September 2021 - Five Research Assistant Professors complete their terms at TTIC

This summer, five Research Assistant Professors finished their terms at TTIC and moved on to new stages in their careers. Professor Mina Karzand completed her term at the end of June, and Professors Sepideh Mahabadi, Steve Hanneke, Arturs Backurs, and Sam Wiseman finished their time at the Institute at the end of August.

Prof. Wiseman is now an Assistant Professor in the Computer Science department at Duke University. His main area of research is Natural Language Processing, and while he was at TTIC, he mainly worked with Professor Kevin Gimpel, Professor Karen Livescu, TTIC students Shubham Toshniwal, Mingda Chen, and Lifu Tu, and University of Chicago students Zewei Chu and Xiaoan Ding.

Having specialized in algorithms for massive data, Dr. Mahabadi will be continuing as a Senior Research Scientist in the Algorithms Group at Microsoft Research in Redmond, Washington. At TTIC, her main mentors were Professor Julia Chuzhoy and Professor Yury Makarychev, and she worked closely with fellow RAP Dr. Backurs, TTIC student Kavya Ravichandran, and UChicago student Zihan Tan.

Dr. Backurs has also joined Microsoft Research as a Senior Researcher, his main area of research being fine-grained complexity and natural language processing. At the Institute, he mainly worked with Professor Avrim Blum, Prof. Makarychev, Prof. Gimpel, fellow RAPs Dr. Mahabadi and Prof. Wiseman, Prof. Karl Stratos, Mr. Chen, and visiting student Neha Gupta.

“I really appreciated the opportunity to be at TTIC! These three years allowed me to change my research directions more towards applied computer science and gave me time to decide on where I want to be in the future,” said Dr. Backurs.

Prof. Hanneke is now an Assistant Professor at Purdue University. He specializes in machine learning algorithms, and will be teaching a course on learning theory this fall. To learn more about his experience at TTIC, read his RAP Alumni Highlight.

Prof. Mina Karzand has joined the Department of Statistics at the University of California, Davis as an Assistant Professor. Her research interests lie in machine learning, information theory, statistics, theoretical computer science, and applied probability theory. While at TTIC, she worked closely with Professor Nati Srebro and his group.

All of our RAP alumni have made significant contributions to the Institute, and made a lasting impact on our students and faculty members. We wish them all the best in their new roles, and hope to see their continued success. For more information on the RAP role, see this article.

August 2021 - TTIC introduces new Research Assistant Professors

This fall, TTIC is happy to welcome five new Research Assistant Professors. Their areas of research range from computational biology to computer vision and machine learning, and they are all eager to arrive on campus and meet their new colleagues. The RAP role at TTIC is unique, allowing abundant opportunities for unconstrained research, student mentorship, and optional teaching experience, without many of the burdens of traditional postdoctoral roles.

Recent University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign PhD graduate Dr. Raymond Yeh first heard about TTIC from one of his advisors, Professor Alexander Schwing. Prof. Schwing spent some time at TTIC himself as a PhD student, and when he received an email advertising the Research Assistant Professor position, he told Dr. Yeh that it would be a great opportunity.

When Dr. Yeh first began applying for roles after graduation, he looked at both tenure track and research assistant opportunities. Fortunately, he secured both the RAP role at TTIC for the 2021-22 academic year, and a tenure track position at Purdue University that begins the following fall. His main motivation for taking the RAP position is to give himself a gap year to focus on research, before jumping into an assistant professorship.

During his year at TTIC, Dr. Yeh will be conducting research at the intersection of machine learning and computer vision. He is specifically interested in developing algorithms that can enable computers to learn from the world effectively.

“The key to doing this successfully is determining how we should represent the world. A general theme that I’ve been working on is how we can incorporate known properties into machine learning models, such as symmetry.” said Dr. Yeh.

He became interested in this area of research as an undergraduate, studying electrical engineering. Initially, he worked mainly in the audio domain, and on signal processing. Then, as deep learning began to gain popularity, different learning-based methods became more available. Dr. Yeh feels that it was a natural transition from signal processing to machine learning, and from focusing on audio to vision.

Dr. Yeh is looking forward to joining the faculty at TTIC this fall, and collaborating with his new colleagues. “During the interview process with TTIC, I got a really good impression of the faculty and students. Because of the similarity in research areas, the communication is really effortless. I don’t have to explain a lot of the background of my current research, they just know. I feel like it just clicks, they understand what I want to do,” he said.

After spending close to 11 years in Urbana-Champaign at the University of Illinois, he is excited to spend the next year in Chicago and experience city life. Outside of work, he enjoys playing badminton, going to the gym, and trying new restaurants.

Dr. Lingxiao Wang sees moving to Chicago this fall as a new adventure. He is looking forward to continuing existing collaborations with TTIC students and faculty, as well as exploring new areas of research. A recent University of California, Los Angeles graduate, Dr. Wang primarily conducts research in machine learning.

He first came across the Institute from reading academic journals, and noticing that many great papers came from TTIC. After searching online, he found that TTIC is a prestigious Institute with high calibur researchers, professors, and students. He also heard great things about TTIC from his advisor, Professor Quanquan Gu, who had previously visited the Institute.

Within machine learning, his research focuses on privacy-preserving machine learning. “Machine learning has become more powerful nowadays, and different machine learning algorithms can be used in your daily life. For example, we can use machine learning algorithms to build strong recommendation systems to expand social networks, or even to predict medical outcomes for patients. However, the data we use to train those models often contains sensitive personal information,” said Dr. Wang.

He believes that privacy is so important because if people do not feel comfortable sharing their data, it can’t be used to help improve their daily lives. Especially, for example, in a hospital setting where that data could help doctors predict what health concerns to look for in the future.

Studies have shown that existing machine learning models can be highly vulnerable to privacy attacks. Some types of models, such as deep neural networks, can memorize all of the private information in the data sets used to train them.

“I can see many privacy concerns where we apply machine learning algorithms to solve real world problems. My research goal is to address those privacy concerns by developing more efficient and effective privacy preserving machine learning algorithms. I want to develop superfast, highly accurate algorithms that use private data while providing rigorous privacy guarantees. We want to learn from the private data without learning the private data,” he said.

Dr. Wang sees himself pursuing a career in academia, and hopes to find a tenure-track position after his time in the RAP program. In his free time, he enjoys playing sports, like soccer, and swimming.

Dr. Derek Reiman has interned at TTIC for many summers since 2016, and is happy to be returning to the Institute as a faculty member this fall. Having recently received his PhD from the University of Illinois at Chicago, he is looking forward to the autonomy that the RAP role provides, as well as the opportunity to mentor students.

As an intern at TTIC, Dr. Reiman began working with Dr. Aly Azeem Khan, who was then an RAP himself. “He’s been instrumental in my academic growth, and like a mentor to me. He will be one of my key collaborators when I come to TTIC,” he said. Dr. Khan is currently a member of the research faculty in the Department of Pathology at University of Chicago.

The freedom that the RAP role allows will give him the opportunity to continue collaborative projects with colleagues at both TTIC and UChicago, and continue to grow his network. Dr. Reiman conducts research in computational biology, focusing on using deep learning frameworks to analyze disease related datasets for the microbiome.

“Moving forward, I want to start integrating the microbiome with the immune system and see how they interplay in the development and severity of diseases. For example, with inflammatory bowel disease, diabetes, and even many cancers, there’s this interplay between the microbiome, the immune system, and how humans respond to treatment, or how the disease progresses,” said Dr. Reiman.

He originally became interested in this area of computer science after spending several years working as a software developer, and wanting to try something new. He was intrigued by the relationship between biology and computer science, as well as significant developments in artificial intelligence (AI) and deep learning. In modern day biology, so much data is generated that humans would never be able to analyze it all. Computational biology leverages AI to find patterns in the data, and make inferences about the data based on those patterns. From there, a lab biologist can further validate those findings.

A particular subject he hopes to explore during his time at TTIC is developing different methods of controlling the microbiome landscape. His current work focuses on developing these landscapes and identifying how certain treatments or lifestyle changes can affect a person’s health. He hopes to develop a platform to help researchers test certain therapies to determine the best options for patients with various diagnoses.

In the future, Dr. Reiman hopes to work in both academia and industry. He interned at Tempus while working on his PhD as well as TTIC, and enjoyed working with the immunotherapy team. He hopes to find a balance between the two that will allow him to conduct research he is passionate about, and apply it to real-world situations.

In his free time, he enjoys playing video games and watching films, especially animation. He also loves going to music festivals with friends, and practicing MMA (mixed martial arts).

To learn more about our other new RAPs, Dr. Kartik Goyal and Dr. Hongyuan Mei, please read their welcome article.

August 2021 - Blake Woodworth and collaborators take Best Paper at COLT 2021

At the 34th Annual Conference on Learning Theory, PhD Candidate Blake Woodworth, together with his co-authors, won a Best Paper award for their paper titled “The Min-Max Complexity of Distributed Stochastic Convex Optimization with Intermittent Communication.” The paper was written in collaboration with TTIC Professor Brian Bullins, Professor Nati Srebro, and Weizmann Institute of Science Professor Ohad Shamir.

This comes two years after Woodworth and his co-author Ayush Sekhari won a COLT Best Student Paper award at the 2019 conference, for the paper “The Complexity of Making the Gradient Small in Stochastic Convex Optimization.” Sekhari is a Cornell PhD student, who was then a visiting student at TTIC. This paper was a collaborative work with TTIC alum and Cornell Professor Karthik Sridharan, Prof. Srebro, Prof. Shamir, and Dr. Dylan Foster.

Woodworth recently defended his PhD thesis, and will be starting a postdoctoral position in the fall at École Normale Supérieure in Paris, France. He will be working with Professor Francis Bach, in the Departement d’Informatique.

To learn more about Woodworth, his research, and experience at TTIC, see his Student Highlight article.

August 2021 - 5th Annual Student Workshop

On Tuesday, August 10, TTIC held its 5th Annual Student Workshop virtually. The workshop included student posters, short and long student talks, a keynote talk from former TTIC Research Assistant Professor and Partner Research Manager at Microsoft Dr. John Langford, as well as a panel discussion. Panelists included Dr. Langford, Senior Researcher at Microsoft and former RAP Dr. Suriya Gunasekar, UC Berkeley Professor Nika Haghtalab, and University of Chicago Professor Eric Jonas.

Awards were given for Best Long Talk, Best Short Talk, and Best Poster.

The award for Best Long Talk was given to Omar Montasser, for his talk titled “Adversarially Robust Learning with Unknown Perturbation Sets.” Best Short Talk was awarded to Bowen Shi, for his talk “Fingerspelling Detection in American Sign Language.” The award for Best Poster was tied between Han Shao and her poster “Robust Learning Under Clean-Label Attack,” and Ankita Pasad’s poster “Layer-Wise Analysis of a Self-Supervised Speech Representation Model.”

This year’s Student Workshop was organized by Kumar Kshitij Patel and Gene Li, and hosted on Zoom and Gather.Town.

July 2021 - Dr. Ostendorf has been promoted to Vice Provost for Research at the University of Washington

TTIC congratulates Trustee Dr. Mari Ostendorf on her promotion to Vice Provost for Research in the Office of Research at the University of Washington beginning September 1, 2021. We wish her success in her new role as she continues to serve on TTIC’s Board of Trustees.

Dr. Ostendorf has served as the Associate Vice Provost for Research since 2017, and is the Endowed Professor of System Design Methodologies in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Washington. She has been a member of TTIC’s Board of Trustees since 2017. In her new role in the Office of Research, she will lead UW in collaborative research efforts and seek to continue expanding the university’s robust research portfolio.

Along with serving in these roles, Dr. Ostendorf is a widely recognized researcher in the area of speech and language technology. She is a member of the National Academy of Engineering, the Washington State Academy of Sciences, and a fellow of the IEEE along with several other prominent affiliations and recognitions. To learn more about Dr. Ostendorf’s new role, see the University of Washington’s announcement.

June 2021 - TTIC welcomes new Research Assistant Professors

This fall, TTIC will be welcoming Kartik Goyal and Dr. Hongyuan Mei as Research Assistant Professors (RAPs). Goyal will be receiving his PhD from Carnegie Mellon University this summer, and conducts research in natural language processing and machine learning. Dr. Mei, a recent Johns Hopkins University PhD graduate, has a background in electrical engineering and computer science, and is interested in designing machine learning methods that have real-life applications. They will be joining three other incoming RAPs in September.

Goyal first heard about TTIC after meeting Professors Kevin Gimpel and Karen Livescu at professional conferences. He also knew colleagues from Carnegie Mellon who had gone on to be RAPs at TTIC, and heard about their positive experiences. After learning more about the Institute and the RAP position from Prof. Gimpel, he decided to apply.

“My research is at the intersection of natural language processing and machine learning. I would say I’m generally interested in developing probabilistic models that explain the generation of different artifacts that we see as data. I’m also interested in applications related to digital humanities, for example, computational analysis of mechanisms behind production of historical documents,” said Goyal.

His professional career in computer science began with an interest in machine learning, which led to thinking about the latent structures behind the surface form text that we see online. He finds this interesting because it not only uncovers something about the regular structure that underlies the surface of texts on the internet, but it also touches on patterns behind large textual documents that we find in our daily lives.

As an RAP, Goyal is looking forward to collaborating with the rest of the faculty at TTIC, and taking his research in new directions. He is also excited about taking part in the campus culture, mentoring students, and gaining more teaching experience. “I feel this will give me great experience for my future academic career aspirations,” he said.

When he isn’t in the classroom or conducting research, Goyal enjoys rock climbing and bouldering. Though he has never visited Chicago before, he is looking forward to moving to the city and exploring everything that it has to offer.

Dr. Mei will be returning to Chicago after spending the last several years in Baltimore, Maryland at Johns Hopkins. He previously completed his master’s degree at the University of Chicago, and spent time at TTIC working with Professor Matthew Walter. Along with former RAP Professor Mohit Bansal, now at UNC Chapel Hill, they conducted research on understanding human natural language, especially in navigational language commands. They also worked on generating language descriptions for complex data records.

“Because I spent time at TTIC, I was already impressed by how knowledgeable and supportive the faculty members and students are. I know that TTIC is a place that can offer a lot for people’s careers, and I personally enjoyed my experience there. I anticipate that I will benefit more when I join as an RAP in the fall,” said Dr. Mei.

His main area of research is machine learning, particularly, neural probabilistic modeling. Basically, he wants to create models that can predict the future when given past information. For example, the model could read patient health records at a hospital, and predict future medical events such as when the patient will need to come back, and what type of treatment they will need. The next step in this research will be to extend the models to handle a wider variety of data, and integrate them into a reinforcement learner. One example could be an intelligent assistant that can suggest visiting schedules and treatments for patients, which it believes will improve their health conditions.

Dr. Mei is looking forward to having the freedom and independence to continue this research and expand his research expertise. “I can work on the projects that I find most exciting, and have flexibility to explore the areas I haven’t done over the course of my PhD. That level of flexibility and independence is something really amazing,” he said. “And the colleagues and students here are amazing. RAPs have the opportunity to collaborate with other faculty members as well as PhD students. The quality of the students at TTIC is hard to find at other places.”

The possibility of building intelligent agents that can predict and influence the future, either in physical robots or in software form, is something that he is very passionate about. Dr. Mei hopes that this research will be applicable to several different areas, not only healthcare. This concept could also be applied to education, through online learning platforms that could help individuals learn more efficiently by assessing their strengths and weaknesses, and provide tools to improve in certain areas, and excel in others.

Outside of work, Dr. Mei enjoys spending time with friends, going to the gym, and eating good food. He is happy to be returning to Chicago, as he fondly remembers the years he spent here as a graduate student, and he’s looking forward to jogging along the lakefront again.

To meet the rest of our incoming RAP class, and stay up to date on the latest news from TTIC, follow us on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and LinkedIn.

June 2021 - TTIC takes first place in Real Robot Challenge

In the fall of 2020, TTIC participated in the Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems’ Real Robot Challenge. Conducted remotely from August to December, participants wrote code that was run on robots that were all housed at Max Planck in Stuttgart, Germany. TTIC’s team won first place in the challenge, led by PhD students Charles Schaff and Takuma Yoneda.

For the Real Robot Challenge, the Max Planck Institute collaborated with Mila, Google, and New York University among other organizations to develop a claw-like robot with three “fingers” that can manipulate items. A number of these robots were built for the challenge, so that each team had remote access to their own robot. In phase one, the code was run in simulation. The challenge robots were housed in black boxes, with controlled lighting and cameras mounted throughout the box.

In phase 2, the goal was to have the robot manipulate a cube. It had the potential to do this in several different ways, such as picking it up, flipping it over, or turning the cube. In phase 3, this was repeated with more difficult shapes to manipulate, like a rectangular prism (cuboid).

“The overall goal was to explore the dexterity with which robots can manipulate objects. The challenge tasked the teams with developing algorithms that allowed the robot to move the cube to an arbitrary specified location off the ground in the robot’s workspace with a given orientation,” said TTIC Robotics Professor Matthew Walter. “So they had competitors go through a series of benchmark rounds, where they could train their models in simulation or on the real robot. Every two weeks, teams would upload their code, and the organizers would evaluate it and give them a score back.”

After running their code on the real robots, the teams would receive video of the robot completing the tasks, as well as all of the data recorded by the robot so they could see exactly how it worked and gain helpful insights for their next trial. “It’s important to have that introspection capability where you can watch the video and see what went wrong. You want the data from the robot itself, so you can look under the hood and say, why did it drop it?” said Professor Walter.

A key aspect of machine learning is benchmark tasks, a series of tasks (typically datasets, not physical hardware) that are common across institutions or various parties with clear metrics that people can evaluate one another against. This helps us have a better understanding of how much progress is being made, where open problems exist, and how algorithm A compares to algorithm B.

This has been true in machine learning, and more specifically, computer vision, natural language processing, and speech recognition for some time now. In robotics, it has been difficult to create these benchmarks. Traditionally with robotics, individuals build their own robots, which have different sensors on them that work in different ways, making it quite difficult to set a level playing field.

Somewhat recently, the ability to create that level playing field has become easier with more commonly available platforms. In the robotics lab at TTIC, there is a robot called Baxter, a relatively affordable robot that, like its successors, has helped to standardize research platforms. The robots can be set up with the same sensors, and they can all be given the same objects to manipulate.

“In machine learning, researchers are getting more interested in robotics and other embodied domains, but most of the work is done in simulated environments. Now, there can be a set of clear metrics and clear tasks, so we can evaluate different algorithms against one another,” said Professor Walter.

TTIC is continuing to work with Max Planck and other participating universities, such as University of Washington, Stanford, and NYU, on a paper as well as organizing the next version of the competition.

June 2021 - TTIC RAP Bradly Stadie to give long presentation at ICML 2021

TTIC is pleased to announce that Research Assistant Professor Dr. Bradly Stadie will be giving a long presentation at the International Conference on Machine Learning (ICML) in July of 2021. His paper, “World Model as a Graph: Learning Latent Landmarks for Planning,” was selected from 5,513 submissions to be one of 166 long presentations at ICML 2021, which will be held virtually this year.

The ICML is a highly renowned global organization known for presenting and publishing the best in machine learning research. Only about 22% of submissions were accepted for presentation at this year’s conference, the majority being short presentations. In order to be selected for a long presentation, a paper must be of exceptional quality, and cover a topic that is of particular interest to the machine learning community.

Dr. Stadie previously had a paper accepted as a poster presentation at ICML 2020, and is excited to be giving a long presentation with his colleagues this year. In many ways, this year’s presentation is a follow up on his work from last year, after making improvements and diving more deeply into this area of research. The paper centers around problem solving in robots, and draws connections between old and new computer science methods.

“The core problem is that for many tasks we want robots to accomplish, the problem horizon is usually very long, anywhere from a couple seconds to a couple minutes. In order to solve longer tasks like this, the robot has to know how to break down a problem into subproblems. Humans are intuitively really good at this sort of thing, sequentially listing the steps that you would take to solve a problem. But that’s not a natural capability for robots, so you need algorithms that can handle that kind of temporal reasoning,” said Dr. Stadie. This breaking down of a larger problem into smaller components is called “planning” in academic terms.

One of the key takeaways from this research is that robots need to know how long they should be planning, and how often to replan. If a robot tries to redo its plan too often, it will get confused, because it hasn’t had enough practice at sticking to one plan and seeing what happens. For this project, Dr. Stadie and his colleagues created an algorithm to help the robot decide how long it should execute a given plan. Using this system, the robot is only allowed to replan after a set amount of time.

“There’s a lot of work in classical computer science regarding graph search, and how we should use search methods when planning. For a long time, reinforcement learning and deep reinforcement learning have not been taking full advantage of all of this prior work, and the two communities were somewhat separate. I’m excited because there’s a big research community that is interested in classical graph search methods. But many of them haven’t been as interested in deep reinforcement learning. I hope we can start building bridges between these groups of people.”

This paper found that substantial progress in robotics can be made by leveraging graph search in the context of deep reinforcement learning. Dr. Stadie and his co-authors, Lunjun Zhang and Dr. Ge Yang, hope to continue to see more work in deep reinforcement learning that draws from other areas of computer science. For more information on this research, and videos of their algorithm in simulation, visit the paper website.

May 2021 - NIH awards grant to University of Chicago researchers exploring law enforcement language on police radios

Article courtesy of The University of Chicago, Division of the Social Sciences. Written by Sarah Steimer.

The study will analyze police scanner audio to find whether nuances in language increase the likelihood of adverse interactions between law enforcement and male minority youth.

The scratchy sounds and staccato voices heard over police scanners are easy to ignore as background noises. They hum along in newsrooms, on police procedurals or even in a curious citizen’s home. But University of Chicago researchers are betting that these communications — specifically, the language used — could shed light on adverse interactions between law enforcement officers (LEOs) and male minority youth (MMY).

The research — led by Margaret Beale Spencer, the Charles L. Grey Distinguished Service Professor in Comparative Human Development, and data scientist Christopher Graziul — was recently awarded a grant from the National Institutes of Health.

The researchers have two long-term goals for the study. The first is to understand how the ways in which officers and dispatchers describe incidents may impact the quality of police encounters with MMY. The second is to develop an effective assessment tool and training program for LEOs that would reduce the incidence of negative outcomes.

To reach those goals, the team will undertake a first-of-its-kind analysis of procedural language based on broadcast police communications. The first step will be to develop a data processing pipeline to transcribe communications into machine-readable text. The researchers will then determine the marginal effect of differences in procedural language on the probability of an adverse event between LEOs and MMY — for instance, are there differing outcomes when a MMY is described as “agitated” versus “excited?” Lastly, the team will assess the potential efficacy of a training program based on this analysis for reducing youth trauma given untoward police and male minority youth interactions.

The crux of the study — and what Spencer suggests may have drawn NIH interest — is its theoretical orientation.

“What this research does is different,” she says. “It emphasizes the role of human development processes and the significance of context, which includes history and, importantly, the history of relationships between policing professionals and minority communities.”

The study uses an inclusive human development perspective to understand police behavior under conditions of stress — which are common. “If the very language they’re using is inclining them to untoward outcomes, it’s important to understand and to test the validity of the assumption,” Spencer says.

Spencer’s work has focused on the major adults in the lives of young people. She’s explored how such adults’ actions (or reactions) toward adolescents could be changed to improve interactions — especially concerning young people of color, whom Spencer says are members of a devalued community.

Spencer emphasizes the need to start from a perspective of shared humanity and human vulnerability. But there’s an imbalance between risks and protective factors or supports: People of color are often only viewed as having primarily risks. If policymakers do not understand the individuals for whom the supports are designed, those supports are unlikely to make sense or to have a positive impact.

“That’s why you do this work, to make sure that policing can be experienced by diverse communities as a source of support, given that they are paid public dollars to support and to protect all,” Spencer says. “If they’re being trained with a perspective of devaluation for particular communities, well, they’re not serving that purpose. It is critical to approach this work with a particular understanding about the shared humanity of all Americans.”

The research uses Spencer’s phenomenological variant of ecological systems theory (PVEST) as its theoretical framing, which highlights the natural development of reactive coping strategies in response to stress. Radio communications are a window into how LEOs react to and share vital information about stressful situations.

“Understanding radio communications as a reflection of real-time LEO responses grounds our research in human experience,” Graziul says. “This perspective differentiates our project from applications of data science where, for example, police records are used to predict LEO risk of involvement in an adverse event. The strength of our data is its ability to capture the process of policing professionals acting or reacting in response to service calls, as opposed to a recounting of events after the fact. Computational tools enable us to make sense of how these events unfold and to scale up this analysis significantly.”

But before the team can apply this theoretical framing, it needs to comb through the speech patterns and language used in an audio archive including over 30,000 hours of broadcast police communications. This will require the development of a data processing pipeline that will allow for the transcription of communications into machine-readable text.

Graziul says once he downloaded thousands of hours of radio transmissions, he faced a few roadblocks to processing the audio files. First, Karen Livescu—associate professor at Toyota Technology Institute at Chicago, an expert in speech and language processing, and a co-Investigator on the project—pointed out that the noise in these recordings is often at the same frequency as the human voice, making it difficult to distinguish between the two. And when it comes to using commercial speech-to-text software, that technology is based on conversational English; but police communicate using language that is more task-oriented and represents a subset of the English language. Lastly, the team would need to build its own automatic speech recognition model to process their audio archive because the information being communicated on police radios is extremely sensitive.

The team is working with Shomir Wilson at Pennsylvania State University, who specializes in AI and privacy, to help them understand how to remove such sensitive information as addresses, names, and medical conditions. Related, the audio is being transcribed on a secure server, never on transcribers’ computers.

But transcribers’ sensitivities are being considered as well: “Managing a group of transcribers is not just about making assignments and making it efficient,” Graziul says. “We also are trying to think proactively about preventing secondary traumatic stress, which can occur when transcribers come across emotionally disturbing content.”

In addition to analyzing the use of language on police radios, the team plans to release an open source tool that will allow others to automatically transcribe police radio broadcasts in their local communities.

“To me, one of the most exciting parts of this project is making a new data source available to others, especially a data source that provides such rich information about policing in practice,” Graziul said. “Given current technology, I was surprised that someone had not already tried to make use of this publicly available data.”

The study’s basis, execution and goals are all viewed through the lens of human development and context. The researchers hope to locate and remove assumptions in LEO-MMY interactions, allowing for a greater appreciation of each group’s shared humanity.

“This work has the potential — using authentic, basic science, and applied scholarship — to make a difference,” Spencer says. “And we’re very excited about the opportunity.”

May 2021 - TTIC welcomes new members to the Board of Trustees

The Board of Trustees of the Toyota Technological Institute at Chicago is pleased to announce the appointment of three new members, Dr. Kavita Bala, Dr. Juan de Pablo, and Dr. Kazuo Hotate. Their appointment terms begin on May 12, 2021.

Dr. Kavita Bala is currently Dean of the Ann S. Bowers College of Computing and Information Science at Cornell University, as well as a faculty Fellow with the Atkinson Center for a Sustainable Future. She is also the Lead Scientist at GrokStyle, a company that develops visual search recognition software. Dr. Bala co-founded the company in 2015, and it was acquired by Facebook in 2019.

Dr. Juan de Pablo is the Vice President for National Laboratories, Science Strategy, Innovation, and Global Initiatives, and the Liew Family Professor in Molecular Engineering at the University of Chicago. Dr. de Pablo is also a Senior Scientist at Argonne National Laboratory, and a member of the National Academy of Engineering (NAE).

Dr. Kazuo Hotate is the President of the Toyota Technological Institute in Nagoya, Japan. He is a member of several prestigious academic and professional societies, including the Science Council of Japan (SCJ), the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), and the Japan Society of Applied Physics (JSAP).

The new Board Chair is Dr. Eric Grimson. He succeeds Dr. Sadaoki Furui, former President of TTIC. Dr. Grimson is the Chancellor for Academic Advancement at MIT CSAIL, has served on TTIC’s Board of Trustees since 2015, and is an advisor on the institute’s External Advisory Committee. TTIC is grateful to Dr. Grimson for his dedication and service and we are confident that under his leadership, the board will continue to strive for excellence and help TTIC grow as a world-class institution.

May 2021 - Professor Karen Livescu honored by the International Speech Communication Association

The Toyota Technological Institute at Chicago is pleased to congratulate Prof. Karen Livescu on being elected a fellow of the International Speech Communication Association (ISCA). The ISCA honors a select number of members each year who have made significant contributions to their field, and fellows are nominated by their peers. The ISCA began its fellowship program in 2007, honoring exceptional members of the speech communication research community.

Prof. Livescu has been recognized for her “contributions to articulatory modeling, to speech representation learning, and to bridging the gaps between speech research, machine learning and natural language processing”. She will be presented with this award at the INTERSPEECH 2021 conference in Brno, Czech Republic, by ISCA President Prof. John Hansen. The conference will be held from August 30 to September 3.

A member of TTIC’s faculty since 2008, she has won a number of awards and honors for her work in speech and language processing. Prof. Livescu was also selected to be an IEEE Signal Processing Society Distinguished Lecturer this year. TTIC is proud to have such decorated, innovative faculty members, who inspire the next generation of leading computer scientists.

April 2021 - Trustee Angela Olinto elected to two prestigious professional societies

TTIC Trustee Angela Olinto has been recognized for her distinguished achievements in the field of astroparticle physics by two prestigious professional societies, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences (AAAS) and National Academy of Sciences (NAS). This year, the NAS new member class included a record number of women, commending them for groundbreaking research in their respective fields.

Prof. Olinto is the Dean of the Physical Sciences Division of the University of Chicago, and the Albert A. Michelson Distinguished Service Professor in the UChicago Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics. She has been a member of TTIC’s Board of Trustees since 2018, and is one of two TTIC trustees to be elected to the AAAS this year, joining Prof. Charles Isbell of Georgia Tech’s School of Interactive Computing.

We would like to congratulate Prof. Olinto on her impressive accomplishments, and thank her for her contributions to the Board of Trustees. We look forward to our continued partnership with Prof. Olinto and the University of Chicago, and wish her the best of luck in her future endeavors.

April 2021 - Trustee Charles Isbell elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences

The Toyota Technological Institute at Chicago is pleased to announce that Board of Trustees member Charles Isbell has been elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Isbell is a professor at Georgia Tech’s School of Interactive Computing, the John P. Imlay, Jr. Dean of the Georgia Tech College of Computing, and the Executive Director of the Constellations Center for Equity in Computing. He has been a member of TTIC’s Board of Trustees since 2018.

Prof. Isbell is one of 252 newly elected members this year, including Sanjay Gupta, Kara Swisher, Fei-Fei Li, and Oprah Winfrey. The Academy was founded in 1780 by our nation’s founding fathers, with the intention of honoring excellence and bringing together leaders from a variety of fields. Since 1780, they have elected over 13,500 members.

TTIC congratulates Prof. Isbell on this great achievement, and is proud to have such decorated scholars on our Board of Trustees. We wish him all the best in his future endeavors, and look forward to his continued success.

April 2021 - TA’s Needed for Summer School: New Horizons in Theoretical Computer Science

From May 31 to June 4, 2021, an online summer school will be offered to undergraduate computer science students who are interested in expanding their knowledge of theoretical computer science and its applications.

The school is co-organized by TTIC Professor Madhur Tulsiani, Havard University Professor Boaz Barak, University of Texas at Austin Professor Shuchi Chawla, and the Committee for the Advancement of Theoretical Computer Science (CATCS) of the ACM Special Interest Group on Algorithms and Computation Theory (SIGACT).

Throughout the week, students will engage in several mini-courses taught by top researchers in the field. Instructors are from institutions such as Penn State University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the University of California at Berkeley, and Microsoft Research. The courses will introduce undergraduate students to various research areas within theoretical computer science, and provide resources to students from groups that are currently underrepresented in the field.

TA’s will be responsible for planning team building activities and icebreakers, leading small study groups, providing mentorship to students, and monitoring questions in the chat during lectures, among other duties. The time commitment is 27-33 hours from May 24 to June 11, 2021, with 20 hours required during the week of the course. Compensation for TA’s will be $500 in total.

To apply for a TA position, fill out the application, and have a faculty advisor send a short recommendation to summer-school-admin@boazbarak.org. Recommenders should use the subject line “TA recommendation for <<Your Name>>”. Applications are particularly encouraged from PhD students from underrepresented groups who have a passion for teaching and increasing diversity in the field. The application deadline has been extended until all spots are filled.

March 2021 - TTIC student Naren Manoj awarded NSF Graduate Research Fellowship

Second-year PhD student Naren Manoj has been awarded a 2021 National Science Foundation (NSF) Graduate Research Fellowship. With only 2,000 fellows named each year, the program provides funding and other resources to a select group of scholars pursuing graduate research in STEM fields. The acceptance rate in 2019 was 16%, from a pool of 12,200 applicants.

Manoj studies theory and algorithms for machine learning, and is co-advised by TTIC Professors Yury Makarychev and Avrim Blum. “People use machine learning extensively now, and it’s becoming more and more common to use it in various critical application areas. Knowing the fundamental limits of these algorithms and when they work and when they don’t is important, so that people who need them in applications where safety is very critical know exactly what they’re getting into,” said Manoj.

He is currently interested in a few different problems, including those in the field of robust learning. Specifically, looking at when the data that an algorithm is trying to learn from is corrupted, but the user still wants to learn something from that data. For example, if a malicious party were to come in and tamper with the training set, or the set of data that the user is trying to learn the model from, with the intent of causing unwanted behavior at runtime.

“I’m looking at several models within that space and trying to see whether we can come up with robust learning algorithms there. I’m also thinking about randomized, numerical linear algebra, which is an important part of machine learning. I’m still pretty early in the program though, so I’m trying to figure out where I want to live in the intersection of theory and practice, among other things,” said Manoj. “I’m just wrapping up course requirements. Next spring will be my last set of required courses, and I have to take the qualifying exam soon. Then, I can focus exclusively on my research for the next several years.”

Part of Manoj’s motivation for applying to the program was to practice organizing his thoughts around a research agenda. There were several components to the application, including a personal statement, a summary of his research interests, a research plan detailing how he would execute the project and share his results, and how the research would be beneficial to science or society as a whole. Applicants propose a project that is scaled to span three to five years, which is just over half of the duration of TTIC’s degree program. “My plan right now is to do good research and see where that takes me,” he said.

For students hoping to apply to this program in the future, Manoj recommends getting advice from advisors and senior students about the research proposal. As the research proposal receives such serious scrutiny, writing that document well is key to a successful application. He also suggests efficiently repurposing documents, as it is very similar to a graduate school application.

“I think the program has some interesting benefits,” said Manoj. “One thing that I found was that I might be able to get travel allowances that would allow me to attend more conferences. Having additional freedom to do that is even more peace of mind, which is really nice.” He is looking forward to attending conferences in machine learning when COVID-19 regulations allow.

March 2021 - TTIC addresses violence against people of Asian descent

On March 18, 2021 President Turk released a statement to the TTIC community regarding the recent surge in violence against people of Asian descent. Amplifying the words of the University of Chicago’s Provost Ka Yee C. Lee, and Dean of Students Michele Rasmussen, President Turk shared the following via email:

TTIC stands firmly with UChicago in opposing all bias, racism, and acts of hate and violence. The surge in anti-Asian rhetoric, discrimination, and violence in this country is extremely disturbing. The murders in the Atlanta area were a shock to us all.

To those in the TTIC community who are Asian or of Asian descent, you are integral to TTIC, as our colleagues, students, teachers, leaders, and friends. We value and appreciate you. TTIC stands in solidarity with you.

To all, please consider taking advantage of campus resources if you have experienced bias, feel threatened in any way, or want to seek or offer support. Additionally, don’t hesitate to contact HR Director Amy Minick or myself if you’d like to discuss any issues related to your safety or well-being at TTIC or our commitments to equity and inclusion.

March 2021 - Special Topics: Algorithms for Massive Data

In Spring Quarter 2021, Sepideh Mahabadi will be teaching a new course, Special Topics: Algorithms for Massive Data. This course will cover the theoretical aspects of computation over massive data.

While classical algorithms can be too slow, or require too much space on big data, in this course students will focus on designing algorithms that are specifically tailored for large datasets. Moreover, they will learn about different computational models that capture various aspects of computation over massive data, such as streaming algorithms and sub-linear time algorithms.

The course will also offer some of the algorithmic techniques and tools for solving problems over massive data, such as sampling, sketching, dimensionality reduction, and computing efficient summaries of the data (such as core-sets).

“I decided to teach this course to provide an opportunity for interested students to become familiar with the area of algorithms for big data, use the techniques developed in the course in other areas, be able to read recent papers in the area, and ideally start conducting research in this area,” said Mahabadi.

Spring Quarter begins on Monday, March 29. If you are interested in taking this course, please reach out to your academic advisor. This is a theoretical course, and enrollment is open to both graduate students and advanced undergraduate students with a strong background in algorithms and discrete mathematics.

February 2021 - Trustee Mari Ostendorf elected to the National Academy of Engineering

The Toyota Technological Institute at Chicago would like to congratulate Board of Trustees member Mari Ostendorf on being elected to the National Academy of Engineering. Prof. Ostendorf is the Endowed Professor of System Design Methodologies at the University of Washington, and has been a member of TTIC’s Board of Trustees since October 2017.

Prof. Ostendorf has been recognized for her “contributions to statistical and prosodic models for speech and natural language processing and for advances in conversational dialogue systems.” Membership to the academy is one of the highest professional distinctions in the Engineering community, with only 106 new U.S. members elected this year.

TTIC is proud to have outstanding scholars such as Prof. Ostendorf serving on our Board of Trustees, and we look forward to her continued success. She will be formally inducted into the NAE on October 3, 2021 during the academy’s annual meeting in Washington, D.C.

February 2021 - TTIC Celebrates Women in Science



In honor of International Day of Women and Girls in Science, female students, researchers, and professors at TTIC came together to create this video. Please enjoy watching the video to learn more about their research and why they chose to pursue careers in computer science.

January 2021 - Symposium on Women in Theoretical Machine Learning offers Connections for Female Researchers

On Friday, April 9, 2021, TTIC will be co-sponsoring a symposium on women in theoretical machine learning along with the IAS School of Mathematics and the Institute for Mathematical and Statistical Innovation (IMSI).

The goals of this symposium are to encourage collaborations, tighten relationships, and strengthen connections for female researchers in theoretical machine learning, computer science, applied mathematics, and statistical inference.

This event will offer an opportunity to enhance professional skills in a friendly environment. Participation is encouraged from graduate students, postdoctoral researchers, professors, and researchers from the industry. As the symposium will be held virtually, worldwide participants are welcome.

Speakers will include Jelena Diakonikolas (University of Wisconsin - Madison), Stefanie Jegelka (MIT), Po-Ling Loh (University of Wisconsin - Madison), Caroline Uhler (MIT), and Rachel Ward (The University of Texas at Austin). The event is being organized by Xiaoxia Wu (TTIC and University Chicago) and Mina Karzand (TTIC), and advised by Rebecca Willett (University of Chicago).

The symposium will run from 10:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. CST, and will be hosted on GatherTown and Zoom. The full schedule will be released in February, 2021, and the application closes at 11:59 p.m. CST on April 1, 2021.

The Women in Theoretical Machine Learning Symposium precedes IMSI’s workshop on The Multifaceted Complexity of Machine Learning, which will take place (virtually) from April 12-16, 2021.

January 2021 - President Matthew Turk named 2020 ACM Fellow

Matthew Turk, President of the Toyota Technological Institute at Chicago, has been named a 2020 Fellow of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM), the world’s leading computing society.

Dr. Turk was recognized for his “contributions to face recognition, computer vision, and multimodal interaction.”

The distinction of Fellow is the ACM’s highest membership grade, awarded to less than 1% of members worldwide for outstanding accomplishments in the field of computing. ACM Fellows are nominated by their peers, with nominations reviewed by a distinguished selection committee. 2020’s ACM Fellows represent 15 countries, including the United States, Japan, Israel, China, and the United Kingdom.

“This year our task in selecting the 2020 Fellows was a little more challenging, as we had a record number of nominations from around the world,” said ACM President Gabriele Kotsis. The ACM will formally recognize the 2020 Fellows at its annual Awards Banquet, to be held in San Francisco in June.

Before becoming the third President of TTIC in 2019, Dr. Turk was Chair of the Department of Computer Science at the University of California, Santa Barbara, where he co-directed the Four Eyes Lab, pursuing research in imaging, interaction, and innovative interfaces. He is also a Fellow of the IEEE and the IAPR and was the Fulbright-Nokia Distinguished Chair in Information and Communications Technologies. He holds a B.S. from Virginia Tech, an M.S. from Carnegie Mellon University, and a Ph.D. from MIT.

Additional information about the 2020 ACM Fellows, as well as previously named ACM Fellows, is available through the ACM Fellows site.

Dr. Turk joins TTIC Professor and Chief Academic Officer Avrim Blum in the ranks of ACM Fellows. Dr. Blum was recognized as an ACM Fellow in 2007 for contributions to learning theory and algorithms.

December 2020 - IEEE SPS Distinguished Lecturer

TTIC Associate Professor Karen Livescu has been appointed to the IEEE Signal Processing Society’s 2021 Class of Distinguished Lecturers. The Distinguished Lecturer Program provides a means for IEEE Chapters to have access to well-known educators, authors and recognized experts in the fields of signal processing to lecture at Chapter meetings.

November 2020 - Admissions Open House

Toyota Technological Institute of Chicago invites you to participate in a virtual Admissions Open House on Friday, December 4, at 11:00 am (Chicago time) via Zoom. TTIC faculty and students will present an overview of the Institute and the PhD program followed by open Q+A. Applicants have an opportunity to learn more about the PhD program, the TTIC academic community, and ask questions.

Advanced registration is required to attend this event: https://uchicago.zoom.us/meeting/register/tJ0sd-qtqjIiGNSvTbVmkw_aRKjK71PugaoW

November 2020 - TTIC announces its operational plans for Winter 2021


Winter Quarter 2021

  • Monday, January 11 - Friday, March, 19
  • January 11-15, all TTIC and UChicago courses will be conducted remotely.
  • Jan 18- Martin Luther King, Jr. Day (no class)
  • Jan 19- In-person instruction begins for courses with this option.
  • Feb 12- Break day
  • Mar 13-15- Reading Days (consult instructors about if class is meeting)
  • Final exams will be March 16-19.
  • Mar 19- Last day of winter quarter

For anyone traveling over the holidays and returning to Chicago, the City of Chicago has an Emergency Travel Order which requires self-quarantine for 14 days after arriving in Chicago from select high-infection states. TTIC members should observe this quarantine period and monitor all your symptoms before coming to campus and TTIC facilities.


Courses for Winter Quarter 2021

All TTIC courses for winter will have remote participation capability for those registered.

In-person attendance is not required for any TTIC course for Winter quarter. All are categorized as remote.

Specific questions about TTIC courses or delivery format should go directly to the instructor and/or your advisor.

Any in-person instruction during Winter Quarter will be socially distanced and every participant will be required to wear a mask. This is true for both TTIC and UChicago courses. Classrooms all over campus will provide hand sanitizer, and will have an updated cleaning schedule. Instructors and students are personally responsible for daily self-monitoring of symptoms, wearing masks while on campus, frequent hand-washing, and maintaining social distance. Everyone who returns to campus will be required to take safety training, and to sign an attestation that they will follow the new protocols including daily monitoring and not coming to campus if they’re symptomatic. (You only need to complete training once. Your ID card will be given building access after completion.)


Access to TTIC Facilities in Winter

The public health goal is to limit the spread of COVID-19, and this is best achieved by distancing people. Any work and activity that can be done remotely should continue to be conducted remotely.

TTIC facility access is operating at limited occupancy. For questions: contact@ttic.edu


Ongoing Public Health Situation + TTIC Plans

Public health and safety is the reason that TTIC, the world of academia, and nearly every country on Earth is making changes to lifestyle and business operations.The TTIC community can expect that any return to campus and TTIC facilities will include strict adherence and enforcement of CDC guidelines, as well as those of the University of Chicago, local, state and federal government.

Please keep in mind that plans under the COVID-19 pandemic situation is shifting for everyone, around the globe. Plans will continue to change. TTIC will issue updates with the community as we move through the quarter. We intend to continue to promote and value interactivity, connecting, and accessibility regardless of our proximity. If you have questions or concerns at any point, please reach out to TTIC for assistance.

Instructions for if you may have been exposed or have learned you are positive for COVID-19 can be found on the TTIC COVID-19 Resources page.

We will continue to closely monitor conditions locally and regionally. We will adapt our plans as needed.


Partnering with UChicago

TTIC is working with the University of Chicago and coordinating facility access, campus protocols, health services, facility cleaning services, student services, and curriculum offerings. TTIC and UChicago operations will match in most instances.


Spring Quarter 2021

TTIC’s COVID-19 Response Group will continue meeting and processing changing factors as they relate to public health, and the Institute’s operations. As we move through winter quarter, the TTIC community will be notified of any changes to plans, and updates for future plans. We anticipate announcing plans for Spring Quarter 2021 in early March 2021. For now, Spring Quarter will begin on Monday, March 29.

October 2020 - Google PhD Fellowship

TTIC PhD Candidate Mingda Chen has been awarded a Google PhD Fellowship in Natural Language Processing. Google PhD Fellowships directly support graduate students as they pursue their PhD, as well as connect them to a Google Research Mentor.

The Google PhD Fellowship Program was created to recognize and support outstanding graduate students who seek to influence the future of technology by pursuing exceptional research in computer science and related fields.

Mingda is interested in machine learning and natural language processing (NLP), with an emphasis on neural latent variable models for NLP, and scalable language pretraining using naturally-occurring supervision. He is advised by Prof. Kevin Gimpel. Congratulations, Mingda!

August 2020 - TTIC is part of an award collaboration of NSF and the Simons Foundation to uncover foundations of deep learning

TTIC’s Prof Nathan Srebro is a collaborator in one of two new awards through the Mathematical and Scientific Foundations of Deep Learning, or MoDL, program.

The National Science Foundation Directorates for Mathematical and Physical Sciences (MPS), Computer and Information Science and Engineering (CISE), Engineering (ENG), and the Simons Foundation Division of Mathematics and Physical Sciences have partnered to jointly sponsor the two new research collaborations through MoDL focused on explicit topics involving some of the most challenging questions in the general area of Mathematical and Scientific Foundations of Deep Learning. The interdisciplinary projects seek to understand and develop the theoretical foundations for deep learning networks. Deep Learning is part of a broader family of machine-learning methods that uses artificial neural networks to digest large amounts of raw data inputs and train AI systems without direct human supervision.

Each team is receiving a total of $10 million over the next five years. The funding will allow collaborating teams to embark on ambitious research projects, conduct student and recent doctoral degree recipient training from across the above-listed multi-disciplinary spectrum, host workshops and summer schools, and provide open access to results.

The Collaboration on the Theoretical Foundations of Deep Learning team is led by Prof. Peter Bartlet at the University of California, Berkeley and other academic partners include Stanford University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Princeton University, École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, University of California San Diego, Hebrew University, and University of California, Irvine. The team aims to study the mathematical mechanisms that underpin the practical success of deep learning; explain the limitations of current methods; and expand the accuracy and applicability of deep learning systems.

Complementing NSF’s National Artificial Intelligence Research Institutes, the MoDL program supports collaborations between mathematicians, statisticians, electrical engineers and theoretical computer scientists. In addition to ambitious research projects, the program will train students, host workshops and summer schools, and provide open access to results. As the need for data scientists grows, the benefits of programs like this one become clear. The interdisciplinary focus will build mathematical foundations and advance the understanding of deep learning and AI and enable the national workforce.

August 2020 - Special Quarter on Theory of Deep Learning (Sept - Dec 2020)

TTIC, as part of the Institute for Data, Econometrics, Algorithms, and Learning (IDEAL), will co-host a Special Quarter on the Theory of Deep Learning beginning in September 2020.

IDEAL is a multi-discipline (computer science, statistics, economics, electrical engineering, and operations research) and multi-institution (Northwestern University, Toyota Technological Institute at Chicago, and University of Chicago) collaborative institute that focuses on key aspects of the theoretical foundations of data science. The institute supports the study of foundational problems related to machine learning, high-dimensional data analysis and optimization in both strategic and non-strategic environments. The primary activity of the institute are thematically focused quarters which coordinate graduate course work with workshops and external visitors. IDEAL is an HDR TRIPODS institute supported by the National Science Foundation.

The autumn Special Quarter on Theory of Deep Learning is organized by Nathan Srebro (TTIC), Zhaoran Wang (Northwestern University), and Dongning Guo (Northwestern University). The special quarter will be held virtually on the gather.town platform, providing access to classes, meetings, seminars, and water-cooler interactions.

To register or learn more about IDEAL’s Special Quarter on Theory of Deep Learning, and future events through IDEAL, visit the IDEAL website.

July 2020 - TTIC announces its operational plans for Autumn 2020


Autumn Quarter 2020

Tuesday, September 29 - Friday, December 11

The possibility remains that dates may shift, based on public health and state or federal recommendations.

  • September 29 - October 2 - Autumn quarter week 1. No in-person instruction
  • October 5 - Courses may hold in-person sessions
  • October 5 - November 20 - Courses held remote, in-person, or hybrid
  • November 23 - November 27 - Thanksgiving week; no courses
  • November 30 - Remainder of autumn quarter is remote only
  • December 5 - December 7 - Reading period
  • December 8 - December 11 - Final Exam period

New Student Orientation will be an online experience.

September Diploma and Welcome Ceremony will be an online, live experience.

Those participating in any in-person autumn activity at TTIC (when available) should arrive in Chicago and monitor for any illness/ COVID-19 symptoms 2 weeks prior to any presence on campus. If you are arriving in Chicago from a Level 3 classified country, you must quarantine for 2 weeks, per the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH). The City of Chicago has an Emergency Travel Order which requires quarantine after arriving in Chicago from select high-infection states.


Courses in Autumn 2020

All TTIC courses for autumn will have remote participation capability for those registered.

TTIC students will have priority for any in-person Autumn courses. New TTIC students will have priority to register for List A courses that may meet in-person, followed by returning TTIC students, and then UChicago students. In-person attendance is not required for any TTIC course for Autumn quarter.

Specific questions about TTIC courses or delivery format should go directly to the instructor and/or your advisor, from August.

Any in-person instruction during Autumn Quarter will be socially distanced and every participant will be required to wear a mask. This is true for both TTIC and UChicago courses. Classrooms all over campus will provide hand sanitizer, and will have an updated cleaning schedule. Instructors and students are personally responsible for daily self-monitoring of symptoms, wearing masks while on campus, frequent hand-washing, and maintaining social distance. Everyone who returns to campus will be required to take safety training, and to sign an attestation that they will follow the new protocols including daily monitoring and not coming to campus if they’re symptomatic. (More details will be shared at a later date.)

Students and instructors should be prepared to transition to a remote format, as future shutdowns may be possible.


Access to TTIC Facilities in Autumn

The public health goal is to limit the spread of COVID-19, and this is best achieved by distancing people. Any work and activity that can be done remotely should continue to be conducted remotely. Future plans for building access will be communicated once renovations are complete and a process for safe access is determined.


Services and Support

TTIC services and support continue, most administered remotely.
All support services will continue during normal business hours (between 9:00am and 4:00pm).


Visitors

Only select classifications of visitors will be eligible for access to TTIC facilities in Autumn Quarter: registered students taking in-person TTIC courses, UChicago students advised by TTIC faculty (attending an in-person meeting only when the advisor is present), and regular UChicago collaborators. Any other visitors must be specifically approved in advance by the Chief Academic Officer or Chief Financial Officer.

Any visitor will be required to pre-arrange the visit and follow the same procedures and guidelines (including signing an attestation form) as TTIC personnel.


TTIC-Sponsored Travel

TTIC continues to suspend all institute-sponsored international and domestic travel until further notice.


Ongoing Public Health Situation + TTIC Plans

Public health and safety is the reason that TTIC, the world of academia, and nearly every country on Earth is making changes to lifestyle and business operations.The TTIC community can expect that any return to campus and TTIC facilities will include strict adherence and enforcement of CDC guidelines, as well as those of the University of Chicago, local, state and federal government.

Please keep in mind that plans under the COVID-19 pandemic situation is shifting for everyone, around the globe. Plans will continue to change. TTIC will issue updates with the community as we move through the quarter. We intend to continue to promote and value interactivity, connecting, and accessibility regardless of our proximity.


Partnering with UChicago

TTIC is located on the UChicago campus, and TTIC is in full agreement with the University: success of all our planning for the coming academic year rests with each member of the campus community consistently taking steps to help keep themselves and our community safe. We will ask every person on campus to uphold a new commitment, to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.

TTIC and UChicago operations will match in most instances.


TTIC Plans for Winter Quarter 2021

TTIC’s COVID-19 Response Group will continue meeting and processing changing factors as they relate to public health, and the Institute’s operations. We anticipate to be able to announce plans for Winter Quarter 2021 (which begins in January) in November 2020, before the Thanksgiving break.

July 2020 - Prof. Steve Hanneke co-recipient of COLT 2020 Best Paper Award

At the 33rd Annual Conference on Learning Theory (COLT), held virtually July 9-12, 2020, Prof. Steve Hanneke received the Best Paper Award for a paper entitled “Proper Learning, Helly Number, and an Optimal SVM Bound” and co-authored with Olivier Bousquet, Shay Moran, and Nikita Zhivotovskiy.

July 2020 - TTIC Welcomes New Faculty

TTIC is pleased to announce that 4 new Research Assistant Professors will begin work at the institute in Fall 2020. TTIC’s Research Professors are non-tenure track faculty in three-year appointments with no teaching requirements and receive endowment-provided independent research funding. The RAP program) provides a constant stream of energetic, talented, young faculty to the institute, allowing TTIC to be nimble and quickly move into new and developing areas, and helping to position researchers to launch successful careers.

June 2020 - TTIC supports those demanding an end to intolerance, discrimination, marginalization, and bigotry

TTIC’s Mission Statement says: “TTIC is committed to the values of human freedom, dignity, prosperity, and diversity.” President Turk confirmed in an internal mail to the TTIC community on Tuesday that the Institute is firmly committed to those values, and supports those demanding an end to intolerance, discrimination, marginalization, and bigotry. Racism and discrimination have devastating effects on society. Silence plays a key role in upholding and supporting narratives that contribute to systems of oppression and injustice.

The recent killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Ahmaud Arbery, along with too many others, have caused profound new grief and adversely affect our lives and the lives of those we care about in significant ways. We must individually and collectively reflect on the lives lost unnecessarily, and the systemic problems and challenges we all face as a society. The unnecessary race-based killings and violence must end.

May 2020 - TTIC continues remote operation for Summer Quarter 2020

Due to the ongoing global COVID-19 pandemic and state and federal public health regulations, TTIC will continue to operate remotely through the 2020 summer quarter (June 22 through August 28). The institute’s top priority is the safety of faculty, students, staff and partners.

We appreciate the cooperation, understanding and support we have received in these unusual times.

For questions about TTIC’s COVID-19 operations, email contact@ttic.edu

May 2020 - Dr. Mitsuru Nagasawa

TTIC is sad to share news of the passing of Dr. Mitsuru Nagasawa, the founding President of TTIC (2001-2010) and President Emeritus (from 2010). Dr. Nagasawa passed on May 8, 2020 at the age of 97. His fellowship and leadership made the foundation on which TTIC has ever grown.

President Mitsuru Nagasawa (President of TTI Japan, at the time) proposed a plan to make a department-sized school of computer science in the United States, was instrumental in locating TTIC on the Univ of Chicago campus, and securing the funding to make it a reality. In 2001, President Nagasawa and University of Chicago’s President Don Randall signed the first Memorandum of Understanding, linking the two schools in partnership.

Dr. Nagasawa oversaw the incorporation of the institute, initial faculty hiring, enrolling the first students to the PhD program, and seeing the first PhD graduation. He helped the institute achieve accreditation, secured the institute endowment, and initiated sound policy, principles and structures that would allow TTIC to grow, develop, and achieve.

April 2020 - Spring Quarter 2020 COVID-19 Update

TTIC is continuing to closely monitor the unfolding situation regarding the COVID-19 outbreak and appropriate actions to keep ourselves and our communities healthy and safe. TTIC is now fully remote, including remote spring quarter courses starting this week. We are having effective remote talks, meetings, and social times, so we are still engaged in learning, working, and all aspects of an academic community. Welcome to spring quarter!

March 2020 - TTIC Moves to Remote Learning for Spring 2020

Due to the global COVID-19 pandemic, TTIC’s top priority is to keep its faculty, students, staff and partners safe. With that goal in mind, the institute will be moving its spring curriculum to remote learning for the spring quarter 2020. All students registered in TTIC courses (or UChicago cross-listings) for Spring will be notified by Friday, March 20 if their course will still be held remotely, or if the course has been canceled. Please watch for an email from the course instructor. We appreciate everyone’s understanding and patience in these unusual times.

February 2020 - Alumni News

Graduates of TTIC’s PhD program have been appointed to research and academic positions at top institutions, and have received recognition from international academic associations. Recent alumni job placements and other highlights are below:

  • Somaye Hashemifar: Senior AI Scientist, Genentech

  • Jianzhu Ma: Walther Assistant Professor in Cancer Molecular Genetics and Assistant Professor of Computer Science, Purdue University

  • Mohammadreza Mostajabi: Research Engineer, Zendar

  • Behnam Neyshabur: Senior Research Scientist, Google

  • Jian Peng: 2020 International Society of Computational Biology Overton Prize

  • Hao Tang: Lecturer (Assistant Professor) at the University of Edinburgh

February 2020 - TTIC Alumnus Jian Peng to be awarded the 2020 Overton Prize

TTIC Alumnus, Jian Peng (PhD 2013) is to be awarded the 2020 International Society of Computational Biology (ISCB) Overton Prize. The prize is awarded annually for outstanding accomplishment by a scientist in the early to mid stage of his or her career. Laureates have made significant contribution to the field of computational biology either through research, education, service, or a combination of the three. The Overton Prize is often considered the most prestigious award for a young scientist in the field of Computational Biology. Dr. Peng will receive the Overton Prize at the Intelligent Systems for Molecular Biology (ISMB) 2020 conference in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, July 12-16, 2020 and will present a keynote address during the conference.

Dr. Peng is currently an Assistant Professor in the Department of Computer Science and College of Medicine (by courtesy), at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, as well as the Institute of Genomic Biology (affiliate), Cancer Center at Illinois (affiliate), and National Center of Supercomputing and Applications (affiliate). He conducts research in structure-based, genome scale prediction. His TTIC PhD advisor was Dr. Jinbo Xu, Professor at TTIC.

Articles profiling Dr. Peng and other ISMB award recipients of 2020 will be available in the ISMB 2020 focus issue of the ISCB newsletter later this year, as well as the ISCB Society Pages in OUP Bioinformatics, and F1000 Research ISCB Community Journal.

February 2020 - Student Workshop

TTIC holds its annual workshop highlighting student research on Feb. 21, 2020. All are welcome!

January 2020 - Julia Chuzhoy to be awarded the NAS Held Prize 2020

Congratulations to Julia Chuzhoy, to be awarded the National Academy of Sciences Michael and Sheila Held Prize for advances in discrete optimization and structure of graphs. The award honors outstanding, innovative, creative, and influential research in the areas of combinatorial and discrete optimization, or related parts of computer science, such as the design and analysis of algorithms and complexity theory.

Prof. Chuzhoy is recognized for her influential work on algorithms for routing in networks, which has introduced powerful new techniques and resolved deep open questions in the fields of graph algorithms and structural graph theory. She will be honored in a ceremony during the National Academy of Sciences’ 157th annual meeting, with 14 other awardees spanning the physical, biological, and medical sciences.

The National Academy of Sciences is a private, nonprofit institution that was established under a congressional charter signed by President Abraham Lincoln in 1863. It recognizes achievement in science by election to membership, and - with the National Academy of Engineering and the National Academy of Medicine - provides science, engineering, and health policy advice to the federal government and other organizations.

Prof. Chuzhoy joined TTIC in 2007, and is a full professor. Her research area is theoretical computer science, with the main emphasis on the design and analysis of algorithms for graph optimization problems, structural graph theory, and hardness of approximation proofs. She is a recipient of the NSF Career award, Sloan Research Fellowship, and she was an invited speaker at the 2014 International Congress of Mathematicians. Prof. Chuzhoy also has a personally maintained website which can be found at https://www.ttic.edu/chuzhoy

Full details of the award and acknowledged work: http://www.nasonline.org/programs/awards/2020-awards/Chuzhoy.html

January 2020 - Call for Proposals: 2020 Summer Workshop Program

TTIC announces its 3rd annual Summer Workshop Program. Workshop proposals are due February 25, 2020.

January 2020 - Recent Trends in Theoretical Computer Science Workshop

Announcing Recent Trends in TCS Workshop on January 31st, 2020 at TTIC.

December 2019 - TTIC accepting PhD applications

TTIC is accepting applications to its PhD program. Applications may be submitted at any time of the year, however, to guarantee full consideration for September admission, applications must be received by January 1, 2020. Areas of interest for prospective students include machine learning and optimization, theory of computation and algorithms, natural language processing, speech technologies, computer vision, robotics, computational biology, and areas adjacent to these. TTIC is committed to increasing the diversity of its student body, and we especially encourage applications from women and from other groups underrepresented in our field.

Apply Today

October 2019 - Advances in Natural Language Understanding

Researchers from Google AI and TTIC, including PhD candidate Mingda Chen and assistant professor Kevin Gimpel, created ALBERT, a model with state-of-the-art performance on several natural language understanding tasks. The story was covered by VentureBeat and Fortune, among others.

September 2019 - TTIC Welcomes New Faculty

TTIC is pleased to announce that 3 new Research Assistant Professors will begin work at the institute in Fall 2019:

TTIC’s Research Professors are non-tenure track faculty in three-year appointments with no teaching requirements and receive endowment-provided independent research funding. The RAP program provides a constant stream of energetic, talented, young faculty to the institute, allowing TTIC to be nimble and quickly move into new and developing areas, and helping to position researchers to launch successful careers.

TTIC also welcomes Visiting Scientist Travis Dick, who received his PhD from CMU.

August 2019 - TTIC Welcomes Summer Visiting Students

TTIC welcomes 17 visiting students during summer 2019

June 2019 - TTIC PhD Students awarded both COLT 2019 Best Student Paper awards

At the 32nd Conference on Learning Theory (COLT), held in Phoenix, Arizona, on June 25-28, 2019, both Best Student Paper awards went to TTIC PhD students.

TTIC PhD student Omar Montasser for the paper, “VC Classes are Adversarially Robustly Learnable, but Only Improperly” with TTIC Research Assistant Professor Steve Hanneke and TTIC Professor Nathan Srebro. Omar will present the paper at COLT on Thursday, June 27 at 2:20pm.

TTIC PhD student Blake Woodworth and Ayush Sekhari (TTIC visiting student) for the paper, “The Complexity of Making the Gradient Small in Stochastic Convex Optimization” with Dylan Foster, Ohad Shamir, (TTIC visiting student alumnus), Karthik Sridharan (TTIC PhD alumnus), and TTIC Professor Nathan Srebro. Blake will present the paper at COLT on Thursday, June 27 at 5:20pm.

In addition to the awarded papers, TTIC PhD student Pedro Savarese will be presenting his paper, “How do infinite width bounded norm networks look in function space?” with Itay Evron, Daniel Soudry and TTIC Professor Nathan Srebro on Wednesday, June 26 at 2:10pm.

Congratulations to Blake and Omar on their awards, and to all of the TTIC authors for their excellent work represented at COLT 2019!

June 2019 - TTIC bids farewell to President Sadaoki Furui

Sadaoki Furui Farewell Reception

Friday, June 28, 2019

2:00pm - 4:00pm (Open House)

Toyota Technological Institute at Chicago

6045 S. Kenwood, 5th Floor

  • 2:00pm: Celebration begins

  • 2:30pm: Program, Flute & Piano Concert

  • 3:00pm: Celebration continues

Hors d’oeuvres and open bar available

Attire: Come as you are

May 2019 - Jinbo Xu Receives RECOMB 2019 Test of Time Award

TTIC Professor Jinbo Xu, together with Professor Bonnie Berger of Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Dr. Rohit Singh, will be receiving the Test of Time Award at the RECOMB 2019 conference in Washington D.C. this May 2019, for the 2007 publication, “Pairwise Global Alignment of Protein Interaction Networks by Matching Neighborhood Topology.” RECOMB 2019 conference is the 23rd edition of a series of algorithmic computational biology conferences bridging the areas of computational, mathematical, statistical and biological sciences and is one of the top two conferences in Computational Biology. Professor Xu has also received the Best Paper award in RECOMB 2014 for his work entitled, “MRFalign: Protein Homology Detection through Alignment of Markov Random Fields” and the Best Poster award in RECOMB 2009 for his work entitled, “Boosting Protein Threading Accuracy”.

May 2019 - Midwest Speech and Language Days

On May 2-3, TTIC will host Midwest Speech and Language Days, a two-day workshop that brings together speech and language researchers in order to increase awareness of relevant research activity and foster collaboration in the region.

April 2019 - Google PhD Fellowship

TTIC PhD Candidate, Blake Woodworth, has been awarded a Google PhD Fellowship in Machine Learning. The fellowship directly supports graduate students for two years as they pursue their PhD, with full tuition and fees plus a stipend for living expenses, travel and personal equipment, and connects them to a Google Research Mentor.

The Google PhD Fellowship Program was created to recognize exemplary PhD students in computer science and related disciplines and acknowledge their contributions to their areas of specialty and provide funding for their education and research.

Blake is interested in the areas of optimization and machine learning theory, and works under the advisement of Prof. Nathan Srebro. Blake was also awarded a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship in 2017. Congratulations, Blake!

March 2019 - Matthew Turk Named Third President of the Toyota Technological Institute at Chicago

Announcement

Chair of the Board of Trustees, Masatami Takimoto, announces the appointment of Dr. Matthew Turk as the next President of the Toyota Technological Institute at Chicago.

Turk was appointed by TTIC’s Board of Trustees by a unanimous vote and will succeed Sadaoki Furui on July 1, 2019, with a formal inauguration in the fall of 2019. Furui announced in October 2018 that he planned to step down after two terms (just over six years) as president. Furui will remain in office until June 30 before the presidency is officially transitioned to Turk on July 1.

Furui called Turk the ideal person to lead TTIC into the next exciting stage of growth for the institute. Furui expects the institute to continue on its trajectory for great levels of accomplishment and innovation, and he hopes that accelerates with the appointment of the new president.

Chair Takimoto praised the work of the Board’s presidential search committee, which was led by trustee Eric Grimson, and worked hard since spring 2018 to ensure a successful outcome to the nationwide search. President search committee chair, Eric Grimson, said about Turk, “He is the perfect candidate to lead TTIC to the next level of excellence. He brings to TTIC an exceptional track record in research, teaching and innovation, especially in computer vision and human-computer interfaces. And his background in academic administration, coupled with his experience in industrial research labs, position him well to strengthen TTIC’s connections with the growing Chicago innovation ecosystem.”

Matthew Turk said of his new appointment, “I am deeply honored and thrilled to have the opportunity to serve as the next president of the Toyota Technological Institute at Chicago, and I am grateful to the TTIC Board of Trustees for giving me the chance to serve in this capacity. In its short history, TTIC has become a world-class computer science institute with a distinctive research profile and a dynamic and collaborative culture. The Institute is well-positioned to accelerate its momentum and surpass the impressive strides it has already achieved in its mission of international impact through research and education. I look forward to working closely with the Board and the entire TTIC community – faculty, students, staff, and partners – to further the mission, explore new opportunities for excellence and impact, and support TTIC’s unique scholarly community. I am particularly excited to get to know the people of TTIC, learn more about their recent and planned research, and to explore the wonderful city of Chicago.”

Biography

Matthew Turk is a full professor at the University of California, Santa Barbara, with a primary appointment in the Department of Computer Science, where he serves as department chair, and a secondary appointment in Media Arts and Technology. He brings a dynamic background of academic, industry, and entrepreneurial experience to the role of president. In 2000, Turk founded the Vision Technology Group at Microsoft Research, and he brings additional industry experience gained in working with a small Silicon Valley company and a large aerospace company. In 2014, he co-founded a startup company that spun out from NSF-funded research in his lab and was acquired in 2016. His background of industry and entrepreneurial experience is unique, complementing his twenty years in academia.

Turk earned a PhD in 1991 from Massachusetts Institute of Technology, with his dissertation, “Interactive-Time Vision: Face Recognition as a Visual Behavior,” leading to an “Outstanding Paper” award (1991) and a “Most Influential Paper of the Decade” award (2000). Turk’s MS is from Carnegie Mellon University in Electrical and Computer Engineering (1984), and his BS is from Virginia Tech in Electrical Engineering.

About TTIC

Founded in 2003, TTIC is a philanthropically endowed academic computer science institute, dedicated to basic research and graduate education in computer science. Its mission is to achieve international impact through world-class research and education in fundamental computer science and information technology. The Institute is distinctive to the American educational scene in its unique combination of graduate education and endowed research.

TTIC offers a PhD program leading to a doctorate in computer science, and focuses primarily on theoretical computer science (algorithms and complexity), applications of machine learning (computational biology, computer vision, natural language processing, robotics, and speech), and scientific computing (including numerical analysis, numerical optimization, and signal processing). It has degree granting authority in the State of Illinois and is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.

TTIC is located in Hyde Park on the University of Chicago campus and has a close affiliation with the University of Chicago Computer Science Department. The institute was founded by the Toyota Technological Institute (TTI), in Nagoya, Japan, as well as Toyota Motor Corporation (TMC), and maintains a strong relationship via collaboration and goodwill activity.

February 2019 - ITA 2019

Professor Nati Srebro led a plenary session at the 2019 Information Theory and Applications Workshop (ITA 2019) at San Diego, California on February 12, 2019. The workshop is an annual gathering of researchers working broadly on information theory and its applications in diverse areas of science and engineering. The plenary sessions of the workshop focus on important emerging topics. The week-long annual event drew about about 400 invited participants as well as over 200 student participants.

November 2018 - Summer Workshop Program

TTIC announces 2019 Summer Workshop Program

October 2018 - TTIC welcomes members of Chicago’s tech industry to attend our Industry Open House

On October 12th, TTIC is hosting an Industry Open House to introduce companies to the cutting-edge research conducted at TTIC, and to establish relationships with our faculty and students. The day will include presentations by several TTIC faculty members, a student-led interactive poster session, and a working lunch to explore opportunities for engagement. The Open House will conclude with break-out sessions to allow for more detailed discussions between participants and individual faculty members.

Please see the Industry Open House website for more information, including the link for registration.

September 2018 - TTIC Welcomes New Faculty

TTIC is pleased to announce that 7 new Research Assistant Professors will begin work at the institute in Fall 2018. TTIC’s Research Professors are non-tenure track faculty in three-year appointments with no teaching requirements and receive endowment-provided independent research funding. The RAP program) provides a constant stream of energetic, talented, young faculty to the institute, allowing TTIC to be nimble and quickly move into new and developing areas, and helping to position researchers to launch successful careers.

August 2018 - AI Driving Olympics (AI-DO)

TTIC will be taking part in the inaugural The AI Driving Olympics (AI-DO), a new competition focused around AI for self-driving cars. AI-DO 2018 will take place December 7, 2018, at Neural Information Processing Systems (NIPS), the premiere machine learning conference, in Montréal. This is the first competition with real robots to take place at a machine learning conference. AI Driving Olympiad “Robotarium” live environments begin in October and will be remotely accessible online for evaluation. Entries that score best will be run during the live event at NIPS 2018 to determine the winners.

TTIC joins 5 other academic institutions: ETH Zürich (Switzerland), Université de Montréal (Canada), National Chiao Tung University (Taiwan), Toyota Technological Institute at Chicago (USA), Tsinghua University (China) and Georgia Tech (USA), and two industry co-organizers: nuTonomy, an Aptiv company, and Amazon Web Services (AWS) in the first-of-its-kind event.

Read more about the competition here.

August 2018 - TTIC Welcomes Summer Visiting Students

TTIC welcomes 17 visiting students from 11 universities during summer 2018

June, 2018 - Prof. McAllester awarded 2018 Longuet-Higgins Prize

David McAllester was awarded the 2018 Longuet-Higgins Prize for fundamental contributions in computer vision. The prize recognizes a paper in Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition (CVPR) from ten years ago, and was awarded to Prof. McAllester’s 2008 paper with Pedro Felzenszwalb and Deva Ramanan entitled, “A Discriminatively Trained, Multiscale, Deformable Part Model.”

Since 2005, the prize is given annually by the Technical Committee on Pattern Analysis and Machine Intelligence (TCPAMI) at the Conference on Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition, and recognizes CVPR papers from ten years ago with significant impact on computer vision research. The prize is named after theoretical chemist and cognitive scientist H. Christopher Longuet-Higgins.

June, 2018 - TTIC President Search Underway

In the spring of 2019, Dr. Sadaoki Furui’s appointment as President of the Institute concludes, and he will be retiring from the position. President Furui is the institute’s second president since its founding in 2003, began his appointment in April 2013, and at the time of retirement, will have served two three-year terms.

To continue progress and enhance its contributions to computer science and higher education, TTIC is now seeking a president to lead its operations and community. Reporting to TTIC’s Board of Trustees, the president is the Institute’s chief executive officer and bears responsibility and accountability for the entirety of its operations. Leading a tenure-track faculty of eleven, 8 research assistant professors conducting postdoctoral research, a highly motivated staff of 10 and a student body of 30, the president will be charged with growing the Institute both in size and in reputation, enhancing the quality and number of its key partnerships (especially with TTI in Japan and the University of Chicago), maintaining and enhancing its fiscal well-being and nurturing an optimal environment for scholarship and teaching. Accomplishing these ends will require a leader with a Ph.D. in computer science or related field, a history of successful management and leadership within a complex, highly-productive university environment, the willingness and ability to serve as the Institute’s principal public representative and advocate, and an entrepreneurial spirit.

The Toyota Technological Institute at Chicago is doing cutting-edge work in a discipline very much “of the moment” to all of society. Its president will have the opportunity to expand on this important work both in capacity and in impact.

The full institute overview and role of the desired candidate can be found in the Leadership Profile document. Inquiries, nominations and applications are invited. For fullest consideration, applicant materials should be received by August 31, 2018. Candidates should provide a resume or curriculum vitae, a letter of application that addresses the responsibilities and requirements described in this leadership profile and the names and contact information of five references. Candidate confidentiality will be respected and references will not be contacted without prior knowledge and approval of candidates. Inquiries and application materials should be sent via email to the Institute’s consultants, Dennis M. Barden and Elizabeth K. Bohan of Witt/Kieffer, at TTICPresident@wittkieffer.com. Questions also may be directed to the consultants through the office of Laurie Adams at 630-575-6152.

June, 2018 - PLOS Computational Biology Research Prize 2018

Professor Jinbo Xu’s Paper Accurate De Novo Prediction of Protein Contact Map by Ultra-Deep Learning Model has been awarded the PLOS Computational Biology Research Prize 2018 in the category Breakthrough Advance/Innovation.

June, 2018 - Midwest ML Symposium

The Midwest ML Symposium (MMLS) aims to convene regional machine learning researchers for stimulating discussions and debates, to foster cross-institutional collaboration, and to showcase the collective talent of machine learning researchers at all career stages.

June, 2018 - Allyson Ettinger

TTIC Welcomes Allyson Ettinger as a new Research Assistant Professor arriving Fall 2018.

June, 2018 - Midwest Robotics Workshop

On June 14 & 15, TTIC will host the Midwest Robotics Workshop, which brings together robotics researchers and practitioners from throughout the Midwest for two exciting days of talks, interactive presentations, and networking.

May, 2018 - Making Machine Learning More Robust

MADISON – Artificial intelligence has become so smart and commonplace that most people accept computer-generated restaurant recommendations or movie suggestions without blinking an eye. Underneath the virtual surface, however, much remains mysterious in the realm of machine learning, where systems attempt to mimic the remarkable way humans learn.

Current machine learning capabilities aren’t up to the task for handling highly complex, rapidly changing, or uncertain environments, and artificial intelligence can easily be tricked by false information from a clever adversary—critical situations for national defense.

In an effort to build the next generation of machine-learning methods to support its needs, the Air Force Office of Scientific Research and the Air Force Research Laboratory have awarded $5 million to establish a university center of excellence devoted to efficient and robust machine learning at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. The center also includes researchers from the Toyota Technological Institute at Chicago.

Called the Machines, Algorithms and Data Lab (MADLab), the center is led by Robert Nowak, the McFarland-Bascom Professor in electrical and computer engineering at UW-Madison and an adjoint professor at the Toyota Technological Institute at Chicago.

Central to the new center’s mission is finding a deeper understanding of fundamental concepts in machine learning and then leveraging that insight into building data-efficient, operationally robust computer programs for national defense needs. However, innovations emerging from the center could benefit the lives of people worldwide, and Nowak believes the next generation of machine learning algorithms will not only bolster national defense capabilities, but also benefit civilians. “Our aim is to make machine learning more effective and broadly applicable,” he says.

Today’s machine learning techniques use massive amounts of data that humans have analyzed and labeled—preparing systems to operate in well-understood and well-defined environments. Essentially, with data and algorithms, we program machines to teach themselves.

However, some of the most sensitive types of information, like covert intelligence, often consist of poorly labeled or incomplete datasets, which currently can confound machine learning algorithms. Additionally, analyzing the types of data—like electromagnetic signals or hyperspectral imagery—that arise in tactical environments can be more complicated than parsing patterns from more common information sources such as photographs, sounds or texts.

“Modern machine learning methods can be unexpectedly fragile, which is particularly sobering when they are used in medicine, defense or autonomous vehicles,” says center collaborator Rebecca Willett, an associate professor of electrical and computer engineering at UW-Madison and ellow of the Wisconsin Institute for Discovery. “By understanding fundamental aspects of how and why different approaches work, we can better prevent failures.”

Future artificial intelligence methods will be required to help systems learn and make decisions without large amounts of human-labeled data. They also must perform in degraded or changing environments, and even determine how and when to ignore manipulated data.

“Machine learning has advanced considerably in recent years, but current systems require huge amounts of training data,” Nowak says. “Machines learn, but not as efficiently as people.”

Not yet.

At the MADLab, researchers will pursue four main avenues to make machine learning more efficient and robust. The scientists will work to teach computers to automatically select the most informative data for training, so that humans waste less time labeling unimportant information.

They will attempt to boost efficiency by making the coding that powers machine learning more similar to human brain patterns. Another goal is to ensure that machine learning algorithms perform predictably, even when faced with corrupt or incomplete data. And finally, the researchers will develop strategies to protect machine learning systems from attacks.

Because of its breadth of expertise, UW-Madison is an ideal location for the MADLab—and the new center will be an important addition to an already thriving community of data science, machine learning and artificial intelligence research on the campus.

“MADLab harnesses the collective talent of world-renowned researchers who already have made significant contributions to machine learning,” says Nowak, who also leads the machines, algorithms and data research effort in the UW-Madison Grainger Institute for Engineering and is a fellow of the Wisconsin Institute for Discovery at the university. “Data science and machine learning research is thriving at UW-Madison. MADLab and the National Science Foundation funded Institute for Foundations of Data Science in Wisconsin Institute for Discovery are working together to develop the science and technology of tomorrow.”

Center collaborators also include UW-Madison electrical and computer engineers Mikko Lipasti and Dimitris Papailiopoulos; Jerry Zhu and Yingyu Liang from the UW-Madison Department of Computer Sciences; and Greg Shakhnarovich and Karen Livescu from the Toyota Technological Institute at Chicago.

– Sam Million-Weaver, (608) 263-5988, millionweave@wisc.edu or Adrienne Nienow, (608) 262-2638, ahee@wisc.edu

April, 2018 - Michael Yu

TTIC Welcomes Michael Yu as a new Research Assistant Professor arriving Fall 2018.

April, 2018 - Sam Wiseman

TTIC Welcomes Sam Wiseman as a new Research Assistant Professor arriving Fall 2018.

April, 2018 - TTIC Robots at the Museum of Science and Industry

TTIC students demo robots at the Museum of Science and Industry for National Robotics Week

April, 2018 - Midwest Theory Day 2018

TTIC will host the 68th Midwest Theory Day (actually a two-day workshop) on April 12-13.

March, 2018 - Thatchaphol Saranurak

TTIC Welcomes Thatchaphol Saranurak as a new Research Assistant Professor arriving Fall 2018.

March, 2018 - Arturs Backurs

TTIC Welcomes Arturs Backurs as a new Research Assistant Professor arriving Fall 2018.

March, 2018 - Steve Hanneke

TTIC Welcomes Steve Hanneke as a new Research Assistant Professor arriving Fall 2018.

March, 2018 - Sepideh Mahabadi

TTIC Welcomes Sepideh Mahabadi as a new Research Assistant Professor arriving Fall 2018.

February, 2018 - Karthik Sridharan named Sloan Research Fellow

TTIC alumnus Karthik Sridharan (PhD 2012), now a Cornell University Assistant Professor, was named a 2018 Sloan Research Fellow. Karthik focuses on theoretical machine learning and was advised by TTIC Associate Professor, Nathan Srebro.

The Alfred P. Sloan Foundation identifies those that “…represent the most promising scientific researchers working today. Their achievements and potential place them among the next generation of scientific leaders in the U.S. and Canada.”

Congratulations, Karthik!

January, 2018 - Best Paper Award at APBC2018

TTIC researchers win best paper award at APBC 2018. The paper, titled “RaptorX-Angle: real-value and confidence prediction of protein backbone dihedral angles through a hybrid method of clustering and deep learning,” was authored by TTIC visiting student Yujuan Gao, TTIC postdoc Sheng Wang, Yujuan’s advisor Minghua Deng, and Prof. Jinbo Xu.

January, 2018 - TTIC Mourns the Passing of Tatsuro Toyoda: Chairman Emeritus, Founding Chair of the Board, and Dear Friend

TTIC is mourning the loss of Institute Chairman Emeritus and visionary business leader Tatsuro Toyoda, who passed on December 30 at the age of 88.

Mr. Toyoda was son of the founder of Toyota Motor Corporation (TMC), and led the company’s climb to become one of the world’s top auto makers. Mr. Toyoda served as TMC’s seventh president, stepped down as president in 1995, and continued to serve the corporation as an adviser, a title he held until his death.

Mr. Toyoda upheld the wishes and convictions of his father, Kiichiro Toyoda, throughout his own career, one of which was, “Always be studious and creative, striving to stay ahead of the times.” Honoring this belief led to Mr. Toyoda’s championing and support of education and research initiatives, including his dedication and focus to the ongoing efforts of the Toyota Technological Institute (in Japan) and the founding and flourishing of the Toyota Technological Institute at Chicago.

Mr. Toyoda was the founding Chairman of the Board for TTIC from 2002, and served until October 2013 when he was made the first Chairman Emeritus.

Mr. Toyoda’s generosity in the support of education and research, and his dedication of time, service, and attention to the success of TTIC are part of his legacy that we will continue to appreciate.

November 2017 - Sadaoki Furui named Honorary Professor

President Sadaoki Furui named Honorary Professor by Tokyo Institute of Technology

October 2017 - Summer Workshop Program

TTIC announces 2018 Summer Workshop Program

October 2017 - Jinbo Xu gives keynote at IEEE ICCABS

Professor Jinbo Xu is one of three keynote speakers at the IEEE 7th International Conference on Computational Advances in Bio and Medical Sciences (ICCABS).

September 2017 - Blake Woodworth receives NSF Fellowship

TTIC PhD student Blake Woodworth received an NSF Graduate Research Fellowship.

September 2017 - Featured article in Cell Systems

Article by Professor Jinbo Xu and colleagues entitled “Folding Membrane Proteins by Deep Transfer Learning” is a featured article in the latest issue of Cell Systems.

September 2017 - TTIC CAO Installment Symposium, Convocation and Commencement

TTIC welcomes new Chief Academic Officer Avrim Blum and thanks David McAllester for his years of service.

August 2017 - ICML 2017 - Test of Time Honorable Mention

Prof. Nati Srebro wins Test of Time Honorable Mention for his paper titled: Pegasos: Primal estimated sub-gradient solver for SVM

August 2017 - TTIC Welcomes Summer Visiting Students

TTIC welcomes 21 visiting students from 12 universities during summer 2017

April 2017 - TTIC is pleased to announce that Avrim Blum will be the new CAO starting in August 2017

The Toyota Technological Institute at Chicago (TTIC) is pleased to announce that Avrim Blum will be joining TTIC in August 2017 as Professor and Chief Academic Officer. Prof. Blum, who is joining TTIC from Carnegie Mellon University, is well-known for his work at the intersection of Machine Learning and Theoretical Computer Science. Throughout his career he has proven himself both as an outstanding scholar and as an effective and visionary leader.

Prof. Blum received his bachelor’s degree in physics and mathematics with computer science from MIT, and his master’s and PhD also from MIT, both in computer science. His academic accomplishments are widely recognized: Prof. Blum is an ACM Fellow, and recipient of the ICML/COLT 10-Year Best Paper award, the Alfred P. Sloan Fellowship, and NSF National Young Investigator Award, among others.

As the Chief Academic Officer, Prof. Blum will lead TTIC in cementing its accomplishments to date, as well as developing further as a thriving academic institution, toward its mission of achieving international impact through fundamental research and education.​

April 2017 - Robots at the Museum of Science and Industry

TTIC students demo robots at the Museum of Science and Industry for National Robotics Week

February 2017 - Protein Contact Map Prediction

Prof. Jinbo Xu’s work on predicting protein contact maps using ultra-deep learning referenced in The Economist

January 2017 - TTIC research on bias and artificial intelligence

Research by TTIC professor Nati Srebro on recognizing and addressing racial/gender bias in artificial intelligence algorithms was covered by The Guardian, Digital Trends, and ProPublica.

November 2016 - TTIC holds Student Workshop 2016

TTIC held its first Student Workshop 2016 on Tuesday, November 7th. The full day event included student talks, student poster sessions, a panel discussion and a student-alumni chat session. Prizes were awarded for Best Talk and Best Poster.

Best Talk:

Herman Kamper “Unsupervised speech recognition using acoustic word embeddings”

Best Poster: a tie.

Blake Woodworth “ Tight Complexity Bounds for Optimizing Composite Objectives” David Kim “Improved Approximation for Node-Disjoint Paths in Planar Graphs”

The Student Workshop will be a new annual workshop at the Institute intended to highlight, support and develop student talent.

October 2016 - President Furui named a Person of Cultural Merit

TTIC’s President, Sadaoki Furui has been awarded a Person of Cultural Merit (Bunka Korosha), one of the two highest prizes given by the Japanese Government. The honor is awarded annually to select people who have made outstanding cultural contributions. The award ceremony takes place at the Imperial Palace on Japan’s Day of Culture (November 3). President Furui was selected for his contributions to science and technology in the areas of speech and phonetic engineering. The Japan News article

August 2016 - TTIC welcomes 27 visiting students during summer 2016

Summer is a great time to visit both Chicago and TTIC! This year we welcome 27 visiting students from 17 universities

July 2016 - Professor Jinbo Xu’s work mentioned in Science

May 2016 - President Furui to give keynote talk at the Open House of the National Institute of Informatics

President Sadaoki Furui will be giving a keynote talk at the Open House of the National Institute of Informatics (NII), in Tokyo, Japan, titled “Prospects and Issues of AI and Autonomous Driving” on May 27.

April 2016 - TTIC research featured in the NVIDIA Newsletter

Recent work by TTIC professors Michael Maire and Greg Shakhnarovich and University of Chicago student Gustav Larsson working at TTIC was highlighted in the NVIDIA Accelerated Computing Newsletter. They have developed a fully automatic image colorization system using deep learning and GPUs. Read the article and access the full paper it is based on, here.

April 2016 - Midwest Vision Workshop to be held at TTIC

On April 14-15, TTIC will host the Midwest Vision Workshop. This is a regular regional meeting of computer vision researchers, providing a forum for presenting recent work, informal discussion and exchange of ideas. The meeting, which included oral presentations and poster sessions, draws participants from TTIC, University of Chicago, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, University of Michigan at Ann Arbor, Indiana University, Michigan State, Washington University in St. Louis, and other institutions. The two-day program will include talks and poster presentations.

March 2016 - PhD Candidate Hao Tang wins Best Student paper Award, ICASSP2016

TTIC student and PhD Candidate, Hao Tang, has received a Best Student Paper Award at IEEE ICASSP conference held in Shanghai, China, in March. The winners of the IEEE ICASSP2016 Speech and Language Processing Student Paper Awards were announced in the Opening Ceremony and Awards Presentation at the conference.

March 17-18, 2016 - First Annual Midwest Robotics Workshop to be held at TTIC

TTIC will host the first annual Midwest Robotics Workshop (MWRW). The workshop is intended to bring together roboticists from academia and industry in and around the Midwestern United States. It is an opportunity for researchers and practitioners to share their work and to network with one another, with the goal of creating a more cohesive and vibrant robotics community in the Midwest. The workshop will feature invited talks by leading researchers, and an exciting collection of oral presentations and interactive poster sessions.

TTIC organizer: Matthew Walter (mwalter@ttic.edu)

December 17, 2015 - President Furui to give keynote talk at APSIPA ASCM

TTIC’s President Sadaoki Furui has been invited to give a keynote talk at Asia-Pacific Signal and Information Processing Association Annual Summit and Conference, being held December 16-19, 2015 in Hong Kong. The talk is titled “Whither Speech Recognition? - Deep Learning to Deep Thinking” Event details can be found here. (http://www.apsipa2015.org/keynote.htm)

September 10, 2015 - Prof. Li-Yang Tan awarded Best Paper Award for FOCS 2015

TTIC Research Assistant Professor Li-Yang Tan is awarded Best Paper Award at the The 56th Annual Symposium on Foundations of Computer Science (FOCS 2015) for the paper “An Average-Case Depth Hierarchy Theorem for Boolean Circuits,” co-authored with Benjamin Rossman and Rocco Servedio. FOCS is the flagship conference sponsored by the IEEE Computer Society and covers a broad range of theoretical computer science.

May 7, 2015 - Midwest Speech and Language Days 2015

May 7th & 8th, 2015
Toyota Technological Institute at Chicago
6045 S. Kenwood Ave, Chicago, IL - 5th Floor

Midwest Speech and Language Days (MSLD) is a 2-day meeting held at TTI-Chicago that continues and expands upon the tradition of Illinois Speech Day and the Midwest Computational Linguistics Colloquium. Presenters and attendees come from Midwest universities and research institutions. The goal of the workshop is to increase awareness of speech and language research going on in the region and to foster collaboration among sites.

Please visit the link for presenters and schedules for both days. http://home.ttic.edu/~mbansal/msld2015.html

TTIC organizers: Mohit Bansal: mbansal@ttic.edu, Karen Livescu: klivescu@ttic.edu and Kevin Gimpel: kgimpel@ttic.edu

February 16, 2015 - President Furui to give Distinguished Lecture at Northwestern University

TTIC’s President Sadaoki Furui has been invited to give a distinguished lecture at Northwestern University’s Electrical Engineering and Computer Science department on Wednesday, February 18, at 2pm. The talk is titled “Machine Learning Techniques for Automatic Speech Recognition, including Recent Work at TTIC.” The lecture will be held at Ford ITW Auditorium (Room 1-350). Event details can be found here.

December 16, 2014 - Midwest Vision Workshop to be held at TTIC

On December 16-17, TTIC will host the Midwest Vision Workshop. This is a regular regional meeting of computer vision researchers, providing a forum for presenting recent work, informal discussion and exchange of ideas. The meeting, which included oral presentations and poster sessions, draws participants from TTIC, University of Chicago, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, University of Michigan at Ann Arbor, Indiana University, Michigan State, Washington University in St. Louis, and other institutions. The two-day program will include talks and poster presentations.

September 22, 2014 - TTIC student Zhiyong Wang, TTIC Professor Jinbo Xu, and UNC-Charlotte Professor Xinhua Shi awarded the ACM SIGBio Best Student Paper Award

The 5th ACM Conference on Bioinformatics, Computational Biology, and Health Informatics (ACM BCB 2014) awarded TTIC student Zhiyong Wang, TTIC Professor Jinbo Xu, and UNC-Charlotte Professor Xinhua Shi the ACM SIGBio Best Student Paper Award for “CNVnet: Combining Sparse Learning and Biological Networks to Capture Joint Effect of Copy Number Variants.” The conference is a premier forum for interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary research encompassing disciplines of computer science, mathematics, statistics, biology, bioinformatics, and health informatics.

August 14, 2014 - Karthik Sridharan, TTIC Ph.D. 2012, Assistant Professor, Cornell University

Congratulations to Karthik Sridharan, Ph.D. Alumnus 2012, who has accepted a position as an Assistant Professor in the Computer Science Department at Cornell University. Karthik has been a Postdoctoral Research Associate in the Department of Statistics of the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania since 2012 and his primary interest is theoretical machine learning. Karthik’s homepage.

August 14, 2014 - Jian Peng, TTIC Ph.D. 2013, Assistant Professor, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign

Congratulations to Jian Peng, Ph.D. Alumnus 2013, who has accepted a position as an Assistant Professor in the Computer Science Department at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. Jian has been working as a postdoctoral researcher in the Department of Mathematics and the Computation and Biology Group in CSAIL at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology since 2012 and his primary interest is in the design and application of both efficient algorithms and effective statistical modeling techniques, especially for processing, integrating and analyzing the vast datasets in genomics, systems biology and molecular biology. Jian’s homepage.

July 14, 2014 - Prof. Jinbo Xu’s group wins Warren DeLano Award for Structural Bioinformatics and Computational Biophysics, ISMB 3DSIG 2014

TTIC’s (PhD Candidate) Jianzhu Ma, (Postdoc) Sheng Wang and Prof. Jinbo Xu won the Warren DeLano Award for Structural Bioinformatics and Computational Biophysics, ISMB 3DSIG 2014 for “MRFalign: remote protein homology detection through alignment of Markov Random Fields.” 3DSIG is an ISMB satellite meeting on Structural Bioinformatics and Computational Biophysics. This work also won the Best Paper Award at RECOMB 2014 and the best poster award at the 2013 Zing conference for protein and RNA structure analysis. ISMB and RECOMB are the top 2 conferences in Bioinformatics and Computational Biology.

June 30, 2014 - Prof. Mohit Bansal awarded Best Long Paper Honorable Mention at ACL 2014

At the June 2014 52nd Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics (ACL 2014), Prof. Mohit Bansal was awarded the Best Long Paper Honorable Mention for the paper “Structured Learning for Taxonomy Induction with Belief Propagation” by Mohit Bansal, David Burkett, Gerard de Melo and Dan Klein.

Apr 30, 2014 - Prof. Jinbo Xu’s group wins Best Paper Award at RECOMB 2014

TTIC Professor Jinbo Xu and his group of two TTIC students, Jianzhu Ma and Zhiyong Wang, along with postdoc Sheng Wang, won the Best Paper Award at the 18th Annual International Conference on Research in Computational Molecular Biology (RECOMB 2014) in April. RECOMB is one of the top two bioinformatics conferences in the world. The winning paper is titled, ““MRFalign: Protein Homology Detection through Alignment of Markov Random Fields.”

Apr 22, 2014 - Prof. McAllester awarded ICLP Test of Time Award

TTIC Professor and Chief Academic Officer, David McAllester is being awarded the 20-year “Test of Time Award” at the 30th International Conference on Logic Programming (ICLP) in Vienna, Austria in July 2014. McAllester will be recognized for his 1994 paper CLP (Intervals) Revisited, coauthored with F. Benhamou and P. Van Hentenryck. The ALP 20-year Test of Time award identifies the most influential paper from the ICLP proceedings 20 years prior that stood the test of time.

Sept 27, 2013 - 10th Anniversary Symposium

As a part of TTIC’s 10 year anniversary celebration, the institute will hold an Anniversary Symposium on September 27, 2013, open to the computer science community. Our exciting line-up of confirmed speakers can be found on the event web site.

Time: 9-6 with continental breakfast at 8:30

Refreshments will be served, RSVP not required.

Location: TTIC 6045 S. Kenwood Ave. Chicago, IL 60637. Room 530

Sept 9, 2013 - Prof. Chuzhoy invited to speak at International Congress of Mathematicians

TTIC’s Julia Chuzhoy has been invited to speak at the International Congress of Mathematicians to be held in Seoul, South Korea in August of 2014. She will be a Mathematical Aspects of Computer Science section speaker.

The International Congress of Mathematicians (ICM) is the largest conference for the topic of mathematics, with the first meeting held in August of 1897. It meets once every four years. The Fields Medals, the Nevanlinna Prize, the Gauss Prize, and the Chern Medal are awarded during the congress’ opening ceremony. Each congress is memorialized by a printed set of Proceedings recording academic papers based on invited talks intended to be relevant to current topics of general interest.

Aug 15, 2013 - Prof. Raquel Urtasun co-author of CVPR 2013 Best Paper Runner-Up Award

Raquel Urtasun was awarded the 2013 IEEE Conference of Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition Best Paper Runner-Up Award (sponsored by IBM Research) at the June Conference in Portland, OR, along with Marcus Brubaker and Andreas Geiger.

The paper was entitled Lost! Leveraging the Crowd for Probabilistic Visual Self-Localization.

May 28, 2013 - Prof. Ben Moseley co-winner of SPAA’13 Best Paper Award

TTIC’s Benjamin Moseley is a co-winner of the Best Paper Award at the 25th ACM Symposium on Parallelism in Algorithms and Architectures (SPAA 2013) being held in Montreal, Canada on July 23-25. He co-authored the paper with Ravi Kumar, Sergei Vassilvitskii and Andrea Vattani. The paper is titled, “Fast Greedy Algorithms in MapReduce and Streaming”.

May 9, 2013 - Midwest Vision Workshop held at TTIC

On May 9, TTIC again hosted the Midwest Vision Workshop. This is a regular regional meeting of computer vision researchers, providing a forum for presenting recent work, informal discussion and exchange of ideas. The meeting, which included oral presentations and poster sessions, drew more than 40 attendees from TTIC, University of Chicago, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, University of Michigan at Ann Arbor, and other institutions. The next Midwest Vision Workshop is expected to be held in the Autumn.

May 2-3, 2013 - Midwest Speech and Languages Days held at TTIC

Midwest Speech and Language Days was held at TTI-Chicago on May 2-3, 2013, expanding upon the tradition of the annual Illinois Speech Day to include more research in natural language processing and linguistics. The workshop included more than 60 participants from TTIC, University of Chicago, University of Illinois, Northwestern University, Rush University, Ohio State University, University of Michigan, University of Wisconsin, and others. As in previous years, it provided a forum for interaction among researchers from nearby speech and language research communities, featuring several sessions of talks and posters. Keynote presentations were given by Jim Glass from MIT, Yotaro Kubo from Nippon Telegraph and Telephone Corporation, and TTIC’s new president Sadaoki Furui. The full program can be found here (http://home.ttic.edu/~kgimpel/MSLD2013.html). The next workshop is planned for Spring 2014.

Apr 1, 2013 - Dr. Sadaoki Furui appointed as President

The Board of Trustees has appointed Dr. Sadaoki Furui to a three-year term as President effective on April 1, 2013. Dr. Furui is currently Professor Emeritus at the Academy for Global Leadership and University Contents Utilization Center at the Tokyo Institute of Technology. He is engaged in a wide range of research on speech analysis, speech recognition, speaker recognition, speech synthesis and multimedia processing, and has authored or coauthored over 900 published articles. His B.S., M.S., and Ph. D. degrees are all from the University of Tokyo.

From 1978 to 1979 he was with the Staff of the Acoustics Research Department at Bell Laboratories, Murray Hill, New Jersey, as a visiting researcher working on speaker verification. He is a Fellow of the IEEE, the Acoustical Society of America (ASA), the International Speech Communication Association (ISCA), and the Institute of Electronics, Information and Communication Engineers of Japan (IEICE). He was President of the Acoustical Society of Japan (ASJ), ISCA, the Asia-Pacific Signal and Information Processing Association (APSIPA), and the Permanent Council for International Conferences on Spoken Language Processing (PC-ICSLP).

He has served on the IEEE Technical Committee on Speech and MMSP and on numerous IEEE conference-organizing committees. He was an Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Speech Communication, the Transaction of the IEICE, and the Journal of the ASJ. He is also an Editorial Board member of the Journal of Computer Speech and Language, the Journal of Speech Communication, and the Journal of Digital Signal Processing.

He received the Yonezawa Prize and the Paper Awards from the IEICE (1975, 88, 93, 2003), and the Sato Paper Awards from the ASJ (1985, 87). He received the Senior Award from the IEEE ASSP Society (1989) and the Achievement Award from the Minister of Science and Technology, Japan (1989). He received the Book Award from the IEICE (1990). He received the Achievement Award from the IEICE (2003), the Signal Processing Society Award from the IEEE (2005), the Achievement Award from the Japanese Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (2006), the Purple Ribbon Medal from Japanese Emperor (2006) and the Distinguished Achievement Award from the IEICE (2007). He also received the ISCA Medal for Scientific Achievement (2009), the IEEE James L. Flanagan Speech and Audio Processing Award (2010), and the NHK (Nippon Hoso Kyokai: Japan Broadcasting Corporation) Broadcast Cultural Award (2012).

He served as Dean of the Graduate School of Information Science and Engineering (2007-2009) and Director of Institute Library (2009-2011) at Tokyo Institute of Technology. He has also supervised the 21st Century Center of Excellence (COE) Program entitled “Framework for Systematization and Application of Large-scale Knowledge Resources” (2003-2008).

Mar 31, 2013 - Dr. Rice resigns as Interim President

Dr. Stuart A. Rice, who has served TTIC as Dean from October 2006, and then as Interim President since October 2010, has announced his resignation from the latter position effective March 31, 2013. Under his leadership, TTIC continued its growth and development in research and education programs in fundamental computer science. Dr. Rice was instrumental in the search for a new president, the efforts to improve TTIC’s financial resources and stability, the recruitment of highly qualified Board members, and building upon strong collaboration with both the Toyota Technological Institute in Japan and the University of Chicago. He will continue to serve as a Trustee.

Mar 5, 2013 - Dr. Sadaoki Furui awarded Okawa Prize

Dr. Sadaoki Furui, Professor Emeritus; Professor, Academy for Global Leadership; Director of the University Contents Utilization Center, Tokyo Institute of Technology; and President-Elect of TTIC, has been awarded the Okawa Prize by the Okawa Foundation in Japan.

He received the award on March 5, 2013, at an international symposium at Tokyo Technological Institute.  His award was based on pioneering contributions to and leadership in the field of computer-based speech recognition and understanding.  He received a certificate, a gold medal and a cash award of ten million yen.

The Okawa Prize is intended to pay tribute to and make public recognition of persons who have made outstanding contributions to the research, technological development and business in the information and telecommunications fields, internationally.

Feb 27, 2013 - Professor Madhur Tulsiani awarded NSF CAREER grant

Professor Madhur Tulsiani is the recipient of the prestigious Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) grant.

The grant is awarded by the National Science Foundation to support junior faculty in their research and educational activities. Quoting from the NSF website: “The Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Program is a Foundation-wide activity that offers the National Science Foundation’s most prestigious awards in support of junior faculty who exemplify the role of teacher-scholars through outstanding research, excellent education and the integration of education and research within the context of the mission of their organizations”.

Professor Tulsiani’s project is entitled Understanding Polynomial Structure Analytically and Algorithmically.

Dr. Tulsiani is the fourth TTIC professor with a currently awarded NSF CAREER grant.o

Oct 19, 2012 - Prof. Julia Chuzhoy co-winner of FOCS 2012 Best Paper award

Julia Chuzhoy was a co-winner of the best-paper award at the 53rd Annual IEEE Symposium on Foundations of Computer Science (FOCS 2012) being held in New Brunswick, NJ, on October 21-23. She co-authored the paper with Shi Li, who was her summer intern in the summer of 2011. The paper was titled, “A Polylogarithimic Approximation Algorithm for Edge-Disjoint Paths with Congestion 2”.

Sept 20, 2012 - Prof. Karen Livescu co-author of a best student paper at Interspeech 2012

A paper co-authored by former TTIC summer student Preethi Jyothi, Prof. Eric Fosler-Lussier of Ohio State University, and Prof. Karen Livescu was awarded an ISCA Best Student Paper award at the Interspeech conference September 9-13, 2012. The paper is titled “Discriminatively learning factorized finite state pronunciation models from dynamic Bayesian networks.” The conference included about 700 papers, and 3 Best Student Paper awards were given.

July 1, 2012 - Dr. Sheng Wang won the Warren DeLano Award for Structural Bioinformatics and Computational Biophysics

In ISMB 3DSIG 2012, Dr. Sheng Wang won the Warren DeLano Award for Structural Bioinformatics and Computational Biophysics for his work entitled protein structure alignment beyond spatial proximity, which is implemented as DeepAlign (available at http://home.ttic.edu/~jinbo/software.htm). (July 2012) The Warren DeLano Award for Structural Bioinformatics and Computational Biophysics was established in 2010 in association with the with the DeLano foundation in memory of Warren DeLano, the creator of PyMol and an advocate of free software in academia. Prizes are awarded based on scientific merit and are selected by the scientific committee members.

May 7, 2012 - Illinois Speech Day held at TTIC

The 4th Illinois Speech Day was held at TTI-Chicago on May 7, 2012. The workshop included participants from TTIC, University of Chicago, University of Illinois, Northwestern University, Rush University, Ohio State University, and others. As in previous years, it provided a forum for interaction among researchers from the nearby speech processing and speech science research community. The workshop included a keynote lecture by Julia Hirschberg from Columbia University, as well as several sessions of talks and posters. The full program can be found here. The next workshop is planned for Spring 2013.

Mar 28, 2012 - Prof. Yury Makarychev awarded NSF CAREER grant

Professor Yury Makarychev is the recipient of the prestigious Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) grant.

The grant is awarded by the National Science Foundation to support junior faculty in their research and educational activities. Quoting from the NSF website: “The Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Program is a Foundation-wide activity that offers the National Science Foundation’s most prestigious awards in support of junior faculty who exemplify the role of teacher-scholars through outstanding research, excellent education and the integration of education and research within the context of the mission of their organizations”.

Professor Makarychev’s project focuses on Metric Geometry Techniques for Approximation Algorithms. The award is effective July 1, 2012 and expires June 30, 2017.

Feb 15, 2012 - Prof. Jinbo Xu Awarded an Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Research Fellowship

The Alfred P. Sloan Foundation announced on February 15, the selection of 126 outstanding researchers drawn from 51 colleges and universities across the United States and Canada as recipients of the distinguished Sloan Research Fellowships for 2012. One recipient was Professor Jinbo Xu of the Toyota Technological Institute at Chicago. Xu’s research interests lie in computational molecular biology.

Awarded annually since 1955, the fellowships are given to early-career scientists and scholars in recognition of achievement and the potential to contribute substantially to their fields. Potential fellows must be nominated for recognition by their peers and are subsequently selected by an independent panel of senior scholars.

In the Press Release, Dr. Paul L. Joskow, President of the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation states, “Today’s Sloan Research Fellows are tomorrow’s Nobel Prize winners. These outstanding men and women are responsible for some of the most exciting science being done today. The Foundation is proud to support them during this pivotal stage of their careers.”

The $50,000 fellowships are awarded in chemistry, computer science, economics, mathematics, evolutionary and computational molecular biology, neuroscience, and physics.

The Alfred P. Sloan Foundation is a philanthropic, not-for-profit grant making institution based in New York City, established in 1934 and makes grants in support of original research and education in science, technology, engineering, mathematics and economic performance. www.sloan.org

Jan 12, 2012 - Midwest Vision Workshop held at TTIC

The 5th Midwest Vision Workshop (formerly Illinois Vision Workshop) was held at the Toyota Technological Institute at Chicago on Thursday January 12, 2012. The workshop drew more than 40 participants, including researchers from TTIC, University of Chicago, Indiana University, University of Illinois, and University of Michigan. It provided an opportunity for members of computer vision community in the Midwest to present their recent work in the form of talks and posters, get informal feedback and exchange ideas. The next workshop will be held in late Spring 2011 in Ann Arbor, MI.

Jan 11, 2012 - Professor Jinbo Xu awarded NSF CAREER grant

Professor Jinbo Xu is the recipient of the prestigious Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) grant.

The grant is awarded by the National Science Foundation to support junior faculty in their research and educational activities. Quoting from the NSF website: “The Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Program is a Foundation-wide activity that offers the National Science Foundation’s most prestigious awards in support of junior faculty who exemplify the role of teacher-scholars through outstanding research, excellent education and the integration of education and research within the context of the mission of their organizations”.

Professor Xu’s project focuses the Exact and Approximate Algorithms for 3D Structure Modeling of Protein-Protein Interactions.

Nov 14, 2011 - Presidential Search Continues

The Presidential Search Committee reported to the Board of Trustees on October 5 that it is continuing its work to search for the best person to serve as the next President. While the Committee is several months into the search effort, it will still accept and review nominations and applications for the position of president.

Any inquiries regarding the search can be sent to Stuart Rice at sarice@ttic.edu.

Nov 11, 2011 - Devi Parikh receives the Marr Prize

Devi Parikh received the Marr Prize for her co-authorship of a paper “Relative Attributes” that was presented at the13th International Conference on Computer Vision (ICCV) in 2011. Her co-auther was Kristen Grauman, an assistant professor at the University of Texas, Austin. The Marr Prize is a prestigioius award in computer vision given by the Committee of the International Conference on Computer Vision. Named after David Marr, the Prize is considered one of the top honors for a computer vision researcher.

Sept 9, 2011 - TTIC Professors Selected for NIPS Plenary Presentation

The paper “Consistency and Generalization Bounds for Latent Structured Probit and Ramp Loss” by David McAllester and Joseph Keshet was just selected for an oral (plenary) presentation at the NIPS 2011 conference in December. Only 20 papers out of 1,400 submissions were selected for plenary presentations.

May 11, 2011 - TTIC Hosts Illinois Speech Day 2011

TTIC continues in 2011, the tradition of hosting the Illinois Speech Day. Illinois Speech Day is a day-long meeting consisting of presentations and discussion on the theme of computational models of speech. Presenters are faculty, postdocs, and students at University of Chicago, Northwestern, UIUC, and the Toyota Technological Institute at Chicago. Presentations include completed and ongoing work, with the goal of fostering interaction among the attending parties. To register for attendance, see the program, or get directions, visit the event website: https://home.ttic.edu/~jkeshet/Illinois_Speech_Day_2011.html

February 17, 2011 - TTIC’s Stuart Rice is Awarded the 2011 Wolf Prize in Chemistry

TTIC’s Interim President, Dr. Stuart Rice, has been awarded the prestigious 2011 Wolf Prize in chemistry. Sharing the prize with him this year are Ching Tang of the University of Rochester, and Krzysztof Matyjaszewski of Carnegie Mellon University.

The Wolf Prize is an international award that has been presented most years since 1978 to living scientists and artists for “achievements in the interest of mankind and friendly relations among peoples … irrespective of nationality, race, color, religion, sex or political views.” The Wolf Prizes in physics and chemistry are often considered the most prestigious awards in those fields after the Nobel Prize.

The Wolf Foundation has said about Dr. Rice, “Professor Stuart A. Rice (born 1932, USA) has influenced the course of virtually every aspect of contemporary physical chemistry, and has shaped its directions broadly and powerfully. He has been a leader in most thematic areas of chemical physics. Rice´s great advances in organic solids led directly to his distinctive later work on the dynamics of single molecules and on phase transition behavior. This, in turn, led to his epoch-making research on the photonic control of chemical reactions. Rice´s original and pioneering investigations (both theoretical and experimental) into the properties of organic solids helped to define and to characterize a panoply of behaviors, and to conceptualize and formulate a coherent set of concepts, such as exciton behaviors, radiationless transitions, light absorption and emission.”

This coming May, Dr. Rice will receive his award from the President of the State of Israel in a special ceremony at the Knesset Building (Israel’s Parliament), in Jerusalem. For more info: www.wolffund.org.il

February 15, 2011 - Prof. Julia Chuzhoy Awarded an Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Research Fellowship

The Alfred P. Sloan Foundation announced on February 15, the selection of 118 outstanding researchers as recipients of the distinguished Sloan Research Fellowships for 2011. One recipient was Professor Julia Chuzhoy of the Toyota Technological Institute at Chicago. Chuzhoy’s research interests lie in theoretical computer science, with a focus on the area of approximation.

Awarded annually since 1955, the fellowships are given to early-career scientists and scholars in recognition of achievement and the potential to contribute substantially to their fields. Potential fellows must be nominated for recognition by their peers and are subsequently selected by an independent panel of senior scholars.

In their Press Release, Dr. Paul L. Joskow, President of the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation states, “The scientists and researchers selected for this year’s Sloan Research Fellowships represent the very brightest rising stars of this generation of scholars. The Foundation is proud to be able to support their work at this important stage in their careers.”

The $50,000 fellowships are awarded in chemistry, computer science, economics, mathematics, evolutionary and computational molecular biology, neuroscience, and physics.

For a complete list of 2011 winners, visit: www.sloan.org/fellowships/page/21

The Alfred P. Sloan Foundation is a philanthropic, not-for-profit grant making institution based in New York City, established in 1934 and makes grants in support of original research and education in science, technology, engineering, mathematics and economic performance. www.sloan.org.

December 13, 2010 - Midwest Vision Workshop held at TTIC

The 4th Midwest Vision Workshop (formerly Illinois Vision Workshop) was held at TTI-Chicago on Monday December 13. The workshop drew more than 40 participants, including researchers from TTIC, University of Chicago, Indiana University, University of Illinois, and University of Michigan. It provided an opportunity for members of computer vision community in the Midwest to present their recent work in the form of talks and posters, get informal feedback and exchange ideas. The next workshop will be held in late Spring 2011 in Ann Arbor, MI.

December 11, 2010 - Midwest Theory Day held at TTIC

TTIC has hosted the 61st Midwest Theory Day on Dec. 11, 2010. Midwest Theory Day is a biannual meeting which aims to bring together computer theorists and people generally interested in theoretical computer science. The theory day had a packed schedule, that featured a number of invited talks by some of the leading local theoreticians, as well as many short talks by local students, postdocs and faculty. With almost 50 people attending from all over Midwest, this was a great opportunity to listen to new results, discuss research in an informal atmosphere, and get to know each other better. More information available here: https://home.ttic.edu/~yury/midwest2010/

October 6, 2010 - President Nagasawa retires, Dr. Rice appointed as Interim President

Dr. Mitsuru Nagasawa, the founding President of TTIC in 2001, retired effective at the end of the Board of Trustees meeting on Friday October 1. Under his leadership, TTIC developed active research and education programs in fundamental computer science, became accredited to grant PhD degrees, and is active in the recruitment of outstanding graduate students and faculty. He will continue to serve as a Trustee.

Dr. Stuart A. Rice, who has served as Dean for TTIC since October 2006, was appointed by the Board of Trustees to serve as the Interim President upon the recommendation of the Presidential Search Committee. He was also appointed to serve as a Trustee concurrent with this appointment.

Dr. Rice, the Frank P. Hixon Distinguished Service Professor in the Department of Physical Chemistry at the University of Chicago, earned the following degrees:

  • Bachelor’s degree in 1952 from Brooklyn College,
  • Master’s and doctorate from Harvard University in 1954 and 1955, respectively.

He remained at Harvard as a Junior Fellow for two years and then joined the faculty of The University of Chicago in 1957, where he has remained since.

Professor Rice has served the university in a wide variety of capacities during his fifty-three year tenure. He served as the director of the James Franck Institute (the university’s center for physical chemistry and condensed matter physics) from 1961 to 1967. He was Chairman of the Department of Chemistry from 1971 to 1976 and was Dean of the Physical Sciences Division from 1981 to 1995.

Dr. Rice is currently on the Board of Governors at Argonne National Laboratory, managed by and affiliated with The University of Chicago, as well as Tel Aviv University. He has served as editor for Chemical Physics Letters and Advances in Chemical Physics, and co-authored several physical chemistry textbooks with Stephen Berry and John Ross.

Professor Rice’s was awarded the National Medal of Science, the highest scientific prize awarded in the United States, in 1999. He is a Fellow of both the National Academy of Sciences and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. In 1970 Professor Rice was awarded the Llewellyn John and Harriet Manchester Quantrell Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching, the nation’s oldest prize for undergraduate teaching, and a highly esteemed faculty award at The University of Chicago.

Over the course of his career, Rice has shaped much debate on theoretical physical chemistry. He is cited on the National Medal of Science “for changing the very nature of modern physical chemistry through his research, teaching and writing, using imaginative approaches to both experiment and theory that have inspired a new generation of scientists.” With over 100 doctoral students to his credit, Stuart Rice has had a great impact on the field of physical chemistry simply through the number of research scientists he has trained.

October 6, 2010 - Presidential Search Continues

The Presidential Search Committee reported to the Board of Trustees on October 1 that it is continuing its work to search for the best candidates to serve as the next President. While the Committee is several months into the search effort, it will still accept and review nominations and applications for the position of president.

Any inquiries regarding the search can be sent to Stuart Rice at sarice@ttic.edu.

September 16, 2010 - David McAllester and UoCTTI team win “Lifetime Achievement” Prize

At the PASCAL Visual Object Classes Challenge Workshop 2010 held in September in Crete, Greece, Prof. David McAllester was awarded a “Lifetime Achievement” prize as one of the authors of “Discriminatively Trained Deformable Part Model,” also known to VOC participants as the “UoCTTI” object detector.

Quoting from the award announcement: “First submitted to the PASCAL VOC challenge in 2007, this detector has now become a core component of many classification, segmentation, person layout and action classification submissions. We honour the contribution made to the community by the innovation and success of the method and its free distribution.”

“Discriminatively Trained Deformable Part Model” authors:
Pedro Felzenszwalb and Ross Girshick (University of Chicago), David McAllester (Toyota Technological Institute at Chicago) and Deva Ramanan (University of California, Berkeley, formerly of TTIC)

The publication can be found on Prof. McAllester’s webpage.

June 29, 2010 - Prof. David McAllester awarded AAAI Classic Paper award

Prof. David McAllester and David Rosenblitt have won the 2010 AAAI Classic Paper award for the paper “Systematic Nonlinear Planning”, which appeared in the AAAI conference in 1991, for “contributing seminal principles of systematic nonlinear planning, with wide-ranging influences on the evolution of research on automated planning.” The award will be presented at the AAAI - 10 conference in Atlanta, Georgia, July 11-15.

June 2, 2010 - Illinois Speech Day hosted at TTIC

TTIC hosted a regional speech research meeting, the 2nd Illinois Speech Day, on May 10, 2010, organized by Prof. Karen Livescu. About fifty people from Illinois and beyond participated. Among the institutions represented, in addition to TTIC, were the University of Chicago, Northwestern University, University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign, University of Washington, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and Carnegie Mellon University. The program can be found here.

February 11, 2010 - Jian Peng awarded Microsoft Research Ph.D. Fellowship

TTIC congratulates Jian Peng, a third-year TIC Ph.D. student who was awarded the prestigious Microsoft Research Ph.D. Fellowship, a two-year fellowship program for outstanding Ph.D. students supporting students in their third and fourth years of Ph.D. graduate studies. Jian works with Prof. Jinbo Xu on mathematical modeling in computational biology. His other research interests include machine learning and algorithms.

December 1, 2009 - 3rd Illinois Vision Workshop hosted at TTIC

TTIC hosted a regional computer vision meeting, the 3rd Illinois Vision Workshop, organized by Prof. Greg Shakhnarovich. About fifty people from the Midwest and beyond participated. Among the institutions and companies represented, in addition to TTIC, were the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign, the University of Illinois at Chicago, Northwestern University, the University of Michigan, the University of Missouri, UC Berkeley, Microsoft Research, Carnegie Mellon University, Eastman Kodak, and Cornell.

October 1, 2009 - TTIC is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission

The Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools announced that the Toyota Technological Institute at Chicago is now recognized as an accredited institute of education in computer science. The HLC is the regional commission recognized by the US Department of Education for the North Central region of the United States.

Quoting Dr. Mitsuru Nagasawa, president of the Institute: “Accreditation is an intensely rigorous but highly rewarding process. It has been invigorating to watch the academic process unfold. The institute has talented and determined faculty, students and staff, and we all share in this success.”_

February 13, 2009 - Prof. Julia Chuzhoy awarded NSF CAREER grant

Prof. Julia Chuzhoy is the recipient of the prestigious Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) grant. The grant is awarded by the National Science Foundation to support junior faculty in their research and educational activities. Quoting from the NSF website: “The Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Program is a Foundation-wide activity that offers the National Science Foundation’s most prestigious awards in support of junior faculty who exemplify the role of teacher-scholars through outstanding research, excellent education and the integration of education and research within the context of the mission of their organizations”.

Prof. Chuzhoy’s project focuses on the development of approximation algorithms and lower bounds for network optimization problems.

February 10, 2009 - TTIC hosts Workshop on Approximation Algorithms and their Limitations

Prof. Julia Chuzhoy organized a 3-day workshop on “Approximation Algorithms and their Limitations”, held at TTIC. The goal of the workshop was to bring together researchers in the areas of approximation algorithms and complexity theory, and to present diverse angles for studying approximability.

Prof. Chuzhoy’s comments on the workshop: The workshop was an opportunity to gather excellent researchers, who presented many outstanding new results. It was great to see how vibrant and full of activity this research community is, with new exciting research directions emerging. The informal workshop atmosphere has been great for exchanging ideas, open problems and for fostering new research connections.”

February 2, 2009 - TTIC moves to new facility

TTIC has expanded since it was founded in 2003, and, after six successful years at the University of Chicago Press Building, the Institute has moved to a new facility.

TTIC now occupies the fourth and fifth floors of the 6045 S. Kenwood Building on the University of Chicago campus. The space consists of nearly 30,000 square feet and includes two conference rooms, three meeting rooms, four student study rooms, a robotics laboratory, a cafe, and an idea lounge. The space boasts views of the Chicago skyline, the Midway Plaisance, the gothic University of Chicago campus, and Lake Michigan. Students, faculty and staff enjoy open, comfortable and interactive common spaces that encourage conversation, the sharing of ideas, and collaboration. There is a dramatic atrium in the center of the space with floating walkways and a grand staircase.

President Mitsuru Nagasawa’s comments on the new space: “This space is a physical manifestation of the progress and growth of TTIC since its inception. The faculty, students, and staff have performed beyond my early expectations, and we are well on our way to achieving international impact through world-class research and education in fundamental computer science and information technology. These are exciting times, full of challenge and opportunity. We are fortunate to meet them with strong leadership, teamwork, vision and commitment, all within an environmentally responsible new home built for the needs we face today and anticipate for tomorrow.”

The Institute looks forward to welcoming guests, new students and faculty to its new home.