News In and Around CSD

Achievement Caps Decades of Effort to Increase Gender Diversity
by Byron Spice | Sunday, September 11, 2016

Women make up more than 48 percent of incoming first-year undergraduates this fall in Carnegie Mellon University's top-ranked School of Computer Science (SCS), setting a new school benchmark for diversity.

SCS has long been a national leader in increasing the participation of women in computer science, a discipline in which women have been significantly underrepresented nationwide.

A 38 percent increase in the number of women who applied for admission with SCS as their first choice contributed to this year's record enrollment, said... Read More

Method Sees Through Camouflage To Reveal Fake Followers, Reviewers
by Byron Spice | Wednesday, September 7, 2016

An algorithm developed at Carnegie Mellon University makes it easier to determine if someone has faked an Amazon or Yelp review, or if a politician with a suspiciously large number of Twitter followers might have bought and paid for that popularity.

The method, called FRAUDAR, marks the latest escalation in the cat-and-mouse game played by online fraudsters and the social media platforms that try to out them. In particular, the new algorithm makes it possible to see through camouflage that fraudsters use to make themselves look legitimate, said... Read More

Agreement Unites Top-Rated U.S. and Chinese Computer Science Programs
by Byron Spice | Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Officials of Carnegie Mellon University and Tsinghua University signed a memorandum of understanding today to offer a dual-degree master's program in computer science. Students will study at both campuses, learning from faculty at the top-ranked computer science programs in both the United States and China.

Though the first year of instruction will be at Tsinghua, the program seeks to draw students from across China and will be advertised nationwide. Scholarships will be established to support... Read More

by Byron Spice | Monday, August 29, 2016

Everyone knew Carnegie Mellon's latest computer poker program, Baby Tartanian8, was good. But it turns out its performance in the Annual Computer Poker Competition this year was even better than people thought.

Not only did Baby Tartanian8 take first place in the competition's total bankroll category of the Heads-Up, No-Limit Texas Hold'em game, as announced in February at the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence meeting in Phoenix, but organizers recently concluded that it also won the game's... Read More

New CMU Professor Recognized for Work in Programming
by Byron Spice | Monday, August 22, 2016

Jean Yang, who is joining the Carnegie Mellon University Computer Science Department as an assistant professor this fall, has been named to MIT Technology Review's annual list of Innovators Under 35.

Yang develops tools, languages, and processes to help programmers create the software that they intended. She said she believes it is particularly... Read More

Late Professor Cited for Pioneering Work on Separation Logic
by Byron Spice | Wednesday, August 10, 2016

The late John C. Reynolds is one of a group of scientists awarded the 2016 Computer-Aided Verification (CAV) Award for pioneering work on separation logic, an influential framework for reasoning about computer programs and a very active area of research.

The CAV Award, presented at the International Conference on Computer-Aided Verification last month in Toronto, cited the... Read More

by Daniel Tkacik | Sunday, August 7, 2016

Carnegie Mellon University's competitive computer security team, The Plaid Parliament of Pwning, won its third title in four years at the DefCon Capture the Flag competition.

The DefCon Capture the Flag competition, widely considered the "World Series of Hacking," was held Aug. 7–9 in Las Vegas. The win comes on the heels of CMU spinoff ForAllSecure's win at the DARPA Cyber Grand... Read More

Patterns Reveal Four Stages of Thinking That Can Be Used To Improve How Students Learn
by Shilo Rea | Wednesday, July 20, 2016

A new Carnegie Mellon University neuroimaging study reveals the mental stages people go through as they solve challenging math problems.

In the study, which was published in Psychological Science, researchers combined two analytical strategies to use functional magnetic resonance imaging to identify patterns of brain activity that aligned with four distinct stages of problem-solving: encoding, planning, solving and responding.

"How students were solving these kinds of... Read More

by Daniel Tkacik | Wednesday, July 20, 2016

SCS’s Yuvraj Agarwal and Srinivasan Seshan have joined with Vyas Sekar of the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department on a National Science Foundation-funded project to develop a software-based solution to the problem of security for the Internet of Things. 

Read More
Method Could Be Used in Biomechanics, Consumer Goods and Architecture
by Byron Spice | Sunday, July 17, 2016

A new computational design tool can turn a flat sheet of plastic or metal into a complex 3-D shape, such as a mask, sculpture or even a lady's high-heel shoe.

Researchers at Carnegie Mellon University and the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (EPFL) in Lausanne, Switzerland, say the tool enables designers to fully and creatively exploit an unusual quality of certain materials — the ability to expand uniformly in two dimensions. A rubber band, by contrast, contracts in one dimension while being stretched in another.

"We're taking a flat piece of material and giving it the... Read More


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