Colloquia and Seminars

To join the email distribution list of the cs colloquia, please visit the list subscription page.

Computer Science events calendar in HTTP ICS format for of Google calendars, and for Outlook.

Academic Calendar at Technion site.

Upcoming Colloquia & Seminars

  • Antibiotic resistance: machine learning to the rescue

    Tuesday, 17.1.2017, 14:30
    Room 337-8 Taub Bld.
  • ceClub: Crowd Mining: A Framework for Mining the Knowledge of Web Users

    Yael Amsterdamer (Ben-Gurion University)
    Wednesday, 18.1.2017, 11:30
    Taub 401

    Crowd Mining is concerned with identifying significant patterns in the knowledge of the crowd, capturing, e.g., habits and preferences, by posing internet users with targeted questions. To account for jointly processing the crowd answers and available knowledge bases, and for user interaction and optimization issues, crowd mining frameworks must employ complex reasoning, automatic crowd task generation and crowd member selection. In this talk I will present the unique challenges in the crowd mining setting, and describe our solution in the form of an end-to-end system.

    Dr. Yael Amsterdamer is a senior lecturer at the Department of Computer Science, Bar Ilan University. Her research interests include the management of data obtained via Web-based platforms, such as crowdsourced data, online knowledge bases and social networks. Previously, Yael has been a visiting scholar of the Computer and Information Science Department at UPenn (Philadelphia, PA), and at the INRIA institute (Paris, France). She received her PhD from Tel Aviv University under the supervision of Prof. Tova Milo. In 2016 Yael received the Alon Fellowship for Outstanding Young Researchers. During her PhD, she won the Wolf Foundation Scholarship and the Dan David Prize for outstanding PhD students.

  • Theory Seminar: Multi-parameter Approximation Schemes for APX-Hard Optimization Problems

    Nir Halman (Hebrew University of Jerusalem)
    Wednesday, 18.1.2017, 12:30
    Taub 201

    For every given real value epsilon>0, a Fully Polynomial Time Approximation Scheme (FPTAS) computes in polynomial time (in both the input size and 1/epsilon) a feasible solution that is close to the optimal solution within ratio epsilon. As epsilon can be chosen arbitrary small, and the running time is polynomial, FPTASs are considered as the “Holy grail” of approximation algorithms, but most optimization problems, e.g., strongly NP-hard problems, cannot admit an FPTAS unless P=NP. In this talk I will study several hard variants of the classical newsvendor problem, each of which cannot admit an FPTAS. However, by expanding the notion of FPTASs to multi-parameter approximation schemes, it is possible to circumvent the above negative results and compute for them provably near-optimal feasible solutions.

    The talk is based upon 3 papers by (a subset of) Nir Halman (HUJI), Giacomo Nannicini (IBM research Watson), Jim Orlin (MIT) and David Simchi-Levi (MIT).

  • ceClub: Leveraging RDMA for Strongly Consistent Replication at Large Scale

    Ken Birman (Cornell University)
    Wednesday, 18.1.2017, 14:30
    Taub 301

    My work focuses on ways of replicating data in demanding settings, most recently the cloud. The cloud is a setting where copying information and replicating data or computation is common, yet it remains difficult to actually create new applications that leverage replication. Moreover, the existing libraries are very slow.

    I’ll present Derecho, a blazingly fast C++ library for creating scalable data replication solutions. Derecho has a remarkably simple API and very low overheads, shifting as much work as possible from runtime to compile time. We separate control plane from data plane, sending data on RDMA over a multicast overlay, then using an RDMA-based distributed shared memory to coordinate delivery so as to ensure total ordering, data persistency or other desired properties such as virtually synchronous membership management. The overall framework is minimalist, yet can support complex applications, including ones that have subgroup structures or that shard data within larger sets of nodes. Derecho consistency subsumes both Paxos and virtual synchrony multicast into a single model.

    Performance is very satisfying: As an atomic multicast, Derecho is tens of thousands of times faster than commonly used libraries, and as Paxos, it beats prior solutions by large factors while scaling far better than any existing Paxos solution.

  • Achieving Scalable Formal Verification through Generalization and Abstraction

    Yakir Vizel - CS-Lecture
    Thursday, 19.1.2017, 10:30
    Room 601 Taub Bld.
  • Coding Theory: Multiset Combinatorial Batch Codes

    Hui Zhang (CS, Technion)
    Sunday, 22.1.2017, 14:30
    Taub 601

    Batch codes, first introduced by Ishai, Kushilevitz, Ostrovsky, and Sahai, mimic a distributed storage of a set of n data items on m servers, in such a way that any batch of k data items can be retrieved by reading at most some t symbols from each server. Combinatorial batch codes,

    are replication-based batch codes in which each server stores a subset of the data items.

    In this talk, we propose a generalization of combinatorial batch codes, called multiset combinatorial batch codes (MCBC). The setup of this new family of codes is motivated by recent work on codes which enable high availability and parallel reads in distributed storage systems. The main problem under this paradigm is to minimize the number of items stored in the servers. We first give a necessary and sufficient condition for the existence of MCBCs. Then, we present several bounds and constructions.

  • Project Fair in IoT and Android

    Project Fair in IoT and Android

    Tuesday, 24.1.2017, 12:30
    CS Taub Lobby

    The Systems and Software Development Laboratory (SSDL) invites you to visit the IoT and Android Fair and check out the new projects presented by the developing teams. The event will be held on Tuesday, January 24 2017, between 12:30-14:30 at the lobby of Taub Building for Computer Science.

    You are all invited!

    The presenting projects:


    Protects bike riders on the road. The app identifies irregular stops and falls and can call for help when needed.

    No need to wait for a waiter ever again. You can order food and drinks and get the check directly from the app.

    Your own personnal trainer. Track your workouts, see your progress and compete against friends in the gym.

    Never ask "what is that over there?" again. Just point your phone and the app will tell you which landmarks are in your view.

    Document your trips with ease. Flag interesting locations and build a trip timeline with pictures and descriptions.

    The perfect way to surprise your friends. Leave messages for your friends at certain locations and they will get them when they get there.

    Mom: "Text me when you get there", you: "I'll just have the app do it for me". Automatically send out texts when you reach a specific location.

    Running with a partner is way more fun. Let the app find a partner for you and compete even if you're not on the same track.

    A meal advisor for diabetics. Help diabetic people estimate insulin needs after a meal so they can stay balanced and healthy.

    Location based reminders. Instead of getting a reminder at a certain time, set your reminders to pop up at relevant places.

    Tinder for your cloths. Let other people rate your outfit and help you choose what to wear and what to buy.

    Finally you don't have to spend time looking for parking. Find recently vacant parking spots and mark you spot as free when you leave it.


    Smart Gym
    Make the workout experience more interactive, record it, keep track of your exercises, explore personalized exercises.

    Smart Mail Box
    Notify when a new Snail-Mail is received (with a photo of the letter).

    iFold Project
    A robot that folds your laundry.

    Hot Wire 3D Cutter
    A sculptor that creates 3D models. The machine sculpts blocks into a desired model.

    A Whiteboard Drawing Robot that draws graphs (vertexes and arcs/edges) on a whiteboard.

    Beer Pong
    Plays Ping Pong with you in the Pub.

    The Pill Dispenser
    Automates the process of distributing medicine to small groups of patients.

    Monitors financial expenses and power consumption of your appliances and presents real time data and costs.

    Smart Parking Pole
    Using a mobile app, users can get information of parking availability and schedule reservations for certain cars.

    Connect Four
    Play "Connect Four" - live!, with our robot.

    Clock Wise
    Helps you to sleep well and and to wakeup comfortly.

    Seeing is Believing
    Museum exhibits come to life with IoT enabled.

    Monitors the driver's behavior by analyzing the street signs.

  • CGGC Seminar: Subdivision Based Solvers: Solutions with Topological Guarantee of Algebraic Sets with Applications

    Yonathan Mizrahi (Mathematics, Technion)
    Sunday, 5.2.2017, 13:30
    Room 337-8 Taub Bld.

    Algebraic constraints arise in various applications, across domains in science and engineering. Polynomial and piece-wise polynomial (B-Spline) constraints are an important class, frequently arising in geometric modeling, computer graphics and computer aided design, due to the useful NURBs representation of the involved geometries. Subdivision based solvers use properties of the NURBs representation, enabling, under proper assumptions, to solve non-linear, multi-variate algebraic constraints - globally in a given domain, while focusing on the real roots. In this talk, we present three research results addressing problems in the field of subdivision based solvers.

    The first presents a topologically guaranteed solver for algebraic problems with two degrees of freedom. The main contribution of this work is a topologically guaranteed subdivision termination criterion, enabling to terminate the subdivision process when the (yet unknown) solution in the tested sub-domain is homeomorphic to a two dimensional disk. Sufficient conditions for the disk-topology are tested via inspection of the univariate solution curve(s) on the sub-domain’s boundary, together with a condition for the injective projection on a two dimensional plane, based on the underlying implicit function and its gradients.

    The second result provides a subdivision based method for detecting critical points of a given algebraic system. To find critical points, we formulate an additional algebraic system, with the semantics of searching for locations where the gradients of the input problem are linearly dependent. We formulate the new problem using function valued determinants, representing the maximal minors of the input problem’s Jacobian matrix, searching for locations where they simultaneously vanish. Consequently, an over-constrained system is obtained, involving only the original parameters. The over-constrained system is then solved as a minimization problem, such that all constrains are accounted for in a balanced manner.

    The third result applies the subdivision method to the specific problem of Minkowski sum computation of free-form surfaces. As a first step, a two-DOF algebraic system is formulated, searching for parameter locations that correspond to parallel (or anti-parallel) normal vectors on the input surfaces. Only such locations can contribute to the Minkowski sum envelope surface – which is the required representation for the (typically) volumetric object given by the Minkowski sum. A purging algorithm is then executed, to further refine redundant solution locations: surface patches that admit matched normal directions, but cannot contribute to the envelope.

    The talk summarizes the research towards PhD in applied mathematics, under supervision of Prof. Gershon Elber.