Winter 2018 Schedule

Friday, January 5, 2018
Marjan Mernik, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, University of Maribor
Formal and Practical Aspects of Domain-Specific Languages: Recent Developments

Abstract: Domain-specific languages (DSLs) assist a software developer (or end-user) in writing a program using idioms that are similar to the abstractions found in a specific problem domain. Indeed, the enhanced software productivity and reliability benefits that have been reported from DSL usage are hard to ignore and DSLs are flourishing. However, tool support for DSLs is lacking when compared to the capabilities provided for standard General-Purpose Languages (GPLs). For example, support for unit testing of a DSL program, as well as DSL debuggers, are rare. A Systematic Mapping Study (SMS) has been performed to better understand the DSL research field, identify research trends, and any possible open issues. In this talk I will first introduce DSLs by discussing when and how to develop DSLs, then results from SMS will be presented. In the second part I will discuss some open DSL problems such as difficulties of combining DSLs.

Bio: Marjan Mernik received the M.Sc. and Ph.D. degrees in computer science from the University of Maribor in 1994 and 1998 respectively. He is currently a professor at the University of Maribor, Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science. He is also a visiting professor at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, Department of Computer and Information Sciences, and at the University of Novi Sad, Faculty of Technical Sciences, Serbia. His research interests include programming languages, compilers, domain-specific (modeling) languages, grammar-based systems, grammatical inference, and evolutionary computations. He is a member of the IEEE, ACM and EAPLS. Dr. Mernik is the Editor-In-Chief of Computer Languages, Systems and Structures journal, as well as Associate Editor of Applied Soft Computing journal. He is being named a 2017 Highly Cited Researcher.

Friday, January 12, 2018
Adam Trowbridge, School of Design, DePaul University
Divergent Interdisciplinary Research: I Wanted to Teach Designers About Security and Privacy, So I Went to Work for the NSA

Abstract: DePaul Professors Adam Trowbridge, Jessica Westbrook and Filipo Sharevski were awarded a grant from the US National Security Agency, under the Cybersecurity National Action Plan to design, develop, and disseminate an innovative introductory course in Secure Design. The course is an interdisciplinary, 300-400 level course drawing on current research trends in: cybersecurity, information security management, interaction design and graphic design. Prof. Trowbridge will discuss interdisciplinary research using his experience with this project as an illustration.

Bio: Adam Trowbridge is a designer, programmer, and code media researcher. He received his MFA in Electronic Visualization from the University of Illinois Chicago. His current work focuses on user experience design for privacy and security, programming pedagogy for designers, and geo-located augmented reality. His previous projects employed augmented reality to highlight police omnipresence and security theater.

Friday, January 19, 2018
Benjamin Grosser, Assistant Professor of New Media, University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign
Less Metrics, More Rando: (Net) Art as Software Research

Abstract: How are numbers on Facebook changing what we “like” and who we “friend?” Why does a bit of nonsense sent via email scare both your mom and the NSA? What makes someone mad when they learn Google can’t see where they stand? From net art to robotics to supercuts to e-lit, Ben Grosser will discuss several artworks that illustrate his methods for investigating the culture of software.

Bio: Ben Grosser creates interactive experiences, machines, and systems that examine the cultural, social, and political implications of software. Recent exhibition venues include Arebyte Gallery in London, Museu das Comunicações in Lisbon, Museum Ludwig in Cologne, and Galerie Charlot in Paris. His works have been featured in Wired, The Atlantic, The Guardian, The Washington Post, Libération, and Der Spiegel. The Chicago Tribune called him the “unrivaled king of ominous gibberish.” Slate referred to his work as “creative civil disobedience in the digital age.” His writing about the cultural effects of technology has been published in journals such as Computational Culture, Media-N, and Big Data and Society. Grosser is an assistant professor of new media at the School of Art + Design, and co-founder of the Critical Technology Studies Lab at the National Center for Supercomputing Applications, both at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Friday, January 26, 2018
(1/2) Priya Deshpande, Ph.D. candidate, DePaul University
An Integrated Database and Smart Search Tool for Medical Knowledge Extraction from Radiology Teaching Files

Abstract: Teaching files play an important role in radiologist’s diagnosis process with many publicly available sources and in-house teaching file repositories. However, these sources are highly heterogeneous and difficult to combine in practice. The Integrated Radiological Image Search (IRIS) engine integrates multiple radiology data sources into a single repository with query term augmentation using RadLex and SNOMED CT medical ontologies. As IRIS search produced many matches, we also integrated a search relevance algorithm, to show most relevant teaching files first. We believe that such search engine should be tailored to radiologist needs, providing an understanding of natural language such as negation statements, substituting search term synonyms, correctly interpreting adjectives and considering the structure of source text. We are expanding IRIS search engine by incorporating context based aware search and Image based search.

Bio: Priya Deshpande is a Ph.D. candidate at DePaul University. Her major is Computer Science with specialization in database systems. Her research interest encompasses Databases, Big data, and Computer-aided diagnosis. Priya’s previous research focus on Big data analytics and cloud computing. Her current research focus on Medical informatics radiology teaching file systems, where natural language processing and machine learning techniques are applied to improve diagnosis accuracy and help radiologists to take decision for diagnosis.

Friday, February 2, 2018
Mariam Asad, PhD student in the Digital Media program, Georgia Tech
Prefigurative Design: Exploring an Alternative Model for Civic Engagement

Abstract: At their core, organizing and activist work are about envisioning and working towards an alternative, more just political future. Various digital tools are used to support activist work, however these tools engage with values that are at odds with activist practices: where many activists do work in the service of social justice and equity, the digital tools they use are often corporate made, and thus support the status quo, i.e. profit generation. The ideals underlying activists’ equitable visions—of a more accessible and just future—drive their practices. This intentional alignment falls under the purview of prefigurative politics, where political work “express[es] the political ‘ends’ of their actions through their ‘means.’” If activists envision a more democratic future, they adopt and practice more egalitarian mechanisms in the present in anticipation of building a more egalitarian future. What might digital tools look like if they were designed to contribute to—to prefigure—alternative, more radical political values? My dissertation work will use design research to explore the opportunities that ICTs offer in support of prefigurative politics. My research offers prefigurative design as a suggested approach for designers and practitioners who work for progressive political change. Prefigurative design is an orientation within HCI design and research that encourages critical reflection of research and design practices to better align the digital artifact with its intended outcomes, broadly in service of radically progressive social good.

Bio: Mariam Asad is a PhD student in the Digital Media program at Georgia Tech. Her work focuses on activism, design, and justice. She is interested in the different ways that self-organized Atlanta communities discuss, use, and appropriate technologies to do political work. She explores how technology design can offer opportunities for civic participation through both policy- and grassroots/community-based initiatives.

Friday, Feb 9, 2018
Amiangshu Shekhar Bosu
Scalable Static Program Analysis Techniques to Secure Android Marketplace

Abstract: Android OS dominates the smartphone market with more than 85% share and more than 2.9 million apps hosted on the official Google marketplace.  Because of the complexity of performing pairwise program analysis on apps Android marketplaces are facing two primary challenges: 1) collusion attacks- where two apps work together to perform malicious activities, and 2) clone attacks- where a plagiarist repackages a legitimate app and re-uploads it under his own name to deprive the original developer.
In this presentation, I will talk about DIALDroid and DecisionDroid, two scalable static analysis tools, that we have developed to identify app collusions and app clones. I will also present the results of our analysis of more than 100K real-world apps to identify real-world evidence and deep insights on various types of app collusions and clones.

Bio: Dr. Amiangshu Bosu is an Assistant Professor of Computer Science at Southern Illinois University Carbondale. He completed his Ph.D. dissertation work at University of Alabama in 2015 under the supervision of Dr. Jeffrey Carver and conducted postdoctoral research under the guidance of Dr. Danfeng Yao at Virginia Tech. His research spans empirical software engineering, peer code review, software security, android security, malware detection, mining software repositories, and social network analysis. He was selected as the outstanding graduate researcher of Computer Science at University of Alabama in 2014 and 2015 (two years in a row). His research appears in prestigious conferences and journals in the areas of software engineering such as ICSE, FSE, TSE, ASE, ESEM, MSR, and JSS. His recent work on colluding Android malwares received worldwide media coverages with articles in The Sun, MSN, The Atlantic, ACM Technews, New Scientist, Daily Mail, Independent, and more than 100 other news outlets.

Friday, March 2, 2018
1/2 Jessa Dickinson, PhD Candidate, Human-Centered Design, DePaul University)
Inclusion of Residents from Underserved Communities in City Technology Planning

Abstract: Cities are increasingly integrating urban technologies into their infrastructures to improve municipal services, civic engagement, and quality of life for residents. Research suggests that technologies implemented in communities can worsen existing inequalities, yet there is little understanding of what underserved residents think about urban technologies or how they engage with their cities about technology policies or practices. Based on two technology forums held in underserved communities, we found that residents are motivated to participate in city technology planning because they believe technology impacts the economic and social health of their communities and because they are wary of the city’s intentions behind certain urban technologies and policies. However, avenues for such engagement with the city were not accessible to our participants. We conclude that residents’ participation in existing forms of governance poses an opportunity for city officials and those in underserved communities to collaboratively build urban technologies that benefit all.

Bio: Jessa is a second year PhD student in the Human-Centered Design program in the School of Design. She received her BA in Art and Environmental Studies from Oberlin College, where she made furniture out of wood and other reclaimed materials. She recently earned her master’s in Human-Computer Interaction from DePaul. She works with her advisor, Dr. Sheena Erete, on projects in the Technology for Social Good Lab. Their projects involve collaborations with local organizations, such as Cure Violence (a violence prevention organization), and Smart Chicago, a civic technology organization. The research Jessa presents today is from the work she has done with Smart Chicago in two Chicago communities.

2/2 Mark Díaz (PhD Candidate, Computer Science and Communication, Northwestern University)
Addressing Age-Related Bias in Sentiment Analysis

Abstract: Computational approaches to text analysis are useful in understanding aspects of online interaction, such as opinions and subjectivity in text. Yet, recent studies have identified various forms of bias in language-based models, raising concerns about the risk of propagating social biases against certain groups based on sociodemographic factors (e.g., gender, race, geography). In this study, we contribute a systematic examination of the application of language models to study discourse on aging. We analyze the treatment of age-related terms across 15 sentiment analysis models and 10 widely-used GloVe word embeddings and attempt to alleviate bias through a method of processing model training data. Our results demonstrate that significant age bias is encoded in the outputs of many sentiment analysis algorithms and word embeddings. We discuss the models’ characteristics in relation to output bias and how these models might be best incorporated into research.

Bio: Mark is a third year PhD student in the joint Computer Science and Communication program at Northwestern University. He is interested in individuals’ trust in data-driven systems as well as in the institutions developing these systems. His current work is focused on issues that arise when data-driven tools are applied to analyze underrepresented communities. Mark earned his BA in Science, Technology, and Society from Stanford University and currently works with Darren Gergle in Northwestern’s Collaborative Technology Lab.

Friday, March 9, 2018
Title: Peer Grading and Mechanism Design
Jason Hartline (Northwestern University)
Abstract: The talk will overview a peer grading system that is under development at Northwestern U.  In courses that use the system it has (a) reduced the grading load of course staff by over 75%, (b) expanded and improved the students’ interaction with the course material, (c) and improved turn-around time of feedback on student work (students receive comments on their work after three days, rather than two weeks).  As a research platform, this system enables a dialogue between theory and practice for algorithms, machine learning, and mechanism design.  Of particular focus for the talk is on mechanisms that incentivize peers to produce accurate reviews and the connection between these mechanisms and auction theory.

Bio: Jason Hartline is an associate professor of computer science at Northwestern University. His research introduces design and analysis methodologies from computer science to understand and improve outcomes of economic systems. Optimal behavior and outcomes in complex environments are complex and, therefore, should not be expected; instead, the theory of approximation can show that simple and natural behaviors are approximately optimal in complex environments. This approach is applied to auction theory and mechanism design in his graduate textbook Mechanism Design and Approximation which is under preparation ( Prof. Hartline received his Ph.D. in 2003 from the University of Washington under the supervision of Anna Karlin. He was a postdoctoral fellow at Carnegie Mellon University under the supervision of Avrim Blum; and subsequently a researcher at Microsoft Research in Silicon Valley. He joined Northwestern University in 2008.