Dear Alumni and Friends —

Hello again from Madison, Wisconsin! We hope this issue of Badger Bytes finds you and yours doing well during these unusual times.

As for life in Madison, after a mild Winter, Spring is seemingly springing, and we are all looking forward to being outside more as the world allows it. Some of our educators have already received vaccinations, and our hope is to return to fully in-person instruction and operation by the Fall.

Many exciting new things are happening on campus. Among other priorities, we
have been making great progress on a new building and hope to be able to
share more news with you on this topic soon. The building would house the
entire School of Computer, Data & Information Sciences (CDIS) and serve as
a key part of an emerging "tech corridor" on campus (near the Wisconsin
Institute of Discovery, Biotechnology, Chemistry, and Engineering). It is an exciting time as we move forward with this critical effort.

In this issue we have some exciting stories to share with you. Three new faculty members have joined us this spring, and you can read all about them below. Jelena Diakonikolas and Shivaram Venkataraman received a grant from Google that we're using to help undergraduates - particularly from underrepresented groups - conduct research with faculty and graduate student mentors. Somesh Jha won a prestigious US Department of Defense MURI grant and will lead a multi-university team to build better human-bot cybersecurity teams. We're also including a profile of Kayla Gross, the new CS Inclusion Manager, and a piece about Bart Miller's efforts to achieve acceptance for fuzz testing - a story that is more universally about the challenges of academic publishing. Finally, please read a short update on CDIS's progress and the new building that is well underway. 

I'd also like to encourage you to participate in Day of the Badger, UW-Madison days of giving on April 6-7. This year we're using any donated funds for the undergraduate experience, including scholarships, support for the Computer Sciences Learning Center and WES-CS, and creating an undergraduate collaboration space where students can work together and connect. We have a $2,000 match from generous donors that will be unlocked, with that amount going to the department after 57 people participate. CDIS donors have also contributed an extra $20,000 for matching donations to all three CDIS departments. We appreciate your gifts and participation!

We do hope you are doing well and look forward to being able to reconnect in
person sometime soon. Take care!


Remzi Arpaci-Dusseau
We welcome three new faculty members this spring!
Machine Learning and Data Analytics
Computer Architecture and Quantum Computing
Human-Computer Interaction
Jelena Diakonikolas and Shivaram Venkataraman use Google exploreCSR grant to support underrepresented students
Diakonikolas and Venkataraman are using the exploreCSR Google grant for WISCERS: Wisconsin Science and Computing Emerging Research Stars, a research-focused mentorship program for undergraduate students. Students are matched with graduate student and faculty mentors and provided with research opportunities during the semester and over the summer.

Building better human-bot cybersecurity teams: multi-university team led by Somesh Jha wins prestigious US Department of Defense MURI grant
The winning project, entitled Cohesive and Robust Human-Bot Cybersecurity Teams, aims to develop a rigorous team science for Human-Bot Cybersecurity teams (HBCT), with the goal of developing a cohesive team that is robust against active human and ML adversaries.

'Data Science in Madison’ class offers UW students real world projects
Faculty associate Tyler Caraza-Harter provides opportunities for undergraduates to work with real-world data through projects focused on local issues, such as water main breaks, city bus routes, and helping build the Madison Covid-19 Recovery Dashboard.

Aerial view of Madison with lakes and isthmus
Meet Kayla Gross, CS Inclusion Program Manager
Kayla Gross is committed to advancing and improving the experiences of women in the workplace. She carries that commitment to her new position as CS Inclusion Program Manager. Gross is responsible for improving the enrollment, retention, and experiences of female-identified students in the department, an effort is funded by a multi-year grant from the Center for Inclusive Computing.

Bart Miller on the trials and tribulations of academic publishing - and fuzz testing
Bart Miller's struggle toward the acceptance of fuzz testing included rejected papers, heckling, and straight-up rejection by his peers. Now fuzz testing is well accepted - the subject of numerous publications and a standard tool in a tester's toolkit. Read about his journey in this CS feature.

School of Computer, Data & Information Sciences (CDIS)
The School of Computer, Data & Information Sciences (CDIS) is now 18 months old, and in the words of our Chancellor, “It is going wonderfully.” Our work of the last year has included hiring 15 new faculty, greatly expanding relationships with industry partners and entrepreneurship, and focusing on diversity and inclusion efforts. We are also on the fast track to a new building! We have a location, an architect, fundraising is in motion, and we expect to move in late 2024.

Learn more at
Day of the Badger April 6-7!
Day of the Badger is upon us - April 6-7.This year we're raising money for the undergraduate experience. We're looking for participation rather than dollar amounts, so please give what you can. To that end, CS has a participation match this year: after 57 donations are made - the number of years since the department switched from the Dept of Numerical Analysis to the Dept of Computer Sciences - generous donors have agreed to donate an extra $2000 to the department. Your donations will also be matched by a $20,000 CDIS match. So your donation goes even further. Look for social media posts and details in your email. Thank you in advance for giving back to CS!

For more info and to donate, click here
Day of the Badger April 6-7
1210 W. Dayton | Madison, Wisconsin 53706