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Virginia Tech computer science department holds 40th anniversary open house


   

Srinidhi Varadarajan Srinidhi Varadarajan


BLACKSBURG, Va., March 18, 2011 – As part of its ongoing 40th anniversary celebration, the Virginia Tech Department of Computer Science will host an open house event March 25 at the Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine II Building, part of the Virginia Tech's Corporate Research Center.

The event, held from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m., will feature computer science department faculty research presentations, poster presentations and research demos, said department head Barbara Ryder. As well, virtual reality and visualization demonstrations will be held at the university’s HCI (Human Computer Interaction) Black Lab at the nearby KnowledgeWorks II building, also part of the corporate research center campus. The computer science department is part of the Virginia Tech College of Engineering.

A continental breakfast and lunch will be provided if participants RSVP by March 21.

Doug Bowman, associate professor of computer science and director of the 3-D Interaction Research Group, will present the research paper, “Simulating Mixed Reality Systems to Evaluate the Effects of Display Fidelity.” A member of the Virginia Tech Center for Human-Computer Interaction, he recently was recognized as a 2010 Distinguished Member by the Association for Computing Machinery.

“One of the most important challenges facing the field of mixed reality, including virtual and augmented reality, is providing empirical evidence of the benefits of advanced mixed-reality systems,” Bowman said in his abstract. “Despite the compelling nature of many mixed-reality experiences, we really know very little about the impact of different display fidelity factors on task performance, spatial understanding, and subjective user experience.”

Naren Ramakrishnan, professor of computer science, will present the paper, “From Data Mining to Discovery Analytics.” Among his many projects involving data mining is a recent system, developed with a graduate student, that can detect so-called spoilers in online movie reviews and their comments sections. Ramakrishnan was named in 2007 by Computerworld magazine as an “innovative IT people to watch,” and honored in 2010 as a Top 40 under 40 alumnus by his alma mater Purdue University.

Srinidhi Varadarajan also will present a research paper. He is an associate professor of computer science and director of the Center for High-End Computing Systems. His research interests focus on high-end computing systems, including on-fault tolerance in large-scale distributed systems, runtime systems, and frameworks for integrated emulation and simulation of computer networks. He also was the architect behind two supercomputers located at Virginia Tech, System X and helped spearhead the more recent System G.

In November, also as part of its 40th anniversary celebration, the computer science department honored Greg Lavender as its 2010 Distinguished Alumnus and presented Nora and Dean Kirstein with its Distinguished Service Award. Lavender also gave a talk on the history and future of computer science to a near-packed room.

The College of Engineering at Virginia Tech is internationally recognized for its excellence in 14 engineering disciplines and computer science. The college's 6,000 undergraduates benefit from an innovative curriculum that provides a "hands-on, minds-on" approach to engineering education, complementing classroom instruction with two unique design-and-build facilities and a strong Cooperative Education Program. With more than 50 research centers and numerous laboratories, the college offers its 2,000 graduate students opportunities in advanced fields of study such as biomedical engineering, state-of-the-art microelectronics, and nanotechnology. Virginia Tech, the most comprehensive university in Virginia, is dedicated to quality, innovation, and results to the commonwealth, the nation, and the world.