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Graduate News



Professor Kirk Pruhs was a keynote speaker at the Scheduling Under Uncertainty Workshop in June in Eindhoven Netherlands, and one of the three speakers at the Max Planck Advanced Course on the Foundations of Computer Science in August in Saarbrucken Germany.[August 2015]

Professor Diane Litman has been elected to a 3-year term as Councilor of the AAAI. The Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence (AAAI) is a nonprofit scientific society devoted to advancing the scientific understanding of the mechanisms underlying thought and intelligent behavior and their embodiment in machines.[August 2015]

Congrats to CS Student Kyle Amoroso on his win in the online hackathon on ChallengePost, Reinvent the Selfie! His hack called, Game Boy Selfie won the MLH prize! Congrats Kyle on your national online hackathon win![July 2015]

Professor Jan Wiebe has been named the General Chair of the 2016 Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing Conference (EMNLP-2016). [July 2015]

Professors Wang, Menekse, and Litman are collaborating with grad students on an exciting new project, CourseMIRROR! CourseMIRROR improves student-instructor interactions in large-classrooms and Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) via mobile interfaces and natural language processing. CourseMIRROR facilitates learning at scale by enabling students to reflect in-situ via mobile devices. It also helps instructors to capture the gist of reflections effectively via natural language processing. CourseMIRROR is free and supports major mobile platforms and PCs. Please visit for more details.[June 2015]

It is with a heavy heart that we inform you of the sudden passing of the CS Department's long time Part-Time Instructor George Jucha. George was an award winning PTI, who had an excellent work ethic and loved helping students, sometimes staying 2 hours after class to help them. Many of his past students have said that he was their favorite instructor at Pitt. We will miss him deeply.[June 2015]

Professor Jan Wiebe is the Academic Keynote Speaker at the Canadian AI Conference 2015 in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada.[June 2015]

88 more students declare as a Computer Science major since January 2015! The CS Department grows as the demand for computer scientists is on the rise! Recent studies show that a degree in computer science is now the 3rd most in-demand and valuable degree in the United States! [May 2015]

It is with extreme sadness that we share the news that Dr. Robert Daley has passed away this week. Dr. Daley was a professor in the Department of Computer Science for 40 years, and he was a valued member of the faculty. He contributed to the Department in countless ways, and we will remember him always for his devotion to the Department, his sincere kindness, and his homemade honey. and [April 2015]

Congrats to all of the Computer Science students that entered the Randall Family Big Idea Competition! The Department of Computer Science had the most students enter the competition out of any other department in the Dietrich School of Arts & Sciences! A special congrats to the CS students that made it to the 3rd & final round of the competition, Deeksha Gupta, Zhijie Wang, Ashish Juneja, Charles Kiorpes, David Tsui, David Duan and Tayane Silva Fernandes de Moura![April 2015]

Check out Pitt Computer Science student Elliot Spencer Bingol's work on bringing Homestead and West Homestead into the 21st century with digital government! Find the news article here.[April 2015]

Congratulations to Professor Panos Chrysanthis for receiving the Provost's Mentor Award! The Provost's Award for Excellence in Mentoring recognizes University of Pittsburgh faculty who demonstrate outstanding mentoring of graduate students. The University strives to train the next generation of professional scholars, and the faculty who provide both intellectual and personal leadership to support and promote personal and professional development to students are recognized by this award for their efforts. Only as many as four faculty members are given this award each year. Congrats to Panos on receiving this prestigious award![April 2015]

The Class of 2015 is expected to be the largest graduating class the Computer Science Department has ever had, with an anticipated 107 graduates! The Department of Computer Science will hold its Graduation Reception on April 25th 2015. Congrats to the class of 2015! #LetsGoPittCS[April 2015]

Congrats to Pitt CS undergraduates Natalie Isenberg and Sylvia Ujwary on being a 2015 DAAD RISE recipient! (German Academic Exchange Service Research Internships in Science & Engineering)Through the DAAD RISE, these students will work with research groups at universities and top research institutions across Germany for a period of two to three months during the summer. [April 2015]

Congratulations to Professor Adam Lee and Doctoral Candidate Bill Garrison on their Mentor-Mentee Teaching Award! We are happy to announce that their proposal has been approved! Congrats! [April 2015]

Congrats to Pitt CS Alumnus Jesse Thomason Jesse has been awarded the 2015 NSF Graduate Research Fellowship! Congrats Jesse! #H2P[April 2015]

Congrats to our CS Day Graduate Research Winners! AI: Charmgil Hong, Systems/Networks: Xiaolong Cui, Theory/Algorithms: Neal Barcelo, Databases: Cory Thoma, HCI: Xiangmin Fan. Sponsored by Compunetix.[April 2015]

Congratulations to Panos Chrysanthis and Alex Labrinidis on recieving a MCSI 2015 Research Seed Grant![March 2015]

Breaking the 300-Mark: CS Declared Majors are at an All-Time High This year the Department of Computer Science is proud to announce that we have over 300 declared CS students. This is the most declared CS majors that we have ever had in department history. With the realization that Computer Science and Computing is a huge part of our present, as well as our future, more and more students have been choosing computer science as their major. [March 2015]

The Department of Computer Science has ranked #52 according to US News and World Report Rankings on the best grad schools and #26 among public universities!. [March 2015]

CS DAY 2015 is right around the corner! March 27, 2015 is the 15th Annual Computer Science Day! Find out all the details at our CS Day Homepage.[March 2015]

SteelHacks - March 27th - 29th 2015! Department of Computer Science will host 150 students from Pitt, CMU, and Duquesne for SteelHacks[February 2015]

Announcing the CS Day Hackathon: SteelHacks The Department of Computer Science is partnering with the Pitt CS Club to bring you SteelHacks [February 2015]

We are proud to announce that NCWIT (National Center for Women and Information Technology) has selected the University of Pittsburgh’s Women in Computer Science (WiCS) group to receive a 2015 NCWIT Student Seed Fund award sponsored by Symantec. WiCS has been awarded $1,000 to support She Innovates, Pitt’s first all-women’s hackathon. Congratulations to WiCS![January 2015]

Professor Jan Wiebe will be the Academic Keynote Speaker for The 28th Canadian Conference on Artificial Intelligence, Halifax, Nova Scotia, June 2-5, 2015! Congrats Prof. Wiebe![January 2015]

Department of Computer Science Alumnus Robert S. (Bob) Seiner (class of 1985) recently published his first book on Non-Invasive Data Governance™ (Technics Publications 2014). Bob has been the President & Principal of KIK Consulting and Education Services since 1997 serving Fortune 100/500 and international clients to improve how they manage their data and information as a valued and strategic asset. Congrats Bob! [January 2015]

She Innovates Kick-off Party will be held on 1/30/2015 at 5pm-7pm in 5317 Sennott Square! Pitt's first all-women's hackathon![January 2015]

NCWIT Collegiate Award Applications Are Now Open Sponsored by Hewlett-Packard, the NCWIT Collegiate Award honors outstanding undergraduate women for their computing and technical accomplishments. Awardees will receive a $7,500 cash award and a trip to the award ceremony at the 2015 NCWIT Summit in Hilton Head, South Carolina. Apply at: [January 2015]



Department of Computer Science Alumnus Chad Lane (class of 2004) recently accepted a position as Assoc. Professor at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. His appointment will be in the Dept. of Educational Psychology, with joint appointments in Informatics and the Beckman Institute! Congrats Chad![December 2014]

SHE INNOVATES... The Department of Computer Science will be partnering with Innovation Institute, Pitt SWE, and Pitt WiCS to host Pitt's first all women's hackathon!! She Innovates will be held on 01/30/2015 - 02/01/2015 in the Sennott Square Building![December 2014]

The Mu chapter of Upsilon Pi Epsilon, the international honor society for the computing and information disciplines inducted four new members on November 20, 2014. Congratulations to the newest inductees: Dana Gipe, Alex Lederer, Peter Mash, and Haleigh Wright. [December 2014]

CS welcomes high school students in Big Data Class on 11/19!![November 2014]

CS DAY 2015! CS DAY will be held on March 27th, 2015![November 2014]

Graduate student Chris Thomas has been awarded the 2013-2014 Elizabeth Baranger Excellence in Teaching Award for his dedication to the advancement of undergraduate education at the University of Pittsburgh. Chris is the first in our department to win this prestigious award. [April 2014]

Graduate students William C. Garrison III, Yechen Qiao, and Professor Adam J. Lee won an Outstanding Paper Award for their work entitled, "On the Suitability of Dissemination-centric Access Control Systems for Group-centric Sharing," in Proceedings of the Fourth ACM Conference on Data and Application Security and Privacy at CODASPY. [March 2014]

Congratulations to graduate student Rakan Maddah on receiving an Andrew Mellon Predoctoral Fellowship for the academic year 2014-2015. [March 2014]

Congratulations to Professor Diane Litman for winning the Winter 2014 Google Research Award for her project entitled,"Peer Review Search & Analytics in MOOCs via Natural Language Processing". The grant covers tuition for a graduate student and provides both faculty and students the opportunity to work directly with Google researchers and engineers.[February 2014]



Second year graduate students John Wenskovitch (CS),Tim Luciani (CS), and Koonwah Chen (IS), and Professor G. Elisabeta Marai won the IEEE BIOVIS 2013 Data Contest Visualization Award at IEEE VIS in Atlanta, GA, for their paper and system "Fixing TIM: Identifying Functional Mutations in Protein Families through the Interactive Exploration of Sequence and Structural Data". Congratulations Pitt VIS team![October 2013]

Graduate student Adrian Maries and Professor G. Elisabeta Marai will be presenting their paper entitled GRACE: A Visual Comparison Framework for Integrated Spatial and Non-Spatial Geriatric Data at the IEEE VIS 2013 conference on October 17th 2013.[October 2013]

Graduate student Md. Abedul Haque and Professor G. Elisabeta Marai will be presenting their paper entitled "A Semi-Automated Method for Subject-Specific Modeling of the Spinal Canal from Computed Tomography Images and Dynamic Radiographs" at the EuroGraphics-sponsored 18th International Workshop on Vision, Modeling and Visualization VMV2013 on September 11, 2013.[September 2013]

PhD student Nicholas L. Farnan and Professors Adam J. Lee and Panos K. Chrysanthis demonstrated "PAQO: A Preference-Aware Query Optimizer for PostgreSQL" at VLDB 2013 in Riva del Garda, Italy. PAQO was developed in cooperation with Professor Ting Yu of North Carolina State University.[September 2013]

Graduate student Timothy Luciani gave a research presentation titled Large-Scale Overlays and Trends: Visually Mining, Panning and Zooming the Observable Universe at the Allegheny Observatory on July 19, 2013. The presentation introduced joint work with CS undergraduate students Daniel Oliphant and Sean Myers, CS Professors Alexandros Labrinidis and G. Elisabeta Marai, and Dr. Brian Cherinka and Prof. W. Michael Wood-Vasey of Pitt's Physics and Astronomy Department. [August 2013]

Graduate student Nicholas Farnan received the Andrew Mellon Pre-Doctoral Fellowship and graduate student Wenting Xiong is an alternate for this prestigious fellowship for the 2013-2014 academic year. [August 2013]

Graduate student Md. Abedul Haque and Professor G. Elisabeta Marai will be presenting their paper entitled "Image to Mesh: Spinal Ligament 2D Surface Models from Bone Volume Images and Dynamic Radiographs" at the Medical Image Computing and Computer Assisted Intervention (MICCAI) 2013 Workshop on Mesh Processing in Medical Image Analysis on Sep. 26th 2013. [July 2013]

Graduate student Eric Heim received a SMART Scholarship (Science, Mathematics, and Research for Transformation) through the National Defense Education Program. He is only the third person at the University of Pittsburgh to receive this prestigious scholarship. Congratulations Eric![July 2013]

Graduate student William Garrison III, Professor Adam Lee,University of Illinois at Chicago Professor Timothy L. Hinrichs and Professor Lenore Zuck, as well as University of Illinois at Chicago graduate student Diego Martinoia,and graduate student Alessandro Panebianco,will be presenting their paper entitled, "Application-Sensitive Access Control Evaluation using Parameterized Expressiveness" in Proceedings of the 26th IEEE Computer Security Foundations Symposium (CSF 2013) on June 27, 2013.[June 2013]

Graduate Student Andrew Adams and Professor Adam Lee were invited to present their paper entitled,"Combining Social Authentication and Untrusted Clouds for Private Location Sharing" at the SACMAT Conference held in Amsterdam, Holland on June 12-14 2013.[June 2013]

Newly PhD graduate Panickos Neophytou and his advisors Professors Panos K. Chrysanthis and Alexandros Labrinidis will present their paper enitled "A Continuous Workflow Scheduling Framework" at the 2nd international workshop on Scalable Workflow Enactment Engines and Technologies (SWEET'13) to be held in conjunction with the SIGMOD Conference in June 2013.[June 2013]

Graduate students Michael Lipschultz, Huy Nguyen and Wenting Xiong, alumni undergraduate Jesse Thomason, and Professor Diane Litman will be presenting 5 papers and posters at both the 16th International Conference on Artificial Intelligence in Education, and the 6th International Conference on Educational Data Mining. All events are held in Memphis, TN from July 6-13.[June 2013]

Professor Sangyeun Cho and graduate student Juyoung Jung will present a paper entitled "Memorage: Emerging Persistent RAM based Malleable Main Memory and Storage Architecture," at the 27th ACM International Conference on Supercomputing (ICS) held in Eugene, Oregon from June 10-14 2013.[May 2013]

Professor Liz Marai organized and ran a hands-on introduction to animation workshop along with Graduate students, Kelli Ireland, Mike Lipschultz, Tim Luciani, and John Wenskovitch for 18 high school students on Saturday May 11th. Students learned animation from a computer science perspective, fundamentals of computer graphics, and of animation design and implementation. [May 2013]

On April 19th, our department hosted a viewing and panel discussion of the film entitled, "She++ the Documentary" which addressed women's representation in computer science. Panelists included CS Professors Dr. Hwa and Dr. Litman, Professor Jean Carr, head of Pitt's Women's Studies Department, Theresa Dean, Engineering Director of KIT Solutions, and Julie Pagano, Co-Founder of Girl Develop It Pittsburgh.[April 2013]

Congratulations to PhD Student Neal Barcelo for being one of the eleven recipients this year of an NSF Graduate Research Fellowship in the area of algorithms/theory.[April 2013]

PhD student Jiannan Ouyang and Professor Jack Lange will be presenting their paper entitled, "Preemptable Ticket Spinlocks: Improving Consolidated Performance in the Cloud" at the Ninth Annual International Conference on Virtual Execution Environments (VEE 2013) in Houston, Texas on March 16-17 2013. [March 2013]

Graduate student Ryan W. Moore and Professor Bruce R. Childers will be presenting their paper entitled, "Automatic Generation of Program Affinity Policies Using Machine Learning" at The International Conference on Compiler Construction (CC'13) in Rome, Italy in March 2013. [February 2013]



PHD student Socrates Demetriades and Professor Sangyeun Cho have been chosen to present their paper entitled, "Predicting Coherence Communication by Tracking Synchronization Points at Run Time" at the 45th Annual MICRO-45 Conference held in Vancouver Canada in December 2012.[November 2012]

Graduate student Timothy Luciani, Astronomy graduate student Brian Cherinka, CS alumni student Boyu Sun, undergraduate student Sean Myers, Astronomy Professor Michael Wood-Vasey,Professor Alex Labrinidis, and Professor G. Elisabeta Marai have received an Honorable Mention for their paper "Panning and Zooming the Observable Universe with Prefix-Matching Indices and Pixel-Based Overlays" at the IEEE Visualization 2012, Large-Scale Data Analysis and Visualization Symposium, held in Seattle, WA in October 2012.[October 2012]

Graduate student PJ Dillon and Professor Taieb Znati will be presenting their paper and poster entitled, “Towards an Architecture for Mobile Healthcare” at the 37th IEEE Conference on Local Computer Networks (LCN) held in Clearwater, Florida from October 22-25 2012.[August 2012]

Graduate student William C. Garrison III, Assistant Professor Adam J. Lee, and their collaborator Timothy L. Hinrichs will be presenting their publication entitled, "The Need for Application-Aware Access Control Evaluation,” in Proceedings of the New Security Paradigms Workshop (NSPW) held in Bertinoro, Italy in September 2012. [July 2012]

Tim Luciani, first year doctoral student in CS, is the second CS student to receive an NSF Graduate Research Fellowship! Tim's selection was based on his outstanding abilities and accomplishments, as well as his potential to contribute to strengthening the vitality of the US science and engineering enterprise. Congratulations Tim! [July 2012]

Congratulations to graduate student Mehmud Abliz and Professor Taieb Znati for winning the Best Paper Award on the New Approach to Mitigating Distributed Service Flooding Attacks at the Seventh International Conference on Systems held in Saint Gilles, Reunion Island from February 29-March 5, 2012. [July 2012]

The Department of Computer Science is proud to partner with Girl Develop It which is an organization that aims to empower more women with confidence in their technological abilities.[July 2012]

Professors Panos K. Chrysanthis and Alexandros Labrinidis, directors of the Advanced Data Management Technology Lab, were invited to the inaugural EMC University Day in Boston on June 11, 2012. At this very successful event, Prof. Labrinidis served on the Big Data panel, whereas their PhD students Lory Al Moakar and Thao N Pham participated in the Poster Session. Congratulations to Lory, whose poster finished 3rd in the best poster competition (after CMU and Cornell). [June 2012]

As an initiative to increase diversity in our department, we are proud to be a bronze sponsor of the 2012 Grace Hopper Celebration of Women and Computing.[June 2012]

We are pleased to announce that our department is now an Academic Alliance member of the National Center for Women & Information Technology, a coalition that works to increase diversity in IT and computing. The Academic Alliance consists of over 400 distinguished representatives from the computer science and IT departments of nearly 200 colleges and universities across the country.[May 2012]

Alice Lingming Lai who received the 2012 Outstanding CS Undergraduate Student Award, has also been awarded a 2012 NSF Graduate Research Fellowship to pursue a PhD at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Double Congratulations Alice! Details on the NSF award information can be found at Graduate Research Fellowship Program Awards.[April 2012]

As we approach the last week of classes and finals week, the Teaching Times would like to offer faculty and graduate instructors some information to help students successfully complete the semester in spite of the recent disruptions on campus. Click Class Disruption Tips to learn more about how you can be as productive as possible during this time.[April 2012]

The Computing Research Association's Committee on the Status of Women (CRA-W) and the Coalition to Diversify Computing (CDC), chose graduate student Chelsea Mafrica to attend the 3rd summer school workshop on Computer Architecture. Let's offer her a big congratulations! For more information on the workshop, visit: Summer School workshop on Computer Architecture. [April 2012]

Graduate student PJ Dillon has been selected to participate in the 2012 NYC Turing Fellows Summer Internship Program and matched with Sulia, a New York City company focusing on content organization. Let's offer him a big congratulations!You can find more information on the program at: Turing Fellows Summer Internship Program. [April 2012]

Marian Iskander, Ryan Moore, and Thao Nguyen Pham, CS graduate students, received the Andrew Mellon Pre-doctoral Fellowship for the 2012-2013 academic year.[March 2012]



Iyad Batal and Wenting Xiong, CS graduate students, received the Andrew Mellon Predoctoral Fellowship for the 2011-2012 academic year.[March 2011]

Wen Xu, CS Graduate student, has been selected to attend CRA-W 2011 Grad Cohort Workshop in April.[February 2011]

Mengmeng Li, CS Graduate Student, awarded the Microsoft Research Graduate Women's Scholarship. This scholarship is a one-year scholarship program for outstanding women graduate students and is designed to help increase the number of women pursuing a PhD. School of Arts & Sciences highlights Mengmeng's award and has a feature story. See Pitt News article.[January 2011]



CS Grad students, Wenting Xiao, Yao Sun, Octavio Herrera, and Emilio Zegarra awarded second place in the Technology Scavenger Hunt of the 6th Annual Love Your Computer Event.[October 2010]

Alexander Conrad, CS graduate student and Gregory Kapfhammer, CS alumnus (PhD,'07), receive the Best Paper Award in the Search-Base Software Engineering Track of the ACM SIGEVO Genetic and Evolutionary Computation Conference (2010). "Empirically Studying the Role of Selection Operators during Search-Based Test Suite Prioritization" was co-authored with Robert Roos.[July 2010]

Michal Valko, CS graduate student, receives the Google Best Paper Award during CVPR 2010. "Online Semi-Supervised Perception: Real-Time Learning without Explicit Feedback" was co-authored with Branislav Kveton, Matthai Philipose, and Ling Huang, from Intel Labs. [June 2010]

Yann Le Gall, CS graduate student is featured in the article, Yann Le Gall: Transcending Boundaries in the June, 2010 issue of the Arts & Sciences E-newsletter Snapshot.[June 2010]

Miao Zhou, CS graduate student, received the outstanding paper award for his presentation in the 2010 Grad Expo.[March 2010]

CS Grad students, Michal Valko, John Yackovich, Maio Zhou, Santiago Bock, Socrates Demetriades, and Wenting Xiong were selected to present papers or posters at the 2010 Grad Expo on Monday, March 22nd. See the schedule for times of their presentations.[March 2010]



Instructor and Graduate Student Jonathan Misurda was recognized by the Center for Instructional Development and Distance Education (CIDDE) for "Outstanding Contributions [...] Guiding, Instruction, and Nurturing Teaching Assistants" during the New Teaching Assistant Orientation (NTAO) sessions for the Academic Years 2004-2010.[September 2009]

Congratulations to Kelli Ireland, a 2009 Anita Borg Scholarship finalist. Kelli is a graduate student in the CoE graduate program, which is joint between CS and ECE.[May 2009]

Ihsan Ayyub Qazi and Swapna Somasundaran, CS graduate students, received the Andrew Mellon Predoctoral Fellowship for the 2009-2010 academic year.[March 2009]

Sri Mandayam (a WiCS coordinator), Kelli Ireland (CoE), and Tonya Groover (CS), all graduate students, have been selected to attend CRA-W 2009 Grad Cohort Workshop in March.[February 2009]



Michal Valko, Qinglan Li and Weijia Li, our three graduate students were awarded Mellon Fellowships for the 2008-2009 academic year.[March 2008]



Graduate Student Tonya Groover named Entrepreneur of the year by NFTE. Read the article about Tonya and the TLI here.[September 2007]

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