the department created a new Masters of Computer Science degree as a more applied degree than our existing Masters of Science in Computer Science degree. This new degree is available to on-campus and online students.

Link to Article

Gillian Margaret Smith  Kyumin  Lee  Joshua M Cuneo

CS Faculty Receive Teaching Innovation Awards from WPI

The WPI Morgan Teaching and Learning Center announced that three department faculty---Gillian Smith, Kyumin Lee and Joshua Cuneo---received Teaching Innovation Awards.

Link to Article

Tian Guo

Guo Award and Publication

Tian Guo is working with colleagues at University of Massachusetts Amherst and California Institute of Technology as part of a three-year, $3 millions NSF/VMWare grant on the Carbon-first project. This collaborative project focuses on making cloud and edge computing sustainable and carbon-free. A vision paper for how to decarbonizing today’s computing infrastructure was accepted to publish at the ACM Symposium on Cloud Computing 2021.

She advised an MQP team of students, which led to a conference paper by Guo and her advisees Nick Krichevsky, Matthew St Louis (Class 2021). This publication will appear on the 9th IEEE International Conference on Cloud Engineering (IC2E 2021).

Image removed.

MQP Students Help Visually Impaired

Three WPI CS students were featured (Ryan Doyle, Kyria Nelson and Irakli Grigolia) for their MQP project creating a phone app to help blind and visually impaired people in our community. The project was advised by Professors Rodica Neamtu and Lane Harrison.

Link to Worcester Magazine

George Heineman

Heineman Publishes Algorithms Book

George Heineman has published a book with O'Reilly Media on "Learning Algorithms: A Programmmer's Guide to Writing Better Code."

Link to O'Reilly

Wilson Wong

Wong Completes Textbook

Wilson Wong has completed writing a textbook with co-author Irv Englander. The book is entitled "The Architecture of Computer Hardware, Systems Software, & Networking," 6th Edition. Wiley \& Sons, 2021.

Link to Wiley

Erin Solovey

Solovey Activity

Erin Solovey was recently awarded a new $600k NSF grant to start a 3-year Research Experience for Teachers Site at WPI titled "Engineering for People and the Planet: Research Experiences for Teaching Integrated STEM" along with Katherine Chen from WPI STEM Education Center. Research contributions are expected in projects aligned with the UN Sustainable Development Goals and related to workforce development needs. Topics include: 1) sensors for food safety, 2) novel antimicrobials for treating infections, 3) brain sensing for personalized learning environments, 4) catalytic conversion of food wastes into renewable fuel, 5) spectroscopy for detecting hazardous chemicals, and 6) sustainable production methods through engineering biosynthetic processes. The UN Sustainable Development Goals unify these research projects as "Engineering for People and the Planet," and provide a context and platform for teaching "Integrated STEM," leading to effective and engaged K-12 learning.

Link to Award Abstract

She is part of a team that recently won a Snap Creative Challenge Award from Snap, Inc. The co-investigators are Ali Shokoufandeh (Drexel), Genevieve Dion (Drexel), Shruti Mahajan (WPI), Denisa Qori McDonald (Drexel), Richard Vallett (Drexel). The project aims to envision the future of co-located social interaction in augmented reality and we are currently integrating touch-sensitive fabrics with augmented reality to support parent-child relationships.

Her work appeared in TechXplore. "Examining how humans develop trust towards embodied virtual agents"

Link to article

Recent Publications include:

Solovey, E.T., Putze, F. (2021). Improving HCI with Brain Input: Review, Trends, and Outlook. Foundations and Trends in Human-Computer Interaction, Vol. 13: No. 4, pp 298-379.

De Carli, L., Ray, I., Solovey, E.T. (2021). Vision: Stewardship of Smart Devices Security for the Aging Population. In Proc. ACM EuroUSEC ’21: European Symposium on Usable Security. 9 pages.

Howell-Munson, A., Unal, D.S., Walker, E., Arrington, C. Solovey, E.T. Preliminary steps towards detection of proactive and reactive control states during learning with fNIRS brain signals. Proc. 1s t International Workshop on Multimodal Artificial Intelligence in Education (MAIEd’21). 10 pages.

Micek, C., Guan, Z., Solovey, E.T. (2021). Toward Understanding Effects of Digital Jury Moderation on the Polarization of Social Media Users. In Proc. CHI 2021 Workshop in Search of the Alternative Future: Developing Participatory Digital Citizenship to Address the Crisis of Democracy. 5 pages.


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