Eric Freudenthal
Associate Professor
University of Texas at El Paso
Computer Science Department
Office: Room 3.0424, Chemistry and Computer Science building (at the corner of Hawthorne Street and Rim Road)
shared fax: 915/747-5030
tethered: 915/747-6954
efreudenthal @
wireless: 915/317-6246
Links: Office hours/calendar, Home page, CV, Short: bio, Research interests, Selected publications, Community service, Photos,
Courses, , A few words about UTEP,

Advising, Office Hours, and Appointments

If you'd like to meet for advising, or if my office hours inconvenient for you, please follow the directions below to request an appointment at another time:

  1. Search my online calendar for mutually convenient times during normal business hours. (I'm not generally available late at night and on weekends)
  2. Send an email indicating your motivation for scheduling this meeting, and (if you're comfortable), a phone number I can use to reach you should I be delayed or need to negotiate a different meeting time.


I have active research efforts in both computer systems and STEM education.

Systems Research

I lead the Robust Autonomic Systems Group. Present thrusts are:

I tend to focus on the design of robust but simple protocols that effectively respond to system dynamism. Contributions include scalable coordination primitives for parallel computers and techniques for implementing security, indexing, load-balancing, and locality-aware redirection for coalitions of self-managed autonomous (peer-to-peer) systems. I am one of the creators of Coral-CDN, a locality aware, scalable, and self-managed content distribution network.

Education Research

I lead the iMPaCT-STEM educational research project ( This multi-disciplinary effort has developed a family of learning activities that leverage graphical programming to engage high school and college students in the examination of principles underlying algebra, calculus, and Newtonian mechanics.

With support from NSF, DHS, TI, and Microsoft, we are developing "iMPaCT" (Media Propelled Computational Thinking) learning modules that quickly (generally in less than an hour) introduce students to programming and engage them in the exploration of computer graphics and simulations of kinematics. The intended learning outcomes include

Most attendees in iMPaCT activities are highly engaged - independent of gender, ethnicity, and intended academic major. These findings suggest that many more students could be attracted to study science and engineering through problem solving activities that build conceptual understandings underlying math and physics. iMPaCT has spawned several sub-projects Visit our web

Prior Efforts

  • CoralCDN -- autonomic content distribution
    I collaborated with Michael Freedman and David Mazieres in the development of CoralCDN, a locality-sensitive self-organizing content dissemination network. Coral's indices are stored in a hierarchy of interleaved distributed hash tables that share the same name space. Constituent hash tables represent nested ranges of network locality constraints, and all nodes are members of a global hash table with no locality constraints. A single Coral node represents the same hash bucket in multiple hash tables, and searches prefer to search tables with better network connectivity, and only revert to tables with inferior connectivity when necessary.

    Echoing characteristics of the Ultracomputer's combining network, Coral dynamically replicates data near to clients, thereby minimizing hot-spot congestion. While Coral is not robust to security challenges, it is expected to to provide high performance even in the presence of partial system failure.

    More information on this project is available on the Coral home page.

  • Security Infrastructure for Decentralized Systems
    I led an effort of the NYU Parallel and Distributed Systems Group (PDSG) to investigate the security needs of systems deployed into dynamic environments that span a large number of administrative domains.

    The deployment of and communication among dynamically deployed software agents requires the establishment of sustained authorizing trust relationships between agents and systems that host them, and other agents with whom they interact. Existing component-based frameworks (e.g. J2EE and grid) do not offer appropriate security guarantees for coalition systems that span multiple mutually-distrustful administrative domains. In order to address these challenges, we developed a deployment substrate for mobile agents called DisCo and a decentralized role-based access control system called dRBAC. I am also investigating quantified trust management, that includes mechanisms for trust aggregation that may increase the expressiveness and scalability of access control systems.

    An extended summary of this work is available online at

  • Coordination for Shared Memory Systems
    As a graduate student supervised by Allan Gottlieb, I investigated support for scalable inter-process coordination on shared-memory MIMD systems. My contributions include detection and analysis of problems in architectures that implmement hardware combining. I propose design modifications that significantly mitigate these effects. I also have contributed centralized algorithms that have lower synchronization latency than those previously known (and superior to commonly used alternatives).

    Hot spot contention in combining networks investigated in my research has analogues in other networked systems. I anticipate that variants of the techniques I propose to mitigate the impact of hot spot congestion on both hot spot and non hot spot traffic can be generalized to other networked systems.

    A more complete summary of my dissertation reseaerch is available online: Additional details are available in Technical Report TR2003-849. This report and my full dissertation can be downloaded from the NYU Computer Science Department web site.

  • Image Recognition
    I investigated automatic target recognition in imagery collected using synthetic aperture radar, participating in several research projects associated with DARPA's MSTAR model-based vision research program and the AFRL's Model Based Vision Lab. I collaborated with Lockheed-Martin, Veridian-Erim, Diamondback Vision, and the University of Cincinatti on the MEP4 project that investigates identification of partially occluded targets. I also collaborated with Alphatech Corporation and SAIC to investigate the inherent complexity of the SAR ATR problem. This project was awarded a second phase STTR.

    In collaboration with Ben Goldberg and Davi Geiger, I organized the NYU Recognition Lab, computational resource available for research in computer vision as applied to automatic target recognition. The equipment for this lab was purchased under a grant from the AFOSR's DURIP program.

    The DARPA-sponsored MSTAR effort engaged approximately one hundred scientists at ten institutions in the construction of an experimental model-based system to detect and identify targets in SAR (synthetic aperture RADAR) imagery. My research contributions included algorithms for efficient registration and object identification, the development of a parallelized hypothesis evaluation and refinement executive, and optimizing template selection algorithms.