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CS Senior Scott Bouloutian presenting at ISVC 2014

Congratulations to Scott Bouloutian, a senior in the Computer Science department, for his accepted publication in the International Symposium on Visual Computing (ISVC)!  His research paper, titled “Artificial Intelligence Gaming Assistant for Google Glass”, is a continuation of his mentored research work and utilizes knowledge from several fields of computer science including, Computer Vision, Artificial Intelligence, and Cloud Computing. His paper was accepted after being blind-refereed by three reviewers based upon accuracy and originality of ideas, clarity and significance of results, and presentation quality. Scott will be presenting a poster at the symposium in Las Vegas in December. Congratulations Scott!

MUSE 2014

TCNJ’s MUSE (Mentored Undergraduate Summer Experience) program runs every summer. This year, Dr. Dimitris Papamichail worked with Joie Murphy, Nathan Gould, and Dylan Wulf – all rising sophomore Computer Science Majors – to complete their specific projects, described below by Dr. Papamichail:

Joie Murphy and Dylan Wulf worked on a project that aims to develop a set of computational tools to aid the computational textual criticism of Latin texts.  An ultimate goal of traditional textual criticism is the reconstruction of the archetype of a given work, where various manuscripts from different time periods and from different regions are available as the source of texts for reconstruction; some are only fragments. To tackle this goal, it is important to figure out, by comparing differences and similarities among multiple versions the work, whether one version is derived from another, and whether two or more versions descend from a hypothetical version that is now lost. The students worked on methods to construct and evaluate trees representing the relationships of extant and hypothetical extinct documents.

Nathan Gould and Oliver Hendy (senior Biology major) studied algorithmic issues behind synthetic gene optimization and the approaches that different computational tools have adopted to redesign gene DNA sequences and maximize desired coding features. The students studied an extended bibliography in synthetic biology and gene redesign, and utilized test cases to demonstrate the efficiency of each gene design approach, as well as identify their strengths and limitations of the available tools. This study resulted in a manuscript that has been submitted for publication.

For more information on MUSE, please visit TCNJ’s webpage:  http://fscollab.pages.tcnj.edu/muse/

Three CS Students Receive CREU Funding

CREU_photo

Joie Murphy (class of 2017), Kate Evans (2017), and J.R. Villari (2016) have received Collaborative Research Experience for Undergraduates (CREU) funding to perform research during the 2014-15 academic year under the supervision of Dr. Dimitris Papamichail. They will work on a project that aims to create efficient algorithms and computational tools for the construction of optimized, rationally-designed synthetic genes.

The funding is provided by the Computer Research Association’s Committee on the Status of Women in Computing Research (CRA-W) and the Coalition to Diversify Computing (CDC), with support from the National Science Foundation (NSF).

Congratulations to J.R., Kate, and Joie on their achievements!

REU @ TCNJ

REU @ TCNJ

The NSF-funded CABECT project has received Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) supplemental funding to support two undergraduate research students as they investigate the hypothesis that contributions from a large number of motivated users who actively review and adapt site content will result in a self-sustaining research repository. Selected students will received stipends during the 2014-2015 academic year and 2015 summer, as well as travel funding and on-campus summer housing. For more information on the project “CABECTPortal: Leveraging Social Computational Concepts to Enhance Project Dissemination and Sustainability”, expectations, and how to apply see http://pulimood.pages.tcnj.edu/research/nsf-funded-reu-tcnj/. The application deadline is 5 p.m. August 27, 2014.

Computer Science thanks Linode

The Department of Computer Science was thrilled to welcome Christopher Aker (CEO), Thomas Asaro (COO) and Keith Craig (Public Relations Manager), from Linode LLC on Thursday, July 17, 2014. The welcoming party included Dr. Peter DePasquale and Dr. Monisha Pulimood from Computer Science, Dr. Jeffrey Osborn (Dean of School of Science) and Mr. Guy Calcerano (Major Gifts Officer). The primary purpose for inviting Linode was to express TCNJ’s gratitude for Linode’s generous donation of servers that have opened up exciting new opportunities for research and education in Computer Science, as well as in the other departments within the School of Science (Physics, Math, Biology and Chemistry). Our guests took the opportunity to tour our facilities and meet with MUSE students working with Dr. Papamichail. We also explored additional avenues for collaboration between Linode and Computer Science at TCNJ. Watch this space for future developments.

Report in Times of Trenton: http://www.nj.com/mercer/index.ssf/2014/07/tcnj_computer_science_department_gets_major_upgrade_with_donated_servers.html.

Congratulations to the Class of 2014

The Computer Science Department Class of 2014 was awarded degrees en masse at the main TCNJ ceremony on May 15, 2014.  Students were individually recognized at the Department ceremony on May 16, 2014, in the Mayo Concert Hall. Teddy Sudol gave the student address and Dr. Deborah Knox gave the faculty address.

Class Of 2014
Class Of 2014

 

 

 

2014 Computer Science Award Winners

CS Award Winners and Faculty
CS Award Winners and Faculty

Congratulations to the winners of the 2013-2014 Computer Science Department Awards and the Charles Goldberg-Norman Neff Awards!

The Computer Science Department awardees are selected by the faculty based not only on their exemplary performance in CS courses, but also on their significant contributions to the department.

Freshman Award – Joie Murphy

Sophomore Award – Kylie Gorman and Brandon Gottlob

Junior Award – Joseph Canero, Conor Kelton and Sean Safari

Senior Award – Thomas Caputi, Leighanne Hsu, Michael MacDougall and Glen Oakley

The Charles Goldberg-Norman Neff Award goes to a graduating senior who has been accepted into a Ph.D. program and completes an application for the award. This year we have two winners:

Patrick D’Errico and Teddy Sudol

 

Scholarships for Success in Computational Science

Scholarships for Success in Computational Science

Professors Tom Hagedorn (Mathematics & Statistics) and Monisha Pulimood (Computer Science) have been awarded a grant from the NSF S-STEM program (Award # 1356235). This grant forms the basis of a sustainable initiative to recruit, retain and graduate more students in computer science and mathematics at TCNJ. The project will fund approximately 27 scholarships per year for computer science and mathematics students who will be organized into learning communities and engage in research focused on a common theme of computational science. The project will also provide significant advising, mentoring, and tutoring services that supplement those already provided by the college.

 

Dr. Papamichail awarded NSF-CCF grant for combinatorial design of synthetic gene variants

Dr. Papamichail awarded NSF-CCF grant for combinatorial design of synthetic gene variants

Dr. Dimitris Papamichail, Assistant Professor of Computer Science, has been awarded a research grant from the National Science Foundation’s Division of Computing and Communication Foundations (NSF-CCF) core program.

dimi_small4Dr. Papamichail’s research focuses on computational design of synthetic genes with enhanced properties. Synthetic Biology moves beyond conventional genetic manipulation to construct novel biological components which do not originate in nature. There exists though a big gap of knowledge between genomic sequence and function. To enhance understanding of gene expression, researchers have constructed and evaluated libraries of gene variants, which traditionally have limited size due to synthesis costs, and random or biased composition.

This grant will enable exploration of the combinatorial design of synthetic gene variants to aid the construction of large scale, purposed libraries. The aim is to assay the most important sequence features which determine gene expression, while minimizing experimental cost and maximizing the exploration of the coding landscape.

Over the next two years Dr. Papamichail, with the aid of TCNJ research students, aims to develop new algorithmic results in combinatorial design of diverse gene libraries with minimized cost. TCNJ students will participate in developing both the algorithms and the software that will be used to design the next generation of large-scale synthetic construct experiments.

The research will be performed in collaboration with Dr. J. Robert Coleman, Assistant Professor of Microbiology at SUNY – Farmingdale State College. Dr. Coleman will test the computationally designed synthetic libraries in a wet-lab and evaluate the reporter gene variants. This will help determine quantitative effects of modified features on expression in a model organism (E.coli), thus validating the algorithmic designs.

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