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Updated: 19 min 19 sec ago

Daphne Yao presides over first Cyber(W) workshop

Wed, 2017-11-08 16:41

Associate Professor of Computer Science Daphne Yao and her colleague Professor Elisa Bertino from Purdue presided over the first Cyber(W) workshop in Dallas, Texas on Oct. 30.

The workshop was inspired by the significant gender imbalance in all security conferences, in terms of the number of publishing authors, PC members, organizers, and attendees. What causes this gender imbalance remains unclear. However, multiple research studies have shown that a diverse group is more creative, diligent, and productive than a homogeneous group. In order to maintain a sustainable and creative workforce, substantial efforts need to be made by our security community to broaden the participation from all underrepresented groups in cyber security research conferences.

 The workshop co-located with the ACM CCS, one of the top security conferences in the world.

The workshop received generous sponsorships from CRA-W, ACM SIGSAC, the Virginia Tech Department of Computer Science and Stack Center, MIT Lincoln Laboratories, and the University of Texas, Dallas.

ACM recognizes Professor of Computer Science Kirk Cameron as 2017 Distinguished Member

Wed, 2017-11-08 12:25

The ACM Distinguished Member program, initiated in 2006, recognizes those members with at least 15 years of professional experience who have made significant accomplishments or achieved a significant impact on the computing field. This year Professor of Computer Science Kirk Cameron was recognized as a 2017 Distinguished Member in the category of Contributions to Computing.

Read more about the recognition and see other honorees here.

Department of Computer Science convenes advisory board

Mon, 2017-10-23 14:04

The Department of Computer Science has formed an advisory board to serve as stewards of the department’s continued growth in academia, advancement, and outreach.  The membership includes a diverse cross-section of alumni, several of whom have been engaged with the department for many years, and represent myriad industries from banking to gaming. An inaugural meeting of the Department of Computer Science’s newly formed advisory board occurred Oct. 20.

“We enjoyed welcoming members of the advisory board to the Blacksburg campus for our inaugural fall meeting,” said department head and Professor Cal Ribbens.  “Their advice on strategic planning and advancement will be invaluable as we continue to grow as a department and respond to new challenges and opportunities.”

Current advisory board members are:

Michael Austin is director of Corporate Strategy at Eastman.  He has a bachelor’s in computer science from Virginia Tech

Jeremy Barksdale is a user experience researcher at Microsoft. Barksdale has a doctorate in computer science from Virginia Tech.

Jamika Burge is the head of Research Curriculum and Outreach at Capital One. She has a doctorate in computer science from Virginia Tech.

Ron Forbes is an event producer at Riot Games.  Forbes has a bachelor’s in computer science from Virginia Tech.

Stephen Gillote is founder and CEO of Reinventing Geospatial Inc. (RGi).  He has a bachelor’s in computer science from Virginia Tech.

Greg Lavender is managing director and global head of Technology Architecture and Engineering in the Office of the CTO at Citigroup. He has a doctorate in computer science from Virginia Tech.

James E. Miller is CEO of Strategic Resources International. Miller has a bachelor’s in computer science from Virginia Tech.

Barbara Ryder is an emerita faculty member in the Department of Computer Science at Virginia Tech where she held the J. Byron Maupin Professorship in Engineering and served as department head from 2008-2015.

Iccha Sethi is a senior software developer at Atlassian.  Sethi has a master’s in computer science from Virginia Tech.

Madhan Subhas is an entrepreneur and software engineering executive working on a new startup after successful exit of a previous startup. Subhas has an MS in CS from Virginia Tech.

Laurian Vega is a user experience and systems engineer at Next Century Corporation.  Vega has a doctorate in computer science from Virginia Tech.

J.D. Young retired from Oracle and continues working as an entrepreneur and investor.  Young has a bachelor’s in computer science from Virginia Tech.








Tanushree Mitra appointed assistant professor in the Department of Computer Science

Wed, 2017-10-18 11:12

Tanushree Mitra has been appointed assistant professor in the Department of Computer Science in the College of Engineering at Virginia Tech. She is one of 27 new faculty members hired by the college for the 2017-18 academic year.

Mitra’s research combines computer science and sociology, more popularly known as computational social science. Blending concepts from both these fields, she uncovers insights about social life and  human behavior online using large datasets.

“What excites me most about computer science is the interaction between computer systems and their human users and the plethora of new applications and opportunities that this can enable,” said Mitra.

Read more

Virginia Tech researcher brings interactive games to museums

Tue, 2017-10-17 16:00

Museums have a captive audience in visitors who typically meander through static exhibits depicting various scenes of cultural and natural history. But in the new digital age, the museum audience is increasingly digitally savvy and accustomed to learning through interactive games and other forms of digital media.

A Virginia Tech researcher is helping to bridge the digital gaps that visitors experience in museums by studying virtual spaces that could serve to make institutions more interactive, social, and gamelike — and hopefully more appealing — to 21st century audiences.

Panagiotis Apostolellis, an adjunct professor in the Department of Computer Science in Virginia Tech’s College of Engineering, and a team of researchers assessed the ability of museums to provide young visitors with an enjoyable and augmented learning experience by harnessing the educational value of virtual environments and computer games for a large audience.

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Smartwatch app could inspire more frequent physical activity, Virginia Tech study finds

Fri, 2017-08-25 14:35

An interdisciplinary study conducted by researchers at Virginia Tech suggests the secret to obtaining your summertime fitness goals might not be the amount of weight you’re bench pressing or how many miles you run, but generating friendly competition to keep you one step ahead of your fitness buddies.

The concept of friendly competition in group exercise being explored by the researchers uses a smartwatch app that could help people in a group exercise program get —and stay — more active.

At the heart of the group exercise research is a Fitbit-like smartwatch and its software developed by Andrey Esakia, a Ph.D. candidate in Virginia Tech’s Department of Computer Science who worked on the project to study the effects of technology in group physical activity. The work is supported by a multidisciplinary seed grant from Virginia Tech’s Institute for Creativity, Arts, and Technology.

Esakia collaborated with the Department of Human Nutrition, Foods, and Exercise in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and the Department of Communication in the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences to incorporate the hardware and software of the watch into an existing initiative, FitEx, from the Physical Activity Leadership Team of Virginia Cooperative Extension and the Physical Activity Research and Community Implementation Laboratory. FitEx is an eight-week physical activity and fruit and vegetable consumption program delivered in community settings.


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