CS junior Afnan Fahim has been selected as a Fifth Year Scholar. This is only the second time a student from the Qatar campus achieves this prestigious CMU-wide honor. The Fifth Year Scholar program provides a small number of exceptional students the opportunity to spend a full year on the Pittsburgh campus following the completion of their normal course of study. Fifth Year Scholars are supported by free tuition and a $7,000 fellowship.
The inaugural edition of OurCS Qatar will be held at the Carnegie Mellon Qatar campus on April 7th, 2012. OurCS is a research focused conference that provides opportunities for high school girls and undergraduate women from Qatar to work on exploratory problems in teams led by researchers. No prior experience in the field is necessary to participate in this conference — just a curiosity and interest in learning more about what research in computing and related fields can do.
Girls don't care about computer science.Says who??? Throughout the day on 11 December, the CMU-Q building was teeming with women intent to disprove just that: students, alumni, faculty, mothers, and especially 94 super-engaged girls from a variety of high-schools around Doha. Officially, they were there to participate in the inaugural edition of CS4Qatar for Women, a series of workshops that expose high-school students to the real Computer Science beyond stereotypes.
By an unforeseeable coincidences, CMU-Q hosted a long-planned workshop on electronic voting mere days after the Qatari leadership announced that Qatar's first parliamentary elections in history will be held in 2013. The meeting gathered government officials, CMU-Q faculty, researchers, administrators and students around Carsten Schümann, an authority in electronic voting. Although a computer scientist by training, Schürmann was largely neutral about technology. Instead, his main message was about trust: an electoral system is as good as the trust the people have in it.
CMU-Q Computer Science students have spent their summers making the world a better place by participating in TechBridgeWorld's iSTEP (innovative Student Technology ExPerience) internship program since its inaugural year in 2009. Hatem Alismail (CS '09) spent his summer in Tanzania working on literacy projects for iSTEP 2009.
They have arrived! Could you hear them? The Computer Science freshmen are here, all 21 of them. They were selected from 165 applicants who chose the CS major as their first choice. They hail from 20 different secondary high schools, which makes them the most diverse class we have ever had (said differently, just two of these students are coming from the same high-school — that's something we in CS call the "pigeonhole principle"). Eight of the 21 join the Qatar campus from abroad, mainly from India, Pakistan and Syria).
Computer Science research at Carnegie Mellon University in Qatar continues to make headlines as the results of the fourth cycle of the National Priorities Research Program (NPRP), the Qatar National Research Fund's flagship funding initiative, are announced. CS at CMU-Q was awarded five grants, each over a million dollars, out of the 12 NPRP awards made to CMU-Q. One additional grant involving CMU-Q CS faculty was awarded through Qatar University.
Our "newest" faculty member has been roaming the CS corridor for several years already. Saquib Razak came to Doha as a PhD student with his advisor, Nael Abu-Ghazaleh, in 2008, stayed as a postdoc after finishing his PhD, and now has been appointed assistant professor. Saquib wanted to teach since the start, and he has made a name for himself as a dedicated instructor in the introductory Java courses, most recently with the "famous homework 7".
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15-122: The Actual StoryMon, 04/22/2013 - 12:00
I provide a personal account of the history and main design decisions in the development of the course 15-122 Principles of Imperative Computation. The first pilot was taught in Fall 2010, and it is now a central part in the freshmen curriculum for Computer Science and Electrical and Computer Engineering at Carnegie Mellon University. I will also speculate on some alternatives and potential future developments of this course and surrounding infrastructure.
...Carnegie Mellon Qatar room 1202Read more...Crossing a Minefield: Current Problems with Internet Technology and PolicyTue, 04/16/2013 - 12:00
There is a raging argument in the world over how Internet access should be priced and controlled. The players have often used emotional words to describe the issues. Rarely does debate focus on understanding the implications of proposed directions on future technologies and services that might be offered. - Future directions in networking and computers. - Impact that networking has had on the world from both a technical and societal view. - Current chaos on the Internet e.g. spam and other nasty pests and what can be done.
...Carnegie Mellon Qatar Room 1202Read more...Shared Autonomy Systems for a Robot Personal AssistantSun, 04/14/2013 - 12:00
Mobile manipulation robots offer the potential to vastly improve the quality of live for persons with severe motor disabilities, by acting as surrogates though which the person can influence and interact with their physical environment. However, fully autono mous robots are not yet capable for peforming this service, and many teleoperation interfaces make implicit assumptions about the users ability to manipulate input devices that cannot be met by persons with severe motor disabilities.
Our world is full of networks. The linking relationships might be quite abstract, such as friendship or metabolic processes or even more concrete, like roads or railways, but are still hard to overlook. One way to deal with such a network, is to mathematically model it as a graph with vertices representing the entities and edges the relationships. Graphs are widely used to visualize relational data. The area that deals with the theory and algorithmic questions of graph visualization is conventionally called Graph Drawing. The usefulness of a drawing depends on aesthetic criteria as well as on the amount of...
Carnegie Mellon Qatar Room 1202Read more...Extreme Lifelogging: Capturing Everything in Our Lives for a Faultless Memory to Better HealthThu, 02/14/2013 - 12:00
Gordon Bell's data dump is more than just a glorified photo album. By using e-memory as a surrogate for meat-based memory, he argues, we free our minds to engage in more creativity, learning, and innovation.
...Carnegie Mellon University in QatarRead more...DIARC - Steps Towards an Integrated Architecture for Human-Robot Interactions in Situated Natural Language DialoguesTue, 02/05/2013 - 12:00
Perception, action, and language processing are all tightly intertwined...
CMU-Q Room 1202Read more...Challenges for Computing in the 21st CenturyThu, 01/24/2013 - 12:00
...Carnegie Mellon QatarRead more...Mizan: A System for Dynamic Load Balancing in Large-scale Graph ProcessingMon, 01/21/2013 - 12:00Pregel
was recently introduced as a scalable graph mining system that can
provide significant performance improvements over traditional
MapReduce implementations. Pregel follows the Bulk Synchronous
Parallel (BSP) programming model; it uses asynchronous message
passing to better balance...CMU-Q Room 1202Read more...Political Polarization in Web Search and on TwitterMon, 12/10/2012 - 12:00
In this work we look at left-vs.-right polarization in web search queries issued and hashtags being used. We look at queries issued to Yahoo! in the US, and assign a political leaning in relation to the results being clicked. E.g. a query returning predominantly The Huffington Post (a left-leaning site) would be labeled as left-leaning, as opposed to queries landing on The Drudge Report (a right-leaning site). We show that our methodology can gain us insights into how issues are "framed" by either side and present both expected and surprising results linking truth values, leaning and popularity.
...Room 1202Read more...MC2: Map Concurrency Characterization for MapReduce on the CloudTue, 11/27/2012 - 12:00
MapReduce is now a pervasive analytics engine on the cloud. Hadoop is an open source implementation of MapReduce and is currently enjoying wide popularity. Hadoop offers a high-dimensional space of configuration parameters that makes it difficult on practitioners to set for efficient and cost-effective execution. In this work we observe that MapReduce application performance is highly influenced by map concurrency, defined in terms of two configurable parameters, the number of available map slots and the number of map tasks running over the slots.
...Room 1213Read more...Computing Technology in Service of SocietyMon, 11/12/2012 - 12:00
This talk presents several examples of how Information Technology can help the 5 billion people at the bottom of the pyramid who do not now have routine access to devices and networks. For many of them, access to Word, Excel, and PPT or Programming are not that important. However, technology enabled solutions for education, healthcare, access to people and information, entertainment, surviving disasters, and finding jobs would be of great interest to them.
...Carnegie Mellon QatarRead more...Analyzing and Understanding Nondeterministic Systems with LMNtal and LaViTThu, 11/08/2012 - 12:00
This talk is a gentle introduction to state-space search and model checking with LMNtal and LaViT, an IDE for LMNtal powered by visualizers. LMNtal is a language model based on hierarchical graph rewriting that uses point-to-point links to represent connectivity and membranes to represent hierarchy. Its expressive power was demonstrated through the encoding of various computational models including the lambda calculus. Our publicly available LMNtal implementation achieved high scalability and can handle models with half billion states.
...Room 1213Read more...Orthographic and Morphological Processing for English-Arabic Statistical Machine TranslationThu, 11/08/2012 - 12:00
Statistical Machine Translation (SMT) is the current mainstream approach to automatic translation between human languages. SMT relies on the existence of parallel bilingual corpora that are used to learn translation models automatically. Languages with different degrees of morphological complexity, such as Arabic and English, can be challenging to SMT because of the lack of symmetry between the two languages in addition to the increased sparsity that morphologically rich languages such as Arabic, pose.
...Room 1202Read more...Citizen Science from Galaxy Zoo to the ZooniverseMon, 10/15/2012 - 12:00
All areas of science are being confronted with increasingly large datasets, and often their usual approaches to data analysis are struggling to cope. While advances in computational tools are addressing this problem, in some cases these are still not as refined as desired and traditional human-based techniques remain favoured. Citizen Science offers an opportunity to make progress with producing science from huge datasets, using methods which rely on the remarkable talents of the human brain, while simultaneously helping to improve automated techniques.
...Room 1202Read more...NADEEF: A Commodity Data Cleaning SystemMon, 10/08/2012 - 12:00
Despite the increasing importance of data quality and the rich theoretical and practical contributions in all aspects of data cleaning, there is no single end-to-end o -the-shelf solution to (semi-)automate the detection and the repairing of violations w.r.t. a set of heterogeneous and ad-hoc quality constraints. In short, there is no commodity platform similar to general purpose DBMSs that can be easily customized and deployed to solve application-specic data quality problems. In this talk, we present NADEEF, an extensible, generalized and easy-to-deploy cleaning platform developed at QCRI.
...Room 1202Read more...Research-based Learning in Computing Courses for Senior Engineering StudentsMon, 10/01/2012 - 12:00
This presentation reports on the experience and lessons learned from introducing a constructivist Inquiry Based Learning (IBL) in advanced computing courses. Research-based projects are one of the IBL practices that are particularly suitable for higher education. Research-based IBL has been conducted in two different higher education contexts; at the University of Waterloo and at Qatar University. Measurement data provides information relative to the strengths and weaknesses of the adopted methodology in satisfying the pedagogical objectives being addressed.
...Room 1202Read more...TechBridgeWorld: Technology with A Global HeartTue, 09/25/2012 - 12:00
While many organizations continue to focus on enabling sustainable development, very few organizations have studied the role of technology in this process. TechBridgeWorld at Carnegie Mellon University is spearheading the innovation and implementation of technological solutions relevant and accessible to developing communities, using technology to build bridges rather than exacerbate divides. Designing and implementing technology that can enhance suitable and sustainable development presents unique challenges in creativity and resourcefulness.
Minicomplexity is the computational complexity theory that we can build by analogy to standard Computational Complexity Theory, when our computational model and resource of interest are not the Turing machine and its running time, but instead the two-way finite automaton (2FA) and its size. This talk is an informal tour to the main concepts and open questions of this theory.
...Carnegie Mellon Qatar Room 1202Read more...Streaming Algorithms for Finding Structural Trends in Large DataWed, 04/18/2012 - 12:00
As our data sets grow in size, the need for techniques for processing such large data under limited resources becomes more critical. One model for processing large data sequences is that of streaming computation: the input is read sequentially, i.e., "streamed", in one long pass, and the computation is performed while using small (typically logarithmic in the size of the input) memory.
...Room 1213Read more...High Throughput Genome Sequencing and Applications to Disease StudiesMon, 04/16/2012 - 16:00
High throughput sequencing technologies have made it possible to sequence the whole genome of an individual human donor for a few thousand dollars. The world-wide capacity for genome sequence production has grown at an unprecedented rate, making the initiation of large scale projects aiming to sequence 1000s of individual human genomes possible. The ability to detect large scale insertions, deletions, inversions and duplications (in short structural variants) between high throughput sequenced genomes is key to diagnosing, monitoring and treating diseases and conditions of genomic origin.
...Room 1131Read more...Understanding Social Signals from Wearable CamerasTue, 04/03/2012 - 12:00
Goggles, wearable cameras are poised to enter our social spaces in a big way. In this talk, I will investigate what wearable cameras can tell us both about the person wearing the cameras and the people they interact with. In the first part, I will present a method to reconstruct the motion of a person from cameras mounted on different limbs of the person, with the goal of taking motion capture out of the lab or studio.
...Room 1202Read more...Message Ferrying: Mobility-Assisted Data Delivery in Wireless NetworksMon, 03/19/2012 - 12:00
Message Ferrying (MF) is a technique used to deliver data in wireless and mobile networks that are either sparse or intermittently connected. The scheme utilizes a set of mobile nodes called message ferries that take responsibility for carrying messages within the network. I will first describe the context in which the MF scheme is relevant. I will then discuss the problems that one faces in the design and operation of networks using message ferries and our approach to solving them.
Physarum is a slime mold. It was observed over the past 10 years that the mold is able to solve shortest path problems and to construct good Steiner networks. In a nutshell, the shortest path experiment is as follows: A maze is built and the mold is made to cover the entire maze. Food is then provided at two positions s and t and the evolution of the slime is observed. Over time, the slime retracts to the shortest s-t-path. A mathematical model of the slime's dynamic behavior was proposed in 2007 by Tero-Kobayashi Nakagaki. Extensive computer simulations of the mathematical model confirm the experimental findings...
Room 1213Read more...Advanced Technologies for learning outcome-based education and employabilityThu, 03/01/2012 - 12:00
Learning based uniquely on input will not respond adequately to future challenges for individuals, society or the economy. The trend is to rely, increasingly, on the identification of learning outcomes and competences. In this event, we will present current international projects that focus on the identification, management and sharing of individual learning outcomes and competences, open educational resources and learning opportunities.
...Carnegie Mellon Qatar room 1213Read more...Your Wireless Network Knows Where You Are: Device-free Passive Localization for Wireless EnvironmentsMon, 02/20/2012 - 12:00
Typical location determination systems, for example the satellite-based Global Positioning System (GPS), require the presence of a physical device that is attached to the object that is being tracked. In addition, they usually require the tracked device to participate actively in the localization process by running part of the localization algorithm or by extracting the physical signals used in communication, such as signal strength or time. In this talk, we introduce the concept of Device-free Passive (DfP) localization for wireless networks.
...Carnegie Mellon Qatar room 1213Read more...IBM Global Technology Outlook 2011Mon, 02/13/2012 - 12:00
The Global Technology Outlook (GTO) is IBM Research’s vision of the future for information technology (IT) and its impact on industries that use IT. This annual exercise highlights emerging software, hardware, and services technology trends that are expected to significantly impact the IT sector in the next 3-7 years. In particular, the GTO identifies technologies that may be disruptive to an existing business, have the potential to create new opportunity, and can provide new business value to our customers. The 2011 GTO is set to build not only on its 29 predecessors, but the 100 years of IBM innovation....
Data-Intensive Scalable Computing (DISC) systems provide computing resources that enable the analysis of massive data sets. They have found widespread use in Internet companies, but they also have the potential to greatly advance areas such as astronomy and biology. Programs for DISC systems must be written in ways that allow them to be executed in a loosely-coupled asynchronous environment, such as the Map/Reduce framework pioneered by Google. Although Map/Reduce has surprisingly broad applicability, a richer set of programming languages and models is required to realize the full potential of DISC.
Web search engines have become fixtures in our society, but few people realize that they are actually publicly accessible supercomputing systems, where a single query can unleash the power of several hundred processors operating on a data set of over 200 terabytes. With Internet search, computing has risen to entirely new levels of scale, especially in terms of the sizes of the data sets involved. Google and its competitors have created a new class of large-scale computer systems, which we label "Data- Intensive Scalable Computer" (DISC) systems.