Laura Toma

I am an Associate Professor of Computer Science, and, during 2014-2018, also department chair.
Department of Computer Science
Bowdoin College
8650 College Station
Brunswick, ME 04011
Office: Searles 219
Phone: + 1-207-725-3569
Fax: + 1-207-725-3750

Publications | Student research and projects | Teaching | CV | Personal

My research is in the theory and practice of cache-efficient algorithms for large data, and in particular applications that involve large, high-resolution data in Geographic Information Systems (GIS). Together with some great students, I am exploring algorithms for modeling fundamental problems on terrains, such as visibility, flooding, sea level rise and least-cost-path surfaces. Our goal is to come up with approaches that are resource-efficient (CPU, IO, cache, parallel), are backed by algorithms that we can theoretically prove efficient and at the same time work well in practice. Ultimately, our goal is to transfer these algorithms into free and open-source software. I am grateful for the support of NSF award 0728780 (2007-2013). Memory-efficient algorithms and parallel algorithms share many techniques and insights, which has brought me towards high-performance computing using Bowdoin's HPC grid.

I finished my Ph.D in 2003 at Duke University, Department of Computer Science. My thesis advisor was Lars Arge. My dissertation focused on IO-efficient algorithms for modeling flow on very large terrains (terraflow | terrastream), as well algorithms for basic graph problems like IO-efficient breadth-first search and depth-first search, IO-efficient topological sort, IO-efficient minimum spanning trees and IO-efficient shortest paths.

In Spring 2018 I am teaching Algorithms (cs2200) and Computational Geometry (cs3250).


See my teaching site for links to course websites.

(Some) Projects

See publications for a complete list.