For the first big project in this Fall’s CS 112 course, professors Subbu Subramanian and Paul Haskell offered their students the option to develop a Java program that plays the card game Blackjack. The software did not to give a human player a game to play, but rather acted as a player itself—choosing bets and deciding whether to hit, stand, split pairs, or double down. Each student’s game communicated in real time over a WiFi network with a central program that acted as the game Dealer. The students’ programs placed bets, received cards, and made plays virtually over the campus computer network.
The evening of November 2nd, all the CS 112 classes combined to hold a Blackjack Tournament. Over pizzas and snacks, the students pitted their games against each other, and against the Dealer, to see how well they played. The results were exciting for players and spectators alike. The students’ programs played almost 100 hands of Blackjack per second, and each game lasted about 10,000 hands. With initial stakes of $500 each, the software players were able to win and lose over $100,000 per game before the champions finally lost their last chip. A video shows one game’s progress, with students’ virtual piles of chips growing and shrinking based on their programs’ decisions and the luck of the cards.
CS 112 is the first or second college programming course most students have taken, so this was a particularly demanding project. Students’ programs ranged from a few hundred lines of Java code to almost 2000 lines. Most students programmed in Blackjack strategies researched online and tweaked through testing. The programs counted cards to determine when Blackjacks were likeliest. One program even developed a Neural Network to decide on the best way to play.
USF Computer Science faculty are not only fantastic teachers, but are active researchers. Below are some research publications and other work that our faculty have completed so far this year. If you would like to learn more about their research, join us every Tuesday this fall at 9AM (PDT) for our new Research Seminar (contact Gian Bruno for details and zoom link).
David Guy Brizan – Research Publications
A Badgujar, S Chen, A Wang, K Yu, P Intrevado, DG Brizan, “Quantum Criticism: A Tagged News Corpus Analysed for Sentiment and Named Entities,” Natural Language Computing Advances (NLCA) 2020.
K Sonar, P Intrevado, DG Brizan, “The Seven Critical Axes of Information For Yelp Restaurant Reviews,” in International Conference on Machine Learning and Applications (ICMLA) 2020.
A Badgujar, S Chen, P Khambatta, T Tran, A Wang, K Yu, P Intrevado, DG Brizan, “QUANTUM CRITICISM: AN ANALYSIS OF POLITICAL NEWS REPORTING,” Machine Learning and Applications (MLAIJ) 2020.
The Berkeley Revolution: my 100% custom WordPress website for Prof. Scott Saul’s American Lit class at UC Berkeley.
The Oakland Artists Project: I heavily customized an existing WordPress theme for Professors Ajuan Mance and Kirsten Saxton at Mills College (for a Digital Humanities class that I also previously co-taught with them).
Alark Joshi – Research Publications
Thanawut Ananpiriyakul, Josh Anghel, Kristi Potter, Alark Joshi, “A Gaze-Contingent System for Foveated Multiresolution Visualization of Vector and Volumetric Data,” Visualization and Data Analysis 2020 1 (02), 1-10
Alark Joshi, Marissa Schmidt, Shane Panter, Amit Jain, “Evaluating the benefits of Team-Based Learning in a Systems Programming Class,” Frontiers in Education 2020.
Preim, Bernhard, and Alark Joshi. “Evaluation of visualization systems with long-term case studies.” In Foundations of Data Visualization, pp. 195-208. Springer, Cham, 2020.
Sophie Engle – Research Publications
Sophie Engle, Sami Rollins, Gian Bruno, Xornam Apedoe, Matthew Malensek, Christina Tzagarakis-Foster, Alark Joshi, “Engendering Community to Computer Science Freshmen through an Early Arrival Program, ” American Society for Engineering Education 2020.
Darius Coelho, Rubin Trailor, Daniel Sill, Sophie Engle, Alark Joshi, Serge Mankovskii, Maria Velez-Rojas, Steven Greenspan, and Klaus Mueller, “”Blockchain for Collaborative Visual Analytics”, 17th International Conference on Cooperative Design, Visualization, and Engineering, 2020.
Professor Jung – Conference Presentation
Discrepancy Detection in Whole Network Provenance (Raza Ahmad (SRI International), Eunjin Jung (University of San Francisco), Carolina de Senne Garcia (Ecole Polytechnique), Hassaan Irshad (SRI International), Ashish Gehani (SRI International)). The Theory and Practice of Provenance (TaPP) workshop 2020
Haden Lee – Research Publications
Haden Hooyeon Lee, “More Personalized Learning by Reducing Latency in Grading,” In Proceedings of the 16th Annual ACM International Computing Education Research (ICER) Conference (ACM ICER 2020), August 2020, (To Appear).
Professor Vahab Pournaghshband recently had his paper, Promoting Diversity-Inclusive Computer Science Pedagogies: A Multidimensional Perspective accepted into ACM ITICSE202 [Link Here]
Vahab Pournaghshband and Paola Medel, “Promoting Diversity-Inclusive Computer Science Pedagogies: A Multidimensional Perspective,” In Proceedings of 25th ACM Conference on Innovation and Technology in Computer Science Education (ITiCSE), June 2020.
Vahab Pournaghshband and Hassan Pournaghshband, “A Project-Based Approach to Teach Security Concepts in Introductory Courses,” In Proceedings of the Consortium for Computing Sciences in Colleges Rocky Mountain (CCSC-RM 2020), October 2020, (To Appear).
Vahab Pournaghshband and Hassan Pournaghshband, “Entailing Security Mindset in Foundational CS Courses: An Interactive Approach,” In Proceedings of the Consortium for Computing Sciences in Colleges Midwestern (CCSC-MW 2020), September 2020, (To Appear).
Vahab Pournaghshband and Peter Reiher, “Protecting Legacy Mobile Medical Devices Using A Wearable Security Device,” In Proceedings of the 6th International Conference on Computer Networks & Data Communications (CNDC), December 2019.
Paul Kirth and Vahab Pournaghshband, “PLDetect: A Testbed for Middlebox Detection using PlanetLab,” In Proceedings of the 12th EAI International Conference on Testbeds and Research Infrastructures for the Development of Networks & Communities (TRIDENTCOM), December 2019.
Benjamin Wells – New Research
This is a result in word combinatorics showing that no substitution instance of a certain string occurs in a famous squarefree sequence (the Leech sequence) that uses three letters. https://arxiv.org/abs/2003.12213
The USF Computer Science department is thriving with four new tenure-track faculty members, two new research labs, a new graduate “Bridge” program that readies graduates from other majors for a Master’s in CS, and graduate enrollments that have doubled since 2016 and undergraduate enrollments that have tripled since 2013. The department is the largest and most diverse it has ever been in terms of both faculty, students, and expertise.
The new faculty members include Beste Yuksel who just started her third year and works in Human- and Brain-Computer Interfaces, Matthew Malensek (2nd year) who works in Big Data, David Guy Brizan (2nd year in CS) who works in Natural Language Processing and Machine Learning, and Vahab Pournaghshband (1st year) who works in Networks and Security. Hiring in CS is a huge challenge and we are thrilled to have added these terrific teachers and researchers to our department, and to have broadened our areas of expertise.Continue reading “Fall 2018 State of the Department”→
As the public embraces artificial intelligence (AI) in self-driving cars, virtual home assistants like Alexa, and even humanoid robots like Hanson Robotics’ Sophia, USF’s undergraduate and graduate computer science programs have teamed with Silicon Valley companies to train students in the technology behind these innovations: machine learning. Read more…
The first thing Professor Beste Yuksel did when she came to USF’s computer science department in Fall 2016 was create a Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) lab. Today, the lab is equipped with fully-immersive virtual reality (VR) and brain-computer interfacing (BCI), with which Yuksel and her students have been putting to use on research in areas of tutoring and social justice. Read more…
Beste Yuksel, Alark Joshi, and Sophie J. Engle, College of Arts and Sciences, have received a $82,738 grant from the National Science Foundation to support their project entitled, “CI-P: Toward Brain-Computer Interfaces (BCI) that Adapt to User Cognitive State.” Read more…
Professor Matthew Malensek, who specializes in big data, joined the Department of Computer Science this fall as an Assistant Professor. He said that he simply couldn’t pass up the opportunity to work alongside such inspiring faculty who are truly passionate about carrying out cutting-edge research. He’s thrilled to have the opportunity to teach (as well as learn from) such a diverse, talented, and motivated student body here at USF. Read more…