SIGBITS November 2018

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

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


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WPI Students and Faculty Attend Grace Hopper Conference

Tian Guo and roughly a dozen students represented WPI at the 2018 Grace Hopper Conference in Houston.


Jacob Whitehill

Whitehill in the News

Jacob Whitehill was featured in an article on a project using artificial intelligence to enhance teacher training.

Whitehill Research

Motherboard quoted Jacob Whitehill in the article "Facing Tomorrow's High-Tech School Surveillance." Whitehill commented on how defining "engagement" can be difficult when developing these types of detection systems. "Engagement is an abstract, somewhat hard to define state," he said.

Read the article "Facing Tomorrow's High-Tech School Surveillance"

Elke Rundensteiner

Recent News from Rundensteiner​

Elke Rundensteiner and Neil Heffernan received a new award from the Department of Education "GAANN Fellowships in Computer and Information Sciences for Artificial Intelligence Research" for $895,000 from Nov 2019 - Nov 2022.

 US Department of Education Funds WPI

Her project with Emmanuel Agu, "WPI Secures $2.8 Million to Develop a Smartphone App to Help Assess the Health of Soldiers", funded by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) continues to be in the news.

WPI Secures $2.8 Milion

She had a number of papers recently presented and accepted.

Liang Zhang, Noura Alghamdi, Mohamed Eltabakh, and Elke Rundensteiner, Distributed Indexing Framework for Big Time Series Data for Apache Spark, Spark + AI Summit 2018, Europe, London, October 2-4, 2018.

Susmitha Wunnava, Xiao Qin, Tabassum Kakar, Elke Rundensteiner and Xiangnan Kong, Deep Learning Strategies for Automatic Detection of Medication and Adverse Drug Events from Electronic Health Records, AMIA 2018 Annual Symposium, Poster, Nov. 6, 2018.

MaryAnn VanValkenburg, WPI undergraduate student, funded through a CREU grant 2017-2018, mentored by Prof. Rundensteiner and PhD student Caitlin Kuhlman, has research paper accepted at Grace Hopper 2018. MaryAnn VanValkenburg received the CRA-W GHC Research Scholars program award for this work. This research work was funded by an CREU research project "on fair ranking" 2017-2018 funded by CREU, mentored by PhD student Caitlin Kuhlman and Prof. Rundensteiner, and a done in a collaboration with an IQP team 2017-2018

Julia Friend, Alec Hauck, Sruthi Kurada, Tom Hartvigsen, Cansu Sen, Elke Rundensteiner, Handling Missing Values in Multivariate Time Series Classification, 2018 IEEE MIT URTC, IEEE Xplore Digital Library. Paper and presentation, Oct. 5-7, 2018

Brian Zylich, Brian McCarthy, Andrew Schade, Huy Quoc Tran, Xiao Qin, Tabassum Kakar, and Elke A. Rundensteiner, Drug-Drug Interaction Signal Detection from Drug Safety Reports'', 2018 IEEE MIT URTC (Undergraduate Research Technology Conference), IEEE Xplore Digital Library. Paper and presentation, Oct 5-7, 2018

Xiao Qin, Lei Cao, Elke Rundensteiner and Samuel Madden, Scalable Kernel Density Estimation-based Local Outlier Detection over Large Data Streams, EDBT'2019, accepted.

Yizhou Yan, Lei Cao, Sam Madden, Elke Rundensteiner, SWIFT: Mining Representative Patterns from Large Event Streams, VLDB 2019, accepted.

Liang Zhang, Noura Alghamdi, Mohamed Eltabakh, and Elke Rundensteiner, TARDIS: Distributed Indexing Framework for Big Time Series Data, Int. Conf. on Data Engineering 2019, accepted.

Zhongfang Zhuang, Xiangnan Kong, Elke Rundensteiner, Jihane Zouaoui, and Aditya Arora, Deep One-Shot Learning on Attributed Sequences, full paper, IEEE Big Data, 2018.

Mike Gennert

Gennert Activities

Mike Gennert was an invited participant in STEM Education 2026: Workshop on Assessment, Evaluation & Accreditation, Nov 1-3, 2018 in Bloomington, MN.

He recently served as an ABET program evaluator for Computer Science.

He was co-organizer and co-presenter at a webinar "Roadmap for the Future of Mechatronics and Robotics Engineering (FoMRE) Education: Outcomes of the 1st FoMRE Workshop", Nov. 9, 2018.

V. Jagtap, S. Agarwal, S.N. Gavarraju, S. Kejriwal, M.A. Gennert, "Extended State Machines for Robust Robot Performance in Complex Tasks", IEEE RAS Int. Conf. on Humanoid Robots (Humanoids 2018), Nov. 2018.

Rodica Neamtu

News from Neamtu​

Rodica Neamtu was invited to to attend the forthcoming Dagstuhl Seminar,"Data Series Management", to be held at Schloss Dagstuhl in Germany from Sunday, July 07 to Friday, July 12, 2019. Schloss Dagstuhl, a nonprofit institution with associates from eleven universities and research organizations, is one of the world's leading research centers in informatics. It has been hosting invitation-only Dagstuhl Seminars and Dagstuhl Perspectives Workshops since the center's founding in 1990.

She was awarded the WIN Young Investigator Fellowship. As part of this program Rodica will participate in a mentorship group of early-career faculty, undergraduate and graduate women students.

She participated in th CRA-W Mid Career Mentoring Workshop in Phoenix, AZ, Nov 3-4, 2018.

Carolina Ruiz

Ruiz Publications and Presentations

A paper from Carolina Ruiz and her former PhD student, Ahmedul Kabir, was published and presented:

Ahmedul Kabir, Carolina Ruiz, Sergio A. Alvarez. "Mixed Bagging: A Novel Ensemble Learning Framework for Supervised Classification based on Instance Hardness". IEEE International Conference on Data Mining (ICDM'18). Singapore. Nov. 2018.

As part of their NSF-funded project, Carolina and collaborators presented their recent work at a conference:

Elizabeth Ryder, Robert Gegear, Carolina Ruiz, Shari Weaver et al. "Beecology: A Bio-CS Bridge to address ecological problems." Massachusetts Association of Science Teachers (MAST) Conference. Nov. 2018.

Dmitry Korkin

Korkin in the News

Dmitry Korkin was in the news for his work to develop tools to probe the molecular basis of complex diseases.

Developing Tools to Advance Understanding


Neil Heffernan

Heffernan ASSISTments System In Use

ASSISTments, an online math tutoring system created by Neil Heffernan was noted in the article, "Algebra That Fits With Career Goals May Be Key To Math-Loving Kids." It is part of a study looking at the impact of interest-focused algebra problems on student success and connectedness with STEM careers, Forbes reported.

Math Loving Kids


Charles Roberts

Roberts Presents Interactive Web Essay

Charles Roberts presented an interactive web essay titled Realtime Annotations & Visualizations in Live Coding Performance at the LIVE Programming Workshop, part of the 2018 ACM Systems, Programming, Languages and Applications: Software for Humanity (SPLASH) conference.

Read the Realtime article


Gillian Smith

Smith Serves as Program Chair

Gillian Smith was Program Chair for the 14th AAAI Conference on Artificial Intelligence and Interactive Digital Entertainment (AIIDE), held in November at the University of Alberta in Edmonton, Canada.

Candace Sidner

Sidner Activities

Candace Sidner participated in an NSF-sponsored workshop on human-robot interaction and embodied conversational agents in October, and was the outside reader on the doctoral committee of Lydia Ould-Ouali at Paris-Süd in November. The thesis was entitled: Models of negotiation based on the social relationship of dominance.


Yanhua Li

Li Paper Accepted

Yanhua Li recently had a paper accepted.

Amin Vahedian Khezerlou, Xun Zhou, Ling Tong, W. Nick Street, Yanhua Li, Predicting Urban Dispersal Events: A Two-Stage Framework through Deep Survival Analysis on Mobility Data, the Thirty-Third AAAI Conference on Artificial Intelligence (AAAI 2019), Honolulu, Hawaii, USA, Jan 27-Feb 1, 2019.


Xiangnan Kong

Kong Papers Published and Presented

Xiangnan Kong recently published two conference papers.

Yun Xiong, Lu Ruan, Mengjie Guo, Xiangnan Kong, Yangyong Zhu, and Wei Wang. Predicting Disease-related Associations by Heterogeneous Network Embedding. International Conference on Bioinformatics and Biomedicine (BIBM), 2018

Zhongfang Zhuang, Xiangnan Kong, Elke Rundensteiner, Aditya Arora, and Jihane Zouaoui. One-Shot Learning on Attributed Sequences. IEEE International Conference on Big Data (BigData), 2018

His PhD student, Xinyue Liu, presented two research papers in IEEE International Conference on Data Mining in Singapore:

Xinyue Liu, Xiangnan Kong, Lei Liu, Kuorong Chiang. TreeGAN: Syntax-Aware Sequence Generation with Generative Adversarial Networks. IEEE International Conference on Data Mining (ICDM), 2018

Hang Yin, Xinyue Liu and Xiangnan Kong . Coherent Graphical Lasso for Brain Network Discovery. IEEE International Conference on Data Mining (ICDM), 2018

Mike Ciaraldi

Ciaraldi Gives Talk

Mike Ciaraldi gave a talk "Robots@WPI" at the annual Regional Gathering of the Boston chapter of Mensa.


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Fichera in UMass Medical School Meeting

Loris Fichera and his students participated in a meeting with robotic surgeons at the UMass Medical School. The goal of the meeting was to provide RBE students with insight into the clinical implications of robotic surgery, in order to enable and inspire them to develop new robotic technologies with the surgeon and the patient in mind. The meeting was part of the Special Topics course "Advanced Surgical Robotics" taught by Fichera this Fall semester.


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