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

Faculty News

Hava Siegelmann was promoted to full professor and Rui Wang was promoted to Associate Professor.

Kevin Fu, Yannis Smaragdakis, and David Smith were appointed as adjunct faculty members.

As part of his Samuel F. Conti Faculty Fellowship, Distinguished Professor Jim Kurose spent five months at the LINCS (Laboratory for Information, Network, and Communication Sciences) and at Technicolor Research, both in Paris. He was a general co-chair of the ACM Internet Measurement Conference held in Boston this November. He is also a technical program co-chair of the 2013 ACM e-Energy Conference to be held in May in Berkeley, CA, and a co-chair of the National Science Foundation's CISE AC Subcommittee on MidScale Infrastructure. In January, Kurose gave a keynote talk at the 2013 IEEE COMSNETS conference in Bangalore, India.

In December, Professor Lori Clarke gave a University of Minnesota Cray Distinguished Speaker lecture titled "Using Process Modeling and Analysis Techniques to Reduce Errors in Health Care."

Distinguished Professor Don Towsley gave three distinguished lectures this fall. In October, he presented "A Walk in the Dark: Random Walks and Network Discovery" at the University of Minnesota as part of its Cray Distinguished Speaker series. In November, he spoke at the University of Oklahoma as part of the School of Computer Science's Hitachi Distinguished Lecture Series. Also in November, he presented "Swarms: First Class Citizens in the Future Internet" at the Temple University Computer and Information Sciences Distinguished Lecture series.

Associate Professor Erik Learned-Miller and his wife Carol welcomed the birth of their son, Silas John, born on November 29.

In November, Associate Professor Kevin Fu testified before the U.S. Congressional Energy and Commerce Committee on technology for stopping Medicare fraud. According to Fu's prepared witness testimony, he noted that "a key lesson from modern cybersecurity research is that security technology alone will not solve a security problem unless there are effective policies implemented to control fraud." He added that the Federal Government must first plug the policy loopholes that lead to Medicare fraud to avoid a new fraud-prone system. In other news, Fu was listed as one of the six Honorable Mentions in SC Magazine's 2012 Influential IT security minds.  SC recognized "individuals who represent the highest degree of professionalism in the security space." After a seven year career at UMass Amherst, Fu left in January for a position as associate professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at the University of Michigan.

As part of the UMass Amherst Distinguished Faculty Lecture Series, Adjunct Professor Jane Fountain presented "Technological Change as a Variable in State Development" this fall. At the conclusion of her lecture, she received the Chancellor's Medal, the highest honor bestowed to faculty by the campus. Fountain is a professor in the Department of Political Science and founder and director of the National Center for Digital Government.

Adjunct Professor Ileana Streinu was named to the 2013 prestigious inaugural class of American Mathematical Society (AMS) Fellows. She is the Smith College Charles N. Clark Professor of Computer Science and Senechal, Louise Wolff Kahn Professor Emerita in Mathematics and History of Science and Technology. She was also the inaugural director of the Four College Biomathematics Consortium created in 2011 by a grant from the National Science Foundation to train the next generation of scientists in the rapidly emerging field of biomathematics.

Researcher News

Young Mee Yoon, professor in the Department of Engineering at Gachon University in Korea is a visiting professor in the BINDS lab.

Dong Chen from the School of Information Sciences and Engineering at Northeastern University is a visiting graduate student with LASS.

From the Institute of Software at the Chinese Academy of Sciences, Jie Chen is a visiting scholar in the LASER lab.

Joining the CIIR, Dr. Yin Xucheng is a visiting associate professor from the University of Science and Technology Beijing and Ziqi Wang is a visiting scholar from Peking University in Beijing.

Dr. Xiangbin Zhu, an associate professor in the College of Mathematics, Physics, and Information Engineering at Zhejian Normal University in China, is working with the MAS lab.

This past semester, Jinho Choi (IESL), Simon Heimlicher (NETWORKS), Mostafa Keikha (CIIR), Denis Foo Kune (SPQR), Mastooreh Salajegheh (SQPR), and Lynn Stephens (CKC), joined CS as postdoctoral research associates.

Student News

The CS Women's group was among the first recipients to receive awards from the Women for UMass Amherst Fund.  The group received funding to send female students to the 2013 Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing, the world's largest gathering of women in computing. The CS Women co-chairs involved in the proposal and presentation to the Fund include Anastasia McTaggart Meek, Elisabeth Baseman, and Ravali Pochampally.

CS students Shiri Dori-Hacohen, Tian Guo, Jacqueline Feild, Elizabeth Do, Elisabeth Baseman, and Borislava (Bobby) Simidchieva attended (shown l. to r.) a breakfast reception hosted by Yahoo! during the 2012 Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing (GHC). Along with GHC travel grants to the GHC held in Baltimore, MD this October, some of the students also received funding assistances from Yahoo!, one of our industrial affiliate partners.

Graduate student Shiri Dori-Hacohen was named the Google Student Ambassador to UMass Amherst for the 2012-2013 academic year.

Graduate student Ben Ransford and his wife Megan Sielken announced the birth of their daughter, Ilse Frances Ransford, born on December 11.

Staff News

CS welcomes Samantha Howe to the main office as the assistant to the undergraduate program manager.

Donna Falcetti and her husband, Seth Eichenlaub, announced that their son, Joseph Francis Eichenlaub, was born on August 5.

Renee Fall, project manager of the Commonwealth Alliance for Information Technology Education (CAITE), attended the two-day 2012 Google Roots in Science and Engineering (RISE) Global Summit at its offices in New York City. Fall and Engineering's Paula Rees won a RISE award for their proposal "Career Day and Middle School Outreach."