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From the College of Natural Sciences

Angela Schiff is a writer from Austin, TX, and she currently covers research coming out of Texas Computer Science. Previously, she wrote for the music section of ORANGE Magazine. In her free time, she enjoys reading and baking banana bread that is somehow always too-dry.

Students Help Build App to Aid UT Community As They Return to Campus

Students Help Build App to Aid UT Community As They Return to Campus

As students, faculty, and staff prepare to return to campus for the fall semester, a key concern is making the university as safe as possible and properly tracking health data to prevent outbreaks. An interdisciplinary team of researchers and students, including Texas Computer Science undergraduate students Rohit Neppali, Anshul Modh, Viren Velacheri, and Ph.D. student Anibal Heinsfeld, developed the Protect Texas Together app to help track and mitigate the spread of COVID-19 on the Forty Acres.

Computer Scientists Explore How Artificial Agents Collaborate on a Shared Task

Computer Scientists Explore How Artificial Agents Collaborate on a Shared Task

There's an (albeit cliché) saying that says that two heads are better than one. Unsurprisingly, this idiom extends to artificial agents. In the field of AI, researchers have been working to understand how to make independent agents, who may have different goals, work together in an environment to complete a shared task. Three researchers in the Department of Computer Science, graduate student Ishan Durugkar, recent doctoral alumnus Elad Liebman, and professor Peter Stone, have been working to solve this problem. 

Investigating How to Make Robots Better Team Members

Investigating How to Make Robots Better Team Members

Imagine that you are a robot in a hospital: composed of bolts and bits, running on code, and surrounded by humans. It's your first day on the job, and your task is to help your new human teammates—the hospital's employees—do their job more effectively and efficiently. Mainly, you're fetching things. You've never met the employees before, and don't know how they handle their tasks. How do you know when to ask for instructions? At what point does asking too many questions become disruptive?

Researchers Design Evolutionary Algorithms for Neural Networks

Researchers Design Evolutionary Algorithms for Neural Networks

Texas Computer Science graduate students Garrett Bingham and William Macke, under the advisement of professor Risto Miikkulainen, are contributing to the improvement of AI with their research. Their paper, entitled "Evolutionary Optimization of Deep Learning Activation Functions" was accepted into the 2020 Genetic and Evolutionary Computation Conference. The work concerns the evolutionary optimization of activation functions as a potential means of improving neural networks, which may ultimately lead to the creation of smarter and more accurate AI.