With processor core counts doubling every 18-24 months and penetrating all markets from high-end servers in supercomputers to desktops and laptops down to even mobile phones, we sit at the dawn of a world of ubiquitous parallelism, one where extracting performance via parallelism is paramount. That is, the "free lunch" to better performance, where programmers could rely on substantial increases in single-threaded performance to improve software, is over. The burden falls on developers to exploit parallel hardware for performance gains.
As discussed at a previous graduate seminar meeting, all CS graduate students are invited to join
the discussion on the state of the CS graduate program. This is your opportunity to have your voice heard in matters of our graduate program. The discussion will be led by Dr. Manuel A. Pérez-Quiñones, director of the graduate program in CS.
Publish Date: 11/25/2013
A new student organization is helping to organize and promote involvement in college hackathons this semester. The new TechHackers club is taking advantage of a recent wave of interest among college students in weekend hackathons. For example, seventy-five Virginia Tech students, most of whom were computer science majors, participated in the September MHacks hackathon in Ann Arbor, MI. According to the organizers, this MHacks event was the largest student-only hackathon ever. With sponsorship from several well-known technology companies, the hackathon brought together over 1200 college students to build innovative projects from scratch in an intense 36 hour sprint, from Friday night to midday on Sunday (September 20-22). The Virginia Tech group represented the second largest contingent from any university, with only the hosts from the University of Michigan having more participants. According to trip organizers Ben Johnston and Jouella Fabe, two VT teams received special recognition for their projects: TrackPunch and VR Glove. Johnston and Fabe report that enthusiasm among the VT students was high. They are now leading the effort to establish the new student organization, TechHackers, which will encourage participation in future hackathons, and possibly host an event in Blacksburg. Since September, the group has also participated in hackathons hosted by Yale University and Duke University.
Publish Date: 11/20/2013
On November 19, 2013, students in the sophomore seminar class presented "cool topics" to CS student ambassadors, advisors, faculty, and each other. As part of the sophomore seminar, students are assigned to a group which will decide on a "cool topic" to present towards the later part of the semester. Many interesting topics were presented during the evening event. According to the instructor of the class, Dr. Cal Ribbens, "The goal of the Cool Topics Fair is to give students in the Sophomore Seminar an opportunity to explore an emerging topic in computer science, and to present that topic to their peers. Students also get experience working together on a group project, something that will be common as they proceed through their undergraduate curriculum."
During the events, students had a chance to present their topics to representatives from AgileX, Eastman, Google, and Solers as well as their fellow classmates and CS student ambassadors. The CS Department thanks Google for sponsoring the event.