DAC Director Naren Ramakrishnan edits IEEE Computer’s magazine


Cover of IEEE Computer’s April 2016 issue

DAC Director Naren Ramakrishnan guest edits IEEE Computer’s April 2016 issue, which is focused on Big Data.  Dr. Ramakrishnan guested edited along with Ravi Kumar from Google.  Read the issue to explore the latest in databases, algorithms, and applications of big data here.

DAC takes part in study expected to measure region’s growth in entrepreneurship


Khaled Hussein is co-founder and chief technology officer of California-based technology company Tilt, which opened an office in Blacksburg last year. Hussein and seven other employees are Virginia Tech alums.

DAC, in collaboration with Virginia Tech’s Office of Economic Development, is taking part in an important study to measure the Roanoke and Blacksburg region’s growth in entrepreneurship. DAC will provide an analysis of entrepreneurs’ social-media use in the hopes of promoting jobs and entrepreneurship in the region. To read more about the study, click here.

DAC’s Brian Goode judges Northern Virginia Science and Engineering Fair

brian-updatedDAC was happy to participate again this year at the local science and engineering fairs. Brian Goode, DAC research scientist, served as a judge at the Northern Virginia Science and Engineering Fair at Wakefield High School in Arlington. To read more about Virginia Tech’s involvement in the science fair, click here.

Devi Parikh and Dhruv Batra discuss artificial intelligence on WVTF Public Radio

Demonstration on of VQA project.

Demonstration on of VQA project.

DAC faculty members Devi Parikh and Dhruv Batra interview wit WVTF Public Radio and RADIO IQ to discuss their leading efforts in the artificial intelligence community. Parikh and Batra shared insight into their Visual Question and Answering (VQA) project, which tackles the next frontier in artificial intelligence, which is teaching computers to ‘see,’ that is, to recognize unique objects the way humans do. To hear Parikh and Batra’s interview, click here.




DAC’s Aditya Prakash co-authored a book titled “The Global Cyber-Vulnerability Report”

Prakash-updatedDAC faculty member, Aditya Prakash has co-authored a book titled “The Global Cyber-Vulnerability Report,” in collaboration with the University of Maryland Institute for Advanced Computer Studies.

This book establishes metrics to measure cyber-vulnerability of countries and quantify the cyber-vulnerability of countries. In addition, it offers useful data-driven policy advice for law-makers and policy-makers in each country. It is also the first that uses cyber-vulnerability data to explore the vulnerability of over four million machines per year, covering a two-year period as reported by Symantec. Analyzing more than 20 billion telemetry reports comprising malware and binary reputation reports, this book quantifies the cyber-vulnerability of 44 countries for which at least 500 hosts were monitored.

Click here for more info about “The Global Cyber-Vulnerability Report.”

Devi Parikh receives the Office of Naval Research Young Investigators Award

Devi ParikhDevi Parikh, DAC faculty member and assistant professor of the department of electrical and computer engineering received the Office of Naval Research Young Investigators Award, one of the oldest and most selective scientific research advancement programs in the country!

Parikh is being recognized for her exceptionally creative research which holds promise across a range of naval-relevant science and technology areas. Click here to read more about her award.


DAC Associate Director Chris North Awarded a Grant from Microsoft

Discovery Analytics Center

Chris North with DAC Ph.D. students from the InfoVis Lab.

DAC associate director, Chris North, along with other Virginia Tech researchers led by Joseph Gabbard, associate professor in the Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering, received a grant from Microsoft for the amount of $100,000.  The grant will be used to explore the potential uses of its HoloLens devices for advancing research in the area of mixed reality and the possibilities of holographic computing. The team of researchers includes faculty from theInstitute for Creativity, Arts, and Technology and the Center for Human-Computer Interaction.  To read more about this grant click here.

DAC’s collaboration with the Washington Post gets noticed

Yaser_Keneshloo-updatedThe Washington Post director for Big Data and Personalization, Sam Han, discussed the Post’s collaboration with DAC at the Predictive Analytics Innovation Summit in San Diego this past weekend.  Yaser Keneshloo, DAC Ph.D. student, has been working with the Post on improving user experience by predicting the popularity of a news article.  His work allows editors to prioritize stories, identify under-performing articles for content variable testing, and supports advertising opportunities.  To read more about Sam Han’s presentation click here

Devi Parikh receives NSF CAREER Award

Devi ParikhDevi Parikh, DAC faculty member and assistant professor in the department of electrical and computer engineering received a National Science Foundation (NSF) Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) award for her Visual Question Answering (VQA) research, a system of using images to teach a computer to respond to any question that might be asked. The CAREER grant is NSF’s most prestigious award, given to junior faculty members who are expected to become academic leaders in their field.  To read more about Parikh’s award click here.

Devi Parikh and Dhruv Batra’s Work in AI Featured in Newsweek


Dhruv Batra (left) and Devi Parikh (right) are developing Visual Question Answering Capability for computers. Visual machine perception requires powerful computation capability. The team shares 500- core CPU cluster, each an order of magnitude more powerful than a laptop, and a GPU cluster.

DAC faculty members and assistant professors of ECE, Devi Parikh and Dhruv Batra’s project on Learning Common Sense through Visual Abstractions was featured in Newsweek. The article focuses on an artificial intelligence algorithm they trained to understand and predict visual humor, representing a major development towards creating “common sense” machines.  Read more about Devi and Dhruv’s algorithm here.