SigBits - October 2016
This is a periodic WPI CS Department newsletter containing short notes on
department happenings involving faculty and students. Hope you enjoy it.
- Craig Wills
Professor and Department Head
Computer Science Department
Worcester Polytechnic Institute
Worcester Polytechnic Institute Named in Recent Ranking
Worcester Polytechnic Institute has been identified as one of the top
colleges for computer science degree programs for international students in
College Values Online recent ranking. The ranking considered tuition rates,
return on investment, percentage of international students, and
distinguishing characteristics using data that was gathered from the
Institute of Education Science and Payscale.com. Worcester Polytechnic
Institute was ranked #23. The article can be found here:
David Brown served as the Vice Chair, DCC'16: Design Computing and
Cognition conference, Chicago, June 2016. He also served on the Program
Committee and was Chair of the Committee to select the paper for the Best
Design Computing award.
He published "Observations and Conjectures about Novelty Calculations", at
the Workshop on Design Creativity, DCC'16.
He published "If MEml is the Answer, What is the Question?", at the Workshop on
Design descriptions: conceptual and computational challenges, DCC'16.
He served on the Program Committees for the Workshop on Design Creativity
and Workshop on Computational and Cognitive Models of Problem Framing and
Reframing for Creative Design, DCC'16.
On September 10th 1999 he gave the first "first of the year" CS colloquium, that has now
become a regular departmental team-building treat. This first event is captured at:
On August 26th 2016 he gave a colloquium with the same title --- The Hair Dryer Requirement: A Blow-
by-Blow Account --- to celebrate more than 15 years of this event, and his final year as a faculty
Elke Rundensteinr is quoted, using an extensive Q&A section, discussing the
state of data science in TechTarget August 2016. The 850-word piece, titled
"Combine data science education with curiosity and business savvy,"
with-curiosity-and-business-savvy , is from an interview with news writer
Joel Shore. Rundensteiner offers perspective on the future of data science
coupled with the qualities that make for good data scientists.
She and Gabor Sarkozy announced that Rodica Neamtu passed her PhD Proposal.
Her dissertation research, entitled "Interactive Exploration of Time Series
Powered by Time Warped Distances" develops both theoretical underpinnings
as well as technologies for processing rich classes of interactive queries
over time series empowered by multiple distances. The committee members
are Prof. George Heineman and Prof. Sam Madden from MIT.
She indicates that PhD student Caitlin Kuhlmann, who has been provided a
funded RA position for 2016-2017 by the Massachusetts High Technology
Council for her project work on the collaborative MATTERS project.
She indicates her PhD student Xiao Qin, who
has been provided an ORISE fellowship 2016-2017 by CDER, FDA
for research related to text mining and exporation of FAERS
She indicates her PhD student Tabassum Kakar, who has been provided an
ORISE fellowship 2016-2017 by CDER, FDA for research related to visual
analytics of FAERS text narratives.
She had a number of papers accepted.
Ramoza Ahsan, Rodica Neamtu, and Elke Rundensteiner, Gabor Sarkozy,
Interactive Time Series Exploration Powered by the Marriage of Similarity
Distances, Proc. VLDB'2017, Vol 10.
R. Ahsan, R. Neamtu, E. Rundensteiner Using entity identification and
classification for automated integration of spatial-temporal data,
International Journal of Design & Nature and Ecodynamics, 07/2016;
11(3):186-197. DOI:10.2495/DNE-V11-N3-186-197, WIT Press.
Yanwei Yu, Lei Cao, Wang Qin, E. Rundensteiner Outlier Detection over
Massive-Scale Trajectory Streams, ACM Transactions on Database Systems,
Zhongfang Zhuang, Chuan Lei, Elke Rundensteiner and Mohamed Eltabakh
PRO: Preference-Aware Recurring Query Optimization,
ACM Conference on Information and Knowledge Management (CIKM 2016).
Ermal Toto, Elke Rundensteiner, Yanhua Li, Richard Jordan, Mariya
Ishutkina, Kajal Claypool, Jun Luo, and Fan Zhang, PULSE: A Real Time
System for Crowd Flow Prediction at Metropolitan Subway Stations, ECML/PKDD
2016, Sept 2016, Springer Verlag, LNAI Series.
Vimig Socrates and Amber Wallace, REU students of the WPI REU Data Science
Site summer 2016, had their research project entitled "MEFA: Meta
Extraction Framework for Text Mining for Unsructured Narratives" mentored
by E. Rundensteiner, Tabassum Kakar, Xiao Qin, and Susmitha Wunnava,
acccepted for poster presentation at NSF, Research Experiences for
Undergraduates Symposium 2016, Council on Undergraduate Research (CUR),
Arlington, DC, October 23-24, 2016.
Dmytro Bogatov, WPI undergraduate student, mentored by Caitlin Kuhlmann and
E. Rundensteiner, had his MQP research project 2015-2016 entitled 'Data
MATTERS: Customizing Economic Indices to Measure State Competitiveness',
accepted as poster at IEEE MIT Undergraduate Research Technology Conference
(URTC), Nov 2016. http://ieee.scripts.mit.edu/conference
Dan Pickett, a department alum will be teaching "The HTML Show".
Krishna Venkatasubramanian report his PhD student Hang Cai's paper
"Detecting Signal Injection Attack-based Morphological Alternations of ECG
Measurements" was accepted at IEEE International Conference on Distributed
Computing in Sensor Systems (DCOSS '16). Hang presented the paper in
Washington D.C. in late May.
An MQP work by recent graduates Nick Brown, Nilesh Patel, and Patrick
Plenefisch titled "Scream: Sensory Channel Remote Execution Attack Methods"
was accepted as a poster at Usenix Security Symposium held in Austin, TX in
Aug 2016. The poster was presented by PhD student Daniel Moghimi who
assisted in the project.
An MQP work from 2014-2015 performed by Andrew Leonard (CS,'15) and Mudasir
Ali (ECE,'15) titled, "A honeypot system for wearable networks" has been
accepted for publication at the 37th IEEE Sarnoff Symposium to be held in
Newark, NJ in September 2017.
PhD student Hang Cai's paper "Fusion of Electrocardiogram and Arterial
Blood Pressure Signals for Authentication in Wearable Medical Systems" was
accepted at IEEE Computer and Networked Systems Conference Workshop on
Cyber-Physical System Security (CPS-Sec 2016), to be held in Philadelphia,
PA, Oct 2016.
Emmanuel Agu report following paper was accepted for publication in the
IEEE Access Journal: Kaveh Pahlavan, Yishuang Geng, Guanqun Bao, Liang Mi,
Emmanuel Agu, David R. Cave, Andrew Karellas, Vahid Tarokh, Kamran
Sayrafian, A Novel CyberPhysical System (CPS) for 3D Imaging of the Small
Intestine in Vivio.
He had the following conference and workshop papers
Qian He and Emmanuel Agu, Smartphone Usage Contexts and Sensable Patterns
as Predictors of Future Sedentary Behaviors, in Proceedings of the IEEE-NIH
Special Topics Conference on Healthcare Innovations and Point-of-Care
Technologies (HI-POCT .16), Cancun, Mexico, Nov 9-11, 2016 (accepted, to
Gauri Pulekar and Emmanuel Agu, Autonomously Sensing Loneliness and Its
Interactions with Personality Traits using Smartphones, in Proceedings of
the IEEE-NIH Special Topics Conference on Healthcare Innovations and
Point-of-Care Technologies (HI-POCT .16), Cancun, Mexico, Nov 9-11, 2016
(accepted, to appear)
Christina Aiello and Emmanuel Agu, Investigating Postural Sway Features,
Normalization and Personlization in Detecting Blood Alcohol Levels of
Smartphone Users, in Proc Wireless Health Conference 2016 (accepted, to
Emmanuel Agu and Mark Claypool, Cypress: A Cyber-Physical Recommender
System to Discover Smartphone Exergame Enjoyment, in Proc International
Workshop on Engendering Health with RecSys, co-located with ACM RecSys
2016, Boston MA.
He was awarded the following grants:
NIH 1R21DA041153-01A1 A Smartphone App to Facilitate Buprenorphine
Discontinuation, PI: Abrantes, co-PIs: Michael Stein, Emmanuel Agu. NIH
NIDA submission, Requested amount: $103,609. Requested Dates: 6/15/16
SocialoScope: A Passive System to Infer Loneliness from the Interaction and
Communication Patterns of Smartphone Users, Emmanuel Agu (PI), WPI Health
Delivery Institute (HDI) Internal Proposal. Award amount $21,000, Dates
June 1-August 31, 2016.
KERN Entrepreneurial Engineering Network grant, Developing the
Entrepreneurial Engineer, Glenn Gaudette (PI), Emmanuel Agu Entrepreneurial
Engineering Faculty (EEF) Award Amount: $1,760,000. Requested dates June
2016 . April 2019
He gave and invited talk at the WPI-UMMS NSF Outreach Workshop, Summer
2016, Mobile Sensing for Healthcare, May 2016 hosted by Dr Indic
Premananda, UMMS Medical Center.
He served on the Program Committee for IEEE Connected Health: Applications,
Systems and Engineering, Washington DC, 2017.
He served on the Program Committee for IEEE 10th International Symposium on Medical Information and Communication
Technology (ISMICT) 2017
He served on the Program Committee for Int.l Symposium on Visual Computing (ISVC) 2016
Kathi Fisler spent the summer on various efforts related to CS in K-12.
She co-led three professional development workshops for middle- and
high-school teachers related to her Bootstrap project. One of these was
part of CSPdWeek, an inaugural national professional development and
networking event for developing CS teachers with 300 attendees this year.
Another was part of a new effort to integrate computer science with
physics, as part of a joint project with the American Association of
Physics Teachers and STEMTeachersNYC. The third helped launch Rhode
Island's statewide CS4RI teacher training initiative. Kathi also served as
an advisor to the National K-12 CS Curriculum Framework effort.
She also participated in a meeting at the White House on bringing together national efforts for
computing education and cybersecurity education.
She recently became an Associate Editor for the IEEE Transactions on
Dmitry Korkin is pleased to report that his graduate student, Katelyn
Hughes, have presented their work at The eleventh Cold Spring Harbor
conference on Systems Biology. He and his Ph.D. student, Andi Dhroso, have
recently co-authored two journal publications:
Williams, M., Hoffman, M.D., Daniel, J.J., Madren, S.M., Dhroso, A.,
Korkin, D., Givan, S.A., Jacobson, S.C. and Brown, P.J.,
2016. Short-stalked Prosthecomicrobium hirschii cells have a
Caulobacter-like cell cycle. Journal of bacteriology, 198(7),
Kuang, X., Dhroso, A., Han, J.G., Shyu, C.R. and Korkin, D., 2016. DOMMINO
2.0: integrating structurally resolved protein-, RNA-, and DNA-mediated
macromolecular interactions. Database, 2016, p.bav114.
Dmitry and his other Ph.D. student Hongzhu Cui have published their work in
a conference proceedings:
Cui H, Korkin D, "Effect-Specific Analysis of Pathogenic SNVs in Human
Interactome: Leveraging Edge- Based Network Robustness", In Proceedings
of 38th Annual International Conference of the IEEE Engineering in Medicine
and Biology Society, Orlando, FL, 2016
He has also chaired a session on Precision Medicine at the Gordon Research
Conference "Human Single Nucleotide Polymorphisms & Disease". In
addition, he has been invited to give three talks: at the Channing Network
Science Seminar (Harvard University), Computer Science Institute for Women
(University of Missouri), and Northeastern University.
Craig Shue was awarded a three-year, $350,000 grant from the Department of
Homeland Security (DHS) to transition his research into enterprise network
security into practical application. Under this grant, Dr. Shue and his
team will prepare his research into securing corporate networks for
commercialization, via technology licensing or start-up ventures. The work
is focused on ensuring corporate networks are better able to understand the
purpose behind data transmitted in a network to enable policies to prevent
malicious attacks from harming end-users or computer systems.
Gabor Sarkozy had the following journal publications:
``Monochromatic bounded degree subgraph partitions.'' Discrete Mathematics
339, 2016, pp. 46-53 (with Andrey Grinshpun).
``Partitioning 2-edge-colored Ore-type graphs by monochromatic cycles.''
Journal of Graph Theory 81, 2016, pp. 317-328 (with Janos Barat).
``Ramsey number of paths and connected matchings in Ore-type host graphs.''
Discrete Mathematics 339, 2016, pp. 1690-1698 (with Janos Barat, András
Gyárfás and Jeno Lehel).
``Ramsey number of a connected triangle matching.'' Journal of Graph Theory
83, 2016, pp. 109-119 (with András Gyárfás).
``Monochromatic cycle power partitions.'' Discrete Mathematics 340, 2017,
He gave an invited presentation at the AMS Sectional meeting at Bowdoin College, Brunswick, Maine
in September, 2016.
He is a co-PI in a new OTKA (Hungarian National Science Foundation) grant,
$120,000 from 07/01/16 to 06/30/19 titled "Graph based optimization and big
Yanhua Li and his CS Master student Shijian Li recently published a
paper in the 24rd ACM SIGSPATIAL International Conference on Advances in
Geographic Information Systems (ACM SIGSPATIAL 2016).
Shijian Li, Bo Lyu, Yanhua Li, Jie Fu, Andrew Trapp,
Haiyong Xie, Yong Liao, *Scalable User Assignment in Power Grids: A Data
Driven Approach*. In proceedings of the 24th ACM SIGSPATIAL International
Conference on Advances in Geographic Information Systems, Oct 31 - Nov 3,
2016, San Francisco, CA, USA.
Besides this work, he recently published three more conference
papers on Smart Cities and Urban Computing with internal and external
[ICDM'16] Chen Liu, Ke Deng, Chaojie Li, Jianxin Li, Yanhua Li, and Jun
Luo, *The Optimal Distribution of Electric-Vehicle Chargers across A
International Conference on Data Mining, Barcelona, Spain, December 12-15,
[SIGSPATIAL GIS'16] Yuhong Li, Jie Bao, Yanhua Li, Yu Zheng, Yingcai Wu,
Zhiguo Gong, *Mining the Most Influential k-Location Set from Massive
Trajectories*. in proceedings of the 24th ACM SIGSPATIAL International
Conference on Advances in Geographic Information Systems, Oct 31 - Nov 3,
2016, San Francisco, CA, USA.
[CIKM'16] Xinyue Liu, Xiangnan Kong, Yanhua Li, *Collective Traffic
Prediction with Partially Observed Traffic History using Location-Base
Social Media*. In proceedings of the 25th ACM International Conference on
Information and Knowledge Management, Indianapolis, IN, on Oct 24 - 28,
He was invited to give a talk in Computer Science Colloquium on his
research in Smart Cities/Urban Computing at College of William and Mary in
Carlo Pinciroli had a number of recent publications.
Carlo Pinciroli, Giovanni Beltrame. 2016. Swarm-Oriented Programming
of Distributed Robot Networks. IEEE Computer. In press.
Carlo Pinciroli, Andrea Gasparri, Emanuele Garone, Giovanni Beltrame.
2016. Decentralized Progressive Shape Formation with Robot Swarms.
13th International Symposium on Distributed Autonomous Robotic Systems
2016 (DARS 2016). In press.
Carlo Pinciroli, Giovanni Beltrame. 2016. Buzz: An Extensible
Programming Language for Heterogeneous Swarm Robotics. Proceedings of
the IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and
Systems (IROS 2016). In press.
Marco Dorigo, Mauro Birattari, Xiaodong Li, Manuel López-Ibáñez,
Kazuhiro Ohkura, Carlo Pinciroli, Thomas Stützle (eds). 2016. Swarm
Intelligence: 10th International Conference, ANTS 2016, Brussels,
Belgium, September 7-9, 2016, Proceedings. LNCS 9882. Springer
He was invited to give a seminar at University of New Hampshire on November
18th 2016, topic TBD.
He was interviewed by a reporter of the online science magazine "Inside
Science" to comment on a recent paper on swarm control.
He is a subcontractor in a project funded by the Canadian CARIC program (50k
CAD for me, 3M CAD the overall budget).
"A IoT Platform for Disaster Response", 1/1/2017 - 12/31/2018.
He served as Technical co-chair of NASA/ESA AHS2017, CalTech, Pasadena CA, July 2017.
He served as Publication chair of ANTS2016, Brussels, Belgium, September 2016.
He served as PC member of IEEE ICCCN2017, Zurich, Switzerland, January 2017.
He served as PC member of CAS@ACM SAC2017, Marrakech, Morocco, April 2017.
Carolina Ruiz and Liz Ryder organized the First Annual Bioinformatics
and Computational Biology (BCB) Summer Research Experience for High
School Students Program during the summer of 2016. This 5-week program
brings selected rising juniors and seniors to our BCB research labs to
work with WPI faculty, graduate and undergraduate students on research
projects using Computer Science and Mathematics to solve problems in
Biology and Medicine. The program generated a great deal of interest
among high school students. 21 outstanding students were selected from
over 60 well-qualified applicants. Teams of students were advised by 9
BCB faculty from 4 departments: Korkin and Ruiz from Computer Science;
Gegear, Ryder, Shell and Vidali from Biology and Biotechnology;
Servatius and Wu from Mathematics; and Tuzel from Physics. The program
was very successful by any measure. Plans are underway for next year's
program. More information about the program and some pictures can be
found at The Daily Herald: https://www.wpi.edu/news/young-researchers .
Suzanne Mello-Stark was quoted in Computer World.