UB - University at Buffalo, The State University of New York Computer Science and Engineering

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. How do I apply to the CSE graduate program?
  2. Who is eligible to apply?
  3. What are the required materials for the application?
  4. What is the application deadline?
  5. Do you admit students for the spring semester?
  6. How do I pay for the application fee?
  7. If I have applied earlier, can I reapply?
  8. Are the application procedures for M.S. and Ph.D. programs different?
  9. If I already have a Ph.D. in another field, can I apply for Ph.D. in CSE?
  10. Can I send/upload copies of awards, papers, or any other supporting documents to supplement my application?
  11. I will be applying before I finish the fall term. Should I update my application with a new transcript that includes my fall term grades?
  12. Can I apply to more than one department at the same time?
  13. Do you have financial aid and/or assistantship positions available in your department?
  14. Do individual faculty members offer any financial assistantships?
  15. What are the university and department codes for TOEFL/GRE?
  16. When do the TOEFL/GRE scores expire?
  17. What are the minimum GRE/TOEFL/IELTS/PTE/CAE/CPE scores required for admission?
  18. What is the minimum GPA required for admission?
  19. What criteria does the Graduate Admissions Committee use during evaluations?
  20. What preparation in computer science and related fields is required for admission into the graduate program?
  21. Do you admit an applicant without an M.S. degree directly into your Ph.D. program?
  22. Can I learn my chance of being accepted prior to submitting an application?
  23. If I am already enrolled in a graduate program at another university, how can I enter into your Ph.D. program?
  24. I am enrolled in a graduate program at another university. Can I transfer credits when I join your program?
  25. I am an international student currently studying within the US. Can the TOEFL/IELTS exam requirement be waived?
  26. I am an international applicant and earned a degree from a US institute. Can the TOEFL exam requirement be waived?
  27. My school does not use the same grading scale as UB. What should I enter in the academic section?
  28. May I send a personal letter to a faculty member I wish to work with?
  29. Where can I learn about CSE faculty and their research interests?
  30. Once I apply, how do I check the status of my application?
  31. When will I be notified whether I have been admitted?
  32. I am accepted, what do I need to do now?

  1. How do I apply to the CSE graduate program?

    The online application form for the CSE graduate program is available here.

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  2. Who is eligible to apply?

    We expect the applicants to have earned a B.S. degree by the time they register in the CSE graduate program. The admission process is very competitive, and we expect the applicants to have a very strong background in computer science, math, or engineering.

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  3. What are the required materials for the application?

    All of following materials should be submitted as part of the online application form:

    • Application processing fee - $85 USD
    • A copy of the official university transcript(s) from undergraduate & graduate school
    • A copy of the proof of degree(s) from undergraduate & graduate school, if conferral is not indicated on transcript(s)
    • Personal Statement
    • Resume/CV
    • A copy of the official GRE report of scores (valid exam must be taken within 5 years of entry date)
    • 3 letters of recommendation
    International students should also submit the following materials online:
    • A copy of the official TOEFL score report (valid exam must be taken within 2 years of entry date)
    • A copy of the certified translation of the university transcript(s) in English with school seal
    • A copy of the certified translation of the proof of degree(s) in English with school seal

    There is no need to mail in any hard copies -- all of your supporting documents should be uploaded with your application. If you are accepted to the university, you will be notified to bring any required original papers with you when you come to campus for orientation.

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  4. What is the application deadline?

    For Fall 2017 semester admission, CSE must receive all online materials by January 15, 2017. We must receive all supporting documentation by January 31, 2017.

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  5. Do you admit students for the spring semester?

    Only current UB students or alumni are eligible for the spring semester admission. If you qualify, please contact the Graduate Admissions Office.

    Domestic applicants: Application deadline for the spring admission is October 15th.

    International applicants: Application deadline for the spring admission is August 31st.

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  6. How do I pay for the application fee?

    A nonrefundable fee of $85 per degree must be submitted for each application to graduate degree study at any SUNY campus. You should pay the application fee online with a credit card as part of the application process.

    If for some reason you are not able to pay the application fee with credit card, you can enclose a check or money order in the amount of $85 in U.S. funds (made payable to "State University of New York at Buffalo"), and mail it to:

    Graduate Admissions
    Department of Computer Science and Engineering
    University at Buffalo, The State University of New York
    338 Davis Hall
    Buffalo, NY 14260-2500
    USA

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  7. If I have applied earlier, can I reapply?

    Yes, you can reapply. You need to fill out a completely new online application for this purpose.

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  8. Are the application procedures for M.S. and Ph.D. programs different?

    The application procedures for M.S. and Ph.D. programs are the same. You need to choose which program you are applying on the first page of the online application form, under "Select Degree Program."

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  9. If I already have a Ph.D. in another field, can I apply for Ph.D. in CSE?

    Yes, if you already have a Ph.D. in a field other than Computer Science and Engineering, you can still apply for Ph.D. in CSE at UB.

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  10. Can I send/upload copies of awards, papers, or any other supporting documents to supplement my application?

    Our online application system will allow you to upload up to five extra documents/files if you feel necessary. Please do not send hard copies of these documents, since hard copy submissions will not be reviewed.

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  11. I will be applying before I finish the fall term. Should I update my application with a new transcript that includes my fall term grades?

    No, you cannot update your application once submitted and you do not need to do it. By the time your fall semester grades come in, your application may have already been evaluated.

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  12. Can I apply to more than one department at the same time?

    Yes, you can. The admission process of each department is independent of each other and a separate fee is required for each application. However, you can only enroll in one department, and you need to make this decision by the deadline specified in your offer letter (generally around April 15th).

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  13. Do you have financial aid and/or assistantship positions available in your department?

    The CSE department offers financial aid to only Ph.D. students in the following forms:

    • Teaching Assistantships
    • Research Assistantships
    • Fellowships
    It is our intention to support most of our Ph.D. students, if funding is available. There are no separate financial aid or scholarship forms that you need to submit. The financial award decision is based upon an applicant's complete application packet.

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  14. Do individual faculty members offer any financial assistantships?

    No, offers of financial funding are made by the department's Graduate Admissions Committee (GAC). For this reason, we ask that applicants do not write to individual faculty members requesting financial assistance.

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  15. What are the university and department codes for TOEFL/GRE?

    • UB institution code: 2925
    • GRE department code: 0402
    • TOEFL department code: 78
    Information and arrangements to take the exam(s) can be made by contacting the Educational Testing Service (ETS) at http://www.ets.org.

    Please be sure to have ETS send an electronic copy of your scores to the university.

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  16. When do the TOEFL/GRE scores expire?

    A valid TOEFL exam must be taken within 2 years of entry date, and a valid GRE exam must be taken within 5 years of entry date. If your TOEFL or GRE scores are expired by the entry date, your application will not be considered for admission.

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  17. What are the minimum GRE/TOEFL/IELTS/PTE/CAE/CPE scores required for admission?

    General GRE requirements: Even though we do not put a hard-line on the minimum score, we expect applicants to score around 309/340 using the current scale (or 1250/1600 using the prior scale) for Verbal+Quantitative; and 4.0/6.0 for Analytical components. The average score of our recently admitted applicants is about 316/340 (or 1300/1600) and 4.0/6.0.

    Only one of the following exams is required for international applicants:

    TOEFL requirements (for international applicants): The university minimum requirement for TOEFL is 79 iBT or 550 PBT.

    IELTS requirements (for international applicants): The university minimum requirement for IELTS is 6.5 overall with no individual sub-score below 6.0.

    PTE requirements (for international applicants): The university minimum requirement for PTE Academic is 55 overall with no individual sub-score below 50.

    CAE requirements (for international applicants): The university minimum requirement for CAE is 185 overall (65 overall on old scoring scale).

    CPE requirements (for international applicants): The university minimum requirement for CPE is 185 overall (60 overall on old scoring scale).

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  18. What is the minimum GPA required for admission?

    We do not have a strict minimum GPA requirement, but the applicants are expected to have a GPA higher than 3.0. The average GPA of our admitted applicants is around 3.5.

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  19. What criteria does the Graduate Admissions Committee use during evaluations?

    The Admissions Committee considers the whole application package when evaluating applications for admission and financial aid. Some of the criteria considered are:

    • Grades in relevant coursework in computer science, math, logic, and engineering at the undergraduate and, if applicable, graduate levels (you will be required to provide official transcripts from all colleges and universities previously attended).
    • A personal statement (statement of purpose) explaining why you are interested in graduate study in computer science and engineering at the University at Buffalo.
    • At least three letters of recommendation, preferably from faculty members at your college/university who know you well.
    • GRE and TOEFL scores.
    • Overall GPA.
    • Other elements, such as research experience and publication record is also very important.

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  20. What preparation in computer science and related fields is required for admission into the graduate program?

    Although an undergraduate degree (bachelor's or four-year equivalent) is required for admission, an undergraduate degree in computer science or engineering is not required.

    Applicants are expected to have successfully completed coursework in computer science and math or logic equivalent to the following:

    • two-semester undergraduate introductory sequence using a modern, structured, high-level programming language (such as C, C++, and/or Java) equivalent to our CSE 115-116
    • one-semester course in machine organization and assembly language (equivalent to our CSE 241)
    • one data-structures course (equivalent to our CSE 250)
    • one or two higher-level courses, such as those offered to 3rd and 4th year undergraduates
    • four semesters of undergraduate math or logic, including at least one course on proving theorems (equivalent to our Math 141-142, Math/CSE 191, and a higher-level math course)
    Applicants missing this coursework can still be admitted to the program, but they would need to take additional coursework. You can find descriptions of the courses cited above on our undergraduate academics website: http://www.cse.buffalo.edu/undergrad/courses.php.

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  21. Do you admit an applicant without an M.S. degree directly into your Ph.D. program?

    Yes, an M.S. degree is not required for admission to the Ph.D. program, but it is highly recommended.

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  22. Can I learn my chance of being accepted prior to submitting an application?

    No, we cannot give you a pre-evaluation of your application. You need to fill out an application and submit all required information so that it can be reviewed.

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  23. If I am already enrolled in a graduate program at another university, how can I enter into your Ph.D. program?

    You must submit the regular online application with all the required supporting materials by the specified deadline.

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  24. I am enrolled in a graduate program at another university. Can I transfer credits when I join your program?

    Yes, you may transfer part of your graduate credits. Once you are admitted to our program, the Director of Graduate Studies and the Graduate School will review your request for transferring credits. Details on transferring credits can be found in the CSE Graduate Student Handbook.

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  25. I am an international student currently studying within the US. Can the TOEFL/IELTS exam requirement be waived?

    International students transferring from another U.S. institution to UB (with a break of no more than one year between departing the previous school and enrolling at UB) who would have met UB's minimum requirements and who had a valid TOEFL/IELTS at the time they commenced study at the other institution are automatically waived of the English language proficiency requirement.

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  26. I am an international applicant and earned a degree from a US institute. Can the TOEFL exam requirement be waived?

    If you have received a degree from an institute within the U.S. prior to joining our program without a lapse in studies, the TOEFL exam requirement is waived. by the Graduate School. The department can submit a petition to the Graduate School to request a waiver, if you are offered admission.

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  27. My school does not use the same grading scale as UB. What should I enter in the academic section?

    Please enter the grades as shown on your transcript(s). We will evaluate your grades and GPA (grade point average) based upon a grading conversion scale.

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  28. May I send a personal letter to a faculty member I wish to work with?

    We strongly encourage you to include your research interest information in your personal statement within your application packet. We would discourage you from sending generic personal letters and resumes to individual faculty members prior to submitting an application. Unless you have previously corresponded with one of our faculty members, sending faculty such letters and resumes could be ignored. Once you are admitted to our program, you can contact individual faculty members to discuss your research interests.

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  29. Where can I learn about CSE faculty and their research interests?

    You can learn about the CSE faculty and their research from their individual Faculty web pages and from the departmental Research Areas sections.

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  30. Once I apply, how do I check the status of my application?

    We do not send any notifications to acknowledge the receipt of applications or other supporting documents. Applicants can log into the Interactive Graduate Application Site anytime to check the status of their application.

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  31. When will I be notified whether I have been admitted?

    Ph.D. admission decisions are usually made at the end of February and the letters are mailed by mid March.

    M.S. admission decisions are usually made by mid-March and the letters are mailed by end of March.

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  32. I am accepted, what do I need to do now?

    Once admitted to the program, you will get an official offer letter from the department. You will need to indicate your acceptance of this offer by signing and returning the enclosed "Letter of Intent" no later than the given deadline in the offer (generally around April 15th). If we do not hear from you by this date, the offer will be withdrawn.

    All admitted students should go through the "New UB Graduate Student Checklist", which contains vital information regarding course registration procedures and other important university information: http://www.grad.buffalo.edu/admissions/newgradstudents.php

    The International students should also submit the following materials:

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  • CSE Demo Day

    RESEARCH SPOTLIGHT

    CSE Demo Day

    CSE students gather in the Davis Atrium to demonstrate their semesterly capstone projects and current research projects.

  • CSE Awards Reception

    Awards Reception

    CSE End of the Year Awards Reception

    We will be holding our End of the Year Awards Reception on December 16th at the Center for Tomorrow. All are welcome to attend! Please RSVP.

  • CSE Industrical Career Day

    Research Spotlight

    Industrial Career Day

    Industry Representatives will be making presentations and providing table displays. Food will be available at each session, and you will receive a free t-shirt for attending!
    Please RSVP!

  • CSE Alumni Student Reception

    Research Spotlight

    Alumni Student Reception

    Meet with current students, alumni, board members and company representatives. Come network, learn about our cutting edge research and outstanding academic programs, and meet our world-class faculty.

  • Tripathi and Grads image

    Research Spotlight

    Silicon Valley Alumni Reception

    Were you in Mountain View, CA on September 27th?

    Have a look at the photos of our alumni event!

  • Tripathi and Grads image

    Research Spotlight

    Presidential Welcome

    President Tripathi stops by to welcome our Fall 2016 incoming computer science grad students!

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    Save the Date

    CSE's 50th anniversary gala celebration will be September 28—October 1, 2017. Will you help us plan it? Let us know which events you'd like to attend by taking this short survey.

  • Tech Savvy 11 image

    Research Spotlight

    Tech Savvy 11

    CSE ran a workshop at AAUW's Tech Savvy 11. Pictured (l-r) are Sada Haider, Lakshmi Ethiraj, Dr. Carl Alphonce, Aishani Bhalla, and Julia Cordani (not pictured: S. Doddi, W. Shi, M. Arnold, V. Kaplinsky, and R. Roberts).

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    Research Spotlight

    This necklace 'hears' what you eat

    Assistant Professor Wenyao Xu and his research partners at China's Northeastern University are developing Autodietary, a high-tech, food-tracking necklace. Read the full press release here.

  • Dimitrios Koutsonikolas image

    Research Spotlight

    Dr. Koutsonikolas wins NSF CAREER Award

    Assistant Professor Dimitrios Koutsonikolas won the NSF CAREER Award for his "CAREER: A Millimeter-Wave Multi-Layer WLAN Architecture for Multi-Gigabit, Always-On Connectivity".

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    Research Spotlight

    Dr. Gao wins NSF CAREER Award

    Assistant Professor Jing Gao won the NSF CAREER Award for her proposal titled, "CAREER: Mining Reliable Information from Crowdsourced Data". The award is expected to total over $500K.

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    Research Spotlight

    2015 SEAS Faculty Award Winners (CSE)

    CSE faculty win awards at the 2015 SEAS Faculty Awards ceremony. Above: Qiao, Alphonce, Rudra, Ko. Below: Xu, Ren, Upadhyaya, Koutsonikolas, Gao.

  • 2015 SEAS Faculty Awards image

    Research Spotlight

    2015 SEAS Faculty Award Winners (CSE)

    Another shot of CSE faculty award winners at the 2015 SEAS Faculty Awards ceremony. Wu, Koutsonikolas, Xu, Ren, Upadhyaya, Rudra, Ko, Alphonce, Gao.

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    Research Spotlight

    Dr. Qiao Begins Term as CSE Chair

    CSE announces Chunming Qiao's appointment as CSE department chair in our 2015-2016 promotional postcard.

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    Research Spotlight

    International acclaim for Dr. Govindaraju

    UB Interim VP for Research and SUNY Distinguished Professor Venu Govindaraju receives international career honor for his research contributions.

  • UBay image

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    UBay 2015

    UB Interim VP for Research and SUNY Distinguished Professor Venu Govindaraju socializes with some of the 60 alums who attended the inaugural meeting of the UB Engineering Chapter of the Bay Area, UBay, in Palo Alto, CA.

  • Tech Savvy 10 image

    Research Spotlight

    Tech Savvy 10

    CSE students ran a workshop at AAUW's Tech Savvy 10. Pictured (l-r) are Savannah Towey, Meg Arnold, Sanjee Choudhery, Dr. Carl Alphonce, Bich Vu, and Christina Nowak (not pictured: Allison Palum).

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    Research Spotlight

    Thanks to Vans Warped Tour

    Prof. Mike Buckley would like to thank Kevin Lyman, Kate Truscott, and the entire Vans Warped Tour 2014 for their generous donation to The Center for Socially Relevant Computing. More »

  • Chess Life Ken Regan Cover Image

    Research Spotlight

    Catching Chess Cheaters

    CSE associate professor, theoretician and International Master chessplayer Kenneth W. Regan is the subject of a technical and biographical profile in the June 2014 issue of Chess Life.

  • UBHacking 2013 Image

    Research Spotlight

    UBHacking 2014

    Students competed 'round the clock in UB Hacking 2014 over the weekend of April 5-6. Winners, projects, prizes, and sponsors are announced here.

  • Tech Savvy 9 image

    Research Spotlight

    Tech Savvy 9

    CSE students presented a session at UB's Tech Savvy 9. Pictured are Victoria Minorczyk, Bich Vu, Dr. Alphonce, Kayla Weixlmann, Christine Baxter, Amie Vuong (l-r).

  • Steve Ko NSF CAREER image

    Research Spotlight

    Congratulations, Dr. Ko!

    CSE Assistant Professor Steve Ko won the prestigious NSF CAREER Award for his research program titled, 'Systems for Transparency in Personal Devices and Services'.

  • Shambhu Upadhyaya CEISARE WGRZ Image

    Research Spotlight

    CEISARE in the News

    In two Buffalo NBC affiliate WGRZ Channel 2 News features, Shambhu Upadhyaya explains CEISARE's work training cyberwarriors and developing countermeasures to power facility cyberattacks.

  • Chunming Qiao Chancellor's Award Image

    Research Spotlight

    Congratulations, Dr. Qiao!

    Chunming Qiao receives 2013 SUNY Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Scholarship and Creative Activities. Dr. Qiao is joined onstage by President Satish Tripathi, Provost Charles Zukoski, and SEAS Dean Liesl Folks.

  • UBHacking 2013 Competition Winners Image

    Research Spotlight

    UBHacking 2013 Winners

    GamePute won first prize in a field of 30 teams at UBHacking 2013. Joe Peacock and Nick DiRienzo pose with GamePute team Scott Florentino, Andrew Wantuch, Jen Cordaro, and Andrew Kopanon.

  • SEAS Poster Competition Winners 2013 Image

    Research Spotlight

    CSE students win SEAS Grad Student Poster Competition

    Ankur Upadhyay, Daniel Bellinger, and Sumit Agarwal's work on Laasie won first prize in the 2013 SEAS Grad Poster Competition. They are advised by Luke Ziarek and Oliver Kennedy.

  • CSE Open House Image

    Research Spotlight

    Open House

    CSE undergrads demonstrate technology from the Center for Socially Relevant Computing (CSRC) to newly-accepted students and their parents at the CSE Open House on Saturday, March 23.

  • CSE Research Posters Image

    Research Spotlight

    Student Research Poster Session

    CSE graduate students and their faculty advisors present research posters in the Davis Atrium on March 7, 2013.

  • UB NCCC Image

    Research Spotlight

    Cyberdefenders

    CSE and Management students compete in the Northeast Collegiate Cyberdefense Competition (NCCC) on Saturday, January 19. UB advanced to the next round of competition, to be held at the University of Maine in March.

  • Cybersecurity Image

    Research Spotlight

    Cybersecurity

    UB's Center of Excellence in Information Systems, Assurance, Research, and Education (CEISARE) received a $1.6 million NSF grant to train students to protect the United States from cyberattacks. »

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    UB PhoneLab

    Geoffrey Challen and Steven Ko are enlisting hundreds of students to build an unprecedented smartphone network to help scientists improve mobile computers and better understand how they're changing the world. »

  • UB CSE Research Image

    Research Spotlight

    Davis Hall dedication

    UB hosted Davis Hall's ribbon-cutting ceremony on May 12, 2012. Pictured (l to r) are: Kamlesh Tripathi, Margaret Jacobs, Jeremy Jacobs, Barbara Davis, Jack Davis, Rajan Batta, George Maziarz, and Harvey Stenger.

  • UB CSE Research Image

    Research Spotlight

    Davis Hall southwest elevation

    Davis Hall, CSE's new $75M headquarters, is designed to meet LEED "Gold" standards. The building is named for Barbara and Jack Davis. Davis is the founder of Akron-based I Squared R Element Co.

  • Ken Regan Image

    Research Spotlight

    Exposing chess cheats

    Theoretician and International Master chessplayer Kenneth W. Regan devises algorithms to detect chess cheating. The New York Times recently profiled his work .

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    Crystal clear

    Nobel Laureate Herbert Hauptman, a CSE affiliated professor, developed an algorithm for determining crystal structure. Computing in Science and Engineering Magazine named it one of the top 10 algorithms of the 20th century.

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    Research Spotlight

    Handwriting recognition

    Pursuing work on document verification and identification, CSE researchers use machine-learning algorithms to study handwriting variability.

  • UB CSE Research Image

    Research Spotlight

    Structural determination

    CSE professor Russ Miller is one of the authors of a program that can determine the structure of molecules as large as 2,000 atoms from X-ray diffraction patterns.

  • UB CSE Research Image

    Research Spotlight

    Image analysis

    CSE professor Aidong Zhang is developing intelligent content-analysis programs to automatically analyze images, replacing human coding of semantic content.

  • UB CSE Research Image

    Research Spotlight

    Davis Hall northwest elevation

    This concept scheme shows Davis Hall, CSE's new $75M headquarters, viewed from the northwest. The edge of Ketter Hall is visible on the right, just east of Davis. UB held the ribbon-cutting ceremony on May 12, 2012.

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    Algorithm therapy

    A geometric algorithm developed by CSE professor Jinhui Xu configures a set of radiation beams to destroy brain tumors in a form of computer-aided surgery.

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    Award-winning faculty

    The CSE faculty includes NSF CAREER award holders; ACM, IEEE, and AAAI fellows; and editors of noteworthy journals.

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    Research Spotlight

    Working together

    CSE faculty work with researchers in chemistry, the life sciences, the pharmaceutical sciences, media study, geography, and many other disciplines.

  • UB CSE Research Image

    Research Spotlight

    Davis Hall northeast elevation

    This concept scheme shows Davis Hall, CSE's new $75M headquarters, viewed from the northeast. Ketter and Furnas Halls can be seen on the left, just south of the new building. We broke ground in April 2009.

  • UB CSE Research Image

    Research Spotlight

    Automated mail

    CEDAR, a CSE-affiliated research center, developed the systems that postal agencies around the world use to automatically sort hand-addressed mail.

  • UB CSE Research Image

    Research Spotlight

    High-performance

    CSE's MultiStore Research Group is funded by a $1 million NSF grant for the development of high-performance online data-storage systems.

  • UB CSE Research Image

    Research Spotlight

    Cutting-edge research facilities

    CSE faculty are major participants in the new $200 million Buffalo Center of Excellence in Bioinformatics.

  • UB CSE Research Image

    Research Spotlight

    Grants for research

    CSE faculty average some $4.5 million annually in research grants. Our research areas range from high-performance computing to data mining.

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