CS Weekly Seminar Series
September, 20 2021
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Jason Wiese is an Assistant Professor in the School of Computing at the University of Utah where he leads the Personal Data and Empowerment Lab (PeDEL). His research takes a user-centric perspective of personal data, everyday computing experiences, and end-user empowerment. His work spans personal informatics, accessibility, privacy, user-centered design, and real-world deployments. Dr. Wiese’s research excellence has been recognized by paper awards at DIS, CHI, and EICS, and through individual awards, including: recognition as a Yahoo Fellow in 2014, the Stu Card Fellowship in 2012, and the Yahoo! Key Scientific Challenges Award in 2011. He publishes work in top Computer Science and HCI venues including CHI, DIS, CSCW, and UbiComp/IMWUT. He received his Ph.D. in Human-Computer Interaction from Carnegie Mellon University in 2015.

This coming Thursday, September 23rd at 11am in 1170 TMCB, Jason Wiese will be speaking on: “Not *just* another user study: Uncovering the systematic shortcomings of familiar research methods."
Upcoming Devotional
September, 15 2021

Paul B. Pieper, General Authority Seventy of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, will deliver the devotional address on September 21st in the BYU Marriott Center.

Paul B. Pieper's remarks will be broadcast live September 21st on BYUtv, BYUtv.org (and archived for on-demand streaming), KBYU-TV 11, Classical 89 FM, BYUradio 107.9 FM, and SiriusXM 143. Video, text, and audio are archived on speeches.byu.edu.
Eric Mercer receives Amazon Science Award
September, 11 2021
Eric Mercer

Dr Eric Mercer was the 2021 Amazon Research Awards recipient in AUTOMATED REASONING.

Mercer wins coveted Amazon Science Award
Online Learning for Hybrid Text Corpus Simplification and Named Entity Recognition
September, 08 2021
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Monday September 13th at 2pm

Advisor: Mark Clement

MS Thesis Defense for Brandon Bingham
Reducing the Manual Annotation Effort for Handwriting Recognition Using Active Transfer Learning
July, 23 2021

Friday July 30 at 10am

Advisor: Mark Clement

MS Thesis Defense for Eric Burdett
New Faculty Member - Dr. David Grimsman
June, 19 2021

David is a recent graduate of the University of California Santa Barbara in the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department. His research interests are centered on multiagent systems, game theory, distributed optimization, mechanism design, and security, however, he’s genuinely open to new domains of thinking which may challenge his assumptions or deepen his appreciation of current understanding. Alongside his academic pursuits, he has been able to work in industry for Applied Invention and MIT Lincoln Laboratories, allowing him to apply theory to several industries, including agriculture, national defense, travel, security, and aerospace. He has also been a leading member of Achilles Heel Technologies, a startup company applying systems theory to the security of critical infrastructures.

In his spare time, David enjoys watching and playing sports – really anything that’s active and strategic. He’s excited to be here at BYU with his wife, Kalisha, and his four children: Rose, Harvey, Elaine, and Walter.
Contrastive Pre-training for Discourse-Aware Conversation Models
June, 15 2021

Thursday, July 8th at 11:00am, 3350 TMCB

Advisor: Kevin Seppi

MS Thesis Defense for Roland Laboulaye
Exploring Non-functional Coupling Between Subsystems
June, 08 2021
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Wednesday, June 23 at 11:00am

Advisor: Jonathan Sillito

MS thesis defense for Matt Pope
Simple SSH Management
May, 19 2021
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Wednesday, June 9th at 4:00pm

Advisor: Daniel Zappala

MS Thesis Defense for Torstein Collett
Healing Racism Through Jesus Christ
May, 05 2021

Watch Ryan Gabriel's devotional, Healing Racism Through Jesus Christ, and learn more about how we can "work hard to heal the painful legacies of racism that we inherited."

"To pretend race is not important does not show compassion for the experiences of others who, by virtue of their experiences with racism, know that it is. Christ does not ask us to ignore or wish away another's pain but to know it and touch it." -Ryan Gabriel, assistant professor of sociology
Mental Health Awareness Month
May, 05 2021
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Visit inclusion.cs.byu.edu for resources and more information.

May is Mental Health Awareness Month. Let's work together to make sure no one feels alone, especially during these troubling times.
Reinforcement Learning with Auxiliary Memory
April, 30 2021

Tuesday, May 25th at 1:00pm

Advisor: David Wingate

MS thesis defense for Sterling Suggs
RelativeFinder Reaches 1 Million Users
April, 29 2021
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The web application "Relative Finder", developed by BYU CS students now has 1 Million Users. This is a major milestone for the Family History Technology Laboratory

You can find other applications developed by the Family History Technology Laboratory at https://familytech.byu.edu/
Welcome to New Faculty Member - Porter Jenkins
April, 01 2021

Porter is extremely excited to be joining the faculty at BYU. His main area of research is Artificial Intelligence, where he tries to help machines learn a little bit more like humans.  He received a PhD from Penn State studying machine learning and data mining, and BS in Statistics from BYU.

We are excited to have Dr Porter Jenkins join the BYU Computer Science Faculty.
Student Employee Appreciation week
March, 22 2021
Student Employee Appreciation Week
We really appreciate all of the TAs, RAs, Secretaries, Administrative Assistants, System Administrators and other employees.
The DNS Bake Sale: Advertising DNS Cookie Support For DDoS Protection
March, 18 2021

Friday, March 26th at 11am

Advisor: Casey Deccio

MS thesis defense for Jacob Davis
Improving Artistic Workflows For Fluid Simulation Through Adaptive and Editable Fluid Simulation Techniques
March, 11 2021
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Wednesday, March 31st at 3:00pm

Advisor: Parris Egbert

PhD dissertation defense for Sean Flynn
Black History Event
February, 25 2021
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The month of February is Black History Month. It's an annual celebration of recognizing the achievements and the role of African Americans in U.S. History. For Black History Month, the BYU Student Service Association PEN Talks with collaboration with the Kennedy Center, Global Women's Studies, and clubs including BYU Women of Color, and BYU Black Student Union are hosting a panel discussion on the topic "Black Women Throughout Social Movements."

Gina Dorsan from the Department of Computer Science will be a member of a panel discussing "Black Women Throughout Social Movements."
February, 18 2021

Welcome to the CS Department's second edition of Threads, a student-driven publication of "thread" papers describing the evolution of various ideas in computer science.  The topics for these papers were chosen by the students in CS 611, the only required course for our Ph.D. students, who then researched and wrote the papers making up the publication.  Our hope in sharing them with you is that they will give you a glimpse of the kinds of ideas these advanced students are engaging, expose you to the stories behind the evolution of a number of great ideas in computer science, and inspire rich technical conversations throughout the department.  Enjoy!

This is a student driven publication (that is to say, even the editor was another student TAing the class) of "thread" papers from the (mostly Ph.D.) students in CS 611 last semester describing the evolution of an idea in computer science that they are interested in.
Picture a Scientist
February, 18 2021

February 10-March 13

For more educational resources from CS Inclusion, Diversity, & Equity (CSIDE), please visit inclusion.cs.byu.edu.

One of the first steps to solving a social problem is learning more about the issue. The Peery Series is hosted by Brigham Young University's Ballard Center for Social Impact. In conjunction with the series, each month the Ballard Center focuses on a different social issue.
AI-driven User Profiling
February, 17 2021
Xinru Page

AI-driven user profiling based on user data is a key component of providing a personalized experience on Facebook. However, public concern has grown around social media platforms profiling users to infer fine-grained interests and characteristics such as race, religion, or socioeconomic status, which can be used for secondary purposes such as targeted advertising. In fact, there have been recent public outcries over how such micro profiling has been used to sway political views, as well as concern over how people’s emotional and psychological well-being can be negatively affected. This project investigates how to leverage one of the most popular medium for engaging viewers, Youtube videos, to increase digital literacy and help users limit such profiling. This is an interdisciplinary effort drawing from Media and Film studies, Applied Artificial Intelligence, and Human-Computer Interaction.

Xinru Page recently received funding to increase digital literacy around user profiling.
1918 dataset details how pandemics spread
January, 19 2021
Handwriting Recognition

Ten Computer Science students, including Stanley Fujimoto and Eric Burdett, have been instrumental in using handwriting recognition to find which people died in the 1918 pandemic in the United States. To create the dataset, students identified and retrieved hundreds of thousands of relevant images from FamilySearch.

“That’s been quite a process because their collections are just massive,” said Burdett, who wrote computer code to interface with FamilySearch’s system. “We have access to millions and millions of records from FamilySearch, resources a lot of researchers haven’t had before.”

To teach the computer to extract relevant entries from certificates with varying layouts, Fujimoto modified and trained object detection algorithms typically used to identify people or cars in images. The students in the lab transcribe causes of death using a state-of-the-art handwriting recognition algorithm created by former BYU graduate student Curtis Wigington. Once they obtain the transcriptions, students assign a diagnosis code to the certificates to standardize differing ways coroners described the same cause of death. The automated process has allowed them to transcribe over 100,000 death records in under 2 hours, compared with the weeks or months of labor that human-generated transcriptions require.

For many, involvement in the project will shape their professional futures.

“This project is giving us the skills to be able to function in jobs in big fields in computer science like machine learning and artificial intelligence,” Burdett said.

As for Fujimoto—despite his past indifference to genealogy—seeing cutting-edge computer science and machine learning applied to family history has inspired him to take a full-time position as a data scientist with Ancestry.com.

“Sometimes in school we are focused so much on theory, and I love that I can see that the things we’ve been learning can actually make a difference,” said Burdett, who joined the team more recently and replaced Fujimoto as the student project leader when the latter graduated this past summer.
National Suicide Prevention Month Resources
September, 17 2020
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September is National Suicide Prevention Month. For information and resources, check out http://cswomen.byu.edu/help-for-students-in-crisis/.

COVID-19 Policy
August, 24 2020

The following policy will help employees and students to remain safe as we deal with the COVID-19 pandemic. Infectious diseases, such as COVID-19, can have a huge impact on you and on those that work and study around you. In an effort to reduce that impact we will be strictly following the guidance and policies of the university and of the government. University and government (both State and County) policies are continually being updated, and those policies and requirements will always supersede the department policy outlined below. We will do our best to keep this document current, but intentionally do not exhaustively repeat the university/government policies here.

You have primary responsibility for protecting your well-being; don’t put yourself in a situation that is unsafe, especially if you are part of a risk group. If you are not at a high risk yourself, please show courtesy toward others who may be at greater risk, especially since you can spread the disease while being asymptomatic.
Age-Suitability Prediction for Literature Using Deep Neural Networks
July, 17 2020
Eric Brewer MS Thesis Defense July 22nd at 1:00 PM via Zoom Advisor: Dennis Ng
ZipperOTF: Automatic, Precise, and Simple Data Race Detection for Task Parallel Programs with Mutual Exclusion
July, 17 2020
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Sheridan Jacob Powell MS Thesis Defense July 29th at 2:00 PM via Zoom Advisor: Eric Mercer
Facing the Hard Problems in FGVC
June, 25 2020

Connor Anderson MS Thesis Defense/PhD Qualifying Process

Connor Anderson MS Thesis Defense/PhD Qualifying Process July 10th at 10:00 AM via Zoom Advisor: Ryan Farrell
Vulnerability Analysis of Infrastructure Systems
June, 10 2020
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Sean Lane MS Thesis Defense

Sean Lane MS Thesis Defense June 25th at 3:00 PM via Zoom Advisor: Sean Warnick
Towards Cooperating in Repeated Interactions Without Repeating Structure
June, 04 2020
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Huy Pham MS Defense

Huy Pham MS Defense June 10th at 9:30 AM via Zoom Advisor: Jacob Crandall
Multi-objective Intent-based Path Planning for Robots for Static and Dynamic Environments
May, 20 2020
Meher Shaikh PhD Dissertation Defense June 4th at 11:00 AM via Zoom Advisor: Mike Goodrich