SIGBITS October 2022

Phone: 508-831-5357
Fax: 508-831-5776
A WPI Computer Science Department summary of short notes on happenings involving faculty and students.

Fall 2022 SIGBITS 

Departmental Leadership: On July 1, Prof. Craig Shue became the Department Head for Computer Science. WPI conducted a nationwide search for the Department Head position and selected Prof. Shue for the position. Shue succeeds Prof. Craig Wills who served in this role for 11 years. We thank Professor Wills for his excellent contributions to our community.  

New Faculty Joining the Department: We have a number of new faculty joining our department this year. Prof. Fabricio Murai is a faculty member joining Computer Science and the Data Science program to support both the teaching and research missions. Profs. Matthew Ahrens and Jennifer Mortensen are joining the Computer Science department to support the teaching mission. 

Faculty Leadership Roles: Several CS faculty were appointed to significant roles at WPI. Prof. Carolina Ruiz as appointed as the Associate Dean of School of Arts & Sciences and Prof. Gillian Smith was appointed as the director of the Interactive Media and Game Development program. 

Trustees’ Awards:  Prof. George Heineman received the Trustees’ Award for Outstanding Teaching. Prof. Dmitry Korkin received the WPI Trustees’ Award for Outstanding Research and Creative Scholarship. These awards are among the highest honors WPI has to recognize its faculty.  

Promotions: Prof. Joshua Cuneo was promoted to the position of Senior Instructor. Prof. Rodica Neamtu was promoted to Full Professor of Teaching. Both promotions were effective July 1, 2022.  

Grants and External Awards: 

Prof. Mark Claypool received a $67K industry grant from NVIDIA for collaborating with NVIDIA to study esports. The grant, titled “Extending FPSci to Explore First-person Shooter Games and Latency,” is from Sept. 2022 through August 2023. 

Prof. Lane Harrison received an NSF grant for $747K for his work on creating scalable empirical evaluations of interactive visualizations. This work is in collaboration with the University of Utah and the University of Toronto. 

Prof. Neil Heffernan received several grant awards: 

  • “Building a Mathematical Problem-Solving Environment to Prepare K-5 Students for Success in STEM and Health Careers” from the National Institutes of Health, amounting to approximately $175,000 over 3 years.  
  • “Support for U.S. Doctoral Students to Participate in the Annual Artificial Intelligence in Education Conference” from the National Science Foundation, amounting to $25,000 for 1 year.  
  • “A Systemic Replication Study of Interleaved Mathematics Practice” from the Institute of Education Sciences, amounting to $250,000 for 3 years.  
  • “Collaborative Research: Using ASSISTments for College Math: An Evaluation of the Effectiveness of Supports and Transferability of Findings” from the National Science Foundation, amounting to $90,000 for 3 years.  

Prof. Neil Heffernan’s Ph.D. student, Ethan Prihar, won best data set at two conferences: Learning at Scale (L@S) and Educational Data Mining. These papers and their data sets are part of our open science initiative. We are proud of the fact that over 100 papers have been written by others using our data. 

Prof. Kyumin Lee was selected as a Air Force Research Lab Summer Faculty Fellow, received $21K in funding and worked with AFRL researchers during a 10-week visit.  

Prof. Kyumin Lee received an honorable mention for the Test of Time award at ACM SIGIR 2022. 

Prof. Rodica received a grant from College Pathways and Melinda Gates Foundation to introduce the AI4ALL as a new program available to freshmen, sophomores and juniors at WPI. The program will help students explore the ethics of AI, collaborate with industry partners, and gain access to AI4ALL’s alumni network, to create a new kind of leaders of tomorrow. The program was featured in WPI Today.

Prof. Craig Shue reported that WPI received $98,432 in new funding on Sept. 15 from the Department of Defense to support a student in the Cyber Scholarship Program (CySP). 

Prof. Robert Walls received a collaborative NSF grant for $600K at WPI (with the total grant for $1.2 million in collaboration with another university). The grant is for Walls’s work on embedded system security. This project will develop new methods to secure embedded software. Rather than place the security burden entirely on embedded developers, the objective of this project is to shift the enforcement of fundamental security properties to the compiler, using a combination of compile-time static analysis, runtime instrumentation, and hardware support. 


Prof. Rose Bohrer’s publications: 
  • “Imagining Introductory Rust,” presented at the RustEdu workshop, explores the use of modern languages in introductory teaching.  
  • “Chemical Case Studies in KeYmaera X,” presented at FMICS, explores computerized reasoning about continuous dynamics in chemical reactions.  
  • “Cyber-Physical Verification of Intermittently Powered Embedded Systems,” joint work with ECE’s Prof. Bashima Islam presented at EMSOFT, explores computerized correctness reasoning with unsteady power supplies.  
  • “Goal-Aware RSS for Complex Scenarios via Program Logic,” joint work with researchers at Tokyo’s NII and Mazda published in IEEE Trans. Intelligent Vehicles, explores reasoning about safe driving. 
Prof. Mark Claypool’s publications: 
Prof. Tian Guo’s publications: 
  • Yiqin Zhao, Chongyang Ma, Haibin Huang, Tian Guo. LitAR: Visually Coherent Lighting for Mobile Augmented Reality. Proceedings of the ACM on Interactive, Mobile, Wearable and Ubiquitous Technologies. Volume 6, Issue 3, September 2022. Article No.: 153pp 1–29. 
  • Yiqin Zhao, Sheng Wei, Tian Guo. Privacy-preserving Reflection Rendering for Augmented Realit. 30th ACM International Conference on Multimedia (ACM MM'22).  
  • Zichen Zhu, Xianglong Feng, Zhongze Tang, Nan Jiang, Tian Guo, Lisong Xu, Sheng Wei. Power-efficient live virtual reality streaming using edge offloading. 32nd edition of the Workshop on Network and Operating System Support for Digital Audio and Video (NOSSDAV'22). 
Prof. Lane Harrison’s publications: 
  • Harrison along with several WPI CS PhD students recently returned from the 2022 IEEE VIS conference, where his group presented 1 full paper, 2 short papers, and a poster. Lane additionally organized the 4th Visualization for Social Good Workshop ( 
  • Rakotondravony, Noëlle, Yiren Ding, and Lane Harrison. "Probablement, Wahrscheinlich, Likely? A Cross-Language Study of How People Verbalize Probabilities in Icon Array Visualizations." IEEE Transactions on Visualization and Computer Graphics (1912). 
  • Yang, Fumeng, James Tompkin, Lane Harrison, and David H. Laidlaw. "Visual Cue Effects on a Classification Accuracy Estimation Task in Immersive Scatterplots." IEEE transactions on visualization and computer graphics (2022). 
  • Birchfield, Ryan, Maddison Caten, Errica Cheng, Madyson Kelly, Truman Larson, Hoan Phan Pham, Yiren Ding, Noëlle Rakotondravony, and Lane Harrison. "VisQuiz: Exploring Feedback Mechanisms to Improve Graphical Perception." IEEE VIS Conference Short Paper (2022). 
  • Shrestha, Hilson, Kathleen Cachel, Mallak Alkhathlan, Elke Rundensteiner, and Lane Harrison. "FairFuse: Interactive Visual Support for Fair Consensus Ranking." IEEE VIS Conference Short Paper (2022). 
  • Cachel, Kathleen, Elke Rundensteiner, and Lane Harrison. "Mani-rank: Multiple attribute and intersectional group fairness for consensus ranking." In 2022 IEEE 38th International Conference on Data Engineering (ICDE), pp. 1124-1137. IEEE, 2022. 
  • Tlachac, M. L., Miranda Reisch, Brittany Lewis, Ricardo Flores, Lane Harrison, and Elke Rundensteiner. "Impact assessment of stereotype threat on mobile depression screening using Bayesian estimation." Healthcare Analytics 2 (2022): 100088. 
  • Alkhathlan, Mallak, M. L. Tlachac, Lane Harrison, and Elke Rundensteiner. "Improving Image Accessibility by Combining Haptic and Auditory Feedback." In The 24th International ACM SIGACCESS Conference on Computers and Accessibility, pp. 1-6. 2022. 
  • Beltran, Kevin, Cody Rowland, Nicki Hashemi, Anh Nguyen, Lane Harrison, Sophie J. Engle, and Beste F. Yuksel. "Using a Virtual Workplace Environment to Reduce Implicit Gender Bias." International Journal of Human–Computer Interaction (2022): 1-17. 
Prof. Neil Heffernan’s publications: 
  • Prihar, E., Haim, A., Sales, A., & Heffernan, N. (2022, June). Automatic Interpretable Personalized Learning. In Proceedings of the Ninth ACM Conference on Learning@ Scale, 1-11. PDF. Nominated for Best Paper and Winner of "Best Data Set" Award for releasing a valuable dataset that lets external researchers try out their personalization models. 
  • Prihar, E., Syed, M., Ostrow, K., Shaw, S., Sales, A., & Heffernan, N. (2022, July). Exploring Common Trends in Online Educational Experiments. In Proceedings of the 15th International Educational Data Mining Conference, 27. Winner of "Best Data Set" Award. 
  • Botelho, A.F., Prihar, E., & Heffernan, N.T. (2022, July). Deep Learning or Deep Ignorance? Comparing Untrained Recurrent Models in Educational Contexts. In Artificial Intelligence in Education: 23rd International Conference, AIED 2022, 281–293.   
  • Gurung, A., Botelho, A.F., Thompson, R., Sales, A.C., Baral, S., & Heffernan, N. (2022). Considerate, Unfair, or Just Fatigued? Examining Factors that Impact Teacher. Proceedings of the 30th International Conference on Computers in Education. Asia-Pacific Society for Computers in Education.  
  • Zhang, M., Baral, S., Heffernan, N., & Lan, A. (2022). Automatic Short Math Answer Grading via In-context Meta-learning. In Proceedings of the 15th International Conference on Educational Data Mining, 122–132.  
Prof. Fabricio Murai’s publications: 
  • Henrique S. Assumpção , Fabrício Souza, Leandro L. Campos, Vinícius T. C. Pires, Paulo M. L. de Almeida, Fabricio Murai. DELATOR: Money Laundering Detection via Multi-Task Learning on Large Transaction Graphs. In IEEE International Conference on Big Data (BigData), 2022. 
  • Carlos H. G. Ferreira, Fabricio Murai, Ana P. C. Silva, Martino Trevisan, Luca Vassio, Idilio Drago, Marco Mellia, and Jussara M. Almeida. On Network Backbone 
    Extraction for Modeling Online Collective Behavior. PLOS ONE, 2022. 
  • Renan S. Saldanha, José M. Rosa, Carlos H. G. Ferreira, Gabriel Nobre, Fabricio Murai, Jussara Almeida. Uncovering Coordinated Communities on Twitter During 
    the 2020 U.S. Election. In IEEE/ACM International Conference on Social Networks Analysis and Mining (ASONAM), 2022. 
  • José M. Rosa, Renan S. Saldanha, Carlos H. G. Ferreira, Gabriel Nobre, Fabricio Murai, Jussara Almeida. Uncovering Discussion Groups on Claims of Election Fraud 
    from Twitter. In International Conference on Social Informatics (SocInfo), 2022. 
  • Daniel Mello, Renato Assunção, and Fabricio Murai. Top-Down Deep Clus- tering with Multi-generator GANs In AAAI Conference on Artificial Intelligence, 2022. 
  • Karen B. Enes, Matheus Nunes, Fabricio Murai, Gisele L. Pappa. Evolving node embeddings for dynamic exploration of network topologies. In Ibero-American 
    Conference on Artificial Intelligence (IBERAMIA), 2022 
  • Daniel Mello, Renato Assunção, and Fabricio Murai. Top-Down Deep Clustering with Multi-generator GANs In AAAI Conference on Artificial Intelligence, 
    2022. 11 pages. 
Prof. Kyumin Lee’s publications: 
  • Energy-based Domain Adaption with Active Learning for Emerging Misinformation Detection, BigData 2022 
  • Multi-Behavior Recommendation with Hyperbolic Geometry, BigData 2022  
  • Extracting and Visualizing Wildlife Trafficking Events from Wildlife Trafficking Reports, ASONAM 2022 
Prof. Rodica Neamtu’s publications: 
  • Alicia Howell-Munson, Christopher Micek, Ziheng Li, Michael Clements, Andrew C. Nolan, Jackson Powell, Erin T. Solovey, and Rodica Neamtu. 2022. BrainEx: Interactive Visual Exploration and Discovery of Sequence Similarity in Brain Signals. Proc. ACM Hum.-Comput. Interact. 6, EICS, Article 162 (June 2022), 41 pages.  
  • Alicia Howell-Munson, Emily Doherty, Peter Gavriel, Claire Nicolas, Adam Norton, Rodica Neamtu, Holly Yanco, Yi-Ning Wu, and Erin T. Solovey. 2022. Towards Brain Metrics for Improving Multi-Agent Adaptive Human-Robot Collaboration: A Preliminary Study. In 2022 Symposium on Human-Computer Interaction for Work (CHIWORK 2022). Association for Computing Machinery, New York, NY, USA, Article 11, 1–10. [Video Presentation] 
  • Bryer Sousa*, Christopher Vieira**, Rodica Neamtu, Danielle Cote., ``Clustering Algorithms for Nanomechanical Property Mapping and Resultant Microstructural Constituent and Phase Quantification,'' In Proceedings of Algorithm Development in Materials Science and Engineering, 2022 TMS Annual Meeting & Exhibition. 
  • Bryer Sousa*, Richard Valente*, Aaron Krueger**, Eric Schmid**, Danielle Cote, Rodica Neamtu,``Investigating the Suitability of Tableau Dashboards and Decision Trees for Particulate Materials Science and Engineering Data Analysis'', \textit{In Proceedings of AI/Data Informatics: Computational Model Development, Validation, and Uncertainty Quantification, 2022 TMS Annual Meeting & Exhibition. 
  • S Price**, R Neamtu, ``Identifying, Evaluating, and Addressing Nondeterminism in Mask R-CNNs,'' ICPRAI 2022 (3rd International Conference on Pattern Recognition and Artificial Intelligence, June, 2022. (
Prof. Craig Shue’s publications: 
  • Matthew M. Tolbert, Elie M. Hess, Mattheus C. Nascimento, Yunsen Lei, Craig A. Shue, "Exploring Phone-Based Authentication Vulnerabilities in Single Sign-On Systems," International Conference on Information and Communications Security, September 2022. This work was the result of an MQP project at WPI.  
  • Zorigtbaatar Chuluundorj, Shuwen Liu, Craig A. Shue, "Generating Stateful Policies for IoT Device Security with Cross-Device Sensors," IEEE Network of the Future Conference, October 2022. This paper was recognized with the Best Paper Award at the conference. 
Prof. Erin Solovey’s publications: 

Professional Engagements and Leadership: 

Prof. Tian Guo gave a keynote speech at the 2nd International Workshop on Testing Distributed Internet of Things Systems (TDIS) on her experience with cloud-based distributed training and edge support for mobile AR. The workshop is co-located with the 10th IEEE International Conference on Cloud Engineering (IC2E 2022). 

Prof. Rodica Neamtu gave a keynote speech at the The Fifteenth International Conference on Mobile, Hybrid, and On-line Learning (eLmL 2022) on ''Active Interactive Project-Based Learning'', June 2022. 

Prof. Neamtu is a member of the Steering Committee of International Conference on Mobile, Hybrid, and On-line Learning (eLmL 2022), as well as the Steering Committee for International Conference on Technical Advances and Human Consequences SOCIETY TRENDS 2022, both organized by International Academy, Research and Industry Association (IARIA). 

Prof. Erin Solovey is one of the technical program chairs for the Symposium on Human-Computer Interaction and the Future of Work. CHIWORK brings together experts with various backgrounds to build an understanding of how advanced HCI will support work in the future and how it will also allow workers to balance work and wellbeing. The symposium is an ongoing free event, with online conversations that are held roughly once a week, throughout the year.  

Over the summer, Solovey and Kathy Chen from the WPI STEM Education Center launched the first summer session of a new NSF-funded program called "Engineering for People and the Planet: WPI Research Experiences for Teaching Integrated STEM". This 3-year program supports authentic summer research experiences focused on the U.N. Sustainable Development Goals for 10 middle and high school educators each year to enhance their scientific disciplinary knowledge in engineering and translate their research experiences into classroom activities and curricula to broaden their students’ awareness of and participation in computing and engineering pathways.  

Prof. Jacob Whitehill will be attending the First U.S.-Africa Frontiers of Science, Engineering, and Medicine Symposium, which will take place during Oct 12-14 in Nairobi, Kenya. The high-level goal of the meeting is to foster new scientific collaborations between African and American institutions. 

Student and Post-Doctoral Scholar News: 

Prof. Tian Guo’s PhD student Sam Ogden successfully defended on June 29, 2022. Dr. Ogden joined California State Monterey Bay as an Assistant Professor starting Fall 2022.  

Guo’s postdoctoral scholar Dr. Morteza Nabavinejad joined her lab on July 8, 2022. Dr. Nabavinejad will be working on the Carbon first project.  

An MQP advised by Prof. Rodica Neamtu received the Provosts’ MQP Award in Data Science in May 2022: Adrianna Staszewska, Collin Broderick, “Automatizing Inspection and Defect Detection in 3D Printed Titanium Alloys Using Machine Learning for the Medical Industry,” May 2022. Co-advised with Diana Lados. 

An MQP project advised by Prof. Neamtu received Honorable Mention for the Provost’s MQP Award in Computer Science. Aaron Krueger, Eric Schmid, ``Tool Development for Nanoindentation Analysis,'', May 2022. Co-advisor: Danielle Cote. This MQP won Honorable Mention for the Provosts’ MQP Award in CS in 2022.

An MQP advised by Prof. Craig Shue received the Provosts’ MQP Award in Data Science in May 2022: William Cross, Adrian Curless, Alexander Simoneau, “Ultrafork and Focused KSM: Tools for Memory Optimization in Duplicate Containers,” May 2022. 

The WPI NSF CyberCorps Scholarship for Service program selected seven new scholarsQ Jacob Chlebowski (’24), Evelyn Dube (’23), Mira Plante (’24), Zaq Humphrey (’24), Cole Ouellette (’24), Adam Beauchaine (PhD student), and Charlie Kneissl-Williams (’24). All are majoring in Computer Science with a focus on cyber security. [Photo available: