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Graduate Student Day Winners

Once again the department was very successful at Graduate Student Day. We had one first place winner, Jarrell Waggoner, and two second place winners Laura Boccanfuso and Ishtiaq Rouf. Congratulations to both. For the full story see here or the links below.

Dr. Tong Receives NSF Career Award

Dr. Yan Tong, a Computer Science and Engineering assistant professor at the University of South Carolina, College of Engineering and Computing, has received the National Science Foundation's CAREER award. The Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Program is NSF's most prestigious award in support of the early career-development activities of junior faculty.

The award will support her research on facial recognition, that is, on developing algorithms that can detect whether a person in a video is smiling, angry, confused, etc. This work is innovative in that it blends both visual and auditory information so the software uses both what it sees and what it hears in the video to determine how the person's face looks like. In more detail:

Dr. Huang Receives Air Force Research Award

Dr. Huang has received an award from the Air Force Office of Scientific Research in support of his research on "Collaborative DoD DURIP proposal: A Distributed Platform for Capturing, Analyzing, and Combating Botnet Attacks," which is a collaboration with the University of Texas.

AP Institute in Computer Science

The Department of Computer Science and Engineering at the University of South Carolina will offer in summer 2012 an institute in Computer Science for prospective teachers of AP* Computer Science A.

The plan is for the on-campus part of the institute to be held from 18 June through 22 June 2012. Some preparatory work will be required in the two weeks prior to the week on campus, and some work will be submitted in the week following the week on campus.

Dr. Vidal Receives NSF Grant Award

Dr. Barry Markovsky (Sociology) and Dr. Jose M Vidal have received and NSF award for their research project "Web-based Tools for Developing and Accessing Sociological Theory." This project brings together researchers from the Sociology department and the Computer Science and Engineering department in order to design, implement and test a web-based system for developing, improving and disseminating sociological theories across all areas of the discipline.

“I see it as a cross between stackoverflow and the wikipedia, but targeted towards scientists” said Dr. Vidal. “Both of those sites are showing us how an online community can be formed and function successfully to aggregate the knowledge of many individuals. However, they are not without their drawbacks: stackoverflow enforces a very strick question-and-answers format, while the wikipedia actively discourages scientists from contributing on the topics they have the most expertise (their own research). Our system will try to overcome these limitations.” The researchers hope to build a system what will facilitate the development of improved Sociological, and later scientific, theories using proven incentives and knowledge aggregation methods.

Jonathan Kilby wins Bridging Scholarship

Third year Computer Science and Engineering student Jonathan Kilby was recently awarded one of 20 Bridging Scholarships for Study Abroad in Japan. The Bridging Scholarship is a national award that offers $2500 for a semester-long study program or $4000 for a full academic year, for undergraduate students. It is coordinated by the Association of Teachers of Japanese and funded by private foundations and major U.S. corporations.

Tenure-track Position Opening in Information Systems

Applications are invited for one tenure-track position at the full professor or associate professor level. Candidates should have a doctorate in information systems, including computer information systems and management information systems. Candidates are expected to demonstrate excellence in both research and teaching. The new faculty member’s responsibilities will include leading the undergraduate degree program in computer information systems as well as teaching courses at both the undergraduate and graduate levels.

Dr. Wang Receives Air Force Research Award

Dr. Song Wang has been awarded a research grant from the Air Force Office of Scientific Research (AFOSR/DOD) for his project "Metallic Material Image Segmentation by using 3D Grain Structure Consistency and Intra/Inter-Grain Model Information." The major goal of this project is to develop new effective image-processing algorithms and software tools to automatically segment microscopic images of metallic materials to accurately extract their 3D grain and subgrain structures, which determine mechanical and other important properties of the materials. On the right are a slice of a 3D microscopy polycrystalline titanium grain image and its segmentation result.

Desperate Fishwives: An Educational Game

The Free Times newspaper has an article on Desperate Fishwives, an educational game being developed by Dr. Buell, Dr. Heidi Rae Cooley from Media Arts, and their students. The game aims to teach high school and college students the realities of life in a 17th Century English village by having the player take on the role of various village characters.

John Hodgson, a USC computer science graduate student writing the game’s code, takes things a step further, explaining how immersion in an experiential environment could potentially prove more effective than more traditional classroom approaches.

“For students who have never lived in a 17th century English village, which is all of them, how will they know what that experience was like? Well, they can have a teacher tell them, and that might convince some; they’ll be able to regurgitate it on a test. Or we can create an experience about what it might have been like. By playing the game they learn the rules — what’s acceptable, what’s not, what people did what things. Nothing is actually told to them, but because of the way the game is designed they have to accept that reality.”

Update: The USC news also has an article on this research.

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