News from Purdue University's Department of Computer Science

Defense award launches Purdue project to strengthen cyber-physical systems

Students test drones in 2021 in the Purdue UAS Research and Test Facility, the largest indoor motion-capture facility in the world. (Purdue University/Vincent Walter)

Hiccups and failures of consumer cyber-physical systems like smart gadgets and appliances are inconvenient and annoying. But in mission-critical applications for the Department of Defense, any system weakness or flaw could have serious consequences, such as disruption, damage or even loss of life. Dongyan Xu, the Samuel Conte Professor of Computer Science and director of CERIAS is the principal investigator of the project.

More than machines: Computer scientist prepares robots to improve human lives

Robot expert Sooyeon Jeong and her lab work to make robots a force for good in human life and society. (Purdue University photo/Rebecca Robinos)

There is no avoiding robots. With increasing autonomy, satellites span the skies, vacuums vroom underfoot and bots conduct surgery, deliver packages and explore the solar system. Robot expert Sooyeon Jeong, an assistant professor of computer science, works in artificial intelligence to ensure that those robots are more friendly helpers to humans and less inscrutable interlopers, more R2-D2 than HAL, more Baymax than Terminator.

Pathfinder unveils novel attacks on cybersecurity

Assistant Professors Kazem Taram and Christina Garman

Assistant Professors Kazem Taram and Christina Garman are part of a team of researchers who have found two novel types of attacks that target the conditional branch predictor found in high-end Intel processors, which could be exploited to compromise billions of processors currently in use. The multi-university and industry research team led by computer scientists at University of California San Diego will present their work at the 2024 ACM ASPLOS Conference.

"Pathfinder lets attackers use the CPU's microarchitecture against it, allowing us to recover images during processing and even encryption keys during cryptographic operations." -Christina Garman
“As the saying goes, ‘With great knowledge comes great power.’ The great power of Pathfinder comes from the detailed understanding of the branch predictor that we uncovered in previous research (Half&Half published in S&P 2023). This allows us to accurately manipulate the result of branch prediction for any instance of a branch in a target program. As a result, we can execute highly accurate speculative execution attacks that can extract important information from a victim, including keys from cryptographic code.” - Kazem Taram

Valiant receives tenure from Purdue University's Board of Trustees

Associate Professor Paul Valiant

Associate Professor Paul Valiant was awarded tenure by Purdue University's Board of Trustees. Valiant’s area of research is in algorithms, complexity, machine learning, fluid dynamics, and neuroscience. His algorithmic work concentrates on revealing obscured aspects of probability distributions and crafting instance optimal algorithms, while his machine learning research focuses on improving speed, accuracy, and data efficiency.

2024 Alumni Awards in the Department of Computer Science

Awards are given to alumni whose work and achievements have made a significant difference in our communities and lives. Join us for a reception to honor the 2024 alumni award winners, Dr. Amber Johnson Avery and Dr. Kostas Pantazopoulos, in the Department of Computer Science.


  • Dave (Jing) Tian, an assistant professor in the computer science department at Purdue University, explained that the problem is a legacy issue from a different era in computing. "Most existing system infrastructure software is written in C/C++ because they were probably the best choice in the old days in terms of development efficiency and low-performance overhead." —Dave (Jing) Tian
  • However, as advantageous as memory-safe languages can be, they may not be appropriate in all situations. And they may not always be possible to use, said Antonio Bianchi, an assistant professor in the computer science department at Purdue University. "For instance, low-level system code — such as the code used by device drivers or kernel code or code that has strict performance requirements — typically needs to be written in C or C++." —Antonio Bianchi

Meet the engineer who animated Spider-Verse cartoons

  • CGI-artist Dipankar Goswamywas fortunate enough to have Aditya Pratap Mathur, now professor emeritus, department of computer science, Purdue University, as one of his teachers. Mathur had asked Goswamy to take up computer graphics, in a nascent stage then.

Indiana colleges implement AI into lesson plans to prepare students for the future workforce

  • While we cannot say what is more worthwhile for individual students, we can say that Purdue students who pursue our degrees specifically in Artificial Intelligence (AI) have several distinct benefits. Purdue is well-known for its strong programs in Computer Science and our approach to AI education is tailored to prepare students for the cutting-edge developments in this field.

in memoriam: Professor Victor B. Schneider

Victor Schneider, PhD started his innovative career by developing programming at a contractor for NASA’s first lunar lander. Later in 1969 he was hired as a professor in the first computer science degree program in the nation at Purdue University, together with Professor Samuel D. Conte. He went on to author a number of groundbreaking papers while mentoring students.

“I'm sorry to hear of the loss of Professor Schneider. In the decade he was here he was quite prolific and one of the people who put Purdue on the map in computer systems - he was responsible for a number of PhD graduates.” stated Christopher W. Clifton, professor of computer science, interim department head in the Department of Computer Science at Purdue University.

“At Purdue, he nurtured and guided a number of students to graduation and, in many instances, remarkable careers in both industry and academia,” according to Frank Friedman, a previous graduate student and professor emeritus in computer and information sciences at Temple University. Friedman added, “He was not only my PhD advisor from 1972-74, but he was also my friend.”

Victor thereafter moved to work at Raytheon on Department of Defense projects to develop advanced rocket guidance systems before eventually retiring in Florida.

With a Benjamin Franklin Scholarship, Victor did his undergraduate studies at MIT in electrical engineering and French. He then went on to California to earn his master’s degree at Stanford in Palo Alto in electrical engineering; and in Chicago developed his PhD towards computer science at Northwestern University (titled industrial engineering).

Passionate for the language arts, he spoke and studied 5 languages. Ahead of his time, he was an environmentalist and a vegetarian and inspired others in his family to follow in his footsteps.

Victor was born in 1941, in Boston, Massachusetts, to Jacob (Jack) and Rose Schneider. He is survived by the mother of his children, Lea Schneider, and her sons, Jesse (with his wife Laura and daughter Miriam) and Jerold (with his wife Melissa, son Lawson and daughter Sarah) and Benjamin (with his girlfriend Miriam).

Victor Schneider passed away on Saturday, April 13, 2024, of natural causes in Ocala, Florida.

A graveside ceremony was held on Sunday, 4/21 at the Sharon Memorial park at 9:45 am in Sharon Massachusetts.


As student interest in computing-related majors and the societal impact of artificial intelligence and chips continues to rise rapidly, Purdue University has launched a new major initiative, Purdue Computes, consisting of four dimensions that will connect faculty and students from across the institution and enable the university to advance to the forefront with unparalleled excellence at scale.


As the Department of Computer Science celebrates its founding 60 years ago as the first in America, it will add 50 new faculty over the next five years, continue to grow its undergraduate and graduate programs, and look toward a continued upward trajectory with the target of becoming one of the top 10 computer science programs in the U.S. by the end of the decade.


Purdue will focus on establishing itself as a leader in strategic areas of artificial intelligence at the intersection between the virtual and the physical, leveraging strengths in agricultural data, neuromorphic computing, deepfake detection, smart transportation data, AI-based manufacturing and other programs existing and new across the institution. The planned new university-wide institute will add 50 affiliated faculty over the next five years.


Building on national recognition of its semiconductor degrees program, Purdue will further enhance our economic and workforce development pipeline and become a global epicenter of semiconductors research, learning and industry partnership with a planned $100 million upgrade to semiconductor facilities over the next few years and growth in education, research and industry partnerships.


Purdue University is a thriving hub for quantum research and development. Purdue’s community of interdisciplinary quantum researchers focus on advancing quantum science and engineering to create future technologies that will transform our lives, economy and our world.


Your support for the Data Science building renovation will give Data Science students and faculty an exciting hub in which to collaborate and conduct research and will ensure that Purdue remains at the forefront of this rapidly changing field that impacts all aspects of life.

Contact James Parker at japarker@purdueforlife.org or at 765-496-3525 to learn how you can support this project.

Take Your giant leap. leave your legacy in the Hall of Data Science

The future renovation of the new Hall of Data Science is an exciting giant leap for our students—and presents exciting opportunities for Boilermakers like you.

Envisioning inviting spaces to gather, study, and collaborate, we are thrilled to introduce the Data Science Locker Campaign. By making a gift of $1,000 to support the Hall of Data Science, you will have the opportunity to leave a permanent legacy for you or a loved one on a locker.

We invite you to take a giant leap with us and support this exciting initiative. Your gift will help to create a welcoming and secure environment for our students, and you will have the opportunity to be a part of the legacy of the Hall of Data Science.

For so many of us here at the College of Science, myself included, the new Hall of Data Science is truly a dream come true". - Lucy Flesch, Frederick L. Hovde Dean of the College of Science


ASPLOS, the ACM International Conference on Architectural Support for Programming Languages and Operating Systems, is the premier academic forum for multidisciplinary computer systems research spanning hardware, software, and their interaction. It focuses on computer architecture, programming languages, operating systems, and associated areas such as networking and storage. ASPLOS 2024 - April 27-May 1, 2024.

Pathfinder: High-Resolution Control-Flow Attacks Exploiting the Conditional Branch Predictor | Hosein Yavarzadeh and Archit Agarwal (University of California San Diego); Max Christman (University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill); Christina Garman (Purdue University); Daniel Genkin (Georgia Tech); Andrew Kwong (University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill); Daniel Moghimi (Google); Deian Stefan (University of California San Diego); Kazem Taram (Purdue University); Dean Tullsen (University of California San Diego)

Kaleidoscope: Precise Invariant-Guided Pointer Analysis | Tapti Palit and Pedro Fonseca (Purdue University)

Veil: A Protected Services Framework for Confidential Virtual Machines | Adil Ahmad (Arizona State University); Botong Ou and Congyu Liu (Purdue University); Xiaokuan Zhang (George Mason University); Pedro Fonseca (Purdue University)

ICDE 2024

The annual IEEE International Conference on Data Engineering (ICDE) is one of the premier conferences in data and information engineering and addresses research issues on designing, building, managing, and evaluating advanced data intensive systems and applications. It is a leading forum for researchers, practitioners, developers, and users to explore cutting-edge ideas and to exchange techniques, tools, and experiences.

Are There Fundamental Limitations in Supporting Vector Data Management in Relational Databases? A Case Study of PostgreSQL | Yunan Zhang (Purdue University - West Lafayette); Shige Liu (Purdue University); Jianguo Wang (Purdue University)


RECOMB 2024 is the 28th edition of a series of algorithmic computational biology conferences bridging the areas of computational, mathematical, statistical and biological sciences. The conference features keynote talks by preeminent scientists in life sciences, presentations of ground breaking research in computational biology, selected over the course of a highly-rigorous peer-review process, and poster sessions on the latest research progress.

MaSk-LMM: A Matrix Sketching Framework for Linear Mixed Models in Association Studies | Myson Burch, Aritra Bose, Gregory Dexter, Laxmi Parida and Petros Drineas

ICSE 2024

ICSE, the IEEE/ACM International Conference on Software Engineering, is the premier software engineering conference. Since 1975, ICSE provides a forum where researchers, practitioners, and educators gather together to present and discuss the most recent innovations, trends, experiences and issues in the field of software engineering.

Welcome & Opening | Prem Devanbu University of California at Davis, Yiling Lou Fudan University, Lin Tan Purdue University, Lingming Zhang University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

FuzzInMem: Fuzzing Programs via In-memory Structures | Xuwei Liu Purdue University, USA, Wei You Renmin University of China, Yapeng Ye Purdue University, Zhuo Zhang Purdue University, Jianjun Huang Renmin University of China, Xiangyu Zhang Purdue University

Towards Finding Accounting Errors in Smart Contracts | Brian Zhang Purdue University




In the field of computer science, there is a sustained and significant increase in demand for our academic programs. We are thrilled to announce that, once again, we have surpassed our previous records for freshman admission applications, with the total exceeding 11,000. At the start of fall classes, 889 freshman students joined our previous classes for more than 3,000 undergraduates.

This year, freshman women students represent 22% of the undergraduate population and women are 23% among all undergraduate students.



Our graduate population has exploded with 538 MS and PhD students for the 2022-23 academic year. This represents a 26% increase in growth from the previous year.

Purdue Computer Science graduate students work in any of the 14 research areas in the department.

Purdue Computer Science offers the traditional PhD and master's degree programs in addition to a professional master's degree in information security.