Felten, who is currently on leave as chief technologist for the Federal Trade Commission and a member of the Do Not Track working group, called on advertisers to voluntarily be “more polite” when tracking web activity of users.
“The advertiser tries to inject tracking on the user’s computer, and the user tries to engage in technical blocking measures,” Felten said. “That kind of arms race is really not good for anybody.”
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Sounds to good to be true: Naveen Verma and colleagues are developing a technology “that could lead to widespread wireless charging stations for all our electronics.”
Image courtesy Warren Rieutort-Louis.
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Kim Zetter has written a fascinating, in-depth profile of computer scientist and data privacy expert Arvind Narayanan. As the article notes, Narayanan is “heading to Princeton University next year to join the well-regarded Center for Information Technology Policy, led by computer scientist Ed Felten.”
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Delivering a USENIX conference keynote address in Boston this week, FTC chief technologist Ed Felten urged fellow computer scientists to do as he has done and serve in government.
Felten said that “technologists should seek out government posts because it gives them the opportunity to affect public policy, which often affects their jobs,” reports Chris Kanaracus of IDG News.
Felten is on leave from Princeton, where he is a professor of computer science and director of the Center for Information Technology Policy.
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Princeton is on a bit of a winning streak when it comes to ACM’s annual Maurice Wilkes Award for contributions to computer architecture in the first 20 years of someone’s career.
This year it went to David M. Brooks, Gordon McKay Professor of Computer Science in the Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, who earned his Ph.D. in electrical engineering from Princeton in 2001.
Photo of David Brooks courtesy of Harvard.
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Congratulations to Princeton University’s 2012 Anita Borg winners: Willa Chen, Angela Dai, Amy Ousterhout, and Kanika Pasricha. They will visit Google in Mountain View, California, this summer for a networking retreat. Read more on the Google Anita Borg Memorial site.
The New York Times Magazine this week features a wireless “tooth tattoo” developed at Princeton that detects harmful bacteria.
The sliver-thin device — made of silk, graphene, and a tiny antenna — is applied to the tooth much like a child’s stick-on tattoo. It can detect bacteria associated with not just cavities but, perhaps more important, diseases elsewhere in the body. The researchers have already used it to identify bacteria associated with stomach ulcers and some cancers.
The Times included the tattoo in a piece featuring “32 Innovations That Will Change Your Tomorrow.” See the full piece here (the tooth tattoo is invention is #23).
The Times isn’t the only media outlet enraptured with the potential of the tooth tattoo.
The research was reported March 27 in the journal Nature Communications.The paper’s Princeton authors included Michael McAlpine, assistant professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering, Naveen Verma, assistant professor of electrical engineering, graduate student Manu Mannoor, undergraduate Jefferson Clayton, and associate research scholar Amartya Sengupta at Princeton. Co-authors included Hu Tao, David Kaplan and Fiorenzo Omenetto of Tufts University and Rajesh Naik of the Air Force Research Laboratory.
Support for the research was provided by the American Asthma Foundation and the Air Force Office of Scientific Research. A full account of the research can be found here.
Princeton’s already enormously popular introductory computer science classes soon will be available on the new online learning platform Coursera. The first, on algorithms, created by Robert Sedgewick and jointly developed over the past decade by Sedgewick and his colleague Kevin Wayne, will be online late in the summer.
Sedgewick tells EQN that while it will be fabulous to have videos of his lectures online as part of Coursera, the courses already have a huge reach thanks to innovative course-related websites that Wayne and he have been developing for years.
More than half of all Princeton University undergraduates, regardless of major, take one of Sedgewick and Wayne’s computer science courses. Moreover their Princeton course websites already have a global reach: in 2011, they had 1.5 million unique visitors from across the world.
The algorithms course is based on a series of books by Sedgewick that have been bestsellers for decades (the most recent edition coauthored with Kevin Wayne). A second Sedgewick course, “Analytic Combinatorics,” based on the seminal textbook on the subject written by Philippe Flajolet and Sedgewick, will be offered in Spring 2013.
Sedgewick’s Algorithms textbooks have had wide influence on the teaching of computer science since the first edition was published in 1983. They are characterized by elegant implementations in real programming languages and demonstrate at the same time a wide range of real-world applications in graphics, animation and different scientific disciplines.
While non-Princeton students will benefit from free online access to these world-class computer science courses, Princeton students also will profit from the Coursera relationship, Sedgewick says.
“This will lead to more and better web content, improving what Princeton students already use,” he said. “It will provide extensive and powerful tools for their preceptors, who will then have more time for personal interaction with students.”
Take note: the Princeton Laptop Orchestra, a k a PLOrk, is performing at Richardson Auditorium this Saturday.
How exactly does one go about making an orchestra out of laptops? “That’s a question we try to answer with every piece of ours,” Rebecca Fiebrink, the current co-director of PLOrk and an assistant professor of computer science, tells the Daily Princetonian.
“It might be analogous to a conventional instrument in that every time the student makes a physical gesture a sound is triggered, and the way that person makes the gesture changes the nature of the sound, such as key strokes and mouse clicks, and for a lot of pieces we use the motion sensor that’s built into the laptop.”
Photo by Lorene Lavora.
About this blog
EQN is a blog from Princeton University’s School of Engineering and Applied Science that highlights faculty, students and alumni who, through innovation and leadership, are changing the world.
- Technology Review: mining cellphone data without violating privacy
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