It must be that time of year...Friday and today I took part in two more thesis defenses, for Brian Parrish and Paweł Pszona.
Brian is a mechanical engineering student, supervised by fellow Wikipedia editor Mike McCarthy
. His thesis research was to develop a system that can automatically analyze the configuration space of an eight-bar linkage and determine whether it can smoothly move between a desired set of poses. Somehow I got involved because setting up a system of equations describing the motion of these linkages involves some interesting graph algorithm problems. He's been working at Northrop Grumman, who supported him through his doctorate, and I imagine will continue working for them afterward.
Paweł is a theoretical computer scientist, supervised by Mike Goodrich. The topics he included in his thesis were external-memory approximation of graph degeneracy
, applications of list labeling
in the visualization of dynamic graphs, and three-dimensional arc diagrams
. For the third of these topics, he brought along some props, 3d prints of his graph visualizations, which I think make the graph structure much clearer than their 2d projections. He has also done some interesting work with Goodrich (not part of his thesis) on making parametric search practical
, and very recently published another paper with me and others on cuckoo hashing on storage devices with limited rewrite capacity
. After he finishes he will be joining navigation-system company TomTom
Congratulations, both of you!