News

Noam Kantor has been awarded a Marshall Scholarship
news Published Date: 2016-11-30
Noam Kantor, an Emory University Scholar, has been named one of 32 nationwide recipients of the prestigious Marshall Scholarship. The goal of the Marshall Scholarship is to "finance young Americans of high ability to study for a graduate degree in the United Kingdom" and "strengthen the enduring relationship between the British and American peoples, their governments and their institutions". Noam is a senior undergraduate and will earn his dual bachelors and masters degree in mathematics this spring; Noam will use the Marshall to earn a second masters degree in math, studying number theory, from Oxford, before applying to graduate programs in mathematics.
Emory System Ranks First in Live Question Answering Challenge
news Published Date: 2016-11-21
A question answering system, developed at Emory by a Ph.D. student Denis Savenkov, was ranked first in the LiveQA challenge, as announced at the 2016 Text Retrieval Conference (TREC 2016) on November 2016. The goal of the LiveQA challenge was to quickly answer questions posted by real users on a popular website, Yahoo Answers. This task pushes the limits of automatic question answering and information retrieval, as these questions express complex information needs that people chose to ask to a community, rather than turning to existing search engines. On top of it, the systems had to respond within a minute, bringing additional realism to the challenge. 26 systems from North America, Europe, Asia and Australia participated in the LiveQA challenge. The system responses were judged by the assessors from the National Institute of Science and Technology (NIST), that co-organized the challenge together with Yahoo Labs and Emory University. An Emory system, developed by Denis Savenkov of the Emory IR Lab, was ranked 1st among all of the participants. Denis is advised by Prof. Eugene Agichtein, and is a Ph.D. student in the Emory Computer Science & Informatics program. The top-scoring Emory system, CRQA, uses many sources of information to automatically generate a set of candidate responses, and score them using state-of-the-art machine learning models. CRQA operates as a "cyborg", combining the best of human intuition with automatic responses, by using a novel real-time crowdsourcing module to obtain additional feedback from real human workers, while still returning answers quickly. The CRQA system was able to provide acceptable answers to more than 60% of the user questions, and perfectly answered over 22% of the questions, according to the quality judgments provided by professional NIST assessors. More details about the Emory system are published in a paper titled "CRQA: Crowd-powered Real-time Automated Question Answering System", by Denis Savenkov and Eugene Agichtein, in proceedings of the AAAI Human Computation conference (HCOMP 2016). Despite significant advances in automated question answering, the LiveQA challenge demonstrated that a large gap still remains between automatic question answering systems and good human answers, ~50% of which were judged to be excellent, compared to only 22% provided by the top-ranked Emory system. The LiveQA challenge will run again in 2017. More details about the challenge are available at www.trec-liveqa.org.
Students Attend Grace Hopper Conference
news Published Date: 2016-11-03

In October, twenty-one undergraduates and graduates represented The Department of Math and Computer Science at this year’s Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing in Houston, Texas. The gathering was attended by 15,000 people unified by their motivation to support diversity in STEM fields. Jamelia Mays, a junior at Emory majoring in Math and Computer Science: “The Grace Hopper Conference was an amazing experience. This year was my first time attending and I was overwhelmed by the sheer number of women in technology that surrounded me from the moment I walked into the door. I learned so much from other students and engineers that I wouldn't have learned anywhere else. I am so grateful to have an even bigger support system of strong, inspiring, successful women to reach out to.”

Learn more about the conference here.
Dr. Ken Ono to speak at the White House
Published Date: 2016-10-27
Emory Number Theorist Ken Ono is speaking this Friday at the White House in an event called "Math and Movies". The event will be streamed live (https://www.whitehouse.gov/live). Ken will be speaking with actor Jeremy Irons on the importance of STEM education and their film "The Man Who Knew Infinity".
Ken Ono featured on Neil deGrasse Tyson's Star Talk television program
Published Date: 2016-10-19
Emory number theorist Ken Ono is a featured studio guest on Neil deGrass Tyson's National Geographic television program Star Talk. Ono appears in the show along with Bill Nye The Science Guy, comedian Eugene Mirman, actor Jeremy Irons, and writer Matt Brown. Enjoy a teaser from the forthcoming show in which Ono talks about pi. You can see the clip here.
The Math/CS Department is Hiring!
Published Date: 2016-09-26
The Department of Mathematics and Computer Science has several openings for faculty positions to begin in Fall 2017. Areas of interest include: Science Cluster Tenure Track, Science Cluster Lecture Track, and Tenure Track, Assistant Professor in Data Exploration.
Please find all position details, including how to apply, in the links. The department will be adding two additional faculty job openings in the near future.
Ethan Alwaise Wins Goldwater Scholarship
Published Date: 2016-09-23
The Department of Mathematics and Computer Science wish to congratulate Ethan Alwaise on winning the Goldwater Scholarship. Ethan is one of 252 recipients from a pool of 1,150 applicants for the 2016-2017 year. Ethan was unaware that he had won until he received an email from Assistant Professor David Zureick-Brown that read, "Dude, you rock!"

Read more about it here.
IceCTF 2016 Security Competition
news Published Date: 2016-08-24
The Math&CS department is one of the sponsors of the IceCTF 2016 security competitions. It has become among the most popular online capture-the-flag contests in information security, with more than 2700 registered users solving a smorgasbord of 55+ cryptography, web vulnerabilities, reverse engineering, binary exploitation and other challenges. "This is a platform where anyone can pick up new security skills, tools and ideas, whether they are newcomers or advanced security professionals." says Prof. Vigfusson, one of the organizers of IceCTF. "It is truly exciting to see the competition grow every year, and many of the participants are telling us that they are having a great time." The competition runs from August 12-26 and is open for anyone at http://www.icec.tf/ The scoreboard is here.
Ken Ono Profiled in Der Spiegel
news Published Date: 2016-07-11
Ken Ono is profiled in the July 8th issue of the popular German magazine Der Spiegel. The interview involves his mathematics, his recently published autobiography with science writer Amir Aczel, and his work as a movie producer. You can read the story here.
AIMS Laboratory Receives Best Paper Recognition
Published Date: 2016-06-29
A research paper by recent PhD graduate Xiaofeng Xu, advised by Professor Li Xiong and co-advised by Dr. Vaidy Sunderam, received the Best Paper Award at the 17th IEEE Mobile Data Management Conference in Porto, Portugal in June 2016. Dr. Xu is now at Facebook; Dr. Xiong directs Emory's Assured Information Management and Sharing (AIMS) laboratory. A preprint can be viewed here.