CS114/214: Selected Readings of CS Research

Spring 2022
Mondays and Wednesdays 1:30-3:00
Packard 101

Instructor: Philip Levis
  • Office hours: by appointment

  • Ed Question Forum: CS114 (join)

    Email: cs114-spr2122-staff@lists.stanford.edu

    Jelani Nelson, UC Berkeley Kunle Olukotun, Stanford Monroe Kennedy, Stanford Kris Dorsey, Northeastern
    Jeremiah Onaolapo, University of Vermont Anthony Joseph, UC Berkeley James Mickens, Harvard Audrey Bowden, Vanderbilt

    Selected Readings of CS Research examines 8 selected papers by leading scholars in computer science and electrical engineering. The papers cover a wide range of subfields within CS and EE. Students taking this course will learn about a broad view of research fields in EE and CS, including what kinds of problems different fields tackle as well as how they think about them. Students learn how to read research papers and see how different fields structure and present their ideas. Undergraduates interested in research, beginning graduate students who want to learn about how to approach publications, and more senior graduate students who want to read a selection of excellent work from a wide variety of fields are all encouraged to enroll.

    Each paper has two lectures on it. The first lecture is an introductory lecture, given by the instructor or expert in the field. This introductory lecture explains the research area and context of the work, giving enough basics so everyone in the class can read and begin to understand the paper. The second lecture is by one of the faculty authors of the paper, who will talk about the paper and how it came about, discuss their career, and answer questions.

    Coursework involves writing a 2 page report on each paper as well as final report in which you write a more detailed discussion of the related work and surrounding scholarship on one of the papers.

    Undergraduates are encourage to take CS114. Reports by students taking CS114 focus on the conceptual material in the papers and communicating an understanding of the basics of the topic area. Graduate students are encouraged to take CS214. Reports by students taking CS214 focus on explaining the ideas in the paper and their potential implications to the student's area of specialization.

    The guest lectures are open to the entire Stanford community. Due to the depth of the technical material, we do not recommend the course to students who have not completed the CS core (CS111 and CS161) or have an equivalent engineering background. If you have questions about these preprequisites, please contact the course staff.

    Syllabus (in progress)

    Date Topic
    3/28 Course Goals and How to Read a Research Paper (other reading: Keshav, Stent, Mitzenmacher)
    3/30 Lecture: Optimality of the Johnson-Lindenstrauss Lemma (by Moses Charikar)
    4/4 Guest Lecture: Jelani Nelson, UC Berkeley
    Jelani Nelson is a Professor in the Department of EECS at UC Berkeley. His research interests include sketching and streaming algorithms, dimensionality reduction, compressing sensing, and randomized linear algebra. He has been a recipient of the PECASE award, a Sloan Research Fellowship, and an NSF CAREER award. He is also the Founder and President of a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, "AddisCoder Inc.", which organizes annual summer camps that have provided algorithms training to over 500 high school students in Ethiopia.
    4/6 Lecture: SocialHEISTing: Understanding Stolen Facebook Accounts (by Zakir Durumeric)
    4/11 Guest Lecture: Jeremiah Onaolapo, University of Vermont (Slides)
    Dr. Jeremiah Onaolapo is an Assistant Professor of Computer Science at the University of Vermont (UVM). His research interests include malicious activity in online accounts, social network security, and cybersafety, among others. He won the best paper award at the 2017 Symposium on Electronic Crime Research (eCrime '17).
    4/13 Lecture: Plasticine: A Reconfigurable Architecture For Parallel Patterns (by Philip Levis)
    4/18 Guest Lecture: Kunle Olukotun, Stanford University (Slides)
    Kunle Olukotun is the Cadence Design Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at Stanford University. Kunle is a pioneer in multicore processor design and led the Stanford Hydra chip multiprocessor (CMP) research project. Kunle founded Afara Websystems to develop Niagara, the first high-throughput, low-power multicore processor for servers. Niagara derived processors power all Oracle SPARC-based servers. Kunle is a co-founder of SambaNova Systems a new AI processor company. Kunle directs the Stanford Pervasive Parallelism Lab (PPL) and co-directs the DAWN project. Kunle is an IEEE and ACM Fellow.
    4/20 Lecture: Mesos: A Platform for Fine-Grained Resource Sharing in the Data Center (by Philip Levis)
    4/25 Guest Lecture: Anthony Joseph, UC Berkeley (Slides)
    Anthony D. Joseph is a Chancellor's Professor in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at UC Berkeley. He joined the UC Berkeley faculty in 1998 and is a core faculty member of the Center for Computational Biology. At Berkeley he is developing adaptive techniques for: large-scale genomics, cloud/edge computing, network and computer security, and security defenses for machine learning-based decision systems. He also co-leads the DETERlab testbed, a secure scalable testbed for conducting cybersecurity research. He received his B.S., S.M., and Ph.D. Degrees in Computer Science from MIT, and is a member of IEEE, ACM, and USENIX. He was elected to serve as a Member-At-Large on the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) Council from 2008 to 2012, and he was a member of the Defense Science Study Group from 2004 to 2005. He was a Massachusetts Institute of Technology Martin Luther King Jr. Visiting Scholar in 2004 and 2005, a Nokia Foundation Visiting Fellow in 2004, and received the Diane McEntyre Award for Excellence in Teaching in 2007.
    4/27 Lecture: DenseTact: Optical Tactile Sensor for Dense Shape Reconstruction (by Jeanette Bohg)
    5/2 Guest Lecture: Monroe Kennedy III, Stanford University (Slides)
    Monroe Kennedy III is an assistant professor in Mechanical Engineering and courtesy of Computer Science at Stanford University. He leads the Assistive Robotics and Manipulation laboratory (arm.stanford.edu), which develops collaborative robots by focusing on combining modeling and control techniques together with machine learning tools. Together, these techniques will improve robotic performance for tasks that are highly dynamic, require dexterity, have considerable complexity, and require human-robot collaboration. Prof. Kennedy received his Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering and Applied Mechanics and Masters in Robotics at the University of Pennsylvania and was a member of the GRASP Lab. He was the recipient of GEM and NSF graduate fellowships. During his graduate studies, his research focused on increasing the abilities and effectiveness of robotic mobile manipulators performing complex service tasks in unstructured environments with considerations for working alongside human collaborators.
    5/4 Lecture: Oblique: Accelerating Page Loads Using Symbolic Execution (by Philip Levis)
    5/9 Guest Lecture: James Mickens, Harvard University (Slides)
    James Mickens is the Gordon McKay Professor of Computer Science at Harvard University. His research focuses on the performance, security, and robustness of large-scale distributed systems. Prior to becoming a professor at Harvard, Dr. Mickens spent seven years at Microsoft Research; he was also a visiting professor at MIT. At Harvard, he serves on the Board of Directors for the Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society. He is also a Faculty Co-chair for Harvard's Embedded EthiCS program, which strives to incorporate ethical considerations into computer science curricula. All of that being said, in the modern era, James Mickens spends most of his time trying to avoid unnecessary Zoom meetings. In the pre-modern era, he spent most of his time trying to avoid unnecessary in-person meetings. James Mickens' spirit animal is a Pokemon that cannot attend meetings. Society will eventually realize his genius and give him a Nobel Peace Prize. James Mickens will not attend the award meeting.
    5/11 Lecture: Dielectric charging effects in electrostatically actuated CMOS MEMS resonators (by Roger Howe)
    5/16 Guest Lecture: Kris Dorsey, Northeastern University (Slides)
    Kris Dorsey is an associate professor in the Electrical and Computer Engineering and Physical Therapy, Movement, and Rehabilitation Sciences departments at Northeastern University. She is also currently an MLK Visiting Associate Professor at MIT in the Media Lab. She was a President's Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of California, Berkeley and University of California, San Diego. Dr. Dorsey graduated from Carnegie Mellon University with a Ph.D. in Electrical and Computer Engineering and earned her Bachelors of Science in Electrical and Computer Engineering from Olin College. Her current research interests include novel morphology soft sensors, stability concerns for soft-material sensors, and sensors for soft robots and wearable medical devices.
    5/18 Lecture: Paper 3D reconstruction of cystoscopy videos for comprehensive bladder records (by Ehsan Adeli)
    5/23 Guest Lecture: Audrey Bowden, Vanderbilt University (Slides)
    Audrey K Bowden is the Dorothy J. Wingfield Phillips Chancellor Faculty Fellow and Associate Professor of Biomedical Engineering (BME) and of Electrical Engineering (EE) at Vanderbilt University. Prior to this, she served as Assistant and later Associate Professor of Electrical Engineering and Bioengineering at Stanford University. Dr. Bowden received her BSE in Electrical Engineering from Princeton University, her PhD in BME from Duke University and completed her postdoctoral training in Chemistry and Chemical Biology at Harvard University. During her career, Dr. Bowden served as an International Fellow at Ngee Ann Polytechnic in Singapore. From 2007-2008, she was the Arthur H. Guenther Congressional Fellow sponsored by the OSA and SPIE and served as a Legislative Assistant in the United States Senate through the AAAS Science and Technology Policy Fellows Program. Dr. Bowden is a Fellow of SPIE, a Fellow of AIMBE, a Fellow of OSA and is the recipient of numerous awards, including the Air Force Young Investigator Award, the NSF Career Award, the Hellman Faculty Scholars Award, the Phi Beta Kappa Teaching Award, Ford Foundation Postdoctoral Fellowship, and the NSBE Golden Torch Award. She is a former Associate Editor of IEEE Photonics Journal, former Lead Guest Editor of Biomedical Optics Express, Associate Editor of Biomedical Optics Express and is a member of numerous professional committees, including a Board of Director role at SPIE, the largest society for optics and photonics in the world. Her research interests include biomedical optics – particularly optical coherence tomography and near infrared spectroscopy – microfluidics, and point of care diagnostics.
    5/25 TBD
    5/30 Memorial Day (no class)
    6/1 Wrap-up


    Each student is required to write a 2-page (~1000 words) report on each paper. The report is due at 7PM on the Sunday before the guest lecture by the paper author. Your report for "Optimality of the Johnson-Lindenstrauss Lemma," for example, is due Sunday, April 3 at 7PM. Send your report as a PDF (not a link) to the staff mailing list. Your final report is due at 7PM on June 1st (the last day of classes).

    An CS114 report should include:

    • A summary of the paper.
    • 2-3 points in the paper that you found the most interesting/educational.
    • A list of the web pages or other sources you used to fill in anything you did not know.
    • Any aspect of the technical work which you had a lot of trouble understanding or could not figure out. If the latter, explain your best guess about it.

    A CS214 report should include:

    • A summary of the paper and its key contributions.
    • The ideas you found the most interesting/educational and why.
    • Whether you think the dissertation delivered on its claimed contributions and why.
    • A few ideas or thoughts on how the ideas in the work could have impact to your own research or field.