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Ayse Saliha Sunar joins the department as a Teaching Fellow

We are happy to announce that Dr Ayse Saliha Sunar has joined the Department of Computer Science as a Teaching Fellow. She completed her Master's degree on Intelligent Tutoring Systems at Nagoya University and her PhD on Big Educational Data Analysis and Recommender Systems at the University of Southampton.

She then gained experience in teaching in Turkey and in research collaboration, including European project proposals in Slovenia on integrating cutting-edge technologies into educational and other social contexts. Her current research interests include technology-enhanced learning to improve teachers' and faculties' pedagogical skills, as well as applications of natural language processing in classrooms and hybrid teaching models.

We welcome her to the department!

Best Student Paper Award at European Symposium on Algorithms

We are delighted to announce that Peter Kiss, a PhD student in the Theory and Foundations Research Division, has received the best student paper award at European Symposium on Algorithms (ESA) 2023, for his joint work with Joakim Bilkstad for the paper: "Incremental (1-eps)-approximate dynamic matching in O(poly(1/eps)) update time". The paper considers the problem of maintaining a large matching in a graph that is undergoing a sequence of edge insertions. They present an algorithm for this fundamental problem in dynamic graph algorithms, which has near-optimal approximation ratio and an update time that does not grow at all with the size of the input and is also polynomial in 1/\eps (the error parameter). In addition, their approach is simpler than previous algorithms on the same problem that achieved weaker guarantees.

Wed 13 Sep 2023, 12:10 | Tags: People Research Theory and Foundations

Mustafa Yasir Presents Project Work at the 3rd Annual Workshop on Graph Learning Benchmarks at KDD 2023

Mustafa Yasir, a former Warwick Department of Computer Science student who graduated in Summer 2023, wrote up and presented an academic paper on the work carried out as part of his third year project. The paper was accepted to the 3rd Annual Workshop on Graph Learning Benchmarks at KDD 2023, and was presented in California by Mustafa.

Mustafa's third year project idea, supervised by Dr Long Tran-Thanh and titled 'Extending the Graph Generation Models of GraphWorld', started whilst he was interning at Google last summer. Mustafa contacted some researchers at the company working in the Graph ML space, to ask for any relevant project ideas. He bumped into a team who had just published GraphWorld: a tool to change the way Graph Neural Networks are benchmarked, by creating synthetic graph datasets through graph generation models – as opposed to using real-world datasets that are limited in their generalisability and present a major issue facing the field of Graph Learning.

However, since GraphWorld only used a single graph generation model in this process, Mustafa integrated two additional models with the system, ran large-scale GNN benchmarking experiments with these models and published his code to Google’s official GraphWorld repository. The project provides a significant advancement to researchers across the field looking to benchmark models and guide the development of new architectures.

Dr Long Tran-Thanh commented:

What Mustafa and the GraphWorld team has been working on is very important for the machine learning and AI research communities. In particular, there has been a vocal criticism against the whole field that most models are trained on the same public datasets (e.g., ImageNet, MNIST, etc), therefore are not diverse enough. One way to mitigate this issue is to generate realistically looking synthetic data. This need is especially of importance in within the graph learning community. GraphWorld’s aim is to address this exact problem by creating a powerful and convenient tool that can generate a diverse set of graphs, ranging from large social network-style graphs to molecule-inspired ones. Joining this project with the Google researchers is a huge opportunity for Warwick students to participate in a very impactful project.

Faculty PhD Thesis Prize Awarded to Teddy Cunningham

We are pleased to announce that Dr Teddy Cunningham has been awarded a Faculty of Science, Engineering, and Medicine (SEM) PhD Thesis Prize. Each year, the SEM Faculty funds a prize for the best PhD/EngD thesis entered into the competition. Each department nominates a winner out of the applications received after a judging process as determined by the Faculty.

Teddy’s thesis is titled “Generating and Sharing Differentially Private Spatio-Temporal Data Using Real-World Knowledge”, and was supervised by Prof Hakan Ferhatosmanoglu. The thesis includes solutions for sharing trajectory data using local differential privacy, and incorporating constraints and relationships of data records into differential privacy that improves their utility while preserving the theoretical privacy guarantees. An example application is using road network information for improving the quality of privately shared location datasets.

New spin-out to make e-voting more secure, accessible and trustworthy

Researchers from the Systems and Security theme, Department of Computer Science have created a new spin-out company, SEEV Technologies Ltd, to build end-to-end (E2E) verifiable e-voting systems for future elections. An E2E verifiable voting system allows every voter to verify that their vote is properly cast-as-intended, recorded-as-cast and tallied-as-recorded while preserving the voter's privacy. SEEV (self-enforcing e-voting) is a new paradigm of E2E voting technology that enables voters to fully verify the tallying integrity of an election without needing any trustworthy tallying authority, hence the system is "self-enforcing".

This joint spin-out from the University of Warwick and Newcastle University is built on an ERC-funded starting grant ("Self-Enforcing E-Voting System: Trustworthy Election in Presence of Corrupt Authorities", No. 306994, PI: Professor Feng Hao) initially hosted at Newcastle University and later transferred to the University of Warwick. The company is co-founded by Professor Feng Hao and Dr Siamak Shandahshti (co-inventors), and led by Dr Stewart Hefferman (CEO). SEEV has been prototyped and successfully tested in several trials in the past, supported by an ERC Proof of Concept grant (No. 677124), a Royal Society International collaboration award (CA\R1\180226), and an Innovate UK Cybersecurity Academic Startup Accelerator Programme (CASAP). SEEV Technologies Ltd has received seed funding from Oxford-based Global Initiative to build SEEV systems for real-world elections.

A University of Warwick press release is here.

Mon 24 Jul 2023, 15:03 | Tags: Research Data Science Systems and Security

Warwick Technician Commitment Award for Outstanding Achievement for Edgaras Purauskas

Edgaras Purauskas, Technician in the Department of Computer Science received the Warwick Technician Commitment Award for Outstanding Achievement. Edgaras was one of two recipients of these inaugural awards, which received over 40 nominations campus wide. Edgaras had a number of nominations for his "consistently exceptional work" and his "deep understanding of computer systems, software, and hardware". Many congratulations Edgaras and thank you for your extraordinary efforts!

Mon 24 Jul 2023, 13:57 | Tags: People Highlight

5 papers accepted to FOCS 2023

IEEE Symposium on Foundations of Computer Science 2023

Five papers from the Theory and Foundations (FoCS) Research Group and the Centre for Discrete Mathematics and its Applications (DIMAP) have been accepted to the 64th IEEE Symposium on Foundations of Computer Science (FOCS 2023), the IEEE flagship conference in theoretical computer science that will be held on November 6 - 9, 2023 in Santa Cruz, California, USA:

Thu 20 Jul 2023, 02:14 | Tags: Research Theory and Foundations

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