In her remarks accepting the award, Yanco urged Massachusetts to adopt K–12 standards for computer science education, and make sure that all children in the state have the opportunity to learn computer science.
- Customer segments: which customers to pursue;
- Value proposition: what a startup can provide to the customers—what is customers’ burning pain and the startup’s edge to cure it;
- Customer relationships: how to let customers know the products;
- Channels: how to distribute products to customers;
- Key resources: what we need to make the products;
- Key activities: how to make the product;
- Key partners to work with;
- Cost structure: projecting monthly expenditures against expected revenue;
- Revenue streams: ways to make money.
(L-R) Nancy Saucier, Yinjie Chen and Xinwen Fu at final presentation of University of Michigan Ann Arbor NSF I-Corp cohort 3 workshop.
“I am delighted to welcome three new faculty members to join the department. They are Dr. Anne Mulhern (Lecturer), Dr. Anna Rumshisky (Assistant Professor), and Dr. Kate Saenko (Assistant Professor).
Dr. Mulhern will be primarily teaching lower-level undergraduate core courses.
Dr. Rumshisky is an expert in natural language processing and Dr. Saenko is an expert in computer vision. These two areas have many important applications and funding opportunities from federal funding agencies and industries.
All three bring much needed new talents to the department that will benefit our students and help increase our visibility.”Here is a brief introduction to our new faculty:
Dr. Mulhern received her doctorate from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2010. Her principal interests are logic and languages. She finds the Curry-Howard isomorphism, which describes a fundamental relationship between logics and programming language type-systems a fascinating subject.
She has been teaching various computer science topics since her first semester at the University of Wisconsin when she was one of a large squad of Teaching Assistants for the introductory programming class which had an enrollment of more than a thousand students. Pleasantly surprised to find herself both good at and interested in teaching she has continued to teach at regular intervals ever since.
Dr. Anna Rumshisky's primary area of research is natural language processing, with applications in clinical informatics, computational lexical semantics, and text processing for digital humanities and social science.
Her work focuses on the development of data-informed unsupervised learning methods as well as on leveraging existing resources and information-harvesting techniques.
Dr. Rumshisky received her Ph.D. in Computer Science from Brandeis University in 2009. She received postdoctoral training at MIT CSAIL. She has received undergraduate training at Moscow State University.
Dr. Kate Saenko received a BSc in Computer Science from the University of British Columbia, Canada in 2000 and a PhD in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 2009.
Between 2009 and 2012 she was a postdoctoral researcher appointed jointly at UC Berkeley and Harvard.
Kate's interests are in developing machine learning methods for computer vision applications, including object recognition, transfer learning and adaptation, color models and joint semantics of images and language.
Google Summer of Code (GSoC) is an international program that awards stipends to software developers to write code for open-source software projects. GSoC pairs students with mentors who are experienced in real-world software development. At the end of the summer, source code created during the program is released as open-source.
Each student worked to improve Weave, the free open-source data visualization and analysis platform that was developed by the IVPR and released in 2011:
- Sanjay Anbalagan (doctoral student): Extending the Open-source Weave Analysis and Visualization Platform for the Biological Community. Sanjay designed a process that accesses multiple publicly available gene expression data sets, imports that data into Weave and uses Weave analysis features to examine, visualize and compare gene expression profiles.
- Andrew Dufilie (doctoral student): Asynchronous Rendering to Support Large Data Sets in Weave. Andy improved Weave performance by developing a threading system for its single-threaded ActionScript code base. This means the interface remains highly responsive even when visualizing large data sets of 300,000 records or more.
- John Fallon (senior): Collaboration in Visualization. John created, implemented and tested the first version of collaboration in the Weave environment, allowing multiple users to work together, simultaneously and remotely, when creating visualizations and performing data analysis in Weave.
- Heather Granz (doctoral student): An Accessibility Module for Visualizations Using Weave, an Open- source Visualization Platform. Heather developed and tested a Weave-to-JAWS interface that provides descriptions of Weave visualizations in text format. This work is a first step in a larger, more ambitious project that will eventually allow Weave to generate natural language text descriptions of interactive visualizations that are compatible with the JAWS screen-reading system.
- Sebastin Kolman (doctoral student): InfoMaps: A Tool for Personal Information Management and Analysis. Sebastin implemented InfoMaps, a visualization tool for personal information management, in the Weave environment and extended its support for document visualization and analysis including local file systems.
According to senior John Fallon, “It was a positive experience -- getting to contribute to an open-source project, working with experienced programmers and having a professor as a mentor the whole way through”.
Doctoral student, Andy Dufilie, the Weave project engineer, noted, “The major architectural changes I made produced unexpected consequences, requiring much more work than originally planned. The takeaway is to always expect the unexpected when estimating development time.”
The Institute for Visualization and Perception Research at UMass Lowell is led by Prof. Georges Grinstein.
Achrekar’s PhD research involved online social network (OSN) analysis, with a focus on predicting flu trends and information extraction from messages posted on OSN's. He was utilizing information posted on online social networks such as Twitter and Facebook to help improve the prediction of influenza levels within US population and was tracking of its spread.
He spend three years developing and perfecting an in-house framework called the Social Network-Enabled Flu Trends (SNEFT). The software that uses continuous data-collection mechanism to monitor flu-related messages, extract relevant user demographic and location information, classify messages in real time, and predict the current influenza levels.
Starting 2009, Achrekar tapped into Twitter and Facebook and extracted tens of millions of influenza-related user posts till date, to provide an almost-instantaneous snapshot of current epidemic conditions and building comprehensive mathematical models that improves the estimate of nationwide flu activity.
Achrekar's approach can significantly enhance public health preparedness against influenza and other large-scale pandemics.
For this research, Achrekar was supported with a $200,000 grant from the National Institutes of Health under a Small Business Innovation Research Award.
His results have been presented in various scientific publications:
- His paper “Twitter improves Seasonal Influenza Prediction" at the fifth annual International Conference on Health Informatics, Portugal, February 2012, received the Best Student Paper Award. This is a prestigious and competitive conference with a 9% full-paper acceptance ratio.
- His paper titled “Predicting Flu Trends using Twitter Data” at the International Workshop on Cyber-Physical Networking Systems (CPNS) 2011, in conjunction with IEEE INFOCOM 2011, held in Shanghai, China, April 10–15, 2011, is considered to be a foundational research for flu tracking with OSN data and has received many citations.
- The paper titled “A Spatio-Temporal Approach to the Discovery of Online Social Trends” at the fifth Annual International Conference on Combinatorial Optimization and Applications (COCOA), Zhangjiajie, China in August 2011 provides insights into using online social network data to discover trends in other domains.
- Also “Vision: Towards Real Time Epidemic Vigilance through Online Social Networks” was his first ACM Workshop paper at Mobile Cloud Computing & Services: Social Networks and Beyond (MCS), in conjunction with ACM MobiSys, San Francisco, California, June 2010, that explains the SNEFT architecture for flu tracking and pandemic outburst detection using online social network data.
Dr. Achrekar’s committee included Cindy Chen (Computer Science), Georges Grinstein (Computer Science), Yan Luo (Electrical and Computer Engineering), and Jie Wang (Computer Science).
Harshavardhan (Harsh) Achrekar at his doctoral defense on September 6, 2012.
Prior to joining LSUS, Dr. Trutschl (MS 1997, ScD 2002) and his wife, Dr. Urska Cvek, also a UML graduate (MBA 2007, ScD 2004), worked as research assistants at the Institute for Visualization and Perception Research under the mentorship of Professor Georges Grinstein.
During that time, Grinstein, Trutschl, Cvek, and other group members co-founded Anvil, Inc., a bioinformatics data mining and visualization software firm.
In 2002, Drs. Trutschl and Cvek accepted faculty positions in the Computer Science Department at LSUS. Dr. Trutschl also became Visiting Assistant Professor of Bioinformatics and Computational Biology at Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center in Shreveport. In 2003, they co-founded the Laboratory for Advanced Biomedical Informatics at LSUS and, in 2006, were named its co-directors.
Dr. Trutschl is now Associate Professor of Computer Science, co-director of the Laboratory for Advanced Biomedical Informatics at LSUS and Director of the Biomedical Informatics Core at the Center for Molecular and Tumor Virology at LSUHSC-S.
He has received several awards including Outstanding Research Award (LSUS, 2005), Circle of Excellence Award (LSUS, 2009) and Distinguished Researcher Award (NCRR/IDEA Louisiana Biomedical Research Network, 2010).
His research focuses on data visualization, biomedical informatics, neural networks, data mining and cluster and distributed computing and is funded by NIH, NSF, Department of Defense, several pharmaceutical companies and other organizations.
Drs. Trutschl and Cvek will co-chair the MediViz Symposium at the International Conference on Information Visualization in France this summer.
The conference covered a broad spectrum of disciplines working towards enabling intelligent systems to interact with humans using natural language, and towards enhancing human-human communication through services such as speech recognition, automatic translation, information retrieval, text summarization, and information extraction.
Yang and Heines analyzed the problem of transferring credits across undergraduate institutional. About 1/3 of all college students in the U.S. transfer between institutions. In their work, Yang and Heines proposed a Wikipedia-based domain-specific semantic relatedness measure that analyzes course descriptions to suggest whether a course can be transferred from one institution to another.
They showed that the proposed work received a high correlation of 0.85 when compared to human judgment on computer science courses. And it only took less than 1 minute to compare one pair of courses on a standard laptop system.
Their poster at the conference attracted many researchers from universities and organizations including CMU, Stanford, University of Edinburgh, Google, IBM research, and Nuance.
Yang also received a travel grant of $500 from the conference.
NEUCS is supported by the Empowering Leadership Alliance to celebrate outstanding undergraduate accomplishments in computer science.
Five members of the Engaging Computing Group at UMass Lowell attended the conference. There were more than 140 participants from regional universities, including Brandeis, WPI, Wellesley, Tufts, and others.
Events included a career panel, a keynote presentation from MIT faculty member Fox Harrell, and student poster sessions. Students learned the market for software engineering is currently thriving—a panelist noted, “Cambridge is like a mini Silicon Valley due to the abundance of established and emerging industry.”
Three UMass Lowell undergraduates presented projects during the poster sessions. These students talked about Android applications they have developed to send data to iSENSE (Internet System for Network Sensor Experimentation)—an online system that promotes collaborative scientific analysis by providing accessible ways to upload, share, and visualize data.
The projects were:
- Jeremy Poulin’s Data Walk App, which “records GPS coordinates once every ten seconds and pushes it to iSENSE.”
- Evana Gizzi’s Toxic Tour App, which “facilitates data collection regarding environmental conditioning and uploads this information to the iSENSE website.”
- Michael Stowell’s Car Ramp Physics App, which “records y-accelerometer data at a rate of 20 Hz and upload it to iSENSE” for classroom physics experiments.
Full abstracts for the students’ posters are on the NEUCS site.
NEUCS provides students with the opportunity to explore diverse areas in computer science, network, and embrace a creative environment of math and science. UMass Lowell plans to continue its participation in the years to come.
Thanks to Kaitlyn Carcia for authoring this article.
This was the evening that ITA Software by Google hosted the second annual Massachusetts Aspirations in Computing Affiliate Awards (MACAA) in partnership with the National Center for Women and Information Technology (NCWIT). The event was hosted at the new Google headquarters in Cambridge at Kendall Square.
The award ceremony included addresses by Ruthe Farmer, NCWIT Director of Strategic Initiatives, and Julie Farago, Manager of Google+.
Each award recipient was presented with the Aspirations in Computing award for herself and her school.
A featured part of the evening was the presentation by Prof. Jesse Heines (Computer Science), who awarded $10,000 scholarships to three of the 40 Aspirations in Computing recipients. These scholarships will be disbursed should the recipients come to UMass Lowell and remain in good academic standing.
These scholarships not only recognize the young women’s achievements to date, but also encourage them to apply to UMass Lowell and enhance our programs with their energy and creativity.
The three women receiving the scholarships are:
- Elizabeth Wu, a junior at AMSA Charter School (Marlborough, MA)
- Ramya Ravindrababu, a junior at Shrewsbury Senior High (Shrewsbury, MA)
- Serena Thomas, a junior at Bay Path Regional Vocational Technical High School (North Brookfield, MA)
We offer all three students our congratulations on their achievements, and we wish them the best in their future careers!