Soundbyte: Spring 2002

Gini and Students Feel the MAGNETic Pull of E-Commerce

Image of members of the MAGNET group

Picture, left to right: Row 1: Espen Sigvarsten, Guleser Dmir, Yelena, Kryzhnyaya, Anne Schoolcraft, Maria Gini, Ashutosh Jaswal;
Row 2: Stefan Botman, Mark Hoogendoorn, Wolfgang Ketter, Alex Babanov, John Collins.

You stand at your back door and think, "That old garage isn't going to hold up under many more Minnesota thunderstorms. I'd be better off tearing it down and building a new one." You don't have a lot of money, so you decide to be your own general contractor. There is a lot of work ahead. You will look up electricians, masons, roofers, and garage door companies. You will make a lot of calls and try to get estimates of what can be done when and for how much. Then you have to figure out which companies to choose so that the project runs smoothly and under budget. Paying a general contractor is starting to look pretty good!

A few years later, you are once again looking at your garage. It never was rebuilt because doing so was just too much hassle. It has survived so far, but it's definitely on its last legs. As you gaze at the garage wondering what to do, your attention is caught by a story on the TV about a new online marketplace called MAGNET. You decide to check it out. MAGNET assigns you your very own software agent, which helps create a plan for the job you want done. You list all the tasks, the order to do them in, and the general time frame in which it all needs to happen. Then your agent sends your request to the market. Within a few hours, you have received many bids from the agents of contractors in your area. Your MAGNET agent sorts through the bids and helps you see which ones will work together in a good schedule for the best price. You make your choices and send out awards. The first workers will be showing up tomorrow!

While the actual MAGNET (MultiAGent NEgotiation Testbed) system is not yet ready for the scenario above, it is heading that way. Maria Gini and her team of thirteen students have been working to make this e-commerce dream a reality.

Agents in MAGNET are intended to negotiate and monitor the execution of contracts among multiple suppliers. Each agent is an independent entity, with its own structure, goals, and resources. In general, the resources under "control" of an individual agent are not sufficient to satisfy that agent's goals, and so the agent must negotiate with other agents in order to meet its goals.

Image of the MAGNET group's logo We distinguish between two agent roles, the Customer and the Supplier. A Customer is an agent who needs resources outside of its direct control in order to carry out its plans. In response to a Request for Quotes, some Supplier agents may offer to provide the requested resources or services, for specified prices, over specified time periods. This is carried out as a first-price sealed-bid combinatorial auction. Once the Customer agent receives bids, it evaluates them and selects the optimal set of bids which satisfy its goals. Suppliers are then notified of their commitments, and the Execution Manager is called to oversee completion of the plan. Plan maintenance includes re-negotiating existing commitments, re-bidding portions of the plan, replanning, and abandoning the goal.

Image of MAGNET auction The Customer agents are already well-developed. They are equipped with a variety of search algorithms they use when they evaluate bids. The agents can use simulated annealing, integer programming, A* search or iterative deepening A* search to work their way through the myriad of bid combinations. The Customer agent's objective is to maximize utility, which requires minimizing cost and risk of not accomplishing the goal. To determine which bids to accept, the Customer agent considers coverage (we assume that there is no point in accomplishing only a part of the goal), temporal feasibility (the time windows for tasks must allow to compose them in a feasible schedule), cost, and risk. Risk factors include elements such as availability of suppliers, supplier reliability, profit margin, expected cost of recovering from supplier decommitment or delay, loss of value if the end date is delayed, cost of plan failure.

The Customer agent and supporting infrastructure is being released as open source at The software is completely written in Java, and has been tested on multiple platforms. Ongoing research includes applying the economic theory of Expected Utility to the generation of requests for quotes, completion of the design and implementation of supplier agents, and design of an evolutionary simulation environment developed to study relative performance of agents.

You sit with your cup of coffee looking out the window at the workers finishing your new garage. You smile as you realize it has been built cheaper and faster than you expected, and you hardly had to do any legwork. The ease with which it all came together was mesmerizing. "This would be a huge help at work!" you think. But maybe you should wait until there's been some more rigorous testing. Maybe it's time to build that pool you've always wanted...

Additional information at

Partial support for this research was provided by NSF under award NSF/IIS-0084202 and by a UROP grant to Vasile Bud.

-Anne Schoolcraft and Maria Gini

Greetings from the Department Head

B&W image of Pen-Chung Yew Spring and summer are among the best times of the year in Minnesota. This spring and summer, our department added a new look with which to greet the new seasons. Early this spring, our reception area underwent a significant renovation to provide more space for student services and advising, and to make it more user-friendly, especially for those with disabilities. We also remodeled the back office early this summer to allow for better traffic flow and to improve administrative service productivity. We expect that our new department office will further enhance the department's image, and improve service to our students, faculty and staff.

Space is always a premium in the University. With the addition of many new faculty positions in our department, we are facing a severe shortage of office and laboratory space. However, thanks to the I.T. Dean's office, we are in the process of acquiring some additional space in the Newman Center (1701 University Avenue S.E.), and instructional laboratory space in Lind Hall. We hope that this additional space will relieve our space crunch, at least in the short term.

Late this spring, we concluded another very successful faculty recruiting season. Our faculty recruiting committee, under the leadership of Professor Ravi Janardan, helped recruit three outstanding new faculty members: Loren Terveen (Human-Computer Interfaces from AT&T Bell Laboratories), Yondae Kim (Network Security from the University of Southern California), and Donglin Liang (Software Engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology). I extend to them my heartfelt welcome to our department. I should note that this success would not have been possible without the tremendous cooperation that the committee received from our faculty, students, and staff; I thank them for their help.

We have been recruiting faculty strategically in targeted Computer Science and Computer Engineering areas in the last few years. As a result of this concerted effort, the expertise of the faculty in the department now covers virtually all of the major fields in computer science and computer engineering. This has greatly strengthened our curriculum for both the undergraduate and graduate programs. It has also allowed our faculty to work closely with faculty in other departments, such as those in the Medical School, in the emerging area of bioinformatics, in the School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture on the new Digital Design Initiative, in the Psychology Department in the area of human perception-based computer graphics, and also with several companies, locally and nationally. We strongly encourage such interdisciplinary research cooperation, and we believe it will bear fruit in the coming years.

We have also seen the quality of our students improve over the years throughthe rising GPA requirement for entry into the upper division of our programs. Currently, our GPA requirement is among the highest in the Institute of Technology. Our students have been accepted to top graduate programs and top companies and research laboratories upon graduation. They have been very active in the past year and have garnered awards in various national competitions (see page 8 in this newsletter).

We are glad to be able to report on so many success stories over the past few months and look forward to continuing in the same vein in the years ahead.

-Pen-Chung Yew

Alumnus Gerald Bergum and his Wife Shirley Make A Difference

Most people who have had a long and distinguished career as a mathematician and teacher would be satisfied with their accomplishments. Gerald Bergum was not most people. In his early fifties, he became a student again, returning to the University of Minnesota to pursue graduate work in Computer Science. Shortly thereafter, he took on the task of leading the Computer Science Department at South Dakota State University. Now in retirement, Jerry, along with his wife Shirley Bergum, have continued to make a difference by establishing the Gerald and Shirley Bergum Scholarship Endowment Fund in the Department of Computer Science and Engineering at the University of Minnesota.

Jerry was born in Saint Paul where he also attended elementary school and a final year of high school. In between he attended school in Indiana. After completing high school, he enrolled in St. Thomas College. Then, the start of the Korean War prompted him to withdraw from his studies and enlist in the Air Force. In 1954, after four years in the Air Force, he was honorably discharged with the rank of sergeant, and he returned to higher education, this time at the University of Minnesota where he earned a B.S. in Mathematics in 1958.

After three years of teaching high school students math and physics, Jerry was awarded an NSF fellowship for graduate study in mathematics at the University of Notre Dame. Following the completion of his studies for a Master's degree, he started his career in higher education at Gonzaga University in Spokane, Washington in 1962. He took a leave of absence after three years to pursue a Ph.D. in mathematics from Washington State University in Pullman, Washington. He returned to full time work at Gonzaga in 1968, completing his dissertation in 1969.

Shirley Bergum was born in Iowa but grew up in Minnesota. She and Gerald were married in 1951. Between 1952 and 1963, they had nine children, six girls and three boys. In 1968, they became foster parents for a one-year-old boy. In 1970 the Bergums decided that they wanted to move back to the Midwest. In order to keep their foster son, by then loved dearly by the entire family, they had to adopt him. This lengthy, complex procedure was finally completed in 1974. In 1970, they moved to Brookings, South Dakota, where Jerry took a position in the Mathematics Department at South Dakota State University. The Mathematics and Electrical Engineering faculty at SDSU began teaching computer science courses in 1974. Over time a group of the faculty thought that the University should offer a degree in computer science. Some thought that a combination of mostly mathematics courses and programming language courses would be sufficient. Jerry disagreed, being sure that there was more to computer science. In 1984, he returned to the University of Minnesota to become a graduate student again, this time in computer science, so that he could find out what the field was all about. Here he found out that he had been correct. With a much greater knowledge of the field, he returned to SDSU in 1985 as temporary head. In 1987 he was asked to be the first permanent head of the department, a position he kept until he retired on June 30, 2000.

Dr. Bergum was also active professionally, serving as the editor of the Fibonacci Quarterly, an international mathematics journal, publishing over sixty articles in seven different refereed journals, and authoring and/or editing seven mathematics books. He was active in the Mathematical Association of America, becoming the first person from South Dakota to ever become the President, as well as Governor, of the North Central Section of the Mathematical Association of America. In 1994, he was the first person from the North Central Section to be awarded the certificate of meritorious service.

Gerald and Shirley Bergum have generously decided to support the University of Minnesota and in particular the Department of Computer Science and Engineering by establishing a testamentary bequest to provide endowed scholarships to students of academic merit. Making a gift of an endowment is a meaningful way to make a long lasting impact on the University of Minnesota and those it serves. Our heartfelt thanks to them both!

-Bobbie Othmer

METIS-A Family of Multilevel Graph Partitioning Algorithms

Graph Partitioning

Algorithms that find a good partition of highly unstructured graphs are critical for developing efficient solutions for a wide range of problems in many application areas on both serial and parallel computers. For example, large-scale numerical simulations on parallel computers, such as those based on finite element methods, require the distribution of the finite element mesh to the processors. This distribution must be done so that both the number of elements assigned to each processor is the same and the number of elements adjacent to elements assigned to different processors is minimized. The goal of the first condition is to balance the computations among the processors. The goal of the second condition is to minimize the communication between adjacent elements residing on different processors. Graph partitioning is also used for computing fill-reducing ordering of sparse matrices as well as for solving optimization problems arising in numerous areas such as design of VLSI circuits, storing and accessing spatial databases on disks, and transportation management.

METIS Graph Partitioning Algorithms example - image 1METIS Graph Partitioning Algorithms example - image 2METIS Graph Partitioning Algorithms example - image 3

You stand at your back door and think, "That old garage isn't going to hold up under many more Minnesota thunderstorms. I'd be better off tearing it down and building a new one." You don't have a lot of money, so you decide to be your own general contractor. There is a lot of work ahead. You will look up electricians, masons, roofers, and garage door companies. You will make a lot of calls and try to get estimates of what can be done when and for how much. Then you have to figure out which companies to choose so that the project runs smoothly and under budget. Paying a general contractor is starting to look pretty good!


METIS is a family of software packages for partitioning large irregular graphs, computing fill-reducing orderings of sparse matrices, and for partitioning large hypergraphs. The algorithms in METIS are based on the multilevel graph partitioning paradigm. Traditional graph partitioning algorithms compute a partition of a graph by operating directly on the original graph and are often too slow and/or provide poor quality partitions. Multilevel partitioning algorithms, on the other hand, take a completely different approach. These algorithms reduce the size of the graph by collapsing vertices and edges, partition the smaller graph, and then use this partitioning to construct a high-quality partition for the original graph.

The METIS family of multilevel algorithms consists of three different packages: METIS, ParMETIS, and hMETIS. METIS has been designed to partition very large unstructured graphs on serial computers. ParMETIS is a highly parallel implementation of the serial algorithms in METIS and can scale to thousands of processors and is used routinely to partition graphs with over a billion vertices. hMETIS is suited for partitioning large unstructured hypergraphs and is the state-of-the-art partitioning tool for very large circuits. METIS and hMETIS were written by Professor George Karypis, and ParMETIS was written by Professor George Karypis and Dr. Kirk Schloegel.

The entire METIS family of algorithms is freely available on the web Since their introduction, they have been used extensively by many government, educational, and commercial organizations. Over fifty companies including SUN, Intel, Microsoft, Synopsys, Boeing, Hitachi, NEC, and Motorola have licensed and use METIS in their commercial and internal applications. Moreover, METIS and ParMETIS are critical tools for enabling the solution of very large numerical simulations that take place in the context of the Accelerate Strategic Computing Initiative (ASCI) program in the Department of Energy and the Common High Performance Computing Software Support Initiative (CHSSI) projects of the Department of Defense.

-George Karypis

Graduates June 2001 - May 2002

Image of PhD Graduates June 2001 - May 2002

Pictured left to right: Alex Safonov, Srihari Nelakuditi, Zhenhai Duan, and Jeffrey Thompson.


Yue (Jake) Chen
Advisor: John Carlis
"A Bioinformatics Discovery-Oriented Computing Framework"
Srihari Nelakuditi
Advisors: David Du and Zhi-Li Zhang
"Localized Approach to Providing Quality-of-Service"
Xiuzhen Cheng
Advisor: Ding-Zhu Du
"Issues in Ad Hoc Wireless Networks"
Hung Quang Ngo
Advisor: Ding-Zhu Du
"Issues in Interconnection Networks"
Valery Guralnik
Advisor: Jaideep Srivastava
"Mining Interesting Patterns from Sequential Data"
Lu Ruan
Advisor: Ding-Zhu Du
"Multicast and Broadcast Routing in WDM Optical Networks"
Tao Jiang
Advisor: Wei-Tek Tsai
"A New Approach in GUI Testing"
J. Ben Schafer
Advisors: Joseph Konstan and John Riedl
"MetaLens: A Framework for Multi-Source Recommendations"
Yunjae Jung
Advisors: Haesun Park and Ding-Zhu Du
"Design and Evaluation of Clustering Criterion for Optimal Hierarchical Agglomerative Clustering"
Ramakrishna Vishnuvajjala
Advisor: Wei-Tek Tsai
"Software Reuse in Time-Critical Systems"
Joonmo Kim
Advisor: Ding-Zhu Du
"Approximations for Some Network Optimization Problems"
Paul Justen Wagner
Advisor: John Carlis
"The Development of Extended Pattern Matching Operators and a Supporting Operator Framework for Relational Database Management Systems"
William John Leinberger
Advisors: Vipin Kumar and George Karypis
"Scheduling Heuristics for Improved Utilization in Multi-Resource Parallel Systems"
Lei Zhang
Advisor: Haesun Park
"Applications of Structured Total Least Norm Method"
Chang-Tien Lu
Advisor: Shashi Shekhar
"Efficient Processing Techniques for Spatial Analysis"
Qing Zhao
Advisor: David Lilja
"Compiler Support for Practical Value Prediction in High-Performance Processors"


  • Michael A. Blocksome
  • Paul E. Castillo
  • Hongliang Chang
  • Brian Joseph Chapeau
  • Wei Chen
  • Ameeta Deshpande
  • Judy Djugash
  • Debra Erickson
  • Anatoly Glagolev
  • Paula Budig Greve
  • John Edward Guest
  • Surendra Gupte
  • Mohammad Hasan
  • Leonard Robert Josephs
  • Sirisha Kaipa
  • Deepa Kodur
  • David Frederick Kohn
  • Jenny Huang-Yu Lai
  • Jianqiang Li
  • Harunobu Ohyama
  • Mahjabeen Parween
  • Adrian Pasarariu
  • Carolyn Marie Peterson
  • Radha Krishna Kanth Popuri
  • Ravishankar Rajamani
  • Rohit Rakshe
  • Yonglin Ren
  • Hemchander Sannidhanam
  • Esam Ahmed Sharafuddin
  • Rajasekhar Phani Sistla
  • Pramod Srinivasan
  • Sasank Vasa
  • Neal A. Vaughn
  • Min Wei
  • Yang Xiang
  • Shiwei Zhu


  • Robert Dean Albright
  • Mallika Dutta
  • Nishikant Kapoor
  • Nanda Kishore Molleti
  • Lisa Siskind

Image of Alumni June 2001 - May 2002

Pictured left to right: Jeffrey Thompson, Henning Sjurseth, Zhenhai Duan, Anne Schoolcraft, Mahjabeen Parween, Markus Gallagher, Richa Kumar and Ashutosh Jaiswal.

M.S.S.E Class of 2002

  • Daniel Anderson, Software Development Manager, Cargill Inc.
  • Vicente Barreiro, Application Development Technical Lead, Cargill Inc.
  • Robert Baty, Software Developer, St. Paul Companies Inc.
  • Gretchen Buxton, Sr. Software Engineer, West Group
  • Oscar Coronilla, Sr. Software Engineer, Navitaire
  • Michael Craig, Sr. Technical Analyst, St. Paul Companies Inc.
  • Scott Fawcett, Manager, MTS Systems Corp.
  • Kimberly Gerst, Software Engineer, ADC Telecommunications Inc.
  • Wilbert Go, Data Analyst, Tech-Pro Inc.
  • Jennifer Gravdahl, Software Engineer, PTC
  • Scott Hawkinson, Software Engineer, Medtronic Inc.
  • Tamera Hoang, Sr. Software Engineer, Aero Systems Engineering Inc.
  • Judith Yu-Ting Hwang, Systems Analyst, St. Paul Companies Inc.
  • Shremattie Jaman, Software Engineer, Lockheed Martin Corp.
  • S. Arnie Johnson, Product Development Team Manager, United Defense
  • Paul Jones, Software Engineer, Guidant Corp.
  • Steven Kurtz, Software Engineer, Comsquared Systems Inc.
  • Ronald Lancaster Jr., Software Development Manager, NCS Pearson
  • Marvin Levi, Software Engineer, IBM Corp.
  • Ben Moore, Software Engineer, Definity Health
  • Mark Morgen, Sr. Systems Engineer, 3M Co.
  • Jason Nikolai, Information Technology Specialist, IBM Corp.
  • Jeffrey Olson, Sr. Software Engineer, West Group
  • Peter Pascale, Software Developer, NCS Pearson
  • Patrick Philipp, Analyst/Programmer, General Mills Inc.
  • Quazi Rahman, Software Engineer, PTC
  • Dharini Ramakrishnan, Software Developer, Logic Information Systems
  • Diana Saye, Systems Analyst, Federal Reserve Bank
  • Heather Spelhaug, Intermediate Software Engineer, Firstlogic, Inc.
  • Alicia Spindler, Software Engineer, UNISYS Corp.
  • Keith Strickland Software Engineer, United Defense
  • Dave Yeap, Sr. Software Engineer, West Group
  • Harriet Yin, Consultant, Charter Solutions

Student News

University of Minnesota Students Place First in Microsoft Programming Contest

For the second time in two years University of Minnesota students have placed first in a Microsoft Programming contest. Undergraduates Saeed Ahkter and Moe Khosravy won the top honors in the 2001 Microsoft .NET Best Student Awards 2001.

Students in North American colleges and universities were invited to submit proposals for XML Web services built for the Microsoft .NET Platform. In December close to 100 semifinalists were chosen to create the services that were proposed and compete in the finals. The contest judges: Microsoft developers, faculty, and industry professionals, chose the top three winners. The entry from Ahkter and Khosravy edged out all other entries, including some submitted by graduate students.

The winning entry, RenderFarm.NET, is a Web service that processes and renders high-resolution 3D scenes and animation sequences into a variety of image file formats and movies. It accepts 3D data in the form of XML and returns a URL specifying the address of the finished product, which can then be downloaded by the user to virtually any PC, cellular phone, or PDA. The usefulness of the application lies in the fact that there are many scenes that can simply not be rendered on normal workstations. Saeed Ahkter is a senior Computer Science major. He is a former Microsoft Software Development Engineer Intern (2001). He specializes in web related technologies and is currently an independent .NET web application developer for the Carlson School of Management at the U of MN. Saeed was interviewed for the Fall/Winter 2000 SoundByte.

Moe Khosravy is a junior in neuroscience in the College of Biological Sciences. However, he plans to switch formally to computer science this fall, and also keep an organic chemistry major. He is a cofounder of CodeBlazer Technologies, a multimedia software development company that the University spun off to the founders and investors. Moe specializes in 3D and multimedia application development with a passion for entertainment technologies. He is currently consulting on a .NET project for the Carlson School of Management.

Saeed and Moe each won $15,000 as first place winners. Microsoft also gave the University of Minnesota scholarship fund $15,000. Each team member was awarded a trip to Tech.Ed 2002 in New Orleans in April. RenderFarm.NET also won the People's Choice award for overall best solution, voted on by all of the contestants. The prize was an Xbox game system and games.

The International .NET competition includes corporations. RenderFarm .NET was automatically entered in the international competition as winner of the North American (Academic) contest. The winner will be announced at Microsoft's Fusion 2002 on July 11. If RenderFarm.NET wins again, the University will receive $100,000 and Moe and Saeed will receive a smaller amount. They have continued development on the application since the version that won in April and now have a much faster program.

Moe and Saeed plan to market RenderFarm.NET. Several companies have expressed interest. For more information see

Natalie Linnell Chosen to be Student Speaker at IT Graduation Ceremonies

Senior Computer Science major Natalie Linnell, from St. Cloud, Minnesota, was chosen to give the student graduation speech at the Institute of Technology Commencement ceremonies on May 10. She talked about the importance of living a passionate life and loving your work. She thinks that if you are not excited about what you do and don't feel that it is important, you need to have the courage to change your work, since work consumes over half your waking hours. Professor Nikos Papanikolopoulos, an instructor of hers in two classes, suggested that she apply to be the student graduation speaker.

Natalie's words of advice to computer science undergrads are that they need to like what they do, and if they do not like their course work, they probably will not like the work in the computer field either.

Among classes Natalie found valuable were Structure of Computer Programming I and Algorithms and Data Structures. Her areas of interest include programming languages and computational logic. She will attend graduate school in computer science at the University of Minnesota this fall.

Kristen Stubbs Receives Goldwater Scholarship

Picture of Kristen Stubbs Computer Science major Kristen Stubbs has received a prestigious Goldwater Scholarship to support her senior year of study at the University of Minnesota. Congress established the Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Program in 1986 to honor Senator Barry M. Goldwater and to provide a continuing source of highly qualified scientists and engineers by awarding scholarships to college students who intend to pursue careers in these fields. Since a school can nominate only four students for this award, the application is a two-part process, first to be nominated to represent the school, and then to receive a scholarship. 309 Goldwater scholarships were awarded for the 2002-2003 academic year from a field of 1,155 nominees.

As is true of virtually all of the Goldwater Scholars, Kristen plans to continue her education in graduate school pursuing a Ph.D. She would like to work in the area of human-computer interaction. Since last summer she has worked at the Center for Distributed Robotics on distributed robot software. Kristen is from Kansas City, Missouri. In deciding on a college to attend, she did research on various computer science departments. Since the University of Minnesota had an excellent computer science department, and she liked it here, the University of Minnesota was her choice. She has been programming computers since first grade when she taught herself BASIC and she has always loved working with and programming computers.

James Esser Competes Successfully in Sun Microsystems and Topcoder Collegiate Challenge

TopCoder hosts programming tournaments weekly on the Web. Both professional and collegiate programmers from around the world can participate in weekly contests. The benefits include cash prizes, a chance to practice programming skills, and an opportunity to be more visible in the job market. In fact TopCoder was started by some people who wanted a way to assess skills of prospects for a consulting company. James B. Esser, a 2002 computer science graduate, was among 16 students who made it to the semifinals, held at MIT on April 19th. He won $1,000 in that particular competition.

-Bobbie Othmer

Funding for Army High Performance Computing Research Center Renewed

Professor Vipin Kumar of the Computer Science and Engineering Department led a multi-university effort, which included several CS&E faculty members as well as faculty members from other I.T. departments, in a successful effort to renew the Army High Performance Computing Research Center (AHPCRC). The team consisting of Clark Atlanta University, Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University, Howard University, Jackson State University, the University of Minnesota, and the University of North Dakota won the eight-year $36 million award in a nation wide competition. The Computer Science and Engineering faculty who are part of this Center are Baoquan Chen, Ravi Janardan, George Karypis, Vipin Kumar, Shashi Shekhar, and Jon Weissman. Kumar will serve as the Director of the AHPCRC.

The AHPCRC will conduct basic research in the application of high performance computing to a variety of interdisciplinary computational science research topics of interest to the Army, including chemical and biological defense, energetic materials, signature modeling, and virtual computing environments for future combat system, as well as enabling technologies such as data mining and high-performance computational algorithms. The program provides a mechanism for AHPCRC researchers and students to closely interact with Army and other defense researchers as well as to access state-of-the-art high performance computing resources such as the CRAY T3E-1200, IBM RS6000s and other systems.

According to Kumar, the contract is due, in part, to the positive momentum the AHPCRC has created towards being a national leader in high performance computing research. "This is a clear recognition of the leadership role played by the AHPCRC in the area of high performance computing over the past 12 years," he said. "We are excited about the opportunity to continue our leading edge research in the areas of computational structural and fluid dynamics, environmental quality modeling, and enabling technologies as well as focus on new areas of great national importance such as chemical-biological defense and network intrusion detection."

-Vipin Kumar

The Computer Science and Engineering Department and the Digital Technology Center

President Mark Yudof identified digital technology as one of five key areas essential to the future strength of the University and the Minnesota economy. As part of the initiative to strengthen the University in this area, the Digital Technology Center was established. Its purpose is to foster and support interdisciplinary research that relies on computers in one form or another. The DTC also exists to foster partnerships between University researchers in the digital technology area and the private sector.

The home for the Digital Technology Center is the newly renovated Walter Library, which also contains the Science and Engineering Library and the Institute of Technology Dean's Office. The Minnesota Supercom-puting Institute and the Laboratory for Computational Science and Engineering have also moved to Walter Library.

The faculty members who are affiliated with the DTC also have appointments in established departments. The DTC currently has three chaired positions open, the ADC Telecommunications chairs. The people who fill these positions will have appointments in either the Department of Computer Science and Engineering or the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering.

The DTC faculty members all have offices in Walter and many also have space for labs and graduate students so that interdisciplinary work can be fostered by proximity. Not surprisingly, a large number of the faculty members of the CS&E Department are affiliated with the DTC. This spring has seen a lot of activity as research groups have moved to their new quarters over Church Street and across the Mall.

Eleven CS&E faculty members will have offices in the Walter Library in the Digital Technology Center. The three graphics faculty, Baoquan Chen, Victoria Interrante, and Gary Meyer are moving their lab and students. Others moving include David Du and Zhi-Li Zhang in networks, Jon Weissman in distributed systems, Wei-Chung Hsu in run-time optimization, George Karypis and John Carlis who both have strong interests in bio-informatics, and Maria Gini and Nikos Papanikolopoulos in robotics. (See the CS&E department Web page for more information about the research interests of these faculty.)

-Bobbie Othmer

Many Thanks...

We would like to express our thanks to the following alumni and friends. Your support is invaluable in helping the department. We look forward to continuing this partnership in the future. Thank you for your support!


  • Honeywell
  • Microsoft Corporation
  • Unisys


  • William J. Anderson
  • Thomas K. Austin
  • Aloysius Chu
  • Barbara J. Cook
  • Richard S. Farrell
  • Gregory A. Ford
  • David P. Gendron
  • Steven N. Hidy
  • Stephen G. Jewett
  • Erik A. Jezierski
  • Tao Jiang
  • Richard R. Joos
  • Davis P. Jose
  • Lyle M. Kraft
  • Matthew E. Kramer
  • David P. La Motte
  • Donald G. Lee
  • William E. Ostrem
  • Michael W. Pease
  • Robert H. Rockler
  • Frederick W. Roos
  • Jerred D. Ruble
  • Geralyn Stanczak Smith
  • Laura J. Walch
  • Weldon L. Whipple
  • Garrick H. Yoong

CS&E News Briefs

Zhang Promoted

Zhi-Li Zhang was promoted to associate professor with tenure.

Faculty Members to Serve on Editorial Boards

Vipin Kumar has been invited to join the Editorial Board for Annual Review of Intelligent Informatics, an archival publication series in the fields of computer science and engineering, interdisciplinary computational sciences, and information technology published by World Scientific Publishing.

Shashi Shekhar joined the editorial board of GeoInformatica: An International Journal on Advances of Computer Science for Geographic Information Systems (Kluwer Academic Publishers) starting March 2002.

Anand Tripathi has been appointed as a member of the Publications Board of the IEEE Computer Society, starting Janaury 2002.

Gini to Co-Chair Conference

Maria Gini is the General Co-Chair for the First International Joint Conference on Autonomous Agents and Multi-Agent Systems (AAMAS 2002), to be held July 15-19, 2002, in Bologna, Italy.

Tripathi to Serve on IASTED Committee

Anand Tripathi has been appointed as a member of the Technical Committee on Parallel & Distributed Computing & Systems of IASTED (International Association of Science and Technology for Development) for the period 2002-04.

Sturtivant Voted Best I.T. Instructor by Students

Carl Sturtivant was selected as the top professor from the CS&E department by the students in I.T. for the second year in a row.

Champine Replaces Borowicz as CSA President

John Champine has been elected to serve as the Chairman of the Computer Science & Engineering Associates for the 2002-2003 school year. He succeeds John Borowicz, who has chaired the CSA since 1998. John has been with the Datacard Group for the past six years as senior Manager for Systems Software Engineering. Prior to that, John worked in the supercomputing industry for nine years at both Jet Propulsion Labs (JPL) and Cray Research. It was during this period that John first became involved with the Computer Science Associates, initially as a member representing Cray Research, and subsequently as the Chair for three years during the leadership of the CS department by Professor Sameh. During these years John became very involved with the goals of the CS&E department in such areas as lobbying for the new CS & EE building, assisting in the search for department heads and faculty, reviewing curricula for relevancy to the needs of the IT industry in Minnesota, and generally being an advocate for the CS&E Department. During that period he also fostered outreach programs with other universities by holding representative positions on the industrial advisory councils to the CS departments at the University of Minnesota, Duluth and the University of St. Thomas.

Faculty Members Speak at Various Conferences

Vipin Kumar gave a Keynote talk at the Pacific Asia Conference on Knowledge Discovery and Data Mining (PAKDD-2002), held May 6-8, Taipei, Taiwan.

Maria Gini was a plenary speaker for the 2002 FIRA Robot World Congress, which was held at the COEX convention center in Seoul, Korea, May 26 - 29, 2002, along with 2002 FIRA Robot World Cup. Her talk was entitled: "Are many robots better than one?"

Vipin Kumar gave a keynote talk at the 5th International Conference on High Performance Computing in Computational Sciences (June 26-28, 2002, Porto, Portugal).

Researchers Receive "Best Paper" and "Best Poster" Awards

Nikolaos Papanikolopoulos and co-author, Osama Masoud, received the IEEE VTS 2001 Best Land Transportation Paper Award for their paper "A Novel Method for Tracking and Counting Pedestrians in Real-Time Using a Single Camera," September, 2001, IEEE Transactions on Vehicular Technology. "Using SAS for Mining Indirect Associations in DATA," written by Pang Tan, Vipin Kumar, and Harumi Kuno, received the Best Contributed Paper Award in Applications Development Section in the Ninth Annual Conf


Howland Receives Travel Awards

Peg Howland, a graduate student in Computer Science and Engineering, received travel grants from the Xi Chapter, Sigma Delta Epsilon/Graduate Women in Science. and from the SIAM Student Travel Fund to attend the Second SIAM Conference on Data Mining, April 11-13, in Arlington, Virginia. She presented the paper "Extension of Discriminant Analysis based on the Generalized Singular Value Decomposition," which was written with her advisor, Haesun Park.

Two CS&E Students Receive President's Student Leadership & Service Award

Amy Larson and Jeff Thompson, graduate students in the Department of Computer Science and Engineering at the University of Minnesota, received the President's Student Leadership & Service Award from President Mark Yudof at a banquet on May 2, 2002.

Collins has Best Poster Presentation

John Collins won "The Best Ph.D. Student Poster Presentation" award for his poster on the MAGNET system at the 2002 University of Minnesota e-Commerce Conference, Carlson School of Management, 11-12 April.

Bailey Accepts Postion in Illinois

Brian Bailey will be an assistant professor at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign beginning Fall Semester 2002. Professor Bailey's advisors were Joe Konstan and John Riedl.

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2002-2003 Cray Seminar Series

Monday, September 30 2002

Demetri Terzopoulos , New York University
"Artificial Life in Virtual Reality"

Monday, October 14 2002

Steve Cook, University of Toronto
"The P vs. NP Problem and Propositional Proof Complexity"
Location: TBD

Monday, October 21 2002

Barabara Grosz, Harvard University
"Collaborative Systems: Prospects and Problems"

Monday, October 28 2002

Donald A. Norman, Northwestern University
"Affect and Emotion: Implications for the Design of Computer Systems, Robots, and Products"

Late Spring 2003

Randy Katz, UC Berkeley
"The Post-PC Era: It's about Services"
Location: TBD

Unless otherwise noted:

11:15 a.m.-12:15 p.m.
EE/CS 3-180

See for a complete list of colloqium speakers and details.