January 2017 - TTIC research on bias and artificial intelligence

Research by TTIC professor Nati Srebro on recognizing and addressing racial/gender bias in artificial intelligence algorithms was covered by The Guardian, Digital Trends, and ProPublica.

November 2016 - TTIC holds Student Workshop 2016

TTIC held its first Student Workshop 2016 on Tuesday, November 7th. The full day event included student talks, student poster sessions, a panel discussion and a student-alumni chat session. Prizes were awarded for Best Talk and Best Poster.

Best Talk:

Herman Kamper “Unsupervised speech recognition using acoustic word embeddings”

Best Poster: a tie.

Blake Woodworth “ Tight Complexity Bounds for Optimizing Composite Objectives” David Kim “Improved Approximation for Node-Disjoint Paths in Planar Graphs”

The Student Workshop will be a new annual workshop at the Institute intended to highlight, support and develop student talent.

October 2016 - President Furui named a Person of Cultural Merit

TTIC’s President, Sadaoki Furui has been awarded a Person of Cultural Merit (Bunka Korosha), one of the two highest prizes given by the Japanese Government. The honor is awarded annually to select people who have made outstanding cultural contributions. The award ceremony takes place at the Imperial Palace on Japan’s Day of Culture (November 3). President Furui was selected for his contributions to science and technology in the areas of speech and phonetic engineering. The Japan News article

July 2016 - Professor Jinbo Xu’s work mentioned in Science

May 2016 - President Furui to give keynote talk at the Open House of the National Institute of Informatics

President Sadaoki Furui will be giving a keynote talk at the Open House of the National Institute of Informatics (NII), in Tokyo, Japan, titled “Prospects and Issues of AI and Autonomous Driving” on May 27.

April 2016 - TTIC research featured in the NVIDIA Newsletter

Recent work by TTIC professors Michael Maire and Greg Shakhnarovich and University of Chicago student Gustav Larsson working at TTIC was highlighted in the NVIDIA Accelerated Computing Newsletter. They have developed a fully automatic image colorization system using deep learning and GPUs. Read the article and access the full paper it is based on, here.

April 2016 - Midwest Vision Workshop to be held at TTIC

On April 14-15, TTIC will host the Midwest Vision Workshop. This is a regular regional meeting of computer vision researchers, providing a forum for presenting recent work, informal discussion and exchange of ideas. The meeting, which included oral presentations and poster sessions, draws participants from TTIC, University of Chicago, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, University of Michigan at Ann Arbor, Indiana University, Michigan State, Washington University in St. Louis, and other institutions. The two-day program will include talks and poster presentations.

March 2016 - PhD Candidate Hao Tang wins Best Student paper Award, ICASSP2016

TTIC student and PhD Candidate, Hao Tang, has received a Best Student Paper Award at IEEE ICASSP conference held in Shanghai, China, in March. The winners of the IEEE ICASSP2016 Speech and Language Processing Student Paper Awards were announced in the Opening Ceremony and Awards Presentation at the conference.

March 17-18, 2016 - First Annual Midwest Robotics Workshop to be held at TTIC

TTIC will host the first annual Midwest Robotics Workshop (MWRW). The workshop is intended to bring together roboticists from academia and industry in and around the Midwestern United States. It is an opportunity for researchers and practitioners to share their work and to network with one another, with the goal of creating a more cohesive and vibrant robotics community in the Midwest. The workshop will feature invited talks by leading researchers, and an exciting collection of oral presentations and interactive poster sessions.

TTIC organizer: Matthew Walter (mwalter@ttic.edu)

December 17, 2015 - President Furui to give keynote talk at APSIPA ASCM

TTIC’s President Sadaoki Furui has been invited to give a keynote talk at Asia-Pacific Signal and Information Processing Association Annual Summit and Conference, being held December 16-19, 2015 in Hong Kong. The talk is titled “Whither Speech Recognition? - Deep Learning to Deep Thinking” Event details can be found here. (http://www.apsipa2015.org/keynote.htm)

September 10, 2015 - Prof. Li-Yang Tan awarded Best Paper Award for FOCS 2015

TTIC Research Assistant Professor Li-Yang Tan is awarded Best Paper Award at the The 56th Annual Symposium on Foundations of Computer Science (FOCS 2015) for the paper “An Average-Case Depth Hierarchy Theorem for Boolean Circuits,” co-authored with Benjamin Rossman and Rocco Servedio. FOCS is the flagship conference sponsored by the IEEE Computer Society and covers a broad range of theoretical computer science.

May 7, 2015 - Midwest Speech and Language Days 2015

May 7th & 8th, 2015
Toyota Technological Institute at Chicago
6045 S. Kenwood Ave, Chicago, IL - 5th Floor

Midwest Speech and Language Days (MSLD) is a 2-day meeting held at TTI-Chicago that continues and expands upon the tradition of Illinois Speech Day and the Midwest Computational Linguistics Colloquium. Presenters and attendees come from Midwest universities and research institutions. The goal of the workshop is to increase awareness of speech and language research going on in the region and to foster collaboration among sites.

Please visit the link for presenters and schedules for both days. http://ttic.uchicago.edu/~mbansal/msld2015.html

TTIC organizers: Mohit Bansal: mbansal@ttic.edu, Karen Livescu: klivescu@ttic.edu and Kevin Gimpel: kgimpel@ttic.edu

February 16, 2015 - President Furui to give Distinguished Lecture at Northwestern University

TTIC’s President Sadaoki Furui has been invited to give a distinguished lecture at Northwestern University’s Electrical Engineering and Computer Science department on Wednesday, February 18, at 2pm. The talk is titled “Machine Learning Techniques for Automatic Speech Recognition, including Recent Work at TTIC.” The lecture will be held at Ford ITW Auditorium (Room 1-350). Event details can be found here.

December 16, 2014 - Midwest Vision Workshop to be held at TTIC

On December 16-17, TTIC will host the Midwest Vision Workshop. This is a regular regional meeting of computer vision researchers, providing a forum for presenting recent work, informal discussion and exchange of ideas. The meeting, which included oral presentations and poster sessions, draws participants from TTIC, University of Chicago, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, University of Michigan at Ann Arbor, Indiana University, Michigan State, Washington University in St. Louis, and other institutions. The two-day program will include talks and poster presentations.

September 22, 2014 - TTIC student Zhiyong Wang, TTIC Professor Jinbo Xu, and UNC-Charlotte Professor Xinhua Shi awarded the ACM SIGBio Best Student Paper Award

The 5th ACM Conference on Bioinformatics, Computational Biology, and Health Informatics (ACM BCB 2014) awarded TTIC student Zhiyong Wang, TTIC Professor Jinbo Xu, and UNC-Charlotte Professor Xinhua Shi the ACM SIGBio Best Student Paper Award for “CNVnet: Combining Sparse Learning and Biological Networks to Capture Joint Effect of Copy Number Variants.” The conference is a premier forum for interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary research encompassing disciplines of computer science, mathematics, statistics, biology, bioinformatics, and health informatics.

August 14, 2014 - Karthik Sridharan, TTIC Ph.D. 2012, Assistant Professor, Cornell University

Congratulations to Karthik Sridharan, Ph.D. Alumnus 2012, who has accepted a position as an Assistant Professor in the Computer Science Department at Cornell University. Karthik has been a Postdoctoral Research Associate in the Department of Statistics of the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania since 2012 and his primary interest is theoretical machine learning. Karthik’s homepage.

August 14, 2014 - Jian Peng, TTIC Ph.D. 2013, Assistant Professor, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign

Congratulations to Jian Peng, Ph.D. Alumnus 2013, who has accepted a position as an Assistant Professor in the Computer Science Department at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. Jian has been working as a postdoctoral researcher in the Department of Mathematics and the Computation and Biology Group in CSAIL at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology since 2012 and his primary interest is in the design and application of both efficient algorithms and effective statistical modeling techniques, especially for processing, integrating and analyzing the vast datasets in genomics, systems biology and molecular biology. Jian’s homepage.

July 14, 2014 - Prof. Jinbo Xu’s group wins Warren DeLano Award for Structural Bioinformatics and Computational Biophysics, ISMB 3DSIG 2014

TTIC’s (PhD Candidate) Jianzhu Ma, (Postdoc) Sheng Wang and Prof. Jinbo Xu won the Warren DeLano Award for Structural Bioinformatics and Computational Biophysics, ISMB 3DSIG 2014 for “MRFalign: remote protein homology detection through alignment of Markov Random Fields.” 3DSIG is an ISMB satellite meeting on Structural Bioinformatics and Computational Biophysics. This work also won the Best Paper Award at RECOMB 2014 and the best poster award at the 2013 Zing conference for protein and RNA structure analysis. ISMB and RECOMB are the top 2 conferences in Bioinformatics and Computational Biology.

June 30, 2014 - Prof. Mohit Bansal awarded Best Long Paper Honorable Mention at ACL 2014

At the June 2014 52nd Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics (ACL 2014), Prof. Mohit Bansal was awarded the Best Long Paper Honorable Mention for the paper “Structured Learning for Taxonomy Induction with Belief Propagation” by Mohit Bansal, David Burkett, Gerard de Melo and Dan Klein.

Apr 30, 2014 - Prof. Jinbo Xu’s group wins Best Paper Award at RECOMB 2014

TTIC Professor Jinbo Xu and his group of two TTIC students, Jianzhu Ma and Zhiyong Wang, along with post-doc Sheng Wang, won the Best Paper Award at the 18th Annual International Conference on Research in Computational Molecular Biology (RECOMB 2014) in April. RECOMB is one of the top two bioinformatics conferences in the world. The winning paper is titled, ““MRFalign: Protein Homology Detection through Alignment of Markov Random Fields.”

Apr 22, 2014 - Prof. McAllester awarded ICLP Test of Time Award

TTIC Professor and Chief Academic Officer, David McAllester is being awarded the 20-year “Test of Time Award” at the 30th International Conference on Logic Programming (ICLP) in Vienna, Austria in July 2014. McAllester will be recognized for his 1994 paper CLP (Intervals) Revisited, coauthored with F. Benhamou and P. Van Hentenryck. The ALP 20-year Test of Time award identifies the most influential paper from the ICLP proceedings 20 years prior that stood the test of time.

Sept 27, 2013 - 10th Anniversary Symposium

As a part of TTIC’s 10 year anniversary celebration, the institute will hold an Anniversary Symposium on September 27, 2013, open to the computer science community. Our exciting line-up of confirmed speakers can be found on the event web site.

Time: 9-6 with continental breakfast at 8:30

Refreshments will be served, RSVP not required.

Location: TTIC 6045 S. Kenwood Ave. Chicago, IL 60637. Room 530

Sept 9, 2013 - Prof. Chuzhoy invited to speak at International Congress of Mathematicians

TTIC’s Julia Chuzhoy has been invited to speak at the International Congress of Mathematicians to be held in Seoul, South Korea in August of 2014. She will be a Mathematical Aspects of Computer Science section speaker.

The International Congress of Mathematicians (ICM) is the largest conference for the topic of mathematics, with the first meeting held in August of 1897. It meets once every four years. The Fields Medals, the Nevanlinna Prize, the Gauss Prize, and the Chern Medal are awarded during the congress’ opening ceremony. Each congress is memorialized by a printed set of Proceedings recording academic papers based on invited talks intended to be relevant to current topics of general interest.

Aug 15, 2013 - Prof. Raquel Urtasun co-author of CVPR 2013 Best Paper Runner-Up Award

Raquel Urtasun was awarded the 2013 IEEE Conference of Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition Best Paper Runner-Up Award (sponsored by IBM Research) at the June Conference in Portland, OR, along with Marcus Brubaker and Andreas Geiger.

The paper was entitled Lost! Leveraging the Crowd for Probabilistic Visual Self-Localization.

May 28, 2013 - Prof. Ben Moseley co-winner of SPAA’13 Best Paper Award

TTIC’s Benjamin Moseley is a co-winner of the Best Paper Award at the 25th ACM Symposium on Parallelism in Algorithms and Architectures (SPAA 2013) being held in Montreal, Canada on July 23-25. He co-authored the paper with Ravi Kumar, Sergei Vassilvitskii and Andrea Vattani. The paper is titled, “Fast Greedy Algorithms in MapReduce and Streaming”.

May 9, 2013 - Midwest Vision Workshop held at TTIC

On May 9, TTIC again hosted the Midwest Vision Workshop. This is a regular regional meeting of computer vision researchers, providing a forum for presenting recent work, informal discussion and exchange of ideas. The meeting, which included oral presentations and poster sessions, drew more than 40 attendees from TTIC, University of Chicago, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, University of Michigan at Ann Arbor, and other institutions. The next Midwest Vision Workshop is expected to be held in the Autumn.

May 2-3, 2013 - Midwest Speech and Languages Days held at TTIC

Midwest Speech and Language Days was held at TTI-Chicago on May 2-3, 2013, expanding upon the tradition of the annual Illinois Speech Day to include more research in natural language processing and linguistics. The workshop included more than 60 participants from TTIC, University of Chicago, University of Illinois, Northwestern University, Rush University, Ohio State University, University of Michigan, University of Wisconsin, and others. As in previous years, it provided a forum for interaction among researchers from nearby speech and language research communities, featuring several sessions of talks and posters. Keynote presentations were given by Jim Glass from MIT, Yotaro Kubo from Nippon Telegraph and Telephone Corporation, and TTIC’s new president Sadaoki Furui. The full program can be found here (http://ttic.uchicago.edu/~kgimpel/MSLD2013.html). The next workshop is planned for Spring 2014.

Apr 1, 2013 - Dr. Sadaoki Furui appointed as President

The Board of Trustees has appointed Dr. Sadaoki Furui to a three-year term as President effective on April 1, 2013. Dr. Furui is currently Professor Emeritus at the Academy for Global Leadership and University Contents Utilization Center at the Tokyo Institute of Technology. He is engaged in a wide range of research on speech analysis, speech recognition, speaker recognition, speech synthesis and multimedia processing, and has authored or coauthored over 900 published articles. His B.S., M.S., and Ph. D. degrees are all from the University of Tokyo.

From 1978 to 1979 he was with the Staff of the Acoustics Research Department at Bell Laboratories, Murray Hill, New Jersey, as a visiting researcher working on speaker verification. He is a Fellow of the IEEE, the Acoustical Society of America (ASA), the International Speech Communication Association (ISCA), and the Institute of Electronics, Information and Communication Engineers of Japan (IEICE). He was President of the Acoustical Society of Japan (ASJ), ISCA, the Asia-Pacific Signal and Information Processing Association (APSIPA), and the Permanent Council for International Conferences on Spoken Language Processing (PC-ICSLP).

He has served on the IEEE Technical Committee on Speech and MMSP and on numerous IEEE conference-organizing committees. He was an Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Speech Communication, the Transaction of the IEICE, and the Journal of the ASJ. He is also an Editorial Board member of the Journal of Computer Speech and Language, the Journal of Speech Communication, and the Journal of Digital Signal Processing.

He received the Yonezawa Prize and the Paper Awards from the IEICE (1975, 88, 93, 2003), and the Sato Paper Awards from the ASJ (1985, 87). He received the Senior Award from the IEEE ASSP Society (1989) and the Achievement Award from the Minister of Science and Technology, Japan (1989). He received the Book Award from the IEICE (1990). He received the Achievement Award from the IEICE (2003), the Signal Processing Society Award from the IEEE (2005), the Achievement Award from the Japanese Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (2006), the Purple Ribbon Medal from Japanese Emperor (2006) and the Distinguished Achievement Award from the IEICE (2007). He also received the ISCA Medal for Scientific Achievement (2009), the IEEE James L. Flanagan Speech and Audio Processing Award (2010), and the NHK (Nippon Hoso Kyokai: Japan Broadcasting Corporation) Broadcast Cultural Award (2012).

He served as Dean of the Graduate School of Information Science and Engineering (2007-2009) and Director of Institute Library (2009-2011) at Tokyo Institute of Technology. He has also supervised the 21st Century Center of Excellence (COE) Program entitled “Framework for Systematization and Application of Large-scale Knowledge Resources” (2003-2008).

Mar 31, 2013 - Dr. Rice resigns as Interim President

Dr. Stuart A. Rice, who has served TTIC as Dean from October 2006, and then as Interim President since October 2010, has announced his resignation from the latter position effective March 31, 2013. Under his leadership, TTIC continued its growth and development in research and education programs in fundamental computer science. Dr. Rice was instrumental in the search for a new president, the efforts to improve TTIC’s financial resources and stability, the recruitment of highly qualified Board members, and building upon strong collaboration with both the Toyota Technological Institute in Japan and the University of Chicago. He will continue to serve as a Trustee.

Mar 5, 2013 - Dr. Sadaoki Furui awarded Okawa Prize

Dr. Sadaoki Furui, Professor Emeritus; Professor, Academy for Global Leadership; Director of the University Contents Utilization Center, Tokyo Institute of Technology; and President-Elect of TTIC, has been awarded the Okawa Prize by the Okawa Foundation in Japan.

He received the award on March 5, 2013, at an international symposium at Tokyo Technological Institute.  His award was based on pioneering contributions to and leadership in the field of computer-based speech recognition and understanding.  He received a certificate, a gold medal and a cash award of ten million yen.

The Okawa Prize is intended to pay tribute to and make public recognition of persons who have made outstanding contributions to the research, technological development and business in the information and telecommunications fields, internationally.

Feb 27, 2013 - Professor Madhur Tulsiani awarded NSF CAREER grant

Professor Madhur Tulsiani is the recipient of the prestigious Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) grant.

The grant is awarded by the National Science Foundation to support junior faculty in their research and educational activities. Quoting from the NSF website: “The Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Program is a Foundation-wide activity that offers the National Science Foundation’s most prestigious awards in support of junior faculty who exemplify the role of teacher-scholars through outstanding research, excellent education and the integration of education and research within the context of the mission of their organizations”.

Professor Tulsiani’s project is entitled Understanding Polynomial Structure Analytically and Algorithmically.

Dr. Tulsiani is the fourth TTIC professor with a currently awarded NSF CAREER grant.o

Oct 19, 2012 - Prof. Julia Chuzhoy co-winner of FOCS 2012 Best Paper award

Julia Chuzhoy was a co-winner of the best-paper award at the 53rd Annual IEEE Symposium on Foundations of Computer Science (FOCS 2012) being held in New Brunswick, NJ, on October 21-23. She co-authored the paper with Shi Li, who was her summer intern in the summer of 2011. The paper was titled, “A Polylogarithimic Approximation Algorithm for Edge-Disjoint Paths with Congestion 2”.

Sept 20, 2012 - Prof. Karen Livescu co-author of a best student paper at Interspeech 2012

A paper co-authored by former TTIC summer student Preethi Jyothi, Prof. Eric Fosler-Lussier of Ohio State University, and Prof. Karen Livescu was awarded an ISCA Best Student Paper award at the Interspeech conference September 9-13, 2012. The paper is titled “Discriminatively learning factorized finite state pronunciation models from dynamic Bayesian networks.” The conference included about 700 papers, and 3 Best Student Paper awards were given.

July 1, 2012 - Dr. Sheng Wang won the Warren DeLano Award for Structural Bioinformatics and Computational Biophysics

In ISMB 3DSIG 2012, Dr. Sheng Wang won the Warren DeLano Award for Structural Bioinformatics and Computational Biophysics for his work entitled protein structure alignment beyond spatial proximity, which is implemented as DeepAlign (available at http://ttic.uchicago.edu/~jinbo/software.htm). (July 2012) The Warren DeLano Award for Structural Bioinformatics and Computational Biophysics was established in 2010 in association with the with the DeLano foundation in memory of Warren DeLano, the creator of PyMol and an advocate of free software in academia. Prizes are awarded based on scientific merit and are selected by the scientific committee members.

May 7, 2012 - Illinois Speech Day held at TTIC

The 4th Illinois Speech Day was held at TTI-Chicago on May 7, 2012. The workshop included participants from TTIC, University of Chicago, University of Illinois, Northwestern University, Rush University, Ohio State University, and others. As in previous years, it provided a forum for interaction among researchers from the nearby speech processing and speech science research community. The workshop included a keynote lecture by Julia Hirschberg from Columbia University, as well as several sessions of talks and posters. The full program can be found here. The next workshop is planned for Spring 2013.

Mar 28, 2012 - Prof. Yury Makarychev awarded NSF CAREER grant

Professor Yury Makarychev is the recipient of the prestigious Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) grant.

The grant is awarded by the National Science Foundation to support junior faculty in their research and educational activities. Quoting from the NSF website: “The Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Program is a Foundation-wide activity that offers the National Science Foundation’s most prestigious awards in support of junior faculty who exemplify the role of teacher-scholars through outstanding research, excellent education and the integration of education and research within the context of the mission of their organizations”.

Professor Makarychev’s project focuses on Metric Geometry Techniques for Approximation Algorithms. The award is effective July 1, 2012 and expires June 30, 2017.

Feb 15, 2012 - Prof. Jinbo Xu Awarded an Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Research Fellowship

The Alfred P. Sloan Foundation announced on February 15, the selection of 126 outstanding researchers drawn from 51 colleges and universities across the United States and Canada as recipients of the distinguished Sloan Research Fellowships for 2012. One recipient was Professor Jinbo Xu of the Toyota Technological Institute at Chicago. Xu’s research interests lie in computational molecular biology.

Awarded annually since 1955, the fellowships are given to early-career scientists and scholars in recognition of achievement and the potential to contribute substantially to their fields. Potential fellows must be nominated for recognition by their peers and are subsequently selected by an independent panel of senior scholars.

In the Press Release, Dr. Paul L. Joskow, President of the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation states, “Today’s Sloan Research Fellows are tomorrow’s Nobel Prize winners. These outstanding men and women are responsible for some of the most exciting science being done today. The Foundation is proud to support them during this pivotal stage of their careers.”

The $50,000 fellowships are awarded in chemistry, computer science, economics, mathematics, evolutionary and computational molecular biology, neuroscience, and physics.

The Alfred P. Sloan Foundation is a philanthropic, not-for-profit grant making institution based in New York City, established in 1934 and makes grants in support of original research and education in science, technology, engineering, mathematics and economic performance. www.sloan.org

Jan 12, 2012 - Midwest Vision Workshop held at TTIC

The 5th Midwest Vision Workshop (formerly Illinois Vision Workshop) was held at the Toyota Technological Institute at Chicago on Thursday January 12, 2012. The workshop drew more than 40 participants, including researchers from TTIC, University of Chicago, Indiana University, University of Illinois, and University of Michigan. It provided an opportunity for members of computer vision community in the Midwest to present their recent work in the form of talks and posters, get informal feedback and exchange ideas. The next workshop will be held in late Spring 2011 in Ann Arbor, MI.

Jan 11, 2012 - Professor Jinbo Xu awarded NSF CAREER grant

Professor Jinbo Xu is the recipient of the prestigious Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) grant.

The grant is awarded by the National Science Foundation to support junior faculty in their research and educational activities. Quoting from the NSF website: “The Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Program is a Foundation-wide activity that offers the National Science Foundation’s most prestigious awards in support of junior faculty who exemplify the role of teacher-scholars through outstanding research, excellent education and the integration of education and research within the context of the mission of their organizations”.

Professor Xu’s project focuses the Exact and Approximate Algorithms for 3D Structure Modeling of Protein-Protein Interactions.

Nov 14, 2011 - Presidential Search Continues

The Presidential Search Committee reported to the Board of Trustees on October 5 that it is continuing its work to search for the best person to serve as the next President. While the Committee is several months into the search effort, it will still accept and review nominations and applications for the position of president.

Any inquiries regarding the search can be sent to Stuart Rice at sarice@ttic.edu.

Nov 11, 2011 - Devi Parikh receives the Marr Prize

Devi Parikh received the Marr Prize for her co-authorship of a paper “Relative Attributes” that was presented at the13th International Conference on Computer Vision (ICCV) in 2011. Her co-auther was Kristen Grauman, an assistant professor at the University of Texas, Austin. The Marr Prize is a prestigioius award in computer vision given by the Committee of the International Conference on Computer Vision. Named after David Marr, the Prize is considered one of the top honors for a computer vision researcher.

Sept 9, 2011 - TTIC Professors Selected for NIPS Plenary Presentation

The paper “Consistency and Generalization Bounds for Latent Structured Probit and Ramp Loss” by David McAllester and Joseph Keshet was just selected for an oral (plenary) presentation at the NIPS 2011 conference in December. Only 20 papers out of 1,400 submissions were selected for plenary presentations.

May 11, 2011 - TTIC Hosts Illinois Speech Day 2011

TTIC continues in 2011, the tradition of hosting the Illinois Speech Day. Illinois Speech Day is a day-long meeting consisting of presentations and discussion on the theme of computational models of speech. Presenters are faculty, postdocs, and students at University of Chicago, Northwestern, UIUC, and the Toyota Technological Institute at Chicago. Presentations include completed and ongoing work, with the goal of fostering interaction among the attending parties. To register for attendance, see the program, or get directions, visit the event website: http://ttic.uchicago.edu/~jkeshet/Illinois_Speech_Day_2011.html

February 17, 2011 - TTIC’s Stuart Rice is Awarded the 2011 Wolf Prize in Chemistry

TTIC’s Interim President, Dr. Stuart Rice, has been awarded the prestigious 2011 Wolf Prize in chemistry. Sharing the prize with him this year are Ching Tang of the University of Rochester, and Krzysztof Matyjaszewski of Carnegie Mellon University.

The Wolf Prize is an international award that has been presented most years since 1978 to living scientists and artists for “achievements in the interest of mankind and friendly relations among peoples … irrespective of nationality, race, color, religion, sex or political views.” The Wolf Prizes in physics and chemistry are often considered the most prestigious awards in those fields after the Nobel Prize.

The Wolf Foundation has said about Dr. Rice, “Professor Stuart A. Rice (born 1932, USA) has influenced the course of virtually every aspect of contemporary physical chemistry, and has shaped its directions broadly and powerfully. He has been a leader in most thematic areas of chemical physics. Rice´s great advances in organic solids led directly to his distinctive later work on the dynamics of single molecules and on phase transition behavior. This, in turn, led to his epoch-making research on the photonic control of chemical reactions. Rice´s original and pioneering investigations (both theoretical and experimental) into the properties of organic solids helped to define and to characterize a panoply of behaviors, and to conceptualize and formulate a coherent set of concepts, such as exciton behaviors, radiationless transitions, light absorption and emission.”

This coming May, Dr. Rice will receive his award from the President of the State of Israel in a special ceremony at the Knesset Building (Israel’s Parliament), in Jerusalem. For more info: www.wolffund.org.il

February 15, 2011 - Prof. Julia Chuzhoy Awarded an Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Research Fellowship

The Alfred P. Sloan Foundation announced on February 15, the selection of 118 outstanding researchers as recipients of the distinguished Sloan Research Fellowships for 2011. One recipient was Professor Julia Chuzhoy of the Toyota Technological Institute at Chicago. Chuzhoy’s research interests lie in theoretical computer science, with a focus on the area of approximation.

Awarded annually since 1955, the fellowships are given to early-career scientists and scholars in recognition of achievement and the potential to contribute substantially to their fields. Potential fellows must be nominated for recognition by their peers and are subsequently selected by an independent panel of senior scholars.

In their Press Release, Dr. Paul L. Joskow, President of the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation states, “The scientists and researchers selected for this year’s Sloan Research Fellowships represent the very brightest rising stars of this generation of scholars. The Foundation is proud to be able to support their work at this important stage in their careers.”

The $50,000 fellowships are awarded in chemistry, computer science, economics, mathematics, evolutionary and computational molecular biology, neuroscience, and physics.

For a complete list of 2011 winners, visit: www.sloan.org/fellowships/page/21

The Alfred P. Sloan Foundation is a philanthropic, not-for-profit grant making institution based in New York City, established in 1934 and makes grants in support of original research and education in science, technology, engineering, mathematics and economic performance. www.sloan.org.

December 13, 2010 - Midwest Vision Workshop held at TTIC

The 4th Midwest Vision Workshop (formerly Illinois Vision Workshop) was held at TTI-Chicago on Monday December 13. The workshop drew more than 40 participants, including researchers from TTIC, University of Chicago, Indiana University, University of Illinois, and University of Michigan. It provided an opportunity for members of computer vision community in the Midwest to present their recent work in the form of talks and posters, get informal feedback and exchange ideas. The next workshop will be held in late Spring 2011 in Ann Arbor, MI.

December 11, 2010 - Midwest Theory Day held at TTIC

TTIC has hosted the 61st Midwest Theory Day on Dec. 11, 2010. Midwest Theory Day is a biannual meeting which aims to bring together computer theorists and people generally interested in theoretical computer science. The theory day had a packed schedule, that featured a number of invited talks by some of the leading local theoreticians, as well as many short talks by local students, postdocs and faculty. With almost 50 people attending from all over Midwest, this was a great opportunity to listen to new results, discuss research in an informal atmosphere, and get to know each other better. More information available here: http://ttic.uchicago.edu/~yury/midwest2010/

October 6, 2010 - President Nagasawa retires, Dr. Rice appointed as Interim President

Dr. Mitsuru Nagasawa, the founding President of TTIC in 2001, retired effective at the end of the Board of Trustees meeting on Friday October 1. Under his leadership, TTIC developed active research and education programs in fundamental computer science, became accredited to grant PhD degrees, and is active in the recruitment of outstanding graduate students and faculty. He will continue to serve as a Trustee.

Dr. Stuart A. Rice, who has served as Dean for TTIC since October 2006, was appointed by the Board of Trustees to serve as the Interim President upon the recommendation of the Presidential Search Committee. He was also appointed to serve as a Trustee concurrent with this appointment.

Dr. Rice, the Frank P. Hixon Distinguished Service Professor in the Department of Physical Chemistry at the University of Chicago, earned the following degrees:

  • Bachelor’s degree in 1952 from Brooklyn College,
  • Master’s and doctorate from Harvard University in 1954 and 1955, respectively.

He remained at Harvard as a Junior Fellow for two years and then joined the faculty of The University of Chicago in 1957, where he has remained since.

Professor Rice has served the university in a wide variety of capacities during his fifty-three year tenure. He served as the director of the James Franck Institute (the university’s center for physical chemistry and condensed matter physics) from 1961 to 1967. He was Chairman of the Department of Chemistry from 1971 to 1976 and was Dean of the Physical Sciences Division from 1981 to 1995.

Dr. Rice is currently on the Board of Governors at Argonne National Laboratory, managed by and affiliated with The University of Chicago, as well as Tel Aviv University. He has served as editor for Chemical Physics Letters and Advances in Chemical Physics, and co-authored several physical chemistry textbooks with Stephen Berry and John Ross.

Professor Rice’s was awarded the National Medal of Science, the highest scientific prize awarded in the United States, in 1999. He is a Fellow of both the National Academy of Sciences and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. In 1970 Professor Rice was awarded the Llewellyn John and Harriet Manchester Quantrell Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching, the nation’s oldest prize for undergraduate teaching, and a highly esteemed faculty award at The University of Chicago.

Over the course of his career, Rice has shaped much debate on theoretical physical chemistry. He is cited on the National Medal of Science “for changing the very nature of modern physical chemistry through his research, teaching and writing, using imaginative approaches to both experiment and theory that have inspired a new generation of scientists.” With over 100 doctoral students to his credit, Stuart Rice has had a great impact on the field of physical chemistry simply through the number of research scientists he has trained.

October 6, 2010 - Presidential Search Continues

The Presidential Search Committee reported to the Board of Trustees on October 1 that it is continuing its work to search for the best candidates to serve as the next President. While the Committee is several months into the search effort, it will still accept and review nominations and applications for the position of president.

Any inquiries regarding the search can be sent to Stuart Rice at sarice@ttic.edu.

September 16, 2010 - David McAllester and UoCTTI team win “Lifetime Achievement” Prize

At the PASCAL Visual Object Classes Challenge Workshop 2010 held in September in Crete, Greece, Prof. David McAllester was awarded a “Lifetime Achievement” prize as one of the authors of “Discriminatively Trained Deformable Part Model,” also known to VOC participants as the “UoCTTI” object detector.

Quoting from the award announcement: “First submitted to the PASCAL VOC challenge in 2007, this detector has now become a core component of many classification, segmentation, person layout and action classification submissions. We honour the contribution made to the community by the innovation and success of the method and its free distribution.”

“Discriminatively Trained Deformable Part Model” authors:
Pedro Felzenszwalb and Ross Girshick (University of Chicago), David McAllester (Toyota Technological Institute at Chicago) and Deva Ramanan (University of California, Berkeley, formerly of TTIC)

The publication can be found on Prof. McAllester’s webpage.

June 29, 2010 - Prof. David McAllester awarded AAAI Classic Paper award

Prof. David McAllester and David Rosenblitt have won the 2010 AAAI Classic Paper award for the paper “Systematic Nonlinear Planning”, which appeared in the AAAI conference in 1991, for “contributing seminal principles of systematic nonlinear planning, with wide-ranging influences on the evolution of research on automated planning.” The award will be presented at the AAAI - 10 conference in Atlanta, Georgia, July 11-15.

June 2, 2010 - Illinois Speech Day hosted at TTIC

TTIC hosted a regional speech research meeting, the 2nd Illinois Speech Day, on May 10, 2010, organized by Prof. Karen Livescu. About fifty people from Illinois and beyond participated. Among the institutions represented, in addition to TTIC, were the University of Chicago, Northwestern University, University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign, University of Washington, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and Carnegie Mellon University. The program can be found here.

February 11, 2010 - Jian Peng awarded Microsoft Research Ph.D. Fellowship

TTIC congratulates Jian Peng, a third-year TIC Ph.D. student who was awarded the prestigious Microsoft Research Ph.D. Fellowship, a two-year fellowship program for outstanding Ph.D. students supporting students in their third and fourth years of Ph.D. graduate studies. Jian works with Prof. Jinbo Xu on mathematical modeling in computational biology. His other research interests include machine learning and algorithms.

December 1, 2009 - 3rd Illinois Vision Workshop hosted at TTIC

TTIC hosted a regional computer vision meeting, the 3rd Illinois Vision Workshop, organized by Prof. Greg Shakhnarovich. About fifty people from the Midwest and beyond participated. Among the institutions and companies represented, in addition to TTIC, were the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign, the University of Illinois at Chicago, Northwestern University, the University of Michigan, the University of Missouri, UC Berkeley, Microsoft Research, Carnegie Mellon University, Eastman Kodak, and Cornell.

October 1, 2009 - TTIC is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission

The Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools announced that the Toyota Technological Institute at Chicago is now recognized as an accredited institute of education in computer science. The HLC is the regional commission recognized by the US Department of Education for the North Central region of the United States.

Quoting Dr. Mitsuru Nagasawa, president of the Institute: “Accreditation is an intensely rigorous but highly rewarding process. It has been invigorating to watch the academic process unfold. The institute has talented and determined faculty, students and staff, and we all share in this success.”_

February 13, 2009 - Prof. Julia Chuzhoy awarded NSF CAREER grant

Prof. Julia Chuzhoy is the recipient of the prestigious Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) grant. The grant is awarded by the National Science Foundation to support junior faculty in their research and educational activities. Quoting from the NSF website: “The Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Program is a Foundation-wide activity that offers the National Science Foundation’s most prestigious awards in support of junior faculty who exemplify the role of teacher-scholars through outstanding research, excellent education and the integration of education and research within the context of the mission of their organizations”.

Prof. Chuzhoy’s project focuses on the development of approximation algorithms and lower bounds for network optimization problems.

February 10, 2009 - TTIC hosts Workshop on Approximation Algorithms and their Limitations

Prof. Julia Chuzhoy organized a 3-day workshop on “Approximation Algorithms and their Limitations”, held at TTIC. The goal of the workshop was to bring together researchers in the areas of approximation algorithms and complexity theory, and to present diverse angles for studying approximability.

Prof. Chuzhoy’s comments on the workshop: The workshop was an opportunity to gather excellent researchers, who presented many outstanding new results. It was great to see how vibrant and full of activity this research community is, with new exciting research directions emerging. The informal workshop atmosphere has been great for exchanging ideas, open problems and for fostering new research connections.”

February 2, 2009 - TTIC moves to new facility

TTIC has expanded since it was founded in 2003, and, after six successful years at the University of Chicago Press Building, the Institute has moved to a new facility.

TTIC now occupies the fourth and fifth floors of the 6045 S. Kenwood Building on the University of Chicago campus. The space consists of nearly 30,000 square feet and includes two conference rooms, three meeting rooms, four student study rooms, a robotics laboratory, a cafe, and an idea lounge. The space boasts views of the Chicago skyline, the Midway Plaisance, the gothic University of Chicago campus, and Lake Michigan. Students, faculty and staff enjoy open, comfortable and interactive common spaces that encourage conversation, the sharing of ideas, and collaboration. There is a dramatic atrium in the center of the space with floating walkways and a grand staircase.

President Mitsuru Nagasawa’s comments on the new space: “This space is a physical manifestation of the progress and growth of TTIC since its inception. The faculty, students, and staff have performed beyond my early expectations, and we are well on our way to achieving international impact through world-class research and education in fundamental computer science and information technology. These are exciting times, full of challenge and opportunity. We are fortunate to meet them with strong leadership, teamwork, vision and commitment, all within an environmentally responsible new home built for the needs we face today and anticipate for tomorrow.”

The Institute looks forward to welcoming guests, new students and faculty to its new home.