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Grad Colloquia

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Grad Colloquium: getting to know your fellow grad. The University of Minnesota Computer Science department consists of over 400 students and 37 tenure-track faculty. With such a vast and diverse body of knowledge it is difficult, if not impossible, to be familiar with everything. The objective of grad colloquium is to help CSci graduate students become better acquainted with other students in the department and to learn about their research.

As of Spring 2017 Grad Colloquium has been re-branded as the Graduate Research and Discussion Seminar (GRaDS). See the GRaDS page for information about the Graduate Research and Discussion Seminar.

What is Graduate Colloquium?[edit]

Grad colloquium is different from the department colloquium in that speakers are primarily other graduate students from various subdisciplines within Computer Science. On occasion alumni or faculty will be invited to talk about their experiences.

One of the objectives of grad colloquium is to provide an informal environment for students to practice speaking. Because of this the format of grad colloquium is very fluid. One week the format could be similar to that of the department colloquium; one guest speaker talking for roughly 45 minutes on their research and then taking 15 minutes for questions. Another possibility is to have two speakers who will each have 30 minutes.

Food will be provided for participants as well as beverages. Vegetarian options will be available.

In a rough sense, these are the stated goals of the colloquium:

  1. To provide a venue for members of the department community, especially graduate students, to learn about research being done in groups other than their own or to learn from the experience of previous grads.
  2. To provide opportunities for grad students to practice speaking to an audience of computer scientists who are not necessarily familiar with their subfield; and
  3. To foster greater interaction between grad students in different research groups.

Why should I come to Graduate Colloquium?[edit]

Grad colloquium gives participants the chance to learn about things that might not be specifically covered in their subfield. Additionally, they may encounter a different perspective on things they are already familiar with. There is a very large body of prior research available and it is impossible to be familiar with everything. Attending grad colloquium is a good way to gain a better breadth of knowledge and learn about contemporary research in other fields of Computer Science.

The audience is also an important aspect of grad colloquium. Without the audience, presenters are just talking to themselves. More importantly, the audience needs to be active. The speakers are familiar with their work and their colleagues are familiar with their work. It is the job of the audience to ask questions and be inquisitive; just as it is important to know how to answer questions as a speaker it is important as an audience member to know how to ask good questions. Having a good audience is just as important as having good speakers.

Why should I be a speaker?[edit]

The first and most obvious reason to be a speaker is practice. Even the most seasoned presenter can benefit from practicing their talk. Each run gives the presenter an opportunity to fine tune their presentation and to make improvements. Each audience is different and that uniqueness can provide new perspective on how to improve a talk.

With each new audience comes the opportunity for a new round of questions. This provides important practice in fielding questions and it can also uncover different ideas that the presenter may not have considered. There is always the possibility that someone in the audience may be familiar with the work and can provide valuable insight.

Finally there is the networking aspect. The power of social networking cannot be understated. Grad colloquium provides an opportunity to present research and ideas to an audience who may not have heard about it otherwise.

In regards to topics, talks can cover current or past research or essentially any information that could be beneficial to CS grad students but they should be accessible to a general computer science audience. Talks are usually fairly informal but if a a more formal structure is desired it can be arranged.

Current Schedule[edit]

As of Spring 2017 Grad Colloquium has been re-branded as the Graduate Research and Discussion Seminar (GRaDS). See the GRaDS page for the current schedule.

Past Schedules[edit]

The past schedule of speakers by semester.

Fall 2010[edit]

Date Speaker Topic
September 10th Ted Kaminski Objects, Datatypes, and Attribute Grammars
September 24th Michael Ekstrand Automatically Building Research Reading Lists
October 8th Jeff Gao Integrated System for Biodegradation Pathway Prediction
October 22nd Dane Coffey Slice WIM: A Multi-Surface, Multi-Touch Interface for Overview+Detail Exploration of Volume Datasets in Virtual Reality
November 5th David Schroeder Graphics, figures, and better communication with fewer words.
November 19th Baylor Wetzel Application of Scalable Agent Modeling Techniques to Dolly Dress-Up Games
December 3rd Morten Warncke-Wang An Introduction to Simulation and SimPy

Spring 2011[edit]

Date Speaker Topic
January 21st Pascal Salazar from Vital Images 3D Visualization and user interaction at Vital Images: Beyond the pretty 3D image everywhere
February 4th Nicholas Walczak and Joshua Fasching An introduction to the Kinect as a tool for research
February 18th Various presenters Lab overview presentations to prospective students
March 4th Aaron Halfaker A round table discussion about the grad workers union
April 1st Seth Berrier Principle Component Analysis for Image Based Rendering Compression
April 15th Aaron Halfaker Don't bite the newbies: How Reverts affect the Quantity and Quality of Wikipedia Work
April 29th TBA TBA

Fall 2011[edit]

Date Speaker Lab Topic
September 16th Aaron Halfaker GroupLens The Rise and Decline of a Wiki: How Wikipedia's reaction to sudden popularity is killing it
September 30th Ernesto Nunes Machine Learning Opponent Modeling for a Stochastic Game between Police and Drivers
October 14th Michael Ekstrand     GroupLens Towards Solving Information Overload: Helping Users Find What They Need
October 28th Greg Gay Crisys Software Test Oracles: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Mutation Testing
November 11th Zi Lin Security Lessons Learned from Attacking Network Flow Watermarking Schemes
December 9th Pratap Tokekar Robotic Sensor Networks     TBD

Spring 2013[edit]

Date Speaker Topic
February 8th Mohamed Sarwat Database Support for Recommender Systems
March 1st Michael Ekstrand A Parliament of Recommenders: Harnessing Recommender Differences for Great User Experiences
March 15th Ted Kaminski Extensibility
March 29th Narges Noori Lion and Man with Visibility in Monotone Polygons
April 12th Dane Coffey Scalable Natural User Interfaces for Data-Intensive Exploratory Visualization: Designing in the Context of Big Data
April 26th Pratap Tokekar Robotic Sensor Networks for Environmental Monitoring
May 3rd Richard Moore & Brian Stankiewicz (3M Talk) "Atoms to Bits", Intelligent Systems at 3M
May 10th Josh Vander Hook Searching using Bearing Measurements

Fall 2013[edit]

Date Speaker Topic
September 27th Bret Jackson A Lightweight Tangible 3D Interface for Interactive Visualization of Thin Fiber Structures
October 11th Bilal Kartal Generating Believable Stories in Large Domains
October 25th Vineeth Mekkat Accelerating Data Race Detection Utilizing On-Chip Data-Parallel Cores
November 8th Joshua Vander Hook Escaping Ageing Lions
November 22nd Michael Ekstrand Toward Recommender Engineering: Tools and Experiments for Identifying Recommender Differences
December 6th Mohamed Sarwat Data Management Challenges in the Age of the MobiSocial Internet

Spring 2014[edit]

Date Speaker Topic
January 31st Bilal Kartal User-Driven Narrative Variation in Large Story Domains using Monte Carlo Tree Search
February 14th Anitha Murugesan & Lian Duan Hierarchical Requirements Analysis and Assurance of Safety Critical Systems
February 28th Pratap Tokekar Sensing Planning for Robotic Environmental Monitoring
March 14th Mary Southern An Introduction to Twelf
March 28th Yuting Wang The Abella Approach to Reasoning about Higher-Order Relational Specifications
April 11th Daniel Jarratt & Hannah Miller PossibilityU, Recommending Colleges, and Entrepreneurship & AphasiaWeb: A Social Network for Individuals with Aphasia
April 25th Patrick Plonski A Competitive Online Algorithm for Exploring a Solar Map
Mary 9th Ted Kaminski Reliably composable language extension

Fall 2014[edit]

Date Speaker Topic
September 5th Desheng Zhang Exploring Human Mobility with Multi-Source Data at Extremely Large Metropolitan Scales
September 19th Sean Landman Understanding the Human Genome through Computational Genomics
October 3rd Fernando Torre Techniques for Improving Routing by Exploiting User Input and Behavior
October 17th Bilal Kartal Stochastic Tree Search with Useful Cycles for Patrolling Problems
October 31st Max Schuchard Adversarially Induced BGP Instability: Causes, Consequences, and Countermeasures.
November 14th Lian Duan Reasoning about Confidence and Uncertainty in Assurance Cases: A Survey
December 12th Ahmed Eldawy SpatialHadoop: A MapReduce Framework for Spatial Data

Spring 2015[edit]

Date Speaker Topic
January 23rd Marcus Valovage Device Prioritization in Electricity Disaggregation
February 6th Wen Wang Leveraging Network Structure to Discover Genetic Interactions in Genome-Wide Association Studies
February 20th CANCELLED
March 6th Jake Thebault-Spieker Avoiding the South Side and the Suburbs: The Geography of Mobile Crowdsourcing Markets
April 3rd David Anastasiu Understanding Computer Usage Evolution
April 24th Josh Vander Hook Competitive Information Gathering for Environmental Monitoring
May 1st Shaden Smith SPLATT: Efficient and Parallel Sparse Tensor-Matrix Multiplication
May 15th Desheng Zhang Urban Cyber-Physical Systems: Addressing Urban Challenges by Urban Systems with Urban Data

Fall 2015[edit]

Date Speaker Topic
September 18th Lian Duan Representing Confidence in Assurance Case Evidence
October 2nd Vikas Kumar ‘I like to explore sometimes’: Adapting to Dynamic User Novelty Preferences
October 16th Michael Tetzlaff Physically-Based Rendering of Cultural Heritage Artifacts from Photographs with On-Camera Flash
October 30th Dongjiang You Executing Model-based Tests on Platform-specific Implementations
November 13th November 20th Nick Sohre Discovering the Role of Motion in Facial Expressions
November 27th Thanksgiving - No Colloquium Thanksgiving - No Colloquium
December 11th Shaden Smith Tensor-Matrix Multiplication with a Compressed Sparse Tensor

Spring 2016[edit]

Date Speaker Topic
February 5th Max Schuchard job talk
February 19th February 26th Song Min Kim IoT Networking: From Coexistence to Collaboration
March 4th CANCELED Canceled for prospective student visit day.
March 25th David Anastasiu Efficient Methods for Finding Exact Neighbors and Understanding Behavior Evolution
April 1st
April 15th TJ Byun and Vaibhav Sharma Cyber Fault-Tolerant Attack Recovery
April 29th Vasileios Kalantzis Domain Decomposition Methods for Symmetric Eigenvalue Problems
May 13th Shaden Smith A Medium-Grained Algorithm for Distributed Sparse Tensor Factorization

Fall 2016[edit]

Date Speaker Topic
September 16th Vasileios Kalantzis A GPU implementation of the filtered Lanczos procedure
September 30th October 7th Sarah McRoberts YouthTube: Youth Authored Videos on YouTube and Vine
October 14th Mary Southern and Mike Schliep Animating and Reasoning About Dependently Typed Specifications and
ABRA CADABRA: Magically Increasing Network Utilization in Tor by Avoiding Bottlenecks
October 28th Elaheh Ghassabani Inductive Validity Cores for Formal Verification
November 11th Shaden Smith An Exploration of Optimization Algorithms for High Performance Tensor Completion
December 9th Andreas Katis Synthesis from Assume-Guarantee Contracts using Skolemized Proofs of Realizability

Organization Information[edit]

In order to make grad colloquium a continuing success we need dedicated people to help out. One of the most important positions right now are liaisons for different labs/subfields. The duty of these liaisons is talk to the other people in their labs/fields and get them interested in speaking.

Old Organization links[edit]