CS Research Day is a great opportunity to see the research that SFU School of Computing Science graduate students, faculty and alumni are working on. Join us in-person for faculty and alumni talks, a graduate student research exposition and networking opportunities between students, faculty and industry partners!

Please RSVP for the event to ensure that you will be able to join us on December 6th! This is an in-person event held in the Big Data Hub, Room 10900, Applied Sciences Building, at Simon Fraser University. To register for the event, visit the below links: 

For Faculty/Students: Register Here


For Alumni/Industry: Register Here

Event Schedule

Event Date: Tuesday, December 6, 2022

Event Start

12:30 pm - 12:45 pm – Welcome Address

12:45 pm - 1:45 pm – Graduate Students Project Exposition (Poster Session) and Lunch

2:00 pm - 3:00 pm – Faculty/Alumni Talks (4 talks) 12 minutes each, 3 minutes Q&A

3:00 pm - 3:30 pm – Panel Discussions

3:30 pm -3:45 pm – Awards and closing remarks

Faculty Speakers

Xing-Dong Yang, Associate Professor, School of Computing Science

Talk title: Creating Smart Environments using Interactive Materials

Abstract: I create smart home and work environments that sense people’s daily activities, such as what they do or eat. Through this data, a large variety of user information, such as a user’s behavior, preferences, mental health, and physical health conditions, can be inferred to enable numerous data-driven applications key to the success of people’s personal and professional life. In this talk, I will describe my vision of how such smart environments can be created at scale using interactive materials made of sensors and everyday materials, such as wood or fabrics. I will show an example of a tablecloth augmented with a fabric sensor that can sense and recognize objects on a table, such as different types of food, fruits, and liquids. I will also demonstrate interactive plywood augmented with a vibration sensor that can withstand woodworking operations, such as cutting and screwing, commonly used to create building infrastructures and household items. I will conclude by discussing some of the key challenges to achieving this vision.

Biography: Xing-Dong Yang is an Associate Professor and Visual Computing Chair of Computer Science at Simon Fraser University, Canada. His research is broadly in Human-Computer Interaction (HCI), where he creates interactive systems using sensing techniques and haptics to enable new applications in smart physical and virtual environments. Xing-Dong’s work is recognized through a Best Paper award at UIST 2019, eight Honorable Mention awards with one at UIST 2020, six at CHI (2010, 2016, 2018, 2019 × 2, 2020), and one at MobileHCI 2009. Aside from academic publications, Xing-Dong’s work attracts major public interest via news coverage from a variety of media outlets with different mediums, including TV (e.g., Discovery Daily Planet), print (e.g., The Wall Street Journal, Forbes), and Internet News (e.g., MIT Technology Review, New Scientist


Anders Miltner, Assistant Professor, School of Computing Science 

Talk title: Program Synthesis as Program Compilation

Abstract: Program synthesis is the process of generating code from a variety of specifications. With advances in text prediction and CPU efficiency, program synthesis has begun finding real-world application through tools like Excel’s FlashFill feature and GitHub’s Copilot. These tools largely focus on assisting the programmer in writing code, either via input-output examples or via identifying likely code patterns. An alternative approach to program synthesis is to view the specifications themselves as code. In this talk, we investigate this approach to program synthesis, describe some problems that must be addressed to make it realizeable, and discuss some possible approaches to solving these problems.

Biography: Anders Miltner is an Assistant Professor at Simon Fraser University. He received his PhD in 2020 from Princeton University, and was a Postdoctoral Fellow at The University of Texas at Austin from 2020-2022. He has published in top Programming Languages venues like ICFP, POPL, PLDI, and OOPSLA, and has received distinguished paper awards from POPL and PLDI.

Hang Ma, Assistant Professor, School of Computing Science

Talk Title: Multi-Agent Path Finding and Planning

Abstract: Teams of agents must often assign tasks among themselves and plan collision-free paths to the task locations. Examples include autonomous aircraft towing vehicles, automated warehouse systems, office robots, and game characters in video games. In the near future, autonomous aircraft towing vehicles will tow aircraft all the way from the runways to their gates (and vice versa), thereby reducing pollution, energy consumption, congestion, and human workload. Today, hundreds of robots already navigate autonomously in Amazon fulfillment centers to move inventory pods all the way from their storage locations to the inventory stations that need the products they store. Coordination problems for these teams of agents are NP-hard in general, yet we must make fast and good decisions when it comes to assigning tasks and finding collision-free paths for these teams of agents. I will talk about the recent research progress on studying these multi-agent coordination problems, algorithms for solving them, and their applications. 

Biograpghy: Hang Ma is an Assistant Professor in the School of Computing Science and director of the Autonomous Intelligence and Robotics (AIRob) lab at Simon Fraser University. His research interests are mainly in artificial intelligence, robotics, and machine learning. Specifically, he is interested in topics on automated planning, multi-agent/robot systems, spatio-temporal and constraint reasoning, and applications of probabilistic methods and other topics related to graphs, combinatorial optimization, and algorithms. He has received numerous awards for his research, including the ICAPS 2021 Best Dissertation Award, the ICAPS 2021 Best System Demonstration Award, an IFAAMA 2020 Victor Lesser Distinguished Dissertation Award Runner-Up, the Outstanding Paper Award in the Robotics Track of ICAPS 2016. He was featured in the AAAI 2021 New Faculty Highlights and received a Technology Commercialization Award from the USC Stevens Center for Innovation.


Presenter Details: 

If you are CS Student and would like to present at CS Research Day, you are required to send the following to cs_communications@sfu.ca by end of day on Tuesday, November 29th :

  • Project title and area
  • Group member names
  • Abstract of presentation
  • A poster of your research work

Please send via email with "CS Research Day Presentation" and your name in the subject line. 

*We are also offering to print off student posters to showcase in the display cases outside of the CS office. Posters will be printed off 24" x 36". If you would like to submit your poster, please attach it as a PDF along with the other required materials. If you have an already-printed poster that you would like displayed, please bring it by the computing science office. 

We will be offering the following prizes to the top three presentations, as voted on by staff, faculty and industry guests:

  • 1) $750 
  • 2) $500 
  • 3) $250

Please direct any questions related to CS Research Day to cs_communications@sfu.ca.

To register for the event, visit the below links: 

For Faculty/Students: Register Here


For Alumni/Industry: Register Here