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Department of Computer Science Texas A&M University Jennifer L. Welch.

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1 Department of Computer Science Texas A&M University Jennifer L. Welch

2 Location of Texas A&M University College Station, Texas

3 About College Station, Texas Population of area is approximately 133, miles northwest of Houston and 170 miles south of Dallas. Growing industrial base, excellent housing, strong public school systems, many recreational and entertainment activities. College Station is the home of the George Bush Presidential Library and Museum.

4 Texas A&M University l Established in 1876 as first public institution of higher education in Texas l More than 2,200 faculty members l About 45,000 students

5 Department of Computer Science Degrees offered: l Bachelor’s l Master’s –thesis –courses-only l PhD in Computer Science and, jointly with the Department of Electrical Engineering, in Computer Engineering.

6 CS Research Areas l architecture l artificial intelligence l bioinformatics l computational mathematics l computer systems and networks l computer vision l distributed systems l hypertext / hypermedia l neural networks l real-time systems l robotics l software systems l theoretical computer science l VLSI design automation l etc.

7 CS Research Facilities l Research labs with state-of-the-art Sun, Hewlett- Packard (including an HP 16-processor V class), and Intel workstations, connected to Gigabit Ethernet/ATM l Instructional network of more than 800 workstations/PCs and compute and file servers. l Specialized teaching labs for networking, computer architecture, microcomputer design, real-time systems, robotics, and senior engineering design. l Campus has IBM Regatta p690, SGI Origin 3000 and SGI Origin 2000; connected to Internet with OC-3.

8 CS Faculty and Students Above: Prof. Amato’s research group, with Prof. Bjarne Stroustrup Above: Profs. Chen, Klappenecker and Sarin at new grad student orientation Left: Fall picnic

9 Nancy Amato’s Research Research Group 12+ graduate students 2-4 undergraduates during the academic year usually 2-4 undergraduates for summer internships (not all from TAMU) Research Topics Motion Planning, Computational Biology, Robotics, Animation, VR Parallel & Distributed Computing, C++ Libraries, Performance modeling Computational Science (Chemistry, Geophysics, Neuroscience, Physics) Undergraduate Research Projects recent projects from all the above areas usually work in small group with me, an advanced graduate student, and possibly another undergraduate many projects lead to publications in international conferences and journals

10 Motion Planning start goalobstacles (Basic) Motion Planning: Given a movable object and a description of the environment, find a sequence of valid configurations that moves it from the start to the goal. Example: The Alpha Puzzle Objective: Separate the two tubes, one is the ‘robot’ the other is an ‘obstacle’

11 Soccer Ball: 31 dofPolyhedron: 25 dof Hard Motion Planning Problems: Highly Articulated (Constrained) Systems Digital Actors Closed chain constraint Paper Folding

12 Hard Motion Planning Problems: Group Behaviors for Multiple Robots Traversing a Narrow Passage

13 Hard Motion Planning Problems Computational Biology & Chemistry Drug Design - molecule docking Protein Folding – find folding pathways

14 Jianer Chen’s Research l Algorithms and optimization l Computational complexity theory l Parallel processing and Networking l Computer Graphics Research group: l 2-3 undergraduate students l 5 graduate students

15 Algorithms and Optimization (sample problems) l Algorithms for practical problems (task scheduling, network routing …) l Optimization and approximation of hard problems (vertex cover, SAT …) Undergraduate student participation: algorithm development, implementation, and testing

16 Computational complexity (sample problems) l Study of computational intractability (NP-hardness, W[1]-completeness … ) l Parameterized tractability and approximability Undergraduate student participation: learning the frontier research, and prepare for graduate study and research

17 Parallel Processing and Networking (sample problems) l Network fault tolerance l Network routing l Network security Undergraduate student participation: development, implementation, and testing network algorithms

18 Computer Graphics Graphics shape modeling and solid modeling Interactive graphics modeling systems Graphics data structures and algorithms Undergraduate student participation: development, implementation, and testing of interactive graphics modeling systems

19 Jennifer Welch’s Research Research Group 5 graduate students 2 undergraduates 1 post-doctoral fellow Research Topics – Theory of Distributed Computing Mobile Ad Hoc Networks Metamorphic Robots Randomized Distributed Data Structures Undergraduate Research Projects involve theory and/or implementation, as student wishes closely integrated into research group projects can lead to publications

20 Mobile Ad Hoc Networks l MANET: links form and disappear as nodes come into and go out of each other’s wireless communication range l Investigating design of fault-tolerant algorithms and services Undergrad projects: algorithm development and simulation for clock synchronization, leader election, group communication.

21 Metamorphic Robots l How to get a collection of homogeneous interlocking robots to change their global shape Undergrad project: algorithm develop- ment, correctness proof, and simulation for handling obstacles.

22 Distributed Data Structures l Develop useful and rigorous specifications of DDS’s with probabilistic behavior l Find efficient algorithms to implement the specifications l Identify classes of distributed applications that can tolerate probabilistic behavior Undergrad projects: simulation of distributed linear algebra applications; simulations of algorithms to implement a shared stack.

23 Contact Info l Prof. Nancy Amato: l Prof. Jianer Chen: l Prof. Jennifer Welch:


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