Seton Hall University - MS in Data Science

Welcome to the July 15, 2019 edition of ACM TechNews, providing timely information for IT professionals three times a week.

ACM TechNews mobile apps are available for Android phones and tablets (click here) and for iPhones (click here) and iPads (click here).

To view "Headlines At A Glance," hit the link labeled "Click here to view this online" found at the top of the page in the html version. The online version now has a button at the top labeled "Show Headlines."

Image of Fernando Corbato standing amongst early computers Fernando Corbató, a Father of Your Computer (and Your Password), Dies at 93
The New York Times
Katie Hafner
July 12, 2019

Fernando Corbató, who in 1990 received the A.M. Turing Award, died on Friday at the age of 93. Corbató spent his entire career at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and oversaw a 1960s-era project called the Compatible Time-Sharing System (CTSS) that allowed multiple users in different locations to access a single computer simultaneously through telephone lines. The advent of time-sharing reinforced the revolutionary idea that computers could be used interactively. CTSS gave rise to a successor project called Multics (also led by Corbató), which inspired a team of researchers at Bell Labs to create Unix, a computer operating system that was adopted widely in the 1980s and 1990s. Corbató also came up with the idea for the computer password. CTSS passwords are widely considered to be among the earliest computer security mechanisms.

Full Article
The Best of Both Worlds: How to Solve Real Problems on Modern Quantum Computers
Argonne National Laboratory
Mary Fitzpatrick
July 11, 2019

Researchers at Argonne National Laboratory, Los Alamos National Laboratory, Clemson University, and Fujitsu Laboratories of America have developed hybrid algorithms to run on quantum machines and have demonstrated them for practical purposes using IBM quantum computers and a D-Wave quantum computer. The hybrid algorithms employ the best features and capabilities of both classical and quantum computers to address limitations associated with the development of quantum computers, including qubit connectivity, high noise levels, the effort required to correct errors, and the scalability of quantum hardware. The team relied on graph partitioning and clustering as examples of practical, important optimization problems that can already be solved using quantum computers: a small graph problem can be solved directly on a quantum processing unit (QPU), while larger graph problems require a hybrid approach.

Full Article

Umpire with airpods on Baseball's Robot Umpires Are Here. You Might Not Notice the Difference.
The Washington Post
Jacob Bogage
July 10, 2019

The Atlantic League was the first U.S. professional baseball league to use a "robot" umpire at its recent All-Star Game. This setup involved the umpire wearing an Apple AirPod in one ear, connected to an iPhone, that received ball and strike calls from a computer in the press box. League officials previously tested software from sports data company TrackMan, supplied by Major League Baseball (MLB), during games in Connecticut and New Jersey. The Atlantic League is deploying the system, run via an elevated panel behind home plate, in each of its ballparks for use in the second half of its regular season. As part of a three-year agreement with Major League Baseball (MLB), Atlantic League officials were permitted to install experimental rules to assess their impact on gameplay, strategy, pace, and prospect development, with MLB pledging to "enhance its scouting coverage of the Atlantic League" and to implement hardware for player analysis.

Full Article
*May Require Paid Registration

Pictures of animals and pictures of their outlines next to them AI Can Edit Photos with Zero Experience
IEEE Spectrum
Matthew Hutson
July 10, 2019

Researchers at the Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel are using deep internal learning, in which a machine learning algorithm ascertains the internal structure of a single image from scratch, to edit photos without previous training. This achievement builds on research from a team at the Skolkovo Institute of Science and Technology in Russia, involving Deep Image Prior (DIP), a technique in which a multi-neural network is trained to replicate a specific image by looking for hierarchies of repeating features. The Weizmann researchers' Double-DIP process has two DIPs running in parallel, with each converting a random input into an image, and both images superimposed on and compared to a target image. The DIPs then independently modify their parameters so their combined image comes closer to the target. Dmitry Ulyanov of Moscow’s Skolkovo Institute of Science and Technology said he and his collaborators designed DIP to study the importance of network architecture (versus data).

Full Article
Hackers Breach Greece's Top-Level Domain Registrar
Catalin Cimpanu
July 9, 2019

Researchers at the Cisco Talos security intelligence research group said Greece's top-level domain registrar, the Institute of Computer Science of the Foundation for Research and Technology (ICS-Forth), has suffered a hacker breach, and identified the state-sponsored "Sea Turtle" hacker group as the perpetrator. Sea Turtle penetrates or accesses breached accounts at domain registrars and managed Domain Name System (DNS) suppliers, then alters a target company's DNS settings for internal servers. This reroutes traffic intended for legitimate corporate apps or webmail services to clone servers, in order to launch man-in-the-middle attacks and harvest user login credentials. The Talos researchers said Sea Turtle's strategy for the ICS-Forth breach is similar to past attacks, but the domain names for which the group modified DNS settings are not yet known.

Full Article
Chameleon Theory Could Change Our Thoughts on Gravity
Durham University (U.K.)
July 8, 2019

Scientists at Durham University in the U.K. have produced massive supercomputer simulations of the universe to test whether the Chameleon Theory (f(R)-gravity) could explain the formation of cosmological structures. This research demonstrated that the theory, which can replicate the success of General Relativity in showing the evolution of our solar system, also is applicable to galactic formation. Rather than invalidate Einstein's relativity equation, the f(R)-gravity research suggests multiple ways of describing gravity's role in universal expansion. Simulations like f(R)-gravity also can explain the universe's rapid growth. The Durham researchers think their work could help provide clues about the nature of dark energy.

Full Article

Lead data scientist at Zappos standing on stage At Zappos, Algorithms Teach Themselves
The Wall Street Journal
Jared Council
July 8, 2019

Online shoe and clothing retailer Zappos sees promise in a self-learning algorithm's ability to address the problem of its search engine producing irrelevant results. Zappos' chief data scientist Ameen Kazerouni said several years ago his team began testing a genetic algorithm, which has since become critical to boosting the search engine's relevancy. Genetic algorithms generate various solutions to a problem, using natural-selection principles like reproduction and mutation to return the optimal or "fittest" solution. The algorithms were designed to parse out the intent of a search phrase, with those that perform best on an internal "relevance test," which models how users engage with search results, having the greatest odds of having their traits inherited by the next generation. Zappos uses three genetic algorithm engines in parallel to generate better search results.

Full Article
*May Require Paid Registration
Improved Model Could Help Scientists Better Predict Crop Yield, Climate Change Effects
Realizing Increased Photosynthetic Efficiency (RIPE) – University of Illinois
July 9, 2019

Researchers working on the Realizing Increased Photosynthetic Efficiency (RIPE) project, which is led by the University of Illinois, have developed a computer model that incorporates how microscopic pores on leaves may open in response to light. This development could help scientists create virtual plants to predict how higher temperatures and rising levels of carbon dioxide will affect food crops. The researchers focused on simulating the behavior of "stomata," microscopic pores in leaves that open in response to light to allow water, carbon dioxide, and oxygen to enter and exit the plant. The ultimate goal is to identify ways to control the stomata in order to create drought-resistant crops.

Full Article
NIST Outlines Principles of Federated Community Clouds
Government Computer News
Susan Miller
July 9, 2019

The U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has released draft guidelines for fundamental hybrid and community-cloud deployment models via engagements between actors and their roles concerning trust, security, and resource sharing/usage. NIST's draft Cloud Federation Reference Architecture defines a federated cloud in terms of multiple actors, which include the cloud consumer, provider, operator, broker, auditor, and carrier, and their functional behaviors and interactions. The draft also describes required governance for each stage in the lifecycle, characterizes interactions of the federation architecture's components, and discusses deployment models, their implementation strategies, and their impact on performance, governance, trust relationships, and scalability. Comments on the draft are due Sept. 20.

Full Article
NASA Chooses MSU Researchers' Computer for Trial on Moon
Associated Press
July 7, 2019

Montana State University (MSU) researchers designed a radiation-hardened computer that was chosen by the U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) to be tested on the Moon, one of 12 science and technology payloads to be launched in the next two years. MSU's Brock LaMeres said the RadPC will be sent to the Moon to see if it can tolerate high-energy radiation particles; if it can, the system could be tapped as the primary flight computer for future lunar missions. The RadPC employs inexpensive, commercially available processors that run in parallel, so radiation-induced malfunctions in one would cause the others to identify the fault, assume its workload, and reprogram any damaged memory. A Moon-bound RadPC will feature radiation-measuring sensors, which LaMeres said would generate data that could be useful to long-term human missions.

Full Article
Social Networks of Protein Pieces
Freie University Berlin (Germany)
July 9, 2019

Researchers at Freie Universitat Berlin in Germany have developed a technique for computer-aided modeling and simulation of large proteins and other biomolecules, using machine learning combined with statistical physics. The technique is based on the realization that proteins closely resemble social networks, because their building blocks are small molecular switches that can each spontaneously change between multiple states. Said Freie Universitat Berlin's Simon Olsson, "We can use ideas from [artificial intelligence] to make computers learn a 'social network' of the building blocks and use this to understand their behavior." According to Freie Universitat Berlin's Frank Noe, describing this network allows characterization of all possible molecular configurations, without needing to see all the variants.

Full Article

An image of Xinke Deng Filter Enhances Robot Vision on 6D Pose Estimation
University of Illinois Aerospace Engineering
July 9, 2019

A team of researchers from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (U of I), the University of Washington, Stanford University, and NVIDIA have developed a filter to give robots greater spatial perception so they can manipulate objects and navigate through space more accurately. While three-dimensional (3D) pose estimation techniques provide location information on X, Y, and Z axes—relative location of the object with respect to the camera—the Illinois-led team used six-dimensional (6D) object pose estimation, which provides a much more complete picture. The new filter looks at each piece of image information collected by cameras to help reduce judgement errors, and computes the value of importance of the information from the other particles based on its observations. Said U of I researcher Xinke Deng, "Our program can estimate not just a single pose, but also the uncertainty distribution of the orientation of an object."

Full Article
The Sparse Fourier Transform
ACM Publications

Association for Computing Machinery

1601 Broadway, 10th Floor
New York, NY 10019-7434

ACM Media Sales

If you are interested in advertising in ACM TechNews or other ACM publications, please contact ACM Media Sales or (212) 626-0686, or visit ACM Media for more information.

To submit feedback about ACM TechNews, contact: [email protected]