Spring/Summer 1996




Faculty Excellence Showcased at First Annual Computer Science Recognition Dinner

The past past year has been a stellar one for the UMass Computer Science Department, as 11 of the 40-member faculty received awards for outstanding achievements in 1995-1996. This prompted the department to organize the first annual Computer Science Department Recognition Dinner, held May 16th, 1996 on the Amherst campus. And there was no more fitting place to honor the shining stars and up-and-coming key players in computer science and computing education than the UMass Mullins Center.

The Mullins VIP room was filled with colleagues, family and friends who gathered to honor the 1995-1996 faculty award recipients and other faculty who received notable awards in previous years. The honorees span the generations of faculty that brought the department from its infancy as a new graduate program in the early 1970s to national prominence in the mid 1980s to the present. The honors received were awarded from external computer science organizations and societies, and internal University organizations. They were awarded for excellence in teaching and research, as well as recognition for faculty who have played key roles in advancing the discipline of computer science.

Professor Lee Osterweil, Master of Ceremonies for the evening, had the difficult task of trying to sum up the qualities of such a talented faculty. "If you can distill it down to one word, it would be Excellence," said Osterweil. "The pursuit of excellence-trying to change the world in better ways through our students, our ideas and our publications. That for which we have been striving has been achieved."

Dean Linda Slakey, who was unable to attend the Dinner, sent her congratulations in a letter which was read by Department Chair David Stemple. "I want you all to know how much I value how forward looking and creative you are," wrote Slakey. "I am especially aware of all the recent instances in which members of the department have continued, in spite of difficult times, to manifest your customary creativity and community mindedness."

The Dean was not the only well-wisher to send a letter of appreciation. President Bill Clinton also sent thanks to the department and especially Professor Bruce Croft for his accomplishments and exemplary research in the area of Information Retrieval. "Bruce is responsible for bringing more positive publicity and attention to the department than any one else," noted Professor Jack Wileden. Croft and his research group are developers of INQUERY, one of the best information retrieval engines ever designed. Croft's software is used by several government agencies, such as the Library of Congress, as well as private companies. Wileden relayed the President's message by reading from a letter Clinton had sent about Croft to the President and Chancellor of UMass.

Though the evening was filled with impressive stories of pride and success, they are too many to mention here. So it will have to suffice to say that all of the following achievements have behind them interesting stories and endless hard work. Each recipient has unique individual qualities but collectively they share in the greatest one-the pursuit of excellence.

1995-1996 Awards

Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science - Rick Adrion

Fellows of the ACM - Rick Adrion, Bob Graham, Arny Rosenberg, Jack Stankovic

ACM Special Interest Group on Software Engineering Distinguished Service Award - Rick Adrion

National Technical University Outstanding Teaching Award (1995) - Jim Kurose

Northeastern Association of Graduate Schools Graduate Teaching Award - Jim Kurose

UMass Distinguished Lecturer, Chancellor's Medal - Wendy Lehnert

NSF Career Awards - Kathryn McKinley, Shlomo Zilberstein

Fellow of the IEEE - Don Towsley

Fellow of the American Association of Artificial Intelligence - Bev Woolf

University Advancement Award - Rick Adrion

Lilly Fellow - Ramesh Sitaraman

Previous Awards

Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science - Andy Barto

Fellows of the American Association of Artificial Intelligence - Paul Cohen, Wendy Lehnert, Victor Lesser, Robin Popplestone, Edward Riseman, Edwina Rissland

SIGACT-EATCS G-del Prize - Neil Immerman

National Technical University Outstanding Teaching Award (1991, 1992, 1993, 1994) - Jim Kurose

Presidential Young Investigators - Wendy Lehnert, Eliot Moss

Fellow of the IEEE - Jack Stankovic

UMass Faculty Fellows - Lori Clarke, Arny Rosenberg

College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics Teaching Award - Jim Kurose

Lilly Fellows - Dave Barrington, Jim Kurose, Eliot Moss

UMass Distinguished Lecturer, Chancellor's Medal - Lori Clarke, Edward Riseman

Five nominations for Campus Distinguished Teaching Awards - Jim Kurose, Robbie Moll, Eliot Moss, Ramesh Sitaraman, Don Towsley

Two nominations for Campus Outstanding Academic Advisor of the Year - Jim Kurose, Don Towsley

Son of Deep Blue New Campus Resource


By Art Clifford and Karen Hayes

It was the chess match of the Century-man vs. machine. World champion chess player, Gary Kasparov pitted against IBM's high-performance supercomputer, Deep Blue. Though man triumphed over machine, much was learned in the process about how to use parallel processing's computational capability to solve complex problems. UMass Computer Science Professor Chip Weems, and other researchers in the Specialized Parallel Architectures group, are also interested in solving problems using supercomputer power. Though they don't have a machine as large and powerful as Deep Blue, they have recently acquired a piece of the type of machine that gave Kasparov a run for his money-an IBM SP-2 parallel computer.

The IBM SP-2 is a powerful parallel computer with a gigabyte of random access memory (RAM), and 36 gigabytes of disk space. It has the capability of expanding by connecting up to eight such units. The connected SP-2s would then operate in parallel fashion, as Deep Blue did, with the power of what is considered a supercomputer. "Until now it was hard to imagine this kind of computing power being easily available to campus researchers," says Professor Weems, whose efforts made it possible to acquire the IBM SP-2. Weems says this new machine will be especially useful to scientists working with extremely large datasets or simulations. One of his objectives is to make computer time on the SP-2 available for campus colleagues across Colleges and in a variety of disciplines.

With the acquisition of the IBM SP-2, UMass will now have the potential for research collaboration with leading institutes such as the Cornell Theory Center in Ithaca, NY, and the IBM PowerPC design team in Austin, Texas. The SP-2 is designed for incremental expansions and upgrades in what Weems describes as a "more affordable fashion for researchers."

The IBM SP-2 was purchased through an Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA) grant made in cooperation with the Office of Naval Research. On April 25th, the UMass campus hosted researchers and administrators from IBM for a ribbon cutting celebration. For many of the guests, the celebration included their first "virtual" ribbon cutting (the SP-2 is in the basement of the Lederle building and the guests were watching the ribbon cutting on a computer terminal from a conference room on the second floor). Guests at the ceremony included UMass Deputy Chancellor Marcellette Williams, Vice Chancellor Frederick Byron, Natural Sciences and Mathematics Dean Linda Slakey, Computer Science Chair David Stemple, adjunct professor of UMass Physics and Astronomy John Armstrong (and former director of IBM's Yorktown Heights site), and director of Scientific Technical Systems Solutions at IBM, Robert Steen.




From the Chair - Information Technology


Why use information technology in education? I am not sure this is an interesting question. Technology is like language: it expands and is used when needed and effective, and it falls into disuse when ineffective. In 1905 (I believe) the Royal Philosophical Society banned papers on the origin of language, due to the lack of the impossibility of real evidence for any particular theory. Perhaps we should ban arguments for and against the use of technology-letting it be used when and where it is effective and as long as it is effective.

New words are created as needed and many words are discarded when no longer useful. Some of the discarded words are quite interesting, taghairm, for example. Meaning to prophesy from behind a waterfall while wrapped in a bullock skin, it is clear why taghairm is now archaic.

More puzzling is the archaic nature of outwith (my spell checker wants me to use outwit). though it is still used commonly in Scotland. The meaning of ouwith is left as an exercise for the non-Scottish reader.

Actually the argument for technology in education is quite simple and derives from two factors in my opinion-the incredible shrinking atten-tion span of so many high school graduates and the economic realities of dealing with this. The attention span problem, no matter what its cause, demands more interaction in the teaching/learning process, in whatever way this can be accomplished. One way is to put more teachers into the classrooms and labs. This costs more money, of course.

Of one thing I am sure: there is not going to be a massive infusion of additional money into the educational system at any level. Thus there appear to be three options: do nothing and let the current situation persist or deteriorate; increase the time taken to get a bachelor's degree (an option already exercised by many); or increase the development and deployment of effective technology. As my kids would say," It seems a no-brainer to me." In other words, the choice is outwith the realm of difficult decision problems.

So let's get on with it and find out what is effective and useful. Let's use our energy on the question of how not whether.

--David W. Stemple, Professor and Chair


People News

Professor Rick Adrion is the recipient of the ACM Sigsoft Distinguished Service Award.

Professor Rick Adrion is also the recipient of a University Advancement Award. Adrion was selected to receive the award for his efforts to create "new spheres and new forms of knowledge that have UMass written all over them." His work to create campus research centers linked to societal needs and his role in the development (with Professor Bruce Croft) of information technology at the White house, Library of Congress and the Smithsonian Institution earned him many nominations for the award.

Professor Jim Kurose has been awarded the 1996 Graduate Teaching Award of the Northeastern Association of Graduate Schools. The recipient is chosen among candidates from graduate faculties across the entire northeastern United States and Canada. The award recognizes "excellence and creativity in course and seminar teaching of graduate students."

Professor Jim Kurose is also the recipient of the National Technical University Outstanding Teaching Award (1995). This is the 5th consecutive year that Professor Kurose has received the NTU Outstanding Teaching Award.

Professors Kathryn McKinley and Shlomo Zilberstein are recipients of NSF Career Awards.


The second edition of Assistant Professor Bill Verts' book Computer Literacy Workbook was made available this past fall semester.


Professor Shlomo Zilberstein was invited to serve on the program committee of the AAAI-96 conference to be held August 4-8 in Portland, Oregon.


Professor Krithi Ramamritham was general chair for the Real-Time Systems Symposium held in Pisa, Italy in December.

Professor Shlomo Zilberstein was elected co-chair of the AAAI 1996 Fall Symposium on Flexible Computation in Intelligent Systems: Results, Issues and Opportunities to be held November 9-11, 1996 at MIT.


Professor Neil Immerman has been elected as editor of the Journal of Symbolic Logic (in the area of computer science and its relations to logic).

Professor Eliot Moss was recently appointed an Area Editor (for Object Oriented Technology) for ACM Press, a cooperative venture of the ACM and Addison-Wesley.

Professor Jack Stankovic has been appointed to the Editorial Board of Design Automation for Embedded Systems, an international journal published by Kluwer.

Professor Rick Adrion has been elected a Fellow of the AAAS. He is being recognized for his leadership in computing through academic and government administration, service to professional societies and research in reliable systems, software testing and analysis.


Professors Rick Adrion, Robert Graham, Arnold Rosenberg and Jack Stankovic have been elected Fellows of the ACM. According to an ACM press release, the Fellows represent many of the researches, educators, developers and implementers who have created-and continue to construct-the information age.

Professor Ramesh Sitaraman has been awarded a 1995-1996 Lilly Fellowship from the UMass Center for Teaching. The Lilly program is designed to foster excellence in teaching in junior faculty, and provides them with resources that can be incorporated into an individual plan for teaching enhancement.

Professor Bev Woolf has been elected a Fellow of the American Association of Artificial Intelligence.


Professor Barbara Staudt Lerner recently received a 3-year NSF grant: Evolution of Persistent Abstract Data Types.

Distinguished University Professor Arnold Rosenberg is the U.S. Co-PI on a grant from the U.S.-Israel Bi- national Science Foundation. The Israeli Co-PIs are Yefim Dinitz, Ami Litman and Shimon Even. The grant supports collaborative research on the layout problem for interconnection networks.

Professor Shlomo Zilberstein was awarded a 2-year grant by the Department of the Air Force/ Rome Laboratory to study Performance Evaluation and Control of Intelligent Systems.


Professor Bruce Croft, Director of the Center for Intelligent Information Retrieval (CIIR), was the first speaker in the "Future of the Library" seminar series sponsored jointly by the UMass Amherst Provost's office and the UMass Library. Croft's lecture, entitled "Digital Libraries: Technology and People", explored digital library technologies and their impact, using Web-based applications as examples. Croft used his group's search engine, InQuery, as an example which is used in several Web sites, including Thomas, the Library of Congress legislative Web page.

Professor Krithi Ramamritham was a Distinguished Lecturer at the University of Pittsburgh on March 29, 1996. His talk was entitled "From Processes and Transactions to Workflows".

Other News

Jason Mark, a graduate student who manages Professor Bev Woolf's Animation Education Lab, recently completed a Master's Degree in MSIT (Math, Science and Instructional Technology) in the School of Education. The work that Jason does for the Lab was featured on the cover and in an article in the January 4-10 edition of the Valley Optimist. Jason's work can also be found featured at a Web "art show" at Visual Nation.


Kudos to graduate students Jim Salehi and Zhi-Li Zhang. Their paper "Supporting Stored Video: Reducing Rate Variability and End-to-End Resource Requirements through Optimal Smoothing" was given an award as "best paper integrating theory and systems" in the SIGMETRICS '96 conference. Professors Jim Kurose and Don Towsley also co-authored the paper.

Professional Societies

Professor Jim Kurose has been elected to the Board of Governors of the IEEE Communications Society. With more than 30,000 members, the IEEE Communications Society is the premier professional society for communications and networking engineers and scientists.


Congratulations to Professors Paul Cohen and Neil Immerman who were promoted to (full) Professor, effective September 1, 1995.

Congratulations to Barbara Sutherland, who was promoted to the position of Secretary to the Chair. Barb previously held the position of Undergraduate Secretary.

Faculty Focus -Professor Lee Osterweil


In 1962, as a college sophomore, Lee Osterweil decided he would learn how to program computers. He sensed that computers were going to be a "big thing" in the coming years, though he didn't know that there was necessarily a career or a livelihood to be made in it.

"This goes to show you how naive one can be," says Osterweil as he recounted the early days of the discipline. "In 1962 there weren't any computer science departments. There were a couple of courses offered through the math department that were labeled computer science. So if one was interested in computers, one basically trained as a mathematician." Osterweil did just that, getting his undergraduate, master's and Ph.D. degrees in math. When he was well along in his doctoral studies at the University of Maryland, a handful of computer science departments began to pop up. Though he was very interested in computers, he felt he had already invested a great deal of time in his math degree and hesitated to change fields to begin the process all over again.

"While I was getting my Ph.D. in math, however, I was making a living in computer science," says Osterweil. "I was and RA and a TA in the computer science center at Maryland. Then, when Maryland officially formed a computer science department they offered me an opportunity to join the Ph.D. program." Though Osterweil had already decided that he would finish his degree in math because of time invested, he also chose not to pursue the computer science degree because he still wasn't sure that computer science was a legitimate discipline.

Though Osterweil's practical side kept him in mathematics, his heart was pulling him towards computers. "I really liked computer science," says Osterweil. It's lively, it's interesting, it interacts with the world. Math struck me as being a sterile kind of thing. It pointedly sets itself aside from the rest of the world. It abstracts out of the world and is a world unto itself. The best mathematicians that I had contact with were quite detached from what was happening in the world. In computer science, especially in software engineering these days, we are very much involved with the world around us. We are sensing the problems that are out there and are doing something with them and bringing solutions back to the world."

After Osterweil received his Ph.D., he began searching for an academic position, but academic jobs in math were scarce in the early '70s. He eventually landed a position in the computer science department at the University of Colorado, Boulder, where he began to work on issues in software engineering, especially addressing the question of how to use computing power effectively to support the development of computer software. Osterweil stayed at Colorado for 17 years (proving that you can make a living in the discipline!), four of those as department Chair, before taking a position in the Computer and Information Science Department at the University of California Irvine. At Irvine, Osterweil also spent time as Chair, and directed and founded the Irvine Research Unit in Software (IRUS) as an outreach program.

"Being in Southern California where a huge amount of software was being developed started me thinking about ways of connecting the university, which had a very strong software engineering group, to industry," says Osterweil. "So we founded IRUS, though we weren't exactly sure how it would work or what we were going to do. We decided to start by bringing some people from industry in to have roundtable discussions. These discussions were really interesting because it was clear that the people who came were just dying to get out from under the pressure of their immediate development situation, and just talk-talk to us, talk to each other. One of the guys from Southern California said that he thought our meetings were the happiest place on earth for him and he actually wrote that as sort of a testimonial at one point," says Osterweil. "People would come to our meetings and they would tell the most outrageous stories about life in their company to their colleagues who were competitors. They came, they'd take their badges off and for that time they would be just software engineers. And that's what we tried to foster," notes Osterweil.

From the success of IRUS, the Irvine group rapidly branched out and founded a SPIN (Software Process Improvement Network), which is a group that is very loosely aligned with the Software Engineering Institute and its process improvement program.

"The Irvine SPIN was the second SPIN that was founded," says Osterweil. "There are now dozens of SPINS, many are patterned after Irvine."

Before Osterweil left Irvine, IRUS began to branch out and to become more attuned to the issue of technology transfer. "But the purpose is the same," says Osterweil. "To catalyze people who work in software engineering and to get them interested in the kinds of things that people at Irvine were doing."

Osterweil left Irvine in 1993 to join the Computer Science Department at UMass, bringing with him thoughts of doing something similar to IRUS here in Massachusetts. "The process for an initiative here at UMass was actually started in Austin Texas in a nearly defunct computer software company called MCC (Microelectronics and Computer Technology Corporation)," says Osterweil. "I was brought down there as a consultant to help figure out how to make the place viable again. A good suggestion was to turn it into a top notch technology transfer place, drawing on university research and piping it right into some of the companies that belonged to MCC. There were a lot of suggestions and some visionary thoughts about the kind of technology MCC would transition. I suggested that they aught to consider software quality."

Osterweil believes that software quality is a problem that is dimly recognized and not easily solved. It's an issue where there are a lot of different approaches and no real clear understanding in the community of how to proceed. "This is an issue that members of my research group in the Laboratory for Advanced Software Engineering (LASER) are working on," says Osterweil. "Our thrust here is to draw on this type of technology development at UMass and transition it successfully to industry."

"So this is turning out to be an interesting technology transition activity," says Osterweil. "At Irvine, I said `we're right in the middle of the high-tech industry, let's bring everybody in'. The MCC initiative is different because the center of organization is in Austin Texas, but the center of intellectual activity is here at UMass. We just recently started to roll with this initiative. I think it will turn out to be a very good thing. UMass has the technology that these software companies need, but we often have problems identifying who the right people are to talk to about transitioning it. MCC tends to know who those people are we should talk to, so this is a combination that seems to click."

So it also seems that over the past 34 years, Professor Osterweil has had no problem making a successful career and decent living in the field of computer science. Perhaps he knew more about the future of computers back in 1962 than he would lead us to believe....

To find out more about Professor Osterweil and the Laboratory for Advanced Software Engineering Research, visit the LASER Web site.

Research Focus - Educational Technology and the 21st Century Classroom

The current decade is ushering in many changes in the American educational system. Declining literacy, plunging SAT scores and high drop-out rates have caused American educators and society in general to take a close look at how we teach and learn, and how the educational system must change in order to effectively educate our students for an increasingly competitive and technical world. The inadequacies of traditional learning systems and the prolific growth of technology are the catalysts of change. But what are the tools that will help teachers and trainers successfully educate their students?

The human brain is designed to react to a 3-dimensional world, a world, that until recently, was largely left out of the education process. Traditional teaching methods, using descriptive language and 2-dimensional models make it difficult for educators to communicate complex concepts such as those presented in science and engineering classes. When taught by traditional methods, students have a difficult time visualizing-thinking about relationships in 3-dimensions-and therefore have a difficult time gaining a deep understanding of these concepts.

So, how do we make the move to 3-dimensional learning, and how will this move shape the K-16 classroom of the future?

"The traditional passive learning environment of the college classroom where teachers lecture students will diminish as we move into the next century," says Computer Science Chair David Stemple. "It will be replaced by a more active learning environment, where the use of technology for education will play a major role in providing a more efficient, effective and interactive learning experience for students." Computer-based instructional technologies, such as 3-D graphics, multimedia, and intelligent, interactive tutors are tools now being used in progressive classrooms to help students to think visually and to make the classroom more interactive. Coupled with technical breakthroughs in the speed and reliability with which we can access and distribute electronic information, we currently have the building blocks of the 21st Century classroom.

The UMass Computer Science department and the College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics (NSM) have known for years that technology can enable more effective learning in many ways, and have invested heavily in support of instructional technology research and use over the past decade. NSM Dean Linda Slakey has been instrumental in making computer-based instructional technology a UMass strong point.

According to Slakey, the campus is poised "to take a leadership role in the effective use of computers in instruction, in part because of the excellence of the Computer Science department and their willingness to take a leadership role, and because of other departments on campus who used and developed computer-based instructional tools before it became trendy." Slakey is pleased that this year, the University Administration has added its support to a new center that will be the hub of instructional technology activities for the University-the Center for Computer-Based Instructional Technology (CCBIT).

CCBIT's director, Professor Beverly Woolf, is an acknowledged leader in the area of computer science and education. She has and developed intelligent multimedia systems for teaching, training and advising for more than 10 years. Dr. Woolf's tutoring systems and videos have been tested in several industries and schools throughout the country. Most recently, Dr. Woolf is designing "authoring tools" that enable teachers to easily develop programs in their particular subjects without prior computer programming experience.

CCBIT has as its mission three main goals:

--to serve the University's critical need for effective undergraduate instructional materials by developing advanced, computer-based instructional systems

--to develop and assess educational technology appropriate for K-12 and life-long learning, and

--to educate the faculty and administration in the use of advanced instructional technologies.

Though the Center is located in the Computer Science department, CCBIT activities are of an interdisciplinary nature. Currently, Dr. Woolf and her research team are engaged in instructional technology initiatives that involve Chemistry, Molecular Biology, Engineering, Physics, Computer Science, Medicine, and several other disciplines. The technology combines aspects of intelligent tutoring, multimedia simulation and 3-dimensional animation to produce rich, interactive learning environments. These rich learning "worlds" let students actively explore a subject and learn key concepts that are difficult to convey in textbooks and lectures.

Though Dr. Woolf and her colleagues have developed many instructional systems, they have just begun working under the umbrella of an "official" center. They are currently working on their first CCBIT projects. One project, a collaborative effort between the Chemistry and Computer Science departments, is to develop software that will replace an old chemistry homework system used in undergraduate introductory Chemistry courses. The old system consisted of on-line homework problems and quizzes. The new system is similar, including use of the existing database of roughly 2000 chemistry questions and the automatic maintenance of student quiz records. Feedback on answers and hints to students are provided. But the new system is different in that it is more heterogeneous. It's based on the World Wide Web, using cross platform

Web browsing software so that students can log into a department server from external sites, using MAC, PC or Unix-based machines. This issue of remote access is making "classrooms" much bigger, as access to information that would have been provided only in campus labs can now be accessed from dorm rooms or any other private or public terminal, using whatever computer platform the student may have available. This flexibility impacts where and when students learn, opening more doors to non-traditional students who may have many obligations outside of the classroom. The Prototype of this system will be used on a small class in the fall 1996 semester, with the complete tutor ready for use in the following spring semester.

In addition to the chemistry homework system, researchers in CCBIT are working on a "visual chemistry lab workbench". This graphic software environment would substitute for actual lab time to teach basic chemistry concepts. Students can mix chemicals and see reactions in this simulated lab without actually handling the chemicals, without taking up lab space and without the expense of using real chemicals. The software offers feedback based on queues the tutor receives about the results of a student's previous attempt. This enables students to try again, this time with more knowledge about the process they are attempting to master. These tutoring systems can offer a safe, effective and economical alternative to traditional lab work. "The chemistry workbench is a learning system that is especially good for students who need to take chemistry but aren't chemistry majors," says David Hart, CCBIT Deputy Director. "There's less risk of injury from chemicals and less expense associated with work done in a virtual lab." Institutions also benefit from such software as it can free up tight or scarce resources, such as lab space or money for lab materials and textbooks for classes.

"Tools like the chemistry homework project and workbench are examples of guided learning, which is a UMass strength," says Hart. "Tutors are designed to model a domain of knowledge and to see how students master it, so we are very successful with tutorials at the undergraduate level."

Researchers in CCBIT are also working on K-12 projects. A multi-disciplinary group on campus formed last year to develop advanced instructional technologies that teach elementary children scientific reasoning skills in an equitable way. The group has since grown to include faculty and staff from seven departments under five deans. In the process, its scope has expanded to include K-16 activities and other disciplines besides math and science. Currently, this group is teaming with government and industrial groups on a proposal to provide a broad selection of advanced instructional technologies to Massachusetts schools and to conduct a large scale evaluation of their effectiveness.

"CCBIT is different from other ed-tech initiatives," says Hart. "Our instructional systems create environments that have the look and feel of something real, incorporating sound, visuals and action. These systems exemplify the main aspects of how ed-tech is changing the classroom: by promoting visual thinking, cross discipline collaboration, and more productive lab work. Combine this with a focus on undergraduate education and we set ourselves apart from other groups developing educational systems."

To find out more about the projects that CCBIT researchers are involved in and the instructional systems that they have already developed at UMass, visit Professor Bev Woolf's Web site.


Lehnert Is Distinguished Faculty Lecturer

Computer Science Professor Wendy Lehnert was chosen as one of four 1995-1996 University of Massachusetts Distinguished Faculty Lecturers. The lecture series was established by the UMass Amherst Chancellor's Office to honor both the creative and intellectual endeavors of the University's distinguished faculty members.

On April 18th, Lehnert presented the lecture, "Text On-Line! How Digitized Text and Text Processing Technologies Are Creating New Industries, New Opportunities, New Dangers." A reception for Professor Lehnert followed the lecture.

Since coming to the campus in 1982, Lehnert has been working to develop computer programs that would give machines a better understanding of human language. The trick, she says, is to teach computers to comprehend language on the complex levels that humans do-factual, analytical and cultural.

Lehnert has already developed an award-winning program that analyzes newspaper accounts of terrorist incidents, as well as a system that summarizes medical records. The "biggest, nastiest challenge" facing the computer industry today, Lehnert says, is creating a computer that can talk on the level of a 3-year-old. So far, her research at the UMass Natural Language Processing Lab has resulted in "an inhuman kind of knowledge of a small child."

Lehnert earned her Ph.D. from Yale University in 1977, and subsequently received a joint appointment to the computer science and psychology departments here. In 1984, she became one of the country's first recipients of the Presidential Young Investigator Award from the National Science Foundation (NSF). Her computer program for analyzing newspaper accounts of terrorist incidents bested 14 other programs developed by corporations and universities in a United States Defense Research Projects Agency-sponsored competition.

The author of two books and more than 100 journal articles, Lehnert is a principal investigator in the NSF's Center for Intelligent Information Retrieval and a Fellow of the American Association of Artificial Intelligence.

(This article was reprinted with permission from the April 12, 1996 edition of the Campus Chronicle.


Alumni Update

Valerie Conti, B.S. 1987, has been elected to serve a 3-year term on the National State Data Centers/Business and Industry Data Centers Steering Committee. The Steering Committee represents the needs and concerns of data users throughout the country and advises the U.S. Bureau of the Census regarding the administration and operation of the Data Center Program. Val is Assistant Director of the Massachusetts Institute for Social and Economic Research (MISER) at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Miser is the lead agency for the Massachusetts State Data Center Program, with a network of 49 affiliate agencies.

Arundhati Dhagat, MS 1995, recently accepted a position at Clarify, Inc. of San Jose, CA. Clarify Inc. is a leading provider of adaptable client/server application software designed to address the external and internal service, support and product quality needs of today's global enterprises.

Philip Johnson, Ph.D. 1990 had a very busy year at the University of Hawaii. In 1995, he was awarded a University of Hawaii Presidential Citation for Meritorious Teaching, was promoted to Associate Professor of Information and Computer Sciences and received research grants from the National Science Foundation, the State of Hawaii and Tektronix Inc. Philip writes that for some reason, he lost significant ground in his struggle to learn windsurfing. He encourages friends and colleagues to drag him out of his office and off to the beach when passing through Honolulu!


Building Support for the Sciences: Development Officer Joins the College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics

The College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics is pleased to welcome Dr. Stephen Tanne, NSM Director of Development, to the Dean's Office staff. Dr. Tanne was hired in September of 1995 to direct efforts in alumni relations and constituent support for the College.

Tanne, who holds a Ph.D. in English from the State University of New York (SUNY) Stony Brook, has over 12 years of experience in development and alumni affairs. He previously held positions including serving as Associate Dean for Development and Alumni Affairs at the School of Medicine, SUNY Stony Brook and as Executive Director of the Greater New York Chapter of the Chrohn's and Colitis Foundation of America.

Since arriving, Tanne has been busy gathering support for the College from individuals, corporations and foundations. He is also working diligently to build a strong sense of community among NSM's alumni and to help foster stronger alumni connections to the College.

"Our alumni are a great source of advocacy and support for the College," says Tanne. "I am currently meeting with many of them to try to network the College to develop funding opportunities and explore other beneficial relationships. I have also been working with the College Advisory Council to increase membership and to formulate fund raising efforts. Plans for the support raised through these initiative and activities will benefit all of the departments in NSM."

Some general goals for the funding Tanne hopes to raise include support to retain and attract the best researchers and educators in the sciences; and support to enhance NSM's excellence in science teaching, which includes funds for undergraduate research opportunities, teaching equipment and special initiatives such as computer based instructional technology.

"There are also more targeted projects for the support," says Tanne. "We are entering the active phase of a Capital Campaign for UMass and part of that Campaign will entail raising funds for the Computer Science department. Our Computer Science alumni, corporate partners and friends have a great opportunity for support associated with the new Computer Science building in particular."

Steve is interested in hearing from all Computer Science alumni. If you would like to talk with him about ways in which to become more involved with College activities and support, you can reach him or his assistant, Becky Niven, in the Dean's Office at (413) 545-0974 or email Steve at stanne@nsm.umass.edu. ,

Thanks to Our Supporters

We would like to thank the following alumni and friends who have actively supported the department during the 1995 calendar year. Your financial support is greatly appreciated and is important in helping us to maintain a world-class instructional and research program. Contributions by alumni and friends help to fund important special activities that are not supported through the state budget.

This is an important year for UMass fundraising as the University embarks on a Capital Campaign. The development staff will be working hard to encourage all UMass alumni and friends to include the University in their giving plans for the year. Your support for the University, and especially for Computer Science, will help to keep the quality of a UMass education growing ever higher. Please consider giving to the department by sending your gift (made out to the University of Massachusetts) to the Alumni Office in Memorial Hall, Box 35410, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, MA 01003-5410. Please remember to earmark it for the department by stating that your gift is RESTRICTED TO COMPUTER SCIENCE. Thanks again to all who continue to show their support!

Cynthia R. Amundson '84 Richard A. Bingham, Jr. '70 Prabuddha Biswas '93 Jeffrey & Lisa Boone '86, '87 *Donald A. Bray '86 Lawrence & Nan Brophy *Thomas M. Carr '80 Lelsey A. Cederlund '85 Craig & Toni Choate Paul J. Connolly '57 Mary Conroy Christopher M. Curtin '90 Suzanne Davis *Vincent & Jeanne DiBiasio Morton & Madeline Downing Edmund H. Durfee '87 Douglas R. Ely '89 *Marc J. Firenze '90 *Robert & Eleanor Foley Theodore J. Garneau '94 *Stephen P. Gross '75

Karl & Cathy Hammond Thomas P. Healy '84 Richard L. Housel '80 G. David & Claire Hubbard Frederic E. Hugo '64 Don & Nancy Irwin '82, '84 *Narasimhan Kannan '85 *Maureen E. Kraft '89 Stephen P. Levitan '84 Douglas R. McCallum '75 Douglas E. McKenzie '81 Paul A. McOwen '82 Scott M. Mendel '89 William & Ruth Ann Mendonsa Andrew E. Merlino, Jr. '86 Mark A. Merlino '89 Jeffrey & Linda Mitchel *Richard & Carol Mizner John & Patricia Mullaney John J. Murphy '76 Roger I. Nasr '76 *Jeffrey A. Neville '90 David & Barbara Newhouse Terri A. Noyes '83 Susie A. Richards Merrill S. Ross '92 Michael J. Shaughnessy '88 David & Janet Shumsey David & Martha Smith Jane R. Soukup '76 Lloyd & Gail Stanley *Kishore S. Swaminathan '84 Paul & Jean Tardif Richard & Brenda Tatro

Roger H. Thompson '89 William & Rae Toffel Cheryl A. Van Vooren '68 Rajendra S. Wall '83 Michael Walsh '89 Martin &Susan Weinbaum Erik Westland & Natasha Cherniack '91, '91 Gary P. Wu '91 Andrew B. Zaff '82 Sallie B. Zeil '85

*Gifts matched by a company or foundation.

Matching gifts have been received from the following companies and foundations:

Arthur Andersen & Company Borden Foundation Inc. Hewlett-Packard Company International Business Machines NYNEX Family of Companies State Street Boston Corporation Stone & Webster, Inc. The Travelers Companies

Apologies are offered if we have missed mentioning anyone who has made a gift to the department in the past year.


Recent Technical Reports

TR 96-01 S. Bozinovski, "Genetic Agents in the RNA World: Flexible Manufacturing Genetics," January 1996.

TR 96-02 J. Ponte, "USeg: A Retargetable Word Segmentation Procedure for Information Retrieval," January 1996.

TR 96-03 P. E. Utgoff and J. A. Clouse, "A Kolmogorov-Smirnoff Metric for Decision Tree Induction," January 1996.

TR 96-04 A. Kaplan and J. C. Wileden, "PolySPIN: Support for Polylingual Persistence, Interoperability and Naming in Object- Oriented Databases," January 1996.

TR 96-05 A. Avior, T. Calamoneri, S. Even, A. Litman and A. L. Rosenberg, "A Tight Layout of the Butterfly Network," January 1996.

TR 96-06 C. Bickford, M. S. Teo, G. Wallace, J. A. Stankovic and K. Ramamritham, "A Robotic Assembly Application on the Spring Real-Time System," January 1996.

TR 96-07 M. Humphrey and J. A. Stankovic, "CAISARTS: A Tool for Real-Time Scheduling Assistance," January 1996.

TR 96-08 Z. Zhang, "3D Reconstruction under Varying Constraints on Camera Geometry for Robotic Navigation Scenarios," January 1996.

TR 96-09 P. E. Utgoff, "Feature Function Learning for Value Function Approximation," January 1996.

TR 96-10 A. V. Leouski and P. E. Utgoff, "What a Neural Network Can Learn About Othello," January 1996.

TR 96-11 H. Kaneko and J. A. Stankovic, "A Multimedia Server on the Spring Real-Time System," January 1996.

TR 96-12 S. Kasera, J. Kurose and D. Towsley, "Exploring the Dynamic Behavior of the Internet Using IP Options," January 1996.

TR 96-13 J. A. Clouse, "An Introspection Approach to Querying a Trainer," January 1996.

TR 96-14 C. I. Connolly, K. A. Haugsjaa, K. Souccar and R. A. Grupen, "A Computational Model for Legged Locomotion," January 1996.

TR 96-15 M. Kamath & K. Ramamritham, "Efficient Transaction Support for Dynamic Information Retrieval Systems," February 1996.

TR 96-16 N. Gehani, K. Ramamritham, J. Shanmugasundaram and O. Shmueli, "Accessing Extra Database Information: Concurrency Control and Correctness," February 1996.

TR 96-17 A. T. Chamillard and L. A. Clarke, "Improving the Accuracy of Petri Net-based Analysis of Concurrent Programs," February 1996.

TR 96-18 G. S. Avrunin, "Symbolic Model Checking Using Algebraic Geometry," February 1996.

TR 96-19 T. A. Wagner, "Towards an Empirical Model of WWW Site Response Times," March 1996.

TR 96-20 M. Kamath and K. Ramamritham, "Bucket Skip Merge Join: A Scalable Algorithm for Join Processing in Very Large Databases Using Indexes," March 1996.

TR 96-21 M. B. Dwyer and L. A. Clarke, "A Compact Petri Net Representation and Its Implications for Analysis," March 1996.

TR 96-22 D. L. Mammen and T. Hogg, "A New Look at the Easy-Hard-Easy Pattern of Combinatorial Search Difficulty," March 1996.

TR 96-23 T. Oates, M. D. Schmill and P. R. Cohen, "Parallel and Distributed Search for Structure in Multivariate Time Series," April 1996.

TR 96-24 S. Patnaik and N. Immerman, "Dyn-Fo-A Dynamic Complexity Class," April 1996.

TR 96-25 S. Patnaik and J. A. Medina, "The Complexity of Reflection," April 1996.

TR 96-26 S. Patnaik "The Complexity of Uniform Traversal Combinators," April 1996.

TR 96-27 G. N. Naumovich, L. A. Clarke and L. J. Osterweil, "Verification of Communication Protocols Using Data Flow Analysis," April 1996.

TR 96-28 S. Fujita and V. R. Lesser, "Cooperative Tasks in Coarse Grain Search Problems," May 1996.

TR 96-29 Z-L Zhang, J. Kurose, J. Salehi and D. Towsley, "Smoothing Statistical Multiplexing and Call Admission Control for Stored Video," May 1996.

TR 96-30 S. M. Sutton, Jr. and L. T. Osterweil, "The Design of a Next-Generation Process Language," May 1996.

To access technical reports: anonymous ftp: ftp.cs.umass.edu/pub/techrept/techreport

or contact: Librarian Department of Computer Science, Box 34610 University of Massachusetts, Amherst, MA 01003-4610 (413)545-2744 Fax: (413)545-1249

There is a per page charge for all hardcopy of papers.

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