The Department of Computer Sciences at the University of Wisconsin - Madison
strives to maintain the highest standards in education and research.
Through our educational programs and our research, we have made significant
contributions to the field of computer science.
In both education and research, we stress theoretical and experimental
methods for solving fundamental as well as practical problems, and
our annual research funding exceeds $7 million.
Our faculty and students have
earned high regard nationally and internationally for their achievements,
earning us a `top ten' position in a recent ranking by the National Research Council.
This issue of our departmental report summarizes many of the accomplishments of over
the past academic year. Highlights include:
Professor David DeWitt was elected to the National Academy of
Engineering. He is particularly well known
for his work on database technology.
Professor Charles Dyer was elected a Fellow of the
Institute for Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE).
He received this honor for his work in computer vision.
Michael Gleicher joined the department as an Adjunct Professor.
He received his PhD from Carnegie Mellon University
in 1994, and joins us after spending several years at Apple and Autodesk.
His specialty is computer graphics.
Perry Kivolowitz joined the department as an Adjunct Professor
and created a new class in computer graphics. Perry has received
an Academy Award and an Emmy for his special-effects work.
Michael Ferris, Yannis Ioannidis, Mark Hill, Amos Ron,
and Jude Shavlik were promoted to Full Professor.
NCR opened a research laboratory in Madison
and are collaborating with Professors David DeWitt
and Jeffrey Naughton, as well as several of
our current and former graduate students.
The department received funding for four endowed graduate-student
fellowships. Natassa Ailamaki was the first recipient of the Anthony
C. Klug NCR Fellowship in Database Systems, Tia Newhall was the first
winner of the Lawrence H. Landweber NCR Fellowship in Distributed
Systems, and David Melski and Kristin Tufte were the first recipients
of the Cisco Systems Distinguished Graduate Fellowships in Computer
Several additional graduate students were awarded competitive fellowships
to support their graduate studies.
Ashraf Aboulnaga was awarded a Microsoft Graduate Fellowship;
Jeffrey Butts was named a Hertz Fellow;
Richard Chang received an NIH Biotech Traineeship;
Mario Pi received an Advanced Opportunity Fellowship from the University;
Amir Roth was awarded an IBM Cooperative Fellowship;
Craig Zilles was named an NSF Fellow;
and Paramjit Oberoi, Zhiqi Qio,
Ravishankar Ramamurthy, Souyma Ray, Feng Tian,
Yuan Wang, Kim-ee Yeoh, and Xiaoli Zheng
were named Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation Fellows.
Several students received additional support from
previously awarded fellowships:
Elizabeth Bilir from NSF, Karen Karavanic from NASA,
Johannes Gehrke and Milo Martin from IBM, and
Eric Schnarr from Intel.
In addition, the department awarded 11
summer fellowships to new graduate students just starting their research.
Professor Anne Condon
received the department's Caroln Rosner Excellent Educator Award.
received the department's Outstanding Departmental Service Award.
Victor Zandy was named
the department's Outstanding Graduate Student Instructor,
while Steven Seitz
were chosen as the Outstanding Graduate Student Researcher.
Professor Jeffrey Naughton was honored by the student chapter of the ACM (SACM) as the
Students' Choice Professor of the Year.
The quality of our undergraduate and graduate programs in computer
science is acknowledged nationally and internationally. This allows
us to keep undergraduate and graduate standards very high.
Admission into our M.S. and
Ph.D. programs is highly competitive; less than one out of every
three students who applied to our graduate program last year was
accepted with support. Seventy new graduate students entered the
department this fall, giving a total of 219.
We currently have 246 undergraduate majors.
During the last academic year, we granted
94 B.S./B.A., 66 M.S., and 16 Ph.D. degrees.
Our graduates are in great demand in both industry and academia. Of
our recent Ph.D. graduates, about half took academic positions and half took
positions in industrial research and development laboratories. Many
of our bachelor and masters graduates were hired by our industrial
affiliates. In the past year, three of our recent alumni who are
assistant professors received prestigious Career Awards from the
National Science Foundation and one
received a Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers.
Our Undergraduate Projects Laboratory (UPL) provides state-of-the-art
equipment and allows undergraduates to explore projects of their own interest.
Especially notable are the impressive computer graphics that the students
The local student chapter of the Association for Computing Machinery
(SACM) is open to all Computer Sciences students. SACM sponsors a
fall orientation program for new graduate students, several social and
sports events during the year, the department photo board, and
financial aid for conference registration fees. Funds for these
activities are raised through soda sales to department members from a
computerized vending machine.
Each year the department sponsors a special colloquium series that brings
leading researchers to campus. This series complements our regular weekly seminar
Distinguished Lecturer Series - Spring 1998
We also have an annual lecture given in memory of
Professor Barkley Rosser, who
served the University of Wisconsin and our department with distinction.
The eighth annual J. Barkley Rosser Memorial Lecture was given by
Jaron Lanier, who spoke on "Tele-Immersion: A New Communications Paradigm."
- Ingrid Daubechies, Princeton
- Wavelets, Subdivision Compression, and All That
- Peter Schröder, Caltech
- Multiresolution Methods in Computer Graphics
- Jeffrey Saltzman, Los Alamos
- Large Scale Object-Oriented Programming of Scientific Applications
- John Rice, Purdue
- Future Challenges of Scientific Simulation
- Gene Golub, Stanford
- Inverting Shapes from Moments
Faculty Research Programs
Many of our 33 faculty have received notable awards in honor of their
outstanding research and educational achievements. Carl de Boor is a
member of the National Academy of Science, the National Academy of
Engineering, and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences;
he also holds the Steenbock Chair in Mathematical
David DeWitt is a member of the National Academy of Science.
Lawrence Landweber is the John P. Morgridge Professor of
Computer Sciences. Olvi Mangasarian holds the John von Neumann Chair
of Mathematics and Computer Sciences.
Mary Vernon, DeWitt, and Landweber are ACM Fellows. Charles Dyer is an IEEE Fellow.
Mark Hill and Dewitt are
Romnes Fellows, while Thomas Reps and Guri Sohi are Vilas Associates.
Thirteen current faculty members have received Presidential or NSF
Young Investigator awards, two were awarded Packard Foundation
Fellowships, three have received ACM doctoral dissertation awards, one
has been given an ACM SIGMOD Innovations Award,
one has received an NSF Faculty Award for Women in Science and Engineering,
one has received a DEC
Incentives for Excellence Award, and three have received IBM Faculty
We perform research in a wide variety of areas of
computer science and receive funding from government agencies,
industrial companies, and private foundations. The current research
directions of the department are summarized below, while a later
section of this report provides further details on each faculty
members's research focus and sample publications. Our web site
(www.cs.wisc.edu) should be visited to access more
Computer vision, machine learning, and robotics are
topics of research in our AI group.
Research directions include
synthesis of images from new camera viewpoints by combining a set of
images of a real environment;
integration of symbolic and
connectionist approaches to AI, applied to the design of
instructable software agents for information finding on the
World-Wide Web; and
sensor-based robot motion planning.
Recognized as one of the world's premier computer architecture groups,
our group has focused on research in two directions. Efforts in
multiprocessor memory system design, which have developed snooping
caches, the IEEE Scalable Coherent Interface, memory consistency models,
and cooperative shared memory, are now targeting extensible
shared-memory systems. Work on instruction-level parallelism has
moved from decoupled architectures to the multiscalar and datascalar
paradigms, which can push performance beyond ten instructions per
cycle and exploit the potential of merged memory and logic circuit
Our top-ranked database group is widely recognized for its
strength and diversity. Research is being pursued in a number of
directions, including database integration, database programming languages,
heterogeneous object stores,
information visualization, object-relational databases,
parallel database systems, query optimization (including cost
estimation via sampling, complex query evaluation, parallel and multimedia
query scheduling, and error estimation),
scientific databases, spatial databases, and user interfaces.
The goal of the computer graphics group is to create tools that make it
easier to create pictures, video, animation, and virtual environments; and
to make these visual artifacts more interesting, entertaining, and
informative. Our current work explores editing motions for animation,
creating animation from video examples, and using image analysis techniques
to automate the creation of visual effects.
The research of our mathematical programming group covers
linear, nonlinear, and discrete optimization techniques and theory.
Recent work has emphasized applications in diverse areas including machine
learning and data mining; combinatorial network and manufacturing
problems; economic policy analysis and structural mechanical issues
via nonlinear equilibrium problems;
parallel algorithms for large-scale optimization;
stochastic optimization; analysis and computational solution of variational
inequalities; and medical diagnosis, treatment, and prognosis.
Our numerical analysis group has research interests in approximation theory,
particularly multivariate approximation by splines and wavelets,
and partial differential equations, multigrid methods and domain
decomposition with applications to computational fluid dynamics.
Operating Systems and Networking
Research in operating systems and networking covers operating system
design and implementation, wide-area information systems,
gigabit networks and distributed systems. Our research
includes optimizing system performance, extensible operating
systems, caching in the World Wide Web,
distributed resource utilization, high throughput computing,
network support for
visualization of physical phenomena, and multi-media
conferencing. We are also designing systems that dynamically
instrument applications and perform various optimizations.
Research in performance modeling and analysis
focuses on developing state-of-the-art analytic and
simulation modeling techniques, as well as applying
these techniques to key computer/communication system design issues.
Current applications include next-generation on-demand delivery
systems for large popular widely-shared (multimedia) data,
high performance and high throughput
scheduling policies for parallel and distributed systems,
global memory management in networks of workstations (NOWs),
and the design of
parallel adaptive computer/communication applications and architectures.
Our research in this area focuses on parallel programming languages,
techniques for compiling for shared-memory parallel computers,
efficient performance evaluation tools, language-specific tools to aid
in large-scale software development,
program slicing, dataflow analysis and abstract interpretation,
incremental algorithms, interactive programming
environments, automatic code selection, optimal code scheduling,
and global and interprocedural register allocation.
Theoretical Computer Science
The primary research areas in our theory group are average-case analysis of data
structures and algorithms, computational biology, and DNA computing.
Other research topics include computational number theory, parallel
algorithms, approximation algorithms for NP-hard problems, structural
complexity theory, and algebraic complexity theory.
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