The University of Arizona

Recent News

Here's what is happening in the Computer Science department.

Recent News Stories

Sep 15 2016:Join us at the Fall 2016 Career Fair, September 22, 2016. Learn more
Jul 06 2016:Sabrina Nusrat, Ph.D. Candidate, has been accepted for the Doctoral Colloquium at IEEE VIS, October 2016, in Baltimore, Maryland. Learn more
Jun 15 2016:Dr. Dan DeBlasio (a recent doctoral graduate) receives prestigious three-year Lane Fellowship from the Department of Computational Biology at Carnegie Mellon Learn more
May 11 2016:The Department of Computer Science congratulates the 2016 Spring department awardees for their academic accomplishments. Learn more
Apr 28 2016:In the course of their research, Professors Collberg and Proebsting found that obtaining source code and data from fellow researchers was impossible. As a result they set out to learn more about how computer researchers share the information they develop. Read more about their ideas on sharing, repeatability, and benefaction. Learn more
Feb 16 2016:Following up from the success of the last year's Hack Arizona on the University of Arizona campus, the second Hack Arizona took place on January 22-24, 2016. Participation increased by 49% and the number of submitted projects went up this year from 67 to 97! Participating and returning sponsors included Amazon, Raytheon, State Farm and Intuit to name a few. Learn more
Feb 03 2016:Professor Surdeanu's research in the Big Mechanism program is working towards a system to "read" all published scientific articles that will extract information leading to better understanding of cancer and its pathways. Learn more
Jan 07 2016:To aid the study of potential genetic, metabolic and hormonal causes behind the accumulation of atypical fat tissue, Felicitie Daftuar, a 2000 UA computer science graduate, has provided a $1.5 million gift through her role as founder and executive director of the Lipedema Foundation as seed funding to establish a new Treatment, Research and Education of Adipose Tissue (TREAT) Program at the University of Arizona College of Medicine – Tucson. Learn more
Dec 15 2015:The Hack Arizona team is ecstatic to announce the return of the largest hackathon in the Southwest. We are hosting over 800 hackers this year, with a deep emphasis on hacker experience. Learn more
Nov 10 2015:Babak Yadegari is one of the top-10 finalists in NYU's Cyber-Security Awareness Week competition. Learn more
Nov 05 2015:Computer Science Major Alec Kretch Launches 'UA Craigslist' Learn more
Oct 05 2015:REACH, a project led by principal investigator computer science Professor Surdeanu, is leading the way in creating interactive software able to read papers and generating the information it collects for use with large-scale, interactive models. Learn more
Sep 24 2015:Professors Peterson and Hartman lead Syndicate, a four-year big data research project funded by $3.8 million NSF grant. Learn more
Jun 25 2015:"Massively parallel simulations of hemodynamics in the primary large arteries of the human vasculature" is an account of an ongoing project to simulate blood flow within a 3D model of the human circulatory system. Such a simulation is an important tool for studying drug delivery, cardiovascular disease, and cancer metastasis. This is the largest blood flow simulation at a resolution of 10 microns, covering the large arteries from the aorta to the femoral artery. A deciding factor in the success of the simulation is a parallel, distributed load-balancing technique that allows the simulation to scale across Sequoia, the 3rd-fastest supercomputer on the TOP500 list. Learn more
May 01 2015:The Department proudly recognizes student and faculty award winners. Learn more
Mar 06 2015:For the first time on the University of Arizona campus Hack Arizona took place on March 6-8, 2015. Within a 36-hour period teams submitted over 67 projects by working against the clock to bring ideas to life ranging from improvements to everyday apps to technology geared towards the advancement of medicine. This was a major event that drew over 400 participants from around the country, with over 100 of our Computer Science students competing and placing in various award categories. By the end of the weekend, the number of projects produced at the hackathon, over 67, was one of the highest submission rates among the major collegiate hackathon events. Hackathons are continuing to take place through May 24, 2015 around the country and in Europe. Learn more
Dec 19 2014:Staci Smith won our Outstanding Senior award for the Fall 2014 semester. Staci has excelled in all of our classes as well as in Math; she is a double major and also won their Outstanding Senior award. She is currently doing research in power-constrained, high performance computing, with Prof. Lowenthal. Previously, she worked on research projects in the Math department, and she has also served as a tutor for introductory Math and a teaching assistant for Real Analysis. Learn more
Nov 11 2014:Assistant Professor Carlos Scheidegger, along with co-author Gordon Kindlmann, were recognized at the InfoVis 2014 Conference on November 11, 2014, for their paper, An Algebraic Process for Visualization Design. Only 45 of 196 papers submitted were accepted. Of the 45, their paper was one of four that received Best Paper Honorable Mention, a distinction reserved for the top 10% of the accepted papers.
Oct 10 2014:Ian Koo Kain, a CS major, is studying abroad this semester at Gachon University in Korea, taking two computer science classes and two other classes. He recently attended a prestigious dinner hosted by the President of that university, at her residence. Learn more
Sep 09 2014:Over the last few seasons, Arizona football has struggled to find success in their special teams players, especially the place kicker. Year after year, fans have watched important field goals missed. Nonetheless, the Wildcats haven’t necessarily been known for their consistent kicking since 2006 when now-NFL player Nick Folk handled the kicking duties — that is, until redshirt junior Casey Skowron and his interesting background showed up in the picture. Learn more
Sep 03 2014:For one Silicon Valley entrepreneur, jumping through hoops to secure a prime spot at a hot restaurant is drudgery fit for technology. As it turns out, that’s precisely the thing he’s good at. Learn more
Aug 01 2014:Honeypots are the perfect bait for corporate IT shops to detect hackers targeting and already within their networks and now one security bod has devised a means to build a battalion of the devices from Raspberry Pis. University of Arizona student Nathan Yee has published instructions for building cheap hardware honeypots that could provide corporates much needed intelligence on adversaries. Learn more
Apr 16 2014:Dr. Noah Snavely, a former UA Department of Computer Science undergraduate was named a Presidential Early Career Award (PECASE) winner in December 2013. Dr. Snavely was honored at a White House reception as one of the Top 100 Young Scientists. Noah Snavely is on the faculty of the Department of Computer Science at Cornell University, where he has been an assistant professor since 2009. He received a B.S. in Computer Science and Mathematics from the University of Arizona in 2003, and a Ph.D. in Computer Science and Engineering from the University of Washington in 2008. Noah works in computer graphics and computer vision, with a particular interest in using vast amounts of imagery from the Internet to reconstruct and visualize our world in 3D, and in creating new tools for enabling people to capture and share their environments. His thesis work was the basis for Microsoft's Photosynth, a tool for building 3D visualizations from photo collections that has been used by many thousands of people. Noah is a recipient of a Microsoft New Faculty Fellowship and an Alfred P. Sloan Fellowship, and was recognized in 2011 as one of the Technology Review top Innovators under 35 (TR35). Learn more
Mar 26 2014:UA Computer Science student, Jason Hung, along with his friend Diogo Monica, have been mentioned in a New York Magazine feature titled "Is San Francisco New York" regarding his TableSweep App that was created to let its users snatch last minute open or cancelled reservations at highly sought out restaurants and eateries. Hung notes he will be launching a new app in the next few weeks, "that will crawl OpenTable (a restaurant reservation system) for hard-to-get tables, and publish a guide ranking the hardest restaurant to get into (on a Friday night at 7pm, for example) in every locality." Learn more
Mar 13 2014:The UA Department of Computer Science graduate program, along with the UA's part-time MBA program, education, and mathematics has risen in their U.S. News and World Report's annual list of Best Graduate Schools. In Computer Science, the UA saw an increase of 7 points, from 47 to 40. Part of the rise is attributed to the department's dedication to research, as research expenditures has increased by 182 percent in 5 years. It has also increased its doctoral graduates by 77 percent over 5 years. The rankings are based on expert opinions about program excellence and statistical indicators measuring the quality of a school's faculty, research, and students in engineering, medicine, law, business, and education. Learn more
Jan 27 2014:A University of Arizona Honors College student, is one of 14 students in the U.S. selected as a 2014-2015 Churchill Scholar by the Winston Churchill Foundation of the United States. This prestigious award provides funding for one year of graduate school in the United Kingdom. Daniel Fried, a Tucson native, has three majors: Computer Science, Information Science and Technology, and Mathematics. He plans to use the scholarship to study at the University of Cambridge, where he will pursue a Master of Philosophy in Advanced Computer Science. Learn more
Jan 08 2014:The National Optical Astronomy Observatory has featured an intriguing graphic story about the NSF INSPIRE Grant (ANTARES) on its webpage. Visit the NOAO Booth (space 520) at the AAS Meeting this week to see Tales of the Modern Astronomer: ANTARES RISING on the booth's backdrop. Learn more
Dec 17 2013:Professor Rick Snodgrass and Associate Professor John Kececioglu's INSPIRE grant work, as published in the December 17, 2013 edition of UANews (, is underway to build a telescope that will photograph the entire Southern Hemisphere of the sky every nights for 10 years. Operations in Chile will begin in 2022. The computing power is set to compare the 1 million to 10 million alerts generated by the LSST images in under 37 seconds. The team consists of Tom Matheson, UA associate professor of Computer Science and member of the UA BIO5 Institute, John Kececioglu, UA Professor of Computer Science, Rick Snodgrass, UA Professor of Computer Science, and NOAO astronomer Abhijit Saha. Learn more
Dec 03 2013:In the spirit of ideas worth spreading, TED has created a program called TEDx. TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. Our event is called TEDxTucson, where x = independently organized TED event. At our TEDxTucson event, TEDTalks video and live speakers will combine to spark deep discussion and connection in a small group. The TED Conference provides general guidance for the TEDx program, but individual TEDx events, are self-organized. The TEDxTucson Salon event that was held on October 16th featured Alon Efrat, Associate Professor of Computer Science as a speaker. Please click on the link below to view his talk in which he demonstrates some of the technology he has invented. Learn more
Dec 02 2013:University of Arizona Professor of Computer Science, Saumya Debray's piece in the December 1st issue of the Arizona Daily Star as part of the UA College of Science insert, provides readers a glimpse into his Lynx project. Along with his students, Debray is working to significantly accelerate the process of understanding and developing countermeasures to malicious code, seeing as how current techniques for analyzing obfuscated software are slow and tedious. Learn more
Oct 30 2013:UA Computer Science student, Jason Hung, has been featured in the San Francisco Business Times for his newly launched website,, which lets users search for highly sought-after restaurants in almost any city by scanning Open Table every minute and booking reservations the second one is released. Hung initially wrote the program to get into New York City’s famous Momofuku restaurant. Despite its recent launch of only two weeks, sign-ups are continuing to increase. Users can sign up with a name and valid email address. Jason is currently a Junior, pursuing his Computer Science degree courses through UA South. Learn more
Oct 30 2013:The UA’s new technology commercialization arm, Tech Launch Arizona, helps UA CS Professor Rick Snodgrass and his colleagues, fellow UA Computer Science professor Saumya Debray and doctoral student Rui Zhang, form a company, Dataware Ventures LLC, which focuses on their “micro-specialization” technology to help speed up database management systems. Tech Launch awarded the company a $39,000 proof-of-concept grant, and later helped the company land a $50,000 grant from Arizona Furnace, a startup high-tech business “accelerator.” Dataware is one of the two UA startups Tech Launch Arizona has helped launch in just the last two months. Learn more
Oct 30 2013:The Department is proud to announce Zewei Jiang as recipient of the Fall '13 Outstanding Senior Award. Zewei will be graduating with the Computer Science department's highest cumulative GPA and a 4.0 major GPA. He has done research with Kobus Barnard in Bayesian 3D tracking and scene understanding. Zewei is currently developing software for our University Library. He is also integrating parallel algorithms in the KJB library to improve performance for a code based used for many vision projects.
Oct 18 2013:Computer Science's Rick Snodgrass and John Kececioglu, along with Tom Matheson and Abhijit Saha from the National Optical Astronomy Observatory (NOAO), have been featured in the Arizona Daily Star for their Arizona-NOAO Temporal Analysis and Response to Events System (ANTARES) collaboration project, funded by the National Science Foundation. In their noteworthy efforts to devise a computer system that will sort out the “rarest of the rare” happenings from over one million “alerts” to be sounded each night from upcoming surveys of the universe, such as the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope (LSST), each project member understands the importance of using simple solutions to approach a complex problem. Snodgrass' time-domain computing work and Kececioglu's expertise in complex algorithm design and implementation prove to strengthen the ANTARES collaboration. Learn more
Oct 01 2013:Stephen Ost’s buzzworthy app, Ufree?, is at it again! Ost is the founder of the social media app, UFree, that lets users instantly see when their friends are online, close-by, and available to hang out. The winners of the contest will be revealed online in December and honored at the annual Growth Conference presented by The UPS Store on January 22, 2014 at the New Orleans Convention Center. Learn more
Oct 01 2013:The recently awarded National Science Foundation INSPIRE Grant AST-1344024 ($733,000 for years 2013-16) is a multidisciplinary collaboration between the UA Department of Computer Science and NOAO (National Optical Astronomy Observatory, located on the UA campus). The project team, consisting of Rick Snodgrass and John Kececioglu from Computer Science, and Tom Matheson and Abhijit Saha from NOAO, will develop the Arizona-NOAO Temporal Analysis and Response to Events System (ANTARES) for filtering the estimated 1 million alerts produced each evening by the Large Synaptic Survey Telescope (LSST) down to the roughly 10 most important events seen that night (the "rarest of the rare") for immediate follow-up by other telescopes around the world. Learn more
Aug 27 2013:A UA-led study in the Journal of Medical Internet Research suggest that people can use Twitter to better understand the relationship between what they eat and their reasons for eating. Learn more
Aug 22 2013:It is with great pleasure that we welcome Professor Larry Peterson back to the department. Larry was on our faculty from 1985-1998, serving as Department Head from 1996-1998. From 1998-2013, Larry was the Robert E. Kahn Professor of Computer Science at Princeton, where he was also Department Chair from 2003-2009. Larry is a preeminent researcher in the areas of computer networks and distributed systems, having produced several influential ideas in these areas. In his first stint at UA, his x-kernel project gained wide notoriety in academia and industry. At Princeton, he founded the PlanetLab Consortium, which has hundreds of members around the world and serves as a critical experimental testbed in networking research. Larry's pioneering work has resulted in a number of honors and awards, including membership in the prestigious National Academy of Engineering. He is also a Fellow of the ACM and the IEEE, the recipient of the 2010 IEEE Kobayashi Computer and Communication Award, and the recipient of the 2013 SIGCOMM Award. He also is currently serving as Chief Architect of ON.LAB and previously co-founded CoBlitz, LLC, to commercialize content distribution network (CDN) technology developed on PlanetLab.
Aug 12 2013:Check out the August 9, 2013 entry on the UA News Blog featuring Christian Collberg and his recent interview with security guru Gary McGraw. Learn more
Aug 08 2013:Congratulations to Christian Collberg for his promotion from Associate Professor to Professor!
Aug 02 2013:Gary McGraw, a recognized authority on software security interviewed our own Christian Collberg on his Silver Bullet Security Podcast. In the interview Dr. Collberg discusses software protection and security in terms of moving target defenses and whether students should be taught to think like computer attackers. Learn more
Jun 28 2013:Stephen Ost is in the news again, this time on Tucson’s own KOLD News 13. We wrote about Stephen in March and introduced our readers to his social media application, UFree. Stephen’s app is designed to promote social freedom amongst college students. UFree lets users see instantly when their friends are online, close-by and available to hang out. Stephen is still working at the Arizona Center for Innovation in the prestigious Business Incubator, where he supervises 18 interns. He is also involved with collaborations with developers in India. UFree is set to launch on campus at The University of Arizona on August 1, 2013. Learn more
May 16 2013:Computer Science junior Daniel Fried is one of a select group of sophomores and juniors nationwide awarded the Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship. The Goldwater Scholarship is a premier honor awarded to students purusing careers in science, math and/or engineering who demonstrate a commitment to and the potential to make a significant contribution to his or her field. Competition for the scholarship is intense and universities are allowed to nominate only four undergraduate students per year. Fried is one of two UA students to receive the award this year. Learn more
Apr 26 2013:Computer Science students, Kate Maroney, Shane Gianelli and Soumya Srivastava, participated in Startup Tucson's recent 24-hour hackathon. They wrote a location-based authorization app that allowed users to see events, promotional codes, information from teachers and more based on their location, as well as post events and information that anyone in a specific area they designated could see. Since they finished about halfway through, they programmed an Arduino board to flash an LED version of binary code that could be entered into a website in lieu of using the app. Although their group did not end up winning, they had a lot of fun. Kate Maroney said, "I know that Startup Tucson is looking for more student participation in their next hackathon in the fall." Learn more
Apr 25 2013:Fifteen employees will be honored at this year's University of Arizona Awards for Excellence ceremony. "Surprise patrols" notified the winners last month by catching them unawares in their offices and cubicles and presenting them with giant checks as their co-workers – many of whom had nominated them – watched. The videos taken during those visits will be played Thursday at a formal ceremony to honor all the recipients. The awards are among the most prestigious that staff or appointed personnel can receive. Congratulations Holly!! Learn more
Mar 11 2013:Computer Science senior, Katie Cunningham, was honored by the UA Bookstore and The University of Arizona Office of the President as one of this Spring's UA Pillars of Excellence. Katie's name is currently on display in the bookstore together with the names of other UA Honor's students, UA Regents Professors and University Distinguished Professors who were recognized for their academic accomplishments. Learn more
Mar 08 2013:The Computer Science Department awards Yi Huang its Outstanding Senior Award for Spring 2013. This honor is given to students who not only excel in academics, but who act as leaders both on campus and in the community. Yi is enrolled in the Accelerated Master’s Program and is currently working on his honors thesis with Professor Beichuan Zhang to design and implement future Internet architecture in a project called Named Data Networking (NDN). He also works on the Angry Ants project with Professor Stephen Kobourov and helps the UA library manage data for a digitization project called “Preserving and Creating Access to Unique Afghan Records,” which is funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities. Congratulations Yi!
Mar 08 2013:This year’s Excellence in Undergraduate Research Award goes to graduating senior, Benjamin Dicken. Ben has a passion for computer science research and he has demonstrated an interest in making research more efficient across the board, not just for computer scientists. He participated in three research projects, two of which were with the AZDBLab group and the database Microspecialization group on developing computing infrastructure for running experiments and accessing the resulting empirical data. He also worked together with Professors Rick Snodgrass and Saumya Debray on database optimization. Ben’s third research project was with the SLIC computer vision group, developing web and mobile interfaces for browsing instructional video content. We are pleased that Ben has decided to pursue a graduate degree in Computer Science.
Mar 06 2013: Women in Information and Computer Science (WICS) and the UA Information Technology Student Advisory Board, held its first annual App-a-thon on March 2, 2013. The competition, sponsored by the IT Student Advisory Board and Office of the CIO, gave students a special chance to earn scholarship money while creating new applications for two of The University of Arizona’s PixelSense computers. These computers are unique as they allow several people to sit together and input ideas at the same time. The App-a-thon was a success with 1st place ($600) going to Shane Gianelli, Soumya Srivastava, and Andrew Barnes for their application, Colab, which aids in collaborative research; 2nd place ($300) to Seungwoo Suns, Stephen Robinson, and Jorge Vergara for their whiteboard calendar application and 3rd place ($100) to Lamec Fletez, Victor Nguyen, and Justin Hamman for their task list application. WICS hopes to make the App-a-thon an annual competition.
Mar 05 2013:Our homepage made the news today for sharing a link to a video by that has gone viral on the web. The video features Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg, and many others who share their stories about how they became interested in computer science and their positive views on the field itself. The classic stereotype of computer science being a major for brainiacs and geeks is gone. The video shows that computer science is everywhere and everyone is getting involved. As the video continued to get more hits, KGUN9 On Your Side contacted us and interviewed several of our students and staff. Learn more
Mar 01 2013:Computer Science senior, Stephen Ost, founder of the Android and iPhone application Ufree, is making it easier for us to interact with each other face-to-face. Rather than spending time texting and calling your friends or even interacting with them on social media sites, such as Facebook, Ost’s application allows us to see who is free in real time and make scheduling arrangements accordingly. In preparation for a launch this Spring, Ost worked with students participating in an internship program with the Arizona Center for Innovation, many of whom said they saw potential benefits of the application. Learn more
Feb 01 2013:When biologists study proteins, DNA, or other biological molecules that are represented in the computer as sequences, they rely on known information but also must predict missing data. At the University of Arizona, computer scientist John Kececioglu and his collaborators have spent years developing improved computer software to aid biologists in obtaining more accurate analyses. Learn more
Jan 18 2013:Modern techniques, coupled with technological innovation, have provided researchers and academics the ability to compile near-infinite amounts of data. But sorting through that data requires an inordinate computing power. That desire for computing power comes at a cost, not just in expensive computer infrastructure, but in energy. Learn more
Jan 03 2013:Katie Cunningham has been selected as one of twelve top Honors students for the 2013 Pillars of Excellence Award, sponsored by the UA Bookstore. Many students were nominated for the Pillars of Excellence Award, and twelve were selected. She was also the CS Outstanding Senior and College of Science Outstanding Senior this semester. Congratulations Katie!
Dec 07 2012: David Lowenthal, the UA's associate department head for computer science, is leading a research team working to develop a software system that will help improve performance of supercomputers. With funding from the National Science Foundation, Lowenthal's work is in direct response to government and industry needs to enable supercomputing applications to reach high performance within a fixed power budget. Learn more
Dec 03 2012:Helping to inform the next phase in asteroid detection, a University of Arizona team has set out to develop new tracking methods and computer algorithms, joining scientists across the nation working to spot asteroids headed for a close pass-by or impact with Earth. UA computer scientists Jonathan Myers and Alon Efrat will work directly with the Minor Planet Center, the MPC, located at the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory in Massachusetts. Learn more
Nov 25 2012:You purchase a book from an online seller. The government keeps records of your Social Security contributions. The University of Arizona tracks the courses a student takes. These computer systems share a common feature: They capture information that changes over time. For example, the UA has an extensive system for course scheduling that goes back many years. But it has been quite difficult to ensure consistent information or to ask even simple questions of such information. Learn more
Nov 25 2012:Information visualization is essential for understanding connections and patterns within large datasets, such as movies in the Netflix database, TV programs or social networks on Facebook. However, traditional approaches such as pie charts, bar graphs and scatter-plots often don't show underlying patterns and relationships in the data. Learn more
Jun 13 2012:University of Arizona engineering and computer science researchers have received a $3.6 million cybersecurity research contract from the Office of Naval Research to develop dynamic maps that visualize suspicious activity on computer networks. Computer Science faculty Dr. Stephen Kobourov and Dr. Christian Collberg will join other UA researchers on the contract. Learn more
Apr 17 2012:Katie Cunningham, a Computer Science and Molecular & Cellular Biology Senior, will be awarded a “Student Excellence Award” at the upcoming Science and Engineering Excellence Banquet on April 27th. The award is to recognize Katie’s hard work as an active member of the Women in Computer Science Club, as a CS Ambassador, and for her initiative in teaching and organizing free programming language workshops to students on campus. Learn more
Mar 08 2012:Undergraduate Jaimie Sauls was accepted to present her research at the ACM SIGCSE Student Research Competition held March 1-3, 2012 in Raleigh, North Carolina. Jaimie is doing her honors thesis on developing an experimental lab for queueing theory. The SIGCSE conference on computer science research was also attended by CS faculty Patrick Homer, Lester McCann, and Rick Mercer Learn more
Mar 05 2012:Senior Lecturer Dr. Lester I. McCann has been named the recipient of the UA Foundation's 2012 Leicester and Kathryn Sherrill Creative Teaching Award. The Sherrill Award is a recognition of "excellence in the art of teaching" at Arizona, with an focus on undergraduate instruction. Dr. McCann will receive the honor at the Provost's Awards of Distinction Luncheon on April 12th. Learn more
Jan 03 2012:This is Jawaherul's second paper in a series of 3 (all written in the fist year of his PhD). Muhammad's first paper was invited to the special issue on the best papers at Graph Drawing 2011. The winning submission: Muhammad Jawaherul Alam, Therese C. Biedl, Stefan Felsner, Andreas Gerasch, Michael Kaufmann, Stephen G. Kobourov: Linear-Time Algorithms for Hole-Free Rectilinear Proportional Contact Graph Representations. 22nd International Symposium on Algorithms and Computation (ISAAC), p. 281-291, 2011.
Dec 14 2011:CS Professors David Lowenthal and Chris Gniady were featured for their work on green computing in the Arizona Daily Star. They are working on power/energy issues ranging from smartphones to supercomputers. Learn more
Dec 14 2011:CS Professor Christian Collberg was featured in the Arizona Daily Star with an article titled "Defeating real bad guys in the virtual world." Professor Collberg's work centers around the so-called "Man-At-The-End" problem--a kind of attack against computers that can affect anything from online computer games, to electronic voting systems, to the electrical power grid. Learn more
Nov 08 2011:Kyriacos Pavlou's work "Database Forensics in the Service of Information Accountability" won 1st place in the graduate category of Physical Sciences, Mathematics, Computer Engineering and Computer Science at the UA 2011 Student Showcase held on Friday Nov 4th. The first place winners get an Award Certificate and $250. Learn more
Oct 03 2011:Tom Smallwood, an ISTA senior, and Cody Jorgensen, a Computer Science senior, who met in a software development club, founded Objective Coders LLC in 2010, a company that develops apps for both Apple and Android devices. Learn more
Oct 03 2011:While the rest of us were researching innovative new ways to slack off, computer engineering and computer science senior Jesse Gunsch and computer engineering junior Chas Leichner formulated a system to help UA students choose their next semester’s classes just in time for the first rounds of registration. Learn more
Aug 30 2011:Daniel Stolte (University Communications)
Aug 25 2011:Graduate Student Meet-and-Greet (Gould-Simpson, 9th Floor)
Aug 24 2011:Beichuan Zhang, an assistant professor in the UA's computer science department, has received an international award for his efforts toward a more energy-efficient Internet infrastructure Learn more
Aug 10 2011:August 8, 2011: UA Honors College students have collaborated with graduate students studying computer science to train community members on basic computer skills. Learn more
Aug 10 2011:CS Instructor, Lester McCann has been awarded the 2011 College of Science Distinguished Early-Career Teaching Award. This award recognizes "outstanding classroom teaching at the undergraduate or graduate levels." He will officially receive the award at the College of Science Faculty Reception on Tue Sept. 20. Congratulations, Lester!
Jul 19 2011:Raquel Torres Peralta, Tasneem Kaochar, Ian Fasel, Clay Morrison, Tom Walsh and Paul Cohen.Challenges to Decoding the Intention Behind Natural Instruction (Extended Abstract).

Abstract: Currently, most systems for human-robot teaching allow only one mode of teacher-student interaction (e.g., teaching by demonstration or feedback), and teaching episodes have to be carefully set-up by an expert. To understand how we might integrate multiple, interleaved forms of human instruction into a robot learner, we performed a behavioral study in which 44 untrained humans were allowed to freely mix interaction modes to teach a simulated robot (secretly controlled by a human) a complex task. Analysis of transcripts showed that human teachers often give instructions that require considerable interpretation and are not easily translated into a form useable by machine learning algorithms. In particular, humans often use implicit instructions, fail to clearly indicate the boundaries of procedures, and tightly interleave testing, feedback, and new instruction. In this paper, we detail these teaching patterns and discuss the challenges they pose to automatic teaching interpretation as well as the machine-learning algorithms that must ultimately process these instructions. We highlight the challenges by demonstrating the difficulties of an initial automatic teacher interpretation system.

This paper received the Best Presentation award at the IJCAI 2011 workshop on Agents Learning Interactively from Human Teachers (ALIHT), which concluded this past weekend.

Tasneem applied for and received travel support from three sources:

The ACM-W (ACM's Women In Computing) travel scholarship is funded by Wipro Technologies; the scholarship site is:

The Coalition to Diversify Computing;

The User Modeling, Adaptation and Personalization Conference, held this year in Girona, Spain.

Many thanks to these sponsors, and congratulations to Tasneem and Raquel!
May 31 2011:Professor David Lowenthal is General Chair of the 25th ACM International Conference on Supercomputing, being held this week in Tucson at Loews Ventana Canyon Resort. ICS is the premier international forum for the presentation of research results in high-performance computing systems. Professor Chris Gniady is serving as local arrangements chair. Also, Ph.D students Peter Bailey, Tapasya Patki, Aniruddha Marathe, Lei Ye (all in CS), and Greg Striemer (ECE) are serving as student volunteers. New results will be presented on topics relating to supercomputing such as GPUs, non-volatile memory systems, transactional memory, programming models, and power. Learn more
May 27 2011:Computer Science's own Stephen Kobourov was awarded a Humboldt fellowship for research to be done in Germany. Please visit the link to a recent article published in the UANews! Learn more
May 17 2011:UA researchers Beichuan Zhang and Chris Gniady have received a four-year National Science Foundation grant toward moving the Internet's infrastructure from "today's energy-oblivious to tomorrow's energy-efficient." Learn more
May 12 2011: Prof. Rick Snodgrass has been given the Outstanding Advising Award from the Honors College. The award letter says: "As a faculty honors advisor for Computer Science, your work with students stands out as excellent because of your attentiveness to students and their individual needs. You have organized the Computer Science Honors program and put together what we consider to be the model for departmental Honors websites. You are an invaluable resource and colleague---offering ideas and feedback and engaging in a full partnership with The Honors College. This award is a testament to your ability to inspire intellectual development and your commitment to teaching and advising." Congratulations, Rick!
Apr 27 2011:CS Senior David Shefchik was featured in an interview in the Kyungwon University newspaper of Korea. David is the first American exchange student to study at the university. Article in original Korean here.
Apr 20 2011:Congratulations to Tom Lowry, SISTA/CS Lab Staff, who is a 2011 recipient of The Staff Awards for Excellence, presented annually by the UA Staff Advisory Council, the Appointed Professionals Advisory Council, President Robert N. Shelton and the President's Cabinet. The Staff Awards for Excellence are designed to recognize employees who go above and beyond the call of duty in their jobs, whether it's by putting in extra hours, initiating innovative programs or always arriving at the office with a smile. Learn more
Apr 13 2011:Congratulations to Profs. Stephen Kobourov and Christian Collberg who, together with their colleagues, Profs. Loukas Lazos and Srini Ramasubramanian, have been awarded an 8-month, $380K Phase 1 award from the Office of Naval Research for the project "Putting Network Security on the Map: Visualizing Network Security with a Unified Map Metaphor". This project is directed at the design and implementation of a natural, easy to learn, comprehensive, and real-time visualization system, which employs a unified metaphor — the geographic map — for visualizing network activity of interest. The proposed visualization system will be used in conjunction with a Distributed IDS system for rapidly identifying network intrusions such as port scans, denial-of-service attacks, and topological attacks in mobile networks. A Phase 1 award such as this represents the initial portion of a multi-part project that overall adds up to a significant amount of research funding. Congratulations Stephen and Christian!
Apr 01 2011:Four UA Computer Science students who started out taking an introductory program are now developing apps and games for Apple and Android mobile devices. Learn more
Nov 04 2010:From connections to content, Beichuan Zhang, a UA assistant professor of computer science, is part of a team receiving up to $8 million in National Science Foundation funding to investigate ways to revolutionize the Internet's architecture. Learn more
Oct 19 2010:UA Working to Create a Bilingual, Bicultural 'Roboceptionist'
A three-year, $1 million grant from the Qatar National Research Foundation is funding basic advances in human-computer interaction. Majd Sakr, a professor at Carnegie Mellon University in Qatar, is the principal investigator on the grant.
Reid Simmons, a professor at Carnegie Mellon's Robotics Institute in Pittsburgh, and Sandiway Fong, a UA associate professor of linguistics and computer science, are the co-PIs. Carnegie Mellon University will provide the robotics innovations, while the UA will supply the language technology.
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Aug 24 2010:Alon Efrat, UA Associate Professor of Computer Science, is working with a team of researchers on a project intended to help prevent a telecommunications meltdown in the event of an attack or natural disaster.
A nuclear weapon launched over the U.S. could create an electromagnetic pulse that would knock out access to power and electronics. To prepare for this and other potential disasters, Alon Efrat and his colleagues are working on a newly funded research project fueled by the philosophy that telecommunications providers should be aware of system weaknesses and actively work to secure them.
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Jul 29 2010:The department is pleased to announce that Paul Cohen, Ian Fasel, Kobus Barnard and Deva Ramanan (UC Irvine) have received a $5M, five year award from DARPA's Mind's Eye program. Clay Morrison assisted with preparing the proposal. Please join us in congratulating them!
The goal of Mind's Eye is to build a camera that can tell us what it sees. DARPA is interested in this problem because the cost of surveillance teams is very high, as is the cost of monitoring "dumb" remote cameras. A "smart" camera ought to be able to report suspicious activity. Mind's Eye is a particularly interesting problem because it merges computer vision with machine learning and models of human activities. The approach of the UA-UCI team involves three levels of inference: At the highest level, there are models of activity and at the lowest, there are vision algorithms optimized for pose recognition and tracking. The innovation is at the middle level, where simulation will generate possible futures a brief instant before they happen in the physical world. Said differently, the approach is to imagine, via simulation, what might be happening in the scene. Imagination can constrain conventional vision processing and should make it more accurate and efficient.
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Jul 12 2010:Alon Efrat, along with Gil Zussman of Columbia and Eytan Modiao of MIT, has been awarded $545,000 jointly by NSF to identify the most vulnerable parts of a telecommunications network and to provide a-priori protection plan and dynamtic restoration algorithms.


Telecommunication networks heavily rely on physical infrastructures (such as optical fibers, amplifiers, routers, and switches), and therefore, are vulnerable to natural disasters, such as earthquakes or floods, as well as to physical attacks, such as an Electromagnetic Pulse (EMP) attack. Physical attacks or disasters affect a specific geographical area or areas, and will result in failures of a large number of neighboring components. The goals of the project are to develop techniques to identify the most vulnerable parts of the network, and to develop tools to provide a-priori protection plan for the network, and develop dynamic restoration algorithms that will improve the resilience of networks to geographically correlated attacks and prevent cascading failures.
Jul 12 2010:Paul Cohen and his team have been awarded $1.4 million for their project, which will teach students and engage them in problem-solving activities via established social networking sites. Learn more
Jul 12 2010:University of Arizona junior Warren Harper is out to rock the world of chess.

The 19-year-old computer science major from Houston is headed to St. Louis to compete in the 2010 U.S. Junior Closed Chess Tournament. The competition runs today through July 19.
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Jun 14 2010:Diana Archangeli, a UA linguistics professor, is heading up a team using ultrasound and a range of other devices to create a technology that would enable the detection of words without auditory queues.

The team recently earned a $30,000 Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences Grants for Faculty grant, a UA funding program established to aid University researchers in transitioning promising projects from conception to application. Other members include Ian Fasel, an assistant research professor of computer science, and Jeff Berry and Jae Hyun Sung, both graduate students in the linguistics department.

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Jun 07 2010:Check out two stories in UA News today about some of our students and a faculty member.

Students Tom Smallwood, Cody Jorgensen, Charles Magahern, and James Magahern developed an iPhone app Twitscape:

Travel to the WWDC is partially supported by the Department of computer Science.

Professor Ian Fasel and his research on building intelligent robots:

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Jun 03 2010:Associate Professor John Kececioglu has achieved major recognition through his recent paper in the Journal of Computational Biology entitled "Aligning protein sequences with predicted secondary structure" being selected for the Faculty of 1000 Biology (See:

This means that the paper has been identified as being significant in the literature, and important for biologists to read. (Researchers in computational biology often note in their CV when their papers have been selected by Faculty of 1000 Biology.)

Congratulations, John! (And also our recent graduates Eagu Kim and Travis Wheeler, who were coauthors with John on this notable paper.)

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May 18 2010:

Four computer science students, Cody Jorgensen, Thomas Smallwood, Charles Magahern, and James Magahern, were among 300 students worldwide chosen to attend Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference 2010 (WWDC) this summer.

They applied individually to this very competitive program: a few thousand students apply, yet only 300 students are chosen (it was 400 last year, including Charles Magahern).

A ticket to attend the event costs $1599 per developer. The WWDC Student Scholarship offers qualified university students the opportunity to receive a free ticket to attend the Apple Worldwide Developers Conference 2010.

Charles, Cody, and Tom collaborated on an iPhone application call Twitscape. James created the application's icon. It is a location-based, anonymous Twitter client. People without a Twitter account can use the application to keep up with what people around them are Tweeting. This application is available at Apple's App Store.

All four are extremely interested in Apple's products, ranging from MacBooks to iPhone/iPad. They feel that Apple creates truly amazing software for their products. They believe that they were selected because of their experience in iPhone and Mac development, their passion for software development, and their professional work experience.

About WWDC

Over 5,000 of the world’s best and brightest Apple developers come together for the week-long Apple Worldwide Developers Conference at Moscone West, in San Francisco, California. The event runs from June 7 through June 11. This technical event provides developers with the opportunity to hear about the latest advancements in iPhone OS and Mac OS X through practical examples that you can apply directly to your app development. Over 1,000 Apple engineers will be attending to present advanced coding and development techniques that will show how to enhance the capabilities of developers' applications with the revolutionary technologies in iPhone OS and Mac OS X.

Congratulations to Cody, Thomas, Charles, and James!

Travel to the WWDC is partially supported by the Department of computer Science. "

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May 06 2010:The integration of computer science into the K-12 curriculum in the U.S. has not kept pace with other countries, and a serious shortage of information technologists exists at all levels, according to a new study by computer science professionals including the University of Arizona's Suzanne Westbrook. The overall shortage of women and underrepresented minority students in computing and the increasing need for professionals in the field motivated Westbook and leaders from the Computer Science Teachers Association, or CSTA, the Anita Borg Institute for Women and Technology, or ABI, to investigate barriers to the profession and make recommendations for improvement. Westbook, associate head of the UA department of computer science, studies gender issues in computing education, and she is a member of the Education, Outreach and Training team of the National Science Foundation funded iPlant Collaborative project. Learn more
Apr 21 2010:

CLIME: Concept Learning from Intrinsically Motivated sensory-motor Experience, award from DARPA

Most current robots are designed for solving one or a handful of specific, sophisticated tasks, using carefully designed sensor systems (such as computer vision systems) for localizing objects, terrain and landmarks. However these robots do not truly understand anything about these objects, such as how they can be acted upon, how they interact with each other, or any causal relationships between their visual and physical properties. Moreover, the only way for robots to learn new concepts is for a human to provide very labor-intensive hand coding, sometimes utilizing supervised machine learning. Thanks to a $250,000 award from DARPA to Asst. Research Professor Ian Fasel, CLIME (Concept Learning from Intrinsically Motivated sensory-motor Experience) is a new project which seeks to establish if it is possible for a robot to learn language-like conceptual representations through unsupervised sensory-motor experience with the world. Robots in this project will be "born" with primitive sensory motor skills, but will bootstrap to higher level concepts by "playing" with objects, driven by an internal, information-theoretic "curiosity", and using their experiences to build rich, multi-modal representations of those objects and features about them such as affordances and common causes. Ultimately, these robots may one day be able to truly understand human speech by connecting "words" to all the implications those words have about the physical world.

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Apr 21 2010:

The Arizona Articulatory, Acoustic, and Visual Speech Database, award from AHSS

The most defining characteristic of humans is our facile ability to learn and use language. Yet every domain of language is itself a complex system. Sound is the most concrete of these, with measurable acoustic and articulatory properties, yet it is only marginally understood, in part because of its inherent complexity and in part because of challenges in collecting and analyzing data, particularly articulatory data. Recently, Professors Diana Archangeli, Linguistics, and Ian Fasel, CS, received an $29,994 AHHS (Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences Grants for Faculty) award to develop new methods for understanding the non-acoustic aspects of speech. In this research, ultrasound, video, audio, nasal airflow, and electroglottography are simultaneously captured during speech, and then sophisticated machine learning methods are used to analyze the microstructure of vocal tract gestures, tongue positions, lip movement, audio, and their inter-relationships. One of the near-term outcomes of this project will be the creation of the public "Arizona Articulatory, Acoustic, and Visual Speech Database", which will serve as a foundation for a wide variety of research topics ranging from phonology, automatic speech recognition, speech therapy, music and language teaching, and documentation of Native American languages.

Professor Ian Fasel and his research on building intelligent robots:"

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Apr 17 2010:

Greg Andrews will be one of two people receiving the inaugural Outstanding Alumni Award from the Computer Science & Engineering Department at the University of Washington. He will receive this award at the departmental commencement ceremony on June 12, 2010.

The UW Computer Science and Engineering Department was established in 1967. Greg arrived two years later (his B.S. in Mathematics is from Stanford University, in 1969). Greg received a Ph.D. in Computer Science in 1974. His dissertation advisor was Alan Shaw.

This award joins several other prestigious awards Greg has received, including a Career Distinguished Teaching Award at the U of A and ACM Fellow.

He chaired our department from 1986-93 and again from 2006-08.

Apr 16 2010:Congratulations to the following people, who have been around the department, contributing in myriad ways, for an awfully long time! John Luiten, 25 year award John Hartman, 15 year award Patrick Homer, 15 year award Alon Efrat, 10 year award Lupe Jacobo, 10 year award John Kececioglu, 10 year award Stephen Kobourov, 10 year award All were recognized last week at the Annual Service Award Luncheon hosted by President Shelton and Provost Hay. Our thanks to John, John, Patrick, Alon, Lupe, John, and Stephen for the skills they bring and for the time and energy and passion they invest in their jobs here in our department.
Apr 06 2010:Troy J. Comi, Beryl Jones, Stacy Marla Shiffler and Jennifer Sierchio are all UA Honors College students and each have been named a recipient of the prestigious national Goldwater Scholarship. Learn more
Apr 05 2010:A long-missing part of the educational informatics focal problem has been social networking and large-scale educational gaming for students. Thanks to a $1.4M, three-year award from DARPA's CS STEM program to Paul Cohen and Carole Beal, this piece will soon be developed. The project is called "Teach Ourselves," and is based on Beal's work showing that students not only enjoy authoring math problems but learn math by doing so. Social networks such as Teach Ourselves (which will be built on top of Facebook) provide large audiences for student-authored problems. Students will get points for both authoring and solving problems, and they will be able to exchange points for real goods. A marketplace will be developed not only for math problems but for all sorts of intellectual work, including writing, translation, tutoring, and so on. Students will self-organize into guilds around these kinds of activities.

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