Conduit Volume 25 - Brown CS - Brown University

May 20, 2016 - to avoid capping classes or lowering the quality of our offerings. Our UTA ... 22 in New York City, to be hosted by Two Sigma. Going forward ...... Premier. Adobe. Affiliates. Citizens Bank. Cloudera. Delphix. Facebook. Google.
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Condu t !


Brown University  //  Vol. 25

Making The Future Happen:

The Brown CS Undergraduate Teaching Assistant Endowment + New Opportunities In CS: An SMS-Based Commodity Exchange In Ghana + Immersive Visualization To Support Scientific Insight

Notes From The Chair


2 SPRING 2015

I start by welcoming two new additions to our faculty: Seny Kamara and Vasileios Kemerlis. Seny, joining us from Microsoft Research, is an expert on applied cryptography and encrypted search. Vasileios comes from Columbia University after completing his PhD last summer, and his research is on systems and software security. Seny and Vasileios will complement and significantly strengthen our cybersecurity group and activities. Our junior faculty continue to make us proud with their productivity and the recognition they’ve earned. For example, just in the first two months of 2016, Jeff Huang received an NSF CAREER award, bringing our total to 13, and Stefanie Tellex received a Sloan Fellowship, giving us a total of six. We’ve been working on three major new initiatives, all of which made good progress in the last six months. Our robotics initiative, HCRI, led by Michael Littman, was officially launched in December with seed funding from the Provost, as well as some dedicated space in the SciLi. Our Executive Master in Cybersecurity Program, led by Roberto Tamassia, is officially starting in the Fall of 2016. Finally, our Data Science Initiative has been moving forward, with a new Master’s program in Data Science planned to launch in the Fall of 2017. We’re very excited about all the interdisciplinary activities that we’re pursuing with other units at Brown. We’re always considering new ways to engage with the rest of the campus at a time when computing is becoming central to the (r)evolution of almost every scholarly endeavour. Meanwhile, computer science enrollments are continuing to grow with no signs of slowing down. While we enjoy such unprecedented enthusiasm and interest in our field, we’re also pushing our limits to avoid capping classes or lowering the quality of our offerings. Our UTA program is a key ingredient of the success of our courses, and I’m happy to report that we’re making great progress toward the $10M target for a permanent endowment for this unique program. At present, we’re more than two-thirds of the way and hope to get to the finish line as soon as possible. I’m truly grateful to our alums who have been giving us their money, time, wisdom, and in many cases, all of the above. In particular, I’d like to thank Norm Meyrowitz, who has shown remarkable leadership

skills and resourcefulness in organizing and running our innovative Kickstarter-style campaign. Working with our alums on this campaign has been a real pleasure for me. The defining experience of my time as Department Chair so far has been the growing interactions with so many alums, all of whom have impressed me deeply with their loyalty, skills, hard work, and generosity. Last November, we held our inaugural alum network reception in the Bay Area, which was hosted by Google. Brown CS faculty members and around 200 alums attended the very well-received event. By the time this goes to press, we’ll have held a second reception: April 22 in New York City, to be hosted by Two Sigma. Going forward, we’ll continue to organize such events twice a year, in two different regions, to better connect with our far-flung community and help our alums connect with each other across the generations. We’ve also been working hard on improving diversity and inclusion in CS, a defining challenge for STEM disciplines and a topic of much recent discussion at Brown University and across the nation. We’ve been working with various CS student groups and Brown to organize our existing efforts and start new initiatives that will yield a more welcoming and unbiased environment where everyone can succeed. Our newes