CRA-W/CDC DLS Oct 21-22, 2010: Main events

Contents

Pathways to Research Careers

Prof. Stephanie Forrest, University of New Mexico
Dr. Mary Czerwinski, Microsoft Research

lunchtime, Thursday 10/21
Smith College
Lunch provided.

Join the speakers for lunch to hear about their research and what led them to their current careers.


This is part of a two-day CRA-W/CDC DLS event being hosted by the Five Colleges Consortium (less than 10 are held across the country each year). For more information, please see http://minerva.cs.mtholyoke.edu/dls.


Meet-and-greet Tea

Prof. Stephanie Forrest, University of New Mexico
Dr. Mary Czerwinski, Smith College

3:30 - 4:30, Thursday 10/21
O'Conner Commons, Pratt Building (Amherst College)
Refreshments provided.

Join the speakers for a tea to learn about their research. Prof. Forrest will talk about Cybersecurity, and Dr. Czerwinksi will give an overview of cutting-edge technology projects in the VIBE (Visualization and Interaction for Business and Entertainment) research group.


This is part of a two-day CRA-W/CDC DLS event being hosted by the Five Colleges Consortium (less than 10 are held across the country each year). For more information, please see http://minerva.cs.mtholyoke.edu/dls.


CRA-W/CDC Distinguished Lecture Series: Why a computer needs an immune system and why an immune system needs a computer

Prof. Stephanie Forrest, University of New Mexico

7:30pm, Thursday 10/21
Hooker Auditorium, Clapp Building (Mount Holyoke College)
Dessert reception to follow.

Living systems process information. Understanding computation in biology helps us understand the natural world and suggests new engineering paradigms. As an example, the natural immune system, learns to recognize relevant patterns, remembers patterns that have been seen previously, uses combinatorics to construct pattern detectors efficiently, and exploits diversity to promote robustness. Further, the individual cells and molecules that comprise the immune system are distributed throughout our bodies, encoding and controlling the system in parallel with no central control mechanism.

The talk will describe several related projects that incorporate principles and mechanisms from immunology into computational applications, focusing on applications in computer security. It will also describe how ideas from computer science can be used to further our understanding of biological processes, emphasizing evolutionary diseases such as influenza and cancer.

Stephanie Forrest is Professor and Chairman of Computer Science at the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque. Professor Forrest received the Ph.D. in Computer and Communication Sciences from the University of Michigan. Before joining UNM she worked for Teknowledge Inc. and was a Director's Fellow at the Center for Nonlinear Studies, Los Alamos National Laboratory. Professor Forrest is a member of the External Faculty at the Santa Fe Institute and Co-chair of its Science Board. She also served as SFI's Interim Vice President 1999-2000.


This is part of a two-day CRA-W/CDC DLS event being hosted by the Five Colleges Consortium (less than 10 are held across the country each year). For more information, please see http://minerva.cs.mtholyoke.edu/dls.


Automatic Program Repair with Evolutionary Computation (Technical talk)

Prof. Stephanie Forrest, University of New Mexico

10:15 - 11:15 am, Friday 10/22
Room 151, Computer Science Building (UMass Amherst)
Refreshments served prior

There are many methods for detecting and mitigating software errors but few generic methods that automatically repair errors once they are discovered. The talk will describe recent research applying the mechanisms of biological evolution quite directly to the problem of repairing software bugs. In this work, errors in off-the-shelf, legacy programs are repaired automatically without formal specifications, program annotations, or special coding practices. The method uses an extended form of genetic programming to evolve a program that retains required functionality but is not susceptible to the error. We use existing test suites to encode both the error and required functionality. The talk will describe the algorithm and summarize experimental results on 15 programs totaling 1.2M lines of C code. If time permits, the talk will also describe recent extensions to assembly code programs and closed-loop repair of security vulnerabilities.

Stephanie Forrest is Professor and Chairman of Computer Science at the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque. Professor Forrest received the Ph.D. in Computer and Communication Sciences from the University of Michigan. Before joining UNM she worked for Teknowledge Inc. and was a Director's Fellow at the Center for Nonlinear Studies, Los Alamos National Laboratory. Professor Forrest is a member of the External Faculty at the Santa Fe Institute and Co-chair of its Science Board. She also served as SFI's Interim Vice President 1999-2000.


This is part of a two-day CRA-W/CDC DLS event being hosted by the Five Colleges Consortium (less than 10 are held across the country each year). For more information, please see http://minerva.cs.mtholyoke.edu/dls.


Distinguished Lecture: Recent Advances in Visualization and Interaction for Business and Entertainment

Dr. Mary Czerwinski, Microsoft Research

12:20 - 1:15 pm, Friday 10/22
Morrison Room, Willits-Hallowell Conference Center (Mount Holyoke College)
Lunch provided, available starting at 12:00pm

Today's information workers are characterized by their ability to easily handle interruptions, multi-task, switch tasks quickly, and make sense of enormous amounts of information in high-pressure situations. Current and future technologies, including various wearables and sensing devices, ensure that robust communications and information transmissions can occur almost anywhere, any time. Our ability to log, collect, and visualize event data has become more sophisticated, allowing us to analyze trends and identify patterns across many areas of individual and group behaviors. How do we use these technological trends to ensure that we are designing tools that improve both individual and group productivity, insight, and an overall sense of user control? In this talk, Mary discusses several of her research group's projects in this area along with their path through productization.

Mary Czerwinski is a Research Area Manager of the Visualization and Interaction for Business and Entertainment (VIBE) research group at Microsoft Research. The group is responsible for studying and designing advanced technology and interaction techniques that leverage human capabilities across a wide variety of input and output channels. Mary's primary research areas include studying group awareness systems, information visualization and task switching. She has held positions at University of Washington, Compaq Computer Corporation, Rice University, Lockheed Engineering and Sciences Corporation, and Bell Communications Research. She received a Ph.D. in cognitive psychology from Indiana University in Bloomington. Mary is active in the field of Human-Computer Interaction, publishing and participating in a wide number of conferences, professional venues and journals. More information about Dr. Czerwinski can be found at http://research.microsoft.com/users/marycz.


This is part of a two-day CRA-W/CDC DLS event being hosted by the Five Colleges Consortium (less than 10 are held across the country each year). For more information, please see http://minerva.cs.mtholyoke.edu/dls.


Panel on Graduate School

Prof. Stephanie Forrest, University of New Mexico
Dr. Mary Czerwinski, Microsoft Research
UMass graduate students


1:30 - 2:30 pm, Friday 10/22
Morrison Room, Willits-Hallowell Conference Center (Mount Holyoke College)
Reception to follow.

Wondering about graduate school? This panel will discuss what it means to go to graduate school, particularly in computer science. Hear the speakers' experiences and get answers to questions you may not even know you had, including

  • How much does graduate school cost? (usually, they pay you!)
  • How do I apply to graduate school?
  • What does it mean to do research and can I get started in college?
  • I hear you need to choose an advisor -- how do I even know where to begin?

This is part of a two-day CRA-W/CDC DLS event being hosted by the Five Colleges Consortium (less than 10 are held across the country each year). For more information, please see http://minerva.cs.mtholyoke.edu/dls.