Something for Everyone in GT Computing 2012 Holiday Gift Guide

From supercomputers to online education, your guide to one-stop 'shopping'

ATLANTA – Dec. 12, 2012 – Music from stars? One of the country’s fastest supercomputers? Or perhaps four minutes of computational inspiration? Georgia Tech’s College of Computing has all of these and more, as for the second straight year its Holiday Gift Guide decks the halls with some of the more inspired, ambitious and definitely digital “gifts” ever placed under the virtual tree.

Launched in 2011 to international acclaim, the Holiday Gift Guide is fast becoming a yuletide staple around the College’s halls, as faculty and students spend the year busily hammering together parallel algorithms and 50-amp servos in anticipation of the Big Day (i.e., the day of this press release). Now, with the days growing shorter and the sound of jingle bells in the air, all the gifts are wrapped, peer-reviewed and waiting for that next lucky computing aficionado.

“At Georgia Tech, we truly believe that computing is making the world a better place, so what better time of year to share some of our more exciting and beneficial research projects?” said Dean Zvi Galil. “When you take beloved holiday traditions and you add a layer of computation, they become so much more. In this case, they become a bit funnier. Or at least we hope so.”

Projects include:

  • Nerdherder: A motion-controlled, augmented-reality puzzle game for mobile devices. The action literally leaps from the game board to your phone or tablet in this game out of Professor Blair MacIntyre’s lab.
  • C4G BLIS: Open-source software system to track medical records and samples, and one of the more widely implemented projects to emerge from the College’s Computing for Good (C4G) initiative, headed up by Professor Santosh Vempala.
  • “Dream. Encode.”: Inspirational short film that tells the story of a young girl discovering how and where to pursue her computational dreams. Directed by 2012 graduate Connie Chen.
  • Keeneland Supercomputing System: Now the National Science Foundation’s fastest dedicated supercomputer for scientific research. Built by Professor Jeffrey Vetter.
  • MOOCs: All the rage this year, MOOCs are massively open online courses,and they are in the midst of transforming education delivery, with Georgia Tech helping to lead the way.
  • Bobble: Chrome plugin that allows users to escape the “filter bubble” created by personalized search results. Created by Ph.D. student Xinyu Xing.
  • BrailleTouch: Software that allows you to go eyes-free when typing on a smartphone. Just another revolutionary advance in HCI from the folks at the GVU Center.
  • Flashpoint: A crash course in the scientific way to get startups off the ground, running—and funded. Conceived and run by Professor Merrick Furst.
  • SonLab: Proof that the universe is filled with music, this Georgia Tech lab takes natural data points and turns them into song. Created by Professor Bruce Walker.
  • Betweenness Centrality Algorithm: The fastest algorithm for determining the most popular point on a social graph, created by Professor David Bader.
  • Computing Summer Camps: Fun summer camps that will get kids of all ages engaged and interested in learning about computing.
  • MacGyver Bot: Humanoid robot, created by Professor Mike Stilman, that soon will be able to create tools from objects in its environment.

Visit the 2012 Holiday Gift Guide on the College of Computing website!

DISCLAIMER: The 2012 Holiday Gift Guide is a lighthearted way to call attention to the College’s research. Though some of the items described in the Gift Guide are indeed available for purchase or free download, it is not intended as a practical reference for consumers.


About the Georgia Tech College of Computing

The Georgia Tech College of Computing is a national leader in the creation of real-world computing breakthroughs that drive social and scientific progress. With its graduate program ranked 10th nationally by U.S. News and World Report, the College’s unconventional approach to education is defining the new face of computing by expanding the horizons of traditional computer science students through interdisciplinary collaboration and a focus on human-centered solutions. For more information about the Georgia Tech College of Computing, its academic divisions and research centers, please visit



Brendan Streich

Director of Communications

College of Computing at Georgia Tech


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  • 2012 CoC Gift Guide Rotator

For More Information Contact

Brendan Streich

Director of Communications