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Highlights

Stereo Vision for Underwater Archaeology

As co-director of Engineers for Exploration, Prof. Ryan Kastner led expeditions to test an underwater stereo camera system for producing 3D reconstructions of underwater objects. Here Kastner is shown with the camera system in a UCSD pool. Read more…  

Kastner Underwater

Pacific Interlude

Four of the 10 UCSD undergraduates in the 2014 Pacific Rim Experiences for Undergraduates (PRIME) program are CSE majors. (L-r) Allen Nguyen and Lok Yi (Nicole) Wong did research in Japan, while Matthew Schwegler and Katerina Zorko spent the summer in Australia. Read more…

CSEHeader_PRIME2014.jpg

Girls Day Out

The UCSD chapter of Women in Computing (WiC) held its second annual Girls Day Out in May, bringing roughly 100 girls from San Diego high schools to tour the campus and do hands-on experiments in electronics. Here, girls visit the Qualcomm Institute’s StarCAVE virtual reality room. Read more…  

Girls Day Out

Coding for a Cause

Then-sophomore Sneha Jayaprakash's mobile app, Bystanders to Upstanders (B2U), matches students with opportunities to volunteer for social causes. Together with fellow CSE undergrads, she won a series of grants and awards, and is now doing a startup. Read more...

Sneha Jayaprakash

Photo Finish

CSE alumna Brina Lee (M.S. ’13) was the first full-time female engineer hired at Instagram. Then Instagram was purchased by Facebook, and now Lee is spending much of her time talking to female students about opportunities in computer science. Read more… 

Brina Lee

Internet of Things

Computer scientists at UCSD developed a tool that allows hardware designers and system builders to test security. The tool tags then tracks critical pieces in a hardware’s security system. Pictured (l-r): Ph.D. student Jason Oberg, Prof. Ryan Kastner, postdoc Jonathan Valamehr. Read more…

Internet of Things

Research Expo 2014

At the Jacobs School of Engineering’s Research Expo 2014, CSE Chair Rajesh Gupta (pictured) briefed industry and visitors, and Ph.D. student Matthew Jacobsen won best CSE poster for “Hardware-Accelerated Online Boosting for Tracking.” Read more…

Research Expo 2014

ParentGuardian

Ph.D. student Laura Pina won best paper with Microsoft colleagues at PervasiveHealth 2014 for developing ParentGuardian, a mobile app/sensor detecting stress in parents of children with ADHD. The system helps parents cope with stress in real time. Read more…  

ParentGuardian

New Faculty

Former UC Berkeley professor Ravi Ramamoorthi joined CSE’s visual computing faculty, and he is one of six new CSE faculty hires in 2014. Others include assistant teaching professors Mia Minnes and Leo Porter, and assistant professors George Porter, Daniel M. Kane and Julian McAuley. Read more…

Ravi Ramamoorthi

Fun and Functional

CSE 145 teaches students about embedded systems design, and they do capstone projects. For one team, that meant building Ruku, a robot and mobile app that solves a Rubik’s Cube in 30 seconds. (L-r): William Mutterspaugh, Daryl Stimm and Jonas Kabigting. Read more…

Ruku to solve Rubik's Cube

Overclocked Enthusiasts

CSE alumni, students, staff and faculty turned out in force to run, walk or just cheer on the Overclocked CSE Enthusiasts, the department's main team entered in the Chancellor’s 5K run in June. Prof. Christine Alvarado ranked #1 in her division. Read more…  

5K Race

The Gift That Keeps on Giving

CSE capped the 2012-'13 academic year with the announcement of an anonymous $18.5 million gift from an alumnus – making it the largest-ever alumni gift to UC San Diego. Read more...

AnonymousGift.jpg
  • Study Ranks UC San Diego #5 Among Theoretical Computer Science Programs Nationwide

    CSE #1 in Published Papers at Top Cryptography Conferences

    According to an authoritative study by professors from MIT and the University of Maryland, the Computer Science and Engineering (CSE) department at UC San Diego has the #5-ranked program in theoretical computer science in the country. The new ranking of computer-science departments is based on the number of papers accepted to major algorithms and theory conferences and weighted according to whether the conference is considered a Rank 1 venue or Rank 2 (with Rank 3 and unranked conferences not taken into consideration).

    Buried in the data was more good news: CSE faculty at UC San Diego had more papers accepted to the top conferences in cryptography than any other U.S. university. They had 43 papers in Advances in Cryptography (CRYPTO), and 36 papers in the European Conference on Cryptography (Eurocrypt). The data were updated as of July 2014.

    “This ranking is based purely on conference publications, which more closely reflects both the field's own internal valuation and the evaluation of the university system,” notes CSE Prof. Mihir Bellare (at left). “But one should take any ranking with a pinch of salt, since publication quantity may be loosely related to quality and decisions taken by conference program committees are not perfect.”

    For all conferences in theoretical computer science (including cryptography), UC San Diego came in #5 after MIT, Carnegie Mellon, UC Berkeley, and Princeton. While the latter four institutions were in the top-5 in U.S. News’ ranking for theory programs in computer science, UC San Diego ranked #14.

    “It is heartening to see a young department outperform much older established departments and schools in computer science. The results reaffirm our strategy of hiring excellent core faculty and creating a collaborative environment,” says CSE Chair Rajesh Gupta. “Pursuing this strategy over the past decade, we have built a strong research program in cryptography, computer security, programming languages, bioinformatics and computer architecture. Our ongoing efforts will push frontiers in data sciences and intersections of computing to societal infrastructure and human health.”

    In detailing their methodology, MIT professor Erik Demaine and University of Maryland professor Mohammad T. Hajiaghayi noted that the best measure of productivity in the computer-science community and a large fraction (if not all) of jobs, awards, grants, products, etc., in computer science are based on how prolific the researcher is at top conferences.

    "Due to our belief on lack of transparency and well-defined measures in methods used by U.S. News to rank CS departments in theoretical computer science (and in general)," wrote Demaine and Hajiaghayi, who undertook the study as part of their Big Dynamic Network Data (BigDnD) project. They attempted to provide "a ranking based on a real and measurable method for top 50 U.S. universities."

    To decide which algorithms and theory conferences should be considered Rank 1 or Rank 2, the authors used a standard list produced by Georgia Tech, and then deleted all Rank 3 and unranked conferences. The university was given a full point for each publication in one of the eleven Rank 1 conferences, and half a point for each Rank 2 conference publication.

  • CSE Students Participate in Women's Hackathon

    Nine computer science students from UC San Diego were among the 67 young women who registered to participate over the weekend in the International Women's Hackathon, which took place over 12 hours on Saturday, Oct. 11,  at Cal State San Marcos. The event was sponsored by Microsoft Research as a way to provide a fun learning environment for girls to get more exposure to computer programming, IT pros, mentors, companies and community members. Twenty-five college students and 42 high school students, all ages 16 or older, participated. Teams of four to six girls were required to build a website, game, cloud-based service, application or mobile app to address one of two challenges: visualizing the impacts of climate change; or helping organizations and communities to prepare for effective response after a natural disaster.

    The hackathon followed several days of publicity surrounding the 2014 Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing, which took place in Phoenix. While the mostly-female participants there were impressed with the turnout of women and girls interested in computer science, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella caused a furor when he urged the mostly-female audience in Phoenix not to ask for raises, but to recognize instead that the system and karma would eventually reward them. After his remarks triggered negative headlines worldwide, Nadella retracted his statement and said both women and men should ask for raises if they are merited.  According to an article in Sunday's San Diego Union-Tribune, the furor over Nadella's remarks was echoed in the hackathon. The newspaper quoted UC San Diego computer science undergraduate Sandra Lamantas (pictured in center) as responding, "Whose karma? Really, who's going to help us if we don't ask?"

  • Students, Faculty Celebrate Women in Computing

    UCSD CSE Was Silver Sponsor of 2014 Grace Hopper Celebration

    Nearly 40 students from the University of California, San Diego – most of them affiliated with the university’s chapter of Women in Computing – plus multiple CSE alums attended the 2014 Grace Hopper Celebration for Women in Computing Oct. 8-10 in Phoenix, AZ. For two of the undergraduates majoring in computer science, it was also an opportunity to showcase research projects in the area of sketch recognition. [Photo at right by Anu Mupparthi, BS '08, MS '11]

    In a poster session, Computer Science and Engineering (CSE) student Ren Lee – who is head tutor in CSE 131 Compiler Construction this fall, and did her summer internship at Qualcomm – reported on looking for patterns in the errors produced by sketched symbol recognition techniques. Her goal: to find the patterns and improve the recognition algorithms. Lee (below left) was a semi-finalist in the ACM Student Research Competition funded by Microsoft. At the same time, junior Eliah Overbey (below right) presented a poster on “Digital Circuit Recognition with Shape Context,” in which she examined how to use a technique from computer vision to recognize hand-drawn shapes. Overbey just finished her second consecutive summer internship as a software engineering intern, this year at Google, the previous at Qualcomm.

    The research projects of both Lee and Overbey were supervised by CSE Prof. Christine Alvarado, who was a program co-chair of the Grace Hopper Celebration (GHC) this year. It was also the ninth year in a row for Alvarado to attend the conference.

    "Having such a large group of students attend GHC, in addition to having UCSD CSE be a Silver Sponsor for the conference, sends a strong message about our commitment to and our support for our women students," said Alvarado. "At the conference, our women students, who make up only about 18% of the CSE major, get the opportunity to feel what it is like to be surrounded by technical women, and they get to meet women near-peers who are thriving in the tech industry."

    A big draw for CSE and other students attending the conference was the Career Fair, which Alvarado describes as "enormous and very active." “There’s a very real chance that they will get a job at GHC,” she added.

  • Summer Internship Symposium Showcases Industry Experiences

    In the end, 93 undergraduates crowded into the lobby and auditorium of the CSE building on Oct. 8 to show off the research and other industry experiences they participated in over the summer. Organized by CSE Assistant Teaching Professor Mia Minnes, the Summer Internship Symposium was a hit with students, staff and faculty, and 18 local industry mentors/advisors from companies including HP and Mitek, and other organizations such as SPAWAR.

    The excitement in the room was palpable: many undergraduate students, in addition to the presenters, were in attendance to learn from their peers," said CSE Chair Rajesh Gupta. "While the event served its primary purpose of recognizing the student accomplishments well, it also created a meeting place for productive interactions between interns, future interns, employers and faculty."

    "The symposium definitely has the potential to become one of the important community events for CSE," Gupta added.

    Kristiyan Dzhamalov (at right) spent the summer at Google in Mountain View, CA, working on the Google Cloud Print team. "The project that I was working on was to convert the Google Cloud Print Android application to Material Design, which was announced in June during the Google I/O," says Dzhamalov. "Material gives users the feeling that they interact with real objects, rather than a computer program. It bridges the gap between technology and human interactions by providing more natural animations, transitions and improved UI components. Users can anticipate the outcome of their interactions with any application, thus providing them with a smoother and much more natural experience."

    Dzhamalov says that his effort was to take the existing Android application and redesign the front- and back-end to fit the guidelines. "As a whole," he adds, "the project was an amazing experience that gave me the opportunity to meet amazing engineers, gain invaluable knowledge and take a product to completion."

    For Dzhamalov and the 92 other students displaying their work, the Summer Internship Symposium was an opportunity to network with potential employers, and to convey their excitement to many of the first-year CSE undergraduates attending the event (students who are likely to undertake one, two or more internships prior to finishing their undergraduate degrees).

    Students who did summer internships were eligible to get 4 units of credit by enrolling in CSE 197, as long as they filled out the appropriate paperwork by mid-June and fulfilled all course requirements.

    Learn more about CSE 197.

Upcoming Events

Yesterday

  1. DLS Speaker: Vitaly Shmatikov
    • Start time: 11:00am
    • End date: Monday, October 20th
    • End time: 12:00pm
    • Where: CSE 1202
    • Description:

      Title: All Your SSL Are Belong To Us

      Abstract:
      SSL/TLS is the de facto standard for secure Internet communications. Deployed widely in Web browsers and non-browser software, it is intended to provide end-to-end security even against active, man-in-the-middle attacks. This security fundamentally depends on correct validation of
      X.509 certificates presented when the connection is established.

      I will first demonstrate that many SSL/TLS deployments are completely insecure against man-in-the-middle attacks. Vulnerable software includes cloud computing clients, merchant SDKs responsible for transmitting payment information from e-commerce sites to payment processors, online shopping software, and many forms of middleware. Even worse, several
      popular SSL/TLS implementations do not validate certificates correctly and thus all software based on them is generically insecure. These bugs affect even common Web browsers, where minor validation errors such as recent certificate expiration can mask serious issues such as failure to authenticate the Web server's identity.

      I will then analyze the root causes of these vulnerabilities and describe how we used "frankencerts," a new methodology for automatically testing SSL/TLS implementations, to uncover dozens of subtle certificate validation bugs in popular SSL/TLS implementations.

      Bio:
      Vitaly Shmatikov is an associate professor of computer science at the University of Texas at Austin and visiting scholar at Cornell NYC Tech. Vitaly's research area is security and privacy. He received the PET Award for Outstanding Research in Privacy Enhancing Technologies twice, in 2008 and 2014, and was a runner-up in 2013. Vitaly's research group won the Best Practical Paper or Best Student Paper Awards at the 2012, 2013, and 2014 IEEE Symposiums on Security and Privacy ("Oakland"), as well as the 2012 NYU-Poly AT&T Best Applied Security Paper Award, NDSS 2013 Best Student Paper Award, and the CCS 2011 Test-of-Time Award

Monday, October 27th

  1. Colloquium Speaker: Ladislav Kavan
    • Start time: 11:00am
    • End date: Monday, October 27th
    • End time: 12:00pm

Tuesday, October 28th

  1. CNS Lecture: "Resource Virtualization for Software-defined Networks"
    • Start time: 11:00am
    • End date: Tuesday, October 28th
    • End time: 12:00pm
    • Where: CSE Room 1202
    • Description:

      Title: Resource Virtualization for Software-defined Networks
      Abstract: Software defined networking centralizes control plane functionality, separating it from the data plane which is responsible for packet forwarding. Many management tasks such as finding heavy hitters for multi-path routing may run using SDN in a network with limited resources. However, by abstracting them from resources at individual switches, a resource manager at the controller can optimize their resource usage. As management tasks often have a measurement-control loop, my projects, DREAM and vCRIB, work on measurement and control tasks, respectively: First, Dream ensures a minimum user-specified level of accuracy for tasks instead of allocating a fixed amount of resources to each task. Therefore, it dynamically allocates resources across tasks in reaction to traffic dynamics and task dynamics, which allows resource multiplexing. DREAM is 2x better at the tail of minimum accuracy satisfaction comparing to current practice even in cases with moderate load. Next, vCRIB automatically distributes control rules on all switches in the network giving the abstraction of a centralized rule repository with resources equal to the combined resources of all switches. vCRIB can find feasible rule placement with less than 10% traffic overhead in cases where traffic-optimal rule placement is not feasible with respect to CPU and memory constraints.

      Bio: Masoud Moshref is a 5th year PhD candidate in University of Southern California. He works on resource virtualization in Software-Defined Networks in Networked Systems Lab under supervision of Ramesh Govindan and Minlan Yu. He got MSc and BSc in Information Technology Engineering from Sharif University of Technology in Iran.

Monday, November 3rd

  1. Colloquium Speaker: Stefan Savage
    • Start time: 11:00am
    • End date: Monday, November 3rd
    • End time: 12:00pm

Monday, November 10th

  1. DLS Speaker: Phillip Rogaway
    • Start time: 11:00am
    • End date: Monday, November 10th
    • End time: 12:00pm

Monday, November 17th

  1. DLS Speaker: Song Chun Zhu
    • Start time: 11:00am
    • End date: Monday, November 17th
    • End time: 12:00pm


by Dr. Radut