Top blue bar image Department of Computer Science

Research

A central part of our department's mission is to perform world-class research in Computer Science (CS) by focusing our efforts in the following three specialization areas with a balance of faculty members across these areas:

Algorithms and Artificial Intelligence (AAI)
Computer Engineering and Systems (CES)
Programming Languages and Software Engineering (PLSE)

The research topics in the AAI area include bioinformatics, computer graphics, computational logic, data mining, geometric modeling, machine learning, natural language processing, and robotics.  The CES research topics include cyber-physical systems, databases, embedded systems, distributed computing, mobile computing, networks, operating systems, and secure systems. (It is worth noting that CE in CES stands for Computer Engineering, which is a shared endeavor between Rice's CS and ECE departments; many CES faculty in the CS department have joint appointments in the ECE department, and half the required classes for a Computer Engineering major at Rice are taught by CS faculty.) Finally, the research topics in the PLSE area include compilers, inexact computing, parallel software, programming languages, programming tools, software engineering, and software verification.

2015 CS poster session

Many of us also pursue research themes that cut across these specialization areas, e.g., in high performance computing, formal methods and verification, cybersecurity, bioinformatics, and data science. While Rice has well-recognized strengths in the first three of these themes, we see a compelling strategic opportunity for growing a data science initiative in light of the need for analyzing data that is growing exponentially in volume and velocity, and the deep expertise in data science that already crosses the CS, ECE, STAT, and CAAM departments in Rice's School of Engineering.

Our multi-disciplinary research activities often go beyond engineering, as we begin to observe a major X+CS worldwide movement in which major innovations in any discipline X occur at the boundary between X and Computer Science. Some X+CS examples in our department can be found in our research on computational biology, medical imaging, and public policy. Many of these external collaborations are fostered by local institutions such as the Ken Kennedy Institute, the Baker Institute for Public Policy, the Texas Medical Center, and the energy industry in Houston.

To learn more about the research underway in our department, please visit the faculty and research group pages for the AAI, CES, and PLSE areas. Technical reports are also available.