Chenhao Tan has won the 2015 Facebook Fellowship in HCI and Social Computing

The two-year award covers tuition and fees and provides a $37,000 yearly grant. 11 were awarded overall.

Facebook's spotlight on Chenhao's research, which is in the broad area of social computing, with a focus on language and social interaction:

Full announcement of the 2015 winners:

Date Posted: 3/12/2015

Fly Labs nabs #1 in Fast Company's list of innovative companies in video

Fly Labs, a startup founded by Tim Novikoff, placed number one on Fast Company's list of "The World's Top 10 Most Innovative Companies of 2015 in Video".  As the article notes, all three of the apps released by the company were features as #1 on Apple's list of Best New Apps.  Novikoff (a 2013 CAM PhD who teaches iPhone programming at Cornell in his spare time) is quoted as saying, "We tried to make something that was really, really simple, that allows you to play around with the medium of video creativity in an effortless way ... We make things that make video editing delightfully simple".

Date Posted: 3/06/2015

A 'Flickr-ing' view of the world, in 4-D

Scene Chronology, an ECCV'14 best-paper-award-winning system by PhD student Kevin Matzen and Noah Snavely, was recently written up in the Chronicle and  The system allows an observer to navigate around inside a virtual 3-D space while using a slider control to move forward and backward in time, where the models are built from millions of images.

A beautiful video of some spatial and temporal fly-throughs can be found at the project website,

Date Posted: 3/06/2015

Carla Gomes app making national news

A team led by Carla Gomes and the Institute for Computational Sustainability that she directs has developed cell phone apps that herders in Kenya are using to track herds and report conditions at grazing sites; the information that is gathered complements satellite imagery. Computer Magazine and Futurity both picked up the article.

In a Cornell Chronicle article, PhD student Yexiang Xue comments on the optimization-problem aspects of trying to incentivize participants to report on under-visited locations, and Gomes notes, "If we can use sophisticated technology to run Amazon, we can use sophisticated technology to help people in Africa".

Date Posted: 2/26/2015

Tool for helping tweets get more retweeted makes the news.

PhD student Chenhao Tan created an online tool that predicts which of two differently-worded versions of a tweet will get more retweeted.  The website, , has been discussed by CBS News, The Washington Post, Fast Company, and the Daily Mail.  The underlying technology is based on joint work with Lillian Lee and CS PhD alum Bo Pang.

Fast Company had this to say:  "It may not exactly be a writing guide on the level of the classic The Elements of Style, but as a guide for getting noticed online here in 2015, it’s certainly not bad."


Date Posted: 2/26/2015

Kozen honored for theoretical computer science work

Dexter Kozen has been named one of the five 2015 Fellows of the European Association for Theoretical Computer Science (EATCS) for his scientific achievements in the field of Theoretical Computer Science. Kozen's citation is for "pioneering and seminal work in fields as diverse as  complexity theory, logics of programs, algebra, computer algebra and probabilistic semantics".

Cornell Chronicle highlights Kozen's acheivements here. An Interview by the University of Copenhagen is here. Kozen, in response to the reward, stated, "It's nice to know that there are some fans of my work, and that I have accomplished something that is an inspiration to others."  You're an inspiration to all of us, Professor Kozen!

Date Posted: 2/26/2015

Smithsonian lists Prof. Saxena as one of the 8 innovators to watch in 2015, for his ongoing work on RoboBrain.

Ashutosh Saxena was named one of Smithsonian Magazine's "Eight Innovators to Watch in 2015" and was highlighted in the Cornell Chronical.  The article notes, "Ashutosh Saxena envisions a world where robots can heed commands, such as "pour me a coffee" or "load the dishwasher," without step-by-step instructions. But unlike the novelists and screenwriters who have also dreamt this, he is actually making it happen.

The Cornell roboticist and his team are building RoboBrain, a massive online search engine of sorts for robots to use to acquire the knowledge needed to understand and then perform a task. When posed a question, RoboBrain will crawl the Internet and word, image and knowledge databases for relevant information that the robot can digest."

Date Posted: 2/18/2015

Keynote and outstanding reviewer awards at WSDM 2015

Thorsten Joachims gave a keynote address on "Learning from user interactions" at the Eighth ACM International Conference on Web Search and Data Mining (WSDM), one of the leading conferences on search and data mining on the Web.  He discussed how intelligent systems that learn from their users can be designed in a principled way. To view the Abstract click here.   To view Slides click here.

Also, graduating PhD student Karthik Raman was named a recipient of an Outstanding Reviewer Award at the same conference

Date Posted: 2/11/2015


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