UM CS Student Tim Anderson working with Berkeley Labs

Tim Anderson is a PhD student in the Wheeler lab, where he develops advanced reconfigurable computing solutions to fundamental computational problems in analysis of genomics data. In April 2018, Tim traveled to the Lawrence Berkeley National Labs to work with experts in the Computational Research Division, where he gained experience with cutting-edge methodologies of designing solutions on field-programmable gate arrays (FPGAs). Since returning to Missoula, he’s built on that experience, developing new FPGA-based methods for search of massive-scale DNA sequence databases. The goal of his work is to save tens of millions of compute hours in data centers around the world, yielding faster results with lower energy consumption. Stay tuned for his  publication.

Take a faculty to lunch

Recently, UM announced a new program, “Take a Faculty to Lunch”. This program allows Freshman to dine with faculty at one of our campus options. The College of Humanities and Sciences sponsors the lunch, and Instructor Trish Duce for arranged it. CS freshmen James Gladden (left) and Johnny Wright (middle) had lunch with Associate Professor Rob Smith (right). Both students are interested in starting their own high tech companies, and were able to field questions about the challenges and benefits of doing so. They also spoke about specific employment opportunities for computer science students in Missoula that matched their interests, such as drones.


UM CS @ Grace Hopper Celebration

Missoula area Workiva software engineer Smai Fullerton (left) joined UM CS Students Kaitlin Carey (center) and Sarah Walling (right)  at the 2018  Grace Hooper Celebration, the world’s largest gathering of women technologists. This year’s celebration was in Houston, Texas where UM students were joined by instructor Trish Duce. UM CS is proud to sponsor our student’s participation because we share the celebration’s vision of a future where: “the people who imagine and build technology mirror the people and societies for which they build it.” GraceHopper1


The UM Office of Student Success now offers evening “Study Jam” sessions for Computer Science students. Hours for the study jams are posted on the study jam Facebook page. Assistant Professor Wheeler’s Data Structures course is currently a study jam favorite, providing our students with challenges that take them well into the evening.


Union find? I can do this with a flood fill.


Thanks Professor Wheeler! I never knew how beautiful campus is at night.

September 20, Fall Potluck

Students and faculty gathered on a crisp and clear Thursday evening to celebrate the beginning of a new school year. Many interesting and tasty dishes were on offer, including spicy Asian noodles attributed to Assistant Professor Serang, some amazing chocolate chip cookies, and delicious Double Front fried chicken – a Missoula staple for over 50 years. A good number of games were enjoyed by students and faculty alike. The entire department is thankful to Instructor Trisha Duce for her organization and spike ball skills.

Frith Delivers Talk on Search for Sequence Similarity

Martin Frith is a Professor at the University of Tokyo. There, he has developed numerous beautiful methods to address pressing questions in computational genomics, resulting in software used by thousands.

On September 18th, 2018 Professor Frith delivered a talk titled “Fast and accurate search for sequence similarity”. Frith made a set of topics related to building indices for search accessible to CS students and relevant in terms of the application of data structures. One student commented, “Science without floating point arithmetic,  where do I sign up?”

Huval on Deep Learning and Entrepreneurship


Brody Huval visited our Department today to give a guest lecture in Assistant Professor Douglas Brinkerhoff’s Machine Learning course. The presentation was incredibly engaging, providing an insider’s view of the technologies behind autonomous vehicles as well as winning strategies for startups. Brody facilitated many conversations with students, ranging from the ethics of AI, to the hazards of predicting pedestrian behavior.

Huval is a co-founder and board member of which spun out of Stanford’s AI lab. He has years of experience with AI and working with data infrastructure to support deep learning. He spent four years as a PhD student in Andrew Ng’s lab at Stanford researching deep learning within NLP and computer vision before dropping out to co-found At he has worked on perception, mapping & localization, and the infrastructure to support deep learning.