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Community 2018/19 IMPACT REPORT



Dear friends,



Computing is at a pivotal point. It has spread into almost every field of study and commerce. Manufacturing, finance, agriculture, health, news, even the fine arts are being transformed by new and emerging computing technologies. These changes provide a tremendous array of opportunities and an equally impressive array of challenges. Those challenges include a serious shortage of qualified labor: The U.S. economy already has half a million unfilled tech jobs and — worse — a massive shortage of computer science educators. Linked to these shortages is the problem of diversity. Computing as a field can do a better job of recruiting minorities, women, and those who grow up in rural areas. And it seems increasingly evident that computer scientists need to think more clearly about the impact of their work on society as a whole, something that requires the involvement of everyone who will be impacted — which is to say, everyone. The good news is that we are continuing to address these problems through signature programs like our Online Master of Science in Computer Science, Constellations Center for Equity in Computing, and through new commitments to ethics and the public interest in our curriculum and research. With the support of the College of Computing community, I plan to be a dean who makes a difference. We can build the technologies of the future and a stronger, more diverse computing community at the same time. I look forward to our conversations. Best,

Charles Isbell







The Dean Making a



harles Isbell earned his undergraduate degree from Georgia Tech and ultimately joined the College faculty in 2002. As someone who has been in or around the College for decades, he has a unique view on its development.

On July 1, 2019, Isbell became the fourth person to hold the position

of John P. Imlay Jr. Dean of Computing. When Isbell arrived as an undergraduate, computing was still in its infancy at Georgia Tech. It wasn’t even a college yet. After earning his Ph.D. from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a stint at AT&T Labs, Isbell was hired as a junior faculty member in the College of Computing and moved back to Atlanta in 2002. “It was so exciting to be back, but the place was completely different,” he said. “Still, I always felt I could build something here.” After earning tenure, Isbell dived into administrative work to do exactly that. He was one of the architects of the College’s award-winning Threads curriculum, and also of its groundbreaking Online Master of Science in Computer Science (OMSCS) program. “I just kept volunteering,” he said. “Then one day I woke up as dean.” He didn’t, of course just “wake up as dean.” Isbell won the job in a grueling nationwide search. In fact, he is the first internal candidate ever to be named as the dean of the College. Through his tenure, Isbell has seen the College grow and mature. Now, he says, it is truly entering adulthood, a top-10 program with responsibilities not only to its faculty, staff, and students but also to the larger world. “It seems increasingly clear that computer scientists need to think more clearly about the impact of their work on society as a whole,” Isbell said. “The technology we develop is transformative, and we have to reckon with that. We have to accept our responsibility as leaders and our responsibility to bring other people along for this ride.” n





The School of Computer Science (SCS) brings foundational elements of computing together to solve real-world problems. With experts in theory, architecture, databases, systems, cybersecurity, networks, and software engineering, we collaborate on some of the most pressing issues like fairness in machine learning, social responsibility, edge computing, cyber threats, and much more.


A  ssistant Professor Jacob Abernethy used machine learning and data science to help the Flint water crisis. By aggregating a mix of datasets — including pipe material information, parcel records, U.S. census reports, city infrastructure maps, and water samples. Abernethy and his team took advantage of a machine-learning technique known as active learning to determine which homes were most likely to have lead service lines.


A  ssistant Professor Richard Peng and his students developed a faster algorithm for geometric 3-D truss linear equations, the first improvement for this class of problems since 1990.


P  rofessor Santosh Vempala helped discover a breakthrough theorem that makes progress toward the KLS conjecture. According to the KLS conjecture, the best way to cut the shape is to use a hyperplane up to a constant factor. Vempala and his team proved the surface area could be no worse than the dimension to the power of a quarter — even as the dimension increases.


S  chool of CS researchers illuminated fairness issues in machine learning with research on bias starting as early as ML data processing and potentially lethal bias in self-driving car datasets.



Upcoming Research Professor Constantine Dovrolis is reapplying neuroscience to neural networks thanks to a $2 million grant from DARPA. Professor Dana Randall is leading a team to study collective emergent behavior with a $6.25 million grant from the Department of Defense. Professors Wenke Lee and Alessandro Orso, Associate Professor Santosh Pande, and Associate Professor Taesoo Kim are part of a team awarded $7.5 million from the Office of Naval Research to develop a customized attack-resistant software stack in which unneeded code is removed, thus decreasing the vulnerability. Professors and CRNCH Co-Directors Tom Conte and Vivek Sarkar are part of a team working on a $4.5 million DARPA project to build a new programming system for software-defined hardware. Professor Ellen Zegura is part of a team bringing better network coverage to Native American reservations with a $2 million NSF grant.

right: Ellen Zegura below: Wenke Lee


New  Associate Chair Alexandra Boldyreva


P  rofessor Ellen Zegura was elected chair of the Computing Research Associations Board.

co-chaired the largest cryptography conference, Crypto, in 2018 and 2019. n

S  CS researchers teamed up with the top South Korean hackers to win DEFCON’s 2018



P  h.D. students Ashish Bijlani and Ruian Duan won the 2018 Atlanta Startup Battle

capture the flag competition.

and other funding for their tool OSSPolice, a

P  rofessor and Institute for Information

to easily and quickly identify OSS license

Security and Privacy Co-Director Wenke Lee

cloud-based tool for mobile app developers violations and security vulnerabilities.

was named an ACM Fellow, and Professor and Algorithms and Randomness Center Director Eric Vigoda was named an American Mathematical Society Fellow.



The School of Interactive Computing (IC) redefines the human experience of computing. Using two primary tools – research and innovation in computing education – IC has nurtured an open, inclusive, and supportive environment made stronger through multiple perspectives and diverse expertise. From a vibrating glove that can help stimulate stroke recovery to an AI teaching assistant that is revolutionizing education, research takes faculty and students on a path to study and invent computational capabilities that empower people and machines to change the world. IC has led the development of Georgia Tech’s Ph.D. in robotics, sparked a national trend in offering a Ph.D. in human-centered computing, and offers a Ph.D. in computer science.

Army Grant Supports Development of Intelligent, Adaptive, and Resilient Robot Teams A U.S. Army Research Laboratory has awarded an alliance that includes Assistant Professor Sonia Chernova a fiveyear, $27 million grant to develop new methods of creating autonomous, intelligent, and resilient teams of robots. These teams, consisting of multiple types of robots and sensors with varying abilities, are designed to assist humans in a wide range of missions in dynamically changing, harsh, and contested environments. These include search and rescue of hostages, information gathering after terrorist attacks or natural disasters, and humanitarian missions. Researchers Seek to Improve Schizophrenia Treatment Under $2.7 Million Grant Under a new grant, IC Assistant Professor Munmun De Choudhury and a team of researchers at Georgia Tech and Northwell Health will seek to apply to a clinical setting new insights about mental health gathered through digital traces individuals leave behind on social media. It is one of the first grants under which computing researchers and leading experts in psychiatry will come together to influence how treatment can be delivered harnessing patient-contributed data.



Graduate Student Enrollment:


M.S. Human-Computer Interaction


Ph.D. Computer Science


Ph.D. Human-Centered Computing


Ph.D. Robotics


Ph.D. Machine Learning

Associate Professor Dhruv Batra Named PECASE Winner The Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE) is the highest honor bestowed by the United States government to outstanding scientists and engineers

Total FY19 research expenditures


beginning independent research careers. Batra, who was one of three Georgia Tech faculty members to receive the honor, will receive $1 million over the course of five years to support his research making AI systems more transparent, explainable, and trustworthy. Professor Seth Hutchinson Named Executive Director of IRIM IC’s Seth Hutchinson was chosen as the new lead for Georgia Tech’s prestigious Institute for Robotics and Intelligent

FY19 new research awards

$13.2m Total FY19 proposals


Machines, which serves as an umbrella under which robotics researchers, educators, and students from across campus come together to advance high-powered and diverse robotics initiatives. IRIM serves more than 90 faculty, 180 graduate students, and 40 robotics labs, while attracting more than $60 million in research annually. GTComputing on Air The School of Interactive Computing launched its first podcast, the Interaction Hour, in the fall of 2018. Focusing on the challenges and issues that impact people in the real world, IC faculty and students offer diverse expertise in their areas of research. With over 3,000 listens in its first season, the Interaction Hour is shedding valuable light on health care, virtual reality, online education, artificial intelligence, ethics, and much more. Find us on iTunes and Spotify and at ic.gatech.edu/podcasts.



The School of Computational Science and Engineering (CSE) is an inherently interdisciplinary research unit that solves real-world problems in science, engineering, health informatics, mathematics, homeland and national security, and social domains by using high-performance computing, big data, and largescale analytics.

CSE Faculty Recognized Across Research Areas In 2018, CSE became the top school for research expenditures per faculty, reaching levels over $620,000 per person. Additionally, a record number of prestigious awards were presented to faculty members. n

P  rofessor Haesun Park and Professor Surya Kalidindi both earned the recognition of Regent’s Professor.


P  rofessor Felix Herrmann was named as the 2019 Distinguished Lecturer for the Society of Exploration Geophysicists.


P  rofessor Richard Fujimoto was named an Association for Computing Machinery Fellow.

counter-clockwise: Haesun Park, Surya Kalidindi, Felix Herrmann, Richard Fujimoto



CSE and NVIDIA Announce Two New Collaborations Georgia Tech is now the recipient of a NVIDIA Artificial Intelligence Lab (NVAIL) grant as part of the NVAIL program focusing on graph analytics for graphics processing units (GPUs). Additionally, Georgia Tech, along with Texas A&M and U.C. Davis, will contribute to the progress of the NVIDIA data science curriculum partnership this year, expanding the open source RAPIDS graph analytics algorithms. Through these partnerships, Georgia Tech will work closely with NVIDIA researchers on GPU technologies and their application to data analytics. The goal of this collaboration is to build the world’s most advanced end-to-end pipeline for data analytics and to support groundbreaking work of the world’s leading AI researchers and labs. High Performance Computing Resource Acquired in Coda CSE Professor and Co-Executive Director of the Institute for Data Engineering and Science Srinivas Aluru led an effort that secured National Science Foundation funding for a $5.3 million high-performance computing (HPC) resource that will be established at the Coda building in Tech Square.


Total graduate enrollment


M.S. Computational Science and Engineering


Ph.D. Computational Science and Engineering


Ph.D. Computer Science


M.S. Analytics


Ph.D. Bioinformatics

Also central to the award is HPC expert and CSE Associate Professor Rich Vuduc, CSE Professor Surya Kalidinidi, CSE Professor David Sherrill, and School of Physics Professor Deirdre Shoemaker. The HPC system will support data-driven research in astrophysics, biosciences, computational chemistry, and materials and manufacturing. It will also be used for numerous computational science projects and for the HPC research that underlies it all. Research Improves Patient Access to Sleep Diagnostic Testing A new deep learning approach developed by CSE Professor Jimeng Sun, with the Neurology Department of Massachusetts General Hospital, can automatically analyze and score sleep tests as effectively as sleep technologists. The breakthrough will enable greater access to critically needed diagnostic testing for the 40 million people in the United States who suffer from chronic long-term sleep disorders.





Adjunct Appointments


Research Scientists


Academic Faculty (including # of joint appointments)



College Leadership Charles Isbell, Dean and John P. Imlay Jr., chair

Beki Grinter Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and Faculty Development

Irfan Issa Senior Associate Dean

Srinivas Aluru Interim Chair, School of Computational Science and Engineering

Gregory Abowd Associate Dean for Research and Space Planning

Mostafa Ammar Interim Chair, School of Computer Science

Ayanna Howard Chair, School of Interactive Computing


n n



A  lgorithms & Randomness Center – Eric Vigoda, Director (2016-19) Center  for 21st Century Universities – Richard DeMillo, Executive Director C  enter for High-Performance Computing – Rich Vuduc, Director Center  for Research into Novel Computing Hierarchies – Tom Conte & Vivek Sarkar, Co-Directors GVU  Center – Keith Edwards, Director





Institute  for Data Engineering and Science – Srinivas Aluru, Co-Director I nstitute for Information Security & Privacy – Wenke Lee, CoExecutive Director Institute  for People & Technology – Elizabeth Mynatt, Executive Director I nstitute for Robotics & Intelligent Machines – Seth Hutchinson, Executive Director Machine  Learning Center at Georgia Tech – Irfan Essa, Director

Computing Community • Office of the Dean • Office of Outreach, Enrollment & Community • Office of Communications • Office of Development • Office of Facilities • Office of Finance • T echnology Services Organization

• Computational Science and Engineering





• Constellations Center

for Equity in Computing at Georgia Tech • Online Master of Science in Computer Science (OMSCS)


• Algorithms & Randomness Center (ARC) • Center for 21st Century Universities (C21U) • Center for High-Performance Computing (CHiPC) • Center for Research into Novel Computing Hierarchies (CRNCH) • GVU Center (GVU) • Institute for Data Engineering and Science (IDEaS)

• Institute for Information Security & Privacy (IISP) • Institute for People & Technology (IPaT) • Institute for Robotics & Intelligent Machines (IRIM) • Machine Learning Center at Georgia Tech (ML@GT) • Center for Experimental Research in Computer Systems (CERCS)

Key Indicators Academic Year 2019/20 Enrollment



Total Student Enrollment

395 Ph.D. Students

2,696 Undergraduate Computer Science

M.S. Students

9,586 Online M.S. Students (CS & cybersecurity)

92 Undergraduate Computational Media

Undergraduate Diversity




best CS program in the U.S., up 1 from previous ranking (2018 U.S. News & World Report Best Computer Science Schools)

best CS program worldwide (2019 Times Higher Education World University Rankings)



CS majors graduating in Spring 2018 had one or more job offers at graduation with a median starting salary of

MS CS graduates in Spring 2018 had one or more job offers at graduation with a median starting salary of

$94K $115K

FY19 Research Funding




Percentage of underrepresented minority computing undergraduates

Percentage of female computing undergraduates

Total Research Expenditures

GT Computing Faculty (as of August 2019)








$34,092,833 Total New Research Awards

204 Total Proposals Submitted


223 Total Active Projects





The College is the focal point of a thriving research ecosystem. Comprised of three schools and more than 150 affiliated research institutes, centers, labs, and groups, the College fosters a nurturing and collaborative environment that produces groundbreaking insights and innovations across the entire spectrum of computing research. From computer architecture and software engineering to human-centered and social computing, the College propels these technological advances through a complete life cycle: from discovery and development within the lab to public distribution to understanding the impact the new technologies have on society. Through it all, the College is a truly diverse and interdisciplinary community impacting the future of technology – and the world – on a daily basis. Take a look at just a small portion of the impactful work being done within the College. n



RESEARCH REVEALS POSSIBLY FATAL CONSEQUENCES OF ALGORITHMIC BIAS The Challenge: Self-driving cars are supposed to make driving safer, but they may endanger the lives of certain groups. Researchers tested machine learning object detection models to see how well they could see people with different skin tones. The results revealed models were nearly 5 percent less likely to detect darker-skinned pedestrians. The Solution: Although the predictive imbalance remained regardless of how variables in the training data were

The Impact: With its findings this research brought public attention to the possibly dire consequences of algorithmic bias in autonomous vehicle systems as well as in other sectors. Predictive Inequity in Object Detection (Benjamin Wilson, Judy Hoffman, Jamie Morgenstern).

accounted for, School of CS researchers found a way to correct for the inequity by reweighing the model to better analyze smaller groups.


The Impact: While the

The Challenge: Stroke is the No. 1 cause of long-term dis-

in complete recovery for

ability in the United States and a leading cause globally. Not only can rehabilitation be a huge financial burden, but there are also precious few options for recovery. Exercised-based therapy and Botox injections can be painful, expensive, or temporary, and are often only available to about 50 percent

approach doesn’t result stroke patients, it could offer a more comfortable time- and cost-effective alternative to the current state of the art treatment

of patients who meet baseline dexterity levels.

options. The approach is

The Solution: Using a method known as “passive haptic

function enough for patients

rehabilitation,” School of Interactive Computing graduate Caitlyn Seim demonstrated the potential impact that stimulation-based therapy could have on stroke patients. By wearing a glove that elicits vibrations in the fingertips for three hours each day for two months, Seim saw improvement in motor function in the hand.

aimed at improving motor to regain some normalcy in everyday life and also for them to meet baselines for more intensive therapy. Wearable Vibrotactile Stimulation: How Passive Stimulation Can Train and Rehabilitate (Caitlyn Seim).



DEEP LEARNING CAN NOW HELP PREVENT HEART FAILURE The Challenge: According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, heart failure affects 5.7 million adults in the United States, and half of those who develop heart failure die within five years of diagnosis. The price tag on treatment is an estimated $30.7 billion each year. The Solution: School of Computational Science and Engineering Associate Professor Jimeng Sun, along with Ph.D. student Edward Choi, present a novel method for analyzing vast amounts of personal health record data over time. Using a recurrent neural network (RNN) to model temporal relations among events in electronic health records, the method can anticipate early stages of heart failure.

APP DEVELOPED BY COLLEGE OF COMPUTING UNDERGRADS IS A ONE-STOP SHOP TO REPORT HUMAN TRAFFICKING The Challenge: According to the International Labor Organization, forced labor and human trafficking is estimated to be more than a $150 billion industry, of which there are 40.3 million victims. In Atlanta alone, the sex trade is thought to generate $290 million annually. In Dallas, Texas, the total exceeds $350 million. The Solution: College of Computing undergraduate students worked to update a mobile application on behalf of Airline Ambassadors International that can make reporting to authorities faster and more reliable by bringing trained users into direct contact with law enforcement at a destination airport rather than relying on largely unreliable national hotlines. Leveraging data rich capabilities like video, photo, voice, and text, the application allows a user to choose whom to contact through a geo-location function.



The Impact: Early detection means more timely and appropriate preventative care for at-risk patients. Machine learning is used in every aspect of health care, from diagnosis to treatment. This is one of the first approaches, however, to take advantage of deep learning in health care. Using Recurrent Neural Network Models for Early Detection of Heart Failure Onset (Edward Choi, Andy Schuetz, Walter F. Stewart, Jimeng Sun).

The Impact: Currently, this version of the application is being used by over 7,000 trainees – airline flight crews, airport staffs, and others – who can monitor over 168,000,000 passengers each year and is a model for other transport services like Uber who seek to add similar services into their applications.

OMSCS update So much has happened in the wake of its launch, it’s hard to believe that this year is the fifth anniversary of Georgia Tech’s Online Master of Science in Computer Science (OMSCS). When it started in 2014 with 380 students, OMSCS was the first degree of its kind to operate entirely on the massive online, or MOOC, platform for course delivery. Now – with


26k+ Applications

as of Spring 2019

nearly 10,000 students and more than 2,000 alumni – OMSCS is the largest computer science (CS) master’s program in the country. First Fellowships In May 2018, the first-ever OMSCS fellowship grants were

68% admission rate

announced. Established by program alumnus Henry Shi and his company, SnapTravel, The OMSCS SnapTravel Fellowships provide two $1,000 fellowships: one awarded annually to a qualified student demonstrating entrepreneurial initiative, and a second awarded annually to a qualified female or minority student. The total cost of an OMSCS degree is


In-state students

approximately $6,600. OMSCS students Rafiya Javed and Yali Ren were announced in July 2018 as winners of the inaugural 2018 OMSCS SnapTravel Fellowship Awards.


On-campus students

Fast Followers Not only has its success inspired the launch of nearly two dozen similar programs across the country, it also led to the introduction of two additional online degrees from Georgia Tech. The OMS Analytics degree began in Fall 2017 with 250 students. The Spring 2019 semester’s enrollment is 1,500. The OMS Cybersecurity degree program began in January 2019 with about 250 students.


cities with OMSCS graduates, as of Spring 2018



Building Authentic Relationships

through CAP S

arah Storer was a first-year mechanical engineering student when she saw Microsoft in the College of Computing Building’s lobby.

After a casual conversation about robotics, the recruiter encouraged Storer to switch to computer science and keep in touch. She did and soon found herself in Microsoft’s prestigious Explorers Program internship that summer. Now, four years later, Storer is joining Microsoft as a software development engineer. “That recruiter made it easy to talk about what I liked studying and what I was doing,” Storer said. “Now, Microsoft really feels like a family, and there was no question I would work there full-time.” Building relationships like this is the goal of the College of Computing’s Corporate Affiliates Program (CAP). Many universities offer career fairs, but — working closely with the Office of Outreach, Enrollment, and Community (OEC) — CAP provides dozens of opportunities for students to create one-on-one connections with companies. The uniquely personal program continued to grow last year as companies sought talented computer scientists to fit into their culture. In fact, when Assistant Director of Development Paul Schultz joined the College in 2016, CAP had 40 companies, netting $758,000. Three years later, the 63 companies — from MailChimp to Peloton —bring in more than $1 million annually for the College.



Regardless of membership level, the rela-

“I know the DNA of a Georgia Tech stu-

tionship with the College is just starting when a

dent: They have determination, relevant course

company becomes a CAP partner.

work, and a really distinguished experience

“We help companies build a brand on

level of three to four internships by time they

campus, so students can see why they would

graduate,” said NCR’s University Relations

love to work there,” said Cedric Stallworth,

Leader Tony Burdett.

assistant dean for OEC. NCR’s success on campus is a great exam-

Access to the College is one of the key selling points of CAP, according to Burdett,

ple of CAP’s influence. Before it moved to Tech

who estimates the company visits campus up to

Square, many students weren’t aware of the

40 times a year for resume workshops, partner-

135-year-old financial company, so OEC’s ed-

ships with student organizations, and of course,

ucational outreach manager Christen Steele

the career fair.

worked with NCR and focus groups of 120

Whether a tech giant or a startup, there is a

students to help it connect to the Tech audi-

CAP event for anyone interested, and more than

ence. The results were almost immediate. When

enough students looking to make their mark.

NCR joined CAP in 2016, they had 60 interns. This past summer there are 222, with 145 from

“We open doors for you,” Steele said. “You just have to walk through.” n

Georgia Tech.

Regardless of membership level the relationship with the College is just starting when a company becomes a CAP partner.

clockwise: Cedric Stallworth, Assistant Dean for Outreach, Enrollment and Community, and senior lecturer; CAP Industry representatives.





On the Shoulders of Giants:

College of Computing

Hall of Fame


he more a successful organization evolves and matures, the more it builds on the vision and work of those that came before. As the College approaches its 30th anniversary in 2020, this is certainly the case. To honor and celebrate those faculty, alumni, and friends that significantly impact the shape, spirit, and direction of the College, the College of Computing Hall of Fame was established in November 2018. “From academia to government to industry, the impact of the GT Computing Community is being felt far and wide. We felt the time was right to start recognizing the contributions of those that best reflect the College’s aspirational spirit,” said Development Director Brad Hastings.

The first four members – known as Class Zero – were inducted into the Hall of Fame during a small ceremony held on Nov. 9, 2018 honoring: n D  orothy Murray Crosland Director of the Georgia Tech Library n P  eter A. Freeman Founding dean, Dean Emeritus n J  ohn P. Imlay, Jr. Atlanta philanthropist, Georgia Tech alumnus n C  hristopher W. Klaus College benefactor, advisory board member






In May 2019, the College honored its 2019 Hall of Fame inductees, adding six additional members. The induction ceremony and reception were held at a local events venue overlooking Atlanta’s Centennial Olympic Park. The College of Computing 2019 Hall of Fame inductees are: n J  ames E. Allchin Computer scientist, philanthropist, blues rock guitarist

K  rishna A. Bharat Research scientist and Google News creator J  ames D. Foley Professor Emeritus, former holder of the Stephen Fleming Chair in Telecommunications A  lton P. “Pete” Jensen Computer science professor J  anet L. Kolodner School of Interactive Computing Regents’ Professor Emeritus, cognitive and learning scientist T  om E. Noonan Engineer, venture capitalist, and philanthropist

The November 2018 induction ceremony was a one-off, soft launch event. Going forward, the Hall of Fame induction will be held annually and scheduled to coincide with the College’s spring advisory board meeting. To nominate someone for the 2020 College of Computing Hall of Fame, email Hastings at brad.hastings@cc.gatech.edu. cc.gatech.edu


Fighting the Good Fight:

Pushing Forward in Equity and Access T

hanks to ongoing efforts of the Constellations Center for Equity in Computing and the Office of Outreach, Enrollment, and

Community (OEC), the College is advancing with its mission of equity in computing and improving access to computer science (CS) education. Constellations, which launched in December 2017, began taking these critical issues for action in fall 2018. This is when the center’s research fellows began teaching Ad-

More than 200 students in low-income, marginalized communities took the rigorous course, which prepares them to take the AP CS P exam.

vanced Placement (AP) CS Principles in five pilot high schools in the Atlanta Public Schools (APS) system. More than 200 students

in low-income, marginalized communities took the rigorous course, which prepares them to take the AP CS P exam. As important, five teachers were trained by Constellations fellows to teach the AP CS P course. Constellations is building on this success and now developing a hybrid instructional-online course that is expected to roll out in the APS pilot schools for the 2019-20 academic year, and potentially in other Georgia school districts as well. Beyond the classroom, Constellations partnered with OEC to bring APS students to campus in December 2018 to celebrate national Computer Science Education Week. More than 100 students toured campus, interacted with a robot, and presented projects based on their AP CS P course experience. “Kids need more opportunities to learn computing skills, but the problem is a lack of access to quality, rigorous computer science curriculum. Once kids start learning CS skills, they start building apps, and being creative, and soon they are exceeding all of your expectations,” said Lien Diaz, Constellations director of educational innovation and leadership.



To support these and other initiatives, Constellations was awarded a substantial three-year grant from the Siegel Family Endowment (SFE), which was announced in September 2018. “We’re excited to support Constellations as they bring high-quality computer science education programs to Atlanta Public Schools,” said Katy Knight, SFE deputy executive director. The Constellations leadership team is also working to advance computing equity and access on the national level. Kamau Bobb, senior director, and Diaz regularly participate as keynote speakers or featured panelists in top academic conferences including the ACM’s Special Interest Group on Computer Science Education, the Richard Tapia Celebration of Diversity in Computing, and the Grace Hopper Celebration. In March 2019, AnitaB.org, which organizes the annual Grace Hopper Celebration, named Bobb to its board of trustees. Along with acknowledging Bobb’s work and commitment, his appointment underscores growing recognition of the College as a leader in the fight to advance equity in computing and broaden access to CS education. n



Student Achievements Highlight Flourishing

Entrepreneurial Culture

Malek Amiri


rustrated by not being able to find a study partner for a looming final exam, computer science (CS) major and budding entrepreneur Malek Amiri knew there had to be an easier way. “I just wanted a quick way for students to connect with classmates so they could find someone to study with. So I thought, ‘Ok, this app should be a thing,’” said Amiri, now a third-year CS major. In fall 2018, Amiri turned this seemingly simple idea into huddler, a mobile app that lets Georgia Tech students instantly connect with and create study groups for all undergraduate and graduate level courses. Although it hasn’t become a startup company quite yet, Huddler is doing well in the App Store, moving toward an Android version, and ready to expand to other universities across the country. 24


Amiri is one of many students whose recent achievements are highlighting the College’s


Center (ATDC) C  reate-X

flourishing entrepreneurial culture. In fact,


T  he Inventure Prize at Georgia Tech

whether working individually or as part of a


IPaT Industry Innovation Day/GVU Center Research Showcase

team, CS students are in the entrepreneurial mix across campus. This year’s InVenture Prize at Georgia Tech finals is a good case in point. Of the six finalist teams vying for the grand prize in March, four had members majoring in CS. One team was made up entirely of CS students. “Computer science has become crucial to advancing science and engineering across the board so it makes sense that there were so many CS majors participating in this year’s finals,” said Monica Sweat, College of Computing senior lecturer and director of the Division of Computing Instruction. Team Nix, featuring two CS majors, didn’t win the InVenture Prize, but it did earn the People’s Choice award for its e-cigarette device that automatically tapers nicotine levels. Today, Nix is in business and taking pre-orders for its product. The team got its start in a new section of the junior capstone design course, which the College helped launch in fall 2018. Known as Create-X Capstone Design, the new section is dedicated to entrepreneurial projects that pair CS majors with engineering students to solve problems and potentially start companies. “Not all projects become monetized or mature into a startup,” said Olufisayo Omojokun, GT Computing senior lecturer and College lead for establishing the Create-X Capstone Design section. “The underlying goal, however, is to foster entrepreneurial confidence within the students so that when they are out in the real world, they’ll have the tools and skills to overcome the initial hurdles of realizing future ideas and solutions.” The new capstone section is one of many resources for students in the Georgia Tech entrepreneurial ecosystem, which includes: n

T  he Advanced Technology Development


T  he Georgia Tech Research Corporation (GTRC) These, and a host of other resources, are avail-

able to connect student entrepreneurs with seed funding, peer networks, and technical, business, and commercialization guidance. Perhaps most importantly, these resources help students identify and connect with faculty mentors. Early in his undergraduate career, Aditya Vishwanath ((BS CS 2018)) was able to connect with Assistant Professor Neha Kumar and her lab, contributing to a number of projects that bring low-cost virtual reality (VR) education to students around the world. Following successful projects with schoolchildren in Atlanta and Mumbai in 2017, Vishwanath capped off his work at Georgia Tech leading a large-scale validation study to determine the effectiveness of using VR in the classroom. Nearly 350 Cobb County high school and middle school students participated in the project, which let students explore plant and animal cells from the inside using their smartphones and inexpensive cardboard VR viewers. Seeing the need and potential firsthand, Vishwanath – now a Knight-Hennessy Scholar at Stanford University – and his partner, Amrutha Vasan (BS ISYE 2018) founded Inspirit, a mobile platform for hosting VR-based learning content for the classroom. The company is now based in Silicon Valley. It recently earned investor funding and is currently producing 30 additional hours of STEM VR content for its K-12 catalog, which is available by monthly and yearly subscription plans. “I can’t imagine that I would be where I am today without having a faculty mentor like Dr. Kumar. Just knowing that I could rely on her experience and expertise was a huge advantage and helped me to better understand where we could take this company,” said Vishwanath. n



This year, Zvi Galil stepped down as the Dean of Computing and John P. Imlay Jr. chair, following his announcement in June 2018.

Numerous Achievements Highlight






vi Galil became GT Computing dean in

a reception host by Rafael Bras, Georgia

July 2010. Under his leadership, the

Tech provost and executive vice president

College saw significant enrollment growth

for Academic Affairs, and K. Harrison Brown

at the undergraduate and graduate levels,

Family Chair, in the Coda building in June.

achievement in interdisciplinary research and

“The College of Computing at Georgia

thought leadership, goal-breaking fundraising

Tech has enjoyed extraordinary successes and

efforts, and the development and continued

become one of the very best in the world under

success of the Online Master of Science in

Dean Galil’s leadership,” said Bras.

Computer Science (OMSCS) program. Along with these achievements the College

Prior to the Provost’s reception, the College community gathered in May to celebrate Galil

has risen into the top eight nationally, and top

during the unveiling of his portrait. Inaugural

seven internationally – the only top 10 computer

Dean Peter Freeman served as master of

science program to rise either in rank or in score

ceremonies for the unveiling , which was part of

in the last ranking (2018).

the College’s Hall of Fame induction ceremony.

“Under Zvi’s leadership the standing of the College has improved along a host of traditional

During an interview in June, Galil said, “Being a dean is about community

Along with these achievements the College has risen into the top eight nationally, and top seven internationally – the only top 10 computer science program to rise either in rank or in score in the last ranking (2018) metrics, but truly great universities are in the

building, about involvement, support, and

center of the important issues of the day,” said

empowerment. You’re closer to students, you’re

Dean of Computing and John P. Imlay Jr. Chair

closer to staff and faculty. I view my role as

Charles Isbell.

dean as working to inspire our community by

“Through OMSCS, Zvi has led the way in moving the College to the center of perhaps the most important of national discussions: the

helping them to connect, encouraging them to excel, increasing their confidence.” Following nine years of transformational

role of affordability and access in computing.

achievement and numerous successes at the

That is a transformative accomplishment.”

College, Galil has returned to the faculty to

Prior to his stepping down, Zvi was honored during a number of events, including

teach, research, and serve as an ambassador for Georgia Tech’s online programs. n



New Faculty n

Chao Zhang, Assistant Professor

l School of Computational Science and Engineering


 h.D., Computer Science, University of P Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2018


 esearch areas: Data mining; machine R learning


Xiuwei Zhang, Assistant Professor

l School


l Research


Vince Calhoun, Adjunct Professor

l School

l Ph.D.,

l Research


Elizabeth Cherry, Associate Professor

l School

l Ph.D.,

l Research


of Computational Science and Engineering Ph.D., Computer Science, EPFL, 2011 areas: Data science, computational biology, bioinformatics of Computational Science and Engineering Electrical Engineering, University of Maryland, 1996 areas: Image and signal processing, data fusion, machine learning of Computational Science and Engineering 2000

Computer Science, Duke University,

areas: Data assimilation and modeling for cardiac medicine



Joy Arulraj, Assistant Professor


School of Computer Science


 h.D., Computer Science, Carnegie Mellon P University, 2018


 esearch areas: Computer Systems, data R management, data science


Alexandros Daglis, Assistant Professor


School of Computer Science


Ph.D., Computer Science, EPFL, 2018


 esearch areas: Rack-scale computing, R network-compute integration, memorycentric computing


David Devecsery, Assistant Professor


l Ph.D.,

l Research


Ashutosh Dhekne, Assistant Professor


l Ph.D.,

l Research


Paul Pearce, Assistant Professor


l Ph.D., University of California at Berkeley, 2018

l Research

School of Computer Science Computer Science Engineering, University of Michigan, 2018 areas: Software systems optimization and security School of Computer Science University of Illinois at UrbanaChampaign, 2019 areas: Wireless networking, mobile computing, cyber physical systems School of Computer Science areas: Cybersecurity, network security and measurement


Alexey Tumanov, Assistant Professor



l Research


Diyi Yang

School of Computer Science


Ph.D., Carnegie Mellon University, 2016

l Ph.D.,

l Research

Qirun Zhang, Assistant Professor n

Judy Hoffman


l Ph.D.,

l Research


Jessica Roberts, Assistant Professor


l Ph.D.,

l Research


Clio Andris, Assistant Professor


l Ph.D.,

areas: Machine learning systems, resource management and scheduling



School of Computer Science

l Ph.D.,

Computer Science and Engineering, Chinese University of Hong Kong, 2013

l Research


Carl DiSalvo, Associate Professor


l Ph.D.,

l Research


Zsolt Kira, Assistant Professor


l Ph.D.,

l Research


Matthew Gombolay, Assistant Professor


l Ph.D.,

areas: Programming languages, software engineering School of Interactive Computing 2006

Design, Carnegie Mellon University,

areas: Digital media, media studies, science and technology studies School of Interactive Computing 2010

Computer Science, Georgia Tech,

areas: Artificial intelligence; machine learning; robotics; perception School of Interactive Computing Autonomous Systems, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 2017

l Research

areas: Robotics, artificial intelligence, machine learning, humanrobot interaction

School of Interactive Computing Language Technologies, Carnegie Mellon, 2019 areas: Computational social science, natural language processing, and machine learning School of Interactive Computing Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, University of California, Berkeley, 2016 learning

areas: Computer vision, machine

School of Interactive Computing Learning Sciences, University of Illinois at Chicago, 2016 areas: Data interaction, user interface, learning technologies School of Interactive Computing Urban Information Systems, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 2011

l R  esearch

areas: Spatial analytics, visualizations, modeling social networks


HyunJoo Oh, Assistant Professor


l Ph.D. Technology,

School of Interactive Computing Media & Society, University of Colorado, Boulder, 2018

l R  esearch

areas: human-computer interaction, design, creative technologies

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