Weekly Memo

July 28, 2014

Dear members of the Hajim School community:

      Congratulations to Michael Scott, Professor of Computer Science, who has been awarded an NSF grant of half a million dollars to “extend the state of the art in transactional memory (TM).” TM allows certain complex operations to be performed concurrently, while keeping them isolated from each other's intermediate effects. This isolation simplifies the construction of correct, scalable algorithms for parallel systems, such as those used to analyze large data sets. Michael's expertise is an example of the “systems side” of work in Data Science. In his grant proposal, he wrote: “It is no exaggeration to say that computers are revolutionizing intellectual endeavor. With the move to multicore and multithreaded processors, concurrency has become a daily concern for almost every professional programmer. While transactional memory will never make parallel programming easy, it can significantly simplify the construction of correct and scalable code, thereby helping to sustain momentum across government, industry, science, the arts, and entertainment.

     The Gordon Research Conference on Lasers in Medicine and Biology (July 13-18) benefited from the expertise of our Institute of Optics faculty and students. Prof. Jannick Rolland gave a talk on "Aberration Correction in Optics"; graduate student Jinxin Huang gave a poster (co-authored with Qun Yuan, Eric Clarkson, Matthew Kupinski, and Prof. Rolland) on "Application of Task-based Assessment in Optical Coherence Tomography for Tear Film Thickness Estimation." Kevin Thompson, Visiting Scientist, also gave a poster (co-authored with Patrice Tankam, Anand Santhanam, Cristina Canavesi, and Prof. Rolland) on "Gabor Domain Optical Coherence Microscopy and Biomedical Applications." These conferences offer opportunities for individual faculty members and students to showcase their work and to network with peers from other universities. And they promote the research opportunities at our school and university.

      As always, keep me updated and have a great week.


Robert L. Clark
Professor and Dean