CS4HS Workshop

Posted by Kurt on July 6th, 2010

After a nice relaxing weekend down on the Jersey shore, I flew up to Rochester, NY on Sunday, June 27th. My 6pm flight out of JFK quickly turned into a 9pm departure due to storms in upstate NY. After a rocky landing and a quick ride to the Radisson hotel on campus, I got started on my slides. Something about procrastinating on RIT campus just felt right ;-) After 4 hours of working on the slides, I called it a night and caught a few hours of rest.

CS4HS LogoOn June 28-30th, RIT hosted a 3 day workshop for area math and computer science high school teachers¬†called Computer Science for High School, CS4HS@RIT. The workshop was sponsored by the RIT Computer Engineering department and Google. On June 28th, I gave the workshop’s keynote talk on “Life of a Software Engineer”. I fielded a bunch of awesome questions from the audience of around 100 teachers. In hindsight, I should have anticipated that teachers would have come prepared with tons of questions and should have allocated more time for questions.

After the keynote, I met up with some old professors and advisors and later discussed some future plans for Video CAPTCHA research with my old thesis advisor. And finally, no trip to Rochester would be complete without a trip to MacGregors to sample some of their delicious beer and food with some old friends. After another couple of hours of delays, I landed back at JFK around midnight, grabbed a beer with a friend in the city, and made it back to my apartment by 3am…just in time to grab a few hours of sleep before work in the morning. ¬†I love my life :-)

RIT news article on Video CAPTCHAs

Posted by Kurt on November 6th, 2009

The RIT Athenaeum has just published a short article describing Video CAPTCHAs. You can find it in print around the RIT campus and online here: http://www.rit.edu/news/story.php?id=47112

Balancing Usability and Security in a Video CAPTCHA

Posted by Kurt on July 13th, 2009

This week (July 15th - July 17th), Richard Zanibbi and I are attending SOUPS ‘09 in Mountain View, CA. It’s a smaller conference that’s gotten great reviews and has had some excellent CAPTCHA-related work presented in the past. On Friday morning, I’ll be presenting a paper titled Balancing Usability and Security in a Video CAPTCHA. A reporter from ZDNet.co.uk has already written a short article about it which you can find here.


The paper can be downloaded here and the slides can be downloaded here. It’s also available at the ACM Digital Library.

Bibtex Entry

	Title = {Balancing Usability and Security in a Video CAPTCHA},
	Author = {Kurt Alfred Kluever and Richard Zanibbi},
	Booktitle = {Proceedings of the 5th Symposium On Usable Privacy and Security 2009},
	Address = {Mountain View, CA, USA},
	Month = {July},
	Year = {2009}

Paper Accepted at SOUPS ‘09

Posted by Kurt on April 26th, 2009

Richard Zanibbi and I will be presenting Balancing Usability and Security in a Video CAPTCHA at SOUPS ‘09 this summer. SOUPS is conveniently being held on Google’s Mountain View campus, so I’ll be out there for the week visiting friends, enjoying the sun, working, and attending the conference. Once our camera-ready version is finished, I’ll post a full copy of the paper here and also on my new Google Research page.

Here’s some quick info about SOUPS:

The fifth Symposium on Usable Privacy and Security (SOUPS) will be held July 15-17, 2009 at Google in Mountain View, CA. This symposium will bring together an interdisciplinary group of researchers and practitioners in human computer interaction, security, and privacy. The program features technical papers, workshops and tutorials, a poster session, panels and invited talks, and discussion sessions. SOUPS 2009 will be held in cooperation with ACM SIGCHI.

A new job, a new apartment, a new life?

Posted by Kurt on September 22nd, 2008

Since beginning my new job as a Software Engineer in Test for Google at their Manhattan office, a lot has changed in my life. Here’s a quick rundown:

My Job (Google)

My job is going great. I really love the work environment and people at Google. Everyone is willing to take time out of their day to help you with whatever you need…which is good because the project I’m working on has a very high learning curve. It uses a ton of Google-centric infastructure pieces that all work together in a very specific way. Since I’ve had no exposure to these technologies before, work has been going a little slow (lots of reading of other’s code and documentation, not a lot of coding). It’s a bit frustrating because it’s hard to measure productivity when most of your time is spent inputting knowledge (into your own brain), not outputting knowledge (to others). However, this means I’m learning something new every day (which is exciting). I’ll also excited to report that I’ll be continuing my work on Video CAPTCHAs at Google :)

My City (Hoboken)

There are tons and tons of young professionals everywhere. According to Wikipedia, the median age here is only 30 (as a comparison, the median age in the US is 35.3). While that doesn’t seem like a big difference, you’ll quickly notice it walking around the streets. The city of Hoboken itself is actually a lot of fun. Since the young population drives the local businesses, there are tons of bars, restaurants, and coffee shops in downtown Hoboken. In fact, no matter what day it is, the streets and bars are always full of people.

My Commute (Walk, PATH Train, Walk)

Nearly everyone here takes the PATH train into NYC for work. The PATH train is a bargain: for $1.30 (if you buy in bulk), you can get to midtown Manhattan in under 15 minutes. My train (from Hoboken to 14th Street) makes 2 stops along the way (at Christopher St and 9th St) and still only takes 11 minutes. That’s a faster commute than it would be even if I lived in most places in Manhattan. The only bad part of my commute is getting to the PATH station in Hoboken. It’s a mile walk from my apartment which isn’t bad now, but once the bad weather hits it’s going to be brutal. I’m going to try to get my bike down here to speed up the commute though. Once I get to 14th St, I have another half a mile or so walk to Google. Others have recommended that I take the L subway, but I’d rather save the $2 each way and walk the two blocks. Overall, my commute into the city costs me $1.30, a few hundred calories, and about 40 minutes of my time.

My Car (A Sad S4)

One of the main reasons that I decided on the apartment that I’m in is that it came with a free garaged parking spot my for S4. However, I’ve quickly realized that having a car down here is rather pointless. I’ve only used it two times since moving down here: 1) buying furniture on move in day 2) returning an air mattress to BJs. Other than that, it sits in the garage and looks at me in anger: it wants to be driven. Next weekend I’ll be driving up to Rochester to present at the IEEE WNYIP 2008 workshop…that’ll cheer my car up :) Also, gas is really cheap (comparatively) down here: $3.30/gallon for regular.

My Eating (An Empty Fridge)

I do all my weekday eating at Google: breakfast (sometimes), lunch (always), and dinner (except on Fridays). Because of this, I have very little (read: no) food in my fridge. In fact, all I have at my apartment is 3 mini-bags of popcorn and some soda. On the weekends, I go out to eat. There’s no sense in going grocery shopping for the weekend only. I’m sure at some point I’ll stock my cabinets with non-perishables like soup, etc. Also I should note that I may end up dying of mercury poisoning due to the amount of fish I’m eating at Google every day.

Google Translate in Beta (for a reason)

Posted by Kurt on August 24th, 2008

The Google Translate service is quiet useful. However, I just ran into this little bug when playing around with it. If you submit a chunk of English text and ask it to detect the language and then translate it to English, it brings up an warning saying that they are “not yet able to translate from English to English”. Whoops :) I guess it’s in Beta for a reason.

Click the thumbnail for a full-sized image.

Featured Co-op Profile

Posted by Kurt on September 1st, 2007

My recent co-op experience (at Google) is currently on the homepage of the RIT Office of Cooperative Education and Career Services as a featured co-op profile. The full article can be viewed here. Patrick Copeland, the Test Engineering Director at Google, recently blogged about my “Googley Adventure”.

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