The Department of Computer Science (UTCS) at the University of Texas at Austin hosted the Edsger W. Dijkstra Memorial Lecture on November 7, 2011. UTCS welcomed Richard Karp, Professor at the University of California, Berkeley, as the speaker for this event. This lecture series is made possible by a generous grant from Schlumberger to honor the memory of Edsger W. Dijkstra.
The ninth annual First Bytes Summer Camp, sponsored by The University of Texas at Austin Department of Computer Science, begins on June 19 on the university campus. The free, weeklong camp showcases the potential of a rewarding career in technology to selected Texas high school girls. Campers work together on programming language labs and logic games, see surgical robots in action, meet professional computer scientists, get career mentoring, play games, enjoy campus life and get a taste of what it’s like to have a fascinating, well-paying job.
UTCS honored new Ph.D. graduates at its annual hooding ceremony. Each new graduate received a short testimonial from his or her graduate research advisor. The new doctors were then hooded by UTCS Professor Lorenzo Alvisi. Afterwards, a reception was held for graduates, faculty, friends and family.
The Department of Computer Science congratulates its graduating students of 2011. We wished them “Good Bytes and Good Luck” with a graduation celebration catered by Austin’s own Amy’s Ice Cream.
On Friday, April 8, 2011, the College of Natural Sciences (CNS) hosted the annual Undergraduate Research Forum. Six UTCS students were recognized by the college for their outstanding posters and presentations and were honored with awards and fellowships.
PhoneSlice, a version of the popular mobile game Fruit Ninja, won Yahoo's UT-Austin Hack U contest. Farhad Abasov, Michael Teng, and Michael Akilian created a proxy server to communicate between two iPhones and the Flash application. One iPhone was used to throw the fruit and the other to slice it. Because of the implementation difficulties involved in communicating between an iPhone and Flash and all of the custom technology that they had to build within the 24-hour period, they won the HackU event and took home new iPads.
Explore UT, a campus community engagement event held each March, invites the public to experience UT. Thousands of people explored the UTCS program, discovering the fun of computer science, engaging in artificial intelligence, software programming, gaming, graphics and visualization, and chatting with academic advisers.
The Department of Computer Science hosted prospective Ph.D. students at GradFest 2011, a two-day exploration of UTCS research, resources, and community. Over 20 admitted students attended panel discussions, toured labs, and met with faculty one-on-one. Current graduate students hosted the out-of-towners in their own homes for a real look at life as a UTCS grad student.
Watson, named after IBM founder Thomas J. Watson, is the world’s most advanced question-answer system. It uses breakthrough analytics to understand what is being asked, analyze massive amounts of data, and provide the best answer based on the evidence it finds. A core team of 25 IBM programmers developed the system and software. They downloaded information from books, movie scripts, encyclopedias, textbooks, news archives, the complete works of Shakespeare and the Bible to Watson’s brain chip, a Power7 processor—primarily designed in Austin.
On Saturday, February 12th, the Computer Science department hosted 158 students from 32 different high schools at the 2nd annual UTCS University Interscholastic League (UIL) Contest. Teams from all over the state traveled to compete in the open format contest. In addition to local Austin area schools, there were entries from Dallas, Houston, San Antonio, Waller, Weslaco, Ozona and Palacios.