Archive for the ‘awards’ category


NSF CISE Posts Big Data Regional Innovation Hubs Program to spur the development of new Big Data partnerships among government, university, and industry

April 2nd, 2015

U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF).

The following is a guest blog post by Alejandro Suarez, AAAS Science and Technology Policy Fellow working in the Computer and Information Science and Engineering Directorate at the National Science Foundation.

Last Friday, the National Science Foundation (NSF) Directorate for Computer and Information Science and Engineering (CISE) announced the Big Data Regional Innovation Hubs program to ignite new partnerships among government, university, and industry around Big Data.

The program continues NSF’s leadership in the National Big Data Research and Development Initiative, launched in 2012 to solve some of the Nation’s most pressing R&D challenges related to extracting knowledge and insights from large, complex collections of digital data.

This solicitation is the first of a multi-phase process to establish a national network of Big Data regional innovation hubs to ignite new public-private partnerships centered around Big Data. These hubs will consist of a consortium of members that strive to achieve common Big Data goals that would not be possible for the independent members to achieve alone. Each hub will focus on key challenges and opportunities in its region of service. Opportunities could include facilitating partnerships on overarching themes (e.g., privacy, data sharing, data stewardship, etc.), providing shared resources to the community (e.g., tools, infrastructure, testbeds, etc.) and/or coalescing around key topical themes (e.g., energy, transportation, healthcare).

The aim of the first phase is to set up the governance structure of each BD Hub’s consortium of members as well as develop approaches to ensure cross-hub collaboration and sustainability over the long term. To facilitate this goal and to foster collaboration among prospective partners within a region, NSF is sponsoring a series of regional, intensive, one-day workshops, called “charrettes”. One charrette will be held in each geographic region to convene stakeholders, explore Big Data challenges, and aid in the establishment of that consortium. For more information on these charrettes, see: In addition, a HUBzero community portal has been established to facilitate discussion among interested parties within their region or with other stakeholders nationwide.

The next phase will focus on building out various sectors of particular interest to each BD Hub (e.g., transportation, smart cities, health, energy, public safety, and education) so as to advance sector innovation in that region. The final phases will focus on connecting the BD Hubs and their regional sectors into a national Big Data innovation ecosystem.

This program is part of multiple opportunities for interested parties to participate in Big Data hubs. Before preparing a proposal, applicants are strongly encouraged to review the full solicitation and consult with the cognizant NSF program officer, Fen Zhao, to determine appropriateness of fit.

For more information, NSF is hosting an informational webinar this Friday, April 3, 2015 at 1pm ET.  Please note that registration is required by Thursday, April 2 at 11:59pm.


Meet a CS Finalist from Intel’s 2015 Science Talent Search!

March 30th, 2015


The future is bright for 40 young finalists from Intel’s 2015 Science Talent Search, who as high school seniors are already completing and publishing graduate level science projects.

The Intel Science Talent Search (Intel STS), a program of the Society for Science & the Public, is the nation’s most prestigious pre-college science competition. Alumni of STS have made extraordinary contributions to science and hold more than 100 of the world’s most distinguished science and math honors, including the Nobel Prize and the National Medal of Science. Each year, 300 Intel STS semifinalists and their schools are recognized. From that select pool of semifinalists, 40 student finalists are invited to Washington, DC in March to participate in final judging, display their work to the public, meet notable scientists, and compete for awards, including three top awards of $150,000 each.

This year 19 young women and 21 young men came from 36 schools in 18 states and competed in 17 different categories. There were four projects under the computer science category, including Jihyeon Lee’s project on An Enhanced Method for HDR Imaging: Artifact-Free and Optimized for Mobile Devices.

2015Jihyeon (Janel) Lee is from Amador Valley High School in Pleasanton, CA. The Computing Community Consortium (CCC) met with her and we were very impressed by her project, her individual work on her project, and her passion for computer science!

Janel answered a few questions for us to share her story:

1) Briefly describe your project.

My project was on developing an enhanced algorithm for high dynamic range (HDR) imaging. In HDR imaging, multiple low dynamic range (LDR) images taken at different exposure times are combined to produce one HDR image. Although HDR imaging can create much more vibrant photos that better capture a real world scene, its practical usage is still difficult due to distortions called artifacts, caused by common problems like camera shake and unwanted objects moving through a scene. I developed an algorithm that could detect and remove artifacts (blurring and ghosting, specifically) and also optimized it so that it could be implemented on mobile devices (so that people can actually use this technology in real life!).

2) How long have you been working on your project? Who were your mentors?

I’ve been working on this project close to two years now. I didn’t do my research at a lab or professional institution but worked independently. I would say my mentor would be my dad; he helped me identify some new directions when I was stuck.

3) How did you come up with the project idea?

I was really frustrated with my own phone, which had an HDR imaging feature on it. There was a little warning message that said to be careful not to shake the phone, which definitely bothered me since camera shake is a very common problem among users. I just started Googling about HDR imaging and what steps were being taken to address human error, and when I couldn’t find a solution that satisfied my needs, I decided to develop my own.

4) What are your plans for your project?

There is some possible future work tied with my project that I’m looking into, such as greater optimization and using accelerometers and gyroscopes to calculate rotational movement. I don’t know for sure how long I’ll be working on this project, but it’s definitely helped me decide that computer science is what I want to pursue in the future.

5) What are your plans for the future/ what would you like to do?

I’m not entirely sure yet, but I would like to first major in Computer Science and/or Electrical Engineering in college. There are so many applications of computer science that I’d like to continue doing research in college and hopefully find a field to which I can apply my skills, whether it be business, finance, neuroscience, or something else.

6) Briefly describe the week you spent in DC. What did you do? What did you learn? What was the best part?

It was my first time at our nation’s capital, and we got to go on a tour to see the major monuments and landmarks but also got some time to explore on our own (the powerful atmosphere of the Lincoln Memorial was amazing). There were two days of judging, where we were individually interviewed with questions from any field and any topic. Then, we presented our projects with our boards to the judges and also shared our research with the public on Public Day. I think this was really my favorite part. Having younger students ask me about my project and showing interest in science is awesome, and I hope I convinced them to continue to like computer science!

With exceptional high school students like Janel, we can be confident that research in computer science will continue to produce products and services to enrich our daily lives.


NSF CAREER Awards Given To Two CS Education Researchers

March 27th, 2015

National Science Foundation (NSF) [credit: NSF]

The following is a guest blog post by Ran Libeskind-Hadas, R. Michael Shanahan Professor and Computer Science Department Chair at Harvey Mudd College

This year, the National Science Foundation (NSF) Computer and Information Science and Engineering Directorate (CISE) CISE made its first CAREER awards for research in computer science education.  The awardees are  Kristy Boyer, Assistant Professor of Computer Science at North Carolina State University, and Ben Shapiro, Assistant Professor of Engineering Education at Tufts University.

Dr. Boyer’s work explores collaborative learning among computer science undergraduates.  Students collaborate through a system that supports text-based natural language dialog, synchronized code ending, and shared repository control.  Her research   uses techniques in machine learning to analyze the student interactions through this system and construct models that explain the aspects of collaborative learning that are most effective for students from different backgrounds, interests, and other characteristics.  Ultimately, she seeks to develop evidence-based pedagogical strategies for tailoring collaborative learning to student characteristics.

Dr. Shapiro’s work seeks to attract underrepresented youth to computer science through novel distributed computing curricula that include the design and implementation of compelling cyber-physical systems that communicate with one another.  He plans to study how youth transition from these domain-specific environments that are designed for novices into more general languages, concepts, and techniques that are taught at the university level used in industry and open-source environments.

It’s exciting to see this investment in computer science education research.  The Computing Community Consortium (CCC) is working with members of the CS education community to develop a whitepaper that describes the major intellectual challenges and a vision for the future of this field.  Stay tuned for more in the coming months!  In the meantime, you can read more about Dr. Boyer’s and Dr. Shapiro’s research at Mark Guzdial’s Computing Education Blog.


Michael Stonebraker Receives 2014 ACM Turing Award

March 25th, 2015

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The Computing Community Consortium (CCC) congratulates Michael Stonebraker from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) on receiving the 2014 ACM Turing Award for fundamental contributions to the concepts and practices underlying modern database systems.

From the MIT Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL) Website:

An adjunct professor of computer science and engineering at MIT and a principal investigator at CSAIL, Stonebraker sometimes jokes that he didn’t know what he was researching for more than 30 years. “But then, out of nowhere, some marketing guys started talking about ‘big data,’” he says. “That’s when I realized that I’d been studying this thing for the better part of my academic life.”

From the Turing Award website: 

Stonebreaker is the inventor of many concepts that were crucial to making databases a reality and that are used in almost all modern database systems. His work on INGRES introduced the notion of query modification, used for integrity constraints and views. His later work on Postgres introduced the object-relational model, effectively merging databases with abstract data types while keeping the database separate from the programming language.

The A.M. Turing Award, the ACM’s most prestigious technical award, is given for major contributions of lasting importance to computing. Recipients are invited to give the annual A.M. Turing Award Lecture. This year marks the first time that the Turing Award comes with a Google-funded $1 million prize.

See the full press release here.

Nominate Your Students for the Paul Baran Young Scholar Awards!

March 13th, 2015

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Please help the Marconi Society identify outstanding Young Scholars.

The Marconi Society was established in 1974 to honor Guglielmo Marconi, the Nobel laureate who invented radio (wireless telegraphy). Each year the Society gives out the Marconi Prize to a living scientist or scientists whose contributions in the field of information and communications science have benefited. They also recognize young scientists and engineers who have the potential to make game-changing contributions in the field of communications and the Internet through the Paul Baran Young Scholar Awards.

The Society is now seeking nominations for the 2015 Paul Baran Young Scholar Awards, which will be presented in London on Oct. 20th at the Royal Society. Young Scholars receive a $4000 cash prize plus $1000 in expenses to attend the event. This is an opportunity for them to gain well-deserved recognition, meet, and network with some of the industry’s best-known scientists and engineers.

If you know a student who has demonstrated outstanding research capability, entrepreneurial spirit and technical vision, nominate them for this year’s award. Complete nomination instructions and the online application are accessible through this link. The deadline is June 30, 2015. 

2015 NSF Early-Career Investigators Workshop on Cyber-Physical Systems in Smart Cities

February 18th, 2015

U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF).The 2015 NSF Early-Career Investigators Workshop on Cyber-Physical Systems in Smart Cities will be held in Seattle, WA on April 13-17, 2015. This year’s workshop is implemented in conjunction with the IEEE/ACM CPS Week 2015 – the idea is that participants of the 2015 ECI-CPS workshop will also be able to attend CPS Week 2015.

The purpose of the early-career workshop is to identify, develop, and strengthen the CPS research community, particularly in the emerging area of Smart Cities. Participation in this workshop is thus prioritized for early-career researchers (i.e., senior Ph.D. candidates, postdoctoral fellows, research scientists, and assistant professors).

Participation and contribution is encouraged from all research disciplines, including computer and information science, engineering, social, behavioral and economic sciences, and beyond. International contributions -especially case-study reports of Smart City implementations- are also welcomed.

Invited attendees (selected based on position paper submission) from outside the Seattle area will be provided with a stipend of $1,500 to subsidize expenses. Support may be available for international participants based on their contributions to the workshop content (evaluated by the workshop program committee).

Some important dates/deadlines include:

27 February 2015: Submission of position paper

6 March 2015: Notification of invitation

10 March 2015: Workshop and CPS Week registration

1317 April 2015: Workshop days

Complete information on this event can be found here.