Advances in Deep Learning
Computer Scientists Reveal How Aquatic Olympic Gold is Captured
A research team headed by Chris Bregler followed olympic athletes during their training in pools across the U.S. this spring, and developed ground-breaking techniques to capture their movement above and below the water's surface. The full article is available from NYU Today.
Teaching Robots to Improvise
Yann LeCun and collaborators at five universities teach self-piloted drones to improvise when encountering unexpected obstacles, as featured in Popular Science.
Object Recognition in a Distributed Neural Network
As reported in the New York Times, A team of scientists at Google, including Marc'Aurelio Ranzato (Ph.D. NYU Computer Science, 2009), implemented a distributed neural network with 1 billion connection over a network with 16,000 processors (1000 machines). Applying "deep learning" to a dataset of 10,000,000 unlabelled images, the network achieved an accuracy of 15.8% in identifying 20,000 different categories, an improvement of 70% over the state of the art. The article also quotes Yann LeCun on the application of deep learning techniques to speech recognition.
Motion Capture applied to Orchestra Conduction
Chris Bregler's Motion Capture Lab has been working with Alan Gilbert, the music director of the New York Philharmonic, in applying motion capture technique to the gestures and motions of an orchestral conductor. The full story is available from the New York Times. Link.
Maintaining Balance Easier for Top-Heavy Hoverers
Researchers in Applied Math Lab used pyramid-shaped paper "bugs" to determine that in flight, top-heavy structures are more likely to maintain balance than the standard structure that bears a lower center of gravity. The results of the NSF and DOE-funded study may contribute to an alternative approach to aircraft design. The full Press Release is available from NYU Today.
Growing Job Opportunities in Computer Science
Evan Korth and Computer Science major Tal Safran are interviewed by CNN about the growing job opportunities offered to Computer Science majors. The full video is available online from CNN Money.
Obstacles Help Organisms Move More Quickly
Mike Shelley, Jun Zhang, and researchers from the Applied Math Lab find that obstacles in an organism's path could help it move quicker rather than slower. The NSF and DOE-supported study bases its findings off of both live microscopic worms (the nematode C. elegans) and a computer model. This comparative study between experiment and simulation enahances the understanding of biological locomotion strategies of such organisms in complex geometries. Moreover, the simulated dynamics reproduces life-like behaviours that had been interpreted as coming from sensing and response of the worm to its local environment. The full Press Release is available from NYU Today.
NYUAD International Hackathon
The first International Hackathon for the Social Good in the Arab World was held October 28-30 at NYU Abu Dhabi. The event brought together 50 student participants, from colleges in the Middle East and the US, and more than 20 experts acting as speakers, mentors, and judges, for three-days of intensive programming. NYU-NY undergraduates Max Stoller and Tengchao Zhou, teaming with Monir Abu Hilal from PSUT (Jordan) won second prize for their application "OpenMena," a web-based resource designed to provide government data in an accessible format for computer programmers.
The full press release is available from NYUAD.Read More
Advances in Technology Blur the Boundaries between the Animated and the Real
In the New York Times, Chris Bregler discusses the performance-based animation technologies which are used to make convincing chimpanzees in "Rise of the Planet of the Apes."
Risk Economics Lab Established with $1 Million Leadership Pledge
The Risk Economics Lab for Decision Metrics has been established at Courant with a $1 million leadership pledge from the David K. A. Mordecai and Samantha Kappagoda Charitable Trust. The RiskEcon Lab, housed within the newly created Center for Computational Economics and Algorithmic Data Analytics, will apply a range of computational methods to researching geopolitical and socioeconomic issues, such as aging and health trends, immigration, and consumer behavior. The full press release is available from NYU Today.
CMT announces a partnership with the NEW YORK ACADEMY OF SCIENCES
THE CENTER FOR MATHEMATICAL TALENT at the Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences, NYU is pleased to announce a partnership with the NEW YORK ACADEMY OF SCIENCES to offer an After School STEM Mentoring program in mathematics for July and August 2011.
- Summer Fellows will attend 10 hours of training in lessons and activities in mathematics from which they can choose what they would like to teach.
- Summer Fellows will be offered $1000 per course instructed plus a small travel stipend Space is limited. Each "course" will consist of a 3-week module that meet twice a week for two hours each (four hours each week; 12 hours total).
Researchers in Computer Vision Adopt Innovative Data Collection Method
Chris Bregler, Rob Fergus, Postdoc Graham Taylor, and PhD student Ian Spiro use an innovative data collection method -- a collaborative music video project by a Dutch progressive-electro band -- in order to develop computer vision technology. The full article is available from NYU Today.
New Book Outlines Method for DNA Computation
In the new book Stored Clocked Programs Inside DNA: A Simplifying Framework for Nanocomputing, Dennis Shasha and recent Courant Alumna Jessie Chang "have outlined a method for storing programs inside DNA that simplifies nanocomputing." The full article is available from NYU Today.
Courant Institute receives ONR Grant to Develop Crow-Sized Autonomous Plane
Yann LeCun and researchers from Carnegie Mellon University, Harvard, MIT, and Wageningen University have received a $4.5 million 5-year grant to develop a "bird-sized, self-flying plane that can navigate through both forests and urban environments." The full article is available from NYU Today
Chris Bregler's Motion Capture Featured
In an episode of "Innovation Nation," the Science/Discovery channel features Chris Bregler's "Motion Capture."
Yann LeCun develops vision systems for mobile robots
As reported in The Economist, Yann LeCun has developed vision systems for mobile robots based on convolutional neural networks, which learn from examples how to interpret what they see. He is also collaborating with researchers at Yale on the ``NeuFlow'' chip, which may soon be guiding self-driving cars. The NeuFlow chip can process a stream of megapixel images in real time. The full article is available from the International Business Times.
Hackathon attracts 200 students and 14 Startups for 24 hours of demos and coding
More than 200 students from 33 universities gathered Saturday, October 9, 2010 to attend HackNY's fall Hackathon at New York University's Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences. The Hackathon, which concluded NYU's Startup Week, hosted fourteen companies, including Meetup, Aviary and Drop.io. The companies demoed their APIs before students, who then developed their own products and demos. The full article is available from Tech Crunch. Evan Korth and the other co-founders of HackNY are on the Business Insider's list of 100 coolest NY Tech People.
Diaspora, The Open Facebook Alternative, releases its source code
Diaspora, an Open Facebook alternative founded by NYU students, released its source code on Sept. 15th, as reported by the New York Times.
Book explores technologies that push computer science beyond traditional boundaries
"Natural Computing" by Professor Dennis Shasha and his coauthor Cathy Lazere explores technology on the edge of the possible (robots in space, high speed financial trading, safety engineering, computing with viruses) and shows that a surprising fusion is occurring between biology and computation. The Wall Street Journal reviews the book in "The Lessons of Living Things."
Using machine learning to make investment decisions
Spencer Greenberg, Courant PhD student and co-founder of Rebellion Research, speaks with the Wall Street Journal in "Letting the Machines Decide" about using machine learning to make investment decisions.
Courant receives Sloan Foundation grant to create Center for Mathematical Talent
The Courant Institute "has received a $708,468 grant from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation to create a Center for Mathematical Talent that will discover and support high-school and middle-school students with exceptional potential in the New York City area." The full article is available from NYU Today.
Movement Lab reconstructs Mariano Rivera's pitching motion
Using computer vision technology, NYU’s Movement Laboratory "has reconstructed Yankee closer Mariano Rivera’s pitching motion to offer an animated three-dimensional look at how he appears before hitters." The video is part of a New York Times magazine online feature, “Mariano Rivera, King of Closers.” The full release is available from NYU Today.
Graduate Student selected for Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Internship
Jihun Yu, Computer Science doctoral student, was selected by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences for an internship with Lucasfilm's Industrial Light and Magic -- Hollywood's leading Visual Effects Company behind movies like Star Wars, Jurassic Park, Iron Man, and Avatar. Yu has been conducting groundbreaking research in graphics simulation of physical systems, and, in particular, how to make fluids and flames appear more realistic. More details are available from Oscars.org and from NYU Today.
HackNY Guides Grads to Startups
In "Steering Grads to Start-ups," The Wall Street Journal writes about HackNY's programs and internships which aim to "steer more graduates in computer science, math and related fields to New York City technology start-ups instead of the well-worn path to Wall Street." HackNY is organized jointly by NYU's & Columbia's ACM chapters, ADI at Columbia, and NYU's Tech@NYU.
Self-Learning software to identify objects and actions
Yann LeCun and Rob Fergus's "Deep Learning" program, sponsored by DARPA, seeks to "develop code that can teach itself to spot objects in a picture, actions in a video, or voices in a crowd" on the first try and without supervision. The full story is available from Wired.
Mapping the network of CO diffusion pathways in Myoglobin
An international team of researchers led by Eric Vanden-Eijnden used novel computational methods in combination with molecular dynamics simulations to identify the pathways of diffusion of a carbon monoxide molecule inside myoglobin, a protein involved in oxygen transport and storage in various animal species including humans. These results shed light on the important mechanism of ligand-protein binding and indicate how dynamical aspects of protein function are related to its structure. The full article was published in the Journal of the American Chemical Society and can be found at
Large-scale conformational sampling of proteins using temperature-accelerated molecular dynamics
Prof. Cameron F Abrams (Drexel University) and Eric Vanden-Eijnden used a new molecular dynamics simulation method to investigate the conformational variability of large proteins, a problem of interest e.g. in drug design. The method was applied to two complex proteins, a subunit of GroEL, a protein that catalyzes folding of substrate proteins, and the HIV-1 envelope gp120, a protein responsible for the fusion of the virus with a target cell. In this second example, the method generates plausible all-atom models of the unliganded conformation of HIV-1 gp120, which was uncharacterized so far and may prove useful in the development of inhibitors and immunogens. The full article was published in the Proceeding of the National Academy of Science and can be found at http://www.pnas.org/content/early/2010/02/22/0914540107.abstract.
The Courant Institute hosts Startup Weekend NYC
Local developers, marketers, designers, and aspiring entrepreneurs will gather in Warren Weaver Hall this June 11-13 to pitch ideas, form teams and launch new business ventures. Full details are available at nyc.startupweekend.org.
Facebook Alternative Developed by 4 Undergrads
The New York Times reports on Diaspora, the decentralized Facebook alternative being developed by Computer Science Students Ilya Zhitomirskiy, Dan Grippi, Max Salzberg, and Raphael Sofaer.
Technology and Entrepreneurship explored at Inaugural NYC Hackathon
The inaugural, 24-hour "Hackathon" will take place in Warren Weaver Hall this April 2-3. The 24-hour event hosted by hackNY will bring more than 100 students from 20 different New York-area universities to work with datasets and technologies from the hottest NYC startups—including Foursquare, 10gen, Aviary, Chartbeat, and Hot Potato—at NYU's Courant Institute. Startups will introduce and demo their technologies; students will then have 24 hours to develop their own products and demos. The full press release is available from NYU Today.
Mark Tygert Receives 2010 Sloan Foundation Fellowship
Mark Tygert has been chosen as a 2010 Sloan Research Fellow, joining 22 current Courant Faculty members who have previously received Sloan Fellowships. The Fellowships “support the work of exceptional young researchers early in their academic careers,” and Tygert’s research “explores a range of computations, including randomized algorithms and statistics, in order to improve electrical engineering, data mining, machine learning, and weather prediction. Research in this field seeks to enhance the design of microchips, antennas, and stealth aircraft and also to boost the functionality of search engines.” More information is available from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation and NYU Public Affairs.
Graduate Students Krishnan and Lopez receive Awards from Microsoft
Dilip Krishnan and Adriana Lopez, graduate students in Computer Science, have received a Microsoft Research PhD Fellowship and a Microsoft Research Graduate Women's Scholarship, respectively. The awards are given to outstanding students in the areas of Computer Science, Electrical Engineering, or Mathematics. More information on the awards is available from Microsoft.
Google Lime Scholarship Awarded to Doctoral Student, Nektarios Paisios
Nektarios Paisios, Computer Science doctoral student, has received a 2010-2011 Google Lime Scholarship for Students with Disabilities. In addition to the scholarship, recipients of the award, which is based on academics, innovation, and leadership, are invited to attend an all-expenses-paid networking retreat at the Googleplex in Mountain View, CA. More information is available from Lime Connect.
Graduate Students Narzisi and Wichs receive IBM Ph.D. Fellowship Awards
Giuseppe Narzisi and Daniel Wichs, Computer Science doctoral students, have received IBM Ph.D. Fellowship Awards. The Fellowship Awards Program "is an intensely competitive worldwide program, which honors exceptional Ph.D. students who have an interest in solving problems that are important to IBM and fundamental to innovation in many academic disciplines and areas of study. " More information on the Awards can be found from IBM.
Graduate student Ameet Talwalkar receives NYAS Best Student Paper Award
The New York Academy of Sciences presented Ameet Talwalkar with the Best Student Paper Award at its Annual Machine Learning Symposium, for his paper "Ensemble Nystrom Method". The full symposium details can be found from the National Academy of Sciences.
Leslie Greengard named National Security Fellow
Leslie Greengard is one of 11 university faculty selected to conduct next-generation research projects by the Defense Department as part of its National Security Science and Engineering Faculty Fellowship (NSSEFF) program. The awards are for "promising university faculty performing unclassified, basic research that holds the promise to enhance long-term U.S. strategic interests." The Full News Release is available from the Department of Defense.
Stratosphere influences weather near Earth's surface
Through a series of forecast experiments using a general circulation model, Ed Gerber et. al. find that the stratosphere does influence the troposphere. As stated in the Geophysical Research Letters highlight and in Science Daily, "The results indicate that improved resolution in stratospheric simulations would probably lead to better weather forecasts."
C.S. Chang and collaborators receive INCITE award from the U.S. Department of Energy
As a part of its Innovative and Novel Computational Impact on Theory and Experiment (INCITE) program, the U.S. Department of Energy awarded 50 million hours of supercomputing time to C. S. Chang and co-investigators Scott Parker (U. of Colorado), Scott Klasky (Oak Ridge National Laboratory) and Linda Sugiyama (MIT) for their project “High-Fidelity Tokamak Edge Simulation for Efficient Confinement of Fusion Plasma." More information can be found from the DOE.
Touchco to develop a new kind of Multitouch
Ken Perlin, Computer Science student Ilya Rosenberg, and Media Research Lab collaborators "hope to bring a new kind of multitouch to everything from new e-readers to musical instruments, with their new company, Touchco." The full blog is available from the New York Times.
Joint research endeavor studies educational gaming
The Games for Learning Institute (G4LI), a joint research endeavor between NYU, Microsoft Research, and seven other universities and colleges, expects its initial conclusions about "what makes an effective educational gaming experience" to be published in 2010. Co-directors Ken Perlin and Jan Plass explain long-term goals in the full article:
New book presents first six Abel laureates
"The Abel Prize: 2003-2007" features the first 6 Abel prize winners, including Courant Professors Peter Lax and S. R. Srinivasa Varadhan, with autobiographies, interviews, and research descriptions. The book was published December 1st, 2009 by Springer.
How Swimmers Contribute to Mixing the Oceans
A new ocean swimming model by Courant Professor Steve Childress and Jean-Luc Thiffeault of the University of Wisconsin test the idea that "by some estimates, ocean mixing caused by swimming creatures is comparable to the mixing by the wind and tides." The full article is available from the Technology Review.
New camera developed to take "flash-less" pictures in the dark
Rob Fergus and student Dilip Krishnan are developing a "dark camera," which emits light over a broader range of frequencies, to take sharp images without the standard intrusive flash. The full article can be found at the New Scientist.
Computer-based models to chart the growth of pancreatic cancer
A team of researchers led by Bud Mishra is currently working to create computer-based models charting the growth of pancreatic cancer. The full article can be found at Washington Square News.
New computer methods reveal secrets of ancient math problem
Mathematicians from North America, Europe, Australia, and South America have resolved the first one trillion cases of an ancient mathematics problem by a clever technique for multiplying large numbers. The numbers involved are so enormous that if their digits were written out by hand they would stretch to the moon and back. The team of three includes David Harvey (Courant Institute). Please follow link for full article.
Courant Awarded $10M for Climate Research
The National Science Foundation awarded CIMS a $10 million grant "to study the impact of global warming on the Antarctic ice sheet and its potential influence on rising sea levels." David Holland, the principal researcher of the project, will lead the NYU team in their first trip to the continent in January 2011.
Human Movement Signatures Analyzed by Video
As reported in NYU Today, Chris Bregler and colleagues received a $1.47 Million grant from the U.S. Office of Naval Research to further work on enhancing motion capture tools.
New Insights into Snake Movement
Science Nation reports new findings on snake movement from studies conducted by Courant Professor Mike Shelley, former post-doctoral researcher David Hu and undergraduate researchers Jasmine Nirody and Terri Scott.
Scientists Celebrate IPY and Report Polar Research Findings
In April 2009, David Holland presented his research findings at a special conference celebrating the International Polar Year (IPY) Fieldwork, "a two-year deployment of scientists from more than 60 nations into the polar regions." Video of the presenation, as well as a Press Release regarding the conference, are available from the NSF (links above).