BU Computer Science welcomes new faculty

By Christopher R DevitsSeptember 1st, 2016in Recent News

The Department of Computer Science proudly welcomes our newest faculty members

This accomplished group has been hired as part of Boston University’s overall plan to increase the Computer Science faculty size by 50% within a five-year time frame.

Dr. Alina Ene

CASCOSCIAlina earned her PhD in 2013 from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. She focuses on approximation algorithms for combinatorial optimization problems and submodular function optimization, and their applications to machine learning. Prior to joining BU, she was an assistant professor at the University of Warwick, a faculty fellow at the Alan Turing Institute for Data Science, and a postdoc at Princeton University.

Dr. Lorenzo Orecchia

Orecchia 263x397Lorenzo earned his PhD in 2011 from the University of California at Berkeley. He focuses on the design and analysis of algorithms arising in a variety of applications, including machine learning and numerical analysis. His work leverages mathematical techniques from a broad spectrum of areas to break long-standing computational barriers. Before joining BU, Lorenzo was most recently an applied math instructor at MIT.

Dr. Kate Saenko

CASCOSCIKate earned her PhD in 2009 from MIT. She focuses on machine learning, applied to computer vision and natural language processing. Most recently, she has focused on learning for joint vision and language understanding, and transfer of learning across domains. Before joining BU, Kate was an assistant professor at UMass Lowell, and, prior to that, she held postdoctoral fellowships at UC Berkeley and Harvard.

Dr. Charalampos (Babis) Tsourakakis

CASCOSCIBabis earned his PhD in 2013 from Carnegie Mellon University. He focuses on foundations of data science, with particular emphasis on fast algorithms and data mining for problems involving massive network datasets, with applications in biological, social, technological, and web networks. Before joining BU, he held postdoctoral fellowships at Brown and Harvard. He is spending Fall 2016 at Google Research.


Forbes highlights BU in attracting more women to CS

By Christopher R DevitsJuly 28th, 2016in Recent News

Forbes magazine recently published an article titled “Attracting More Women to Study STEM in a World Full of Geek Dude Stereotypes.” Professor Mark Crovella, Chair of BU’s Department of Computer Science, is quoted:

BU’s computer science department changed the introductory courses to “show students, it’s not just about programs.” This past semester, the percentage of women in the introductory computer science course, CS 111, was 40%. “I think what’s being understood is that computer science can [be] just as attractive to women as men,” says Mark Crovella, the chair of BU’s computer science department. “I think they will basically stop seeing computer science as geeks who sit in cubicles and start thinking of them as people who make an impact in this world.”

WiCSThe growth in the number of women majoring in CS comes at a time when interest in CS across all populations is surging, especially among traditionally underrepresented populations as highlighted in a recent BU Today article. The department continues our efforts in making women specifically feel more welcome, such as supporting the Women in Computer Science group, sending 12 students to this October’s 2016 Grace Hopper Conference Celebrating Women in Computing, and making a point to hire women into undergraduate teaching assistant positions to help all students in our courses.

BU Students Return from ASC’16 Competition in Wuhan, China

By Christopher R DevitsApril 27th, 2016in Recent News

BUHPC (Boston University High Performance Computing), a part of BUILDS, competed in the Asian Student Cluster Competition in Wuhan, China this past week. Over 175 teams from all over the world competed in the preliminary rounds of whom 16 teams were invited to the final round.

At the competition, teams run scientific applications as well as benchmarks on a cluster that they’ve setup all while staying below a 3000 watt power limit.

The BUHPC team decided to go with a six node cluster running 2 Intel Xeon E5 CPU’s per node, 1 Intel Xeon phi accelerator per node, 128 gb of ram per node, and infiniband fdr as the interconnect.

As well as running applications of the cluster, teams were given the opportunity to run a Deep Neural Net application on Tianhe-2, the world’s fastest supercomputer.

The BUHPC team was recognized with a First Class Award which signified the difficulty of getting into the top 16 teams at the competition. The team was excited to return to China and do significantly better than they did last year at ASC ’15.


From left to right: Qingqing Xiong ECE PHD, Satoe Sakuma CS ’17, Wasim Kahn ECE ’17,  Winston Chen ECE ’16, Sean Smith CS ’17, Hannah Gibson ECE ’17

CS students and faculty win award at BU Scholar’s Day

We are happy to announce that a team consisting of CS PhD students Sarah Bargal, Shugao Ma, Jianming Zhang, Professor Stan Sclaroff, and Leonid Sigal (Disney Research) has won the Office of Technology Development Award at BU’s scholar’s day!


Congratulations Sarah, Shugao, Jianming, Stan, and Leonid!

Margrit Betke gives keynote at “8th Annual Science Engineering Technology in the City”

By Christopher R DevitsApril 5th, 2016in Recent News

Betke-SET-2016-keynote-addressProfessor Margrit Betke gave a keynote address to 150 attendees at  the “8th Annual Science Engineering Technology in the City” event at Merck Pharmaceuticals, Boston, on April 2nd, 2016.  She spoke about “Making a difference with Computer Vision Research.”  The event was organized by the Boston Area Girls STEM Collaborative which includes Boston University, Emmanuel College, Girls Scouts of MA, Harvard University, Northeastern University, Simmons College, Tufts Medical School, UMass Boston, Wentworth Institute of Technology and WGBH.

Global App Initiative: Global Appathon 2016

By Faith GreenwaldMarch 14th, 2016in Recent News

On March 19, Global App Initiative will host our third annual Global Appathon, a 12-hour mobile-themed hackathon. Open to all Boston University students, we will provide support for projects developed during the hackathon with experienced students and tech industry professionals. We will provide free food throughout the event. Come to work on exciting projects, meet new people, and develop your skills in design and coding!

Register Now: http://www.globalappinitiative.org/appathon/

RSVP on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/events/1026382560784062/

Will Unlocking Apple’s iPhone Also Unlock a Pandora’s Box?

By Faith GreenwaldMarch 8th, 2016in Recent News

Network security expert Sharon Goldberg says that what the FBI is asking Apple to do—write new software to unlock the shooter’s phone—would introduce vulnerabilities into Apple’s system and weaken cybersecurity.

Apple is resisting a federal judge’s order that the company write new software code to help the FBI break into the iPhone used by one of the attackers who killed 14 people in San Bernardino, Calif., in December 2015. In its court brief asking that the order be withdrawn, Apple claims that it violates the company’s First and Fifth Amendment rights and oversteps the federal All Writs Act, and that complying with it would “inflict significant harm—to civil liberties, society, and national security.”

Read entire article here