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SoIC student selected to attend prestigious conference celebrating the ACM Turing Award

2017-06-08
Tousif Ahmed
Tousif Ahmed

Tousif Ahmed, a fourth-year Ph.D. candidate in computer science at the School of Informatics and Computing, has been selected to attend a conference celebrating 50 years of the Association for Computing Machinery’s A.M. Turing Award June 23-24 in San Francisco.

Ahmed is currently a research assistant at the Privacy Lab who has developed an Android smartwatch app for relaying accessibility feedback to people with visual impairments. He has been working with Associate Professor of Computer Science and Informatics Apu Kapadia on security and privacy issues surrounding computer vision.

“It’s a tremendous honor for one of our students to be selected to attend the 50th anniversary conference celebrating the ACM Turing Award,” said Raj Acharya, the dean of SoIC. “The Privacy Lab is doing such important work, and it’s great to see Ahmed’s research being recognized as important.”

Ahmed was one of two students to be sponsored by the ACM’s Special Interest Group on Accessible Computing community. The conference will welcome ACM Turing laureates and other ACM award recipients and experts for moderated panel discussions exploring how computing has evolved and where the field is headed.

“I’m honored that the SIGACESS community saw the value of my work,” Ahmed says. “I’m very excited to meet the Turing Laureates. I will greatly benefit from this conference since it will discuss several topics, such as advances in deep learning, restoring personal privacy, and augmented reality, that are directly related to my research.”

Ahmed’s long-term goal is to develop a wearable camera-based tool that can provide information about the immediate surroundings to a visually-impaired person, such as whether another person is standing behind them at an ATM or could be nearby listening to a conversation.

“Protecting the privacy of the visually impaired is a challenge, but it’s one that is critical to their security,” Kapadia said. “Ahmed is helping push the area forward, and we’re proud of his accomplishments.”

The ACM A.M. Turing Award has been called the “Nobel Prize of Computing,” and it is named for Alan M. Turing, the British mathematician who helped develop theoretical computer science.

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