talk: Working Together Apart, 12:00 4/29

Spring 2011 Information Systems Distinguished Lecture

Working Together Apart

Dr. Judy Olson

Donald Bren Professor of Information and Computer Sciences
University of California, Irvine

12:00pm Friday, 29 April 2011, ITE Lecture Hall VII

Our research group has been investigating the factors that make long distance teamwork work. I will review that work and talk about the issues that remain, the factors that technology and social practices can't solve–cultural differences and different timezones. And, I will introduce our "theory made practical," our turning the theory into an online assessment tool.

Judith Olson is the Bren Professor of Information and Computer Sciences in the Informatics Department at the UC Irvine, with courtesy appointments in the School of Social Ecology and the Merage School of Business. She has researched teams whose members are not collocated for over 20 years, summaries of which are found in her most cited paper, “Distance Matters,” (Olson & Olson, 2000), and in her key theoretical contribution in the book Scientific Collaboration on the Internet (Olson, Zimerman, and Bos, Eds., 2008). Her current work focuses on ways to verify the theory's components while at the same time helping new scientific collaborations succeed. She has studied distributed teams both in the field and in the laboratory, the latter focusing on the communication hurdles distributed teams have and the consequent underutilization of remote team members skills and the reduction in trust. She is a Fellow of the Association for Computing Machinery and with her husband and colleague, Gary Olson, holds the Lifetime Achievement award from the Special Interest Group in Computer Human Interaction.

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Maryland Cyber Conference and Challenge (MDC3)

The Maryland Cyber Challenge and Conference site is up and student teams can now register for the competition, with the first qualifying round early in September. It is a chance to demonstrate your ability to work in a team and your cybersecurity and problem solving skills.

MDC3 is a joint effort between SAIC, UMBC, DBED, TCM and NCSA to bring people together to promote Maryland's commitment to cybersecurity and STEM education. The competition includes three levels: high school, collegiate and professionals from industry/government, providing opportunities to network with cybersecurity professionals, researchers, and scholars.

There will be orientation sessions at the UMBC Technology Center (1450 South Rolling Rd., 21224) on May 2, May 18 and June 21 at 4:30pm for professionals and 6:00pm for students.

Semantic Analysis of XML Schema Matching for B2B (Dissertation Defense)

PhD Dissertation Defense Announcement

A Semantic Analysis of XML Schema Matching
for B2B Systems Integration

Jaewook Kim

11:00am Thursday, 21 April 2011, ITE 346

One of the most critical steps to integrating heterogeneous e-Business applications using different XML schemas is schema matching, which is known to be costly and error-prone. Many automatic schema matching approaches have been proposed, but the challenge is still daunting because of the complexity of schemas and immaturity of technologies in semantic representation, measuring, and reasoning. The dissertation focuses on three challenging problems in the schema matching. First, the existing approaches have often failed to sufficiently investigate and utilize semantic information imbedded in the hierarchical structure of the XML schemas. Secondly, due to synonyms and polysemies found in natural languages, the meaning of a data node in the schema cannot be determined solely by the words in its label. Thirdly, it is difficult to correctly identify the best set of matching pairs for all data nodes between two schemas. To overcome these problems, we propose new innovative approaches for XML schema matching, particularly applicable to XML schema integration and data transformation between heterogeneous e-Business systems. Our research supports two different tasks: integration task between two different component schemas; and transformation task between two business documents which confirm to different document schemas.

Dissertation Committee:

  • Dr. Yun Peng, Chair
  • Dr. Charles Nicholas
  • Dr. Zary Segall
  • Dr. Milton Halem
  • Dr. Hyunbo Cho (POSTECH, Korea)
  • Dr. Nenad Ivezic (NIST)

talk: Cybersecurity Threat is Real (new time: 10am)

The Threat is Real

Sherri Ramsay
Director, NSA/CSS Threat Operations Center

10:00am Friday 22 April 2011, 229 ITE

Sherri Ramsay, the Director of the National Security Agency's National Threat Operations Center, will present an overview of contemporary issues in cybersecurity entitled "The Threat is Real". The NSA Threat Operations Center monitors the operations of the global network to identify network-based threats and protect U.S. and allied networks.

Sherri Ramsay serves as the Director of the National Security Agency/Central Security Service Threat Operations Center, an organization operating under Signals Intelligence and Information Assurance authorities simultaneously to establish real-time global network awareness and threat characterization. Ms. Ramsay most recently served in the Information Assurance Directorate as Deputy Chief of the Vulnerability Analysis and Operations Group. She began her career at NSA as a computer programmer and served as a Software Acquisition Manager, System Acquisition Manager, and Program Manager for several large-scale programs. She spend a year of extensive leadership training, research and developmental assignments while participating in OPM’s Executive Potential Program.

Ms. Ramsay graduated Magna Cum Laude with General Honors from the University of Georgia in 1977 with a Bachelor of Science degree majoring in Mathematics and Education. She graduated with Honors from the Johns Hopkins University in 1984 with a Masters Degree in Computer Science. In 1992, she graduated from OPM’s Executive Potential Program. She graduated in 1998 form the Industrial College of the Armed Forces, National Defense University, Ft. McNair, with a Mater’s Degree in National Resource Strategy. Prior to joining NSA, Ms. Ramsay taught high school mathematics. She received the NSA Meritorious Civilian Service Award in 1998 and 2000, the National Intelligence Meritorious Unit Citation in 1998, the Louis Tordella Award in 2003, and the Presidential Meritorious Executive Award in 2009.

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FTP hits middle age

FTP, the File Transfer Protocol, is forty years old today. rfc114, the request for comments that defined the original FTP protocol, was published on April 16, 1971. FTP is one of the oldest Internet standards and remains important today, mostly through its descendants, like SFTP.

Visionaries in IT Forum May 4: Catherine Kuenzel of Northrop Grumman

Catherine Kuenzel of Northrop Grummon will speak on Your Future in Emerging Technologies as part of the UMBC Visionaries in Information Technology Forum on May 4, 2011. Her talk will cover emerging technologies in health, homeland security, cyber security and renewable energy.

Kuenzel is the the Vice President of Federal Mission Programs for the Civil Systems Division of Northrop Grumman's Information Systems. She has extensive experience in the information technology industry. She is skilled at leading teams that supply a full range of IT solutions to governmental clients, including the National Security Agency and the Department of Defense. Her current team provides services to a wide range of civil enterprise systems, from cyber security to law enforcement to document and records management.

The UMBC Visionaries in Information Technology Forum is an annual, four-part breakfast series created to help elevate the prominence and recognition of Maryland as a critical hub of information and emerging technologies. The forum is free and includes a complimentary breakfast. It will meet May 4, 2011 from 7:30am to 9:00am at the BWI Airport Marriott, 1743 West Nursery Road, Baltimore, MD 21240. Since space is limited, registration is required.

CSEE IT Jobs Summer 2011 and Beyond

The CSEE Department at UMBC has IT job positions available.  The positions include a Web Administrator and System Administrator.  Full descriptions for each position below.  Details include how to apply and what information is expected to be provided.

Student Web Administrator position.

This position is a hybrid of providing support for the CSEE Web portals, software development, and leveraging the capabilities of UNIX systems as a host platform. Expected projects include Website design and content editing, develop/code dynamic content, and create/edit graphics.  There is a need to understand what good Web design means and the direction of where Web trends are going.
 
Are you the resource who people come to when they have a computer problem?  Do you find fixing computers easy?  Do you run your own server?  Do you like learning new skills, making people happy, and gaining a sense of accomplishment?  If you relate to these attributes, this is a great opportunity for you.

Duties:

  • Engineer solutions to Web-related problems in a UNIX environment.
  • Manage Web applications and be able to extend functionality by writing new code.
  • Support the users of Web sites/portals.
  • Assist in ongoing projects.
  • Other duties as assigned.

Requirements:

  • Experience with a Linux/UNIX system.
  • Program UNIX shell scripts, C/C++, PERL, Python, and/or PHP.
  • Understand HTML, CSS, and modern Web technologies.
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills.
  • Excellent troubleshooting skills.
  • Able to quickly learn new skills.
  • Able to work well in a group.
  • Available to work up to 20 hours/week.
  • Active UMBC student.

Desired (will train as needed):

  • Major in Computer Science, Computer Engineering, or a related field.
  • Exposed to content management system and revision control system.
  • Manage databases and write SQL queries.

Please submit resumes by email to cseeit-jobs AT cs DOT umbc DOT edu . Resumes accepted until the position is filled.  Also provide an example of something cool that you have done with a Web site.

UNIX Student System Administrator position.

This position will provide computer hardware, software, and network support for the operational needs of the CSEE department at UMBC.  The CSEE computer infrastructure is extremely diverse, dynamic, and challenging. This position will be part of a technical team of experts, who support over 700 user accounts and over 600 Linux, Solaris, Windows, and MacOS machines in office, data center, and research environments.  The computers range from individual desktops to production servers which run 24 hours per day (such as Web portals, email, and database servers).

Are you the resource who people come to when they have a computer problem? Do you find fixing computers easy?  Do you run your own server?  Do you like learning new skills, making people happy, and gaining a sense of accomplishment?  If you relate to these attributes, this is a great opportunity for you.

Duties:

  • Engineer solutions to problems in a UNIX environment.
  • Support desktop and server computers for end-users (operational staff, graduate students, and faculty) and networking needs through the installation and configuration of computer hardware and software.
  • Support the daily operations and maintenance of the CSEE computing and networking facilities (such as accounts, printers, applications, etc.).
  • Support real/virtual server environment and real/virtual disk storage systems
  • Assist in ongoing projects.
  • Other duties as assigned.

Requirements:

  • Experience with one or more types of Linux/UNIX system.
  • Program UNIX shell scripts, C/C++, PERL, Python, and/or PHP.
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills.
  • Excellent troubleshooting skills.
  • Able to quickly learn new skills.
  • Able to work well in a group.
  • Available to work up to 20 hours/week (up to 40 during summer or breaks).
  • Active UMBC student.

Desired (will train as needed):

  • Major in Computer Science, Computer Engineering, or a related field.
  • Familiar with the CSEE Department's computing environment.
  • A working knowledge of Sun/Oracle Solaris/OpenSolaris operating system and/or Windows.

Please submit resumes by email to cseeit-jobs AT cs DOT umbc DOT edu . Resumes accepted until the positions are filled.  Also provide an example of something cool that you have done with UNIX/Linux.

 

UMBC Google CS4HS Teacher Development Workshop

UMBC will host a three-day in-service training workshop for 35 Maryland high school computer science teachers sponsored by Google. The UMBC CS4HS Workshop will be held 17-20 July 2011 at UMBC's campus in suburban Baltimore.

Workshop attendees will have the opportunity to share ideas for energizing the teaching of computer science in Maryland high schools and to forge new relationships among each other and with university faculty members. A few key high school and state administrators will also be invited to participate. The workshop is being organized by CSEE Professor Marie desJardins.

A $50 registration fee will cover all meals and on-campus housing during the event. A reduced-rate block of hotel rooms will be reserved for participants who would prefer to stay off campus (off-campus housing is not reimbursable). Online registration will be available on 1 May 2011 and close on 1 July 2011. Send inquiries to

Symposium on Open Government Knowledge

This image depicts linked data resources circa 2010 that are published using the W3C standards for the Semantic Web.  Linked data enable the exposing, sharing, and connecting pieces of data, information, and knowledge by using a common syntactic format and explicitly representing the semantics of data.  On the order of 10 billion facts are currently available as linked data.

CSEE Professors Tim Finin and Anupam Joshi are helping to organize a symposium this fall on Open Government Knowledge: AI Opportunities and Challenges that will be held in Arlington Virginia sponsored by the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence. The symposium will address the technical and social challenges involved in publishing public government data in ways that make the meaning more explicit and enable reuse.

Websites like data.gov, research.gov and USASpending.gov aim to improve government transparency, increase accountability, and encourage public participation by publishing public government data online. Although this data has been used for some intriguing applications, it is difficult for citizens to understand and use. The symposium will explore how AI technologies such as the Semantic Web, linked data, information extraction, statistical analysis and machine learning can be used to make the knowledge embedded in the data more explicit, accessible and reusable. The symposium’s location of Washington, DC will facilitate the participation of U.S. federal government agency members and enable interchange between researchers and practitioners.

Dissertation Defense: Towards Relational Theory Formation from Undifferentiated Sensor Data

Dissertation Defense

Towards Relational Theory Formation
from Undifferentiated Sensor Data

Marc Pickett

10:00am Monday, 18 April 2011
ITE 325b, UMBC

Human adults have rich theories in their heads of how the world works. These theories include objects and relations for both concrete and abstract concepts. Everything we know either must be innate or learned through experience. Yet it's unclear how much of this model needs to be innate for a computer. The core question this dissertation addresses is how a computer can develop rich relational theories using only its raw sensor data. We address this by outlining a "bridge" between raw sensors and a rich relational theory. We have implemented parts of this bridge, with other parts as feasibility studies, while others remain conceptual.

At the core of this bridge is Ontol, a system that constructs a conceptual structure or "ontology" from feature-set data. Ontol is inspired by cortical models that have been shown to be able to express invariant concepts, such as images independent of any translation or rotation. As a demonstration of the utility of the ontologies created by Ontol, we present a novel semi-supervised learning algorithm that learns from only a handful of positive examples. Like humans, this algorithm doesn't require negative examples. Instead, this algorithm uses the ontologies created by Ontol from unlabeled data, and searches for a Bayes-optimal theory given this "background knowledge".

The rest of the dissertation shows in principle how Ontol can be used as the "workhorse" for a system that finds analogies, discovers useful mappings, and might ultimately create theories, such as a "gisty" theory of "number".

Committee:

  • Tim Oates, Associate Professor, UMBC
  • Tim Finin, Professor, UMBC
  • Rob Goldstone, Professor, Indiana University
  • Sergei Nirenburg, Professor, UMBC
  • Matt Schmill, Research Faculty, UMBC
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