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.


Business Innovation Research

Montana offers a great environment for technology entrepreneurship, with over 350 high-tech companies and growing. The department of computer science cares about helping students engage with the entrepreneurial experiences Montana’s startup culture provides.

Recently, UM CS faculty member Dr. Rob Smith was awarded a $224,000 Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grant from the National Science Foundation. This award will fund the employment of two department alumni at Dr. Smith’s company Prime Labs, and opens the potential for a second phase grant that would provide for several more jobs over the next two years. Prime Labs is building software for mass spectrometry that helps scientists analyze more data in less time than standard approaches.

The SBIR is a highly competitive program (<10% fund rate) for early stage R&D in high-risk, high-impact technologies with the goals of fostering innovation and creating businesses and jobs in the United States. Previously, he was awarded an NSF Innovation Corps grant, which funded instruction on a national course for lean startup methodologies. Dr. Smith is enjoying the opportunity he has to train the next generation of student entrepreneurs through the Software Engineering course he teaches.

UM CS Hiking Club: Barmeyer Trail

On September 14th, the UM CS hiking club made its second outing, up the newly constructed Barmeyer trail. 8 students were joined by faculty members Doug Brinkerhoff, Trish Duce, and Alden Wright. Conditions were near perfect, 73 degrees and clear skies.


UM CS Hiking Club: First Fall 2018 Hike

The UM CS hiking club (The Gradient Group) took its first walk on Friday, September 7. Students were led up the M trail by instructor Trish Duce. Conditions were good — 77 degrees F, sunny and some haze from smoke.

10 students were joined by Emeritus Professor Alden Wright and Department Chair Jesse Johnson.

The Gradient Group will meet again on September 14, 2018 for a hike up the new Barmeyer trail. Meet at the trail head at 5:00. All are welcome!

Graduation Reception

Join us Friday, May 11th from 4-6 PM in the Dell Brown Room for refreshments and appetizers as we send off this years graduating seniors! Remember to invite your family and friends! *Business Casual