Matthew Ielusic

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A Frontiers in Science Lecture by Lance Fortnow, Chair of the School of Computer Science

What is computer science? Ask Google or Alexa, and you'll get an answer like "the study of the principles and use of computers." That doesn't really capture the breadth of the field.

But how can you get an answer in a fraction of a second? Now that's computer science!

Lance Fortnow will explore

  • the ideas developed by computer scientists that transport your Google query to the cloud 
  • how the cloud keeps track of the massive amount of information needed to answer the question 
  • how algorithms and machine learning figure out what your question means and how best to respond 

All these take place in that six-tenths of a second from the time you make the query until answers magically appear, while keeping your information secure and private all the time. 

About the Speaker
Lance Fortnow is professor and chair of the School of Computer Science in the College of Computing at the Georgia Institute of Technology. His research focuses on computational complexity and its applications to economic theory.

Fortnow received his Ph.D. in Applied Mathematics at Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1989, under the supervision of the theoretical computer scientist Michael Sipser. Before joining Georgia Tech in 2012, Fortnow was a professor at Northwestern University and the University of Chicago, a senior research scientist at the NEC Research Institute, and a one-year visitor at Centrum Wiskunde & Informatica (CWI; National Research Institute for Mathematics and Computer Science) and the University of Amsterdam, in the Netherlands. Since 2007, Fortnow has held an adjoint professorship at the Toyota Technological Institute, in Chicago.

Fortnow's research spans computational complexity and its applications, most recently to microeconomic theory. His work on interactive proof systems and time-space lower bounds for satisfiability have led to his election as a 2007 Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) Fellow. Fortnow was a National Science Foundation Presidential Faculty Fellow from 1992 to 1998 and a Fulbright Scholar to the Netherlands in 1996-97.

Among his many activities, Fortnow has served as the founding editor-in-chief of the ACM Transaction on Computation Theory, as chair of ACM Special Interest Group on Algorithms and Computation Theory (SIGACT), and as member of the Computing Research Association board of directors. He served as chair of the IEEE Conference on Computational Complexity from 2000 to 2006.

Fortnow originated and has coauthored the Computational Complexity weblog since 2002, the first major theoretical computer science blog. He has thousands of followers on Twitter

Fortnow's survey "The Status of the P versus NP Problem" is the most downloaded article of the journal Communications of the ACM. Fortnow has written the popular science book "The Golden Ticket: P, NP and the Search for the Impossible," which is loosely based on that article.

Book signing follows the lecture. 

About Frontiers in Science Lectures
Lectures in this series are intended to inform, engage, and inspire students, faculty, staff, and the public on developments, breakthroughs, and topics of general interest in the sciences and mathematics. Lecturers tailor their talks for nonexpert audiences.

Event Details

Date/Time:

Location:
Room 152, Clough Undergraduate Learning Commons, 266 4th Street NW, Atlanta, GA 30313

SoM and CTL Awards:

Top Graduate Student Award 2018:  Mark Bolding

Festa Fellowship Award 2018:  George Kerchev

Outstanding TA Award 2018:  Xin Wang & Yuze Zhang

Best PhD Thesis 2018:  Yan Wang

Bob Price Travel Fellowship 2018:  Marc Haerkoenen, Sudipta Kolay, Sergio Mayorga, Stephen McKean, Youngho Yoo, Xiaofan Yuan.

CTL/BP Outstanding Grad TA Nominee 2018: Ben Ide

CTL/BP Outstanding Grad Instructor Nominee 2018: Alex Hoyer

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Institute wide awards:

Georgia Tech GTA of the Year Award: Ben Ide,  
Georgia Tech UTA of the Year: Markace Rainey.

These awards are based on nominations from the Schools together with the candidates' achievements in mentoring and leadership, scholarship, development, reflectiveness, and teaching effectiveness.

Event Details

Date/Time:

Location:
Atlanta, GA

A School of Mathematics Seminar with IBM Research puzzlemaster Oded Margalit

IBM Research runs a mathematical challenge site, called "Ponder This." Every month the site posts a new  challenge and reveals the solution for the previous month's riddle. Oded Margalit has been the puzzlemaster since 2005.  He will survey some of the riddles over the years and tell some anecdotes about the challenges and the solvers, for example: 

  • PRL paper born from a riddle on random walks 
  • ITA-2014 paper on water hose model (using quantum entanglement to break location based encryption)
  • Games: 2048, Kakuro, Infinite chess game, the probability of a backgammon to end with a double Fisher Foul Chess and more 
  • Minimal hash function 
  • Combinatorial test design 
  • A solver from the intensive care unit and other stories 
  • Finding a natural number n such that round ((1+2 cos(20))^n) is divisible by 10^9

Don't worry! No high mathematics knowledge is assumed.

About the Speaker
Oded Margalit received his Ph.D. in Computer Science from Tel-Aviv University under the supervision of Zvi Galil, now the dean of the Georgia Tech College of Computing. 

Margalit has worked at IBM's Haifa research lab on machine learning and constraint satisfaction, verification, and more. He is the chief technology officer of the IBM Cyber Security Center of Excellence at Ben Gurion University of the Negev.

Oded participates in organising several computer science competitions, such as the international IEEEXtreme and the national CodeGuru. He loves riddles and is the author of "Ponder This," the monthly challenge corner of IBM Research.

Event Details

Date/Time:

Location:
Room 006, Skiles Building, 686 Cherry St NW, Atlanta, GA 30313

A Frontiers in Science lecture by Ernő Rubik, inventor of the Rubik's Cube

In a rare public appearance, Ernő Rubik will give a public lecture, discussing a wide range of topics including design and architecture, the role of curiosity in the human condition, and his perspective on more than four decades of the Rubik's Cube.

About the Speaker
Ernő Rubik is an architect and designer. He lives in Budapest, Hungary, where he invented Rubik’s Cube in 1974.

Rubik co-founded the Hungarian Academy of Engineering; the Palace of Wonders, a science center in Budapest; and the Aquincum Institute of Technology. He has served as juror for the European Inventor Awards and as Ambassador for Creativity and Innovation of the European Commission.

Among numerous national and international distinctions, Rubik is the recipient of Liberty Science Center's Genius Prize; the USA Science & Engineering Festival Medal; and Hungary's highest state distinction, the Order of St. Stephen.

This talk is sponsored by the College of Science, the School of Mathematics, and the Gathering 4 Gardner Foundation.

About Frontiers in Science Lectures 
Lectures in this series are intended to inform, engage, and inspire students, faculty, staff and the public on developments, breakthroughs, and topics of general interest in the sciences and mathematics. Lecturers tailor their talks for nonexpert audiences

Event Details

Date/Time:

Location:
Room 152, Clough Undergraduate Learning Commons, 266 4th St NW, Atlanta, GA 30313

The School of Math welcomes high school students from the Atlanta area to compete for pride and prizes in a day of mathematics and fun.

Event Details

Date/Time:

Location:
Atlanta, GA

Wei Dong

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Ingrid Irmer

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Mengyi Tang

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Guangyu Cui

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