Prof. Peter Winkler begins job at Museum of Mathematics

Peter Winkler, the William Morrill Professor of Mathematics and Computer Science, has been named the Second Distinguished Chair for the Public Dissemination of Mathematics at the National Museum of Mathematics (MoMath) in New York.

But you can just call him "puzzle master."

Winkler, who teaches combinatorics, probability, and the theory of computing at Dartmouth and holds a dozen patents in cryptography, holography, and distributed computing, left this month to begin "A Year of Puzzles" at MoMath. During his one year away from Dartmouth, he will lead a series of public initiatives, including teaching mini-courses in puzzle solving; holding special events at city high schools; and hosting a series of puzzle-themed dinners for executives on probability and decision theory.

Sydcast interviews Patricia Hannaway

Patricia Hannaway recently did a postcast interview with Sydney Finkelstein.

Have you heard of Lord of the Rings? And, of course, the character Golem? Or maybe you’ve seen Mulan – one of Disney’s feature productions. Did you ever think about who brought those characters to life via animation and computer graphics? My guest this week might be able to help – because she’s the one who did the work! An accomplished animator, teacher, artist, and even ex-Wall Street banker, Patricia Hannaway’s work has spanned numerous fields. As with so many people I’m fortunate enough to talk to on the podcast, Patricia comes to us in multi-color and multi-dimension. The personal and the professional always meld together in defining ways, often leading us to unexpected experiences. For Patricia, that means engaging with people as diverse as Andy Warhol, Steve Jobs, and Barack Obama. Patricia Hannaway is the perfect dinner-party guest and, as you’re about to hear, the perfect podcast guest. Clip on your ear pods and come join us.

Check out the full interview over at thesydcast.com.

Computer Science Has a Genuine Rock Star: Xia Zhou

Associate Professor of Computer Science Xia Zhou is a rock star, and now she has an award to prove it. 

The Association for Computing Machinery (ACM), the largest educational and scientific computing society in the world, has awarded Zhou the ACM SIGMOBILE's RockStar Award. SIGMOBILE is the ACM’s organizational division “dedicated to all things mobile.”

The ACM SIGMOBILE's RockStar award committee selected Zhou “in recognition of her outstanding early-career contributions and impact on our field: for multidisciplinary research examining unconventional wireless spectrum frequencies to build next-generation wireless systems and spearheading the field of ‘visible light sensing,’ which turns the ubiquitous light around us into a powerful medium that integrates data communication and human behavioral sensing. The RockStar Award is our community’s acknowledgement of the depth, impact, and novelty of Xia’s research,” writes Edward Knightly, chair of the award committee. 

CS Faculty Reach Out to Local Schoolchildren

Dartmouth News has a story about how Dartmouth faculty, including our very own Alberto Quattrini Li, are reaching out to schoolchildren in the community as a way of sharing their knowledge, enthusiasm, and excitement about STEM fields. From the story:

For the past four years, Dan Rockmore has been working with students at Hanover’s Bernice A. Ray School (K-5) and the Frances C. Richmond Middle School. This includes leading a cohort of computer scientists during the annual “Hour of Code” week—an international effort to celebrate the field of computer science.

Prof. Campbell Wins The ACM Sensys 2018 Test-of-Time Award

Andrew Campbell and his PhD students received the prestigious ACM SenSys 2018 Test-of-Time Award (10 year award) for their paper: “Sensing meets mobile social networks: the design, implementation and evaluation of the cenceme application”.

In 2008, when the App Store first opened Professor Campbell and his team released the CenceMe app, which implemented a machine learning algorithm directly on the iPhone for the first time to automatically detected the user’s behavior (e.g., sitting, walking, running, socializing). The app pushed this user context to Facebook and for the first time human behavior passively inferred from sensors embedded in smartphones was visible to friends in real-time.

The award citation states: “At the dawn of the smartphone era, this paper had the foresight to realize that smartphones are human companions and their sensors, collectively, can be used to derive novel social behavior insights. It also pioneered applying machine learning across local devices and servers”.

Today, activity recognition is integrated into the operating system of every Android and iPhone.

Graduate Students Create Computer-Chip Security Fix

Dartmouth computer science graduate students are applying their research techniques to fundamental security flaws recently found in nearly every computer chip manufactured in the last 20 years—flaws that they say could prove catastrophic if exploited by malicious hackers.

The researchers are coming to grips with a design flaw that ultimately falls into the province of the chip manufacturers—such industry giants as Intel and AMD. Until new designs are implemented, an interim solution devised at Dartmouth can fill the breach.

The research team includes two PhD students, Prashant Anantharaman and Ira Ray Jenkins, and Rebecca Shapiro, Guarini ’18, who received her PhD this past spring. Professor of Computer Science Sean Smith and Research Associate Professor Sergey Bratus advised the team.

Read the whole article over at Dartmouth News.