Loyola U. Chicago Computer Science News

Jun 12 2014 laufer

Alumnus Ryan Cuprak coauthors EJB 3 book

Loyola alumnus Ryan Cuprak (BS computer science and biology, 2001) coauthored EJB 3 in Action (2nd ed.). Available since March 2011 under Manning’s Early Access Program (MEAP), this title is now available in print with a March 2014 publication date.

Ryan is an e-formulation analyst at Enginuity PLM and has presided over the Connecticut Java Users Group since 2003.


By: laufer
Apr 14 2014 laufer

At Loyola’s 2014 Undergraduate Research & Engagement Symposium, computer science students Breno Carvalho and Luiz Campos Barboza, presented the DroidWall project from the spring 2014 class Advanced Experimental Computing: Pervasive SystemsBreno and Luiz are at Loyola on a one-year exchange program from Brazil. Faculty mentors of this project are Drs. Läufer and Thiruvathukal. 


By: laufer
Apr 09 2014 gkthiruvathukal

Heartbleed/OpenSSL Security Flaw: Act Now!

As has been widely reported, there is a major security flaw associated with OpenSSL that affects a significant number of services that rely upon it, including many well-established Internet properties.

This is a good time to reset your passwords everywhere (university, work, and personal). Speaking from my own experience, I have been moving to password vaults such as LastPass, 1password, Dashlane, which all support an additional layer of security (an envelope, if you will) around the data stored in the vault. I will stop short of prescribing any one solution and leave this decision to you. A key reason you would want to use one of these services is that they provide you with support for random-password generation (of arbitrarily long passwords) and can even support different generation schemes to comply with different password requirements.

This is a good time to also start learning about two-factor authentication, which is provided by many of the good Internet companies. Users of Google, for example, have been armored with this extra layer of protection for years, provided you enable it. 

Should you have any questions, please contact Dr. Thiruvathukal or Mr. Miao Ye. We’ll be happy to assist you.

In short, now is the time to act. Don’t get hacked!

George K. Thiruvathukal
Professor and Computing Director, Computer Science


Mar 07 2014 ronaldgreenberg

3/12 talk canceled, but a different talk 3/10 at 12:00

The speaker for 3/12 has become unexpectedly unavailable; we will try to reschedule him.  Meanwhile, there is a talk Monday 3/10 at 12:00 on “Hackers and Cyberterrorism” in the School of Communication:


Mar 06 2014 ronaldgreenberg

Wed 3/12: “Internet of Things (IoT) A Deep Dive”

CANCELED.  Will try to reschedule.
See details below of the next joint talk by the Loyola Computer Science Department and Chicago Chapter of the ACM.
It is helpful to get RSVPs at

Title: Internet of Things (IoT) A Deep Dive
Date/Time: Wednesday, March 12, 2014

5:45PM light refreshments, 6:30PM talk

Location: Beane Ballroom (13th Floor, Lewis Towers)
               111 E. Pearson, Chicago, IL

Topic Abstract:

The Internet of Things (or IoT) refers to systems that communicate with each other in an Internet-like structure. This term was introduced by Kevin Ashton in 2009 although the concept had been discussed earlier; it gained greater attention when radio frequency identification (or RFID) tagging became a reality. Looking at the success of the current day internet, where networks of computers connect to each other (hence the term inter-net), the assumption is that if all objects were equipped with identifiers, they could be managed in a similar fashion. Besides using RFID, the tagging of things may be achieved through such technologies as near field communication (e.g. Bluetooth), barcodes, QR codes, and digital watermarking.

Equipping all objects in the world with tiny machine-readable identifiers could change our lives, much like futurists imagined (think of TV’s “The Jetsons”). For instance, business may no longer run out of stock or generate waste products, since relevant parties would know which products are required and consumed.
According to Gartner, there will be nearly 26 billion devices on the Internet of Things by 2020. But that is not just one point of view; according to ABI Research, more than 30 billion devices will be wireless connected to the Internet of Things by 2020. Cisco has created a dynamic “connections counter” to track the estimated number of connected things from July 2013 until July 2020. Thus the concept, where devices connect to the internet/web, is the most active research area in industrial networking.

About the Speaker:
As a Senior Executive Director with Cisco, Craig Hartman is responsible for helping to catalyze and accelerate customer business impact from technology investment across the Manufacturing and Energy (M&E) Sector. The M&E Sector is made up of multiple industries; Manufacturing (CPG, Discrete & Process, High Tech and Life Science Verticals) and Energy (Utilities/Smart Grid and Oil & Gas Verticals). He draws upon years of strategic consulting experience where he assisted companies through business transformation and development of technology transformation strategies. His areas of expertise include; Corporate Strategy, Digitization Strategy, Business Architectures, Organization Transformation, and Business/IT Alignment.

Before joining Cisco Systems, Craig worked at A.T. Kearney, a leading global management consulting firm, as a Senior Principal in their Technology Strategy Practice. While at A.T. Kearney, Craig assisted Fortune 500 clients, such as Federal Express, Philip Morris, EDS, and Hewlett-Packard; in developing business and organizational transformation strategies. In addition, Craig assisted in the development of a book on the digital economy titled “Mastering the Digital Marketplace.”


Feb 20 2014 laufer

Faculty/Admin Position: Director of BS in Engineering Science Degree Program

Direct link to official job post: www.careers.luc.edu/applicants/Central?quickFind=56877  

Loyola University Chicago (LUC) invites applications for the position of Interim Director of its new (launch expected Fall 2015) multidisciplinary Bachelor of Science Degree Program in Engineering Science (BSES) with concentrations in environmental engineering, biomedical engineering, computer engineering, applied mathematics, and engineering management. LUC is a private university that currently enrolls nearly 10,000 undergraduates and about 6000 graduate and professional students hailing from all 50 states and 82 countries. The University has three campuses in the greater Chicago area, a Retreat and Ecology campus in rural Illinois, an international campus in Rome, Italy, and educational centers in Beijing, China, and Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam (http://www.luc.edu). 

The BSES is designed to provide students with a rigorous and broad-based understanding of the substantive and ethical competencies required to excel as reflective leaders and effective practitioners in the field of engineering. The program is a logical starting point to launch a full-fledged, multifaceted school/college, given Loyola’s strengths in the natural, physical and social sciences, as well as a rigorous core curriculum. The course offerings in the 120-credit hour degree program build on LUC faculty expertise and will be taught by tenure-stream faculty from a large number of departments including biology, chemistry, physics, environmental sustainability, computer science, and mathematics and statistics, as well as engineering practitioners. The new program is expected to attract approximately 60 full-time students within three years. 

The BSES director will champion the program both within and beyond the University. She/he will work with appropriate LUC offices to oversee recruitment of students, develop academic programming consistent with ABET requirements, foster relations with external organizations, develop internship opportunities, and build collaborative bridges across disciplines and campuses. The director will coordinate with academic departments to ensure that appropriate courses are offered in a timely fashion and to ensure the quality and consistency of academic offerings. The director will have teaching obligations within and possibly outside the program.  

The successful candidate will have a doctorate in a field relevant to engineering science and its related areas; scholarship to merit the rank of Professor or Associate Professor with tenure in a contributing department; demonstrated excellence as a professor of engineering; experience with curriculum development; skills to foster partnerships with engineering firms and businesses; and excellent interpersonal and communication skills.  


By: laufer
+ laufer

Loyola CS faculty to hold Scala workshop at SIGCSE 2014

The workshop entitled Scala for Introductory CS and Parallelism, a joint submission by Dr. Mark Lewis from Trinity University in San Antonio, Texas, and Drs. Läufer and Thiruvathukal from Loyola University Chicago, will be held at the SIGCSE 2014 symposium on computer science education.

Abstract: Scala is one of a new breed of hybrid languages with both object-oriented and functional aspects. It happens to be the most successful of these languages coming in at #12 on the Red Monk language ranking and leading all languages in their 2nd tier.

This workshop will introduce participants to the Scala programming language, how it can be used effectively in introductory CS courses, and the parallel tools that are available for it. We begin with simple examples in the REPL and scripting environment, then look at doing larger, object-oriented projects. We finish off with an exploration of composable futures and the Akka actor library. Participants are strongly recommended to bring a laptop. 

Intended Audience: Anyone who teaches introductory CS courses or does parallel work and has an interest in Scala.


By: laufer
Feb 12 2014 ronaldgreenberg

Loyola to be represented Feb 15—16 at Family Science Days

Loyola computer science faculty and students will be staffing a table at Family Science Days February 15—16 from 11:00—5:00 at the Hyatt Regency. This event is being held in conjunction with the AAAS (American Association for the Advancement of Science) Annual Meeting. The table will provide demonstrations of robots programmed by students, additional robotics videos, Doodle Cars incorporating a simple robot algorithm that youngsters can play with, and magic tricks based on computer science concepts. A *Computer Science Magic* stage show will be presented at 3:30 on February 16.

There will also be many other tables where you can:
+ Meet cool scientists    + Collect forensic evidence
+ See robots in action   + Play with liquid crystals
+ Try out 3D printing    + Touch live animals
+ Explore the chemistry of food
and much more!
Full schedule and pre-registration at http://www.aaas.org/famscidays2014 .


+ laufer

Loyola CS Colloquium Fri 14 Feb 2014 10:15-11:15 am LT-415 WTC


Automatic Identification of Personal Insults on Social News Sites


Sara Owsley Sood, PhD
Associate Professor
Computer Science Department
Pomona College


Fri 14 Feb 2014 10:15-11:15 am


Lewis Towers LT-415 (conference room)
Water Tower Campus
Loyola University Chicago
820 N Michigan Ave (please use 111 E Pearson St entrance)


As online communities grow and the volume of user-generated content increases, the need for community management also rises. Community management has three main purposes: to create a positive experience for existing participants, to promote appropriate, socio-normative behaviors, and to encourage potential participants to make contributions. Research indicates that the quality of content a potential participant sees on a site is highly influential; off-topic, negative comments with malicious intent are a particularly strong boundary to participation or set the tone for encouraging similar contributions. A problem for community managers, therefore, is the detection and elimination of such undesirable content. As a community grows this undertaking becomes more daunting. Can an automated system aid community managers in this task? In this work, we address this question through a machine learning approach to automatic detection of inappropriate negative user contributions. Our training corpus is a set of comments from a news commenting site that we tasked Amazon Mechanical Turk workers with labeling. Each comment is labeled for the presence of profanity, insults, and the object of the insults. Support vector machines trained on this data are combined with relevance and valence analysis systems in a multistep approach to the detection of inappropriate negative user contributions. The system shows great potential for semi-automated community management.


Dr. Sara Sood has been a faculty member at Pomona College since 2007 and was recently promoted to Associate Professor with tenure. In 2010, she received the Wig Distinguished Professor Award for Excellence in Teaching at Pomona College. Dr. Sood earned her PhD in Computer Science from Northwestern University in 2007 on Compelling Computation: Strategies for Mining the Interesting. She graduated from DePauw University with a BA in Computer Science and Mathematics (magna cum laude) in 2002. Dr. Sood’s work is focused on understanding the expression and impact of emotion in online communication. To this end, her recent work has been on systems to detect and analyze insults, profanity and personal attacks in online forums with a recent focus on the impact of anonymity on online communities. Dr. Sood has published numerous peer-reviewed conference and journal articles in this area.


By: laufer
Jan 22 2014 laufer

Welcome New Part-Time Computer Science Faculty!

This spring 2014 semester, it is my pleasure to welcome four new and one returning part-time computer science faculty.

  • Dr. Matthew Butcher has a PhD in Philosophy from Loyola. He has been a software developer since 1995, where he got started writing HTML and CGI on an SGI Onyx workstation. Matt has written numerous articles and several books on programming. His research interests include open source ethics, computers and philosophy, and epistemology.
  • Benjamin Galatzer-Levy holds an MA in philosophy from Southern Illinois University and is currently pursuing an MS in Computer Science from Loyola. He has taught philosophy, logic, and psychology at colleges and universities in the Chicago area since 2007, for which he was honored by the Truman College student-body in 2011 with their annual award for exceptional teaching. In addition, Benjamin has been active as a scholar and received a Futurist Grant for his work in support of the arts in Chicago. 
  • Rathi Ramakrishnan earned her MS in Computer Science from Illinois Institute of Technology. She also holds a BS in Computer Engineering. Rathi has interests in Software Engineering, Computer Networks, and Computer Ethics. She has also authored several books on these same topics.
  • Zachary Romer has a MS in Computer Science from Loyola. He performs research in the field of Bioinformatics with Dr. Catherine Putonti, studying phage-bacteria co-evolution and metagenomics. He also collaborates with universities in Kenya with the aim of extending computer education to developing countries, having done a lecture series in partnership with Tracom College in Nakuru, Kenya. 
  • Dr. Curtis Tuckey earned his PhD from the University of Wisconsin, Madison, and has more than 20 years of industry experience. While at AT&T and Lucent, he contributed to the development of an internet programming language (mawl) and a new markup language (vxml).  From there, he went to Motorola to lead the development of consumer-content mobile web applications, as well as speech-controlled applications using vxml, and has continued along these lines at Oracle. Along the way, he has taught many courses on internet programming and related topics at the university level, has had leadership roles in standards activities and professional organizations, and has spoken widely at conferences. 

Please join me in welcoming our new colleagues!


By: laufer
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