Logo: University of Southern California

ISI Graduate Student Symposium Showcases Young Researchers' Skills

Peers and faculty judge eight AI projects on content, oral presentations, and posters
Eric Mankin
August 20, 2006 —

Martin Michalowski receives best paper award from ISI associate director Yolanda Gil
A new tradition began vigorously August 18 at the Information Sciences Institute Intelligent Systems Division, as eight grad students specializing in AI presented their research in a prize competition.

The idea, according to ISD director Yigal Arens, came from natural language specialist Kevin Knight. The idea is to teach and practice crucial communication skills - poster making, oral presentation, written papers - required (along with scientific insight) for successful careers in information technology.

The symposium was organized by AI PhD studentsDonovan Artz, Martin Michalowski, Matthew Michelson and Snehal Thakkar.  Eight faculty and eight students volunteered to read and judge the papers, and a full house of more than 50 researchers and students convened on the date to look, listen and (for presentation and posters) vote.

First and second runners-up prizes in the form of bookstore credits were given in each category, all in the two-digit  range. ISI startup company Fetch Technology made contributions to sweeten  the pot, and presented a talk on its activity.

ISI Intelligent Systems Director Yigal Arens, right, with winners  (from left) Rubenstein,Michelson and Michalowski

The winners:

Best paper: Martin Michalowski.  Runners up: Donovan Artz, Brent Lance.
Best poster: Matt Michelson and Snehal Thakkar. Runners up: Jacob Evarist, Shumin Wu
Best presentation: Michal Rubenstein. Runners up: Brent Lance, Martin Michalowski
Best reviewer:  Jonathan May

Kevin Knight bridged the hiatus while the votes were counted with a cheerfully bogus discussion of entirely fictitious and meaningless scientific issues.

The real presentations covered a wide range of topics, including teaching machines to see unusual events ; evaluating the reliability of web information, synthesizing geographical and text; and programming computers to interpret the emotional meaning of human gaze.

Next year, the organizers hope, the list will be longer and the prizes larger.

Winners: (left to right) Jacob Everist, Jonathan May, Shumin Wu, Matt Michelson, Donovan Artz, Martin
Michalowski, Snehal Thakkar, Michael Rubenstein, Brent Lance, Lei Qu. (photos by Rattapoom Tuchinda)

The complete list of papers:

Nature Inspired Morphallaxis for Self-Healing Systems: Michael Rubenstein & Wei-Min Shen.

Extracting Gaze Manner from Motion Capture Data:
Brent Lance

An Information Integration Framework that Supports Unstructured Sources:
Matthew Michelson & Snehal Thakkar

Surprise-Based Event Detection with Limited Sensor Information:
Jacob Everist and Wei-Min Shen

ITA: An Attempt to Simulate Tutor Feedback in a Game-based Language and Cultural Training System:
Shumin Wu

Modeling The Learners Engagement Using Bayesian Networks:
Lei Qu

Using Data Fusion for Constraint Inference in Geospatial Data Integration:
Martin Michalowski

A Study of Factors that Affect Trust in Information on the Web: Donovan Artz