News In and Around CSD

Decision To Share Personal Data Need Not Be All or Nothing
by Byron Spice | Wednesday, September 13, 2017

A smartphone app that uses the raw feed from a device's microphone or accesses its contact list can raise red flags for a user concerned about privacy. In many cases, however, the app doesn't need all the details that users find most sensitive.

Researchers at Carnegie Mellon and Peking universities have addressed this dilemma by creating a service, PrivacyStreams, that enables app developers to access the smartphone data they need for app functionality while assuring users that their... Read More

Just 30 Libraries Account for More Than Half of Sensitive Data Taps
by Byron Spice | Monday, September 11, 2017

Smartphone apps that share users' locations, contacts and other sensitive information with third parties often do so through a relative handful of services called third-party libraries, suggesting a new strategy for protecting privacy, Carnegie Mellon University researchers say.     

Controlling access to these third-party libraries, which help app developers make money by targeting people with ads or compiling marketing profiles, promises to be an effective way to limit the unwanted release of personal information. The research team developed an app... Read More

by Daniel Tkacik | Thursday, September 7, 2017

Chances are, you’re reading this article on a web browser that uses HTTPS, the protocol over which data is sent between a web browser and the website users are connected to. In fact, nearly half of all web traffic passes through HTTPS. Despite the “S” for security in “HTTPS,” this protocol is far from perfectly secure.

“The HTTPS ecosystem has seen a long and somewhat depressing series of bugs,” says Bryan Parno, an associate professor of Computer Science and ... Read More

by Melanie Simko | Monday, August 21, 2017

Carnegie Mellon University's Swartz Center for Entrepreneurship recently received a continuing grant from the National Science Foundation for its Innovation Corps (I-Corps) Sites program.

The I-Corps Sites program supports exploratory businesses created by teams interested in moving STEM research out of the lab and into the marketplace.... Read More

Friday, August 4, 2017

School of Computer Science students captained teams that finished first and second in the Cambridge2Cambridge (C2C) three-day cybersecurity competition that ended July 27 at the University of Cambridge.

Robert Xiao, a Ph.D. student in the Human-Computer Interaction Institute, led the Unstoppables team, which won the £9,000 top prize, and won the £3,000 Leidos C2C Individual award as well. Carolina Zarate, a senior computer science major, captained the CrypticCrushers team, which took the second-place £4500 prize.

C2C is organized jointly by the University of Cambridge and the... Read More

by Ann Lyon Ritchie | Thursday, August 3, 2017

Computer scientists need to collaborate with their counterparts in the natural and social sciences to advance cybersecurity research, according to a new report from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine

Carnegie Mellon University's Baruch Fischhoff co-chaired the Committee on Future Research Goals and... Read More

by Daniel Tkacik | Monday, July 31, 2017

Carnegie Mellon University’s hacking team, the Plaid Parliament of Pwning or PPP, won its fourth World Series of Hacking title this weekend at the DefCon security conference in Las Vegas.

With four titles under their belt, the team has more wins than any other team in the 21-year history of the international competition. The 10 current members of PPP include eight undergraduates from the School of Computer Science and one Ph.D. student in SCS’s Human-Computer Interaction Institute.

''The problem-solving skills required to win these contests mimic those needed by governments... Read More

Robots That Readily Expand or Shrink Would Be Possible
by Byron Spice | Thursday, July 27, 2017

Carnegie Mellon University researchers have found a way to design telescoping structures that can bend and twist, enabling robots of various shapes to collapse themselves for transport or entering tiny spaces, and making possible robotic arms and claws that can reach over or around large obstacles.

The researchers devised algorithms that can take a target shape that includes curves or twists and design a telescoping structure to match. They also created a design tool that enables even a novice to create complex, collapsible assemblies. The design possibilities range from something... Read More

by Barb Helfer | Tuesday, July 25, 2017

The Association for Computing Machinery's Special Interest Group on Computer Graphics and Interactive Techniques (ACM SIGGRAPH) has named Jessica Hodgins, professor of computer science and robotics at Carnegie Mellon University, the 2017 recipient of its Steven Anson Coons Award for Outstanding Creative Contributions to Computer Graphics.

Hodgins was selected as this year's recipient in recognition... Read More

by Byron Spice | Tuesday, July 25, 2017

What do Pittsburgh's "food boom," the establishment of Uber's Advanced Technologies Center and the return of Jean Yang to her hometown have in common? The School of Computer Science, says writer Steven Kurutz in the July 23 edition of The New York Times.

Kurutz' Style section article, "Pittsburgh Gets a Tech Makeover," explains how SCS has helped change not only the economy of Pittsburgh, but also its culture... Read More

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