The ABC's of IP (Intellectual Property): Patents, Trademarks, Copyrights for Engineers

Presenter: Chris Carraway from Klarquist Sparkman, LLP. Mr. Carraway, an intellectual property lawyer, will provide an overview of patents, trademarks, copyrights, and trade secrets, and other intellectual property rights.

Abstract: Intellectual property, often shortened to "IP," refers to a set of property rights that the law grants to people or companies to own and profit from their artistic, scientific and technological creations for a designated period of time.  The most common forms of IP are patents, trademarks, copyrights, and trade secrets.  Engineers and scientists working in industry, academia, or elsewhere will almost certainly encounter one or more of these IP rights during their careers.  This seminar will provide an overview of these common IP rights, with a particular focus on patents and trademarks, the rights that engineers today will likely encounter most frequently.

Date: Monday, Dec 5 2011 - 4:10 pm


Computational challenges in the use of radar for biological research

Presenter: Robert H Diehl, Ph.D.

Abstract: Radar as biological instrumentation has a nearly 70 year history dating back to World War II.  The technology has since changed enormously, benefitting in particular from advances in solid state electronics and data processing.  Over the years, research and development of military, meteorological, and navigational applications of radar enjoyed considerable success stemming from advances in radar-related software and hardware, while biological radar applications remained a poor stepchild that moved forward largely in response to developments elsewhere.   But not all needs facing the development of biological radar are met as hand-me-downs.  Specifically, the habits of biological organisms as recorded by radar pose unique computational challenges to the effective use of existing software and hardware.  Moreover, contemporary wildlife management and conservation concerns (e.g., the development of wind energy) identify needs for advances in radar data processing technologies that may not coincide with those in other fields.  I will discuss the current state of radar biological research and focus on the software-related needs that will enable the field to advance.

Date: Monday, Nov 21 2011 - 4:10 pm
Location: EPS 108


Prograph: Past, Present, and Future

Presenter: Scott B. Anderson, Ph.D.  Dr. Anderson will discuss and demonstrate the dataflow visual programming language; Prograph.

Abstract: In 1988, Drs. Cox, Giles, and Pietrzykowski published the definitive description of the Prograph programming language.  Prograph is a powerful dataflow visual programming language which introduced several novel concepts, several of which are still relevant today, over 20 years later.  These concepts and several other notable features of the language and the associated software development environment will be demonstrated and discussed, particularly with a focus on computer science pedagogy.  Some commercial applications that have been "written" in Prograph will be demonstrated and described.  In addition, the challenges of implementing such a language will be described, providing a behind the scenes look at a the creation of software development environment.  Finally, some open research topics will be explored.

Date: Monday, Nov 14 2011 - 4:10 pm
Location: EPS 108


Evolution of Legacy System Comprehensibility through Automated Refactoring

Presenter: Isaac Griffith

Description: Presentation of the paper accepted to the International Workshop on Machine Learning Technologies in Software Engineering (MALETS) 2011.

Abstract: Software engineering is a continually evolving discipline, wherein researchers and members of industry are working towards defining and refining what are known as “best practices.” Best practices are the set of known correct engineering techniques that lead to quality software.
When a software artifact is produced, it becomes temporally locked into a single instantiation of these best practices at a given point in time. If such software is not maintained in such a way as to keep it current with the evolution of practice, then there is a good chance that subsequent engineers may not understand the design choices made. There are known techniques, called refactorings, which allow for structural changes to software without altering the outward appearance and behavior, thus maintaining the intent of the original design. Unfortunately refactoring requires an engineer to both understand the techniques to be applied and the code to which they are applied to.
We have developed an automated system using Artificial Intelligence techniques to manipulate these refactorings correctly without requiring an underlying understanding of the software. This then allows for sustained levels of quality of evolving software systems. The understandability, maintainability, and reusability of the software regenerate as best practices evolve.

Date: Monday, Nov 7 2011 - 4:10 pm
Location: EPS 108


Investigating Topology Control and Cognitive Radios to Exploit Television Whitespace in Building Sparse Broadband Networks

Presenter: Ivan Judson, M.Sc.

Description: This is Ivan's talk from PhD Comprehenisve Exam, that took place on  Thursday, September 29, 2011, 7:00 a.m. in EPS 347

I propose to investigate the use of television whitespace (TVWS) to build sparse broadband networks. In order to overcome topographical, environmental, and power issues the approach I propose is to use a topology control solution that uses TVWS to connect smaller, localized networks. These smaller local networks are traditional wireless networks that have been augmented with a set of cognitive radios that can route traffic between the local wireless network and the topology control network. Additionally, I propose to investigate the dynamic, periodic election of these gateway nodes to ensure robust connectivity; one approach I propose to investigate for the dynamic election of gateway nodes is using Game Theory. This paper includes a discussion of the background relevant to the proposed topic including wireless technology - including recently available whitespace frequencies, rural broadband issues and solutions, topographical and weather issues that arise. This paper also includes a presentation of the progress made to this point and proposes a plan for future research.

Date: Monday, Oct 10 2011 - 4:10 pm
Location: EPS 108


A Practical Solution for Aligning and Simplifying Pairs of Protein Backbones Under the Discrete Frechet Distance

Description: PhD Qualifying Exam Presentation

Presenter: Timothy Wylie, M.Sc.

Abstract: Aligning and comparing two polygonal chains in 3D space is an important problem in many areas of research, such as protein structure alignment. A lot of research has been done in the past on this problem using RMSD as the distance measure. Recently, the discrete Frechet distance has been applied to align and simplify protein backbones (geometrically, 3D polygonal chains) by Jiang et al., with insightful new results found.

However, since a protein backbone can have as many as 500-600 vertices, even if a pair of chains are nicely aligned, as long as they are not identical, it is still difficult for humans to visualize their similarity and difference. In 2008, a problem called CPS-3F was proposed to simplify a pair of 3D chains simultaneously under the discrete Frechet distance.

Whether CPS-3F is NP-complete or not is still open. In this paper, we first present a new practical method to align a pair of protein backbones, improving the previous method by Jiang et al. Finally, we present a greedy-and-backtrack method, using the new alignment method as a subroutine, to handle the CPS-3F problem. We also prove two simple lemmas, giving some evidence to why our new method works well. Some preliminary empirical results using proteins from the Protein Data Bank (PDB) with comparisons with the previous method are presented.

Date: Monday, Sep 19 2011 - 4:10 pm
Location: EPS 108


Welcome Seminar

Description: Presented by John Paxton.  Important general information about the department will be shared with graduate students.  Graduate students will have the opportunity to meet other students, the faculty and the staff.

Date: Monday, Aug 29 2011 - 4:10 pm


A Framework for Schema and Data Versioning in OLTP Databases

Description: PhD Comprehensive Presentation

Presenter: Robert Wall

Abstract: Managing and accommodating the evolution of database schema (the metadata describing the structure of a database) poses a number of interesting problems.  Some of these problems are particularly acute in Online Transaction Processing (OLTP) databases that serve as the data store for large, extremely active data processing systems, especially in systems that use a Software as a Service (SaaS) delivery model.  We propose a framework to be incorporated into such databases to efficiently manage the inevitable schema evolution.  This framework is based on common practices used to manage source code changes in software development.  It allows administrators and users of the database to create sandboxes in which changes to the database are isolated from the main database and from other sandboxes. Schema versioning techniques are used to isolate schema changes made within sandboxes and to allow queries executed in a sandbox to retrieve data from the main database without transforming all data in the system to conform to the sandbox's schema.  The framework also includes data versioning mechanisms to maintain isolation of data that is added, updated, or deleted in the sandbox.  A merge facility allows changes made in a sandbox to be integrated into the main database while it is online, with minimal disruption to ongoing transaction processing.  These two versioning techniques together with the merge facility create a database infrastructure that will significantly reduce the time, manpower, opportunity for errors, storage capacity, and infrastructure required to perform development, maintenance, and testing of schema and data changes against a high-volume online database.

Date: Tuesday, May 10 2011 - 9:00 am
Location: EPS 347


Towards Sustained Scalability of Communication Networks

Presenter: Mike Wittie of UCSB.  Mike is a RightNow Technologies Assistant Professor candidate.

Abstract: Enabled by capable mobile devices, new Internet services, and expanding wireless coverage, personal digital communications are undergoing a revolution. New communication applications, such as online social networks or video chat, fuel the growth of bandwidth demand and alter existing traffic patterns as inter-user and real-time communications are becoming more prevalent. In this talk I will argue that because of their inefficient use of physical network resources and inability to support responsive services, existing network designs and management methods are ill-suited to meet the demands of evolving communication patterns. My conjecture is that simply upgrading the capabilities of existing network architectures is not an effective network scaling strategy. Instead, I propose that efficient and responsive network services can be achieved in more flexible network topologies with globally cognizant resource allocation mechanisms. I demonstrate the performance and efficiency gains of new network design and management methods for wireless networks, online social networks, and cloud services. I believe that these findings will be important to prevent future shortages of network resources and allow networks to continue to meet the needs of new applications, such as the communications of autonomous robots, smart vehicles, and personal medical devices.

Date: Monday, May 9 2011 - 4:10 am
Location: EPS 347


Flexible Scalable Frameworks for Malaria Genomics

Presenter: Allison Regier, University of Notre Dame

Abstract: Malaria is a devastating disease, causing nearly one million deaths annually, mainly among children living in Africa. Rapidly spreading drug resistance among malaria parasites and poorly undertstood behavioral traints of their mosquito vector are undermining control efforts. Genomics approaches are promising to revolutionize the detail with which these organisms can be studied and lead to real advances in disease control. However, both the mosquito and parasite genomes present unique challenges for analysis. Here, I present two projects related to malaria genomics and the analysis frameworks we developed to obtain biologically significant results. Further, I show how work on these projects inspired the creation of a more general software tool for genomic analysis that provides researchers with a flexible interface while benefiting from recent advances in analysis frameworks and distributed computing. Biography: Allison Regier is currently a PhD candidate in the Department of Computer Science and Engineering at the University of Notre Dame. She earned her Masters at the University of Notre Dame in 2008 and her Bachelors at Bethel College, Kansas in 2004. Her research interests include bioinformatics and genomics as applied to important problems in areas such as global health, agriculture, and energy.

Date: Thursday, May 5 2011 - 4:00 am
Location: EPS 347


Error-Bounded Probabilistic Graphical Model Simplification

Description: PhD Comprehensive Presentation

Presenter: Scott Wahl

Abstract: Due to the complexity of performing inference in probabilistic graphical models, both diagnostics and prognostics are computationally expensive tasks which are vital to a number of industries. To combat this issue, approximate methods have been proposed for estimating posterior distributions during the inference procedure. The majority of these approaches directly approximate the calculation of the distribution. For large networks this is still a daunting task, even if only due to the storage requirements necessary in working on a large distribution. Instead, a method for approximating and simplifying the representation of the network is proposed. A framework for performing effcient inference through model approximation in Bayesian and dynamic Bayesian networks is proposed with applications for diagnosis and prognosis in real systems. Model approximation is performed by the removal of arcs within the probabilistic graphical models. Due to the changes in the independence relationships and possible diusion of context, the model must be updated with the introduction of hidden variables, dynamic parameter adjustment, and reinsertion of arcs. These controlled modications will ensure both a simplication of the network and a bound on the classication error and divergence of the resulting network with the original while performing inference.

Date: Monday, Apr 25 2011 - 4:10 am
Location: EPS 108


Why JavaScript Matters

Presenter: Doug Crockford

Abstract: JavaScript is the world's most misunderstood programming language. It is also a rich and expressive language that is significantly transforming the web and is deserving of academic interest and research. Doug has had an enormously successful career in programming and software development in Silicon Valley and is also profiled in the technical bestseller Coders At Work.

Date: Wednesday, Apr 20 2011 - 4:10 am
Location: EPS 103


Department Awards Ceremony

Led by John Paxton

Summary: This session will be the Computer Science Department's opportunity to recognize several of its faculty in their teaching, research, and service. In addition, we will hold a social event for the graduate students and faculty, congratulating all on completing another academic year (and for some in completing their degrees). We will also recognize and thank Dr. Year Back Yoo for his many years with the department and wish him well in his retirement.

Date: Monday, Apr 18 2011 - 4:00 am
Location: EPS 108


A Taxonomy of Modular Grime in Design Patterns

Description: MS THESIS DEFENSE

Presenter: Travis Schanz

Abstract: Software designs decay over time. While most studies focus on decay at the system level, this research studies design decay on well understood micro architectures, design patterns. Formal definitions of design patterns provide a homogeneous foundation that can be used to measure deviations as pattern realizations evolve. Empirical studies have shown modular grime to be a significant contributor to design pattern decay. Modular grime is observed when increases in the coupling of design pattern classes develop in ways unintended by the original designer. Further research is necessary to formally categorize distinct forms of modular grime. We identify three properties of coupling relationships that are used to classify subsets of modular grime. A taxonomy is presented which uses these properties to group modular grime into six disjoint categories. We gather data from three open source software systems to test hypotheses about the significance of grime buildup for each of the six taxonomy categories. The results reveal that one form of modular grime is more apt to develop than others. This was observed in all the systems in the study. We also found that some types of modular grime show insignificant growth while others vary between systems. We conclude that certain types of modular grime are more likely to contribute to design pattern decay.  

Date: Wednesday, Apr 13 2011 - 12:30 pm
Location: EPS 347


Other Years:   2014, 2013, 2012