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Computer Studies Building
Computer Studies Building

In 1987 the department moved into the top two floors of a newly-constructed building providing spacious offices for faculty, staff, and all students in the graduate program. There is ample lab space for public workstations and specialized research, a lounge, kitchen, and several class/meeting rooms. The Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering occupies space on the two floors below, and the Chester Carlson Science and Engineering Library occupies the remainder of the building.

The department maintains a high-speed local network of computers for the research use of its faculty, staff, and students. As of spring 2008 the computers on the network include approximately 90 high-end PCs running Linux, and another 30 workstations of various other kinds (Suns, SGI machines, Apple Macintoshes, and PCs running Windows), together with an extensive collection of file and compute servers. Almost all machines are connected by switched Gigabit Ethernet; the remainder are on 100Mb switched Ethernet. All department space is also covered by a pair of 802.11a/b/g wireless networks, one inside and the other outside the department firewall.

Resources for the Computer Systems and Engineering Group include a 32-processor IBM p690 “Regatta” multiprocessor, with 1.3GHz Power-4 processors, 32GB of physical memory, and 128MB of cache; 16- and 8-processor SunFire multiprocessors; three 8-core, 32-thread Sun T1000 (“Niagara”) multiprocessor; a 72-node, 144-processor IBM-branded Linux cluster; and miscellaneous other 2-, 4-, and 8-processor machines. Other facilities include several high-end Pentium servers and high-end lab equipment for power measurement in mobile systems. The department is an active participant in the PlanetLab global network testbed, and has access to machines at the University’s Center for Research Computing (CRC), the Laboratory for Laser Energetics, and the Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center.  CRC resources include a 120-node, 848-core IBM Linux cluster with 8.5TF peak performance; researchers in Computer Science are among the leading users of this cluster. 

The Vision and Robotics Laboratory is equipped with two Unimation Puma 700 series robot arms, a Utah four-fingered anthropomorphic hand, two ActivMedia mobile robots, about a dozen computational vision sensors (computer and pair of pan-tilt-zoom camera), divers real-time image-processing hardware, and a Vivid 900 3-D laser-scanning range and image sensor.

The Laboratory for Assisted Cognition Environments (LACE) contains a heavily instrumented simulated living space that is used for experiments in human behavior recognition.  Activities performed in the kitchen or living room area are measured with environment-based sensors, such as motion sensors and cameras, as well as wearable sensors, such as the Mobile Sensing Platform (MSP) and iBracelet RFID reader from Intel Research.  The MSP has sensors that measure 3D acceleration, audio, barometric pressure, infrared and visible light, and temperature, while the iBracelet detects RFID tags that are placed on objects of interest throughout the lab.  Assistive technologies developed in the lab can communicate with users through WiFi enabled PDAs or a 52" wall-mounted Sony LCD screen. 

The Speech Lab contains equipment for digitizing, storing, and analyzing audio signals.

The showcase resource for the Theory Group is state-of-the-art black (currently the darkest color available) ballpoint pens—each containing a 13.6cm, 0.08oz ink cartridge—that have been clocked at up to 1.2 words per second; dozens of these pens are clustered in an array-of-boxes architecture within the Supply Closet Facility (SCF).

Undergraduate majors and those taking upper level computer science courses are given accounts in two computing labs reserved solely for undergraduate use. All workstations in these labs were replaced in the summer of 2006 with high-end Pentium 4 PCs and cycle servers running Fedora Core 5 Linux. File service is provided by RAID-equipped Sun servers. One of the labs, reserved for majors only, doubles as undergraduate lounge and library space.

Each of the department's faculty, staff, and student desks is equipped with a workstation, and additional workstations are maintained in public areas. The department makes every effort to provide the latest facilities in hardware and software to enhance the productivity and impact of its research.

Maintained by Michael Scott. Last change: November 12, 2009
Please report problems with the server to www@cs.rochester.edu.