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Job Openings in Music Retrieval

Judy Franklin


THREE JOB OPENINGS IN MUSIC RETRIEVAL
[please forward this message potential applicants, and apologies for cross-postings]

The Institute of Information and Computing Sciences of Utrecht University has three job openings for the WITCHCRAFT project (http://www.cs.uu.nl/research/projects/witchcraft/). The aim of the project is to a develop content-based retrieval system for folksong melodies stored as audio and notation. The system will be integrated in the Nederlandse Liederenbank ( of Dutch Songsor Dutch language and culture research.

The project team will include a postdoc, a PhD student and a scientific programmer. The closing date for applications is 25 October, 2005. For more information and details about the application procedure please follow the links below.

The postdoc will concentrate on systems design and integration, and evaluation. Specific tasks include:
    * designing and implementing the framework
    * cognitive modelling of melodies
    * designing similarity measures and algorithms
    * developing evaluation methods
job description: http://www.cs.uu.nl/vacatures/en/62510.html

The PhD student will concentrate on methods of Music Retrieval. Specific tasks include:
    * selection and creation of a test corpus
    * cognitive modelling of melodies
    * designing similarity measures and algorithms
    * user modelling and visualisation
    * performing system evaluation
job description: http://www.cs.uu.nl/vacatures/en/62512.html

The programmer will implement system components and integrate them into the Nederlandse Liederenbank. Specific tasks include:
    * implementing the framework, the audio transcription module, search algorithms, and the user interface
    * providing technical and user documentation
job description: http://www.cs.uu.nl/vacatures/en/62513.html

-- 

[Posted Tuesday 9/20/2005]


Summer job at Smith: Computer Vision Research

Nick Howe
Interested in working on a hands-on, visually motivated research project? I seek to hire several students this summer to work on computer vision research projects, particularly relating to my current work in video-based motion capture. Programming skills will be very helpful for this position. Although the project will use the Matlab environment, no previous experience with Matlab is required. Up to 10 weeks of employment are available, beginning the week after graduation. The exact length of emplyment and work schedule are negotiable: we can plan around vactions, etc. that you wish to take, and employment for less than ten full weeks is possible. If you think you might be interested, please contact me by e-mail (nhowe@cs.smith.edu) for further details. There is no specific cutoff date, although the number of spots is limited and those applying earlier will receive preference.

[Posted Monday 3/1/2004]


CalTech Summer

Joseph O'Rourke
Caltech Summer School This summer Caltech will host the Computing Beyond Silicon Summer School, an intensive 4-week introduction to molecular, biomolecular, and quantum computing. Undergraduates with an interest in computer science, physics, electrical engineering, chemistry, and materials science are encouraged to apply.

Here is the url for program details and a list of participating lecturers:

http://www.cs.caltech.edu/cbsss/

The dates for the program are June 14 to July 9, 2004.

The application deadline is February 23, 2004. Extended to 1 March!

Caltech will provide housing, meals, and travel stipend.

[Posted Tuesday 2/24/2004]


Cornell Research

Joseph O'Rourke
Peer-to-Peer Databases

The exponential growth in the amount of information has resulted in the creation of very large databases. Such databases record an unprecedented amount of data, including scientific, business, personal and government data. One approach to managing all of this data is to fully centralize and integrate the data and host it on huge server farms; this is the prevalent approach today. This approach, however, suffers from the following drawbacks. First, the centralized approach offers limited fault-tolerance if the centralized server (or few central servers) either fail or are disconnected from the network. Second, the centralized approach requires sophisticated infrastructure with huge investments, which may not always be available or feasible in many cases. Finally, even if a centralized approach could be employed, there are non-technological reasons that limit its applicability, such as the autonomy of individual sites and privacy concerns.

As part of the PEPPER project at Cornell University (http://www.cs.cornell.edu/database/pepper/pepper.htm), we are pursuing a research agenda that could lead to a different future. Instead of having all data integrated in one large central database system, we propose to host the data at the edge in a distributed peer-to-peer data sharing network. Doing so would provide increased fault-tolerance by avoiding a single point of failure, would enable graceful scaling of the system by attaching many cheap PCs to the Internet, and would enable data providers to ensure the privacy of their sensitive data.

The specific scope of the summer project would be to develop a P2P query processing layer that allows users to query the peer-to-peer system as though it were one huge database system. Note that a peer-to-peer query processing layer differs from a traditional distributed database system in terms of scale (hundreds to thousands of peers, as opposed to five to ten distributed databases), dynamics (peers could go on and off the network frequently, and without warning), and fault-tolerance (the system should still be operational even if many independent peers fail).

What the Internship Will Offer

The internship will be a great opportunity to gain research experience by working with a leading research group on current, cutting-edge research problems. It will also be a good opportunity to learn more about database systems, distributed systems, web technologies, and the design and implementation of large-scale software systems. All of this will be valuable if you plan to go on to graduate school or join the workforce. Requirements

Programming Languages: C++, Java Academic Background: Preference will be given to Juniors, even though outstanding Sophomores will also be considered. Experience with database systems and web technologies is a plus.

Contact Information

In interested, please email Prof. Jayavel Shanmugasundaram (jai@cs.cornell.edu) with a copy of your transcript and resume (including your references).

[Posted Tuesday 2/24/2004]


Computer/New Media position in Vancouver

Judy Franklin
Position advertised for:

Computer/New media Support Administrator
in Contemporary Arts
at Simon Fraser University in Vancouver, B.C.
Looks very interesting, resume deadline is March 1
This is a part-time position. Don't forget, the pay scale is in Canadian dollars.
Go to http://www.sfu.ca/job-details/052.htm for details

[Posted Friday 2/13/2004]


UMass Mentoring Project

Joseph O'Rourke
Subject: CS Women! This is your big chance!

HEY! YOU!

This is your big chance to make a difference. Get to know the female graduate students and faculty. Get a mentor who will help you with interviews, resumes, applications, coursework and general life. Become a mentor to undecided undergraduate women who could follow in your footsteps.

Please take some time to read the announcements below. We are forming matches now, so act soon. The first event is schedule for February 18th, you will meet your mentor or mentee then, so please reply to this email by February 13th.

  WOMEN! GET A MENTOR!

WHO??    

Female undergraduates interested in computer science.

WHAT???

A big/little sister network of CS students. Paired matches with graduate women. Advice, conversation, and connections from people who have been where you are. Just a few hours of commitment each month.

WHY???

To make CS women more visible. To get to know people and to get people to know you. To talk about what cool stuff CS is. To learn more. To get help with coursework, applications, interviews, and exams. To choose a major, a minor, a research area. To make the department friendlier.

HOW???

Contact Kim Martin, kmartin@cs.umass.edu for details and to sign up. Please include your year and interests. Act quickly, matches are forming soon! k

[Posted Thursday 2/12/2004]


Google Anita Borg Scholarship

Judy Franklin
Google is pleased to announce two $10,000 scholarships for female students in the computer sciences during the 2004-2005 academic year. One will be awarded to an undergraduate student and one to a graduate (master’s level) degree candidate. Selection will be based on the strength of academic background, responses to short essay questions, letters of recommendation and financial need. Complete applications must be received by Friday, March 12, 2004. Finalists will be notified on Monday, May 3, 2004 and recipients will be announced on Monday, May 24, 2004.

More details can be found at
www.google.com/anitaborg

[Posted Friday 2/6/2004]


Summer Computer Music Research

Judy Franklin
I will be hiring several Smith students to do research with me this summer, starting as early as possible in May. Students interested in computer music and/or neural networks and/or calculus and programming are encouraged to contact me (jfranklin@cs.smith.edu), by March 1 or sooner if you are interested. Computer Science, engineering, music, and math majors especially are encouraged. We will work with computer music software such as Max/MSP/Jitter and Sibelius. We also have Matlab and the Neural Networks Toolbox.

[Posted Tuesday 2/3/2004]


Summer Research Ops @ Smith

Joseph O'Rourke
I seek to hire 6-8 students to work with me in the Summer of 2004 on my National Science Foundation (NSF)-funded project on "Folding and Unfolding in Computational Geometry." The basic parameters of the work situation are: up to 10 wks, starting sometime from Mon 24 May onwards, ending sometime before 30 July. The pay is approximately $3600/10wks. The last year I was able to pay an additional $1000 lodging stipend, and I try hard to make that work out again. I am quite flexible on schedules: any number of workdays that fit within those basic parameters are welcome. In particular, the total work time can be much less than 10 wks. I will take at least three trips of various durations, including a full week 11-17 July when I am teaching a course in California, and it is perfectly OK if you need to take a trip yourself.

The grant funds various aspects of a project to develop and integrate my research on folding and unfolding into the school system at various levels, from grade school through graduate school (More info). I could use help from Computer Science, Mathematics, Engineering, or Education majors to work on different aspects of this project: Web page development, C++ programming, Java programming, research in computational geometry, development of educational modules, and so on. The more you know, the more courses you have taken, the better. But I am quite flexible, and will hire from first-year students to already-graduated seniors to graduate students.

Two special projects that various subsets of students will work on is the course on Folding and Unfolding I'll give in July, and a new Pre-Orientation program on "Robotics Technology and its Impact on Society" at Smith 29-31 August. I will be seeking a subgroup of students to return early and act as "peer mentors" in that program. So there will be a substantial educational component to the summer work, as well as the research component.

Please write to me at orourke@cs.smith.edu expressing interest, by 11 February 2004, and I will be happy to provide more information. (However, please note I will be out of the country with limited email access 30Jan-6Feb.) I have to make commitment decisions by 13 February. Feel free to contact any of the students who worked with me last summer to get the *real* lowdown on the job:

          Asten Buckles <abuckles@email.smith.edu>,
          Aye Thuzar <athuzar@email.smith.edu>,
          Christina Ferreri <cferreri@email.smith.edu>,
          Jessica McCartney <jmccartn@email.smith.edu>,
          Jinghua Fan <jfan@email.smith.edu>,
          Kristin Baldassaro <kbaldass@email.smith.edu>,
          Sasha Berkoff <aberkoff@email.smith.edu>,
          Shawna King <sking2@email.smith.edu>
I encourage you to visit the web pages they created on their summer work.

[Posted Wednesday 1/21/2004]


Univ VA Nanoscale Materials

Joseph O'Rourke
University of Virginia Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) in Nanoscale Materials Design

Jointly sponsored by NSF/DoD

We are seeking college students to participate in a cross discipline program in Nanoscale Materials Design Research. The program will focus on applications from biomedical, chemical, computer, electrical, materials science, and mechanical engineering as well as applied mathematics and science majors. Students must have completed their sophomore year of an engineering, pre-engineering or science based curriculum with a minimum cumulative GPA of 3:0.

This summer program is aligned with an ongoing NSF Materials Research Science and Engineering Center (MRSEC) at the University of Virginia. This MRSEC, the Center for Nanoscopic Materials Design (www.mrsec.virginia.edu), is developing techniques for, fundamental understanding into, and applications of, guided self-assembly of materials on patterned semiconductor surfaces. By combining fundamental understanding and control of short-range self-assembly phenomena in Ge(Si)/Si structures with long-range pattern definition techniques, broad applications of diverse materials to quantum-engineered semiconductor devices can be envisioned, with possible extensions to nanoscale structuring of gels, biological templating and control of electrochemical reactions

Students in this NSF/DoD REU will have the opportunity to work closely with faculty members and graduate students of the Center. Students will be responsible for a written and oral final report as well as submitting a poster of research findings. Program participants will take a 2-credit seminar course examining the societal and ethical implications of nanotechnology research. They will also have numerous social opportunities; including Friday evening outings to Charlottesville's historic downtown mall for "Fridays After Five" and weekend hiking opportunities in the nearby Blue Ridge Mountains and Shenandoah National Park. The program will begin on Sunday, June 1, 2003 and continue until Saturday, August 9, 2003. All students will receive a $4,000 stipend and on-campus living accommodations (some meals will also be provided). Applicants must be U.S. citizens or permanent residents of the United States. Women, minorities and individuals with disabilities are encouraged to apply.

Applicants must submit the following information:

1) Application
2) Statement indicating research interest and why you should be selected.
3) Resume
4) Two letters of reference (current or previous faculty)
5) Official university transcript(s)
Applications must be received by March 15, 2003. Only complete applications will be reviewed.

For more information: http://www.mrsec.virginia.edu/sreu/SREU2003.html

[Posted Tuesday 3/4/2003]


Peer-to-Peer: Summer at Cornell

Joseph O'Rourke

I received this concerning summer research internships at Cornell. They are interesting in hiring at least two Smith students for this summer! :-j


The exponential growth in the amount of information has resulted in the creation of very large databases. Such databases record an unprecedented amount of data, including scientific, business, personal and government data. One approach to managing all of this data is to fully centralize and integrate the data and host it on huge server farms; this is the prevalent approach today. This approach, however, suffers from the following drawbacks. First, the centralized approach offers limited fault-tolerance if the centralized server (or few central servers) either fail or are disconnected from the network. Second, the centralized approach requires sophisticated infrastructure with huge investments, which may not always be available or feasible in many cases. Finally, even if a centralized approach could be employed, there are non-technological reasons that limit its applicability, such as the autonomy of individual sites and privacy concerns.

As part of the PEPPER project at Cornell University (http://www.cs.cornell.edu/people/egs/pepper/), we are pursuing a research agenda that could lead to a different future. Instead of having all data integrated in one large central database system, we propose to host the data at the edge in a distributed peer-to-peer data sharing network. Doing so would provide increased fault-tolerance by avoiding a single point of failure, would enable graceful scaling of the system by attaching many cheap PCs to the Internet, and would enable data providers to ensure the privacy of their sensitive data.

The specific scope of the summer project would be to develop a P2P query processing layer that allows users to query the peer-to-peer system as though it were one huge database system. Note that a peer-to-peer query processing layer differs from a traditional distributed database system in terms of scale (hundreds to thousands of peers, as opposed to five to ten distributed databases), dynamics (peers could go on and off the network frequently, and without warning), and fault-tolerance (the system should still be operational even if many independent peers fail).

What the Internship will Offer

The internship will be a great opportunity to gain research experience by working with a leading research group on current, cutting-edge research problems. It will also be a good opportunity to learn more about database systems, distributed systems, web technologies, and the design and implementation of large-scale software systems.

Requirements

Programming Languages: C++, Java
Academic Background: Preference will be given to Juniors, even though outstanding Sophomores will also be considered. Experience with database systems and web technologies is a plus.

[Posted Wednesday 2/26/2003]


Music Plus One. Talk on March 6

Judy Franklin

Music Plus One: A System for Interactive Musical Accompaniment

Christopher Raphael
Mathematics Department
University of Massachusetts

4:00 March 6, 2003
403a McConnell Hall
Refreshments served.
Abstract

I discuss my ongoing work in creating a computer system that plays the role of a sensitive musical accompanist in a non-improvisatory composition for soloist and accompaniment.
My accompaniment system synthesizes a number of knowledge sources including the musical score, on-line analysis of the soloist's performance, and the musical interpretations demonstrated by both the soloist and accompanist in rehearsal. I present a probabilistic model --- a Bayesian Belief Network that represents these disparate knowledge sources in a coherent framework.
During live performance, my accompanist "listens" to the soloist by using a hidden Markov model and makes principled real-time decisions that incorporate all currently available information. I will provide a live demonstration of my system.

[Posted Tuesday 2/25/2003]


iD Tech Camps

Joseph O'Rourke
I'm currently looking to hire your students as top notch Instructors and Directors for our summer technology camps and thought you might be able to assist me.  We run amazing programs for kids ages 8-17 at top universities across the country like MIT, Smith, Princeton, Vassar, Stanford, and Northwestern.  Perhaps you would pass along the following to graduate students, undergrads, and/or educators that might be interested in this great opportunity.  In addition, as faculty of an iD University, you qualify for additional discounts if you would like to send your own child or teen to our camps.

We offer great pay -- not to mention a job with iD Tech Camps is a valuable resume builder. See the Job Description below and/or attached flyer:

iD Tech Camps provides summer technology camps for students ages 8-17 at top universities nationwide. Teach students age 8-17 how to produce digital movies, create video games, design Web sites, animate in stop motion, compose & mix digital music, master programming & robotics, and more.  Our day and overnight, hands-on, project-based programs offer one computer per student and an average of 6 students per Instructor. Limited Camp Director positions are also available. 

You'll teach students the latest software while balancing out the day with swimming, chess, and field trips to the beach or nearby arcade. Spend a rewarding summer giving back what you've learned.  It will be a summer that you will never forget.

Preferred Job Qualifications (for Instructors)

* An energetic, fun-loving personality

* A flexible summer schedule

Web Design + Graphic Arts, Digital Video + Movie Production, Programming + Robotics, Multimedia + Game Creation, Digital Music Editing, and/or Stop Motion Animation.

Preferred Job Qualifications (for Directors)

* Must be 25 or older

* Experience teaching and/or working with kids

* Ability to lead and motivate

* Strong Organizational skills

* A passion for education

* Flexibility and a good sense of humor

* Familiarity with Web Design & Graphic Arts, Digital Video & Movie Production, Programming & Robotics, Multimedia & Game Creation, Digital Music Editing, and/or Stop Motion Animation.

  In order to apply, you MUST complete iD's online application.  Go to www.internaldrive.com/staff.htm.

  Make a difference with iD this summer!

  Regards,

  Andrea Ajemian

East Coast Regional Manager

iD Tech Camps

andrea@internaldrive.com

www.internaldrive.com

[Posted Thursday 2/20/2003]


ESP Web Design

Joseph O'Rourke
The ES&P Program is looking for a computer savvy student to update and transform its current web page into a more dynamic site. Hours are flexible.

If you know of any such student, please have them contact Joanne McMullin by email at: jmcmulli@smith.edu to schedule a time to discuss the position. Please also feel free to share this announcement with your classes.

Thank you for your help.


Environmental Science & Policy Program
Bass Hall
x 2387
enviro@smith.edu

[Posted Thursday 2/20/2003]


Space Science Scholarship

Joseph O'Rourke
This might be of interest to juniors and seniors in your field:

LINK

Thanks for spreading the word. Jane

Jane Sommer, J.D., Associate Director
Smith College Career Development Office
Northampton, MA 01063 USA
(T)413-585-2582; (F)413-585-2596

[Posted Wednesday 2/12/2003]


Welsh Consulting internship

Joseph O'Rourke
A Smith alum named Jennifer Donovan will be coming to Smith next Wednesday, February 12, to present and discuss a new internship opportunity Welsh Consulting is making available to Smith students.

We appreciate all the CDO has done to get the word out about the internship itself, including the E-Access posting and the internship's inclusion in the CDO's Internships newsletter. We were wondering, however, if there is any way you could also advertise and get the word out about the presentation itself.

I'll include our little write-up about the presentation below. Would you let me know if there's anything else you can do (posters, flyers, etc.) to let Smith students know about it?

Thanks again for your help.

Regards, Adele Johnsen '02

Description: Welsh Consulting is a computer network consulting firm located in downtown Boston. Come join our informal discussion to learn more about the exciting internship opportunity we're offering to Smith students interested in network engineering and administration.

The discussion will be held on Wednesday, February 12, at 4:30 p.m. in Room 104 of the Engineering Building. There will be a brief presentation and a Q & A session. If you have any questions, please contact Jennifer Donovan '00 (jen@welsh.com).

To learn more about Welsh please visit www.welsh.com.

Adele Johnsen
Welsh Consulting, Inc.
31 Milk Street, Suite 805
Boston, MA 02109
617-695-9800 Tel
617-695-0350 Fax
adele@welsh.com
www.welsh.com

[Posted Thursday 2/6/2003]


Summer Research @ Smith

Joseph O'Rourke
I seek to hire 8-10 students to work with me in the Summer of 2003 on my National Science Foundation (NSF)-funded project on "Folding and Unfolding in Computational Geometry." The basic parameters of the work situation are: up to 10 wks, starting sometime after graduation (18 May), and ending sometime before 1 Aug 03. The pay is something like $3500/10wks; I don't know it precisely at this writing. Last year I was able to pay an additional $1000 lodging stipend, and I presume that will work out again. I am quite flexible on schedules: any number of workdays that fit within those basic parameters are welcome. In particular, the total work time can be much less than 10 wks. I will take a week of vacation in early July, and will be teaching a course at Smith July 14-25th, but will otherwise be here. Although I do not have funding for that many students, last year we were able to parlay Praxis Internships into full summer stipends; so that is a possibility, if you have not yet cashed your Praxis chit.

The grant funds various aspects of a project to develop and integrate my research on folding and unfolding into the school system at various levels, from grade school through graduate school. I could use help from Computer Science, Mathematics, Engineering, or Education majors to work on different aspects of this project: Web page development, C++ programming, Java programming, research in computational geometry, development of educational modules, and so on. The more you know, the more courses you have taken, the better. But I am quite flexible, and will hire from first-year students to already-graduated seniors to graduate students.

During the last two weeks of July, as mentioned, I will be teaching a course to high school girls on this topic,

http://www.smith.edu/summerprograms/ssep/ssepabout/courses.html#folding

and those working with me will assist me in this endeavor in various ways. So there will be an educational component, as well as the research component.

Please write to me at orourke@cs.smith.edu expressing interest, by 7 February 2003, and I would be happy to provide more information. I have to make commitment decisions by 14 February (Valentine's Day!). Feel free to contact any of the students who worked with me last summer to get the *real* lowdown on the job:

         Becky Alexander ,                    
         Beenish Chaudry ,                              
         Emily Zaehring ,                            
         Heather Dyson ,                               
         Melody Donoso ,                                 
         Michiko Charley ,                           
         Monta Lertpachin ,                          
         Sonya Nikolova ,
         Teodora Nedialkova 

[Posted Saturday 2/1/2003]


Microsoft Interviews

Joseph O'Rourke
January 15th Deadline:
MICROSOFT: www.microsoft.com 
They're back!   This will be your last chance to interview on-campus with Microsoft this school year...and remember they're on the west coast, so...if you have any interest at all, it would be wise to take advantage of this!   They're recruiting for Software Test Engineer , Program Manager, Software Design Engineer, Software Design Engineer in Test.  One simple resume drop puts you in the running for all of these. You don't even have to write a cover letter for this one!  Job descriptions/etc. on E-access, as is the resume drop. 

Smith contact: Deborah Wijnhoven <DWIJNHOV@email.smith.edu>

[Posted Friday 1/10/2003]


Microsoft Scholarship

Joseph O'Rourke
Dear Engineering Scholarship Office:

Microsoft recognizes the value of a diverse workforce and is committed to hiring the best and brightest from all backgrounds.  We know that having a wide range of perspectives will enable us to continue to provide great software and services in the 21st century.  We have a scholarship program that is designed to encourage students to pursue careers in Computer Science and other related technical fields. Microsoft is excited to be offering full tuition scholarships totaling over a half million dollars for the 2003-2004 academic year. Applications must be postmarked by Friday, January 31, 2003.  Microsoft will contact finalists by the end of February 2003. Scholarship recipients will be notified by March 21, 2003.  All recipients of the scholarship will be required to complete a salaried summer internship of 12 weeks or more at Microsoft Corporation in Redmond, Washington. (Microsoft reserves the right not to offer a position to the scholarship winner if an appropriate match cannot be found.) Undergraduate students from across North America will be selected in recognition of their passion for software and the ability to make a difference in the software industry.  We request that you forward the information about the scholarships to students at your school that fit the criteria and might be interested in applying.  For your convenience, you can send students to http://www.microsoft.com/college/scholarships for application information.  I've also attached the same information to this email as a Word document so that you can post it on your bulletin boards.  Please contact scholars@microsoft.com or me directly with any additional questions you may have.

Sincerely,
Anne Cheng
Sr. Recruiting Coordinator
Microsoft Scholarship Program for 2003-2004 School Year
www.microsoft.com/college/scholarships

Program Overview Microsoft is committed to building great software and services. To do that, we need a wide range of great perspectives. Our scholarships are designed to encourage students to pursue studies in computer science and related technical disciplines.

Microsoft is excited to be offering full tuition scholarships totaling over a half million dollars for the 2003-2004 academic year. Applications must be postmarked by January 31, 2003. At Microsoft, we want to encourage students from groups currently under-represented in the field of computer science to pursue technical degrees. While all candidates who meet the criteria for eligibility described below may apply, a large majority of our scholarships will be awarded to female students, under-represented minority students or students with disabilities. Minority applicants must be a member of one of the following groups under-represented in the software field: African American, Hispanic or Native American. Microsoft will review all applications and select recipients on the basis of eligibility, quality of application, interest in the software industry and financial need.  Finalists will be contacted by March 1, 2003. Scholarship recipients will be notified by March 21, 2003. What are the provisions of the award? Scholarships are awarded to recipients for one academic year. The scholarship will cover 100 percent of the tuition for the 2003-2004 academic year as posted by the financial aid office of the university or college. The scholarships are made through the designated school and are not transferable to other academic institutions. The funds are to be used for tuition only and may not be used for other costs on the recipient's bursar bill.

All recipients of the scholarship will be required to complete a salaried summer internship of 12 weeks or more at Microsoft Corporation in Redmond, Washington. (Microsoft reserves the right not to offer a position to the scholarship winner if an appropriate match cannot be found.)

What are the criteria for scholarship eligibility? Students must be enrolled full-time and making satisfactory progress toward an undergraduate degree in computer science, computer engineering, or a related technical discipline, such as math or physics, with a demonstrated interest in computer science. Because the scholarship is merit based, the student must maintain a 3.0 cumulative grade point average out of a possible 4.0, or a 4.0 cumulative grade point average out of a possible 5.0. What is required to apply? A complete application includes four items:  your résumé, transcript, essay questions and letter of referral.  There is not a separate application form to submit in addition to the above materials. Résumé. Enclose a copy of your résumé that includes your e-mail address, campus address and phone number, student ID number, permanent address and phone number, major and expected graduation date. Transcript. Enclose a copy of your current academic transcript. Essay Questions. Use one page to answer all four of the following essay questions (not one page per question). -       Describe how you demonstrate your passion for technology outside the classroom. -       Describe the toughest technical problem you've worked on, how you addressed the problem, your role in reaching the outcome, if it was team-based, and the final outcome. -       Describe a situation which demonstrates initiative and your willingness to go above and beyond. -       Describe how you are currently funding your college education. Letter of referral. Enclose a letter of referral from a faculty member or an academic advisor who knows your work. Gender/Ethnicity/Disability (optional). Please note your gender , ethnicity or disability on the page with your essay questions if you would like that information to be considered with your application. Please send your completed application to:

Microsoft Scholarship Program
Microsoft Corporation
One Microsoft Way
Redmond, WA 98052-8303

[Posted Thursday 1/9/2003]


Brown Summer Research

Joseph O'Rourke
Time: Tuesday, 19 November, Noon - 1 p.m.
Location: EGR Bldg. Room 201

Pizza Lunch!

Dear Computer Science Students and Faculty,

Tomorrow there will be a talk by Dr. Iris Bahar on *summer research opportunities* in computer engineering at Brown University. She will also speak about the graduate program in computer engineering at Brown.

Iris Bahar is an Associate Professor at Brown University's Division of engineering. Her research interests include computer architecture, computer-aided design for electronic design automation, and nano-computing. Her particular emphasis within these areas is on high-performance and low-power design techniques. Prof. Bahar holds a Ph.D. in Electrical and Computer Engineering from the University of Colorado at Boulder and B.S. and M.S. degrees in Computer Engineering from the University of Illinois, Urbana.

[Posted Monday 11/18/2002]


ONR Summer Internship

Joseph O'Rourke
From: Mary Murphy Memurphy@email.smith.edu
Subject: Summer internships, Office of Naval Intelligence

Cheryl Stadel - Bevans, Mathematics, '90 has just sent me information about a paid sumer internship with the Office of Naval Intelligence in Washington DC. They're particularly interested in math, computer science, and engineering students.

The deadline is early, November 4, because a security clearance is required.

I have posted details and an application form on the bulletin board next to Burton 302. Please share this information with your department and ask them to mention the opportunity to any likely candidates.

[Posted Sunday 10/20/2002]


Microsoft Info Session

Christie Rice
All students interested in fulltime or internship opportunities with Microsoft are welcome to attend one of the information sessions below. There will be plenty of food and giveaways, including a raffle to win an Xbox.

Microsoft speakers at all sessions will include: Smith alumna Octavia Petrovici, Software Design Engineer, Mount Holyoke alunna Sadia Sharmin, Software Test Engineer Amherst alumni Steve Greenberg, Program Manager, and Ned Friend, Program Manager.

Smith College
Tuesday, 10/22 at 4:30pm
Seelye Hall, Room 207

Amherst College
Tuesday, 10/22 at 8:00pm
Alumni House

Mount Holyoke College
Wednesday, 10/23 at 4:30pm
Career Development Center Workshop Room

Visit http://www.microsoft.com/college for more information about fulltime and internship opportunities. You can also email your resume to Julie Barton at juliebar@microsoft.com.

[Posted Friday 10/18/2002]


Presentation of the Major

Christie Rice
The Computer Science Presentation of the Major will be held on Wednesday, Oct. 23 in McConnell Foyer from 12-1. All current and prospective majors are welcome! Come meet the members of the department and find out about course offerings for next semester and the entire following year.

Chinese food will be served!

[Posted Friday 10/18/2002]


KnowledgeMatters

Joseph O'Rourke
Paid Internships in Computer Science

All internships are October 2002 through April 2003. Pay is $12 per hour for 15 hours per week with potential for raises. Four hours per week will be at our offices in Northampton; the remaining hours can be from your apartment/dorm via the Internet. PC and Internet connection required. Potential full-time employment upon graduation is possible. Note: The four hours on-site in Northampton is flexible.

Associate Product Developer: Will develop modules for Version 2.0 upgrade of our product, Virtual Business – Retailing, a simulation of a convenience store. Will work closely with staff graphic artist to improve the realism of the simulation and add new features. Strong Visual Basic skills are a must. Ability to write clean, well-disciplined, readable, commented code a must.

Associate Product Developer: Will help develop our first social science simulation based on an election scenario. Will work our engineers on the logic and with our graphic artist on the look and feel of the simulation. Strong Visual Basic skills are a must. Ability to write clean, well-disciplined, readable, commented code a must.

Contact: Peter Jordan. Send cover letter and resume to Jordan@KnowledgeMatters.com.

About Knowledge Matters, Inc.

Located in Northampton, Massachusetts, Knowledge Matters is the leading provider of highly visual simulations for the high school education market. Our simulations (patterned after games such as SimCity) introduce students to topics such as business and social studies in a more engaging, challenging manner than traditional textbooks. Currently over 1000 schools from 48 states use our products in the classroom.

For more info, see www.KnowledgeMatters.com.

[Posted Wednesday 9/25/2002]


Computer Penalty Kick Training for Soccer Goalkeepers

Joseph O'Rourke
Todd Anckaitis, an Amherst College Soccer Coach and a Smith ESS Graduate Student, is seeking a student to program a sports training program:
Objective: Develop a video-based software program designed to train goalkeepers to defend against penalty kicks by improving their reaction times and directional accuracy through the recognition of the ball-striker's pre-kick movements, otherwise known as advance visual cues.
He has designed the functionality he wants; now he seeks a student to help implement it. Someone with some multimedia experience would be ideal. Please write him at <tanckait@email.smith.edu> for more information, possible financial arrangements, and so on, for he is anxious to start the project.

[Posted Monday 9/9/2002]


Computer Savvy Intern?

Ileana Streinu
Doug Patey and Marjorie Senechal are offering a dean's internship next year to a student to assist them in formatting of two volumes of edited papers. The publisher of one of them wants the manuscript in Quark. The other will be a CD; the publisher will provide the software.
The student need not know these programs a priori, but she should be familiar with desktop publishing and willing and able to learn quickly.

Contact:
*******************************************
Marjorie Senechal  (senechal@felix.smith.edu)
Louise Wolff Kahn Professor in Mathematics and History of Science and
Technology
Director, Kahn Liberal Arts Institute
Smith College
Northampton, MA 01063

phone: (413) 585-3862
fax:   (413) 585-3786

[Posted Monday 4/29/2002]


Geetika Tewari's Honors Thesis Presentation

Joseph O'Rourke
Time: Tuesday, 23 April 02, 5:00-6:00PM
Location: McConnell 404 (central classroom on 4th floor)

Thesis Title: Partitioning Orthogonal Polygons into Fat Rectangles

Honors Student: Geetika Tewari

Abstract:

We examine the problem of partitioning orthogonal polygons into fat rectangles, a problem that arises in the photolithography step of VLSI design. The goal is to develop an algorithm that can find an optimal partition of a polygon into rectangles, in the sense of maximizing the minimum side length over all rectangles, while employing as few rectangles as possible. We approach the problem by examining the type of cuts involved: vertex, anchored, (boundary), and unrestricted (floating) cuts. By proving results on the geometric and combinatorial structure of the partitions, we obtain polynomial-time algorithms for finding the optimal partition for each class of cuts.

[Posted Monday 4/22/2002]


Computer Science Research Lunch April 22

Judy Franklin
The Last Computer Science Research Lunch of the season will be held this coming Monday,
April 22
McConnell B15
12:10

Stan Sclaroff, from the computer science department at Boston University will speak on Automatic Shape-based Image Retrieval.
Please send State Street Deli lunch orders to mdonoso@cs.smith.edu by 2:30 Thursday.

Dr. Sclaroff's abstract is below:

Automatic Shape-based Image Retrieval

Stan Sclaroff
Image and Video Computing Group
Computer Science Department
Boston University

Retrieval by shape is considered to be one of the more difficult aspects of content-based image database search. A major part of the problem is that many techniques assume that shapes have already been segmented from the background, or that a human operator has encircled the object via an active contour. Such assumptions are unworkable in applications where automatic object detection and indexing are required (e.g., the world wide web).

In this talk, I will describe a region-based approach that segments deformable shapes from images automatically. Parametric shape templates are used to group image regions into consistent configurations. The templates are acquired as a precomputation, given a training set of images. Once trained, the system autonomously segments deformed shapes from the background while not merging them with adjacent objects or shadows. The automatic system includes two stages: over-segmentation using a traditional region segmentation algorithm, followed by shape-based evaluation of various region grouping hypotheses to find an optimal partition of the region adjacency graph. The recovered shape models can be used directly in image retrieval and object recognition. Experiments with biomedical images (blood cell micrographs), as well as images from the world wide web will be shown.

[Posted Tuesday 4/16/2002]


Part-time Job for Next Year

Caroline Moore
Job Listing:

Are you motivated and computer savvy?  Do you like to know what's going
on in the Five College area?  Are you looking for an on-campus job for
next year?
Work for Chilipeppers! It's a website sponsored by Wellsprings at Health Services that lists upcoming events in the Five College area. Check it out at: http://www.chilipeppers-live.org

You would be in charge of finding events and entering them via a form,
checking events submitted by other people, and deleting events when they
are past.  You will meet with Connie Peterson once a week, but the rest
of the work can be done on your own time.  You will also run contests in
the post office once a month.

Time commitment: 8 hours per week
Pay level: 03 ($7.75/hr)
Deadline: May 13

How to apply: email Connie Peterson at cpeterso@email.smith.edu or call
x2824.
For more information: email cmoore@email.smith.edu

[Posted Monday 4/15/2002]


CSRL Friday April 12

Judy Franklin
The next Computer Science Research Lunch will be held this Friday, April 12 (and there will be no lunch next week). We have a guest speaker, David G. Novik, from the University of Texas El Paso. Please see his title, abstract, and bio below.

Once again, we will meet in McConnell B15 in order to use the projector.

Please send lunch orders to mdonoso@cs.smith.edu by 1:30 Thursday April 11.

Engineering User Interfaces for Safety-Critical Systems

David G. Novick
Department of Computer Science
The University of Texas at El Paso

This talk looks at development methods for human-computer interaction for safety-critical systems, with particular focus on commercial airliner cockpits. I argue that user interfaces, operating procedures and their documentation are functionally equivalent parts of the interface, broadly considered, and present a set of techniques and tools that can help developers assure the integrity of human-computer interaction safety-critical settings. Methods for early evaluation of operating procedures and documentation include the cognitive walkthrough for operating procedures and the use of "low-tech" simulation. Correctness in design and implementation can also be helped by using a more formal model of acts and actions, and this model can be embodied in tools for creating procedures and their documention.

---


David G. Novick earned his J.D. at Harvard University in 1977 and his Ph.D.in Computer and Information Science at the University of Oregon in 1988. He is professor and chair of Computer Science at the University of Texas at El Paso. Previously, he was on the faculty of the Department of Computer Science and Engineering at the Oregon Graduate Institute and then Director of Research at the European Institute of Cognitive Sciences and Engineering. His research focuses on interactive systems, and especially development methods for interfaces and their documentation. Related interests include technologically mediated communication and computational models of dialogue. He served as General Co-chair of the 2000 ACM Conference on Universal Usability, organized ACM SIGCHI's series of events in Natural Language Interfaces, and serves on the program committee for the 2002 ACM SIGDOC conference.

[Posted Monday 4/8/2002]


Summer Research Opportunity in Maryland

Ileana Streinu
****************************************************
The Women in Engineering Program at the University of Maryland, through funding from the National Science Foundation Program for Gender Equity, is excited to announce summer research opportunities for undergraduate students!

Twenty students (called RISE Scholars) will each be provided a stipend of $3000 for participating in one of five research teams from June 2, 2002 through July 26, 2002. Talented female faculty in the Clark School of Engineering and the College of Computer, Mathematical and Physical Sciences lead the teams. RISE Scholars will be provided with multiple tiers of female mentorship throughout their research experience. The program offers training in team skills and project organization and addresses issues of concern to women in science and engineering as well.

The deadline for submitting completed applications is coming soon: April 20, 2002. Selection of RISE Scholars will be announced no later than May 1, 2002.

For additional information and applications, please review the RISE Scholar website http://www.eng.umd.edu/wie/students_undergrad/riseII.html or contact the program coordinator, Kristen Vogt (kvogt@deans.umd.edu or 301-405-3283).

--
Kristen Vogt
kvogt@deans.umd.edu
RISE Coordinator
Research Internships in Science and Engineering
1134F Glenn L. Martin Hall College Park MD 20742
301.405.3283 (W)


Paige E. Smith
Director, Women in Engineering Program
(301) 405-3931
pesmith@deans.umd.edu

[Posted Friday 4/5/2002]


CSRL on Monday April 8

Judy A. Franklin
Our next Computer Science Research Lunch is Monday April 8
in McConnell B15
featuring Egle Karalyte who did research with Merrie Bergmann last semester.

Please send lunch orders to mdonoso@cs.smith.edu by 1:30 this Friday.

Creating Dynamic Web Sites Using PHP and MySQL


In order to create a powerful and dynamic web site, it is not just enough to know HTML or Javascript. Nowadays, new technologies are emerging, which enable web developers to create database-driven web sites where information is dynamically embedded into html code according to various specifications. One of the newest and most powerful technologies is the PHP scripting language that is often used to communicate with the MYSQL database system. MySQL is one of the relational database management systems (RDBMS). This type of database is often used for the ecommerce web sites. MySQL uses SQL (Structured Query Language) to communicate with the data. SQL is a standard database language for all modern databases. It is an interface between the user and the database it lets you create tables, insert, delete, and modify data. In my presentation I will introduce these technologies and show how the information is inputted into the database and how it is shown on the web sites.

[Posted Wednesday 4/3/2002]


CSRL April 1

Judy Franklin
On Monday April 1, Geetika Tewari will present her thesis work for the Computer Science Research Lunch.

McConnell 403A

Please email State Street Deli lunch order to
mdonoso@cs.smith.edu by 1:30 Friday.

Here is the abstract:
We examine the problem of partitioning orthogonal polygons into fat rectangles that arises in the photolithography step of VLSI design. VLSI masks are etched by electron beams of some fixed minimum width. Complex shapes can only be masked without unnecessary overexposure if they can be partitioned into rectangles all of which are wider than this minimum width. Thus it is of some interest to develop an algorithm that can find an optimal partition of a polygon into rectangles, in the sense of maximizing the minimum width of any rectangle in the partition. We approach the problem by characterizing the complexity of polygon partitions by the types of cuts involved. We will present a polynomial-time algorithm, and its implementation results for solving the problem using "vertex cuts," cuts emanating from polygon vertices. We then proceed to show several short results that lead to a bound on the maximum number of parallel "boundary cuts," cuts anchored to the polygon boundary, in an optimal partition.

[Posted Wednesday 3/27/2002]


iDTech Summer Job

Ileana Streinu
Date: Thu, 18 Oct 2001 09:36:56 -0700
From: Jon Artigo
To: jon@internaldrive.com
Subject: Summer Employment: Computers-Film Editing-Web Design

Hello.

My name is Jon Artigo. I work for iD Tech Camps. We run amazing technology programs for kids ages 8-17 at top universities across the country like MIT, UCONN, Villanova, Stanford, UCLA, UT Austin, Vassar College, Smith College, Emory University and Carnegie Mellon. I'm currently looking to hire top notch instructors and directors for our camps across the country and thought you might be able to assist me. Perhaps you would pass along the following to graduate students, undergrads, and/or educators that might be interested in this great opportunity. In addition, as faculty of an iD University, you qualify for additional discounts in sending a child or teen to our camps.

We offer great pay -- not to mention a job with iD Tech Camps is a valuable resume builder. See Job Description below and/or attached flyer:

iD Tech Camps provides summer technology camps for students ages 8-17 at top universities nationwide. Our week-long camps feature the best of everything - cool courses, cutting-edge technology and locations across the country. Be an Instructor for Digital Video & Movie Production, Programming & Robotics, Multimedia & Game Creation, Web Design & Graphic Arts and Stop Motion Animation. Limited Camp Director positions are also available.

You'll teach using the latest software while balancing out the day with swimming, chess, and field trips to the beach or nearby arcade. iD's small classes ensure one-on-one customized instruction and encourage peer guidance and networking.

Preferred Job Qualifications (for Instructors) Preferred Job Qualifications (for Directors) In order to apply, you MUST complete the online application at www.internaldrive.com/staff.htm.

Make a difference with iD this summer!

Regards,

Jon Artigo
iD Tech Camps

[Posted Monday 3/25/2002]


Boston.com job

Joe O'Rourke


Boston.com Unix sys admin job

Unix System Administrator- Level 1

Level 1 Unix Administration support position for Boston.com Advertising operations.

The successful candidate will join a small but highly skilled administration team that manages a dynamic, 30-server-plus web farm in a 24 x 7 x 365 production environment. We support the editorial, advertising and marketing initiatives for the largest regional web portal site in the country. We're building a team that delivers products on time in a stable, scalable, cutting-edge environment. This position is responsible for administering and maintaining the Advertising operations system cluster.

Level 1 support responsibilities include:



Requirements


We provide an industry leading benefits package including medical, dental, vision and hearing, discounted T-passes, matching 401K, and tuition reimbursement. We offer you a challenging and supportive environment where your contributions will be recognized and rewarded.

Job Code SA

EOE. We encourage minority candidates to apply.

[Posted Monday 3/25/2002]


CSRL right *after* spring break

Ileana Streinu
Computer Science Research Lunch will resume the very Monday after Spring Break, Monday March 25th, at 12:10 in room McConnell 403A. Katina Tiggas will talk about programming the AIBO robot. Please send lunch orders to mdonoso@cs.smith.edu by 1:30 *this* Friday March 15th. And then remember to come Monday March 25th. The abstract is below:

Programming the AIBO robot - an introduction
Presenter: Katina Tiggas

The Sony AIBO robotic dog is a programmable robot with many degrees of freedom, a variety of sensors and quite sophisticated programming capabilities.

I will start with an introduction to the robot's capabilities and an overview on how we program it using actions and behaviors. Then I will talk about my work on testing AIBO's capabilities and limits, such as the range of its "eyesight" or whether it really could walk in a straight line.

Our goal is to develop a program that consists of two dog-like behaviors: hunger and playing. The behavior is controlled by the percent of remaining battery power. If the battery power is below 50%, the dog is hungry. In this case the dog will search for the battery charger and go toward it. It is not clear that we will be able to make it actually plug itself in, but we intend to study whether such motions are possible. To detect where the charger is, we use AIBO's sensitivity to the color pink, and possible some "friendly guidance" through her touch sensors. We can cover the battery charger in pink to entice AIBO towards it. We are in the process of finding the best search algorithm that covers the work space. When the battery power is above 50%, AIBO plays. She will randomly choose between singing, sleeping, and dancing.

[Posted Wednesday 3/13/2002]


CSRL Monday March 11

Judy Franklin
The next Computer Science Research Lunch will be Monday March 11 at 12:10 in room McConnell 403a. Vicky Manfredi will present her thesis work.

Please email mdonoso@cs.smith.edu with your lunch order by 1:30 Friday. A menu for State Street Deli is on the bulletin board in McConnell 209.

-=-=-=-=Vicky's Abstract-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=

Non-linear Algorithms for Reinforcement Learning


The work we would like to present is from an honors thesis being done in Computer Science. The faculty advisor is Judy Franklin.

We adapted two machine learning algorithms, temporal-difference learning and Sarsa, to be non-linear. Temporal-difference learning is used for predicting how good an action is in some some state. Sarsa, conversely, is used for generating actions based on the temporal-difference prediction. We then used these algorithms to predict and select notes in a musical sequence. We observed that both the linear and nonlinear temporal-difference algorithms combined with function approximation can learn to predict on a given note whether the future looks good or bad; that is, whether the context of the note is good or bad, given certain constraints. We found that the nonlinear algorithms can learn to predict more difficult constraint problems than can the linear. We determined that using as input to the algorithms a history of the notes being played improved the correctness of the nonlinear prediction. Finally, preliminary results show that with linear Sarsa, the notes chosen to be played correspond to the prediction value of the note as given by the temporal- difference learning algorithm. Current experiments involve exploring nonlinear Sarsa.

[Posted Tuesday 3/5/2002]


Witi Invent panel and summer ops

Judy Franklin
TOOLBOX Professional Series--Session Two

Friday, March 8, 11:45 a.m.-1:00 p.m.
Engineering Building, Room 201

PANEL: Job Savvy: What do corporations expect? How do you prepare?

Panelists: Vivian Dixon, Diversity Consultant, Capital One Financial Corp.
Jane Sommer, Associate Director, Smith Career Development Office
br> Open to all students and the Five Colleges. Lunch provided.

Sponsors: WITI Invent Center; Picker Engineering Program

================================================

You are invited to attend the TOOLBOX Professional Series on technology and career-related topics, and to visit the WITI Invent Center in Tilly Hall, 30 Henshaw Avenue. The Center is open daily for student and faculty use between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. Extended hours can be arranged.

COME AND VISIT US for information on SUMMER RESEARCH opportunities and other technology-related experiences. OPEN TO STUDENTS IN ALL SMITH MAJORS. Telephone us at 4105/6.

=======================================

The third TOOLBOX Professional Series Lunch will will be Friday, April 12th, on BALANCING CAREER AND PERSONAL LIFE.

Thank you,

Nancy Hellman
Consulting Director
WITI Invent Center@Smith/5 Colleges
Tilly Hall, 30 Henshaw Avenue
Northampton, Ma 01063
T 413-585-4106/5
E nhellman@email.smith.edu
F 413-585-4395

[Posted Thursday 2/28/2002]


CSRL Monday March 4

Ileana Streinu
Dear CS students and faculty -

On Monday March 4 we resume the weekly CS luncheons with a series of presentations, done by Computer Science students about their research projects. We meet in McConnell 403A.

The first speaker is Elif Tosun, who will talk about her honors thesis work. Future speakers include Vicky Manfredi (Monday March 11, thesis work), Katina Tiggas (independent study, AIBO robot) and others TBA.

Please send the luncheon order to mdonoso@cs.smith.edu, by 1:30 on Friday, March 1st.

Here's Elif's abstract:

=======================================================================

Given visibility information at n positions of a hemispherical camera, our goal is to reconstruct the absolute coordinates of the camera locations and positions of image features when the images were taken. This information will then be used the reconstruct a model of the environment.

We assume that the orientation of the camera relative to the absolute frame of reference is known at each location, as well as approximate values for unknown positions. The visibility information is given as a set of slopes of lines going through camera positions and some image features in the surrounding environment.

We worked on understanding the general problem, isolating the geometric/combinatorial aspects, exploring it in two and three dimensions, isolating several feasible subproblems and giving algorithmic solutions for them.

[Posted Thursday 2/28/2002]


Research Lunch Monday February 18

Judy Franklin
Programming Contest and Research Lunches Spring 2002

On Monday February 18, the CS dept. is holding a lunch for students interested in continuing the research lunches this semester, on Mondays, as well as to discuss Smith's participation in a new (for us) programming contest, sponsored by the Consortium for Computing in Small Colleges, Northeast. The contest will take place at the Seventh Annual Consortium for Computing in Small Colleges Northeastern Conference April 19-20. The contest is the morning of Friday April 19 at Worcester State College. The awards are given at a banquet Friday night. The conference URL is http://www.ccscne.org/2002/. The deadline for contest entry is March 1. Come to the lunch even if you aren't interested in the contest as we will talk about the research lunch plans for the semester.

Meeting Room: McConnell 403A (the usual place)

As usual, we will have lunch from the State Street Deli. There is a menu posted on the bulletin board in McConnell 209. Please DO NOT REPLY TO THIS MESSAGE. Send lunch requests to 111c@cs.smith.edu by 3pm THURSDAY 2/14 and have a Happy Valentine's Day.

[Posted Monday 2/11/2002]


Summer Opportunity 2002

Joe O'Rourke
Dear Colleague:

Furman University is again serving as a site for the National Science Foundation Research Experiences for Undergraduates Program. Twelve participants will be working with eight faculty on a variety of biogeochemical projects in two large watersheds in the Piedmont of South Carolina. We would be grateful if you could bring the attached announcement to the attention of your students. More information can also be found at the web site:
http://www.furman.edu/academics/dept/ees/riverbasin/index.htm

Thank you for your time,

Kenneth A. Sargent, Chair
Earth and Environmental Sciences
Furman University
Greenville, SC 29613

[Posted Monday 2/11/2002]


Summer Jobs at Smith

Joseph O'Rourke
I am seeking several students to work on a National Science Foundation grant this summer, on various aspects of a project to develop and integrate my research on folding and unfolding into the school system at various levels, from grade school through graduate school. I could use help from Computer Science, Mathematics, Engineering, or Education majors to work on different aspects of this project: Web page development, C++ programming, Java programming, research in computational geometry, development of educational modules, and so on.

Please write to me at orourke@cs.smith.edu expressing interest, by 1 February 2002, and I would be happy to provide more information. I have to make commitment decisions by 15 February.

[Posted Monday 1/14/2002]


Microsoft Scholarship

Ileana Streinu
From: Julie Barton
Recruiting Specialist, Microsoft
Microsoft recognizes the value of a diverse workforce and is committed to hiring the best and brightest from all backgrounds. We know that having a wide range of perspectives will enable us to continue to provide great software and services in the 21st century. We have a scholarship program that is designed to encourage students to pursue careers in Computer Science and other related technical fields. Microsoft is excited to be offering full tuition scholarships totaling over a half million dollars for the 2002-2003 academic year. Applications must be postmarked by Friday, February 1, 2002. Microsoft will interview finalists by the end of February 2002. The names of the scholarship winners will be announced by March 15, 2002. All recipients of the scholarship will be required to complete a salaried summer internship of 12 weeks or more at Microsoft Corporation in Redmond, Washington. (Microsoft reserves the right not to offer a position to the scholarship winner if an appropriate match cannot be found.) Undergraduate students from across North America will be selected in recognition of their passion for software and the ability to make a difference in the software industry. We request that you forward the information about the scholarships to students at your school that fit the criteria and might be interested in applying. For your convenience, you can send all students to http://www.microsoft.com/college/scholarships for application information. Please contact me directly with any additional questions you may have. Sincerely,
Julie Barton
Recruiting Specialist, Microsoft
juliebar@microsoft.com

[Posted Friday 12/21/2001]


Genetic Algorithms and Simulation Optimization

Joseph O'Rourke
Time: Friday 30 Nov 01, 12:10-1:00PM
Location: McConnell 403A (Seminar Room)

Dear Computer Science Students and Faculty,

This week we have a guest presentation by Bjo:rn Gehlsen from the University of Hamburg, who is here visiting Bernd Page. He will talk about Genetic Algorithms: a Tool for Distributed Simulation Optimization. Here is his abstract:

Genetic Algorithms (GA) provide a general process model for heuristic optimization by simulating the principles of biological evolution. They can be used in various areas of application by specializing its' components according to the application's needs. Following an introduction to GA the talk will show the application of GA in the field of simulation optimization, where no closed form of the problem and no further analytical information can be used to guide the search for optimal solutions. As the arising problems in this area are very load intensive, tasks are distributed across a network to gain significant speedup.

Lunch: Please reply to mdonoso@cs.smith.edu specifying your intention to attend, and placing a lunch order. The State Street Deli menu is on the bboard in McConnel 209 and at http://www.statestreetfruit.com/menu.html. There is no class in McC403A prior to our lunch, so we should be able to start to gather around noon. We always finish by 1:00PM.

[Posted Tuesday 12/4/2001]


Perl: II

Joseph O'Rourke
Time: Friday 30 Nov 01, 12:10-1:00PM
Location: McConnell B15 (in the basement!)

Dear Computer Science Students and Faculty,

We will continue the interactive code development of lunch.pl, the Perl program to process lunch orders emailed to Melody. Last time (2 Nov) we had progressed to the point of having a correct parsing of the "From:" and "Subject:" lines of simulated email, with a record of the transactions deposited in a LOGFILE. This time we should aim to accomplish four goals: (1) Have the code recognize "Re: CSRL" in the Subject line; (2) Install the Perl program in the correct directory on the system, with the correct permissions; (3) Arrange that all email to Melody gets examined by our code; (4) Test with real email. Again we will meet in McConnell B15, so we can project the code from a workstation.

Lunch: Please reply to mdonoso@cs.smith.edu specifying your intention to attend, and placing a lunch order. The State Street Deli menu is on the bboard in McConnel 209. There is a Physics class in B15 just prior to our lunch, so we will not be able to start early. We always finish by 1:00PM.

[Posted Monday 11/26/2001]


Bahar on Power and Energy

Joseph O'Rourke
Time: Friday 16 Nov 01, 12:10-1:00PM
Location: McConnell 403A (Seminar Room)

Dear Computer Science Students and Faculty,

This week we have a guest speaker, Iris Bahar from Brown University. She will talk about designing machine architectures to minimize power consumption. The main idea is to dynamically set microportions of the processor into low-power mode when monitoring indicates they are not being utilized. Of course, one cannot sacrifice high speed performace in order to achieve lower power dissipation, which is the crux of the matter about which she will speak.

Lunch: Please reply to mdonoso@cs.smith.edu specifying your intention to attend, and placing a lunch order. The State Street Deli menu is on the bboard in McConnel 209, and online at http://www.statestreetfruit.com/menu.html. If the food arrives on time, we will start gathering shortly after 12:00, with many arriving after their classes let out at 12:10. We always finish by 1:00PM.

[Posted Monday 11/12/2001]


UNITeS Volunteers - teaching about technology

Ileana Streinu
An option for CS and Engineering Majors:

UNITeS Volunteers
Bridging the Digital Divide
The United Nations Information Technology Service (UNITeS) is a new global volunteer initiative that sends volunteers to developing countries to teach about technology. UN Secretary General Kofi Annan introduced UNITeS to the world in his April 2000 Millennium Report. It is managed by the UN Volunteers program, an organization within the UN that places about 5,000 volunteers every year in development and humanitarian projects around the world.

For more information, go to
http://international.monster.com/workabroad/articles/unites/

[Posted Wednesday 11/7/2001]


Friday Research Lunch 11/9 - RTcmix

Judy Franklin

Using RTcmix to manipulate sound and make music

Veronica Morales and Judy Franklin

Time: Friday 9 Nov 01, 12:10-1:00PM
Location: McConnell 403A (Seminar Room)
CMIX is a package of sound-processing, synthesizing, modification and mixing programs that can be used to manipulate pre-recorded sound or create any sound and write the result to an audio file. RTcmix adds real-time capabilities to CMIX, and it also enables it to read sound data through TCP sockets. RTcmix is written in C and C++ and takes advantage of the object-oriented paradigm. With RTcmix, output can be sent directly to speakers, unlike CMIX which needed the output to be saved to a sound file first. It can do this because it incorporates a scheduler that dynamically calls the RTcmix instruments. Here, an instrument is any function or class that manipulates sound. We will describe RTCmix in more detail, go over basic ways to manipulate sound (amplitude modulation and frequency modulation), and demonstrate several of the basic RTcmix instruments. RTcmix is different from almost every other computer music software package in that users can create their own instruments and so can manipulate sound programmatically. (Nearly every other package is accessed either with a GUI or by using scripts only). We will describe two or three accompaniment and pitch translation instruments we worked on this past summer when Veronica was on a Schultz Fellowship and we will demonstrate them as well.
Lunch: Please reply to mdonoso@cs.smith.edu by noon Thursday specifying your intention to attend, and placing a lunch order. The State Street Deli menu is on the bboard in McConnel 209. If the food arrives on time, we will start gathering shortly after 12:00, with many arriving after their classes let out at 12:10. We always finish by 1:00PM.

[Posted Wednesday 11/7/2001]


Math Tutoring 6th-Grader

Joseph O'Rourke
A sixth-grade teacher at the Smith College Campus School is seeking a tutor for a mathematically talented, pleasant sixth-grade boy. He is more than ready to be challenged beyond the usual curriculum. One or two days per week, one or two hours per day, for a sustained period (perhaps a semester) might be ideal. Details are negotiable and would be worked out between the tutor, the teacher Lara Ramsey, and the boy's parents, who of course expect to pay for the tutoring. If you are interested, please contact Lara by sending email to lara_ramsey@gse.harvard.edu.

[Posted Tuesday 10/30/2001]


Perl

Joseph O'Rourke
Time: Friday 2 Nov 01, 12:10-1:00PM
Location: McConnell B15 (in the basement!)

Dear Computer Science Students and Faculty,

We will discuss the programming language Perl, which is a useful tool in a Unix environment, especially for text processing. In particular, we will write code to process lunch order email messages (Melody's idea). In order to run code during lunch, we are going to meet in McConnell B15, where there is a nice workstation and projector. We decided we could sacrifice our pleasant, informal environment to gain ease of programming access, for one week at least. Our plan is to look at the language Python later in the semester, perhaps for the same task.

Lunch: Please reply to mdonoso@cs.smith.edu specifying your intention to attend, and placing a lunch order. The State Street Deli menu is on the bboard in McConnel 209. There is a Physics class in B15 just prior to our lunch, so we will not be able to start early this week. We always finish by 1:00PM.

[Posted Monday 10/29/2001]


Trits

Joseph O'Rourke
Time: Friday 26 Oct 01, 12:10-1:00PM
Location: McConnell 403A (Seminar Room)

Dear Computer Science Students and Faculty,

The association of computers with binary logic seems essential, but in fact a case can be made that digital computer hardware should be based on base-3 numbers rather than on binary numbers. The base-3 equivalent of a bit is a trit. Suzzane Gallagher will help describe the advantages of trits over bits, not only in computer hardware, but in the placement of tabs on file-cabinet folders, among other applications.

Lunch: Please reply to mdonoso@cs.smith.edu specifying your intention to attend, and placing a lunch order. The State Street Deli menu is on the bboard in McConnel 209. If the food arrives on time, we will start gathering shortly after 12:00, with many arriving after their classes let out at 12:10. We always finish by 1:00PM.

[Posted Monday 10/22/2001]


Bar-Magnet Polyhedra III

Joseph O'Rourke
Time: Friday 12 Oct 01, 12:10-1:00PM
Location: McConnell 403A (Seminar Room)

Dear Computer Science Students and Faculty,

Last Friday, the day before Fall Break, a small group of us made a bit of progress on the problem, as I reported in email Friday night: We proved that any tree can be directed to be balanced. The challenge before us is to extend this positive result to a wider class of planar graphs. Perhaps planar triangulations would be a good place to start. There are various ways to use induction on such graphs (e.g., edge contractions), but at the moment I don't see how they will yield a proof. Nevertheless, let's spend one more week exploring this topic.

Lunch: Please reply to mdonoso@cs.smith.edu specifying your intention to attend, and placing a lunch order. The State Street Deli menu is on the bboard in McConnel 209. The class that used to meet just prior to our lunch in that seminar room has moved, so we should be able to start gathering shortly after 12:00, with many arriving after their classes let out at 12:10. We finish by 1:00PM in any case.

[Posted Wednesday 10/10/2001]


Bar-Magnet Polyhedra: II

Joseph O'Rourke
Time: Friday 5 Oct 01, 12:10-1:00PM
Location: McConnell 403A (Seminar Room)

Dear Computer Science Students and Faculty,

We had an unusually large group at our CS Research Lunch last Friday, despite the esoteric topic. I recommend we continue with the topic at least another week. Let me first summarize our progress.

We explored bar-magnet polyhedral graphs, and had three accomplishments:

  1. We caught up with the frontier of knowledge here by reviewing the three known, partial results on alternating assignments.

  2. We raised and answered a question: Is it possible that a polyhedral graph could have the property that, some vertex MUST have all incident poles the same? The answer is NO.

  3. We formulated a new question: Might it be that every polyhedral graph's edges can be assigned a direction so that each vertex is balanced, in the sense that its number of incoming and outgoing edges differ by at most one? (This is weaker than alternating.)
A few notes on each three:

1. These partial results establish not every polyhedral graph is alternating, and that many classes are. It remains to characterize those which are, and are not. We did not find this an attractive :-) problem.

2. Our answer NO was misunderstood by at least me, and perhaps others. Here is a more careful proof than was explicated at lunch. Suppose a vertex v has all incoming edges, in contradiction to what we claim. Look at three consecutive vertices to which it is adjacent, x,y,z, consecutive in the cycle (the "link") around v. Consider flipping the vy edge direction, which would break the "badness" of v. This could only create badness at y if the edges to x and z are both incoming to y: x to y and z to y (for then a flip of vy would increase the incoming edges to y). But in this case look at x. It has an outgoing edge to y. So flip the vx edge. This breaks the badness at v, and cannot create total badness at x, because vx goes into x, and xy goes out.

3. Let's call these balanced, directed graphs Gallagher Graphs :-). I think these merit study. One route is to examine the conditions under which local flips of edges improves the balance. The question then becomes, could we ever have a situation where no local balance improvement is possible, despite an imbalance? Label a node +k if it has k more incoming than outgoing edges, -k if k more outgoing than incoming, and = if its in/out edges are balanced exactly. Suzanne's question is whether every node can always get a label in {+1,-1,=}. Suppose we have the situation

                +2 <-----  =
Then we could flip that edge to produce
                +1 ------> +1
So if there is an intransigent unbalanced node (the +2 above), it must have outgoing arcs, or incoming arcs from +1's or higher; otherwise the arcs could be reversed, improving balance. It seems we could study the conditions that must hold if (a) there is an imbalanced node, and (b) every edge flip intended to reduce the imbalance in fact creates more imbalance. Maybe this can't happen?

I propose we review the above as needed, and work on proving or disproving the hypothesis that every polyhedral graph can be directed so that all its vertices are balanced.

Lunch: Please reply to mdonoso@cs.smith.edu specifying your intention to attend, and placing a lunch order. The State Street Deli menu is on the bboard in McConnel 209. The class that used to meet just prior to our lunch in that seminar room has moved, so we should be able to start gathering shortly after 12:00, with many arriving after their classes let out at 12:10. We finish by 1:00PM in any case.

[Posted Monday 10/1/2001]


Student Web job at Smith

Judy Franklin

Immediate Job Opening at Smith

The Smith College Chapel is looking for a WEB WIZ. The Chapel web site needs updating and we are looking for a student with web maintenance experience who is available 5 hours per week over the course of the semester. Please call Charlene in the Chapel, X2753 if you would like to be our (paid) WEB GURU!

[Posted Tuesday 9/25/2001]


Bar-Magnet Polyhedra: I

Joseph O'Rourke
Time: Friday 28 Sep 01, 12:10-1:00PM
Location: McConnell 403A (Seminar Room)

Dear Computer Science Students and Faculty,

Last week we reviewed a plethora of possible topics, and interest was at least implicitly shown in many of them by nods around the table. The most explicit support came from Judy, who thought the Bar-Magnet Polyhedra problem was "attractive." It was not until she mentioned to me later that this was a joke that I saw the pun. :-) Nevertheless, partly because many of the other topics require advance work, I would like to start this Friday by exploring this unsolved bar-magnet problem. I have a formal description in The Opens Problem Project web pages, but informally it is to characterize those polyhedra one can build out of bar magnets without placing too many like poles at a vertex (which makes for instability). This time I will not forget to bring my models. I think there are interesting variations possible aside from the pure graph-theory formulation at the above link, and it would be worth us exploring the question for one or two weeks. I should mention that although this problem is unsolved, it is not necessarily difficult--rather it is new and therefore relatively unexplored.

Lunch: Please reply to mdonoso@cs.smith.edu specifying your intention to attend, and a lunch order if desired. [The lunch menu is pinned to the bulletin board in McConnell 209.] We will gather about 12:10 after the previous class lets out; hopefully our lunch will be delivered more promptly this week. End by 1:00PM, promise.

[Posted Tuesday 9/25/2001]


Computer Science Research Lunch: Fall Topics

Joseph O'Rourke
Time: Friday 21 Sep 01, 12:10-1:00PM
Location: McConnell 403A (Seminar Room)

Dear Computer Science Students and Faculty,

We are now ready to call for our first Computer Science Research Lunch meeting of the semester, for this coming Friday. The agenda is the same as last Friday's canceled meeting: to create a list of topics for the semester. See the previous announcement (on the department's "Announcements" web page) for the philosophy behind these meetings. Let me just reemphasize that they are intended to be fun, informative, and not over anyone's head.

Lunch: Please reply to mdonoso@cs.smith.edu specifying your intention to attend. Please note: Melody is going to take over the management of the lunch orders. For those of you who intended to attend last week, you can just say "same order," as we still have a record of your request. However, we will not reorder a lunch unless you recommit.

There is a class immediately prior to the lunch in the seminar room, so we'll never be able to get in there before 12:10. We always finish by 1:00PM. It's all too short, but we manage to have interesting discussions.

[Posted Wednesday 9/19/2001]


Computer Science Research Lunch: Fall Topics

Joseph O'Rourke
Time: Friday 14 Sep 01, 12:10-1:00PM CANCELLED ; will be held the 21st instead.
Location: McConnell 403A (Seminar Room)

Dear Computer Science Students and Faculty,

For two years now the department has held an informal "Computer Science Research Lunch" every Friday. We order lunch from State Street Deli (using funds provided by an alumna) and discuss some topic in computer science. The topics have ranged widely (see the "Announcements" link off the CS Department homepage), but usually have a research-oriented flavor. We have either explored some hot topic on the frontier of the field (quantum computing, everlasting security, quantum teleportation, protein folding), or we have worked on trying to solve some open problem via interactive research. It is intended to be a low-pressure environment, informative, and fun. Attendance is of course entirely voluntary, and is by no means restricted to computer science majors--anyone interested is welcome. We typically have 8-10 students in attendance.

This Friday we will primarily discuss which topics we might explore this semester. I'll offer up a plate of possibilities, and take suggestions. Whether we actually do anything substantive beyond that remains to be seen.

Lunch: Please reply to gtewari@cs.smith.edu specifying your intention to attend. We'll order lunch from State Street Deli, whose menu is pinned to the bulletin board in McConnell 209; a generic sandwich is also possible. Orders will be due Thursday afternoon at 2:30PM so that we can FAX in the order by the end of the day. (Please note that if you say you'll attend but do not, we end up ordering lunch for you and wasting a portion of our endowment.)

There is a class immediately prior to the lunch in the seminar room, so we'll never be able to get in there before 12:10. We always finish by 1:00PM.

[Posted Monday 9/10/2001]


Octavia Petrovici's Thesis Presentation

Joseph O'Rourke
Dear All, Everyone is invited to Octavia's Honors Thesis Presentation tomorrow afternoon! :-j
McConnell 404
May 2, 2001
4:15-5:30pm

Refreshments will be served

Title: "Trapping Rays with Mirrors"

[Posted Tuesday 5/1/2001]


Protein Folding IV

Geetika Tewari
Time: Friday 27 Apr 01, 12:10-1:00PM
Location: McConnell 403A (Seminar Room)

Dear Computer Science Students and Faculty,

This is the first announcement for this Friday's Computer Science Research Lunch. The details for the lunch, its location, etc. are below. Here are Joe's comments:

This will be our last CSRL lunch of the semester, as I will be away on May 4th. After three sessions on exploring papers on protein folding, I feel it is time for us to do some original, interactive research. I thought of a perhaps new locked-chains problem inspired by our investigations into protein folding, and I would like to work on that. I will bring a bag of straws (to represent the backbone of a protein), and scissors and tape, and we'll start a hands-on exploration.

Lunch: Please reply to gtewari@cs.smith.edu specifying your intention to attend. We'll order lunch from State Street Deli, whose menu is pinned to the bulletin board in McConnell 209; a generic sandwich is also possible. Orders will be due Thursday afternoon at 2:30PM.

[Posted Saturday 4/21/2001]


Protein Folding III

Geetika Tewari
Time: Friday 20 Apr 01, 12:10-1:00PM
Location: McConnell 403A (Seminar Room)

Dear Computer Science Students and Faculty,

This is the first announcement for this Friday's Computer Science Research Lunch. The details for the lunch, its location, etc. are below. Here are Joe's comments:

For our penulimate meeting of the semester, I would like to return to one aspect of the "probabilistic road map" (PRM) algorithm that we did not explore: How to generate random points in the configuration space of the protein molecule so that the bottlenecks in the space (the thin channels that must be threaded for the protein to fold) receive sufficiently many points. As we observed before, it would not suffice to generate the points randomly, for then their density would be proportional to the volume, and so would miss thin structures. I found three papers on this topic, all with Lydia Kavraki and her (former advisor) Jean-Claude Latombe of Stanford University as coauthors. I can't promise to read all three, but I'll browse enough to have something to report on this crucial technical topic. Also I promise to review the PRM algorithm in sufficient detail for newcomers to follow.

Lunch: Please reply to gtewari@cs.smith.edu specifying your intention to attend. We'll order lunch from State Street Deli, whose menu is pinned to the bulletin board in McConnell 209; a generic sandwich is also possible. Orders will be due Thursday afternoon at 2:30PM.

[Posted Monday 4/16/2001]


Protein Folding II

Geetika Tewari
Time: Friday 13 Apr 01, 12:10-1:00PM
Location: McConnell 403A (Seminar Room)

Dear Computer Science Students and Faculty,

This is the first announcement for this Friday's Computer Science Research Lunch. The details for the lunch, its location, etc. are below. Here are Joe's comments:

I see two directions to proceed after our discussion last week: backwards in time to other research on aspects of protein folding and dynamics, or sideways in time :-) into the interesting tangent of generating random points in configuration space. It makes sense to pursue the former first. Unfortunately, doing this well requires serious library research I don't have the time to do now. I have found and read one paper on polymer dynamics using cellular automata and Monte Carlo simulations. I will report on this work by Yaneer Bar-Yam, in his book Dynamics of Complex Systems. Several other papers I'd like to read might take more time to retrieve, so I don't want to promise anything beyond what I have in hand at the moment.

Lunch: Please reply to gtewari@cs.smith.edu specifying your intention to attend. We'll order lunch from State Street Deli, whose menu is pinned to the bulletin board in McConnell 209; a generic sandwich is also possible. Orders will be due Thursday afternoon at 2:30PM.

[Posted Monday 4/9/2001]


Hampshire Student Collaboration

Joseph O'Rourke
Next Thursday night (12th) at 7:00 pm, there will be a meeting in the clubhouse (ASH 221) Hampshire College, that will change the way you look at the World. Okay maybe not, but there will at least be some free pizza.

The topic... collaborating to build web-based services for Hampshire and the other 4 colleges. For over a year now, I and others have been working on grep (http://grep.hampshire.edu) to offer services such as news, announcements, directory, course catalog, etc.

Now with YOUR help and the help of other smart and cool people in the 5 college community, services like these are going to be brought to a whole new level.

It turns out there are kids just like us at the other colleges working on similar projects, and it just makes sense to collaborate, share and integrate our efforts.

At the meeting on Thursday night we plan to discuss current projects that are in the works, future projects that you would like to see happen, get to know each other, start to figure out who is interested in what, and eat food.

You should come regardless of your interest or expertise level. The projects we are talking about have several facets and I promise you can fit yourself in somewhere that will be useful.

I've been speaking with students at Amherst that are excited about collaborating. However, if you know of people from any of the other schools please let them know about the meeting.

If you have no idea what I'm talking about, please ask on or off the list and I'll fill you in.

If you are coming (and why wouldn't you) please send me an email off list so I can be sure you get some pizza. coxeter 164% cat hamp Next Thursday night (12th) at 7:00 pm, there will be a meeting in the clubhouse (ASH 221) Hampshire College, that will change the way you look at the World. Okay maybe not, but there will at least be some free pizza.

The topic... collaborating to build web-based services for Hampshire and the other 4 colleges. For over a year now, I and others have been working on grep (http://grep.hampshire.edu) to offer services such as news, announcements, directory, course catalog, etc.

Now with YOUR help and the help of other smart and cool people in the 5 college community, services like these are going to be brought to a whole new level.

It turns out there are kids just like us at the other colleges working on similar projects, and it just makes sense to collaborate, share and integrate our efforts.

At the meeting on Thursday night we plan to discuss current projects that are in the works, future projects that you would like to see happen, get to know each other, start to figure out who is interested in what, and eat food.

You should come regardless of your interest or expertise level. The projects we are talking about have several facets and I promise you can fit yourself in somewhere that will be useful.

I've been speaking with students at Amherst that are excited about collaborating. However, if you know of people from any of the other schools please let them know about the meeting.

If you have no idea what I'm talking about, please ask on or off the list and I'll fill you in.

If you are coming (and why wouldn't you) please send me an email off list so I can be sure you get some pizza. (jared@hampshire.edu)

If Thursday is terrible for lots of people then let me know and we'll work out an alternative time.

Thanks, _jared

[Posted Monday 4/9/2001]


The Changing Face of Science

D. Thiebaut
U U S S


Union of Underrepresented Science Students

"The Changing Face of Science"

A symposium to acknowledge the rising numbers of women of color in the sciences.

Saturday, April 7th
Smith College Campus
Seeyle 201
FREE

Registration is not required, but strongly recommended. To ensure that there is enough food, we ask that you e-mail kmcgill@smith.edu to say you are coming.
???s Kim 585-7458

[Posted Friday 3/30/2001]


Protein Folding I

Joseph O'Rourke
Here are Joe's comments:
We will start exploring protein folding, via a paper I recently ran across entitled "Using Motion Planning to Study Protein Folding Pathways." [URL: http://citeseer.nj.nec.com/song00using.html.] Their abstract claims that their "framework enables one to easily and efficiently compute folding pathways from any denatured starting state to the native fold." I have now read the paper, and I find it very interesting. We will need to fill in some background to understand this research paper, however. So consider this a starting point for our investigation of protein folding. We'll decide which directions we want to explore further at the meeting.

[Posted 3 Apr 2000]


Networking lunch, March 30th

D. Thiebaut
You are invited to a networking lunch on Friday, March 30, 2001 from 11:45 - 1:00 at the Alumnae House. Representatives from Boeing, Cisco, Ford, General Dynamics, Kollmorgen, Microsoft, Parsons Brinkerhoff, Raytheon, Texas Instruments, General Electric, Pfizer, United Technology, the Institute for Women and Technology, Women in Technology International, and Smith College will be joining us. This is a great opportunity to speak to people in fields of interest to you and possibly develop some contacts for future internships or jobs. While it is NOT a job fair, we do encourage you to bring along some resumes, in case someone requests one.

Please join us for good food and good company! RSVP by Wednesday to Patricia Pate at Ppate@smith.edu."

[Posted Monday 3/26/2001]


Women for Hire Boston Career Expo

D. Thiebaut
Just a quick reminder to SAVE THE DATE!

The Women For Hire Boston Career Expo is coming up:

This event is geared towards women.

Tuesday, April 3
Swissotel
Ballroom, 4th Floor
Boston, MA

10am to 4pm

FREE ADMISSION/ NO PRE-REGISTRATION

Bring plenty of resumes. Business attire is suggested

MEET DIRECTLY WITH RECRUITERS FROM LEADING COMPANIES. It's a terrific opportunity to launch or advance your professional career.

Among the diverse participants: Accenture, American Express Financial Advisors, Bay Cove, Boston College, Crate & Barrel, Commonwealth of Massachusetts Division of Banks to Boston, Department of Labor, DigitalEve, Fairchild Semiconductor, Federal Reserve Bank, Fidelity Investments, Headhunter.net, HSBC, IBM, Intel, Interface Media, Investors Bank & Trust, Liberty Mutual, MapInfo, MBNA Information Services, Mass Mutual, Merrill Lynch, Motorola, Northwestern Mutual Financial Network, NSTAR, OnSite Companies, Peace Corps, Phoenix Media/FNX Radio, PRIMUS, Random Walk Computing, Raytheon, State Street Corporation, State Street Global Advisors, UniFirst Corporation, Watson Wyatt, Womens Executive Network, WITI, XO Communications and many more.

There will be a complimentary book signing by Pulitzer prize-winning columnist Ellen Goodman.

For more information and a complete list of the participating companies, please visit www.womenforhire.com or contact Stefanie Land at land@womenforhire.com.

We hope to see you there!

[Posted Monday 3/26/2001]


SAM (Sewer Access Module)

Geetika Tewari
Time: Friday 12 Mar 01, 12:10-1:00PM
Location: McConnell 403A (Seminar Room)

Dear Computer Science Students and Faculty,

This is the first announcement for this Friday's Computer Science Research Lunch. The details for the lunch, its location, etc. are below. Here are Joe's comments:

(Sorry for the incongruous juxtaposition of "lunch" and "sewer"!) I will report on a robot developed by a Swiss company (KA-TE System AG), and now employed by a U.S. company (CityNet) to string fiber optic cables through the inaccessible sewer pipes under city streets. A nice mixture of networks and robotics!

Lunch: Please reply to gtewari@cs.smith.edu specifying your intention to attend. We'll order lunch from State Street Deli, whose menu is pinned to the bulletin board in McConnell 209; a generic sandwich is also possible. Orders will be due Thursday afternoon at 2:30PM.

[Posted Monday 3/12/2001]


Everlasting Security

Geetika Tewari
Time: Friday 2 Mar 01, 12:10-1:00PM
Location: McConnell 403A (Seminar Room)

Dear Computer Science Students and Faculty,

This is an announcement for this Friday's Computer Science Research lunch which will focus on a new cryptographic scheme. If you plan to attend, please send me (gtewari@cs.smith.edu) an email specifying your lunch order by Thursday 2:30 pm.

Here are Joe's comments:

Octavia and I will discuss the new, provably secure crytographic scheme announced by Ding & Rabin of Harvard University. It claims to guarantee uncrackability even against attacks by a computationally unbounded adversary. It sounds nearly unbelievable. There is some controversy over its practicality, with the authors claiming it is practical, and others saying it is not. I cannot guarantee we will settle all controversies and clear up all mysteries, but we hope to provide a better understanding of their accomplishments.

[Posted Tuesday 2/27/2001]


Women For Hire Boston Career Expo

Dominique Thiebaut
This event is geared towards women.

Just a quick reminder to SAVE THE DATE!

This event is geared towards women.

The Women For Hire Boston Career Expo is coming up:

Tuesday, April 3
Swissotel
Boston, MA

10am to 4pm

FREE ADMISSION/ NO PRE-REGISTRATION

Bring plenty of resumes. Business attire is suggested

MEET DIRECTLY WITH RECRUITERS FROM LEADING COMPANIES. It's a terrific opportunity to launch or advance your professional career.

Among the diverse participants: Accenture, Crate & Barrel, Commonwealth of Massachusetts Division of Banks to Boston, EDS, Edward Jones, HALO, Headhunter.net, HSBC, Intel, Investors Bank & Trust, iVillage.com, Merrill Lynch, Motorola, Northwestern Mutual Financial Network, NStar, OnSite Companies, Pfizer, State Street Corporation, TD Waterhouse, Women's Executive Network, WITI, XO Communications and many more.

For more information and a complete list of the participating companies, please visit www.womenforhire.com.

[Posted Saturday 2/24/2001]


Hewlett Packard Internships for Summer 2001

Joseph O'Rourke
Hewlett-Packard is hiring for a number of summer interns this summer. Like many companies, HP is focused on increasing diverse backgrounds and viewpoints within the organization. Smith College could provide excellent highly motivated and qualified students.

I am a Project Manager within Hewlett-Packard's Technical Computing Division in Fort Collins, Colorado. My purpose in writing is to ask if you could recommend some of your students for our internships, or forward on a notification of these opportunities to your students. We would like to fill these positions no later than the end of March 2001.

Our lab develops Unix, Linux and NT Technical workstations. We design the entire system from the computer chips, to the system boards to the system software. We also work with a variety of industry partners to create complete solutions. Our principal customers are in the Mechanical and Electrical Design markets as well as Scientific Visualization and Digital Content Creation markets.

Students participating in HP's internship program can expect a fun, Students participating in HP's internship program can expect a fun, and an exciting company, industry and products. The experience will likely help motivate their interest in Computer Science and in possible careers with Hewlett-Packard.

Our internship assignments will be in a variety of areas involving system software development and qualification on different OS streams and different new system architectures.

If you would like to call and discuss these opportunities in more detail or if your students would like to find out more details, please feel free to do so. I look forward to hearing from you!

With regards,

Maureen B. Smith Hoffert
Project Manager
Technical Computing Center/HP-UX Workstation Lab
Hewlett Packard
970 898 2774

[Posted Tuesday 2/20/2001]


Push-1 in NP? I.

Geetika Tewari
Time: Friday 16 Feb 01, 12:10-1:00PM
Location: McConnell 403A (Seminar Room)

Dear Computer Science Students and Faculty,

This is an announcement for this Friday's Computer Science Research lunch which will focus on Pushing block puzzles. Here are Joe's comments:


This week we will start exploring the key remaining open problem on Pushing Blocks Puzzles. In particular we'll work on a conjecture of Geetika and myself that Push-1 is in NP. Push-1 is the version where the robot can only push 1 block at a time, and it only moves exactly as far as it is pushed (no sliding). We aimed to show the problem is in NP by proving that no solution path need ever be too long. In particular, I believe that a shortest solution path is O(n^2) for n total board squares.

We'll introduce you to the issues and start working on it.


Lunch: Please reply to gtewari@cs.smith.edu specifying your intention to attend. We'll order lunch from State Street Deli, whose menu is pinned to the bulletin board in McConnell 209; a generic sandwich is also possible. Orders will be due Thursday afternoon at 2:30PM.

[Posted Wednesday 2/14/2001]


Status Report: Balls and Blocks

Joseph O'Rourke
Time: Friday 9 Feb 01, 12:10-1:00PM (i.e., tomorrow!)
Location: McConnell 403A (Seminar Room)

Dear Computer Science Students and Faculty,

My apologies for the late start on our "Computer Science Research Lunches" for the spring semester. I'm afraid you'll have to take quick action this week, as we need the lunch orders by this (Thursday) afternoon.

My plan is to review the status of two problems on which we worked hard in the last two years: Stabbing congruent balls in 3D, and Pushing Blocks puzzles. There have been advances on both topics since we last met. Even if you've not attended any of the previous meetings, you should be able to follow and participate in the discussion.

We will also make plans for topics for the spring semester.

Lunch: Please reply to gtewari@cs.smith.edu (not to Joe!) specifying your intention to attend. We'll order lunch from State Street Deli, whose menu is pinned to the bulletin board in McConnell 209; a generic sandwich is also possible. Orders will be due Thursday afternoon at 3:00PM.

[Posted Thursday 2/8/2001]


Internships at Morgan-Stanley Dean Witter

Dominique Thiebaut
See email from Maliha Maleck, dated 1/29/01, below:

[Posted Monday 1/29/2001]


Summer Research at Smith

Joseph O'Rourke
Joe O'Rourke and Ileana Streinu seek several students to work this summer on our NSF-funded computational geometry projects. Students work a portion of the summer (typically 6-12 weeks), receiving the same salary as other summer science students, approximately $400/wk. Students who have completed CS-2 (CSC 112), Calculus, and Discrete (MTH 153), will be most comfortable with the projects. More familiarity with our specialties, via Graphics (CSC 240), Computational Geometry (CSC 274), Graph Theory (MTH 255), Combinatorics (MTH 254), or Complexity Theory (MTH 353), is especially useful. Write to either or both of us (orourke@cs.smith.edu, streinu@cs.smith.edu) if you are interested. Replies during February will receive first consideration.

[Posted Saturday 1/27/2001]


Internships at i2 Technologies

Dominique Thiebaut
Laura McLellan, nee Eshner, who graduated from Smith with a CS major a few years back, is now working at i2 Technologies and sent us a note that they are looking for summer interns.

About i2:

i2 is looking for world-class students who want to gain valuable business experience. This on-the-job experience will increase your knowledge on how i2 brings value to our customers. For many Fortune 500s, i2 is the foremost provider of decision support and software optimization solutions for complex business enterprises. We offer a number of internship opportunities in the following locations:

Atlanta, GA
Austin, TX
Boston, MA
Chicago, IL
Dallas, TX
Detroit, MI
Parsippany, NJ
Redwood Shores, CA
Here is how the internship program works at i2:

As an intern at i2, you will be involved in a career-related work assignment supervised by an experienced mentor with expertise in your chosen career field. Internships can range from 3 to 6 months in which a student may or may not receive college credits depending on university guidelines.

The candidates will need to apply online to www.i2.com/college to create a profile, attach their resume, and select their area of interest.

Why should you choose an internship at i2?

You will be assigned a mentor who will help you through your internship and expose you to various real world assignments. You will gain work experience making you more marketable when you graduate. You will be exposed to one of the most exciting emerging segments in today’s business world. You will see first hand why so many people love working at i2.

Requirements for Student Interns:

Minimum 3.6 GPA or higher Create profile and submit resume online (www.i2.com/college) Students pursuing an undergraduate or graduate degree

Timeline

Deadline for resumes submission

February 9, 2001

Duration of Internship

May 2001 to August 31, 2001

[Posted Wednesday 1/24/2001]


Microsoft Women's Technical Scholarship

Biliana Kaneva
Microsoft Women's Technical Scholarship

Scholarship overview.
	Microsoft is committed to building great software and services. To
do that, we need a wide range of great perspectives from both men and women.
The Microsoft Women's Technical Scholarship Program is designed to encourage
women to pursue studies in computer science and related technical
disciplines. Microsoft is offering a full-tuition scholarship for the
2001-2002 academic year.  Applications must be postmarked by Friday, March
2nd, 2001. Microsoft will review all applications and select final
candidates on the basis of eligibility, quality of application, interest in
the software industry, and financial need. Microsoft will interview
finalists by the end of March 2001. The names of the scholarship winners
will be announced by April 15th, 2001.      

	What are the provisions of the award?

	Scholarships are awarded to recipients for one academic year.The
scholarship will cover 100 percent of the tuition for the 2001-2002 academic
year as posted by the financial aid office of the university or college. The
scholarships are made through the designated school and are not transferable
to other academic institutions. The funds are to be used for tuition only
and may not be used for other costs on the recipient's bursar bill. All
recipients of the scholarship will be required to complete a salaried summer
internship of 12 weeks or more at Microsoft Corporation in Redmond,
Washington. (Microsoft reserves the right not to offer a position to the
scholarship winner if an appropriate match cannot be found.)        
	
	What are the criteria for scholarship eligibility?

	The student must be female.  Students must be enrolled full-time and
making satisfactory progress toward an undergraduate degree in computer
science, computer engineering, or a related technical discipline, such as
math or physics, with a demonstrated interest in computer science. Because
the scholarship is merit based, the student must maintain a 3.0 cumulative
grade point average out of a possible 4.0, or a 4.0 cumulative grade point
average out of a possible 5.0.     

	What is Required to Apply?
	A complete application includes the following items: 
	
	Letter of referral. Enclose a letter of referral from a faculty
member in your computer science department or the department of a related
discipline. 

	Essay Questions.
Use one page to answer all the following essay questions.  
	1.	Describe how you demonstrate your passion for technology
outside the classroom.
	2.	Describe the toughest technical problem you've worked on,
how long did you work on it, your role and final outcome.
	3.	Describe an event which demonstrates initiative and your
willingness to go above and beyond.
	4.	Describe how you are currently funding your college
education.                  

	Résumé. Enclose a copy of your résumé, which should include the
following information:     
	Your e-mail address      
	Your campus address and phone number      
	Your campus ID number      
	Your permanent address and phone number      
	Your major     
	Your expected graduation date Transcript. Enclose an official,
sealed copy of your current academic transcript. 
	     
	Please send your completed application to:      
	Heather Raschko     
	(Type of scholarship you are applying for)      
	Microsoft Corporation     
	One Microsoft Way     
	Redmond, WA 98052-8303 

For more information about open technical positions for undergraduate and
recent graduates, click Job Opportunities
(http://www.microsoft.com/college/ftime.htm). To get more of the flavor of
campus and surrounding area, click Northwest Life
(http://www.microsoft.com/college/nlife.htm). Also, read about Diversity
(www.microsoft.com/jobs/diversity.htm) at Microsoft.  

[Posted Wednesday 1/10/2001]


Part-time jobs at Chiliad in Amherst

Dominique Thiebaut
Do you have a passion for the Internet? Do you want to help make it better? Cooler? Easier to use?

Chiliad is looking for technically-oriented students to fill part-time Information Engineer positions in their Amherst office. Information Engineers will collect the content for a new, high-visibility destination web site, playing a vital role in the success of Chiliad's site.

You must have extensive experience using the Internet, demonstrated ability to quickly learn new software tools, strong analytic skills and attention to detail, experience in at least one programming language, and be able to work independently. A major in Computer Science, CSE, or ECE is highly desirable.

Information Engineers earn $13-17 per hour, enjoy flexible work hours, and gain valuable experience in a cutting-edge, high-tech company. Chiliad's Information Production office is located in downtown Amherst, convenient to several bus routes.

Qualified candidates should send their resume to HR@chiliad.com. Jobs begin in early to mid-January.

[Posted Friday 1/5/2001]


Short-term Programming Jobs

Joseph O'Rourke
Date: Fri, 01 Dec 2000 10:45:55 -0500
From: Jo Landers 
Subject: Jobs

Cutting edge web design firm seeks C/Unix programmer for short-term contract assignments. Most work can be done remotely. Please send resume, including references and years of programming experience, to jobs@positronicdesign.com.

[Posted Wednesday 12/13/2000]


Reattaching Linkages III

Geetika Tewari
Time: Friday 15 Dec 00, 12:10-1:00PM
Location: McConnell 403A (Seminar Room)

Dear Computer Science Students and Faculty,

This is the first announcement for this Friday's Computer Science Research Lunch. Here are Joe's comments:


Last week we explored reconfiguring polygonal chains using the reattchment operation. We clarified the preferred definition of this operation to permit (a) whole-edge contact, but no crossing, and (b) breaking of a full-chain cycle at an arbitrary joint. The latter allows cyclic permutation of any sequence, as long as no link exceeds the total length of all others (for in this circumstance, the two ends of the chain cannot reach each other).

Using our equal-length algorithm, it became clear that as long as every length is <= the sum of any pair of other lengths, then every permutation is reachable, for sufficiently long chains (>= 5 links long). This is Ferran's sufficiency condition. For if this condition is satisfied, then we can apply our equal-length algorithm to transpose two adjacent elements. The reason to insist upon at least 5 links is so that we can run the algorithm without having to tail-reverse a chain of length 2, which might not be possible (e.g., if their lengths are 1.5 and 1). We can always move the elements to be transposed to the first two positions in the chain, and as long as we have at least 3 other links, and the Ferran-condition holds, it should work.

We worked a bit on chains whose lengths follow an arithmetic progression: P_5=(1,2,3,4,5). These fail the Ferran-condition; e.g., 5 > 1+2. We did not reach clarity here, but it seems that not all permutations are reachable. The issue is whether the Ferran-condition is also necessary, and this is what I suggest we focus on: Is it the case that if a chain of >= 5 links can be reconfigured to every permutation, must it be that L_i <= L_j + L_k for all i <> j <> k? Perhaps we should look at minimal violators, rather than P_n, which profusely violates the condition. A minimal violator would be, e.g., M=(1,1,1,1,1,2.01,1,1,1,1,1). Any chain that violates the condition but allows every permutation to be reached would serve as a counterexample. If we can't find a counterexample, maybe it's true!


Update 12 Dec: In the original announcement (above) I asked whether the sufficient condition noted by Ferran Hurtado (that each length be no longer than the sum of any other two) is also necessary, suggesting that we look at minimal violators. Following my own advice, I believe I have a counterexample.

The chain C has 6 links, with lengths (L,1,1,1,1,1), where L will be the violator. We can in fact let L be as large as 4.999... This violates the sufficient condition because L > 1+1. Here is the argument that we can reach any permutation of C.

We know we can permute (1,1,1,1,1) using our equal-length transposition algorithm. Remember we are imagining labels attached to each link, and it is the labels we wish to permute. Let me use (a,b,c,d,e,f) as the 6 labels for C, with 'a' the label associated with the L-link. Suppose we want to reconfigure to achieve the permuation P=(x1,x2,x3,x4,x5,x6), where each xi is one of the labels in {a,b,d,c,d,e}. Suppose that, e.g., x4=a, so that the L-link is in the 4th position: P=(x1,x2,x3,a,x5,x6). P is our goal. Now I will specify subgoals. The first subgoal is P1=(a,x5,x6,x1,x2,x3). Note that if we reach P1, we can easily reach P this way: form a complete cycle (possible because L < 5), and then cut between links labeled x1 and x6. Now we make a subgoal on the tail of P1. We seek to make P2=(x5,x6,x1,x2,x3). This is some permutation of the labels {b,d,c,d,e} (missing a). We already know how to reach any permutation of these 5 equal-length links. Apply our equal-length link algorithm from the initial permutation (b,d,c,d,e) to reach P2. The L-link can sit at the head of this chain throughout the algorithm. In this way we reach P1, and from there P. Therefore we can reach an arbitrary permutation.

So this shows that some chains that violate Ferran's condition nevertheless allow reaching every permutation. Therefore the condition is not necessary.


Lunch: Please reply to this message (to gtewari@cs.smith.edu) specifying your intention to attend. We'll order lunch from State Street Deli, whose menu is pinned to the bulletin board in McConnell 209; a generic sandwich is also possible. Orders will be due Thursday afternoon at 3:00PM.

[Posted Monday 12/11/2000]


Ph.D. program in GIS at Buffalo

Joseph O'Rourke
From: Patricia Randall 
Subject: IGERT Fellowship Program

I am writing to ask you to make the following information available to any person who may be interested in an innovative Ph.D. program in Geographic Information Science (GI Science) at the University at Buffalo. With funding from the National Science Foundation, the University at Buffalo launched its Integrative Graduate Education and Research Training (IGERT) program in GI Science in Fall 1999, and we are now beginning the third year of our program.

The IGERT program in GI Science also offers a limited number of enhanced funding packages, to US Citizens and Permanent Residents who enroll in the Ph.D. program in any one of the University departments listed below, and who concentrate in GI Science. The fellowship packages include a stipend of $15,000, tuition and fee remission, health insurance, and cost of education allowances.

The IGERT in GI Science also includes internships, participation in programs of active research, conference travel support, and opportunities to participate in special training seminars and workshops. If someone you know might benefit from this program, please bring it to their attention. Applications from minority, female and disabled candidates are encouraged.

Further information is available on our web site at http://www.geog.buffalo.edu/ncgia/igert/ or by contacting us by e-mail at ncgia-igis@acsu.buffalo.edu, or by phone at (716) 645-2545, ext. 47.

Thank you in advance for your assistance with our recruiting efforts.

[Posted Thursday 12/7/2000]


Reattaching Linkages II

Geetika Tewari
Time: Friday 8 Dec 00, 12:10-1:00PM
Location: McConnell 403A (Seminar Room)

Dear Computer Science Students and Faculty,

This is the first announcement for this Friday's Computer Science Research Lunch. Here are Joe's comments:


We will continue with our exploration of reattaching linkages. Last week we established that a simple chain, all of whose link lengths are equal, can achieve any permutation of its links if we define the reattachment operation to permit one edge to touch and collinearly overlap another (as opposed to only permitting vertex touching). The number of moves of our algorithm is some small constant (about 5) times the number of transpositions separating the starting from the ending permutation.

This week I propose we begin to study simple chains with unequal link lengths. We know that not all permutations are achievable, and the challenge here is to characterize which are reachable depending on the lengths.


Lunch: Please reply to this message (to gtewari@cs.smith.edu) specifying your intention to attend. We'll order lunch from State Street Deli, whose menu is pinned to the bulletin board in McConnell 209; a generic sandwich is also possible. Orders will be due Thursday afternoon at 3:00PM.

[Posted Tuesday 12/5/2000]


Reattaching Linkages

Geetika Tewari
Time: Friday 1 Dec 00, 12:10-1:00PM
Location: McConnell 403A (Seminar Room)

Dear Computer Science Students and Faculty,

This is the first announcement for this Friday's Computer Science Research Lunch. Here are Joe's comments:


So far this semester we have explored a variety of cutting-edge topics, but we have not yet attempted any interactive research of our own. I propose that this week we start exploring a new problem posed at the Japan Conference on Computational Geometry last week. It involves reconfiguring polygonal chains in the plane, a now well-understand problem, but with the new wrinkle that the chain can reconstitute its structure by attaching a loose end to an interior vertex, and separating formerly connected links. Although the problem is contrived to make it mathematically clean, it is not unrelated to robots who can reconfigure their own structure.

Lunch: Please reply to this message (to gtewari@cs.smith.edu) specifying your intention to attend. We'll order lunch from State Street Deli, whose menu is pinned to the bulletin board in McConnell 209; a generic sandwich is also possible. Orders will be due Thursday afternoon at 3:00PM.

[Posted Tuesday 11/28/2000]


Chaos is Undecidable

Geetika Tewari
Time: Friday 17 Nov 00, 12:10-1:00PM
Location: McConnell 403A (Seminar Room)

Dear Computer Science Students and Faculty,

This is the first announcement for next Friday's Computer Science Research Lunch. Here are Joe's comments:


We will discuss a paper by Cris Moore, an Assistant Professor the University of New Mexico, with a joint appointments in the departments of Computer Science, Physics, and Astronomy, as well as at the Santa Fe Complexity Institute. (Impressive credentials!) The paper is entitled Unpredicability and Undecidability in Dynamical Systems and establishes that, in some sense, chaos is undecidable. Geetika has volunteered to help me explain in what sense, and we'll also explore the wider implications of this work.

Lunch: Please reply to this message (to gtewari@cs.smith.edu) specifying your intention to attend. We'll order lunch from State Street Deli, whose menu is pinned to the bulletin board in McConnell 209; a generic sandwich is also possible. Orders will be due Thursday afternoon at 3:00PM.

[Posted Sunday 11/12/2000]


Microsoft's XBox

Geetika Tewari
Time: Friday 10 Nov 00, 12:10-1:00PM
Location: McConnell 403A (Seminar Room)

Dear Computer Science Students and Faculty,

This is the announcement for Friday's Computer Science Research Lunch, which will concentrate on the hardware specs for Microsoft's announced new game box, the XBox. Veronica Morales, our local Gamer, will lead the discussion.

Lunch: Please reply to this message (to gtewari@cs.smith.edu) specifying your intention to attend. We'll order lunch from State Street Deli, whose menu is pinned to the bulletin board in McConnell 209; a generic sandwich is also possible. Orders will be due Thursday afternoon at 3:00PM.

[Posted Wednesday 11/8/2000]


ISP in Cambridge needs programmers

Dominique Thiebaut

Hello:

My name is Keith Donaldson. I am President/CEO of an Internet start-up called Cabali. Cabali, Inc. is a pioneer in the $25 billion Application Service Provider (ASP) market. We are well funded, with office space near MIT in Cambridge, Massachusetts. At this time we are looking to build out our development team.

We are a MIT start-up that is creating a technology that will revolutionize network computing. Our mission is to build a scalable infrastructure for ASPs. We are building a set of scalable and reliable services for networks, which will function as the building blocks for higher-level applications.

We are looking for C/C++/JAVA developers with knowledge client/server technology and distributed computing. If you are interested, please email (RTF format preferred) or fax your resume:

Thanks for your time and consideration.

*************************************************************
All resumes received will be held in complete confidence.
*************************************************************

___________________________________

Keith D. Donaldson, President/CEO

CABALI, INC.
87 CHERRY STREET
CAMBRIDGE, MASSACHUSETTS 02139
617.945.1860: TELEPHONE
617.945.1870: FACSIMILE
617.403.0288: MOBILE
http://www.cabali.com

~ enabling the evolution ~
___________________________________

[Posted Wednesday 11/8/2000]


Unix Admin wanted at Wesleyan

Dominique Thiebaut
Hello, We are currently looking to fill two Unix Administrator positions at Wesleyan University. The position can be either junior or senior level depending on an individual's experience. A position description is attached in Word format for your review. Please post this in your department and/or forward this to anyone you feel may be qualified and interested in the position. Information for applying can be found on the description. Please feel free to contact me with any questions. Thank you in advance for your assistance. Teresa D. Johnston Consultant for Wesleyan University Wesleyan HR @aol.com 508-887-8884 508-887-8721 (fax)

[Posted Saturday 11/4/2000]


Job openings at iVillage.com

Dominique Thiebaut
Susan Dorward, Vice President of the Web Development group at iVillage.com (http://www.ivillage.com), the women's network, and former CS major, just sent us a note that iVillage was hiring. If you are interested in working for a fast growing Web company, dedicated to women and women's issues, check it out: http://www.ivillage.com/jobs.

[Posted Thursday 11/2/2000]


Dell on campus, November 9th

Dominique Thiebaut
Received from Dell, where Sorina and Haley are reaching the middle of their first year!

Dell (from Texas, as I'm sure you're aware being in the field) is interviewing November 9th in the CDO. They had a deadline which already passed last week, but did not get as high a response as they (or we) would like to see.

So, they've extended the deadline! It's this Thursday November 2nd at midnight. Students (seniors) must submit their resume/cover letter on the CDO's erecruiting website to Dell's account, if anybody doesn't know how to do that, I'd be happy to explain it to them (by Thursday at 4:30).

They'll accept anyone with computer tech talents, although would especially love to see anybody who might have talents for the electical engineering related positions.

Below, is a listing of the postions. There are so many I of course don't expect you or any of your faculty to read them all, but in case you'd like to browse them, or forward it to a student, it's there.

Thank you!

Eric Saczawa
CDO
Recruiting


Dell will be interviewing for several positions in the Product Group and determining which you are best qualified for during the interview. The positions are as follows: %%%%% Dell Product Group: Software Integration Engineer Responsible for development of Dell system and peripheral management and installation utilities, applications, and software to support integration with Industry standard platforms such as Microsoft NT, Novell Netware and Linux. Works with industry partners to implement Dell specific versions of their product to our customers. This position requires excellent teamwork skills, superb communication skills, drive for results and excellent debugging skills. This position works in a multi-disciplined team, so working with others with various different viewpoints and skills is very important. Duties may include analysis of 3rd party software, design of Dell components, design of Dell interfaces to products, coding, debugging, responding to test issues and support of resolution of issues from the customer base.
Dell Product Group: Performance Engineer Responsible for test, analysis and publication of industry papers on performance characteristics of Dell's systems, peripherals and other products. This position requires very developed analysis skills, excellent written communications, and experience with performance analysis. Drive for results is critical. Duties may include upfront design analysis to help drive design decisions to improve performance, analysis of specifications to design performance tests, implementing tests and analyzing results, writing and submitting test reports, and supporting sales and marketing with specific performance analysis requests.
Dell Product Group: Test Engineer The responsibility for this position include developing and documenting System Test Plans/Test Cases for newly developed and current hardware or software products. Additional responsibilities include developing test tools and methodologies for use in various test phases, directing a test team during test execution and reporting results to development engineers and management. The Test engineer will be responsible for working with the design team, cross-functional teams and suppliers to ensure that the design meets the requirements for; feature set, functionality, cost, reliability, regulatory compliance, and industry standards compliance. Experience with Testing preferred.
Dell Product Group: Product Operations Engineer GENERAL SUMMARY: As a member of the Product Core Team the job requirements for this position include overall responsibility for coordination of Operational activities associated with the introduction of a new product worldwide. As a member of a Product Development Extended Team the job responsibilities include coordinating all operational activities associated with the introduction of the new product. Additional responsibilities managing the Operations Extended Team, which has overall responsibility for Material Planning, Manufacturing diagnostics, PWA testing, Test Strategy, DFX, Operations Functional Plan Worldwide, and Factory Product Readiness.
WEB TECHNOLOGIST II (Application/Software Developer) The Dell Computer Support Technology Online (STO) organization is currently searching for an Application Developer to join its rapidly expanding team. This person will work as a key member of the software engineering team responsible for developing and deploying high quality global Intranet, Extranet and Internet service and support applications. This position requires knowledge of Internet technologies, and software development lifecycle experience. This position requires knowledge and understanding of the integration and use of various programming languages and architectures such as Active Server Pages, VBScript, JavaScript, Visual Basic, COM, DCOM, n-tier architectures and networking protocols for enterprise-level systems. This position requires some experience with relational database technologies such as MS SQL Server, MS Access and Oracle. This position requires some experience with user-interface design and layout for online applications with both native HTML coding and graphics construction using various development tools. A working knowledge of Internet related network services such as NT Server, Internet Information Server (IIS), Microsoft Transaction Server (MTS), TCP/IP, and various web server administration / performance tools is highly desired.
Database Administrator The HSB e-Intelligence team has a unique opportunity for an experienced reporting analyst to join our site analysis team. This position requires advanced SQL skills and advanced knowledge of relational database principles, practices and data are housing. Candidate should have reporting & analysis background using standard query tools, as well as OLAP reporting tools (Brio), and data mining tools (SAS). Experience with Windows NT/2000 and Internet technologies preferably related to Microsoft products (ASP, JavaScript, VBScript, IIS, SQL Server) is required. The candidate must have excellent analytical, interpersonal, and teamwork skills and the ability to interact effectively with the user community to gather reporting requirements and explain reporting and analysis results to non-technical users. The person selected for this Web Technologist position should be capable of applying broad knowledge of Web site management and programming practices to the completion of business objectives.
Information Technology: Applications Programmer Responsible for support, maintenance, and development of key user applications which include financial, manufacturing, sales/marketing, and technical support systems. Requires a working knowledge of one or more of the following tools: COBOL, C/C++, Visual Basic 4.0/5.0, SQL, Oracle, OOD, Client Server Technologies, HTML, PERL, JAVA.
Operations Analyst Responsible for setting up, coordinating and monitoring the operation of computer equipment. Provides support and maintain mainframes, network and electronic mail gateways. May assist in running diagnostic tests to detect machine malfunctions and monitor control panels, magnetic tape units and other peripheral equipment. Rearranges job priorities if necessary, maintains operating records. Reports any observed deviations from standard performance.
Network Analyst Responsible for maintenance and support of NetWare/NT corporate network systems, operations and processes. Supports the corporate LAN file servers, Notes servers and cc:mail/ms exchange post offices. Provides second level network support to I/T personnel and end users.
Client Assistance Specialist The first point of contact for Dell internal problem management is the client assistance specialist. This position requires good written, interpersonal and analytical skills. Knowledge and experience is needed in troubleshooting PC's, applications, utilities, and operating systems such as DOS, Windows, and UNIX. Software support includes word processing, spreadsheets, email, and scheduling applications. Network support includes Novell and Windows NT and applications from either environment. With the skills learned in this position, you will acquire a comprehensive understanding that will enable you to enter other Dell IT career paths such as programming, systems, networks, voice systems, and problem management.
Dell Product Group: Development Engineer GENERAL SUMMARY: The responsibilities for this position include developing and qualifying electronic designs (motherboard, peripherals, and competent) for desktop, portable and server computer systems. Duties include all activities necessary to take a design from concept to production including, architecture definition, schematic design, simulation, work with ECAD for physical board layout/route, debug, test issue resolution and factory ramp support. Additional duties include development/qualification of the associated device drivers/applets. The developmental engineer will be responsible for working with the design team, cross-functional teams and suppliers to ensure his or her design meets the requirements for; feature set, functionality, cost, reliability, regulatory compliance, and industry standards compliance. Responsible for designing, developing, modifying, and evaluating electronic parts, components or integrated circuitry for electronic equipment and other hardware systems.
Dell Product Group: Simulation Engineer GENERAL SUMMARY: The responsibilities for this position include developing and qualifying electrical design constraints defining layout requirements that ensure signal integrity for desktop, portable and server computer systems. Duties include all activities necessary to take a design from concept to production ready prototype, analyzing the architecture definition, schematic design and conflicting layout requirements, working with Development Engineers, ECAD, and Electrical Analysis. Additional duties include working with suppliers and development/extended team members to identify and resolve issues impacting a program's ability to successfully ship and meet Dell's quality standards.
Dell Product Group: BIOS/Firmware Engineer GENERAL SUMMARY: The responsibilities for this position include developing and qualifying BIOS and Firmware for desktop, peripherals, portables and server computer systems. This position requires knowledge of Assembler and C++, and ability to work in a multi-disciplined team. Requires desire to work with both hardware and software to implement Dell systems to meet needs of our customers. Duties include analysis of hardware specifications, design of firmware/BIOS code, coding product, debugging, responding to test issues and issues from the customer base once the development project is shipped. The BIOS/Firmware engineer will be responsible for working with the design team, cross-functional teams and suppliers to ensure his or her design meets the requirements for; feature set, functionality, cost, reliability, regulatory compliance, and industry standards compliance.
Dell Product Group: Test Engineer The responsibility for this position include developing and documenting System Test Plans/Test Cases for newly developed and current hardware or software products. Additional responsibilities include developing test tools and methodologies for use in various test phases, directing a test team during test execution and reporting results to development engineers and management. The Test engineer will be responsible for working with the design team, cross-functional teams and suppliers to ensure that the design meets the requirements for; feature set, functionality, cost, reliability, regulatory compliance, and industry standards compliance.
Dell Product Group: Regulatory Engineer GENERAL SUMMARY: Responsible for electromagnetic compatibility, product safety, and/or environmental/ecology design of PC systems. Duties include working with cross-functional teams to ensure all aspects of EMI mitigation, product safety and environmental/ecology are implemented into a product design to support compliance to all country regulatory requirements. This includes initial; as well as sustaining product compliance.
Dell Product Group: Power Supply Engineer GENERAL SUMMARY: The responsibilities for this position include developing and qualifying power supply designs to support desktop, portable and server computer systems. The Power Supply engineer will be responsible for working with the design team, cross-functional teams and suppliers to ensure his or her design meets the requirements for; feature set, functionality, cost, reliability, regulatory compliance, and industry standards compliance.
Dell Product Group: Product Operations Engineer GENERAL SUMMARY: As a member of the Product Core Team the job requirements for this position include overall responsibility for coordination of Operational activities associated with the introduction of a new product worldwide. As a member of a Product Development Extended Team the job responsibilities include coordinating all operational activities associated with the introduction of the new product. Additional responsibilities managing the Operations Extended Team, which has overall responsibility for Material Planning, Manufacturing diagnostics, PWA testing, Test Strategy, DFX, Operations Functional Plan Worldwide, and Factory Product Readiness.
Dell Product Group: Performance Engineer Responsible for test, analysis and publication of industry papers on performance characteristics of Dell's systems, peripherals and other products. This position requires very developed analysis skills, excellent written communications, and experience with performance analysis. Drive for results is critical. Duties may include upfront design analysis to help drive design decisions to improve performance, analysis of specifications to design performance tests, implementing tests and analyzing results, writing and submitting test reports, and supporting sales and marketing with specific performance analysis requests.
Product Engineering Responsible for production support engineering for a specific group of products. Assume responsibility for product after transfer to high volume production. Interface with design, process, test and reliability engineering to solve problems.
Quality Assurance Responsible for developing, applying, revising and maintaining Dell quality standards for processing materials into partially finished or finished products. Design and implement methods and procedures for inspecting, testing, and evaluating the precision and accuracy of products and/or production equipment. Analyze reports and returned products and recommend corrective action. Prepare documentation for inspection/testing procedures.
Dell Product Group: Software Development Engineer The responsibilities for this position include development of Dell system management and installation utilities, applications, and software to support integration with Industry standard platforms such as Microsoft NT, Novell Netware and Linux. This position requires excellent teamwork skills, strong programming experience and skill, drive for results and excellent debugging skills. This position works in a multi-disciplined team, so working with others with various different viewpoints and skills is very important. Duties include high level and low level design of software, coding, debugging, responding to test issues and support of resolution of issues from the customer base. Specific experience with C++, Java, system management concepts is helpful.
Dell Product Group: BIOS/Firmware Engineer General Summary: The responsibilities for this position include developing and qualifying BIOS and Firmware for desktop, peripherals, portables and server computer systems. This position requires knowledge of Assembler and C++, and ability to work in a multi-disciplined team. Requires desire to work with both hardware and software to implement Dell systems to meet needs of our customers. Duties include analysis of hardware specifications, design of firmware/BIOS code, coding product, debugging, responding to test issues and issues from the customer base once the development project is shipped. The BIOS/Firmware engineer will be responsible for working with the design team, cross-functional teams and suppliers to ensure his or her design meets the requirements for; feature set, functionality, cost, reliability, regulatory compliance, and industry standards compliance.
Eric Saczawa
Recruiting Systems Coordinator
Smith College Career Development Office
Phone:  413-585-2579
Fax:  413-585-2596
http://www.smith.edu/cdo

[Posted Monday 10/30/2000]


Super Turing Machines III

Geetika Tewari
Time: Friday 3 Nov 00, 12:10-1:00PM
Location: McConnell 403A (Seminar Room)

Dear Computer Science Students and Faculty,

This is the first announcement of the next Friday Computer Science Research Lunch, which will complete our discussion of Super Turing Machines. Here is Joe's outline.


In our previous session two weeks ago, we saw a hint of how Hava Siegelmann proved that any Turing Machine (TM) can be simulated by a Neural Network (NN) with rational weights in "real time." She used linear threshold activation functions in the neurons, with each neuron simply summing together its (weighted) inputs.

Next we turn to two "meta" issues:

The technical details are formiddable, but this last session will see us (thankfully!) move to a higher level to consider the implications of these results. I don't pretend to have a complete grasp of this deep material, but at the least we'll grope through the issues together.

Lunch: Please reply to this message (to gtewari@cs.smith.edu) specifying your intention to attend. We'll order lunch from State Street Deli, whose menu is pinned to the bulletin board in McConnell 209; a generic sandwich is also possible. Orders will be due Thursday afternoon at 3:00PM.

[Posted Sunday 10/29/2000]


Super Turing Machines II

Geetika Tewari
Time: Friday 20 Oct 00, 12:10-1:00PM
Location: McConnell 403A (Seminar Room)

Dear Computer Science Students and Faculty,

This is the first announcement of this Friday's Computer Science Research Lunch, which will continue our discussion of Super Turing Machines. We had a record of two new attendees last time and hope to encourage more of you to attend, even if it is for the first time.

Here is Joe's outline.


Last week Marylea and I introduced Turing Machines (TMs), an unchallenged model capturing what any computer can, or even could ever, do. In particular, we discussed Turing's proof that the Halting Problem cannot be solved by any TM, thus proving that no foolproof bug-detection program exists. Alas!

We never got close to Super Turing Machines last week; nor will we, I am afraid, this week. That will have to await STM III. I would like to follow Hava Siegelmann's Ph.D. thesis, which is pretty much my sole source on this topic. She proved several of the key results, collected in her 1999 thesis. Reading a bit further than I had before, I now see we need an intervening week to bridge between TMs and "Beyond the Turing Limit," to use the title of her book/thesis.

In particular, we must switch models to Neural Networks (NNs), and discuss her theorem that any function computable by a TM can be computed by a NN (of a certain type) in "real time." Only with this behind us can we move beyond the Turing limit. So brace yourselves for another anticipatory session dominated by confusing theory.


Lunch: Please reply to this message (to gtewari@cs.smith.edu) specifying your intention to attend. We'll order lunch from State Street Deli, whose menu is pinned to the bulletin board in McConnell 209; a generic sandwich is also possible. Orders will be due Thursday afternoon at 3:00PM.

[Posted Sunday 10/15/2000]


Super Turing Machines I

Joseph O'Rourke
Time: Friday 13 Oct 00, 12:10-1:00PM
Location: McConnell 403A (Seminar Room)

Dear Computer Science Students and Faculty,

This is the first announcement of this Friday's Computer Science Research Lunch, which will start our promised discussion of Super Turing Machines. Due to our late start this week, I am sending out the announcement, but you should still send your lunch orders to Geetika. Here is an outline of what we'll discuss.


Turing Machines (TMs) model arbitrary discrete computations, typified by the computations performed by digital computers. The model is considered quite general, in that if one proves that TMs do not have a certain power, then it is generally viewed as proving that no computer, ever, even one following the unimaginably awesome advances in the next 100 years, will have that power. Thus Turing's proof that TMs cannot solve the Halting Problem has rather broad implications.

Recently the notion of a Super Turing Machine (STM) has been introduced, with proofs that STMs are strictly more powerful than TMs. I would like to understand these claims, and the point of this series of lunches is to explore this topic together.

As many are not familiar with TMs, we will start this week with an introduction to TMs. Marylea Ryan and I will define Turing Machines and discuss the Church-Turing thesis. I would like to reach the Halting Problem, but we'll have to see how far we get. The following week should see us reach STMs.


Lunch: Please reply to this message (to gtewari@cs.smith.edu) specifying your intention to attend. We'll order lunch from State Street Deli, whose menu is pinned to the bulletin board in McConnell 209; a generic sandwich is also possible. Orders will be due Thursday afternoon at 3:00PM.

[Posted Wednesday 10/11/2000]


C#: What is it? Why is it?

Geetika Tewari
Time: Friday 6 Oct 00, 12:10-1:00PM
Location: McConnell 403A (Seminar Room)

Dear Computer Science Students and Faculty,

This is the first announcement of Friday's Computer Science Research Lunch, which will focus on C#. Joe is still looking for volunteers to help present the material on C# with him, so if C# really excites you, this is your chance to talk about it. Here is Joe's outline of what we'll discuss.


Microsoft has developed a new language called C#, and submitted it to the European industry standards body just this June. Among other issues, we will explore:
Caveat emptor: I really don't know much about this. We'll learn together.

Lunch: Please reply to this message (to gtewari@cs.smith.edu) specifying your intention to attend. We'll order lunch from State Street Deli, whose menu is pinned to the bulletin board in McConnell 209; a generic sandwich is also possible. Orders will be due Thursday afternoon at 3:00PM.

[Posted Monday 10/2/2000]


Morgan Stanley Dean Witter on campus

Dominique Thiebaut
MSDW IT will be coming to Smith College for a presentation/information session:
Venue: Wright Hall - Common Room
Date: October 12, Thursday
Time: 7:30pm

They will be targeting seniors who will be looking for full-time positions in information technology. MSDW is open to all technical majors interested in pursuing a career in information technology.

Students may find more information at this url:

http://www.msdw.com/career/recruiting/programs/information_tech/information_tech.html

[Posted Monday 10/2/2000]


Working at Microsoft: A Symphony in C#

Geetika Tewari
Time: Friday Sept. 29, 12:10-1:00PM
Location: McConnell 403A (Seminar Room)

Dear Computer Science Students and Faculty,

This is the first (of two) announcements Friday's Computer Science Research Lunch. From now on I will be receiving and managing your lunch orders, so please send all future lunch orders to me. Now that we are starting on some brand new (more applied) topics and involving more students in the weekly research lunch sessions, I hope that more of you will join us every week. Here is Joe's summary of this week's topic.


Octavia Petrovici will report on her experience working at Microsoft this (and the previous) summer, including details about the type of work she did, and her assessment of the working environment.

In the remaining time, we'll initiate a discussion of C#, the new programming language Microsoft is introducing, which may (or may not?) supplant Java.


Lunch: Please reply to this message (to gtewari@cs.smith.edu) specifying your intention to attend. We'll order lunch from State Street Deli, whose menu is pinned to the bulletin board in McConnell 209; a generic sandwich is also possible. Orders will be due Thursday afternoon at 3:00PM.

[Posted Saturday 9/23/2000]


Women in Technology

Joseph O'Rourke

WITI announces COLLEGE SCHOLARSHIP RECEPTION
From the Classroom to the Conference Room: What You'll Need to Succeed
Women in Technology . . . Endless Opportunities.

October 10, 2000, 4:00 - 7:00 p.m.
Hynes Convention Center, Boston, MA

WITI (Women in Technology International) invites women college students pursuing careers in technology-related fields to attend this very special event.

This is your opportunity to:

For more information, or to register, contact Brenda Bolduc, Burton 117, ext. 3802 or bbolduc@science.smith.edu or visit the WITI website at www.witi.com or call (800) 334-WITI

[Posted Thursday 9/21/2000]


Pushing Blocks Revisited

Joseph O'Rourke
Time: Friday Sept. 22, 12:10-1:00PM
Location: McConnell 403A (Seminar Room)

Dear Computer Science Students and Faculty,

This is the first (of two) announcements for this Friday's Computer Science Research Lunch. Last week we were unable to hold the technical portion of our lunch due to circumstances beyond our control, so this week we'll revisit the planned topic: A review of the Pushing Blocks problem. Geetika will explain the relationships between the complexity classes P, NP, NP-complete, NP-hard, PSPACE, and PSPACE-complete, and where the various Pushing Block problems are known to sit in this hierarchy. Joe will report on the progress on these problems from the August computational geometry conference.

Following this, we will decide which topic to pursue in the immediately following weeks.

Lunch: Please reply to this message (to orourke@cs.smith.edu) specifying your intention to attend. We'll give the State Street Deli one more chance. Those of you who would simply like to repeat your never-delivered order from last week need simply tell me "same." Others can look at the menu pinned to the bulletin board in McConnell 209, or order a generic sandwich. Again orders will be due Thursday afternoon at 3:00PM.

Finally, my apologies if you receive 50 copies of this message. We are having difficulty with our mailer when long mailing lists are used, and we have not been able to pinpoint the problem. Eric Jensen is working on it.

[Posted Tuesday 9/19/2000]


CS Dept Picnic, Sept 20 @ 4:00p.m.

Dominique Thiebaut
From Sandie and Elif, Picnic Committee:

Weds. Sept 20th at 4pm

CS Dept. Picnic
Burton Lawn

there will be music, food, make your own sundae, etc.?

[Posted Friday 9/15/2000]


Review and Preview

Joseph O'Rourke
Time: Friday Sept. 15, 12:10-1:00PM
Location: McConnell 403A (Seminar Room)

Dear Computer Science Students and Faculty,

This is the first (of two) announcements for this Friday's Computer Science Research Lunch. Although we may have reached the high point of the year already with Juergen Bokowski's talk last week, we will nevertheless carry on with the tradition. This Friday I propose that we first review progress and then plan for the future. Concerning review, Geetika and I will report on the continuing saga of the Pushing Blocks problems on which we worked so hard last year. There have been several developments just this August.

Second, we will discuss plans for topics for the semester. I have several ideas, and will bring them to the table. If you have some interest in an area that seems to fall outside our normal academic offerings, this would be a good way to learn something about it.

Lunch: Please reply to this message (to <orourke@cs.smith.edu>) specifying your intention to attend. We will order lunches from the State Street Deli. Their menu is pinned to the bulletin board in McConnell 209, if you would like to order anything specific; a generic sandwich order is also possible. Note we will only order food for those who reply. The new deadline for orders is Thursday afternoon at 3:00PM.

[Posted Monday 9/11/2000]


Morgan Stanley Dean Witter on campus Oct. 12

Dominique Thiebaut
Just received this announcement from Joce Vo, former CS major, now with Morgan Stanley Dean Witter.
Morgan Stanley Dean Witter is recruiting again this fall for summer internship positions in Information Technology for summer '2001.

Last year Mt. Holyoke scruffed all 5-Colleges with 2 placements with MSDW ... we didn't get any Smith College placements. I want to give our interested Smithies as much of a headstart as possible this year. The recruiting team will be on campus on Oct. 12, 2000 (Thursday) at 7:30pm -- Wright Hall Common Room, to do a presentation/information session. Of course, that's also a good time for interested students to "rub elbows" and get their names out there for consideration before the interviews (scheduled for November 9th, 2000, Thursday).

The way it works is that 1) Morgan will collect the resumes between Oct. 12th and Nov. 9th, 2) review the resumes and pre-select/schedule a list of students for the Nov. 9th interview date (the first round of interviews will be done in the 5-college area). Then there's a second and possibly a third/final round of interviews in NYC after the first round.

[Posted Friday 9/8/2000]


Akibia interviewing on campus

Dominique Thiebaut
Akibia (www.akibia.com) will be on campus November 30th. Akibia described itself as the "leading Total Solutions Provider for eCRM applications and IT infrastructures."

They will be interviewing for an Associate position. Contact Jason O'Toole (jotoole@akibia.com) for more information.

[Posted Thursday 9/7/2000]


Bokowski on Matroids via Pottery

Joseph O'Rourke
Time: Friday Sept. 8, 12:10-1:00PM
Location: McConnell 404

Dear Computer Science Students and Faculty,

Our first CS Research Lunch will occur on just the second day of classes, with a talk by a professor visiting Ileana from Darmstadt University in Germany. He will illustrate oriented matroids via pottery(!). We will continue the tradition of offering a deli lunch.

Lunch: Please reply to this message (to <orourke@cs.smith.edu>) specifying your intention to attend. We will order lunches from the State Street Deli. Their menu is pinned to the bulletin board in McConnell 209, if you would like to order anything specific; a generic sandwich order is also possible. Note we will only order food for those who reply. The deadline for orders is Friday morning 8:50AM.


MATRICES IN DISCRETE GEOMETRY:
AN INTRODUCTION VIA MY POTTERY EXIBITION
Prof. Juergen Bokowski, Darmstadt University

Consider the end points of a line segment and the vertices of a triangle in space. Does the line segment pierce the triangle?

This question is fundamental and decisive in computer graphics, in robotics, and in many other geometric problems. For an answer one can calculate the point of intersection of the line with the plane, and then decide whether it lies within the triangle. In applications, decisions of this type are performed on a large scale.

The end points of the line segment and the vertices of the triangle in 3-space can be given in homogeneous coordinates by a 5x4 matrix M. The intersection property is invariant under rigid motions, and it can be expressed by forgetting the concept of matrix, which does change under rigid motions, by using only the so-called oriented matroid of M. Based on the theory of oriented matroids, we can compute the answer to the intersection problem based on just 5 determinant signs, the orientatons of certain quadruples of points.

The generalization to oriented matroids allows the computer generation of a complete set of geometric objects with given combinatorial properties. This fact has lead to a solution of a longstanding open problem in geometry concerning certain triangulated surfaces and their flat embeddings in 3-space.

The talk tries to avoid technical difficulties and shows these intuitive geometrical ideas via a series of geometric models, most of which are pottery objects.


[Posted Wednesday 9/6/2000]


Computer Music Research Assistant

Judy Franklin
----------
Research Assistant needed for help with work in automatic musical accompaniment.
Visit this link ("http://fafner.math.umass.edu/music_plus_one") for a description of the research project. The candidate should be an excellent computer programmer with a thorough knowledge of c and unix/linux. Must also be proficient on an instrument with classical training and performance experience. $10/hr, 10+ hrs/week.
Contact
Prof. Chris Raphael
Mathematics Department
University of Massachusetts
Amherst
---------

[Posted Tuesday 9/5/2000]


Programmer and linguist jobs in Pittsburgh

Dominique Thiebaut
Message received from Collin Lynch, a former Hampshire student who took several CS courses at Smith:

I am currently doing AI development at the University of Pittsburgh with the Circle AI group. We are working on several peices of tutorial software including Andes, a physics tutor employed at the U.S. Naval Academy. The group is currently hiring two research programmers and a linguist to work on Natural Language Processing, Machine Learning and Logical reasoning (Among other things). If you could pass along the attatched job descriptions to any of your students (including those set to graduate in December) that would be great. The group is interestied in maintaining the current balance of males and females at roughly 50%.

The Job benefits are nice, the Area is good and for those planning on pursuing graduate work, the University of Pittsburgh offeres reduced tuition costs for graduate and undergraduate courses, and Carnegie Mellon University is only a block away.

If any of your students have any questions they can e-mail me at this account and I will be happy to answer them.

Thanks.
Collin Lynch.
<cfl96@hampshire.edu>


The physics ITS group of CIRCLE (http://www.pitt.edu/~circle) has immediate openings for full-time AI programmer/analysts. These positions all involve developing intelligent tutoring systems (ITS) for helping college students learn physics. In particular, the group is building Andes (teaches quantitative problem solving), Atlas (uses natural language to teach principles in the context of quantitative problem solving) and Why2000 (teaches qualitative physics using natural language).

These positions involve developing artificial intelligence (AI) programs. Knowledge of a typical AI system development language is essential (e.g. C++, Java, Lisp, Prolog, or Clips); knowledge of AI, college physics, and/or computational linguistics and experience in developing large software systems in a team are pluses. Opportunities abound in these positions for increasing one's knowledge of AI, and in particular, for learning about the exciting new technologies that power our third-generation intelligent tutoring systems.

All the positions are full-time, permanent positions with full benefits. The positions are funded from research contracts lasting until April 2003, although it is likely that funding will continue for many years thereafter. The positions are located in the Learning Research and Development Center (LRDC) at the University of Pittsburgh. The ITS group is directed by Prof. Kurt Vanlehn (http://www.pitt.edu/~vanlehn).

If interested, please send a vita to: vanlehn@cs.pitt.edu or Prof. Kurt VanLehn, LRDC, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA 15260. The University of Pittsburgh is an equal opportunity, affirmative action employer.


The Why2000 project seeks a full-time linguist to participate in the design, implementation and evaluation of an advanced natural-language based tutoring system for qualitative physics problem solving. The primary duty of the linguist is to annotate a corpus of student answers to qualitative problems and the dialogues that follow between the student and tutor as the tutor attempts to correct misconceptions evident in the student's answer. Additional responsibilities for this position include assisting in developing the annotation scheme, building semantic representations of the underlying physics concepts, writing meaning representations for student answers and follow-up dialogues, and analyzing the dialogue structure.

The qualifications for this position are at least a B.A. in Linguistics or a B.S. in Computational Linguistics and experience with corpus annotation and analysis in support of computational linguistics research and development. Another plus would be experience in programming computers. Athough this position does not involve programming, the linguist will have to work closely with computational linguists and programmers in devising an appropriate annotation scheme and authoring supporting knowledge, so familiarity with implementation issues would be an asset. In addition, although the position does not require prior expertise in physics, the linguist should not be intimidated by the need to understand dialogues discussing elementary physics principles and should be willing to learn about the physics concepts involved.

The Why2000 group is a research group composed of artificial intelligence researchers, computational linguists and psychologists. It is led by Kurt VanLehn at the University of Pittsburgh (http://www.pitt.edu/~vanlehn) and Art Graesser at the University of Memphis (http://mnemosyne.csl.psyc.memphis.edu/home/graesser/). The research is funded by a 3 year contract from the Office of Naval research that begins May 1, 2000. The Why2000 group is part of CIRCLE, an NSF-funded research center that studies human and computer tutoring (see http://www.pitt.edu/~circle).

This position is located at the University of Pittsburgh in the Learning Research and Development Center. It is a full-time research staff position with full benefits. Salary will be commensurate with experience. Send inquiries and CVs or resumes to Pamela Jordan (pjordan@pitt.edu).

[Posted Wednesday 8/30/2000]


Career Expo in Boston, October 17th

Dominique Thiebaut
From Stephanie Land <land@womenforhire.com>

PLEASE SAVE THE DATE!

Tuesday, October 17 -- 10am to 4pm

As you prepare for the recruiting season, we would like to let you know that Women For Hire is hosting its first ever career expo in Boston specifically for female college seniors, grad students and recent graduates. Like our previous events in New York, this one will feature a terrific roster of 50 leading companies looking to recruit in all lines of business. Among the participants: Fidelity Investments, Kinko's, Crate & Barrel, TD Waterhouse, Pitney Bowes, Fleet Financial and many more.

The media picked up on our concept and we were featured twice on NBC's Today show in the last year. Those interviews with Katie Couric led to an overwhelming response from young women and employers seeking to tap into our services.

Please let us know the best way to communicate with you. Would you prefer emails or faxes with updates/reminders of the events, along with participant lists? Also, would you be willing to distribute or post flyers/postcards with event details for students? We'd be glad to send materials to your office in mid-September if you let us know the appropriate quantities.

We're open to your suggestions on how we can work most effectively with your office to inform your students about this opportunity and to encourage them to attend. With your support, this event will be a tremendous success for your students.

Thanks for your time.

Stefanie Land
Marketing Director
Women For Hire
212.580.6100
land@womenforhire.com

EVENT DETAILS:
Tuesday, October 17, 2000
10am-4pm
Boston Park Plaza Castle
Free admission. Business attire suggested.
www.womenforhire.com

[Posted Tuesday 8/29/2000]


Bilinguals needed for jobs in Asia

D. Thiebaut
(Note received from Chio Hatakeyama, Vice President of Pacific Bridge, Inc.)

Pacific Bridge, Inc. (PBI) is a recruiting company that focuses on recruiting bilinguals for good technical jobs in Asia. Please see our website (www.pacificbridge.com) to learn more about PBI.

IT Leader in Technology Company

A.  Company
	15,000 employees
	$4.3 billion in sales (1999)
	Technology and telecommunications fields
	Established in 1851, this company creates leading-edge
	technologies for the fastest growing markets of the world
	economy.  The company manufactures optical fiber, cable and photonic
	products for the telecommunications industry and high-performance
	displays and components for television and other
	communications-related industries.  The company also uses advanced
	materials to manufacture products for scientific, semiconductor and
	environmental markets and is a leader in broadband fiber optic
	technology.  The company has been named as one of the best employers
	in America, according to a survey of the 100 Best Companies to
	Work for in America, conducted by Fortune.  Computerworld ranked
	this company as one of the top 100 best companies to work for in
	regards to Information Technology.  Industry Week recognized this
	company as one of the World's Best Managed Companies today.

B.  Qualifications
	Experienced/knowledgeable in IT related issues and solutions
	Strong project management skills
	Excellent communication and interpersonal skills -- ability to deal with
	customers, vendors, functional users and the company’s team members
	Ability to lead and work effectively on a multi-disciplinary team
	Education requirements; minimum BS/BA with a technical focus (i.e.
	Engineering, Computer Science, Math, etc.)
	Language skills -- English (written and spoken) and Japanese (fluency)
	Travel -- Able to travel approximately 50%, work activity is in the 
	U.S., Japan and Taiwan

C.  Job Summary Roles and Responsibilities
	Develop IT strategy to support the manufacturing strategy or supply 
	chain processes within the Advanced Display Products Division
	Manage portfolio of projects, working with the Division Manufacturing
	Manager or Division Supply Chain Manager to ensure proper
	prioritization and balance.
	Act as IT consultant to the Division IT Manager
	Maintain Corporate IT regarding standards and best practices
	Maintain linkage in the company to ensure integration between the
	processes
	Act as project leader on select IT projects
	Identify, obtain and allocate IT resources
	Have overall responsibility for maintenance, management and 
	improvement of all IT related performance measures

Please email resumes to info@pacificbridge.com or fax them to 202.833.2279
with the subject line, IT Leader.

[Posted Thursday 8/24/2000]


Women In Technology Scholarship Reception

Joseph O'Rourke
From: Margaret Case <margaret@corp.witi.com>
To: orourke@smith.edu
Subject: Women In Technology International/College Scholarship Reception

Dear Professor O'Rourke,

[...] My name is Margaret Case and I am the Strategic Projects Manager for WITI, Women In Technology International. I don't know if you're familiar with WITI, but we are an organization that promotes professional development for women in technology-related careers and even more importantly, for young women preparing for these careers.

As part of our program to reach young women, WITI is hosting a College Scholarship Reception on October 10th as part of our East Coast Technology Summit. (The Summit, or conference, takes place in Boston at the Hynes Convention Center on October 11 and October 12.) I am in charge of the College Scholarship Reception (or "CRS" as I'll refer to it). The CRS is sponsored by Fairchild Semiconductor (and other sponsors TBA) and will be on October 10 from 4:00pm to 7:00pm. Admission is FREE. Those students that attend will have the opportunity to network not only with other students pursuing the same career goals, but also with representatives from the sponsoring companies. There will be a panel discussion featuring the executives from the sponsoring companies (which proved to be quite inspirational at our CRS in Santa Clara in June) during which students will have the opportunity to ask questions and hopefully, gain some insight and knowledge from these outstanding women. We will have a raffle for some valuable prizes AND students that attend will be eligible to apply for a WITI Foundation Scholarship.

So, as you can see, this is a very valuable opportunity and one in which I hope the women of Smith will want to participate.

Barbara wanted me to let you know that the CDO will be distributing flyers publicizing this event in the next few weeks.[...]

Margaret Case (margaret@corp.witi.com)
Strategic Projects Manager, WITI

[Posted Wednesday 8/23/2000]


Perl Programmer Needed at Wesleyan U.

Dominique Thiebaut
Full-Time Benefits for Part-Time Work!

Perl Programmer needed to work 20-30 hours per week, beginning August, 2000: Four-year position funded by the National Science Foundation to develop and maintain Social Psychology Network Internet site at Wesleyan University in Middletown, Connecticut ( www.socialpsychology.org and related sites). Primary duties include maintenance and expansion of web site content and services, including customized search engines, electronic bulletin boards, and other interactive applications. Experience with UNIX, database design (e.g., MySQL), and JavaScript a plus. Annual full-time salary equivalent of up to $60K plus full benefits, depending upon experience. Hours are flexible and telecommuting is possible for candidates who live within driving distance of Wesleyan. For further details, see:

http://www.socialpsychology.org/opening.htm

Submit cover letter, resume, and three letters of reference to: Social Psychology Network Search, Human Resources, Wesleyan University, Middletown, CT 06459. Applications will be reviewed immediately until the position is filled. Wesleyan University is an affirmative action employer. Women and minority candidates are strongly encouraged to apply.

***********************************************
Scott Plous
Department of Psychology
207 High Street
Wesleyan University
Middletown, CT 06459-0408
Web: http://plous.socialpsychology.org/
***********************************************

[Posted Monday 6/12/2000]


Job with Start-Up

Joseph O'Rourke
Date: Thu, 18 May 2000 18:16:04 -0400 From: Albert Bui

Dear Professor Streinu,

Hi, I am a CS student at Swarthmore College and I am interning for a small IT startup in Boston. The founder is a female Swarthmore graduate, and there are three employees in the company who all hail from small liberal arts colleges (Swarthmore, Amherst). The company is devoted to providing web-based data management tools and services to social service sectors providers. If you know of any of your students who might be interested in working for a small socially minded IT company filled with individuals of similar backgrounds, please pass this message along to them. Thanks . . .

BUI

Provision Planning, located in Cambridge, Massachusetts, is an early-stage start-up company specializing in the design and creation of web-based data management tools and services that allow social service providers to develop new planning and accounting capabilities. We are seeking an IT professional to join our startup team. Our goal is to be a national leader in providing IT tools to support outcomes based contracting, government privatization, and data driven service delivery. We have an initial contract, a partnership with a leading academic institution, seed financing, and a staff of three.

The ideal candidate would be interested in Provision's public sector mission. The candidate should also have an undergraduate degree in computer science (or equivalent experience) and the following technical experience: Excellent working knowledge of HTML, experience with Perl and/or C, familiarity with the Internet and current trends in Web technology, and the desire to learn appropriate new technologies. Exposure to databases and their design, structure, and implementation on the Web is highly desired. All candidates must have Unix and Windows 95 experience.

Compensation will be at market rate and will consist of a combination of cash and equity. Full-time Employment will begin June 1st, unless the candidate requires initial part time work. Job will require candidate to relocate to the Boston area.

[Posted Thursday 5/18/2000]


Senior Brunch

Joseph O'Rourke
A reminder to seniors and other CS majors who replied earlier about our senior brunch: Tomorrow, Saturday the 13th, approximately noon to 1:30, McConnell foyer. Feel free to wander over after the Awards Convocation. Food will be available by about 11:45AM. We have 17 students and a total of about 75 people planning to attend. See you there!

[Posted Friday 5/12/2000]


Doctoral Research Assistantships

Dominique Thiebaut
DOCTORAL RESEARCH ASSISTANTSHIPS
"MICROBIAL ADHESION"
UNIVERSITY OF CONNECTICUT
in conjunction with
SMITH COLLEGE

Several research assistantships are available at the University of Connecticut for candidates pursuing doctoral degrees, commencing Fall 2000. Successful candidates will work in a thrust area that examines the molecular-level physicochemical and biochemical phenomena that govern bacterium- surface interactions. The assistantships are made possible by a 3-year research grant from the US Department of Agriculture.

Applicants should have (by time of start) BS degrees (or equivalent) in an appropriate Chemical, Physical, Biological or Engineering discipline and will work towards a Ph. D. in environmental engineering or microbiology. The candidates will work in an interdisciplinary group and will be able to direct their individual pursuits in either the physicochemical or biochemical aspect of the project. Candidates will interact with researchers in the environmental engineering program and microbiology program at the University of Connecticut.

The positions are available Fall, 2000. The positions carry with them, in addition to a very generous stipend, complete tuition deferment and comprehensive health-care benefits. Applicants are invited until the position is filled. Send a short application letter, CV, test scores, email and regular mail essentials of at least two research/academic references (by email and regular mail) to Prof. Smets. Official application materials will be sent to suitable candidates.

For further information, you can visit the program homepage (www.engr.uconn.edu/environ) or contact Prof. Barth F. Smets (barth.smets@uconn.edu; Environmental Engineering & Microbiology), Prof. Domenico Grasso (dgrasso@smith.edu; Environmental Engineering), or Prof. Robert T. Vinopal (vinopal@uconnvm.uconn.edu, Microbiology).

Some of our recent publications on bacterial adhesion can be found in:

Grasso D, Smets BF (1998) Equilibrium modeling of pseudomonad aggregation and partitioning to dolomite. Journal of Dispersion Science and Technology 19((6/7)):1081-1106.

Grasso D, Smets BF, Strevett KA, Machinist BD, Van Oss CJ, Giese RF, Wu W (1996) Impact of physiological state on surface thermodynamics and adhesion of Pseudomonas aeruginosa. Environmental Science and Technology 30:3604-3608.

Smets BF, Grasso D, Engwall MA, Machinist BJ (1999) Surface physicochemical properties of a Pseudomonas fluorescens and impact on adhesion and transport through porous media. Colloids and Surfaces B: Biointerfaces 14:121-139.

Visit the University at: http://www.uconn.edu

[Posted Wednesday 5/3/2000]


Part-Time system admin wanted

Dominique Thiebaut
System Administrator Job Description

Part-Time System Administrator and Programmer needed to begin August, 2000: 4-year position funded by the National Science Foundation to develop and maintain Social Psychology Network Internet site and web server at Wesleyan University in Middletown, Connecticut (www.socialpsychology.org and related sites). Primary duties include maintenance and expansion of web site content and services, including customized search engines, electronic bulletin boards and other interactive applications, log analyses and site usage reports, and database management. Must have experience in web design, HTML, Perl, and UNIX (Solaris) operating system (training will be provided on Sun Solaris system management). Experience with graphic design (e.g., Photoshop), database design (e.g., MySQL), and JavaScript a plus. Salary is $29-32K plus full benefits for 20-40 hour work week, depending upon experience. Telecommuting possible for candidates who are within driving distance of Wesleyan. For further details, see http://www.socialpsychology.org/administrator.htm.

Submit cover letter, resume, and three references to: Social Psychology Network Search, Human Resources, Wesleyan University, Middletown, CT 06459. Applications will be reviewed beginning June 1, 2000, until the position is filled. Affirmative action employer.

      Michael Roy
      Director of Academic Computing Services
      Information Technology Services
      Science Tower 526
      Wesleyan University
      Middletown, CT 06459-0134
      Tel:  860-685-2126  Fax: 860-685-2401
      email mroy@wesleyan.edu
      
      ====================================================================================

      keep informed about technology on campus: subscribe to itsnews by going to
      http://www.wesleyan.edu/its/news/
      keep informed about the Academic Technology Roundtable: subscribe to the ATR mailing
      list by going to http://www.wesleyan.edu/atr/


      find out about the classroom improvement project: go to
      http://www.wesleyan.edu/classrooms/

      ====================================================================================
      

[Posted Wednesday 5/3/2000]


When Young People Design Our Future Technologies

Dominique Thiebaut

--------------------------------------------------------------------------
When Young People Design Our Future Technologies
Allison Druin, University of Maryland

"I'm bored." "This is silly." "I Love this!" "Why do I have to do this?"
"What is this for?" These are all important responses and questions that
come from children. As our design partners in developing new technologies,
children can offer bluntly honest views of their world. In this talk
Professor Druin will discuss the process of designing new educational
technology environments for children and with children.  Examples from
her work will be shown.

Allison Druin (http://www.umiacs.umd.edu/~allisond/) is an Assistant
Professor in the University of Maryland Institute of for Advanced
Computer Studies (UMIACS) and the Department of Human Development in
the College of Education. In addition, she is co-editor of the new
book, "Robots for Kids: Exploring New Technologies for Learning"
(Morgan Kaufmann, 2000) and editor of the recent book, "The Design of
Children's Technology" (Morgan Kaufmann, 1999).

**************  Friday, May 5 (last day of classes)  **************
**************      12:00 Noon with FREE LUNCH!      **************
**************     Adele Simmons Hall Auditorium     **************
**************           Hampshire College           **************

Sponsored by the Institute for Computational Intelligence at Hampshire
College. For more information contact Lee Spector, lspector@hampshire.edu.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------

[Posted Thursday 4/27/2000]


Summer Internship at HealthCommunities.com (Northampton)

Dominique Thiebaut

Healthcommunities.com is looking for summer interns to begin some time in May. They will be working on the websites using HTML, javascript, Photoshop, etc. Anyone interested should call or email Laurie Cabana at 413/587-0244 or laurie@healthcommunities.com.

Fax: 413.587-0387
HealthCommunities.com
Building Community around Health.
136 West St
Suite 201
Northampton  MA  01060
----------------------------
Other Contacts:
Physician Board: physician@healthcommunities.com
Editorial Questions: editor@healthcommunities.com
Editorial Submissions: yournews@healthcommunities.com
Physician Website Support: info@healthcommunities.com
Physician Website Marketing: smoloney@healthcommunities.com
Technical: tech@healthcommunities.com
----------------------------
Visit:
http://www.UrologyChannel.com -Your Urology Community.
http://www.OncologyChannel.com -Your Oncology Community.
http://www.NeurologyChannel.com -Your Neurology Community.
http://www.PodiatryChannel.com -Your Podiatry Community.
Coming Soon:
http://www.PulmonologyChannel.com -Your Pulmonology Community.
http://www.RadiologyChannel.net -Your Radiology Community.
http://www.AllergyChannel.net - Your Allergy Community

[Posted Friday 4/21/2000]


Looking Back and Looking Forward

Irena Pashchenko
Time: Friday lunch, 28 April 2000, 12:15-1:00PM.
Location: McConnell 403A (Seminar Rm.)

Dear Computer Science Students and Faculty,

This is the first, and unusually early notice of our final research lunch of the semester (we'll remind you with a second notice next week). Come join us for an update on the status of the topics we considered throughout the year, and help us plan for the freshly-funded future of our weekly research lunches. Joe suggests we explore the following issues, among others:

Lunch:

Please reply to this message (to <ipashche@cs.smith.edu>) specifying your intention to attend. We will order lunches from the State Street Deli. Their menu is pinned to the bulletin board in McConnell 209, if you would like to order anything specific; a generic sandwich order is also possible. I would like to emphasize that we will only order food for those who reply. The deadline for orders is Friday morning 8:50AM.

See you there,

Irena ;-)

[Posted Friday 4/21/2000]


Programmers needed at Shriners Hostpital (Springfield)

Dominique Thiebaut
Message from William M. Vannah

I would like to involve students with the recording of a topograph, given that the sampling instrument is 'noisy'. A color-coded image of the topograph is presented to the operator during sampling, where the color code at any point represents the 'quality' of the data at that point. The operator can sample more densely in areas of interest, until the sampling quality is acceptable there.

The work involves posing and testing algorithms to accomplish the above. Much of the actual day to day work is programming. THis is motion data acquisition and 3D graphics in real-time. At present we write for the Win32 API using Visual C++ and Open GL.

I am interested in interns, or paid part-time and summer employees.

William M. Vannah, Ph.D.
Director of Biomechanics Research
Shriners Hospital
Springfield, MA
Tel:413 787 2000
Fax:413 787 2009

[Posted Wednesday 4/19/2000]


Schro:dinger's Cat

Irena Pashchenko
Time: Friday lunch, 21 April 2000, 12:15-1:00PM.
Location: McConnell 403A (Seminar Rm.)

Dear Computer Science Students and Faculty,

This week we continue with background on quantum computation. In particular, Marylea and Joe will discuss quantum superposition and qubits (quantum bits). Marylea will introduce Schro:dinger's Cat and discuss whether she's alive or dead, and Joe will explain how to take the square root of NOT.

Lunch:

Please reply to this message (to <ipashche@cs.smith.edu>) specifying your intention to attend. We will order lunches from the State Street Deli. Their menu is pinned to the bulletin board in McConnell 209, if you would like to order anything specific; a generic sandwich order is also possible. I would like to emphasize that we will only order food for those who reply. The deadline for orders is Friday morning 8:50AM.

See you there,

Irena ;-)

[Posted Tuesday 4/18/2000]


Undergrad Research Opportunities at Argonne Lab.

D. Thiebaut
The U.S. Dept. of Energy's Argonne Lab is announcing opportunities for undergrads to participate in the Lab ongoing research programs.

To find out more, point your browser to http://www.dep.anl.gov.

Requirements: U.S. citizen with a GPA higher than 2.5.

[Posted Monday 4/17/2000]


Biliana's Thesis Presentation

Joseph O'Rourke
Computer Science Honors Thesis Presentation
Biliana Kaneva
Tuesday, 18 April 2000, 4:00PM (next Tuesday!)
Burton 209
(light refreshments provided)

An Implementation of Chen and Han's Shortest Paths Algorithm

ABSTRACT

For my thesis, I implemented an algorithm for finding the shortest paths from one source point to all vertices on both convex polyhedral surfaces and nonconvex terrains with a rectangular boundary. The algorithm was proposed by Chen and Han in 1990. I followed the work of an earlier Smith student, Diana Xu '96, who wrote the first implementation of the algorithm for her honors thesis under Professor O'Rourke. Her code, however, was numerically unstable.

We developed a new, more robust approach and thorough testing has shown the code to be very reliable. Images of examples of the output of my code and more information on how it works can be found at this site.

To our knowledge this will be the first publicly available implementation of the complete algorithm.

[Posted Tuesday 4/11/2000]


EPR Paradox

Irena Pashchenko
Time: Friday lunch, 14 April 2000, 12:15-1:00PM.
Location: McConnell 403A (Seminar Rm.)

Dear Computer Science Students and Faculty,

We will continue our exploration of quantum teleportation by concentrating this week on the EPR paradox, the underlying quantum entanglement that is the basis for teleportation. The EPR paradox leads to what is sometimes called "spooky" instantaneous action at a distance. Geetika, Marylea, and Joe will lead the discussion of this counterintuitive but experimentally verified quantum process.

Lunch:

Please reply to this message (to <ipashche@cs.smith.edu>) specifying your intention to attend. We will order lunches from the State Street Deli. Their menu is pinned to the bulletin board in McConnell 209, if you would like to order anything specific; a generic sandwich order is also possible. I would like to emphasize that we will only order food for those who reply. The deadline for orders is Friday morning 8:50AM.

See you there,

Irena ;-)

[Posted Tuesday 4/11/2000]


Quantum Teleportation

Irena Pashchenko
Time: Friday lunch, 31 March 2000, 12:15-1:00PM.
Location: McConnell 403A (Seminar Rm.)

Dear Computer Science Students and Faculty,

This week Elif, Joe, and I will discuss the article "Quantum Teleportation" by Anton Zeilinger from the April 2000 issue of Scientific American. In 1993 this counterintuitive possibility was established theoretically, and just recently it has been verified experimentally. Come help us understand this fascinating but tangled topic.

Lunch:

Please reply to this message (to <ipashche@cs.smith.edu>) specifying your intention to attend. We will order lunches from the State Street Deli. Their menu is pinned to the bulletin board in McConnell 209, if you would like to order anything specific; a generic sandwich order is also possible. I would like to emphasize that we will only order food for those who reply. The deadline for orders is Friday morning 9:50AM.

See you there,

Irena ;-)

[Posted Tuesday 4/4/2000]


Summer Internship at Smith for Web design

Dominique Thiebaut
Eric Jensen, our Unix guru, is seeking a summer intern to do Web design and programming. You need some knowledge of HTML and a good knowledge of draw and paint programs. The internship will be paid similarly to other Smith internships. Additional details can be obtained by contacting Eric Jensen directly, at extension 3868, or by sending him email at ejensen@cs.smith.edu.

[Posted Thursday 3/30/2000]


Amazon.com Jobs

Joseph O'Rourke
INFORMATION SESSION: 7:30pm, Wright Hall Common Room; Monday, April 3rd
We're giving away lots of free t-shirts, gift certificates and more!

INTERVIEWS:
Tuesday, April 4th
CONTACT INFORMATION:
Audrey Tang ('99)
audreyt@amazon.com

HOW TO APPLY: Send resume, cover letter (optional), source code/URL samples in the body of an e-mail message in ASCII-text format to audreyt@amazon.com no later than Friday,

JOB DESCRIPTION: Amazon.com Web Developer

Are you ready to work in an exciting, fast-paced environment? Do you have a passion for Web development and the Internet? Have you been waiting for the opportunity to make a mark and to share your talents with millions of Web users? If so, we want you!

Web developers at Amazon.com work with editorial, software, and design team members to create optimized HTML pages and templates for the Amazon.com Web site. Successful candidates will have an excellent working knowledge of HTML, experience with Perl and/or C, familiarity with the Internet and current trends in Web technology, and the desire to learn appropriate new technologies. Exposure to databases and their design, structure, and implementation on the Web is highly desired. All candidates must have Unix and Windows 95 experience. Experience with SGML, XML, Java, or graphics software such as Photoshop is a plus. The developer must be able to work independently as well as with a team, and be able to effectively explain to options and limitations of HTML to both technical and nontechnical audiences. Flexibility, intellectual curiosity, and sense of humor are all musts.

Please send your résumé and cover letter in the body of an e-mail message in ASCII-text format to Audrey Tang at audreyt@amazon.com no later than March 31st. Please also include any source code samples or URL samples.

[Posted Wednesday 3/29/2000]


Erik Demaine on PushPush

Irena Pashchenko
Time: Friday lunch, 31 March 2000, 12:15-1:00PM.
Location: McConnell 403A (Seminar Rm.)

Dear Computer Science Students and Faculty,

This week we have a special event: A talk by Erik Demaine, a graduate student at the University of Waterloo, on PushPush, the game that was the focus of our efforts last semester. Erik will illustrate the proof that PushPush is NP-hard in 2D using an implementation of the game he wrote himself specifically for this purpose. Come see the culmination of our Fall work! Erik is known for his clear (and entertaining) presentations. Please join us for lunch and computer science research!

Lunch:

Please reply to this message (to <ipashche@cs.smith.edu>) specifying your intention to attend. We will order lunches from the State Street Deli. Their menu is pinned to the bulletin board in McConnell 209, if you would like to order anything specific; a generic sandwich order is also possible. I would like to emphasize that we will only order food for those who reply. The deadline for orders is Friday morning 9:50AM.

See you there,

Irena ;-)

[Posted Tuesday 3/28/2000]


Computer Science Lecture April 4

Judy Franklin

Computer Science Lecture at Smith College

Chip Weems
Computer Science Department
University of Massachusetts
Amherst

Tuesday, April 4. 12 noon. McConnell 404.
Lunch will be provided.

Here is the abstract, or click on http://www.cs.smith.edu/~jfrankli/Weems.html to see an abstarct with pictures!

The programming interface, called the Instruction Set Architecture (ISA), of modern computers is essentially unchanged since the days when machines were built with vacuum tubes. A look inside the hardware, however, reveals that the implementation of that interface is radicaproblems that are faced jointly by computer architects and compiler writers, and offer some possible directions out of this dilemma. The discussion will be motivated around a set of hardware artifacts that Illy different. Compilers must grow ever more sophisticated to bridge that gap, and must effectively violate the contract of the interface to obtain high performance. As when any interface is abused in this way, code loses its portability. In this discussion session, I[Delete these four lines and replace them by the text of the announcement. You may include html tags in the text. They will be removed when the announcement is mailed out.]

[Posted Tuesday 3/28/2000]


Stabbing Balls IV

Irena Pashchenko
Time: Friday lunch, 24 March 2000, 12:15-1:00PM.
Location: McConnell 403A (Seminar Rm.)

Dear Computer Science Students and Faculty,

We will continue with the "Stabbing Balls" topic on which we've been working for the last several sessions. Whether we will extend our investigations further will be decided at the meeting. Although this is the n-th in a series of discussions on this topic, we can quickly bring newcomers up to speed. Joe will report on his efforts; here is his summary.


In previous sessions we convinced ourselves that the only way to stab four congruent balls in a cannonball stack (that is, to intersect all of them with a single line) is to stab through contact points between two pairs of balls. As I've been blocked on proving the more general conjecture we've been pursuing, I thought we should try to prove this seemingly simple fact about four balls. So far I have not found a concise proof, but I will show you the method I do have. It leads into some very pretty areas of mathematics -- I have some beautiful drawings to show you -- so even if it is not the best route to the goal, it has its points of interest. Maybe someone will see a simpler method while I'm explaining the more complex one.

Lunch:

Please reply to this message (to <ipashche@cs.smith.edu>) specifying your intention to attend. We will order lunches from the State Street Deli. Their menu is pinned to the bulletin board in McConnell 209, if you would like to order anything specific; a generic sandwich order is also possible. I would like to emphasize that we will only order food for those who reply. The deadline for orders is Friday morning 8:50AM.

See you there,

Irena ;-)

[Posted 23 Mar 2000]


Internship at Viant.com in Boston

Dominique Thiebaut
(This note received from Areen Sattar, former CS major, and now working at Viant (www.viant.com).)

As part of the Recruitment Power Machine here in Boston, it's my pleasure to announce some details about the internship program for Summer of 2000:

Objective
To provide a meaningful internship experience, strengthen our relationships with college and graduate schools and test hires before we buy.

Selection Process:
Resumes will be collected by the local PC (ME!) and distributed to the intern team for review. Phone screens and onsite interviews will be conducted by 4/15.

Timing/Program Contents:
Duration of the program will last eight to twelve weeks. Start date determined by individual interns (we'll attempt to have a range in which most of them start). Structuring of the program experience for the interns will be completed over the next few weeks.

Your Role/What We Need From You
* Send potential resumes of any candidates or project ideas/work streams to me (cooper@viant.com) *The Intern Group will decide where to place interns based on need and quality of input that comes from each of you

Kris Cooper
kcooper@viant.com
cooper@viant.com

[Posted Wednesday 3/22/2000]


Scholarships for Future Teachers

Dominique Thiebaut
Announcement just received from STEMTEC, an NSF funded project at Umass:

Scholarship for Future Teachers in Math, Science, and Education.

The Stemtec/NSF teaching program offers scholarships to students who are interested in exploring a career in math or science education.

Applications are due April 1, 2000.

For more information, point your browser to

http://k12s.phast.umass.edu/~stemtec/student/TSP.html

[Posted Tuesday 3/7/2000]


Stabbing Balls III

Irena Pashchenko
Time: Friday lunch, 10 March 2000, 12:15-1:00PM.
Location: McConnell 403A (Seminar Rm.)

Dear Computer Science Students and Faculty,

After last week's robotics video (which will be finished this Friday), we are returning to the stabbing balls problem. We can quickly bring newcomers up to speed on the problem (or see previous Stabbing Balls announcements on the Department Announcements page).

We made some progress last session, establishing convincingly (but not proving formally) that the only way to stab four balls in a cannonball stack is to stab through contact points between two pairs of balls. The task ahead of us is to prove this more formally. Here are Joe's suggestions.


[Balls and Cones] Irena and I worked on this problem some, and I worked a bit more while on a trip. Although it is far from resolved, a plan of attack is emerging. The idea is to represent all the lines that stab a pair of balls as falling inside a collection of cones, and then show that the requirement to stab two pairs, each in both directions, is impossible to achieve unless the balls are stacked tightly in a tetrahedral configuration. In this case, the only stabber is the one mentioned above. This means that one cannot simultaneously achieve stabbing in the orders 1234, 1243, 2134, and 2143 for disjoint balls. If we prove this solidly, it seems we'd be on a route to settle the conjecture.


Lunch:

Please reply to this message (to <ipashche@cs.smith.edu>) specifying your intention to attend. We will order lunches from the State Street Deli. Their menu is pinned to the bulletin board in McConnell 209, if you would like to order anything specific; a generic sandwich order is also possible. I would like to emphasize that we will only order food for those who reply. The deadline for orders is Friday morning 9:50AM.

See you there,

Irena ;-)

[Posted Monday 3/6/2000]


Stabbing Balls: II

Irena Pashchenko
Time: Friday lunch, 25 February 2000, 12:15-1:00PM.
Location: McConnell 403A (Seminar Rm.)

Dear Computer Science Students and Faculty,

We made a start on the stabbing balls open problem, proving that among any collection of n stabbed unit-radius balls, there must be two at least n/3 - 2 apart. We propose to continue this topic this week. Here is Joe's report.


As I mentioned in email to those attending last week, a basic lemma used in the 2D proof fails in 3D. In particular, it is possible to arrange 4 balls to admit all 4! stabbings. I'll go over this argument, and we'll see what it portends.

I promised to study the 2D lower-bound proof, as it seems to be relevant to several 3D constructions. I now understand it. It is not straightforward, but I think I can explain it so that everyone at least gets the main idea. The end result is a collection of n disks in 2D, of rather different radii, with n/2 distinct stabbers. The challenge will be to see if this construction can be mimicked in 3D with congruent balls.


Lunch:

Please reply to this message (to <ipashche@cs.smith.edu>) specifying your intention to attend. We will order lunches from the State Street Deli. Their menu is pinned to the bulletin board in McConnell 209, if you would like to order anything specific; a generic sandwich order is also possible. I would like to emphasize that we will only order food for those who reply. The deadline for orders is Friday morning 9:50AM.

See you there,

Irena ;-)

[Posted Monday 2/21/2000]


Stabbing Balls: I

Irena Pashchenko
Time: Friday lunch, 18 February 2000, 12:15-1:00PM.
Location: McConnell 403A (Seminar Rm.)

Dear Computer Science Students and Faculty,

After exploring Parrondo's Paradox last week, we thought we'd turn to a fresh research problem. Here is a Joe's suggestion:

I've just learned of a neat new open problem that seems (at least superficially) approachable. The objects of study are geometric permutations. The idea is that you have a collection of convex objects indexed 1,...,n. Now pierce them, or as they say in this literature, stab the objects with a directed line that intersects each object. This stabbing line induces a permutation: the indices of the objects in the order in which they are pierced. The question is: how many different geometric permutations can a particular collection of objects determine? For disjoint unit disks in the plane, it has recently been established that, for sufficiently large n, the answer is 2! And something similar seems to be true in 3D. But that remains open: Can a collection of n disjoint unit balls in 3D determine more than a constant number of geometric permutations? I will go over these definitions and we'll start to work on the problem.

Lunch:

Please reply to this message (to <ipashche@cs.smith.edu>) specifying your intention to attend. We will order lunches from the State Street Deli. Their menu is pinned to the bulletin board in McConnell 209, if you would like to order anything specific; a generic sandwich order is also possible. I would like to emphasize that we will only order food for those who reply. The deadline for orders is Friday morning 9:50AM.

See you there,

Irena ;-)

[Posted Monday 2/14/2000]


System programmer wanted at Brown University

Dominique Thiebaut
The Department of Computer Science at Brown U. is looking for a systems programmer to assist in the support and enhancement of its Windows/NT environment. If interested contact Tom Heft, Systems Manager at twh@cs.brown.edu, (401) 863 7623. For more information, see http://www.cs.brown.edu/sysprog.html.

[Posted Monday 2/14/2000]


Kapoof! is hiring...

Dominique Thiebaut
received from Eszter Hargittai <eszter@phoenix.Princeton.EDU>
Kapoof! is hiring!!

We have positions open in the following area (see details below): Database engineer 2
Senior network engineer 1
Oracle database administrator 1
Software engineer, transaction engine development 3
Senior product manager/VP of Engineering 1
Windows, Java Visual Tool engineer 3
XML software engineer 3

COMPANY BACKGROUND
Kapoof! is a Cambridge, MA-based pre-IPO start up that has developed internet infrastructure software which utilizes sophisticated XML and intelligent agent technologies to create a revolution in ecommerce. The company recently raised significant capital from well-known Boston-area CEOs and venture capitalists. It is aiming to become a leading ASP for high-transaction, ecommerce web sites. Kapoofs enjoy fast-paced and challenging environments where integrity and fun are highly valued. Visit our web site at www.kapoof.com.

BENEFITS
Highly competitive employee health benefits, 401K, flexible work schedule, cutting-edge technologies, free drinks, foosball and cool toys. Salary based on experience. Generous stock option plan.

CONTACT INFORMATION
Jonathan Roosevelt
Chief Executive Officer
14 Gerry St.
Cambridge, MA 02138
jr@kapoof.com

1) Job Title: Database Engineer

POSITION DESCRIPTION
The Database Engineer will have extensive knowledge and experience in building Oracle-backed applications. The Engineer will work closely with other developers in designing and optimizing SQL queries. This person will work closely with the Product Manager to design the data storage elements of Kapoofs primary product.

REQUIRED SKILLS / EXPERIENCES
* SQL (Oracle), LDAP, UNIX, 3-plus years experience preferred
* Strong teamwork skills
* Be able to deliver on-time under peak periods of pressure

PREFERRED SKILLS / EXPERIENCES
* XML, Python

2) Job Title: Senior Network Engineer

POSITION DESCRIPTION
The Senior Network Engineer will oversee the entire design and installation of Kapoofs co-located network infrastructure. The successful candidate will work closely with the CTO to evaluate and install the necessary hardware and software components to support a high-transaction environment. Will also be responsible for analyzing and anticipating future bandwidth and infrastructure needs.

REQUIRED SKILLS / EXPERIENCES
* 3-plus years experience installing a large-scale network infrastructure in a high-transaction, fault tolerant environment (Internet Service Provider or high profile ecommerce site)
* Knowledge of load balancing (F5), routing, and switching
* 3-plus years experience in a UNIX (Solaris) environment
* Experience leading team of engineers
* Strong analysis, communication, and leadership skills
* Be able to deliver on-time under peak periods of pressure

3) Job Title: Oracle Database Administrator (DBA)
POSITION DESCRIPTION
The Database Administrator will be responsible for designing, implementing, and maintaining Kapoofs high availability Oracle-based data storage architecture in a UNIX environment. The DBA will also be responsible for capacity and performance planning, and performance tuning. Previous experience with high transaction and data warehouse environments is critical.

REQUIRED SKILLS / EXPERIENCES
* SQL, UNIX -- 2-plus years experience
* Strong teamwork skills
* Be able to deliver on-time under peak periods of pressure

4) Job Title: Software Engineer, Transaction Engine Development

POSITION DESCRIPTION
The Core Engine Developer will have extensive experience writing highly optimized, multithreaded client/server networking code in a UNIX environment. The successful candidate will also ideally have experience designing and implementing software in a clustered architecture. Will work closely with the Product Manager to design and develop Kapoofs main transaction engine.

REQUIRED SKILLS / EXPERIENCES
* C, C++, UNIX
* Experience writing scaleable network software
* Experience developing multithreaded programs on Unix
* 3-plus years related experience
* Strong teamwork skills
* Be able to deliver on-time under peak periods of pressure

PREFERRED SKILLS / EXPERIENCES
* Python, XML, XML-RPC, LDAP

5) Job Title: Senior Product Manager / VP Engineering

POSITION DESCRIPTION
The Product Manager will oversee the entire development process for
Kapoofs primary software product. The successful candidate will work
closely with the CTO to manage the definition and prioritization of the
products capabilities, features, and functionality as well as the
testing
and roll-out. Will also be responsible for analyzing competing products
from a functional and architectural perspective. Will be strongly
considered for promotion to VP Engineering.

REQUIRED SKILLS / EXPERIENCES
* C, C++, SQL, XML
* 5-plus years of product management experience leading a team of 10+
developers
* Strong analysis, communication, and leadership skills
* Be able to deliver on-time under peak periods of pressure

PREFERRED SKILLS / EXPERIENCES
* Experience with high-transaction, infrastructure product
* Shipped a commercial product
* Development on UNIX, building Windows or Java-based GUIs, Python
* Knowledge of security issues (protecting customer data, SSL)


6) Job Title: Windows / Java Visual Tool Engineer

POSITION DESCRIPTION The Visual Tool Engineer will have previously
developed consumer oriented GUI-based products with an emphasis on
ease of use and extensibility.  Ideally, the engineer will also have
had experience writing software that can parse and render HTML. The
successful candidate will work closely with the Product Manager to
integrate their work with Kapoofs backend transaction server.

REQUIRED SKILLS / EXPERIENCES
* Windows (MFC) or Java GUI building experience
* HTML, XML
* Built and shipped a consumer software product
* Strong teamwork skills
* Be able to deliver on-time under peak periods of pressure

PREFERRED SKILLS / EXPERIENCES
* 2-plus years relevant experience


7) Job Title: XML Software Engineer

POSITION DESCRIPTION
The XML Engineer will have extensive knowledge of XML and XML-related
technologies. The successful candidate will be responsible for
developing
tools that generate XML and also for developing SAX-driven
applications.
The XML engineer will work closely with the Product Manager to
integrate
their tools with work done by other developers.


REQUIRED SKILLS / EXPERIENCES
* XML, SAX, ability to write XML DTDs
* Strong teamwork skills
* Be able to deliver on-time under peak periods of pressure

PREFERRED SKILLS / EXPERIENCES
* 2-plus years relevant experience
* Python
* XML-RPC

===========================================================
===========================================================

ReplayTV is a leading player in the dynamic emerging market for
Personal Television.  With investors like Disney, NBC, Time Warner
(Turner), and Matsushita, we are supported by the biggest players in
the TV business.

We have over 40 open positions in every part of the company for every
type of person.  Engineers (both hardware and all kinds of software
folks) are especially needed - but there are openings for marketing,
purchasing, business development, and on and on.  There are even
opportunities for new grads, especially in engineering.  You won't
find a more exciting company, or a better place to work.  We filed our
S-1 in late January (the first step to going public), so time is short
for pre-IPO stock options.

If you are interested, take a look at
http://www.replaytv.com/company/jobs.html .

[Posted Wednesday 2/9/2000]


Multimedia Fair, Seelye Hall, Feb 17

Dominique Thiebaut
The five colleges will hold a multimedia fair on February 17, from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. in Seelye Hall, at Amherst College.

The fair showcases faculty and student multimedia projects at all levels of complexity.

[Posted Wednesday 2/9/2000]


Biotech Exhibition (BIO 2000) in Boston, March 26-30

Dominique Thiebaut
I received several posters for the BIO2000 exhibition to take place in Boston, March 26-30, 2000, the world largest BioTech meeting and exhibition.

As part of the meeting will be a job fair, and a virtual job fair for students in biotech and computer science.

For more information, visit www.bio.org

[Posted Wednesday 2/9/2000]


Distinguished Lecturer at Umass

Dominique Thiebaut
Distinguished Lecturer Series

Al Aho

Lucent Technologies:
Bell Labs Innovations

Wednesday, February 9, 2000
The Computer Science Building, Room 150/151
4:00 PM

Faculty Host: Jim Kurose

"Application Development Environments for Networks of Networks"

Dr. Aho received a B.A.Sc. in Engineering Physics from the University of Toronto and a Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering (Computer Science) from Princeton University. Upon graduating from Princeton, Dr. Aho joined Bell Laboratories in 1967 as a Member of Technical Staff in the Computing Techniques Research Department, and in 1980, was appointed Head of the Computing Principles Research Department. He has also been an adjunct professor of Computer Science at Stanford University and at the Stevens Institute of Technology.

Dr. Aho's personal research is centered on data networking, multimedia information systems, database systems and query languages, programming languages and their compilers, algorithms and the theory of computing. He has published more than sixty technical papers in these areas and ten textbooks that are widely used worldwide in computer science research and education. He is a co-inventor of the AWK programming language and other UNIX system tools.

Dr. Aho has received numerous awards. He is a member of the National Academy of Engineering. He is a Fellow of the American Association of the Advancement of Science, of the ACM, of Bell Laboratories, and of the IEEE. He has received honorary doctorates from the University of Helsinki and the University of Waterloo for his contributions to computer science research. He has been a Distinguished Lecturer at many of the world's leading universities.

Dr. Aho is active on a number of national and international advisory boards and committees. He has served as Chairman of the Advisory Committee for the Computer and Information Sciences and Engineering Directorate of the National Science Foundation. He has also been Chairman of ACM's Special Interest Group on Automata and Computability Theory and a member of the Computer Science and Telecommunications Board of the National Research Council.

Refreshments will be served at 3:30 PM in Room 150/151

[Posted Tuesday 2/8/2000]


Summer 2000 Internships at GTE Labs

Judy Franklin
GTE Laboratories is the Research and Development Laboratories for GTE Corporation, an international telecommunications corporation. The lab is located in Waltham, MA on Route 128, the high tech beltway around Boston (I worked there for 9 years). Sponsored by the National Science Foundation, the labs hosts an annual Industrial Undergraduate Research Program (IURP). The application process is competitive, but not impossible. They are usually looking for juniors and sometimes sophomores. The projects are state-of-the-art telecommuications network management including cellular networks as well as advanced Internet projects including e-commerce. There is a list of the projects included with the application form. I have posted 2 outside my door and can make more copies if there is a lot of interest. The application deadline is March 6. There is a website as well. If you are reading this in email go to the dept announcements page to click on the web site.

[Posted Monday 2/7/2000]


CS Research Lunch: Parrondo's Paradox I

Time: Friday lunch, 11 February 2000, 12:15-1:00PM.
Location: McConnell 403A (Seminar Rm.)

Dear Computer Science Students and Faculty,

We made a little progress on thrackles last week, but a new development is attracting our attention. There is an exciting new result in Game Theory called "Parrondo's Paradox" that we will explore. As this is a fresh topic, it would be a good time for new recruits to join us.

Here is a Joe's summary:


A startling result is shaking up the Game Theory community: playing two losing games in (random) alternation can lead to winning! Game A is steadily losing by itself; Game B is steadily losing by itself. Yet playing A or B by random choice is winning. Sounds impossible? That's why it's called a paradox! Parrondo's Paradox, after its discoverer, Juan Parrondo. I very much want to understand this. The only source we have is a one-page Nature article on it. I placed several copies on the bookcase in Rm. 209. I'll give a short presentation on the article at the lunch, and then we'll collectively try to understand this counterintuitive result.

Lunch:

Please reply to this message (to <ipashche@cs.smith.edu>) specifying your intention to attend. We will order lunches from the State Street Deli. Their menu is pinned to the bulletin board in McConnell 209, if you would like to order anything specific; a generic sandwich order is also possible. I would like to emphasize that we will only order food for those who reply. The deadline for orders is Friday morning 9:50AM.

See you there,

Irena ;-)

[Posted Monday 2/7/2000]


CS Research Lunch: Thrackles II

Irena Pashchenko
Time: Friday lunch, 4 February 2000, 12:15-1:00PM.
Location: McConnell 403A (Seminar Rm.)

Dear Computer Science Students and Faculty,

We started a new research topic last week, on Conway's "Thrackles." We didn't get very far, and can easily bring new attendees up to date. We will continue on the same topic this week. Joe circulated some email to last week's attendees, and I can forward that to anyone interested.

Here is Joe's summary:

To thrackle a graph means to draw it in the plane, using curved arcs, such that every edge of the graph meets every other exactly once in either of two ways: by crossing it, or by sharing an endpoint.

We reviewed the little that is known, and later I found a bit more. In particular, I read a claim (without proof) that every graph that is a cycle can be thrackled, with one exception: the 4-cycle. This means that, e.g., a hexagon can be thrackled. I don't yet see how to do this, and I recommend we start here.

Lunch:

Please reply to this message (to <ipashche@cs.smith.edu>) specifying your intention to attend. We will order lunches from the State Street Deli. Their menu is pinned to the bulletin board in McConnell 209, if you would like to order anything specific; a generic sandwich order is also possible. I would like to emphasize that we will only order food for those who reply. The deadline for orders is Friday morning 9:50AM.

See you there,

Irena ;-)

[Posted Wednesday 2/2/2000]


Jobs at Mathsoft

Dominique Thiebaut
MathSoft Inc. is actively seeking talented, qualified, and motiviated people to help staff our rapidly expanding consulting business. We are looking for software engineers and statistical programmers. If you are interested in challenge, variety, and the gratification that comes with solving real-world problems in a company that's still small enough to provide good opportunity for career advancement, please contact Bob treder in our Seattle office.
 ----------------------------------------------------------------------
 Robert Treder, PhD                              email: bob@statsci.com
 Director of Professional Services   phone: (206) 283-8802 ext. 231
 MathSoft, Inc.                                  fax:   (206) 283-8691
 Data Analysis Products Division
 ----------------------------------------------------------------------

[Posted Tuesday 2/1/2000]


REU opportunities at Umass

D. Thiébaut
I have posted several forms advertising for research positions in McC104 and McC209. These Research Experience for Undergraduates positions (REU) are in the computer science Dept.at Umass, and for the coming summer. Please visit http://ciir.cs.umass.edu/REU for more information.

[Posted 31 Jan 2000]


From the ACM Student Chapter at Amherst

D. Thiebaut
The Amherst College Chapter of the Association of Computing Machinery (ACM) will be holding a meeting/pre-comps study break on Wednesday, Feb. 2 at 8pm. Food will be provided. The meeting will be in Seeley Mudd (SMUDD) lounge.

For more information on our chapter, Please visit our website at www.amherst.edu/~acm

Thanks, hope to see you there

Rachel Rubin '01


   ,,    ,.,  ,     ,  
  :  :  :   ' :`. .`:        Amherst College Student Chapter
 :....: :     : `,` :   of the Association for Computing Machinery
 ;    ; `...' ;     ;              acm@amherst.edu

[Posted 31 Jan 2000]


Jobs at Activegrams

D. thiébaut
Passing on a note received from Heszter Hargittai
http://www.eszter.com

Company Overview

Atlanta-based Activegrams is a venture-backed pre-IPO Internet start-up that is introducing the worlds first multimedia email application for corporations, web portals, web hosting providers, and ISPs. (To clarify, the plan is much more ambitious and separate from our current e-greetings site that you will find at activegrams.com.)

Compensation

Activegrams standard compensation package includes lucrative, pre-IPO stock options, cash bonuses, and standard benefits including vacation, health insurance and 401k plans. Base salary is based on specific work experience and position. Technical Positions

Job 1 of 3

Senior Software Engineer/Internet Developer Backend Development

Senior developers lead a team to develop a specific segment of the Activegrams service. Positions focus on development in Linux for server-side functionality and Windows environments for client-side tools. Strong experience in HTML, DHTML, Javascript, and developing Internet applications is preferred. PERL (familiar with CPAN modules) and C programming languages. Experience with sockets programming, distributed networks and database systems.

Requirements:

2+ years experience in PERL
2+ years of RDBMS
2+ years of C and C++
2+ years of Java

Job 2 of 3

Senior Software Engineer/Internet Developer - User Interface

Senior Developers join a team of engineers to develop a specific segment of the Activegrams service. Positions focus on development in Linux and Windows environments. Experience in HTML, DHTML, and Javascript is preferred.

Requirements:

At least 1 year of PERL
1 year of C++
1 year of Java

Job 3 of 3

Information Architect/Interface Developer

Responsibilities:

Develop business requirements, usage scenarios, functional definitions, and interface recommendations for breakthrough web-based applications and web sites. Contribute to the overall software project methodology and management, including the refinement of processes for determining feature sets, defining and monitoring milestones, and developing and testing rapid prototypes.

Skill requirements:

2+ years experience in interface design, information architecture, or software project management. Experience developing highly functional Web-based applications. Fluency in the principles of information architecture, content grouping, usability, web-based user interface design. Formal training in HCI, UI design, or Usability preferred. Mastery of Visio or Quark Express; ability to quickly develop prototypes in Dreamweaver or other tool a plus. Outstanding conceptual, analytical, communication, and presentation skills, highly developed organization, teaming, and project management capability.

[Posted 31 Jan 2000]


Job openings at Net Technology (see previous announcement)

D. Thiebaut
 Helen M. Bernstein
 Net Technologies, Inc.
 The Financial Services Internet Company
 http://www.nette.com
 212-889-2015 (v)
 212-689-4018 (f)
 Email: helen@nette.com
 
College Recruitment List for Net Technologies, Inc. Last updated on January 25, 2000

Position: Full Time Jr. Programmer
Start Date: June or later

Required Skills: HTML, general web development knowledge, knowledge of
windows environment

Optional Skills: Java, Perl, Active Server Pages, PerlScript,
VBScript, JavaScript, SQL, Unix, NT, and Linux

Responsibilities: 
- Constructing web based applications using the aforementioned technologies
- Systems integration
- Research and implementation of new technologies
- Technical documentation for clients
- Researching and writing on new technologies.  
Other: Good communication skills. This person should be someone that
we could take to client meetings as a tech representative, or have the
capacity to eventually fill that role.

Position: Summer Intern (Programming/Technology) 
Start Date: end of May or early June

Required Skills: HTML, general web development knowledge, knowledge of
windows environment

Optional Skills: Java, Perl, Active Server Pages, Perl Script,
VBScript, JavaScript, SQL, Unix, NT, and Linux

Responsibilities: 
- Constructing web based applications for clients
- Systems integration
- Research and implementation of new technologies
- Documentation of systems developed by Nette for clients
- Researching and writing on new technologies
- Develop corporate Intranet for NTI
- Work on NTI knowledgebase
- Assist NTI in internal systems integration
- Nette.Com - Site upgrades and automation
- DoTell.Com - upgrades, automation
- Nette Client Link - Automation.
Other: Good writing skills. 



Position: Summer Intern (Marketing/Research) 
Start Date: End of May or early June

Required Skills: Marketing/Communications major, very strong research
skills, and very strong writing skills Optional Skills: Understanding
of the Internet, understanding of Internet marketing

Responsibilities:
- Analysis of Nette covered industries and competitors
- Creation of potential client lists that can be pursued for web
  services contracts and DoTell contracts
- Assisting in the drafting of project proposals
- Researching Internet marketing including search engines, banner programs, and other types of Internet marketing.
- Detailed documentation on the different areas of Internet marketing
  will be produced for internal purposes as well as for distribution to
  clients.
- Implement a low budget Internet marketing campaign for Nette Web
  Services and DoTell.
- Researching new technologies, Internet trends, and industry trends.
- Producing research reports and "how to" manuals for internal use and
for distribution to clients.

- Misc. research and writing assignments as needed. 


  
Position: Summer Intern (Design) 
Start Date: End of May or early June
Required Skills: Strong web design skills, HTML, Photoshop
Optional Skills: JavaScript, Illustrator, Flash, DHTML, Style Sheets
Responsibilities:
- Design and production of web sites for clients
- DoTell.Com - Design, upgrades, automation
- Nette Intranet - Design and production
- Nette Client Link - Design and production
- Nette Knowledgebase - Helping aggregate existing information and
 research for distribution to clients. This includes converting
 documentation into PDF and HTML formats.
- Research - Helping research new design tools to make the designs process 
  move along more efficiently. 
- Designing banner ads and other animations to assist Nette's Internet 
  marketing efforts
- Working on Nette documents (Proposals and other docs) to make them look 
  more visually pleasing. 
- Misc. Design Tasks (for tradeshows and other small projects)

[Posted 26 Jan 2000]


CS Research Lunch: Thrackles I

Irena Pashchenko
Time: Friday lunch, 28 January 2000, 12:15-1:00PM.
Location: McConnell 404.

Dear Computer Science Students and Faculty,

Welcome back! If you have not seen each other for a long time and are ready for exciting puzzles and brainstorming, this is for you!

We continue our recent tradition of having a "research lunch" every Friday. We select out an unsolved research problem agreeable to everyone and amenable to interactive blackboard brainstorming. Last semester we concentrated on "Pushing Block Problems," and made some progress. Joe will report on the resolution of that work.

This semester we will start new topics, so it is a good time for new people to join the effort. We will start with Conway's "Thrackle" conjecture, a unsolved problem in geometric graph theory. A thrackle is a particular tangled way of drawing a graph, requiring that each arc meet every other arc (with distinct tangents where they meet). Conway conjectured that no thrackle can have more arcs than nodes, and no one has been able to find a counterexample or prove the conjecture. Geetika Tewari and Beenish Chaudry, who heard the problem from Conway himself, have offered to introduce us to the problem.

Here is an unrelated puzzle from Joe.


I learned the following clever puzzle from the Smith College Campus School Fifth grade:
Three men are sharing a hotel room, and contribute $10 each and give the hotel manager $30 for the room. Later the manager realizes she overcharged them $5, and sends five $1-bills up with the bellboy to return to the men. Deciding that $5 is too hard to split between three, the bellboy (dishonestly) pockets $2 and returns $1 to each of the men. So they have now paid $9 each, for a total of $27. The bellboy has $2 in his pocket, which accounts for $29 of the original $30. What happened to the last $1?

Lunch:

Please reply to this message (to <ipashche@cs.smith.edu>) specifying your intention to attend. We will order lunches from the State Street Deli. Their menu is pinned to the bulletin board in McConnell 209, if you would like to order anything specific; a generic sandwich order is also possible. I would like to emphasize that we will only order food for those who reply. The deadline for orders is Friday morning 9:50AM.

See you there,

Irena ;-)

[Posted 24 January 2000]

Help needed in putting together multimedia presentation

D. Thiebaut
I need student help to put together a high quality Powerpoint (or similar package) presentation that would include pictures, video clips, sound, music, and Web documents.

This is related to the engineering class I am teaching this spring.

If you have a good grasp of Powerpoint or of some similar software package, and can spend a total of about 40 to 50 hours on this project this semester, please contact me (thiebaut@cs). The pay rate is the standard rate for TAs.

[Posted 21 Jan 2000]


Consultant needed for CS Dept.

D. Thiebaut
We have a project, here at Smith, in the CS department, for which we need some help. The project involves installing a software package on Hermite to take postscript files and translate them into Epson code. The goal is to be able to print files from a Unix workstation to an Epson color printer.

The software is written for the Linux environment, but needs to be slightly "hacked" to work under Irix on Hermite. This work would be done under the supervision of Eric Jensen, who knows both systems well.

So, if you are interested in doing some low-level Unix work, a tiny bit of programming, lots of testing, and learning more about Unix, send me an email (thiebaut@cs).

The pay would be by the hour, at the standard rate for TAs.

[Posted 21 Jan 2000]


Job in Computational Geometry at Compaq

Joseph O'Rourke
Professor O'Rourke,

My name is Michael Tsuk, and I work for Compaq in the AlphaServer division in Marlborough, MA. I develop and maintain Compaq's electromagnetic CAD tool. I've enjoyed and greatly profited from "Computational Geometry in C".

I may be able to hire a student, either for a summer job or for a permanent position. I would like to find someone who knows about computational geometry, particularly solid modeling; that portion of my tool needs a severe upgrade. If you have any students who would be interested in a position, please have them send a resume to me at:

Michael Tsuk Compaq Computer Corp. Mailstop MRO1-1/P5 200 Forest St.

[Posted 12 Jan 2000]


Jobs at iVillage.com

Joseph O'Rourke
Former student Susan Dorward (Smith '90) is now an exective director at iVillage, and is looking to hire:

Hi Joe,

Well, I've found my niche here at iVillage (ivillage.com), the leading web site for women. I left CNET over a year ago, and now I'm managing a team of over 20 web developers here at iVillage. I've got several openings for junior programmers, a few for more experienced people. If you know of any recent grads or seniors who might be interested, please ask them to email me their resumes. They should know SQL/databases and HTML. Perl, Java, and Unix are pluses too.

We've got a great group here - a fun, relaxed environment, and a lot of interesting work, with tons of women execs.

Sue


Susan Dorward
Executive Director, Content Technology
iVillage Inc.

[Posted 7 Jan 2000]


Job openings at Net Technology

D. Thiébaut
Email received from Helen Bernstein <hbernstein@nette.com>

Net Technologies is an award-winning Internet tools and consulting firm. Our web development focuses on the financial services industry. Our web-based tools are global: we are talking to companies in the entertainment/media, healthcare and telecom industries as well as financial services.

DoTell Interactive(tm) - Publishes audio messages on the Internet from any touch-tone telephone. Broadcasts streaming audio live or store-and-forward. Available as a turnkey server or service bureau. Easy, powerful administrative tools. Scalable architecture. Patent-pending technology creates the highest quality audio available.

Applications include news, financial updates, audio greeting cards, and business-to-business communications. Works with Windows Media Format and RealAudio. Instimanager(tm) - an interactive, multimedia on-line presentation designed to deliver the experience of your firm and its products to clients. Using streaming video/audio/text/animation and SMIL, you can get mission-critical information out in less time. Easy to update and maintain. The DoTell team is looking for programmers. Jeff O'Connell or Patrick Lambert will forward job descriptions to you and call you to follow-up. In the meantime, our web site will fill in the details about who we are and what we do. Applications include news, financial updates, audio greeting cards, and business-to-business communications. Works with Windows Media Format and RealAudio.

Instimanager(tm) - an interactive, multimedia on-line presentation designed to deliver the experience of your firm and its products to clients. Using streaming video/audio/text/animation and SMIL, you can get mission-critical information out in less time. Easy to update and maintain.

The DoTell team is looking for programmers. Jeff O'Connell or Patrick Lambert will forward job descriptions to you and call you to follow-up. In the meantime, our web site will fill in the details about who we are and what we do.

Helen M. Bernstein
Net Technologies, Inc.
The Financial Services Internet Company
http://www.nette.com
212-889-2015 (v)
212-689-4018 (f)
Email: helen@nette.com

[Posted dd Jan 2000]


Summer Research at Smith 2000: Computational Geometry

Joseph O'Rourke & Ileana Streinu
We have a National Science Foundation grant for research in the field of computational geometry. We seek to hire several students to work with us during the Summer of 2000. The nominal duration is 10 wks and stiped of about $3,500 (the College hasn't set the exact value yet). However, both longer and shorter durations are possible; we are similarly flexible on starting and ending dates.

Last summer we worked with Beenish Chaudry (bchaudry), Sorina Chircu (schircu), Biliana Kaneva (bkaneva), Anna Loutsenko (aloutsen), Irena Pashchenko (ipashche), Geetika Tewari (gtewari), and Elif Tosun (etosun), on a variety of schedules, for a variety of durations. Feel free to write to any of them to learn details. See O'Rourke's Research Summary for a graphics gallery based on some of the projects, or the Science Centers's Women in Science annual reports for written summaries of each summer's projects.

Requirements: By the summer you should have taken CSC111 (CS-I) at a minimum, and preferably CSC112 (CS-II) as well. We are especially interested to work with students who will have completed either CSC274 (Computational Geometry, which is offered Spring 00) or CSC240 (Computer Graphics, which was offered Spring 99). Our work demands some mathematical sophistication, although we also have projects that are more focussed on programming.

Write us at orourke@cs.smith.edu and streinu@cs.smith.edu if you are interested. Deadline: Friday, 11 Februrary 2000. Earlier inquiries are encouraged, although we cannot make final decisions until February.

[Posted 6 Jan 2000]


Jr. and Sr. Level Programming Position at Dataware

D. Thiebaut (for Ron Papka)
Dataware currently has several technology positions available for energetic, talented, and creative individuals with the ability to understand a wide variety of business challenges. We are recruiting upcoming graduates earning Bachelors and Masters degrees in Computer Science or related disciplines. The ideal individuals should possess strong programming and interpersonal skills. In addition, they should be interested in the technologies related to web-driven development, information retrieval, natural language processing, knowledge management, publishing, and multimedia applications.

Dataware is a publicly traded company on the NASDAQ exchange under the ticker symbol DWTI. Last year we recorded over 32M in revenue, and we anticipate growth in the years to come. We have research/development positions in several offices. Our corporate headquarters are in Cambridge, MA, and we maintain development and service centers in Hadley, MA, Albany, NY, Boulder, CO, and Portland, OR. In addition, we have offices in the UK, Denmark, and Singapore.

Upcoming graduates should send their resume and a cover letter via mail or email to:

Jeanne O'Connor
Dataware Technologies, Inc.  
100 Venture Way 
Hadley, MA 01035 
email: joconnor@dataware.com 
  URL: http://www.dataware.com
Phone: 413-587-2222
  Fax: 413-587-2246

[Posted 7 Dec 1999]


Pushing Blocks Problem Session XI

Irena Pashchenko
Time: Friday lunch, 3 December 1999, 12:15-1:00PM.
Location: McConnell 404.

Dear Computer Science Students and Faculty,

We propose that this Friday's research lunch be the last of the semester, acknowledging the reality of end-of-semester pressures the following week. We will review our progress this semester and discuss whether to continue the same format next semester. If you have any preferences, please attend!

Here are Joe's remarks.


As those on the Pushing Blocks mailing list know, we now have a technical report proving this:
Theorem. PushPush is NP-hard in 3D.
The corresponding problem in 2D remains (frustratingly!) open. I will review the 3D proof and explain the impediments I see in extending it to 2D.

Then I would like to canvas opinions on whether we should:


Lunch:

Please reply to this message (to <ipashche@cs.smith.edu>) specifying what you would like to eat (type of sandwich and drink). The State Street Deli menu is pinned to the bulletin board in McConnell 209, if you would like to order anything specific; a generic sandwich order is also possible. I would like to emphasize that we only order lunches for those who reply. The deadline for orders is Friday morning 9:50AM.

See you there,

Irena ;-)

[Posted 2 Dec 1999]

Pushing Blocks Problem Session X

Irena Pashchenko
Time: Friday lunch, 19 November 1999, 12:15-1:00PM.
Location: McConnell 404.

Dear Computer Science Students and Faculty,

In honor of our tenth meeting on the Pushing Blocks problem, we will have Chinese food for lunch. See below for details. As usual, attendance at prior Pushing Blocks brainstorming sessions is not required, and the previous postings in the CS Announcements page can help review our work. Here is Joe's summary of the current status.


I would like to go over the proof of the following.
Theorem. PushPush is NP-hard in 4D.
Despite the forbidding "4D" in this claim, four dimensions are only used at one point. I believe now see how to improve this to the claim that PushPush is NP-hard in 3D. And I have ideas to push it further to establish this:
Conjecture. PushPush, with all blocks movable, is NP-hard in 2D.
This latter would be a nice result, and settle one of the main questions we raised this semester. But before we can declare anything settled, we need to go through the construction carefully. It's tricky.

Lunch:

Please reply to this message (to <ipashche@cs.smith.edu>) specifying your intention to attend, and a suggestion for a Chinese dish. (We'll share dishes.) The menu from the restaurant from which will order this week, Great Wall Chinese Restaurant, is on the bboard behind gargolye in McC 209. I would like to emphasize that we will only order enough food for those who reply. The deadline for orders is Friday morning 9:30AM. Please note the earlier-than-usual time!

See you there,

Irena ;-)

[Posted 17 Nov 1999]

Pushing Blocks Problem Session IX

Irena Pashchenko
Time: Friday lunch, 12 November 1999, 12:15-1:00PM.
Location: McConnell 404.

Dear Computer Science Students and Faculty,

We invite you to continue our Friday lunch and research on the Pushing Blocks problem. As usual, prior attendance is not required, and the previous postings in the CS Announcements page can help to give a flavor of our recent directions (or wanderings). Here is Joe's summary of the current status.


We have at least one promising conjecture (concerning pushing blocks twice), but no great ideas for a proof. I've thought of several other conjectures which at least I can't immediately disprove. Let me list them without full detail to provide a sense of possible topics this week.


Lunch:

Please reply to this message (to <ipashche@cs.smith.edu>) specifying what you would like to eat (type of sandwich and drink). The State Street Deli menu is pinned to the bulletin board in McConnell 209, if you would like to order anything specific; a generic sandwich order is also possible. I would like to emphasize that we only order lunches for those who reply. The deadline for orders is Friday morning 9:50AM.

See you there,

Irena ;-)

[Posted 10 Nov 1999]

Razorfish hiring

D. Thiebaut
A note from Jessi Rauch:

[Posted 8 November 1999]

Pushing Blocks Problem Session VIII

Irena Pashchenko
Time: Friday lunch, 5 November 1999, 12:15-1:00PM.
Location: McConnell 404.

Dear Computer Science Students and Faculty,

We invite you to continue our group interactive research on the Pushing Blocks problem with lunch this Friday. For those of you receiving one of these CS announcements for the first time, please be assured that prior attendance is not required. As you can tell from the title, however, this is our 8th weekly meeting on this topic, so we are in rather deep. We can quickly bring any new attendees up to speed. Look back in the CS Announcements page for earlier Pushing Blocks summaries to get a feel for where we've been. Here is Joe's summary of the current status.


Last week was I.S. Day, and so we didn't make much progress as a group. But I circulated some email on one idea which drew some feedback, and I have one other idea. So this gives us two directions to explore.


Lunch:

Please reply to this message (to <ipashche@cs.smith.edu>) specifying what you would like to eat (type of sandwich and drink). The State Street Deli menu is pinned to the bulletin board in McConnell 209, if you would like to order anything specific; a generic sandwich order is also possible. I would like to emphasize that we only order lunches for those who reply. The deadline for orders is Friday morning 9:50AM.

See you there,

Irena ;-)

[Posted 3 Nov 1999]

Grad School in CS @ Utah

Joseph O'Rourke
Subject: The University of Utah

Professors William B. Thompson and Ellen Riloff of the University of Utah will be visiting Mount Holyoke College on November 5 and 6. A primary reason for their visit is to talk with students with plans to pursue a Phd. in Computer Science. There are four events associated with their visit:

  1. Prof. Thompson will give a talk entitled The Convergence of Robotics, Vision, and Computer Graphics for User Interactio at 5:30pm on November 4th.
    ... the University of Utah has long been a leader in Computer Graphics, as far back as Evans and Sutherland. This talk is about their recent move that brings robotics, vision and graphics together into what might be thought of as a "visual reality" based computer interface. See below for details.
  2. Prof. Thompson will present a slide show of his trek through the Himalayas. The title: The Trail To Namche Bazaar--Travels In The Nepal Himalayas. This will be held at 7pm on November 4th.
    ... Prof. Thompson has, for a long time, enjoyed hiking through the mountains of Peru, Nepal, Alaska, etc. These are slides from one of his treks into Nepal. I have seen his pictures. They are outstanding.
  3. Prof. Riloff will give a talk on Research in Natural Language Processing at 12:00 noon on November 5th.
  4. Profs. Thompson and Riloff will give a joint talk entitled Grad School at the University of Utah. This talk will immediately follow the talk on Natural Language.
Both Profs. Thompson and Riloff will be available for individual appointments. To arrange same, email cfennema@mtholyoke.edu.

For more details, including times, location of talk, and abstracts, please see this link. Hope you will be able to participate in this event.

Regards

Claude Fennema Chair, Computer Science Department Mount Holyoke College

[Posted 28 Oct 1999]


Pushing Blocks Problem Session VIII

This has been POSTPONED so that everyone can attend International Students Day in Scott Gym!

[Posted 27 Oct 1999]


Pushing Blocks Problem Session VII

Irena Pashchenko
Time: Friday lunch, 22 October 1999, 12:15-1:00PM.
Location: McConnell 404.

Dear Computer Science Students and Faculty,

We invite you to continue the Pushing Blocks discussion with lunch this Friday. Prior attendance is not required. Here is Joe's summary of the status.


Last Friday we made some substantive progress on PushPush, showing that paths may be chosen to be reversable. This hints that the PushPush version of the problem might not be intractable. I suggest we continue to push :-) on this. Here are two ideas:

Lunch:

Please reply to this message (to <ipashche@cs.smith.edu>) specifying what you would like to eat (type of sandwich and drink). The State Street Deli menu is pinned to the bulletin board in McConnell 209, if you would like to order anything specific; a generic sandwich order is also possible. I would like to emphasize that we only order lunches for those who reply. The deadline for orders is Friday morning 9:50AM.

See you there,

Irena ;-)

[Posted 19 Oct 1999]

Consulting & Systems Integration on campus, 11/02/99

D. Thiebaut
I am posting a note I received from Teresa Chick, '92. She is now working at CSC and will be on campus on 11/02/99.

[Posted October 14, 1999]


Pushing Blocks Problem Session VI

Irena Pashchenko
Time: Friday lunch, 15 October 1999, 12:15-1:00PM.
Location: McConnell 404.

Dear Computer Science Students and Faculty,

We invite you once again to an informal lunch and discussion of aspects of the Pushing Blocks Problem. Prior attendance is not required. Here is Joe's summary of the status.


I suggest we explore PushPush, obeying the rules
  1. At most one block may be pushed.
  2. Once pushed, a block slides w/o friction.
  3. Some blocks may be fixed to the board.
These rules contrast with those under which Anu Dhagat and I proved decidability is NP-hard:
  1. Several blocks may be pushed at a time.
  2. The blocks only move as far as you push them.
  3. Some blocks may be fixed to the board.
Although initially I felt sure that PushPush was also intractable, I have not been successful in making a PushPush diode: a region/room that can be traversed in one direction but afterwards not in the reverse direction. It seems such a gadget is essential for any NP-hardness proof.

Lunch:

Please reply to this message (to <ipashche@cs.smith.edu>) specifying what you would like to eat (type of sandwich and drink). The State Street Deli menu is pinned to the bulletin board in McConnell 209, if you would like to order anything specific; a generic sandwich order is also possible. I would like to emphasize that we only order lunches for those who reply. The deadline for orders is Friday morning 9:50AM. This time we promise that lunch will be there.

See you there,

Irena ;-)

[Posted 14 Oct 1999]

Morgan Stanley on campus

D. Thiebaut
(received from Morgan Stanley)

Dear Student:

It is with great pleasure that Morgan Stanley Dean Witter's Information Technology division in conjunction with the Smith Computer Science department invites you to attend a presentation and reception on Friday, October 15th at 4:00 p.m.

The event will take place in the McConnell Foyer of the Computer Science Department located on the first floor of McConnell Hall. At this event you will have the opportunity to meet Smith and Mount Holyoke alumnae who have gone on to become some of MSDW IT's most successful women technologists. They will discuss their career paths at the firm as well as full-time employment opportunities, the graduate training program and summer internships in our Information Technology division. Please join us on the 15th to begin learning how you can become a part of one of the premier technology houses on Wall Street. For further information please feel free to contact us. We look forward to meeting you.

Sincerely,

Francesca Momplaisir
Diversity Manager - MSDW IT
1585 Broadway, 16th floor
New York, New York 1006
212-761-3474 tel.
212-761-3474 fax

Jocelyn Vo
Smith College, '91

Major: Comp Sci
MSDW IT Associate
jocelynv@ms.com
(212) 762-2051

Yin-Meng Tan
Mount Holyoke College, '93
Major & Minor: Economics & Comp Sci
MSDW IT Associate
ymtan@ms.com
(212) 762-2398

Rora Tanaka
Smith College, '88
Major: Math
MSDW IT Associate
tanakar@ms.com

[Posted dd mm 1999]


Pushing Blocks Problem Session V

Irena Pashchenko
Time: Friday lunch, 8 October 1999, 12:15-1:00PM.
Location: McConnell 404.

Dear Computer Science Students and Faculty,

We invite you again to an informal lunch and discussion of aspects of the Pushing Blocks Problem. Prior attendance is not required. Here is Joe's summary of the status.


A small advance was made on the very narrow question of finding an epsilon so that any two-row board that is epsilon-Empty is solvable. We know that epsilon = 1/3 is too large, and that any epsilon < 1/4 suffices. We could try to generalize the inductive proof to attack the broader epsilon-Empty Conjecture for arbitrary boards.

A second thread that has developed was inspired by the Mac freeware game PushPush, which permits fixed blocks, with all pushes shoves w/o friction. I propose that we try to prove PushPush NP-complete, by building the appropriate gadgets. A homework assignment for everyone :-) is to get through Level 2 of the game, which will familiarize you with its rules. It is on the desktop of the Mac in McC 209. (In case you are wondering, there are 7 levels.)

A third development is that Ileana found another Pushing-Blocks game, with yet a different set of rules. She'll bring her laptop to distract us further.


Lunch:

Please reply to this message (to <ipashche@cs.smith.edu>) specifying what you would like to eat (type of sandwich and drink). The State Street Deli menu is pinned to the bulletin board in McConnell 209, if you would like to order anything specific; a generic sandwich order is also possible. I would like to emphasize that we only order lunches for those who reply. The deadline for orders is Friday morning 9:50AM.

See you there,

Irena ;-)

[Posted 6 Oct 1999]

Pushing Blocks Problem Session IV

Irena Pashchenko
Time: Friday lunch, 1 October 1999, 12:15-1:00PM.
Location: McConnell 404.

Dear Computer Science Students and Faculty,

We continue our series of lunches / brainstorming sessions this Friday, again exploring the Pushing Blocks problem. All are invited -- prior attendance is not required. In fact we could use some fresh ideas! Here is Joe's summary of the latest developments.


The Half-Empty Conjecture, and even the much weaker Epsilon-Empty Conjecture, remain open. Last week we worked on boards with every column either full or empty, and started to make some progress. Sunday morning Erik Demaine (at Univ. Waterloo) made a breakthrough, proving this surprising result: Every "sufficiently tall" board whose first column (containing s) is empty, and whose last two columns are also empty (with t in the last column) can be solved. What is surprising here is that the distribution of the blocks is not relevant. We'll start by discussing this result and its proof and see where that leads us.

Lunch:

Please reply to this message (to <ipashche@cs.smith.edu>) specifying what you would like to eat (type of sandwich and drink). The State Street Deli menu is pinned to the bulletin board in McConnell 209, if you would like to order anything specific; a generic sandwich order is also possible. I would like to emphasize that we only order lunches for those who reply. The deadline for orders is tomorrow (Friday) morning 9:50AM.

See you there,

Irena ;-)

[Posted 29 Sep 1999]

Pushing Blocks Problem Session III

Irena Pashchenko
Time: Friday lunch, 24 September 1999, 12:15-1:00PM.
Location: McConnell 404.

Dear Computer Science Students and Faculty,

Because there remain open problems yet to solve and specialty sandwiches yet to taste, we will meet again this Friday the 24th to continue our work on the Pushing Blocks problem. All are invited -- we can quickly bring you up to speed if you haven't attended the earlier sessions. Here is Joe's summary of the status of the problem.


The Half-Empty Conjecture of Therese Biedl, slightly modified, remains open: If the board has at least three rows and columns, and if every rectangle containing the start s and termination t squares are strictly less than half full of blocks, then there is always a solution. Checkerboards are half-empty in this sense, and all have a solution. A weaker conjecture might be a good starting point for our discussion this Friday: The Epsilon-Empty Conjecture: There is some epsilon > 0 such that if every area N rectangle containing s and t contains strictly less than epsilon*N blocks, then there is always a solution. This is so much weaker that perhaps we could prove it by induction, reestablishing the epsilon-empty condition by pushing blocks outside of each rectangle we enter. I circulated an argument over the weekend that seems to show that even this weaker conjecture is false for the "shoving blocks" model, where blocks slide without friction, and so only stop when all slack is exhausted. There is a chance that we could find a collection of conditions that characterize the solvable instances of shoving blocks.

Lunch:

Please reply to this message (to <ipashche@cs.smith.edu>) specifying what you would like to eat (type of sandwich and drink). The State Street Deli menu is pinned to the bulletin board in McConnell 209, if you would like to order anything specific; a generic sandwich order is also possible. I would like to emphasize that we only order lunches for those who reply. The deadline for orders is tomorrow (Friday) morning 9:50AM.

See you there,

Irena ;-)

PS. I apologise for a late notice. This is due to email problems we experienced this morning.

[Posted 24 Sep 1999]

Morgan Stanley

D. Thiebaut
I am including a note from Jocelyn Vo, a CS major who graduated from Smith in the early 90's. Morgan Stanley is a Tier 1 financial firm. They are looking for top of the class programmers for the field of data mining, web development, mainframe to client/server migration projects, cross platform tools development, to name a few. The work is pretty challenging and interesting. If you get bored, it's pretty easy to switch groups or get yourself on a different project. The firm invests a lot of money on the latest technology (it was over a billion dollars this year), they take care of their IT professionals, and the work atmosphere is very professional (everyone is encouraged to give opinions/input, you can disagree without offense or retribution, the performance review process is 360 degrees -- you get evaluated by the people who work for you, by the people whom you work with, and by people whom you work for, etc.). I've been here the past two years and it's still an exciting company to work for.

Since Smith made the news with regards to the Engineering Department, Morgan Stanley became very interested in recruiting students from Smith -- and when I heard that, I got myself on the firm's list as a recruiter representive (an opportunity to visit Smith again). :)

[Posted 21 Sept. 1999]


Computing Position

D. Thiebaut
Christine White-Ziegler, in Biological Sciences, is looking for student help.

"MOdifying an existing database (or creating a new one) with FileMaker Pro, designing/implementing a Web page for my research lab and courses, installing software and equipment, scanning images, doing research on DNA/protein sequence analysis."

IF interested, contact Christine White-Ziegler (cwhitez@science), X 3815.

[Posted 21 Sept 1999]


Pushing Blocks Problem Session II

Irena Pashchenko
Dear Students and Faculty,

We are glad to announce the second session of "Pushing Blocks".

Last week 13 of us enjoyed a Friday lunch discussing the "Pushing Blocks" open problem. After that introductory session, we agreed to continue the same topic, this time trying to make some progress on the open (sub)conjectures, or to explore variations on the original problem. So we will meet again on Friday Sept. 17th, same place, same time: McConnell 404, 12:15-1:00PM. Lunch provided as usual (see the end of this message for details).

For the problem statement, see last week's Announcement below.

There is no necessity to have attended last week -- we can bring you up to speed quickly (write to me, Irena, for copies of email on the topic). As to the open conjectures, they seem to be diminishing with time. The noncrossing conjecture seems falsified by the example discussed last week. The half-empty conjecture is at this writing teetering. We might either prove that the checkboard is indeed a counterexample to the half-empty conjecture; or try to formulate or own conjectures; or explore variations on the original problem that might be more tractable (ice blocks that necessarily slide w/o friction when pushed); or talk about heuristic algorithms.

Lunch Details

As usually you should reply to me with your lunch order (to <ipashche@cs.smith.edu>). Specifying what you would like to eat (type of sandwich and drink). The State Street Deli menu is pinned to the bulletin board in McConnell 104, if you would like to order anything specific; a generic sandwich order is also possible. I would like to emphasize that we only order lunches for those who reply. The deadline for orders is Friday morning 9:50AM.

Location: McConnell 404, this Friday the 17th, 12:15 p.m.

See you,

Irena ;-)

[Posted 16 Sep 1999]


Pushing Blocks Problem Session I

Irena Pashchenko
Dear Students and Faculty,

We are continuing our series of interdepartmental educational and entertaining events. Joseph O'Rourke, Ileana Streinu, and a group of students are inviting you for the first such event this year.

Pushing Blocks Problem Session

Several of us worked on an intriguing open problem at a Computational Geometry conference in Vancouver in August. We would like to invite others to join us and continue the effort this Friday (Sep. 10th) at lunch 12:15-1:00PM, McConnell 404. We will provide a deli lunch for all those who reply by early Friday morning. (See the end of this message for lunch details.)

Problem Statement

A number of movable unit square block obstacles are confined to a rectangle with integral length and width. A robot starts at the lower left corner, and its goal is to occupy the upper right corner. The robot may move horizontally or vertically in discrete unit steps, pushing any number of blocks in front of it. Is there a polynomial-time algorithm for deciding whether there exists a sequence of moves that enables the robot to reach the goal position?

Background

This problem was first posed in 1992 by a Smith honors student, Anu Dhagat, and JOR. Their paper established various hardness results for other variations, but the original problem remains unsolved.

At the conference, Ileana Streinu, Biliana Kaneva, Geetika Tewari, Beenish Chaudry, Octavia Petrovici, Lilla Zollei, and JOR worked on the problem with a group of other researchers, mainly from the Univ. of Waterloo. The Waterloo group has started a weekly problem session, and made interesting advances at their first meeting. Joe will summarize the situation at our first meeting, and can forward their notes to anyone interested. Feel free also to ask bkaneva, gtewari, or bchaudry any questions about the problem, for they were at the conference. You will see that it is possible to get to the heart of this problem quite quickly; and the reason so many are working on it is that we find it fun!

Lunch Details

I am responsible for taking lunch orders and ask you to reply to this message (to <ipashche@cs.smith.edu>) specifying what you would like to eat (type of sandwich and drink). The State Street Deli menu is pinned to the bulletin board in McConnell 209, if you would like to order anything specific; a generic sandwich order is also possible. I would like to emphasize that we only order lunches for those who reply. The deadline for orders is Friday morning 9:50AM.

Location: McConnell 404, this Friday the 10th, 12:15 p.m.

Hope to see you all there,

Irena ;-)

[Posted 8 Sep 1999]