News about Faculty, Researchers, Students, and Staff - Summer 2013

Faculty News

Professor Andrew McCallum was elected as the next President of the International Machine Learning Society (IMLS), the parent organization of the ICML conference. His three-year term will begin in 2014.

Elisha Rosensweig, (CS Ph.D. '12), Daniel Menasche (CS Ph.D. '11), and Distinguished Professor Jim Kurose received the  IEEE INFOCOM 2013 Best Paper Award (chosen from more than 1600 papers submitted) for their paper, "On the steady state of cache networks."
Jim Kurose was General Co-Chair of the ACM Internet Measurement Conference held in Boston, MA in December, 2012, and Technical Program Co-Chair of the ACM e-Energy Conference held in May in Berkeley, CA.

Co-authors G. Neglia, CS Ph.D. alum Xiaolan Zhang, Distinguished Professors Jim Kurose and Don Towsley, and H. Wang received the Best Paper Award at the IEEE 77th Vehicular Technology Conference (VTC2013 - Spring) for "On optimal packet routing in deterministic DTNs."

In July, L. Ma, T. He, K.K. Leung, Don Towsley, and A. Swami received the Best Paper Award at the 33rd IEEE International Conference on Distributed Computing Systems (ICDCS 2013) for "Efficient Identification of Additive Link Metrics via Network Tomography." Last Fall, the Best Student Paper Award was presented to N.C. Fofack, P. Nain, G. Neglia, and Don Towsley at the 6th International Conference on Performance Evaluation Methodologies and Tools for "Analysis of TTL-based Cache Networks."

Associate Professor Gerome Miklau, doctoral student Chao Li, and University of Washington co-authors Daniel Li and Dan Suciu received the Best Paper Award at the 2013 International Conference on Database Theory (ICDT) for their paper "A Theory of Pricing Private Data."

CS grad student Mohamed Musthag and Associate Professor Deepak Ganesan received the Best Paper Award at ACM SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems 2013 (CHI 2013) for "Labor Dynamics in a Mobile Micro-Task Market."

Assistant Professor Dan Sheldon, along with co-authors from Cornell and Oregon State, won the Best Paper Award for "Approximate Bayesian Inference for Reconstructing Velocities of Migrating Birds from Weather Radar" at the Computational Sustainability track at the Twenty-Seventh AAAI Conference on Artificial Intelligence (AAAI 2013).

In June, co-authors Emmanuel Cecchet, Robert Sims, Xin He, and Professor Prashant Shenoy  received the Best Paper Award at the IEEE/ACM International Symposium on Quality of Service (IWQoS 2013) for "mBenchLab: Measuring QoE of Web Applications using mobile devices."  Shenoy and co-authors Aditya Mishra, David Irwin, and Ting Zhu received the Best Paper Runner-up for "Scaling Distributed Energy Storage for Grid Peak Reduction" at the 4th ACM International Conference on Future Energy Systems (ACM e-Energy 2013), held in May.

Last year, the paper "Varanus: More-With-Less Fault Localization in Data Centers," co-authored by Vaishali Sadaphal, Maitreya Natu, Harrick Vin, and Prashant Shenoy received the Best Paper Award at the IEEE Fourth International Conference on Communication Systems and Networks (COMSNETS 2012).  Co-authored by Sean Barker, Aditya Mishra, David Irwin, Prashant Shenoy, and Jeannie Albrecht, the paper "SmartCap: Flattening Peak Electricity Demand in Smart Homes" was presented in the Best Papers Session at the 10th IEEE International Conference on Pervasive Computing and Communications (PerCom 2012).

Shenoy and Kurose taught a joint semester-long grad seminar class with former CS faculty Krithi Ramamritham (now at IIT Bombay) between UMass Amherst and IIT Bombay as part of a joint research grant funded by the U.S. National Science Foundation and the Indian DIT.

Research Professor Beverly Woolf and Mark Floryan (Ph.D. '13) received the Best Poster Award at the 16th International Conference on Artificial Intelligence in Education (AIED 2013) for their short paper, "Authoring Expert Knowledge Bases for Intelligent Tutors through Crowdsourcing."

Associate Professor Ramesh Sitaraman received considerable media coverage on the research on video viewer behavior. These included NPR Morning Edition, Boston Globe, CBS, Yahoo! News, CNN, SF Chronicle, Xinhua, and Hindustan Times.

Assistant Professor Hanna Wallach's essay on success, failure, perseverance, and roller derby was published in DerbyLife (the #1 derby website).  Her roller derby team played a bout at the UMass Amherst Mullins Center in April.

Associate Professor Emery Berger gave an invited keynote address at ETAPS (European Joint Conferences on Theory and Practice of Software) this March in Rome, Italy. Berger also co-chaired the Usenix HotPar (hot topics in parallelism) Workshop in June. In April, Berger gave a talk at Google on "Stabilizer: Statistically Sound Performance Evaluation;" the group's Stabilizer software can be downloaded at

The PLASMA lab, co-directed by Professors Berger, Yuriy Brun, and Arjun Guha, was accepted as a mentoring organization for the Google Summer of Code for students to work on open source projects that are a product of research from their lab.

Emeritus Professor Andrew Barto spent eight months in Rome, Italy working with colleagues at the Laboratory of Computational Embodied Neuroscience, a research group at the CNR Institute of Cognitive Sciences and Technologies. CNR is Italy's National Research Council. The group's "mission" is to use computational and robotic models to investigate how the brain acquires behavior, in a cumulative fashion, by interacting with the body and the environment; and to exploit the knowledge so acquired to build autonomous cumulative-learning humanoid robots.

Emeritus Distinguished University Professor Arnold Rosenberg ran the Falmouth, MA Road Race on August 11, 2013 as part of "Run For Dana-Farber Cancer Institute." Rosenberg is pictured on the Run for Dana Farber Falmouth web page.

David Irwin, Assistant Professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at UMass Amherst, and Hong Yu, Professor in the Department of Quantitative Health Sciences at UMass Medical School, joined the School of CS as Adjunct Faculty.

Irwin received a 2013 NSF CAREER Award for his project "Model-Based Energy Management for Sustainable Buildings." Prior to being named adjunct, he was a Postdoctoral Research Associate in the Laboratory for Advanced System Software at UMass Amherst CS from 2007-2012.

Researcher News

New researchers include CS alum Shiraj Sen (Ph.D. '12) as a Postdoctoral Research Associate in the Robotics Lab, Navin Kumar Sharma as a Postdoctoral Research Associate working with Prof. Deepak Ganesan, and Patrick Taylor as a Research Fellow working with Prof. Hava Siegelmann.

Xucheng Yin is a Visiting Associate Professor from the University of Science and Technology Beijing working with the CIIR.

Working with the Resource-Bounded Reasoning Lab, Utku Erdogdu is a Visiting Researcher from the Middle East Technical University Turkey.

Assistant Professor Yuriy Brun is hosting Jeanderson Candido, a Visiting Scholar from Federal University of Campina Grande, Brazil.

Student News

CIIR doctoral student Kriste Krstovski received a Harvard University-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics SAO Pre-Doctoral Fellowship. This fellowship, which started in February 2013, supports his dissertation work by applying it to NASA's Astrophysics Data System.

Rachel Gordon and Daniel Stubbs received Honorable Mention in the 2013 Computing Research Association's (CRA) Outstanding Undergraduate Researcher Award competition.

Graduate students Elisabeth Baseman, Tiffany Liu, Dorothee Spitta, and Jennie Steshenko were selected to attend the Computer Research Association on the Status of Women in Computing Research (CRA-W) Graduate Cohort Workshop in Boston, MA in April, 2013.

The student ACM chapter organized a Jeopardy! Night this spring, with software created by undergrad chapter officer Ryan McCann. The first place team included Rick Freedman, Chelsea Grossman, Bruce Spang, and Ian Stewart.

The ACM Student Chapter officers for AY 2013-2014 are Chair Ryan McCann, Vice Chair Reed Silverstein, Treasurer Kira Revere, and Secretary Stephen Donahue.

CS undergrad Christopher Scott was on the team that organized a day-long TEDx conference at UMass Amherst in April.

Staff News

In May, Michael Zarozinski joined the CIIR's Multimedia Indexing and Retrieval Group as a Senior Software Engineer.

This spring, CSCF staffer Paul Sihvonen-Binder's photography was exhibited at the gallery of the U.S. Department of Fish and Wildlife Service's Northeast Regional Office in Hadley, MA. His work focuses on capturing the often-overlooked details of the Pioneer Valley.