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Interdisciplinary Research

Interdisciplinary Research

The Department of Computer Science and Engineering (CSE) at Michigan State University is revolutionizing research in engineering, the natural sciences, and beyond. We are pursuing research that presses the boundaries of knowledge and gives birth to new fields.

Examples include humanities, medicine, natural science, criminal justice, supply chain management, and natural language research. Below are a few samples of our interdisciplinary research projects.

BiometricsBiometric security system

CSE’s Pattern Recognition and Image Processing Lab (PRIP) is a world leader in biometric recognition research and technology. Biometrics refers to the automatic recognition of individuals based on their physiological (e.g. face, fingerprint, or iris) and/or behavioral (e.g., signature) characteristics. Because of increased concerns about terrorist attacks, security breaches, and financial fraud, many systems now require reliable personal recognition schemes to confirm or deny the identity of an individual.

PRIP Lab Biometrics Research

Computing for the Humanities

MATRIX Quilt ProjectThe creative partnership between computer science, the humanities, and the social sciences — the core of what we now call "humanities technology"— is the cornerstone of the digital revolution. MATRIX, The Center for Humane, Arts, Letters, and Social Sciences Online, serves as a catalyst for and incubator of the emerging fields and disciplines resulting from the integration of the humanities with information technologies.

The Quilt Index Project

Digital EvolutionDiscover article: Devolab Research

Faculty in CSE and the life sciences have gained insights into previously unsolved questions of evolution using digital organisms. A population of self-replicating computer programs is subjected to external pressures (such as mutations and limited resources) and allowed to evolve subject to natural selection. This is not a mere simulation of evolution -- digital organisms evolve to survive in a complex computational environment and will adapt to perform entirely new traits in ways never expected by the researchers, some of which seem highly creative. This work, which has enabled the study of evolution to go in directions never thought possible, has been published in Nature, Science, and Discover magazine.

Digital Evolution Research at MSU

Genomics, Evolution, and Development

The Genomics, Evolution, and Development lab investigates the mechanisms of development: how embryos develop, how genomes encode the developmental process, and how the developmental process has evolved. The lab interests are diverse, yet there is a common goal: researchers seek to intermingle computation with experiment in order to improve our understanding of biology. The lab intersects with a number of fields, both new and old, including developmental biology, molecular biology, bioinformatics, regulatory genomics, and metagenomics.

Genomics, Evolution, and Development lab

High-Assurance Systems Initiative

High-Assurance SystemsHigh-assurance computing systems are designed to tolerate failures, and even direct attacks, in order to continue system operation and preserve system integrity. The project uses a real-world problem-driven, multidisciplinary approach to deliver instruction, conduct research, and develop reliable and secure cyber infrastructure.The initiative has received funding from numerous federal agencies (e.g. NSF, ONR, AFRL, DARPA).

High-Assurance Systems Initiative


Ultra-Large-Scale Software-Intensive Systems

CSE is forming a new NSF-sponsored Industry/University Collaborative Research Center.The project will bring together multidisciplinary researchers (from MSU, U of Virginia, Vanderbilt, and UC San Diego) and industrial collaborators to develop technologies for an emerging area known as Ultra-Large-Scale Software-Intensive Systems (ULSSIS, pronounced "Ulysses"). MSU's focus will be on automated software development for high-assurance and autonomic, run-time adaptive systems.

ULSSIS Home Page