Colloquia Announcements


Wednesday, 9th October 2019, 5:05pm, UB230

Prof. Lindsay D. Grace

School of Communication
University of Miami

will present

Making Games at Record Speed

Attendees will learn the basic tenets of making functional, publishable games in less than 7 days. The talk draws from the speaker's experience as Vice President of the non-profit that runs the largest game jam in the world, as well as personal experience as a top 100 mobile game developer. The talk combines practical tips with heuristics refined over making scores of digital games, professional consulting, and years of leading students toward successful game designs.

This is another in the Department of Computer Science Pizza Seminar Series. Refreshments will be served at 4:30pm in the reception area of the 3rd floor of Ungar.


Wednesday, 2nd October 2019, 5:05pm, UB230

Mr. Amr Elsawy

Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering
University of Miami

will present

Imaging Processing and Computer Vision Methods for Diagnosis of Eye Disease

Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT) is a technology that images the front and back parts of the eye(i.e. cornea and retina) using backscattered light. OCT images show different layers of the parts of the eye. Different eye diseases change the shape of these layers which is an important sign for the presence of eye diseases. Imaging processing and computer vision methods are needed for the extraction of clinically relevant parameters from the OCT images which is necessary for the diagnosis of these diseases. These methods include image registration, image segmentation, 3D reconstruction, correction and thickness measurement. Our work focuses on processing corneal OCT images. We are building a corneal layer-thickness topography (CLTP) system to generate 3D thickness maps of different corneal layers. These maps are used for diagnosing different eye diseases such as keratoconus, Fuchs endothelial dystrophy and corneal graft rejection. In this talk, we will explore the different parts of our system.

This is another in the Department of Computer Science Pizza Seminar Series. Refreshments will be served at 4:30pm in the reception area of the 3rd floor of Ungar.


Friday, 27th September 2019, 11:15am, UB230

Dr. Yelena Yesha

Computer Science and Electrical Engineering
University of Maryland Baltimore County

will present

Chios: Next Generation Permissioned Blockchain

Blockchain, widely known for being the technology underlying Bitcoin, has started to creep into areas that extend beyond cryptocurrency. Blockchain is a secure and reliable distributed service that maintains digital records in a tamper-proof way. There are two types of blockchains: permission-less blockchains (e.g., Bitcoin, Ethereum) and permissioned blockchains (e.g., Hyperledger Fabric). Existing blockchain systems are still facing several major challenges such as fine-grained access control, better support of messaging pattern, and modularity in design. In this talk, I will introduce Chios, a permissioned blockchain system that is unique in multiple applications such as IoT and data sharing. Chios features novel techniques to address significant challenges in blockchains. First, Chios is the first-ever system that achieves decentralized confidentiality and decentralized cryptographic based fine-grained access control. Second, Chios enables publish/subscribe mechanisms while resolving open problems in distributed systems, achieving strong security guarantees. Last but not least, Chios is truly modular and extensible. It currently supports more than 30 configurations, allowing various trade-offs among efficiency, function, and security. Also, Chios provides visualized interfaces so one can easily deploy and use Chios services and applications.

Yelena Yesha

Dr. Yelena Yesha is a tenured Distinguished University Professor at the Department of Computer Science and Electrical Engineering at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County. She is also the Director of the National Science Foundation Center for Accelerated Real Time Analytics (CARTA). She received her B.Sc. degrees in Computer Science and in Applied Mathematics from York University, Toronto, Canada, in 1984, and her M.Sc. degree and Ph.D. degree in Computer Science from The Ohio State University in 1986 and 1989, respectively. She has published 11 books as author or editor, and more than 170 papers in prestigious refereed journals and refereed conference proceedings, and has been awarded external funding in a total amount exceeding 40 million dollars. Dr. Yesha is currently working with leading industrial companies and government agencies on new innovative technology in the areas of cybersecurity and big data analytics with applications to electronic commerce, climate change and health. Dr. Yesha is a fellow of the IBM Centre for Advanced Studies.

This is another in the Department of Computer Science Distinguished Scientist Seminar series.


Wednesday, 25th September 2019, 5:05pm, UB230

Clay Ewing, Ph.D.

Department of Cinema and Interactive Media
University of Miami

will present

The Importance of Design

In today's society we constantly interact with systems. Whether designing a game, software application, database or anything else, it's important to design with purposeful intent and understand the impact that we are creating. This talk will cover mistakes made, lessons learned, and some hot tips on design.

This is another in the Department of Computer Science Pizza Seminar Series. Refreshments will be served at 4:30pm in the reception area of the 3rd floor of Ungar.


Friday, 20th September 2019, 11:15am, UB230

Nick Tsinoremas, Ph.D.

Center for Computational Science
University of Miami

will present

Data Driven Compute Systems:
A Case Study in Bioinformatics and Healthcare Data Science

The Biomedical Informatics architecture at UM currently supports nearly 7 PB of biomedical research data and numerous projects including EHR data from three Health Care partner organizations. This session will provide an overview of the University of Miami Center for Computational Science's (UM CCS) data driven advanced computing systems design as well as the design of the new AI-ready system, Triton which support the biomedical architecture. The overall Biomedical Informatics and Bioinformatics architecture and the Miami CTSI program will be discussed in detail along with new innovative data driven approaches and applications for Health Care and Biomedical Research. Also included in this session will be an overview of University Research Integration Data Environment (U-RIDE) which is a core component of this architecture comprised of three main layers: URIDE Foundation, URIDE Analytics, and URIDE Search.


Wednesday, 18th September 2019, 5:05pm, UB230

Dr. Zheng Wang

Department of Computer Science
University of Miami

will present

SCL: A Lattice-based Approach to Infer
Three-dimensional Chromosome Structures from Single-cell Hi-C Data

In contrast to population-based Hi-C data, single-cell Hi-C data are zero-inflated and do not indicate the frequency of proximate DNA segments. There are a limited number of computational tools that can model the three-dimensional structures of chromosomes based on single-cell Hi-C data. We developed SCL (Single-Cell Lattice), a computational method to reconstruct three-dimensional (3D) structures of chromosomes based on single-cell Hi-C data. We designed a loss function and a 2D Gaussian function specifically for the characteristics of single-cell Hi-C data. A chromosome is represented as beads-on-a-string and stored in a 3D cubic lattice. Metropolis-Hastings simulation and simulated annealing are used to simulate the structure and minimize the loss function. We evaluated the SCL-inferred 3D structures (at both 500 kb and 50 kb resolutions) using multiple criteria and compared them with the ones generated by another modeling software program. The results indicate that the 3D structures generated by SCL closely fit single-cell Hi-C data. We also found similar patterns of trans-chromosomal contact beads, Lamin-B1 enriched topological domains, and H3K4me3 enriched domains by mapping data from previous studies onto the SCL-inferred 3D structures. The C++ source code of SCL is freely available at http://dna.cs.miami.edu/SCL/.

This is another in the Department of Computer Science Pizza Seminar Series. Refreshments will be served at 4:30pm in the reception area of the 3rd floor of Ungar.


Wednesday, 11th September 2019, 5:05pm, UB230

Donald B. Olson, Ph.D.

Department of Ocean Sciences
University of Miami

will present

Multi-variate Approaches to Fisheries Habitat

Fisheries, the act of taking fish, depend upon the physical and biotic factors that set up the habitat of targeted species and their availability to the fishery itself in terms of technology and proximity to market. At the same time, most of the hard data on these fish comes from the fishery catch itself making reconstruction of habitats and management of fisheries difficult. Setting up a system for defining fishery habitat from catch data and other available information is explored. In particular new fishery-independent data from sources such as tagging, genetics, and satellite mapping of ocean environments are discussed. Exploratory models of fish habitat are introduced and their use in fisheries described.

This is another in the Department of Computer Science Pizza Seminar Series. Refreshments will be served at 4:30pm in the reception area of the 3rd floor of Ungar.


Wednesday, 4th September 2019, 5:00pm, UB230

Gang Ren

Center for Computational Science
University of Miami

will present

Multimodal Grammatical Inference from Musical Expressions:
Learning Syntactic, Semantic, and Structural Representations
Towards A Systematic Musical Language

Musical expressions carry rich structural and semantic information; our musical percept embraces multimodal experiences: visual, auditory, lyrics, scores, and myriad facets of artistic and intellectual concepts. Music’s expression is cognitively straightforward but analytically (reasoning rationally or “formally”) elusive: we all can genuinely feel the music, but a systematic decoding of musical expressions, a hypothetical parallel formal modeling process like that we have achieved on natural language processing, is still beyond reach. This presentation will report our initial attempts and progresses toward forming a systematic musical language using grammatical inference from multimodal representations of music. Specifically, we utilize a machine translation paradigm that models different but synchronized feature modalities as semantically coupled “languages”. From there, we systematically explore the syntactic, semantic, and structural properties of musical data. We will bring you along an amazing artistic adventure from Palestrina to Beethoven to Debussy and to Motown. We will compose a more rebellious Camila Cabello with Steve Reich’s tutelage, render an inappropriate cantata for a royal wedding toward impressionism and experimental, and spatially mixing Dr. Dre (instrumental only) with Stockhausen.

This is another in the Department of Computer Science Pizza Seminar Series. Refreshments will be served at 4:30pm in the reception area of the 3rd floor of Ungar.


Wednesday, 28th August 2019, 5:00pm, UB230

Matthew Vega-Sanz

Co-founder/CEO of Lula Rides

will present

From 1 to 10: Building the Technical Team Beyond Myself

Matthew is the technical founder, and will discuss the journey of growing the Development Team beyond just himself. He will talk about problems we encountered while building and scaling the app, as well as the problems we had while hiring. Then, he will discuss how we overcame that, and still are working to overcome this.

This is another in the Department of Computer Science Pizza Seminar Series. Refreshments will be served at 4:30pm in the reception area of the 3rd floor of Ungar.


Wednesday, 21st August 2019, 5:00pm, UB230

Dr. Michael Mannino

Center for Computational Science
University of Miami

will present

Computational Modeling of Brain Networks

I will describe and show a neuroinformatics package called The Virtual Brain, which simulates the human brain, using computational models to explore the dynamics of large scale brain networks, and how information flows between different brain regions.I will also discuss some more abstract issues about the use of simulation in computer science, and neuroscience in particular.

This is another in the Department of Computer Science Pizza Seminar Series. Refreshments will be served at 4:30pm in the reception area of the 3rd floor of Ungar.


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