CMSC5719 Seminar

Organizer: Shengyu Zhang

Time: 7:00-9:00pm, Monday.

Venue: Classroom 1007 of Productivity Training Institute (HKPC Building, 78 Tat Chee Avenue, Kowloon)

TA: Mak Yan Kei (ykmak@cse...)


  1. The assessment of this course includes 2 parts, homework (80%) and attendance (20%).
  2. Students need to attend at least 9 out of 12 seminars, and hand in at least 8 homework. If more than 8 are submitted, then the 8 with the highest scores will be counted.
  3. Please sign on the attendance list before 8:00pm each time you come to class. Students who have not signed on the attendance list by that time will be considered as being absent.
  4. Students should turn in homework before 8:00pm of next class. Late submissions will get only half credits.


Date: Jan 9, 2012
Speaker: Prof. Pak Ching Lee
Title: FADE: A Secure Overlay Cloud Storage System with Access Control and Assured Deletion
Abstract:In this talk, we will talk about how to build secure and practical applications for today's cloud storage services.
: Lecture notes, homework

Date: Jan 16, 2012
Speaker: Prof. Shengyu Zhang
Title: Game theory in computer science
: Game theory is a branch of applied mathematics to model and analyze interactions of two or more individuals, usually called players, each with a possibly different goal. Over decades of development, game theory has grown into a rich field and has found numerous applications in economics, political science, biology, philosophy, statistics, computer science, etc. In this lecture, we will introduce game theory with an emphasis on its connection to computer science --- including both studying game theoretical questions from computer science perspectives, and vice versa.
: Lecture notes, homework


Date: Jan 30, 2012
Speaker: Prof. Ho Man Jimmy Lee
Title: Solving the Salinity Control Problem in a Potable Water System Using Constraint Programming
Abstract: Salinity is the relative concentration of salts in water. In a city of southern China, the local water supply company pumps water from a nearby river for potable use. During the winter dry season, the intrusion of sea water raises the salinity of the river to a high level and affects approximately the daily life of 450,000 residents of the city. This talk reports the application of constraint programming (CP) to optimize the logistical operations of the raw water system so as to satisfy the daily water consumption requirement of the city and to keep the potable salinity below a desirable level for as many days as possible. CP is the key to the success of the project for its separation of concerns and powerful constraint language that allows for rapid construction of a functional prototype and production system. Flexibility and adaptiveness allow us to deal with our clients' many changes in the requirements. Deriving good variable and value ordering heuristics, and generating useful implied constraints, we demonstrate that branch-and-bound search with constraint propagation can cope with an optimization problem of large size and great difficulty.
: Lecture notes, homework

Date: Feb 6, 2012
Speaker: Prof. Andrej Bogdanov
Title: Cryptography: What is it good for?
Abstract: Cryptography is the theory that underlies secure computations in insecure environments, like the internet. You rely on it when you send your credit card number to make a purchase online. I will give an idea of certain basic principles that make cryptography possible, say a bit about our confidence in these principles, and perhaps talk about the role of cryptography in some current and future applications like electronic cash, electronic voting, and outsourcing of computation.
: Lecture notes, homework


Date: Feb 13, 2012
Speaker: Prof. Qiang Xu
Title: Fault-tolerant computing
Abstract: Fault-tolerant computing is the art and science of building computing systems that continue to operate satisfactorily in the presence of faults. While it used to be the concern of computer systems in specialized applications (e.g., spacecraft control and telephone switching) only, with the advancement of hardware and software technology and the increasing complexity of computer systems, it has become a necessity for a wide range of industrial, commercial and even personal applications. This lecture introduces the basic concepts of fault-tolerant computing and overviews the models and methods used in the analysis and design of highly reliable computer systems.
Documents: Lecture notes, homework (You can turn in this homework on Feb 27, together with the homework for the lecture on Feb 20.)

Date: Feb 20, 2012
Speaker: Prof. Kin Hong Wong
Title: 3D computer vision techniques.
Abstract: In this talk, the ideas of obtaining 3D information of objects (or called 3D reconstruction) using different techniques are discussed. Currently, the most popular one is the image based method that uses 2D cameras for 3D reconstruction; in particular reconstruction based on one-image, two-image and multiple-image are discussed. Moreover, batch and sequential treatments of input data are studied. I will also talk about novel techniques, such as using multiple cameras and laser based methods to obtain 3D information. And I will discuss how 3D computer vision is used in film and game production. Finally naked-eye 3D display technologies will be mentioned.
Documents: Lecture notes, homework

Date: Feb 27, 2012
Speaker: Prof. Hanqiu Sun
Title: Advanced Rendering in Virtual Environments
Abstract: The advanced rendering in VR is to create virtual objects realistically and not virtually distinguishable from the real-world. Shadow information includes the shapes, materials and locations of the objects presented, and also information on the lights revealed. In general, shadows are often computationally intensive and great challenge to re-produce in real time. Shadow volumes work in the object space, and the virtual-scene complexity thus directly influences the performance of shadow volumes due to the object nature. Shadow mapping works in the image space, and requires only one additional rendering pass per light. With such flexibility and power, shadow mapping is extensively applied in real-time VR and gaming applications. In this seminar, the late research in realistic shadow rendering will be introduced and illustrated with the advanced techniques, also complex examples in realistic shadow rendering in VR are shown efficiently on graphics hardware GPU.
Documents: Assignment and related papers

Date: Mar 5, 2012
Speaker: Prof. Pheng Ann Heng
Title: Research and Applications of Virtual Medicine
Abstract: The main focus of Virtual Medicine is to develop and deliver virtual reality based training and computer enhanced learning in Medicine. Traditionally, medical students learn diagnostic, therapeutic and surgical skills through difficult clinical training on live patients. With the change in the health economics, the advances of minimal invasive surgery and shortening of hospitalization time, source and availability of patient for teaching become a major problem. Advanced technologies such as virtual reality and visualization can help to make the learning process more efficient, engaging and flexible. It is possible to construct immersive environments to provide realistic visualization and haptics feedbacks for surgical training.  In this talk, I would like to introduce related visualization and surgical simulation techniques and to share our experience in developing several virtual medicine applications.
Documents: Lecture notes 1, 2, homework

Date: Mar 12, 2012
No class. (The originally planned lecture by Prof. Fung Yu Young is bumped to Apr 2 due to a time conflict.)

Date: Mar 19, 2012
Speaker: Prof. Lap Chi Lau
Title: Introduction to randomized algorithms
Abstract: Randomized algorithms are often simpler and faster than deterministic algorithms. We will discuss some basic techniques in designing randomized algorithms, and highlight some recent successes such as network coding algorithms and data streaming algorithms.
Documents: Lecture notes will be taken from this one and this one; homework

Date: Mar 26, 2012
Speaker: Prof. Kwong Sak Leung
Title: An introduction to Bioinformatics and its application in Protein-DNA/Protein Interactions Research and drug discovery
Abstract: With a brief introduction to Bioinformatics, the talk consists of two up-to-date Bioinformatics research topics: (1) Discovering approximate protein-DNA interaction sequence patterns, and (2) Drug synthesis based on optimizing the conformations of 3D protein-ligand interactions. Encouraging results have been achieved to better understand gene regulation (the essential control mechanisms of life), and to more effectively and efficiently synthesize drug candidates with computers, respectively.
Documents: Lecture notes, homework

Date: Apr 2, 2012
Speaker: Prof. Fung Yu Young
Title: Digital Microfluidic Biochip: Design and Applications
Abstract: Digital Microfluidic Biochip (DMFB) is a revolutionary technology that allows medical assays to be performed accurately and efficiently on a digital chip using very small volumes of the samples. This offers a lot of advantages to large scale assays in pharmaceutical and medical research and on critical assays with only limited amount of samples, e.g., samples from newborns. In this seminar, an introduction of this biochip technology will be presented. We will then discuss various design problems arised in this area and some new optimization methods to solve those problems using different kinds of techniques.
Documents: Lecture notes, homework

Date: Apr 16, 2012
Speaker: Prof. Leo Jiaya Jia
Title: Introduction to computational photography
Abstract: Computational photography is a new field at the convergence of photography, computer vision, image processing, and computer graphics. It leverages the power of digital processing to overcome limitations of traditional photography and it offers unprecedented opportunities for the enhancement and enrichment of visual media. This seminar covers fundamentals and applications of hardware and software techniques, with an emphasis on software methods.
Documents: Lecture notes, homework