Professor Philip Johnson Talks about the March for Science on ThinkTech Hawaii

Professor Philip Johnson appeared with colleagues Dr. Joe Mobley and Dr. Helen Spafford on ThinkTech Hawaii to discuss the March for Science. The March for Science will take place on Saturday, April 22, 2017 from 3-7pm at the University of Hawaii, Manoa campus.

Dr. Kim Binsted Talks Mars at The President’s Series on Hawai‘i Island

What Will It Be Like to Live on Mars?
Planning for Human Exploration of Space

On April 5, ICS Professor Kim Binsted will discuss the HI-SEAS (Hawai‘i Space Exploration Analog and Simulation) project as part of The President’s Series on Hawai‘i Island.


HI-SEAS is an analog habitat for human spaceflight to Mars, located on an isolated Mars-like site on the Mauna Loa side of the saddle area at 8200 feet above sea level. The fourth phase of the project began in August of 2015 and lasted for one year. Learn what was discovered about what humans will need to stay happy and healthy during an extended mission to Mars.

Wednesday, April 5, 5 p.m.
RSVP by March 30
808-956-9340 or

Hawaiʻi Community College – Pālamanui Outdoor Theatre (Campus Piko)
73-4225 Ane Keohokālole Hwy, Kailua-Kona

More information: The President’s Series – Hawai‘i Island


Professor David Chin on Bytemarks Cafe

Professor and Department Chair, David Chin, discussed AI and the Future of Work on the January 11 edition of Bytemarks Cafe. Check it out here: Episode 437.

Professor Kim Binsted on Bytemarks Cafe

Professor Kim Binsted discussed the HI-SEAS (Hawaii Space Exploration Analog and Simulation) mission on the Feb 22 edition of Bytemarks Cafe. Check it out here: Episode 443.

Professor Lipyeow Lim on Bytemarks Cafe

Professor Lipyeow Lim discussed cryptocurrency and blockchain on the March 5 edition of Bytemarks Cafe. Check it out here: Episode 466

Scott Robertson Appears on ThinkTech Hawaii

Professor Scott Robertson appeared on ThinkTech Hawaii on March 8th. He talked with host Jay Fidel about human-computer interaction, computer science, and social media and civic engagement.


Grad. Seminar (2/2): Henri Casanova, “Simulating HPC Systems and Applications”

Thursday February 2nd, 4:30-5:30pm in POST 126

Speaker: Henri Casanova

Title: “Simulating HPC Systems and Applications”

Abstract: There is a well-identified problem of (lack of) reproducibility in experimental Computer Science research, and in particular in High Performance Computing (HPC) research.  Running experiments in simulation is one way to lower barriers to reproducibility, and it is used effectively in several areas of Computer Science.  Its use in HPC research has gained some traction, but comparatively it is still in its infancy. Part of the reason is that developing simulations models that are sufficiently accurate to produce meaningful results but that are also sufficiently scalable to handle the scale of HPC simulation is challenging. In this presentation we will discuss several advances in the development of such simulation models.  These models are implemented as part of the open-source SimGrid simulation framework. We will give an overview of SimGrid, describe its most salient features and capabilities. We will conclude by discussing ways in which SimGrid can be used not as a research tool, but as a tool for debugging, for teaching, and for enabling online decision making.

Professor Susanne Still Highlighted in Quanta Magazine

Professor Susanne Still’s research on the energy costs of biological computation was mentioned in “How Life (and Death) Spring from Disorder,” in Quanta Magazine. Professor Still’s comments stem from her invited participation at a conference on Statistical Physics, Information Processing and Biology at the Santa Fe Institute.


Town Hall Meeting between ICS Faculty and Students


Students participating on the Town Hall meeting.

ICS faculty and students held a “town hall” meeting in ICSpace to discuss issues. Among the topics discussed were the “no repeat” policy for introductory classes, the “B-or-better” policy in introductory classes for majoring in ICS, the availability of writing intensive and oral intensive courses within ICS, class scheduling, and changes on the prerequisite structure.

Faulty members also introduced themselves to students and highlighted their research.


Faculty participating in the Town Hall meeting.

Beyond issues of the curriculum, the most lively discussion ensued around the question of why a student should pursue a degree in computer science instead of some kind of technical certification from a programming bootcamp. This is a complex issue that deserves thought, and we were happy to explore it.

Oh, and there was pizza.

Many thanks to the students and faculty who participated. A special mahalo to the Academic Advising staff who also participated.



Academic counselors participated in the Town Hall meeting.


Missed it?  We will be having regular meetings of this type as long as students keep showing up.

Prof. Casanova receives NSF grant: “WRENCH: A Simulation Workbench for Scientific Workflow for Users, Developers, and Researchers”

Professor Henri Casanova was awarded a National Science Foundation grant for the project “WRENCH: A Simulation Workbench for Scientific Workflow for Users, Developers, and Researchers”.  This project received $499,000.00 in funding.

In partnership with Dr. Rafael Ferreira da Silva at the Information Science Institute at the University of Southern California, this project will develop a framework for the study of scientific workflow applications.  See the abstract below for more details.

Scientific workflows have become mainstream for conducting large-scale scientific research.  As a result, many workflow applications and Workflow Management Systems (WMSs) have been developed as part of the cyberinfrastructure to allow scientists to execute their applications seamlessly on a range of distributed platforms.  In spite of many success stories, building large-scale workflows and orchestrating their executions efficiently (in terms of performance, reliability, and cost) remains a challenge given the complexity of the workflows themselves and the complexity of the underlying execution platforms.  A fundamental necessary next step is the establishment of a solid “experimental science” approach for future workflow technology development. Such an approach is useful for scientists who need to design workflows and pick execution platforms, for WMS developers who need to compare alternate design and implementation options, and for researchers who need to develop novel decision-making algorithms to be implemented as part of WMSs.  The broad objective of this work is to provide foundational software, the Workflow Simulation Workbench (WRENCH), upon which to develop the above experimental science approach.  Capitalizing on recent advances in distributed application and platform simulation technology, WRENCH makes it possible to (i) quickly prototype workflow, WMS implementations, and decision-making algorithms; and (ii) evaluate/compare alternative options scalably and accurately for arbitrary, and often hypothetical, experimental scenarios.  This project will define a generic and foundational software architecture, that is informed by current state-of-the-art WMS designs and planned future designs.  The implementation of the components in this architecture when taken together form a generic “scientific instrument” that can be used by workflow users, developers, and researchers.  This scientific instrument will be instantiated for several real-world WMSs and used for a range of real-world workflow applications. In a particular case-study, it will be used with a popular WMS (Pegasus) to revisit published results and scheduling algorithms in the area of workflow planning optimizations. The objective is to demonstrate the benefit of using an experimental science approach for WMS research.  Another impact of this project is that it  makes it possible to include scientific workflow content pervasively in undergraduate and graduate computer science curricula, even for students without any access to computing infrastructure, by defining meaningful pedagogic activities that only require a computer and the WRENCH software stack. This educational impact will be demonstrated in the classroom in both undergraduate and graduate courses at our institutions.